Blizzard is looking to shake things up in a major way as Hearthstone moves into 2017. When the first expansion lands later this year, it will signal the end Hearthstone‘s Year of the Kraken and begin its Year of the Mammoth. Given Blizzard’s description of the Year of the Mammoth, the 12 months that follow will be unlike anything Hearthstone fans have seen.
Up until this point, Blizzard has released new content for Hearthstone in two different ways. There are big expansions like The Grand Tournament, Whispers of the Old Gods, and The Mean Streets of Gadgetzan that usually add more than 100 cards to the game all at once. Then, there are smaller single player adventures that only add around 30 cards but give players a lot of new PvE content to play through.
In the Year of the Mammoth, though, there won’t be any single player adventures released. Instead, Blizzard will release three expansions throughout the twelve month period, each adding around 130 cards to the game. Some of the added content in these expansions will take some cues from adventures like One Night in Karazhan and The League of Explorers, as there will be single player missions to work through with each one.
Perhaps the biggest changes, though, are not found in the release schedule, but rather in the changes to the Standard game format. Though cards added through expansions and adventures rotate out of Standard format on a regular basis, the basic set of classic cards – the set Hearthstone launched with – will always remain part of Standard. In examining some of these classic cards, though, Blizzard has decided to move some out of Standard and into Wild format, where all cards are eligible for play.
The cards that will be dropped from Standard are Ragnaros, Sylvanas Windrunner, Azure Drake, Power Overwhelming, Conceal, and Ice Lance. Blizzard gives specific explanations for the removal of each card over on the Hearthstone website, but essentially, these removals are all being made in an effort to avoid power creep and encourage more deck variety.
Beyond these changes, Blizzard is also looking to add in-client features to support Fireside Gatherings and implement daily log in rewards. It sounds like a whole lot is going to change during the Year of the Mammoth, and Hearthstone players are in for a lot of additional cards as we move through the year. What do you think about these changes? Head down to the comments section and let us know!