Posted by: Grumpy | November 15, 2013

Ask Anduin #1 (July 5th, 2013)

“Tong! I believe we are ready to begin,” explained the young black dragon. With a quick bow the Pandaren turned to go about his task and Wrathion moved toward his guest. “Please my young human friend, make yourself comfortable.” He gestured for Anduin to sit. 
“Thank you, you are very kind,” said the Crown Prince of Stormwind. Beside them was a large wooden table of the sort used in seedy taverns for dining or gaming. Anduin’s muscles protested as he eased himself into the chair across from Wrathion. It had been some time since the battle at the Divine Bell. The Alliance healers had made remarkable progress but he was far from being completely recuperated. 
The Pandaren returned and placed a small parcel wrapped in windwool cloth in the center of the table and then began to pour tea for the two princes. 
“Thank you Tong. That will be all.” Wrathion dismissed his servant with the wave of a hand then returned his attention to Anduin and began to explain, “During their tireless searches for auction-able materials with which to make profit, Madam Goya’s associates have come across a new game.” The young dragon picked up the package in front of him and began to unwrap it slowly, revealing two smaller packages. One he placed in front of Anduin. “I am hoping this will relieve some of the tedium while you recover from your injuries.”
“Interesting,” remarked Anduin. “And quite thoughtful of you. Shall we play now?” He examined the package in front of him lifting up one corner to have a peek at the markings underneath. It looked like a stack of playing cards wrapped in leather, bound and sealed with a small rune-marked stone that reminded him of his own hearthstone. 
“Of course,” the black dragon smiled. The two of them glanced down examining their packs. Anduin broke the seal first, grinning broadly as he revealed his first card. 
“Jaina Proudmoore”
He rubbed his chin and wondered, now what would Aunt Jaina do in his shoes?

(Well, it COULD have happened that way!)

Welcome to the first edition of “Ask Anduin” our weekly Question and Answer column about Blizzard’s new game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Let’s jump right in.


1. Can two people play together or is it a solo game?

Player vs. Player is the central method of play. You can play against a random person selected for you by matchmaking or you can challenge people on your friends list. There is also solo play vs AI if you want to play alone or test your new decks before letting them loose on the wild.

2. What if you get multiple cards that are the same? Can you get rid of them?

Blizzard has introduced a crafting mechanic in Hearthstone where you can disenchant cards that you don’t want. Disenchanting cards leaves you with a pile of arcane dust. Then you can use the dust to craft the cards that you DO want. So you’ll be able to make that awesome “Lord Jaraxxus, Eredar Lord of the Burning Legion” card that you want. It’s very similar to enchanting in World of Warcraft and a nice alternative to buying card packs.

3. Which is your favorite hero/deck and why?

The title of the column kind of gives it away doesn’t it? My main character in World of Warcraft is a troll shadow priest. And all of the Fireside Duels that have featured the priest deck have really drawn me in. I like the combination of healing, doing damage, and borrowing the other players minions. And who wouldn’t like a 10/10 lightwell?

4. Is online the only option for playing?

Right now we don’t know. My initial feeling about this is that it will be online only due to the storage requirements on tablet devices. Right now there are about 18 different AI settings for single player mode. Normal and Expert for each class. I expect that would take up a big chunk of memory on a tablet. We want people to keep Hearthstone on their tablet instead of deleting it to make room for their next movie rental. So I expect the AI will be running on the server and the client will just relay messages and drive the cool display graphics. I could be completely wrong about that though. We wont know for sure until we see it in beta.

5. Why haven’t I heard back regarding my beta opt-in?

Because the beta hasn’t started yet (At least, not when I’m writing this). Don’t worry, it will very soon. It’s not an “Opt-in get immediate beta access” kind of thing at all. Initially it will be a closed beta and you’ll need to be selected to participate. There are a few other things to consider. I wrote a guide on how to Opt-in here.

6. When will the beta begin?

Technically sometime between now and September 21st. However, during last week’s Fansite Mixer a question was asked about a card being updated and the answer was that it would be updated very soon. But then they added that Beta was coming before that card receives an update. So read that how you like.

7. What about possible deck setups? Or tactics?

Now we’re getting to the meat of things! It’s always fun to talk strategy and tactics but right now is a bit early to talk specifics. We’ve already seen pretty large deck changes in the last patch and I expect there will be more as beta goes on. Lucky for us Liam Hockley wrote a great article on the different type of decks and how to use them. You can find it right here.

8. Why did you name the column “Ask Anduin?”

Alliteration’s Always Awesome!

9. How often will you be writing this column?

The initial target is weekly. However, it depends on the questions being asked. I can adjust according to how many questions we receive. So if you..

Have questions about Blizzard’s new Hearthstone game? Leave them right here in the comments. I’ll try and answer them in the next column. ~ Jim



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