Blizzard could soon be giving the stamp of approval to their magic internet wizard cards. In a post on the Hearthstone forum, community manager Christina "Zeriyah" Sims revealed that the collectable card game's beta test was "drawing near to the end". While the free-to-play title is currently available to all in open beta, the approaching full release is a sign that the major fixes and balance tweaks are nearly complete, and should act as a good point for new players to jump on board.*
*Jump on board? As in board game... Because Heathstone takes place on a virtual board... Anyone?
"We're drawing near to the end of the beta test of Hearthstone," wrote Zeriyah . This isn't to let people know, as much as it is to pimp a special beta-only reward card. "We wanted to remind you that Golden Gelbin Mekkatorque, illustrious gnomish engineer and reward for helping us test our in-game shop, will no longer be available once the game is released.
"In order to get your hands on this card for your Hearthstone collection, simply purchase an Arena entry or pack of cards with real money from our in-game shop during the beta, and Golden Gelbin Mekkatorque will automatically be added to your collection. It's that easy!"
It's important to note that the regular non-gold version of Gelbin Mekkatorque can still be crafted after the end of the beta, so don't rush to pump money into the store for any game-changing reasons. Only for shiny, aesthetic ones.
There's no actual date for the game's full release, but as this is Blizzard, "near to the end" could potentially mean anything from days to weeks to months.
Wondering if you should try the open beta? Check out Chris's Hearthstone review .