This week Blizzard Entertainment announced some major changes coming to their CCG, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. There's a good amount of confusion as to what exactly is coming, so I'm here to break it all down for you and let you know what actions you should take to prepare.
First of all, Hearthstone gameplay is being segmented into two groups: Standard and Wild. The current gameplay, where you get to build decks with all the cards available to you, will now be called Wild, as in the Wild West. Where things get confusing is in the Standard gameplay. This mode will have it's own separate ladder, and is specifically designed to allow new players to the game to have an easier time competing with long standing members. Here's how Blizzard explains it:
Standard is a new format in Play mode that allows players to go head-to-head using only the most recently released Hearthstone cards. You’ll play Standard using a deck built solely from a pool of cards that were released in the current and previous calendar year, along with a core foundation of the Basic and Classic card sets (which will always be valid for Standard). You’ll be matched against other players who are also using Standard decks.
"But I already have all my nine decks created!" you exclaim. Blizzard has you covered. they are doubling the amount of deck slots available to allow players to get a chance to play in both modes (or just go crazy with Wild decks, I assume). This ups the total of deck slots available to 18 total, which sounds like an amazingly high number to those of us who have been playing for so long. I'm a little giddy just thinking about it.
The hope is, at least from Blizzard's point of view, that the OP cards from older expansions will drop off, allowing them to stop having to rebalance for those cards with new cards. Instead they'll be able to design new expansions with tighter balance from the most recent sets and Standard decks won't stagnate with the required cards (I'm looking at you Boom and Piloted Shredder) that we all have to run with now.
So what does this mean for current players of the game? Well, if you're at all interested in getting cards from the previous expansions, nows the time to get some gold rolling (or dollars for you fancy "I can buy things" gamers). Since this was just announced, and Blizzard says that the new mode changes will be made in Spring 2016, my guess is you have between now and April to get your shopping done. As Blizzard says, Naxxramas and GvG will not be part of the Standard expansions list, so that's where I would start with your card acquisition. If you're not sure which cards to start with, I would recommend scrolling through decks on Hearthpwn, focusing on those that contain Naxx or GvG cards.
So what is your take on the changes? Are you angry they are limiting which card sets people can play with? Going to mourn that Shredder when he's no longer able to trounce the 4 mana drop set? Just going to play Wild so you don't care? Let us know in the comments.