Blizzard has announced a new free-to-play game mode for their popular mobile title, Hearthstone. Entitled Mercenaries, the mode will do away with traditional decks and instead focus on the collection of over 50 characters from the Warcraft universe. It also combines features found in RPGs and Roguelikes, and incorporates turn-based combat against procedurally-generated bounties.
Players will start with eight mercenary cards, and are encouraged to experiment with their roster. Each character possesses three upgradeable abilities and earns experience points from battle, with a level cap of 30. Mercenaries will also feature a hub area known as the Village, where players can engage in many different activities, including managing their cards, changing the look of their characters, and upgrading buildings.
The collection of cards can happen in two ways, with the use of in-game currency being one method. Players can turn in bounties and complete various tasks to receive coins, which can be redeemed for mercenaries. Alternatively, characters can be obtained through the purchasing of card packs.
The mode releases on October 12, and is the latest in a long line of updates for the award winning free-to-play mobile game, alongside a revamp for popular existing mode, Battlegrounds. Blizzard promise that there will be more Mercenaries available to collect in future updates, while the launch line-up of characters includes a crossover, in the form of Diablo. This is not the only tie-in however, with World of Warcraft fans able to redeem a Sarge mount, as well as various goodies when subscribing for six months.
With the changes to the existing Hearthstone formula, Mercenaries appears to be an exciting addition to the game, representing a new experience for long-time fans, and an accessible entry point for newcomers. With the release date approaching soon, fans don’t have long to wait till they can get collecting.