Ah Blizzard, at times I think they do it on purpose. Releasing everything of interest all in the same week. This week, Hearthstone was officially launched, and is now a released game, no longer in beta. Heroes of the Storm, a new MOBA in making (I think Blizzard prefers Hero Brawler), had a lot of new information about leveling, hero rotation and skins, you can get a mount for World of Warcraft playing Hearthstone, and probably something I missed, and thus consider not important enough to retell.
So let us start at the beginning. Hearthstone is now finally out. What does that mean? Well, anyone wishing to play the game can do so. You will have to first defeat the tutorial, which is well made and entertaining. It should learn you the basics of the game. Of course it does help if you played any other trading card game as some of the mechanics are similar, thus it will make it easier for you. When you are done with tutorial after totally and really not fair fight, and you should totally blame the developers, you can try unlocking the rest of the decks.
You start with a mage deck that is rather solid, and should serve you well. You unlock the other decks by defeating them. You can defeat other players, or AI, after you defeat an opponent, its class deck will become available to you.
If you happen to play World of Warcraft you probably like mounts, right? Well, it just so happens that if you win three games in Hearthstone you earn a Hearthsteed. A horse made out of same stone hearthstones are made of. The horse is pale with a fiery eyes and mane and hooves of blue colour. And if you happen to set for the sky, it grows spectral blue wings.
It looks a bit sinister for my taste, but after so long playing as Horde, I will be glad to have a new horse, that is not just bones and death in my collection. Especially if I am not playing my Paladin or Death Knight. For the Alliance, a live horse is just one among many, for the Horde though, it is a rarity. I think that warps everything of immediate importance considering Hearthstone. If you are interested in trying it out, here is the link: http://eu.battle.net/hearthstone/en/
There was a patch before the immediate release that squashed all the little annoying bugs that plagues us through beta. Of course that gave birth to a few new ones, but since today the newcomers have already met their end. Good riddance I say. There were minor tweaks concerning legendaries, but nothing hearthbreaking or in need of deep analysis. And so we can focus on the Heroes of the Storm for a bit.
The new Hero Brawler is trying to bring something new to the MOBA genre. And it is quite interesting to see Blizzard implement their own take on a genre that spawned from their RTS games. From what I could gather there will be a lot of emphasis on team play. They are trying to tone down on the individual's role in the game as much as possible. There is no stealing kills, or xp or I do not what else is possible to steal in MOBAs or Hero Brawler's these days.
The only xp you are getting is team xp. Thus all you do or fail to do has a direct impact on your team. I personally look forward to this style of game as it will hopefully reduce the amount of negativity that is often seen in MOBAs these days. Or, it will cause whole team to rage on an individual for dieing as he fed an entire enemy team and not just one player. For now though I remain hopeful.
The approach to champions and skins seems reasonable. There will be weekly rotation of a free champion, at start five, as you level, there will be more slots for free champions available. You can buy the champions you prefer to play with either gold or real money. So, very much like things are done in League of Legends.
As you level up there will be Hero Quests that unlock certain things for that hero, such as tints. I gather skins and tints are two different things. Skins can be bought for the real money, and that is fine, I am familiar with the practise from LoL and it is only fair. Cosmetics are purchasable, because it is after all a free to play game. Some of you are probably asking what are tints in the first place? Tints are for the lack of better word recolours of the original skin.
Every skin, even the basic, vanilla, original, whatever you prefer will have to tints, variations available. You will be able to unlock those tints with completing individual Hero Quests that become available as you level up. I think this leveling up and quests are meant for leveling outside of the game. For those familiar with LoL, think of your leveling to level 30. This is that leveling that has those quests.
And while we are talking about quests, those are also one of the features presented in Heroes of the Storm. This is your way of how to earn the extra gold to purchase the Heroes you like as fast as possible. I think they will be similar in nature to Hearthstone quests. Their purpose trying to make you play differently while still making it possible to finish the quests without too much hassle.
This pretty much sums it up. You can read about all the innovation and such here. I look forward in trying out the Heroes that I know from the Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft universe. Considering the Heroes of the Storm just entered the Alpha stage of testing, maybe I will be lucky enough to test things out while still in beta.
Addendum: Because they can, and probably love to make me write about something just so they can make videos explaining the whole thing much better, Blizzard released a videos talking about how to get the Hearthsteed and the condition of Heroes of the Storm. here are the links.