Missions are a type of free, optional, single-player game mode in which the player participates in matches played against computer-controlled opponents, first introduced in the Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion. They are similar to the discontinued Adventure game mode, but reward card packs rather than specific, otherwise unobtainable cards, and are primarily meant to develop an Expansion's lore and narrative. Unlike Adventures, Missions only have a single difficulty intended to be more challenging than an average Adventure's Normal difficulty.
Standard format Missions[edit | edit source]
The following Missions are currently part of Standard format, and are available for free to all players. Completing wings in these Missions will grant reward card packs from their respective expansion.
Knights of the Frozen Throne[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Knights of the Frozen Throne#Missions
Knights of the Frozen Throne is the first Hearthstone expansion to include Missions, released August 10, 2017.
The Missions see the player ascend through the dreaded Icecrown Citadel, home to the Lich King and his Undead Scourge. The Missions feature a total of 8 bosses, spread across three wings and an introductory Prologue. Completing the Prologue rewards a random Knights of the Frozen Throne hero card, while completing every subsequent wing rewards 1 Knights of the Frozen Throne card pack each. Defeating the final boss encounter, The Lich King, with all 9 classes rewards the Arthas Menethil alternate paladin hero.
History and design[edit | edit source]
Missions were first announced in a Year of the Mammoth announcement blog post on the official site, where the Hearthstone team explained that they would be changing the previous Hearthstone release cycle of alternating between Expansion and Adventure releases to instead releasing three Expansions a year, and that "optional single-player missions" would be included in each release to help develop the expansions' lore and narrative. It was also mentioned that the team would be taking their "first step" into this new design with the second expansion of 2017, which was later announced as Knights of the Frozen Throne:
- "Looking back, we learned a lot in 2016 with the introduction of the Year of the Kraken. One of the things we’d like to put additional focus on for the Year of the Mammoth is having additional deck-building options and deck variety in Hearthstone. To help give players additional tools and options to accomplish this, we are changing up the way we handle our release cycle. Previously, a Hearthstone Year alternated between Expansions and Adventures.
- For the Year of the Mammoth, our release cycle will include a ~130 card expansion at the start of the year, a ~130 card expansion in the middle of the year, and another ~130 card expansion at the end of the year.
- Why the change of release cycle?
- At their core, Adventures paint colorful and thematic stories about the Hearthstone universe. Imagine being able to learn about the history and lore behind each of our sets inside the game in a similar way! Defining who the Jade Lotus are through a series of battles between the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan families would have been a great way to supplement the overall Gadgetzan story arc. That concept is something we would like to do more of in future sets: Take the storytelling and cool missions of Adventures, and combine them with the card pools of expansions.
- Cards will be acquired via packs like other expansions in the past; additionally, each release will include optional single-player missions that will help develop the expansions’ thematic narratives and offer fun challenges.
- We’d like to continue being flexible and refine the way we roll out content so it’s more enjoyable for all of our players. The second expansion of 2017 will be our first step into this new design, and we plan on building on this concept over time. Additional details about our free single player content will come at a later time."
- IGN: How has the shift from missions being linked to adventures – and a smaller set of cards, to being linked to a full expansion set changed your opportunities for storytelling? For instance, when Mean Streets [of Gadgetzan] came out, I was like “man, I’d love to see some more story content around this!
- Dave Kosak: Right! That’s exactly how we felt about Mean Streets. We had these great great characters, and you kind of had the quest that you could do when the expansion launched to sort of introduce the characters, but you really didn’t get to interact with them in a way that was narrative. And this gives us an opportunity to do that. And yeah, going forward, we’re excited about that. It’ll be full 135 card sets, as well as this opportunity to tell a little bit of story with the missions. And the goal of missions now, it kind of changes, because you’re not gating cards behind the content. Now it’s really about getting people excited about the expansion, getting people interacting with the new cards in a new way, introducing these characters to players, that’s important. It’s especially important here because Hearthstone players might not have played Warcraft 3 or World of Warcraft, they might not know who the Lich King is yet. We’ve got to really establish who the Lich King is and that can be fun, because we kind of give a Hearthstone take on it.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- The player is warned about the difficulty of bosses in the Knights of the Frozen Throne Missions after completing A Fateful Encounter, the Missions' first boss.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Blizzard Entertainment (2017-02-16). A Year of Mammoth Proportions! - Hearthstone. Retrieved on 2017-07-08.
- Cam Shea (2017-07-08). Hearthstone's Frozen Throne: Everything Blizzard Would Tell Us - IGN. Retrieved on 2017-07-08.