Blizzard, makers of wildly successful video games World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo, shifted speeds earlier this year when it released its own free-
to-play digital card game, Hearthstone. Based on the lore of its Warcraft universe, the game is available on Windows, Mac, and iPad.
Last week saw Blizzard wrap up the launch of Curse of Naxxramas, an elaborate solo adventure expansion for Hearthstone giving players a chance to step away
from the standard multiplayer focus and into a themed series of battles to test their skills and reward the successful with powerful new cards.
As the launch event drew to a close, CNET had the chance to speak to Hearthstone Senior Game Designer Ben Brode and Lead Artist Ben Thompson, about both the
experiences found in the expansion and the wider effort to build a card game that takes full advantage of what you can do when you’ve created a truly digital
deck of cards.
All of Naxxramas is now open, so how does it feel to have it fully released? What’s been the reaction so far?
Brode: It feels awesome. I’ve been really happy with the reaction. I’ve just had some feedback today about the way people enjoyed the Kel’Thuzad fight [the
final boss battle of the expansion], in particular, and we put a lot of time and care into that to really bring him to life. You’ve spent the whole of
Naxxramas listening to him taunt you over and over again and you finally get to take the fight to him and hear him taunt you for the last time. People seemed
to enjoy it and that was really gratifying to put a cap at the end of this long release event.
I was beaten soundly by Kel’Thuzad on my first few attempts and it showed that he had plenty of variety in his victory taunts as well.
It really meant we had an opportunity to reinvent Naxx from a different perspective, in this case, the perspective of Hearthstone. To make it more friendly
and approachable, while at the same time taunting. Kel’Thuzad, instead of him being a super villain, making him more of a super jerk.
“We will never be slaves! But we will be conquerors…”
The pit lord Mannoroth is dead.
Gul’dan and his followers are in chains.
In one night, Grommash Hellscream exposed and thwarted the forces that meant to subjugate the orcs. In one night, Hellscream proved himself a worthy warchief
to the Iron Horde and set his people on a violent collision course with another world in another time.