Blizzard Entertainment announced a massive Hearthstone expansion today. Hearthstone is the immensely popular free-to-play card-battling game on PC and iOS devices. The expansion, called The Grand Tournament, adds new elements to pretty much every aspect of the game.
The Grand Tournament will bring 130 new cards to the game. The new cards will include minions as well as spells. The expansion also adds a new playing field, the background on which the minions are played.
Some of the new minions will be affected by the player’s hero power if the minion has an effect called “inspire.” This effect is similar to “taunt” or “divine shield” that are on some of the existing minions. The effect on the minions can help can do a variety of things, such as raise the attack or defense every time the hero uses his or her hero power. The hero power is an attack or status effect that’s unique to each class. For example, the mage’s hero power is a fireball, while the priest’s hero power is to heal.
As with most content in the game, the new cards can be purchased with real money as well as with gold, which can be earned simply by playing the game. Hearthstone keeps the game fair by randomizing the cards in both the premium and “free” packs. The other premium content is purely ornamental. Those who which to pre-order the cards will get an exclusive card pack as well as the opportunity to buy less-expensive card packs.
Hearthstone was released last year and currently has more than 2 million players. This isn’t the first expansion for Hearthstone. Other expansions added new cards and playing fields, while others were single-player adventures that resulted in some rare cards. The Grand Tournament seems to be the biggest expansion to date.