Late Thursday night, Blizzard announced their next upcoming Adventure, One Night in Karazhan. It’s a four-wing adventure that takes place during a party over the course of one night in the magical tower of Karazhan.
The new expansion seems to have a fun/non-serious theme, which sounds great. The lighthearted nature of Hearthstone has always been appealing, and this adventure seems like it’s going to add to that.
One point of the announcement was that there was going to be a prologue fight available for free to everybody. There will be a single boss fight that unlocks two cards for everyone — no need to purchase the expansion to encounter this boss. I think it’s awesome for Blizzard to offer a sort of sampler for newcomers; they offered a couple of “free” cards at the beginning of League of Explorers, but that was after purchasing the adventure. These are available right off the bat. I’m not a fan of their being class-specific cards, but still… free cards. Can’t complain there. They seem to be pretty decent, too.
After that, it looks like pretty standard fare for Hearthstone: a few wings of bosses and class challenges, and you get a few dozen cards. Not too shabby.
One thing that concerns me about the expansion, though, is the emphasis that they’re putting on portals. From their website:
This party is so intense, it’s warping the very fabric of space and time to bring in more guests! Use the new portal spell cards to unleash the magic and summon random minions to the field.
After seeing that (and glancing at some of the cards they revealed), I’m concerned about the random element that they keep bringing to the game. I understand that it’s a card game and that there’s always going to be an element of randomness involved, but continuously forcing users to use RNG-based cards in their decks is frustrating. Often, players want a consistent deck that they can play with so that they can predict what’s going to happen. RNG shakes up the gameplay, sure, but it’s also nice to just be able to play a deck without worrying too much about how the random numbers are going to screw with you. Add in the fact that Blizzard keeps ignoring players’ concern and distaste for the constant RNG being added to the game, and it becomes even more frustrating.
Looking at the rest of the cards they revealed, though, I have to say that I’m looking forward to the adventure pack. Some of the cards are going to be very helpful for freshening up the meta and improving existing decks, and others… well, I don’t know how useful they’d be outside of Arena. Either way, the metagame will definitely be different in the months to come.
One Night in Karazhan is set to release on August 11th, with the whole set costing $20 (or $7/700 gold per wing). Stay tuned; we’ll be covering the new set as each wing arrives.