The expansion for the card battling game Hearthstone was released today. As of 11 a.m., the game is already suffering from some connectivity issues. Blizzard says they’re aware of the issues and are working as quickly as possible to fix it. Personally, I was able to go in and buy some of the new card packs but then got the error message.
A little bit of a hiccup isn’t completely unexpected. The the Hearthstone expansion, called The Grand Tournament, has been widely publicized since its announcement last month. Blizzard has been building anticipation of the expansion through steady trickles of information over the last month. There’s so much excitement around the release that a good chunk of the game’s 20 million players may all be trying to access the game at once. With that amount of stress on the game, it’s understandable that there might be some problems.
The Grand Tournament adds 132 new cards to the game, as well as new gameplay elements and a new game board. Players got to see the new cards in action during last week’s Tavern Brawl event.
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 wish 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 and legendary cards. The Grand Tournament seems to be the biggest expansion to date.