Blizzard detail Hearthstone spectator mode and Goblins vs Gnomes pricing

Eric Dodds Hearthstone

This afternoon’s ‘Fireside Chat’ panel hosted by the Hearthstone development team at BlizzCon had plenty of good news for fans of the RNG-embracing card battler. On stage game director Eric Dodds (above) confirmed that packs for the new Goblins vs Gnomes card expansion will cost exactly the same as existing Expert Packs, whether you choose to buy them with in-game gold or actual money.

Better still, your existing gold and dust can be used to buy packs and craft cards from the new set. I’m particularly pleased about that, because it means Team 5 is sticking to its abiding principle of keeping things simple by not creating two different types of dust. (And also because I’m currently sitting on a dust mountain in anticipation of the new set’s arrival in December.)

Dodds was followed by producer Yong Woo, who talked about how the game’s much anticipated spectator mode will work. Although it wasn’t clear when the functionality will roll out, it seems to tick all the necessary boxes in terms of what people have been asking for.

Once in the client, you can browse your friends list to see who’s in a match, and then one click will take you to their game. You’ll be notified whenever a new person joins to watch you play, and can choose to make your matches invite-only or boot viewers if you’re feeling shy.

Woo also explained how you can spectate both players in a match simultaneously, provided they’re on your friends list, which will make setting up tournament streams significantly easier for organisers.

After the panel senior designer Ben Brode confirmed that after the launch of Goblins vs Gnomes, Arena run reward packs will all be for the new set. We’ll be speaking with the Hearthstone team tomorrow, so if you have any burning questions leave them in the comments below. I also played four games using the new cards earlier today, and you can see what I made of them so far here.

Tim Clark

With over two decades covering videogames, Tim has been there from the beginning. In his case, that meant playing Elite in 'co-op' on a BBC Micro (one player uses the movement keys, the other shoots) until his parents finally caved and bought an Amstrad CPC 6128. These days, when not steering the good ship PC Gamer, Tim spends his time complaining that all Priest mains in Hearthstone are degenerates and raiding in Destiny 2. He's almost certainly doing one of these right now.