Blizzard teases a Halloween-themed Hearthstone event and a 'shakeup' of Standard

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Blizzard shared some of its plans for the future of Hearthstone today in a blog post revealing a fun change to Standard play, new class portraits, quality of life changes, and more events—the first of which is set to begin in a couple of weeks. The event will feature "Dungeon Run-inspired Tavern Brawls, dual-class Arenas, Legendary quest rewards, and some meta-shifting changes," and while no specifics were revealed, Blizzard teased—very subtly—that it will "have more to share on this sensationally spooky event on October 4, but in the meantime... try not to lose your head!"

Yes, very subtle indeed.

Also coming—coming back, to be precise—are 23 of "the most popular and game-changing cards from across Hearthstone history, including Ragnaros the Firelord and N’Zoth the Corruptor," which will be temporarily taken out of Wild and returned to Standard. 

"To ensure that everyone can participate in this meta-mixing event, we’ll be granting everyone free copies of each card (these copies cannot be disenchanted or crafted) so they can add these heavy-hitters to their decks and get them into the action," Blizzard said.

The returned cards may be free for everyone (and, sorry to say, not for keeps: Blizzard clarified on Reddit that the cards are come back just for the event, and when the event ends the cards will go away), but the new class portraits coming in the next update will not: You'll need to earn 1000 wins for each class in order to claim them. The good news is that wins prior to the update will count toward your total, so you might be able to pick some of them up as soon as they're available. 

Alternate search terms for cards are also being implemented, including common misspellings and simplified versions of "leetspeak" card names—so, for instance, SN1P-SN4P will pop on searches for "snip" or "snap." The new search feature will only cover a few cards at first but more will be added "as needed," and non-English languages will also be supported.

More long-term, Blizzard plans to remove some unpopular daily quests, add some new ones, and change some of their requirements so they're quicker and easier to complete. Daily quests will be split into two "buckets," Easy (50g) and Slightly More Difficult (60g), and rerolling the more difficult quests will always result in an Easy quest, to ensure that players can get an Easy quest every day if that's what they want. "We love Murlocs and Pirates as much as anyone, but it should be your choice if you decide to complete their quests," Blizzard said.

A date for the daily quest update wasn't revealed, but details on the changes coming to Standard, including the full list of 23 cards being returned to Standard, will be revealed on October 4.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.