Earlier this week, Blizzard announced Journey to Un’Goro as the next major expansion pack for its beloved free-to-play card game, Hearthstone.
One new gameplay mechanic inbound is called Quests that begin by playing a one-mana cost card. These always show up in the opening hand and carry certain conditions that must be fulfilled before an extremely powerful card can be summoned to pretty much end the game.
Speaking with Tempo Storm, principal game designer Mike Donais shared more information about the upcoming gameplay feature.
To begin with, Quests are designed for late-game. It is something that players will gradually work towards. In most cases, games will end before all conditions can be fulfilled. Hence, there is no guarantee that a Quest card can be played in every game.
Only one Quest can be active at a time, and it will take up a secret slot. This means that only four secrets can be played if there is an active Quest on the board.
It should be noted that Quests can activate on either player’s turn. So playing specific cards can involuntarily help your opponent’s questing.
Elsewhere in the interview, Donais revealed that Blizzard is moving away from releasing any more powerful 1-drops that put too much pressure on the board early on.
“Early on, people played very few 1-drops; then we made some good ones and made things very swingy,” he explained. “I think you will see fewer high-attack 1-drops. People like cards similar to Babbling Book because they don’t put as much pressure on you and there is still a lot to work with in that space.”
On the subject of balancing, Blizzard is not in favor of pointing its nerf-gun all the time. Doing so will only punish deck-building diversity and the developer wants players to keep an open mind.
Regarding the new Adapt gameplay mechanic, Donais stated that it should be seen more than just another form of Battlecry. “There are spells for Adapt similar to those that make use of the Discover mechanic,” he added.
Despite the excitement around Quest and Adapt cards, Journey to Un’Goro places a major focus on Elementals. These primordial beings can mature throughout a game into powerful variations. Blizzard is not ready to talk about their interactions yet, but will reveal how Elementals will make for a large part of the meta in the coming weeks.
Hearthstone: Journey to Un’Goro will release in early April and feature 135 new cards in total. Pre-orders have begun and interested individuals can pay $49.99 to attain 50 Journey to Un’Goro card packs.