Hearthstone Battlegrounds Is Blizzard's Take On Auto-Battlers

Blizzard makes its own auto-chess.

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The Hearthstone portion of the BlizzCon 2019 presentation focused mostly on the new expansion, Descent of Dragons, dropping next month. But Blizzard also teased an entirely new game mode coming to the game as well, using the Hearthstone framework for a new auto-battler.

The new mode is called Hearthstone Battlegrounds, and it features eight players taking the role of familiar Hearthstone characters and doing battle against AI minions. It will launch with 24 heroes, each with a unique Hero Power. Blizzard gave the examples of Millificent Manastorm, who gives +1/+1 to recruited Mechs, or Arthas, who lets you give your right-most minion Reborn.

An early access beta will begin on November 5, for anyone who has pre-purchased a Descent of Dragons bundle, along with BlizzCon attendees and Virtual Ticket holders. Then on November 12, it will go into open beta. Once it's released you'll find it in a new "Modes" menu that also houses the Arena.

Blizzard also announced how its monetization will work for the new mode. Battlegrounds will be free-to-play just like the main game, but acquiring Hearthstone packs from the latest expansion will get you bonus perks. At 10 Packs, you'll get stat-tracking, at 20 packs you can select three Heroes instead of two at the start of a match, and at 30 Packs, you get access to emotes.

That means those who simply purchase new packs will get access to the bonuses immediately, but any method of acquiring packs will count as long as they're from the latest expansion.

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