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Curse of Naxxramas

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Curse of Naxxramas banner.jpg


Curse of Naxxramas is Hearthstone's first adventure, released July 22, 2014.

Set in the Scourge necropolis of Naxxramas, Curse of Naxxramas is a five-wing adventure, with each wing representing one of the wings of the World of Warcraft Naxxramas raid instance. The adventure features a total of 30 new collectible cards, gained through completing various aspects of the adventure. The wings of the adventure must be purchased using either gold or real money, although the first wing will be free to access for the first month after the adventure is released.[1]

The adventure itself comprises a series of unique boss battles, with each wing featuring between 2 and 4 individual bosses. Players are able to tackle bosses in Normal or Heroic mode, a higher difficulty mode featuring improved bosses.[1] Each wing will become available to play in Heroic mode once it is defeated in normal mode.[2] Defeating all bosses in Heroic mode will earn the player a new card back.[1] Players can also tackle Class Challenges, strategic twists on existing boss encounters using specially selected decks.

Defeating bosses will earn the player XP, in equal amounts to Practice mode,[3] but will not be eligible for completing quests or earning the "3 wins" 10 gold reward, making it impossible to earn gold from the adventure.[4]

Curse of Naxxramas is only accessible by players who have unlocked all 9 classes.

Contents

Wings

Curse of Naxxramas features five wings, which will be made available over the course of five weeks. For the first month after the adventure is released, the first wing will be available to access for free.[1] Players who enter the first wing for free during the launch event will permanently unlock the wing.[1] Each wing must otherwise be purchased with gold or real money in order to unlock them for play. In addition to being purchased, the final wing will only be accessible upon completing all four other wings.[5]

Once a player has unlocked a wing that wing will stay unlocked, and players can replay each wing as frequently and as many times as they like.[6]

Completing each wing will grant the player a guaranteed new legendary card.[5]

Pricing

Players can purchase the first four wings using either gold or real money. "Bundle" discounts are offered if purchasing all remaining locked wings at one time using real money.[7]

NB: Purchasing a wing does not immediately grant the player access to it. Only once each wing has become available for play will those players who have purchased that wing be able to access it.[1]

Package USD EUR GBP AUD Gold
All 5 wings $24.99 €21.99 £17.49 $31.99
Remaining 4 $19.99 €17.99 £13.99 $24.99
Remaining 3 $14.99 €13.99 £11.49 $18.99
Remaining 2 $9.99 €8.99 £6.99 $12.99
Individual wings $6.99 €5.99 £4.99 $8.99 700 Gold

Discounts

  • The USD bundle prices all offer the same price per wing: $4.99, a 29% price reduction.
  • The Euro discounts mostly offer a price per wing of around €4.45, a 26% discount, with the 3-wing option offering a slightly lower 22% reduction.
  • The GBP discounts mostly offer a price per wing of £3.49, a 30% discount, with the 3-wing option slightly more expensive at £3.83 per wing, offering a 23% discount.
  • The AUD discounts range from $6.25 to $6.50 per wing, offering a 28-30% discount.

Bosses

Some of the Curse of Naxxramas bosses

Play in Curse of Naxxramas primarily comprises battles against computer opponents, known as bosses. Each boss is a computer opponent with their own unique cards and hero powers, designed to be "tough, unique, and interesting" encounters[5] that introduce new strategic elements, forcing you to "change how you play".[8] The adventure features 15 bosses in total, with both the bosses and their sequence matching the raid's World of Warcraft incarnation.[9]

Bosses use a combination of unique hero powers, regular collectible cards, and special cards which are not available for players to collect, featuring unbalanced effects described as "totally unfair ... totally brutal".[9]

Defeating each boss awards a new card x 2, often thematically associated with that boss.

Each boss encounter also features dialogue from the boss, as well as voice overs from Kel'Thuzad.

Structure

Each wing of the adventure houses a number of bosses, with the adventure featuring 15 bosses in total. Players will battle them in order.[9]

The wings are planned to become available one per week following the adventure's initial release. Projected dates are listed below. Note that each wing after the first must still be purchased in order to be unlocked.

Defeating each boss and wing grants the player at least 1 new card.

Wing Bosses Boss rewards Wing reward
The Arachnid Quarter
(July 22)
Anub'Rekhan Haunted Creeper x 2 Maexxna
Grand Widow Faerlina Nerub'ar Weblord x 2
The oversized arachnid Maexxna Nerubian Egg x 2
The Plague Quarter
(July 29)
Noth the Plaguebringer Stoneskin Gargoyle x 2 Loatheb
The devious plague cauldron master Heigan the Unclean Unstable Ghoul x 2
The fungal horror Loatheb Sludge Belcher x 2
The Military Quarter
(August 5)
Instructor Razuvious Dancing Swords x 2 Baron Rivendare
Gothik the Harvester Spectral Knight x 2
The Four Horsemen Deathlord x 2
The Construct Quarter
(August 12)
The shambling abomination Patchwerk Undertaker x 2 Feugen and Stalagg
Grobbulus Mad Scientist x 2
Gluth Zombie Chow x 2
Thaddius Wailing Soul x 2
Frostwyrm Lair
(August 19)
The mighty frost-wyrm Sapphiron Echoing Ooze x 2 Kel'Thuzad
The powerful arch-lich Kel'Thuzad Shade of Naxxramas x 2

Class Challenges

Curse of Naxxramas features nine class-specific Class Challenges, with each offering a new and more difficult twist on the adventure's encounters, tailored to that class. Completing each Class Challenge will reward the player with a new class-specific card for that class. Class Challenges use predetermined decks.[10] Class Challenges do not have Heroic mode versions.[11]

Class Boss Reward
Druid Grand Widow Faerlina Poison Seeds
Hunter Loatheb Webspinner
Mage Heigan the Unclean Duplicate
Paladin TBA Avenge
Priest TBA Dark Cultist
Rogue Maexxna Anub'ar Ambusher
Shaman TBA Reincarnate
Warlock Gothik the Harvester Voidcaller
Warrior TBA Death's Bite

Cards

Curse of Naxxramas features 30 new collectible cards in total - 21 neutral cards and 9 class-specific cards, one for each class - as well as several new uncollectible cards, brought into play through the other cards. Many Curse of Naxxramas cards feature a Deathrattle theme, or involve minion death in some way. The adventure brings new minion, spell, weapon and secret cards.

Golden versions of cards are not obtainable through play, but become craftable using Arcane Dust once the player has obtained the regular version of that card.[12] Golden Curse of Naxxramas cards cost the usual amount to craft for their rarity.[13]

All Curse of Naxxramas cards are soulbound (although the golden versions can be crafted) and therefore cannot be disenchanted.[14] Golden versions aside, these cards cannot be obtained through any means other than playing the adventure, and will not be available from card packs.

Cards can be obtained through completing various aspects of the adventure:

  • Bosses
    • Defeating each boss awards a non-legendary neutral card x 2
  • Completing wings
    • Completing each wing rewards the player with a new legendary neutral card (two for the Construct Quarter)
    • These cards usually represent one of the bosses from that wing
  • Class Challenges
    • Completing each Class Challenge awards a new class-specific common card

In addition, as each wing is released, the cards available in that wing will be added to possible Arena picks, even if the player has not yet collected them.

Neutral cards

The adventure brings 21 new collectible neutral cards, as well as several uncollectible cards.

Dancing Swords.png Haunted Creeper.png Mad Scientist.png Nerub'ar Weblord.png Spectral Knight.png Stoneskin Gargoyle.png Undertaker.png Unstable Ghoul.png Zombie Chow.png Deathlord.png Nerubian Egg.png Sludge Belcher.png Wailing Soul.png Echoing Ooze.png Shade of Naxxramas.png Baron Rivendare.png Feugen.png Kel'Thuzad.png Loatheb.png Maexxna.png Stalagg.png

Uncollectible

Slime.png Spectral Spider.png Nerubian(7739).png Thaddius.png

Class cards

The adventure brings 9 new class-specific cards, one for each class:

Poison Seeds.png
Druid
Webspinner.png
Hunter
Duplicate.png
Mage
Avenge.png
Paladin
Dark Cultist.png
Priest
Anub'ar Ambusher.png
Rogue
Reincarnate.png
Shaman
Voidcaller.png
Warlock
Death's Bite.png
Warrior

Boss cards and hero powers

Card back-HeroicNaxx.png

Curse of Naxxramas also brings numerous unique cards and hero powers used by the adventure's bosses. These are not available to players.

Including both Normal and Heroic mode versions, the adventure features 41 new boss cards, and around 25 different hero powers.

For a full list, see individual boss pages, e.g., Sapphiron. Please note: These cards are currently in the process of being added.

Card back

Defeating all bosses in Heroic mode will earn the player a new card back (see right).

Battlefield

The new Naxxramas battlefield

The adventure brings a new battlefield, complete with interactible features. The battlefield will be used during the adventure, and will not be available during other play.[1]

Dialogue

The adventure features dialogue during boss battles and also during other events such as unlocking wings, presented by the bosses and certain minions, as well as by the adventure's genial host Kel'Thuzad.

Music

Several new pieces of music feature exclusively in the adventure itself, and one additional piece has been added to the repertoire for the main game. This will be the developers' approach to the generation of new music going forward.[15]

Developer commentary

On the adventure's Deathrattle theme: "Almost all of the cards in Curse of Naxxramas have to do either with Deathrattle, or things that happen when something dies, or things that interact really interestingly with things dying, … The idea behind Naxxramas as a dungeon is of course that it was from World of Warcraft, ruled by the necromancer Kel'Thuzad, so we really wanted to jump big on the whole death and deathrattle idea, and we also really liked the idea of taking this mechanic which we'd done a little bit with and blowing it out and doing crazy stuff with it." - Eric Dodds[16]
On dialogue and Kel'Thuzad: "I can tell you that Kel'Thuzad is going to be doing a fair amount of chatting … and he totally cracks me up." - Eric Dodds[16]
On Nerubian Egg: "It's a card that we've seen people build decks around, with other [existing] cards that give the Nerubian Egg an attack so you can make sure you get that Nerubian Egg killed. … It's a particularly powerful card against hunters who use Explosive Trap a lot" - Eric Dodds[16]
On Baron Rivendare: "In a lot of ways I'm excited about that card because I don't know exactly how players are going to use it … It's one of the types of card that we call a story card - it's a card that the number of possible combinations for it are crazy and once it gets out there we expect to hear some crazy stories that come out of it. " - Eric Dodds[16]
On Poison Seeds: "In the case of Poison Seeds we thought about, hey, we have druids and we really like the idea of Treants and druids and doing a little bit more with that, and while we want to have it be death-related, what's an interesting interaction we can have in the combination of those things." - Eric Dodds[16]
On shaking up the existing game: "It's very important for us to throw a curveball out there and see the game changing in interesting ways" - Eric Dodds[16]

Lore

Curse of Naxxramas, full art

Curse of Naxxramas is based upon the Naxxramas raid from World of Warcraft.

The World of Warcraft Naxxramas instance had two incarnations; it was originally released in vanilla World of Warcraft hovering above the Eastern Plaguelands, before being revamped for Wrath of the Lich King, where it moved to Northrend. Curse of Naxxramas is based on the raid's second incarnation.

Official overview

Kel’Thuzad: A Thirst for Power

High above the bitter cold of Dragonblight in the continent of Northrend, the ancient Nerubian necropolis known as Naxxramas looms in the skies, casting a dark shadow on the barren tundra that lies beneath it. Safe from most terrors that may threaten it, Naxxramas is an effective holding ground for a host of undead horrors, ready to strengthen the influence and reach of the undead Scourge at a moment’s notice.

The archlich known as Kel’Thuzad sits at the seat of power within Naxxramas, coordinating the normally mindless Scourge into a fighting force for the Lich King. In his mortal days, Kel’Thuzad was once a powerful human mage and high-ranking member of the Kirin Tor, working under the great Archmage Antonidas, leader of the Kirin Tor at the time. The Kirin Tor had a wealth of secrets and knowledge at their disposal, and Kel’Thuzad spent countless hours devouring every bit of knowledge he could get his hands on—even the darkest and most unthinkable of arcane arts, such as necromancy. He became increasingly more reclusive and shunned by his peers the further he delved into forbidden magic.

The Lich King sought out Azeroth’s most powerful and ambitious individuals to bend to his will, sending out a mental summons to those he thought could easily be swayed by the promise of power. Kel’Thuzad was the first to answer the Lich King’s call. He saw the power the Lich King held over the undead and desired such power for his own, so he offered his services as a mage to the Lich King in whatever manner he desired. After a long, tortured journey to the frozen wastes of Northrend, Kel’Thuzad knelt at the feet of the Lich King and offered him not just his loyalty, but his soul as well.

"As my lieutenant, you will gain knowledge and magic to surpass your most ambitious dreams. But in return, living or dead, you will serve me for the rest of your days. If you betray me, I shall make you into one of my mindless ones, and you will serve me still.”

The Lich King’s words were both a threat and a promise. Kel’Thuzad would become his lieutenant, carrying out the Lich King’s whims, but in return he would gain power beyond his wildest dreams. Kel’Thuzad accepted these terms . . . as if he had much of a choice in the matter.[17]

Inside the Necropolis

The lich Kel’Thuzad uses Naxxramas as a base of operations for the undead Scourge, separating the citadel into four specialized quarters to train his minions:

The Arachnid Quarter

The Arachnid Quarter houses undead nerubians, an ancient race of intelligent arachnoid beings. Normally highly reclusive and suspicious of outsiders, living nerubians fought valiantly against the undead Scourge, but were overwhelmed by their numbers. While living nerubians were immune to the undead plague, nothing could prevent the Lich King from bringing back the fallen to join the Scourge in undeath.

One of the minions raised by the Lich King was the Crypt Lord Anub’Rekhan. In life, he was one of the nerubians’ most powerful lords. Now, he guards the doors of the Arachnid Quarter that house…

Grand Widow Faerlina. Once one of the high-ranking members of the Cult of the Damned under Kel’Thuzad, in death she breeds and takes care of the seemingly endless amount of arachnids that swarm from the depths of the citadel. A master of poisons, she has a keen understanding of what makes mortals suffer. The poisons she concocts comes from the spiderlings produced by…

Maexxna, a massive spider taken from the depths of Northrend. She feasts on those foolish enough to enter the necropolis, producing spider after spider that Kel’Thuzad uses to his own foul ends.[17]

The Plague Quarter

Rife with monstrosities twisted by the undead plague, the Plague Quarter produces and refines the plague into highly efficient weapons, bent on destroying all of humanity as a part of Kel’Thuzad’s undead army.

Noth the Plaguebringer was once a reputable mage of Dalaran, who heard the call of the Lich King in much the same way Kel’Thuzad did. Also driven by power, he accepted the summons to serve the needs of the Scourge with his skills in necromancy and curse-weaving. However, when Noth saw that the Third War was taking numerous innocent lives, he began second guessing his decision to join Kel’Thuzad. Kel’Thuzad swiftly dealt with Noth’s growing compassion by freezing the living heart in Noth’s chest.

Heigan the Unclean was the mastermind behind the magic of the cauldrons that quickly spread the undead plague through Lordaeron, corrupting not just the humans, but the flora and fauna in the area as well. The entire wilderness surrounding Lordaeron is now referred to as “the Plaguelands”—thanks in no small part to Heigan’s handiwork.

A prime example of how the plague manifested in the local flora and fauna is the twisted fen creeper Loatheb. In a twisted mockery of the plant kingdom’s natural ability to regenerate, Loatheb can summon deadly spores that quickly spread a sickening miasma that turns magical healing arts against those who wield them.[17]

The Military Quarter

Many of the humans and their loyal mounts who were once soldiers in Lordaeron’s army now find their martial talents put to use in Naxxramas’s Military Quarter. Here, in service to Kel’Thuzad and the Lich King, they hone their skills far past what they could have accomplished in life. Leaders, trainers, and military coordinators—all use their talents to coordinate the Scourge into a powerful fighting force rather than a mindless horde. Many Death Knights begin their training within this quarter under the direction of its powerful lieutenants.

Instructor Razuvious is the trainer of the Death Knights, the fiercest and most loyal of the Lich King’s servants. His strikes are sure and deadly, and it is rumored that only students under his tutelage can withstand even a single blow of his deadly runeblade.

Gothik the Harvester, master of necromancy, teaches young Death Knights the power of summoning the undead to their aid. Even the most novice Death Knight can call the lifeless from their graves, thanks to Gothik’s dark and sinister techniques. Ghosts, ghouls, skeletons—none are safe from Gothik’s influence.

Kel’Thuzad’s royal guard can be found in the Four Horsemen, each with their own twisted powers at their disposal: Lady Blameaux is a master of the shadow, able to drain the essence of life from those she encounters; Thane Korth’azz controls the destructive power of fire, and can even call forth fiery meteors from the skies; Sir Zeliek was once a paladin, so powerful in life that he can still wield the Light in death; and Baron Rivendare, once a friend of Kel’Thuzad, now continues to serve his old comrade in death with his corrupting powers and skeletal Deathcharger.[17]

The Construct Quarter

The Construct Quarter houses various nightmarish abominations stitched together from the once-living. A steady stream of toxic slime flows through this wing of Naxxramas; though it doesn’t pose a threat to the undead constructs that shamble about within, the viscous ooze is deadly to those who still enjoy doing things like breathing and having a pulse.

Patchwerk is one of Kel’Thuzad’s most powerful abominations—his strength and speed come as a shock to those that may face him in combat. Far from a sluggish, mindless undead, Patchwerk uses his immense power to pulverize any tiny meat thing that may face him with a flurry of potent, powerful attacks. He just wants to play!

Grobbulus lurks deeper in the Construct Quarter, carrying the same ooze that flows through Naxxramas within its hulking form. Grobbulus is a flesh giant, the first successful one of its kind, created to build a formidable army capable of quickly spreading the undead plague. One of Grobbulus’ limbs has been replaced with a syringe, which it uses to inject the plague slime of Naxxramas into its enemies.

The undead plague-dog Gluth sits obediently within Naxxramas, awaiting orders from his masters. No doggie biscuit can satisfy Gluth’s ravenous hunger. It is rumored that Gluth can easily devour an army of undead on a daily basis, which Gluth uses to knit his own decaying flesh back together.

The final hulking horror that stands within the Construct Quarter is Thaddius. Pieced together from the flesh of the innocent, this massive abomination dwells in one of Naxxramas’ experimental laboratories, flanked by two huge wights—Stalagg and Feugen. Powerful bolts of electricity arc through the laboratory, supercharging Thaddius and his wight minions.[17]

Frostwyrm Lair

At the pinnacle of Naxxramas awaits Kel’Thuzad himself, who is protected by the ancient skeletal frost wyrm Sapphiron.

Once one of Malygos’ blue dragonflight, Sapphiron was slain by Arthas Menethil and raised from the dead to guard Kel’Thuzad for all of eternity. Like many of the blue dragonflight, Sapphiron had immense magical power, which was only magnified by the fact that the Lich King personally resurrected him to serve the Scourge. The chill of frost is at his command, and he uses his magic to defend Kel’Thuzad at all costs.[17]

In World of Warcraft

Naxxramas in World of Warcraft, floating above Dragonblight

Years ago, the crypt lord Anub'arak led an army of undead warriors into the ancient nerubian ziggurat now known as Naxxramas. The Scourge forces overran the citadel, and under the will of the Lich King its corridors were transformed into a potent war machine. Dark magic tore the fortress from its subterranean home and lifted it into the sky. Hidden behind a thick layer of clouds, Naxxramas grew in strength. At the Lich King's bidding, the burgeoning wrath within the necropolis was unleashed upon the world. Brave heroes breached the citadel and eventually overcame Naxxramas' vile commander, the lich Kel'Thuzad, but the victory was short-lived.

Above the war-ravaged wastes of the Dragonblight, Naxxramas has returned with renewed fury. Kel'Thuzad, once again seated in the frigid heart of the necropolis, has laid siege to the Alliance fortress of Wintergarde Keep. As factions from around the world converge at the gate to Icecrown, the war against the Scourge enters its most pivotal hour. It is within Naxxramas that the tide of battle could turn against the Lich King... or irrevocably in his favor.[18]

Trivia

Naxxramas was chosen for the game's first adventure because of it being a well-known raid from World of Warcraft.[9] Its first incarnation made it familiar to veteran players as the final raid from vanilla WoW, while its second incarnation meant it was also well-known to those who joined during the later Wrath of the Lich King expansion.[9] It was also chosen because of the large number of bosses it featured, making it well-suited for adaptation as a sprawling adventure.[9]

The raid's second incarnation was chosen as the basis for the adventure at least partly because of players being more familiar with it than the original version.[19]

The adventure had been in development for "many months" as of April 24th, with "almost all" of the adventure's cards "locked down way before [Hearthstone's release (March 11)]".[9]

While Curse of Naxxramas is officially termed an adventure, Jason Chayes has been quoted in interviews as calling it a 'raid'.[16] This may be due simply to the game's origins as a World of Warcraft raid, or may reflect a larger view of what adventures represent. Ben Brode has also referred to the adventure as a 'mission', perhaps reflecting the similarity to the game's tutorial.[9]

Speculation

While Curse of Naxxramas appears to reflect the raid's second incarnation, the original raid was released as part of 'vanilla' WoW. As Hearthstone is still in its vanilla content, this may reflect a plan to expand the game in line with World of Warcraft's history, saving more expansion-specific content until the release of a similarly themed expansion for Hearthstone.

In addition, this adventure's origins as a World of Warcraft raid may suggest the kind of themes to be expected from future adventures. If true, this could mean adventures based around classic vanilla PvE experiences such as Shadowfang Keep, Molten Core, Blackwing Lair and even Gnomeregan.

Patch changes

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Zeriyah (2014-07-08). Curse of Naxxramas™: Wing Entry Details and Heroic Mode.
  2. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-07-14).
  3. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-07-10).
  4. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2014-07-08).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 JR Cook (2014-04-13). Interview with Eric Dodds and Jason Chayes, PAX East 2014.
  6. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2014-07-08).
  7. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2014-07-08).
  8. Jesse Cox (2014-04-11). Twitter / JesseCox. Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 Kotaku.com (2014-04-24). Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas Expansion Explained.
  10. Randolph Ramsay - Gamespot.com (2014-04-11). Hearthstone single-player adventure Curse of Naxxramas announced, and you can play without spending a penny.
  11. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-07-010).
  12. Zeriyah (2014-07-08). Curse of Naxxramas™: Wing Entry Details and Heroic Mode - News (Reddit.com).
  13. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2014-07-08).
  14. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2014-07-10).
  15. http://www.hearthpwn.com/news/534-curse-of-naxxramas-pricing-structure-heroic-mode explained
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 Tom Bramwell, Eurogamer (2014-04-27). Hearthstone Curse of Naxxramas: where death is a power-up.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 Naxxramas, the Floating Necropolis (official lore blog). (2014-07-03).
  18. Blizzard Entertainment. Official Game Guide - Naxxramas. Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
  19. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-06-22).

External links

Cinematics