Expansions are major additions to the main game of Hearthstone. Expansions bring larger amounts of cards to the game than adventures, with the former featuring around 145 cards and the latter only around 30.
Cards introduced to the game through expansions are referred to as expansion cards, and are obtainable through different means than cards from other types of card set, chiefly through card packs and crafting, or as Arena rewards.
Goblins vs Gnomes[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Goblins vs Gnomes
Goblins vs Gnomes (often abbreviated as GvG) was the first expansion for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. The second infusion of new cards to be added to the game, the expansion features 143 new cards (123 of which are collectible), with a strong mechanical theme, and introduced the Mech minion type, as well as debuting the long-awaited spectator mode. The expansion was debuted in an arena-only launch event on December 4th, 2014, with the full launch taking place on December 8th/9th/10th.
The Grand Tournament[edit | edit source]
- Main article: The Grand Tournament
The Grand Tournament is Hearthstone's second expansion, launched August 24th, 2015. With more than 130 new cards, the expansion features a strong theme of Hero Power-related effects, as well as seeing the introduction of the first full new keyword since the game's release - Inspire - allowing minions to grant special effects each time the player uses their Hero Power. It also introduced a new non-keyword mechanic, Joust.
Whispers of the Old Gods[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Whispers of the Old Gods
Mean Streets of Gadgetzan[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Mean Streets of Gadgetzan
Released December 1, 2016, Hearthstone's fourth expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, features 132 new collectible cards. Set in the bustling, lawless port city of Gadgetzan, the expansion features characters from the city's three ruling crime families - the brutish Grimy Goons, the assassins of the Jade Lotus, and the shadowy spellcasters of the Kabal. With their own minions, spells and weapons, each family is formed from an allegiance of three different Hearthstone classes, resulting in multi-class cards, usable by heroes of any of those three classes.
Expansion cards[edit | edit source]
How to get[edit | edit source]
All expansion cards that are currently part of Standard format are obtainable through the same means: in card packs, through crafting, or as Arena rewards. Golden versions of Standard expansion cards may also be found in the Highest Rank Bonus chest at the end of each Ranked season. Wild format expansion cards are only available through crafting.
Notably, expansion cards are obtained through game-wide means, rather than content-specific means such as completing specific boss encounters, as with adventure cards. Expansion cards are added to the game in relatively large batches, becoming immediately available through all normal means, while adventure cards are added in small batches as each wing of the corresponding adventure is released. This tends to have a far larger impact on the game's meta.
Standard format[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Standard format
When the first new expansion is released each year, all card sets that weren't released in the same year or the year prior are removed from Standard format. Card from these sets can then only be used in Wild format matches. For details, see Standard format.
Expansions and adventures[edit | edit source]
The game's first adventure Curse of Naxxramas is often mistakenly believed to be the game's first expansion. However, adventures and expansions differ considerably; the former feature a small number of cards and a substantial solo experience, featuring special bosses and challenges; while expansions bring far larger amounts of cards, but do not include any solo content of any kind. Additionally, while adventures' cards are earned through defeating bosses, expansions' cards are earned through regular means such as crafting and card packs.
However, in more general parlance, adventures can be considered equivalent to expansions in other games, with substantial changes to the game's basic play experience that far exceed the impact of a regular patch.
Between the release of the game in March 2013 and the introduction of game formats in spring 2016, Hearthstone saw an alternating pattern of adventures and expansions. However, with Standard format in mind, the developers now plan to have a new expansion at both the start and end of each year, with an adventure somewhere in between.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- By the time an expansion is released, Team 5 are "already working a lot on future expansions", including "not only the next [expansion] but the one after that as well". Lead Designer Ben Brode states that the team always have "3-ish expansions in development", although it is likely this also includes adventures. According to Senior Producer Yong Woo, the developers are always "trying to get ahead of the curve".
Speculation[edit | edit source]
- Future expansions may bring increased level caps for heroes, although this has not yet been the case.
- World of Warcraft already has six expansions: The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor and Legion. However, none of the Hearthstone expansions so far have matched any of these, with a preference for original themes.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Eric Dodds has jokingly referred to a potential The Lich King vs Battle Pets expansion.
- "There was another idea out there... well actually it wasn't really an idea out there, but I was kinda wishing it would have been [...] because it's one that I think would be super awesome, is the idea that maybe we could do something like, you know, "THE LICH KING... VS... BATTLE PETS" [...] of course I've only put that up there to have a little fun with it, but on the other hand as I've been looking at it and thinking about it, it... it's starting to grow on me, actually..."
References[edit | edit source]
- Hearthpwn: Fireside Chat - BlizzCon Panel
- POLYGON.COM - HEARTHSTONE AND COMMUNITY: INSIDE BLIZZARD'S RADICAL NEW APPROACH TO WORKING WITH PLAYERS. (2016-02-17).
- Hearthstone: Whispers of the Old Gods new expansion full announce. (2016-03-11).
- Yong Woo, live on stream. (2014-12-13).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2016-09-7).
- The Grand Tournament announcement. (2015-07-22).