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Blizzard confirms 'major rework' coming to Hearthstone rewards following battle pass speculation

Hearthstone Kael'thas Sunstrider
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Update: While the term "battle pass" was never actually used, Hearthstone game director Ben Lee confirmed during today's Reddit AMA that "a major rework of our rewards and progression systems" is in the works.

"One of our goals for this new system is to allow you to play Hearthstone your way, you won't be tied to playing only Standard or Wild in order to obtain the majority of the games’ economic rewards anymore," Lee said.

"We are also planning on repackaging (not reducing) the current rewards that you can obtain in Hearthstone and put that information in-front of you in an easy to view and understand manner. We want you to know how many rewards you've acquired, how many more you can earn and what steps you need to take in order to obtain them. In addition, we're adding a number of exciting cosmetic rewards that players can receive during every expansion."

Lee noted that the recent Ashes of Outland expansion made some big changes to Hearthstone of its own, including a "no duplicates" rule, free competitive decks for players, and increased ranked rewards. He said those changes were not "reactionary measures" driven by other games or a declining audience, but simply for the good of the players and the game, and emphasized that Blizzard will take the same approach to the rewards and progression rework by maintaining the "value that players can earn within the game," as well as the "flexibility" of the current system.

He also dismissed concerns that players will have to sink huge amounts of time into the game in order to claim all the rewards under the new system, saying that Blizzard wants players "who love Hearthstone but also have other responsibilities and interests to be able to complete the rewards track levels."

"We want our players to feel good about participating in this new take on rewards and progression, without feeling that they might miss out if they don't have time or that they'd have to make sacrifices in their lives in order to do so," Lee said.

Lee said that the new reward and progression systems, and "other things we've been working on," will be revealed during the Year of the Phoenix mid-year check-in, when the reveal process for the next Hearthstone expansion begins.

Original story: 

It appears that Blizzard is giving thought to bringing a battle pass to Hearthstone. As reported by CCG site Out of Cards, players recently received a survey from Blizzard inquiring about their interest in a system that would replace rewards based on daily challenges and wins with one based on experience.

Like most battle passes, this one would offer both free and paid tracks, according to the survey, and players would have roughly four months to complete the entire thing. Rewards on offer would include new and existing expansion packs, hero skins, experience boosters, arena tickets, card backs, gold, and random individual cards.

Out of Cards said that Hearthstone players on the free track who are able to complete all 100 levels of the pass would end up with:

  • 18 Packs for the Latest Expansion
  • 14 Packs for a Prior Standard Expansion
  • 4 Arena Tickets
  • 2 Legendary Cards
  • 2 Epic Cards
  • A choice of a Hero Skin (unknown list)
  • Expansion related Card Back
  • 3990 Gold

Those on the paid track would also get:

  • 1 Non-disenchantable Golden Legendary (Likely a unique legendary and not random)
  • 2 Upgradeable Hero Skins (3 levels of upgrades each) (Jaina and Rexxar)
  • 20% XP Boost for the Pass
  • Alternate Art for The Coin
  • 17 Packs for the Latest Expansion
  • 14 Packs for a Prior Standard Expansion
  • 4 Arena Tickets
  • 2 Legendary Cards
  • 2 Epic Cards

Players getting past level 100 would earn 25 gold per level, up to a level cap of 150. Of course, those rewards would presumably change in successive battle passes.

Battle passes are all the rage these days, and regardless of how you feel about battle passes (and some of us quite like them), adding one to Hearthstone, a free-to-play card game that's been around since 2014, seems like a very natural evolution. Blizzard declined to comment on the possibility of a pass, though, or even this survey specifically.

"We regularly ask players for feedback on a wide range of ideas for Hearthstone," a Blizzard spokesperson said. "We have nothing to announce at this time."

We may find out more about it later today: The Hearthstone team is taking part in an AMA on Reddit that's now underway.

Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.