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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft leaves beta and officially launches

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Posted on March 12, 2014 AT 03:07am

Blizzard free-to-play card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has now officially launched following several months of beta testing.

“The Hearthstone beta is complete and we wanted to take a moment to thank all of our participants for their incredibly valuable feedback and support. If you haven’t had the chance to jump into the game, now is the perfect time to check out the fast-paced strategy card game that’s fun for everyone,” the developer wrote.

“As soon as you jump in you’ll challenge iconic Warcraft characters, including the ferocious Hogger, the mischievous Millhouse Manastorm, and the wise Lorewalker Cho. As you progress through these introductory missions, you’ll hone your card-slinging skills in preparation for a climactic battle against Illidan Stormrage! You are not prepared . . . for this much fun!”

To coincide with the game’s official launch, Blizzard has released a new patch for the game that introduces golden hero portraits and hero powers. To obtain these golden animated portraits all you have to do is win 500 ranked games with each hero.

The full patch notes can be found below:

General

  • Golden Heroes have been added and now can be unlocked after winning 500 Ranked games with a Hero! Track your progress on the deck selection screen in Ranked Mode.
  • New card backs have been added.  Collect these by doing awesome things such as participating in each Ranked Season!
  • The Hearthsteed mount reward has been added and can now be obtained for your World of Warcraft account! Win 3 games in Play or Arena mode to acquire one of your own!
  • You can now connect to other regions (Americas, Europe, Korea, Taiwan) of Hearthstone regardless of the region that is set on your Battle.net account. Account progress and card collections are saved separately per region.
  • The “Players Near Me” feature is now enabled by default.  You can disable this feature in the Options Menu.
  • The queue timer now only shows up after you’ve been waiting a while.
  • The total amount of gold that an account can hold at any given time has been set at 20,000 gold; gold cannot be earned on accounts with 20,000 or more gold until some gold has been spent. This cap is intended to combat certain methods of gold acquisition that violate our Terms of Service. The spirit of fair play is extremely important to us, and we will continue to monitor gold acquisition activity closely to ensure a fun and enjoyable game environment for everyone.
  • Certain Expert cards have been changed and the amount of dust that you get from disenchanting these cards have been temporarily increased such that it is equal to the amount of dust that it would have originally cost to craft those cards. Affected cards are:
    • Nat Pagle
    • Tinkmaster Overspark

Ranked Play

  • During each Ranked Season change, players may now start the new season at a rank higher than the default Angry Chicken rank, depending on the rank that was obtained at the end of the previous season. You’ll receive one bonus star for every rank you achieved in the previous season.
  • The Angry Chicken rank now starts with 0 stars, instead of 1. Bawk!?

Arena

  • Arena rewards at 10, 11, and 12 wins no longer reward common non-golden cards.

Visuals

  • Many new card effects have been added. +3 Sparkles/+5 Shinies.
  • Minions who have Taunt and Stealth now have an effect that more clearly indicates that Taunt is temporarily disabled during Stealth.
  • Mass disenchanting now has new and improved graphics. Now you can mass disenchant in style!
  • The UI that pops up when challenging a friend to a duel has been improved. Wow, so challenge.
  • Minions that have been blessed by Blessing of Wisdom now show the trigger “lightning bolt”. Talk about a bright idea!

Gameplay

  • If you disconnect from a game, you now have 60 seconds to try and reconnect and pick up from where you left off.
  • The Expert AI has been sent to Hearthstone training camp and should now be more challenging.
  • If a player’s deck contains all Golden cards, a Golden Coin will compliment your deck if you happen to go second.
  • Unlocking a hero now plays that Hero’s emote. Well met!
  • Secrets can now only activate on your opponent’s turn.
    • Activating your own secrets feels a little strange, but mostly, the ability to do this was preventing us from creating new and powerful secrets that trigger off of events you can easily control (like a minion dying).  They end up functioning just like spells, instead of trying to bait your opponent into a bad play.  This change keeps secrets working like traps you lay for your opponent, instead of spells that you cast and use on your own turn.

Card Changes

  • Nat Pagle now reads: At the start of your turn, you have a 50% chance to draw an extra card.
    • Nat Pagle will now draw a card at the start of your turn rather than at the end. Nat had too much draw power for a card that is fairly hard to counter so early in the game, making it almost an auto-include for many decks.  This change reduces the power of the card and gives players more time to counter the card before it starts.
  • Tinkmaster Overspark is now a 3/3 (up from 2/2) and now reads: Battlecry: Transform another random minion into a 5/5 Devilsaur or a 1/1 Squirrel.
    • Tinkmaster is a neutral card that silences and often shrinks big creatures. This reduces the amount of big, fun creatures in the environment. We think this change will increase the amount fun creatures in the environment, and bring him more in-line with his cost and overall power. Tinkmaster should still show up in certain types of decks, but will no longer be appearing in every high level deck.

Bug Fixes

  • Water Elemental (Mage) will now properly freeze armored heroes as intended.
  • Ancestral Healing (Shaman) will now always attempt to heal a minion for its full Health regardless of its current Health.
  • The issue where minions randomly swap battle positions with other minions is a result of many factors and issues. All known circumstances and issues that result in minions dancing randomly around have been resolved.
  • Cards now better respect personal space while in a player’s hand. Similar to the minion swapping issue, all known circumstances and issues that result in cards overlapping with other cards in a player’s hand have been resolved.
  • The New Deck button in the Collection Manager no longer stays highlighted if you quickly click the Done and No buttons after selecting a hero.
  • The Hearthstone client will no longer remain in the foreground when you click on another program.
  • You can now select a friend in the friends list by clicking on their medal in Play mode.
  • If you were playing a friendly game when daily quests were granted, you are now correctly notified after the game.
  • The Repair Bot’s healing ability now generates an entry in the game history.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the buttons to stop working for a short moment when transitioning back to the main hub.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented some accounts from properly receiving friendly challenges.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented some accounts from joining Play, Practice or Friendly games if they have a custom deck in their collection.
  • Fixed an issue where entering a new Arena run while getting a new daily quest can cause the Arena purchase and the back buttons to be unresponsive.
  • Fixed an issue where you will receive a toast stating your friend has just come online if you log into Hearthstone and that friend was already online.
  • Fixed an issue where attempting to create a new deck would cause the game to time out after about a minute.
  • Fixed an issue where backing out of a deck list while its deck tile is animating to the top of the list will cause the deck list buttons to become unresponsive.
  • Fixed an issue where cards opened in packs or earned from defeating heroes may not appear in your collection after restarting the client.
  • Fixed an issue where clicking on the Last Played player area in friends list opens up the Add a Friend prompt without automatically filling in the player’s BattleTag.
  • Fixed an issue where the credits can be played while in the Today’s Quests screen.
  • Improved many graphical effects and fixed various graphical and game behavior issues.
  • Fixed a number of audio and sound issues.

Mac

  • Toggling full screen mode on some resolutions and monitors will no longer cause the window borders to be visible.
  • Fixed a graphical issue that could occur when changing resolutions.
  • Loading into a game will no longer cause graphical issues while on high graphics settings.
  • The system menu bar will no longer display over the client in full screen mode.
  • Using Alt + Tab to switch focus while in full screen mode will no longer cause the dock to appear over the client.
Matthew Bennett, Associate Editor
Matthew Bennett finally got his big break with EGM three years ago, following years of volunteer work for various sites. An ability to go many hours without sleep and a quick wit make him ideal for his role as associate editor at EGMNOW.com. He often thinks back to the days when the very idea of this career seemed like nothing but an impossible dream. Follow him on Twitter @mattyjb89. Meet the rest of the crew.

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