Hearthstone's (opens in new tab) next big update will arrive on February 15 with a brand-new mini-set called Onyxia's Lair. The 35-card expansion will be available via Alterac Valley card packs, or you can pick up the whole thing for $15 or 2000 gold—or, for the first time ever, get an all-Golden set for $70. That's not cheap, but the all-Golden set is clearly aimed at committed Hearthstone "whales" who'd rather spend money than time acquiring the best possible decks.
Player numbers are sagging, but Activision Blizzard said in its most recent financial report that Hearthstone net bookings actually grew year-over-year in the quarter, suggesting that die-hard players remain willing to spend on the increasing number of cosmetics which have been added to the game's various modes. Giving those players the opportunity to do so is no doubt part of Blizzard's strategy to turn around (or at least slow) that bleed-off of players.
Hearthstone streamer RegisKillbin recently posted an interesting response to this video (opens in new tab) from Hearthstone Mathematics analyzing the decline of the standard format, which he attributes to a few separate issues: Blizzard's reputational problems and a mediocre meta, which drive people away, and the high cost of coming back, which keeps them away.
One aspect of Hearthstone that, as we noted in our January analysis of the state of Hearthstone (opens in new tab), is definitely not struggling is the Battlegrounds autobattler mode, which unfortunately for Blizzard has proved trickier to monetize. To that end, this update will bring a pair of new Board cosmetics to the Battlegrounds, as well as new Finisher cosmetics, which replace the default attack animations whenever your hero wins a round of combat. Finishers are equipped globally, so they'll be used by any hero who wins around, and yes, both players will see the finisher when it plays.
Hearthstone's 22.4 update is set to go live on February 15. Full patch notes are up at playhearthstone.com (opens in new tab) and you can check out some of the new cards below.
Enter the dragon's lair... if you dare. The following cards reveal themselves:🐉 Spawn of Deathwing🐉 Deep Breath🐉 Lightmaw Netherdrake🐉 Onyxian Drake🐉 Onyxian Warder🐉 Whelp Bonker🐉 Don't Stand in the Fire! pic.twitter.com/3MPnHaialIFebruary 10, 2022