Following the news that collectible card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft will be heading into open beta as early as next month, Blizzard has spoken about incorporating new heroes, card expansions, and non-Warcraft cards into the game.
Speaking to GameSpot at Blizzcon 2013, Hearthstone production director Jason Chayes said that the developer would shortly start thinking about where it takes its nine heroes already featured in the game.
"We feel pretty good with the nine heroes we have right now," said Chayes. "In terms of expanding beyond that, that's definitely feedback we've gotten from the beta. People have given us a lot of feedback, like 'yeah, it would be awesome if I had a different hero I could pick from, a different Warrior, a different Priest.' In terms of how we actually go and add that in as a separate feature, it's still a little too early to say. We're focused on making the nine core heroes that we have right now feel awesome, but that's definitely something that we'll be thinking about as we move into the next phase of our roadmap."
As for how Blizzard intends to handle expansions and new card sets, Chayes said the studio is looking to bring out its first expansion soon but that it's important for the studio to get the cadence right. "We are excited about doing expansions," he said. "We definitely will be releasing additional card sets in the future for Hearthstone, but we don't really know the cadence yet and that's a delicate balance. We want to make sure that players have a chance to experience all their cards without getting overwhelmed with new cards being released too frequently."
"We're targeting at getting our first expansion out by next year," he added.
During a Hearthstone panel at Blizzard, lead designer Eric Dodds also revealed the upcoming Adventure mode for the collectible card game. Adventure will be a single-player mode where players battle against a series of bosses and earn additional cards associated with each adventure, with Blizzard expecting up to 30 cards to feature in each one.
Dodds also said that Blizzard is looking to alternate between releasing additional adventures and card expansions.
Chayes also spoke about whether Blizzard is looking into opening Hearthstone up include cards outside of the Warcraft universe, such as Diablo and StarCraft. "We're really focused on Warcraft for Hearthstone right now because it's such a rich universe," he said. "There's so much history there and so much lore, and we feel like we can continue to build a very rich additional set of cards for Hearthstone in the years to come just by staying within Warcraft. That's come up as an idea, what if we do Hearthstone with a different IP or something like that, but for right now our focus is just within Warcraft."
Also at Blizzcon 2013, Blizzard confirmed that it will be bringing Hearthstone to iOS and Android in the second half of 2014, and that the PC and Mac version of the game will reach open beta in the next few months.