Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas cost, release structure, revealed

Hearthstone's first expansion, Curse of Naxxramas , is highly anticipated in the PC Gamer offices. We've watched every new card reveal with obsessive interest, planning changes to our decks and anticipating how to defend against them. So today's news on the new adventure content has us frothing at the mouth. Unfortunately, the structure of the expansion's release, and its tiered costs, left us scratching our heads. Let's break down when we'll get to play in these dungeons, and what our cost of entry will be.

Blizzard's update today reveals that Curse of Naxxramas will have five 'wings' of content, opening each new section one week at a time. Those wings are:

  • Arachnid Quarter
  • Plague Quarter
  • Military Quarter
  • Construct Quarter
  • Frostwyrm Lair.

The update says that players will get Arachnid Quarter's content for free if they play within the expansion's "launch window," which Blizzard says will last for "roughly a month or so." Arachnid Quarter has three bosses: Anub'Rekhan, Grand Widow Faerlina, and Maexxna. "Defeating these bosses will add new cards to your collection and give you a taste of the dangers that await you deeper inside Naxxramas," according to the update.

So far, pretty straight forward. Here's where it gets tricky: each additional wing of Naxxramas will cost players $7, or 700 in-game gold. That means that, if you're short on real-world funding, you can grind matches in the Arena, or complete daily quests through competitive play, and still access the new content.

Don't want to buy Naxxramas piecemeal? Blizzard also revealed its tiered pricing structure.

All five wings can be purchased at once for $25, with the price going down $5 for each wing you own. Individual wings are always $7 or 700 gold, and you can't buy the wing bundles using in-game currency. Blizzard notes that a bundle purchase "does not open or grant access to those wings faster than the one-wing-a-week schedule, but it does ensure that you'll be able to dive into the next challenges as soon as they unlock."

You can mix-and-match your wing purchases between in-game gold and real-world money, too, but it's hard to see why you'd want to. Remember that players during the launch event will get the first wing for free, meaning they shouldn't have to spend $25, but can get the expansion for $20. Still with us? Great.

Blizzard also announced that each wing will include Heroic versions of the content's bosses, accessible after you beat the normal versions. That's nice for some added replayability, and conquering the Heroic bosses nets you a new card back, too.

So we know how we'll pay for Naxx, but we don't know when we'll play it. Blizzard previously stated the content would arrive this month , so we'll continue eagerly waiting.