Hearthstone is shaping up to have a big year, with classic format, a revamped core set, expansions, and more. One of the biggest highlights is a new game mode known as Mercenaries. Like other Hearthstone “modes” like the auto-chess style Battlegrounds and the build-your-deck-as-you-go Duels, Mercenaries is a completely new game inside Hearthstone. Mercenaries is a roguelike strategy RPG where you’ll form a group of iconic Warcraft characters, equip them with gear, and travel across maps full of enemies. Oh, and there’s a PVP mode for the game too!
You can add characters like Gruul, Sylvanas, Thrall, and more to your crew. The characters level up, unlocking new abilities and skills as you gain experience. There’s no mana in this mode. Instead, abilities are cooldown based.
“Mercenaries have their own abilities. So they have three abilities, where they do different things. One might be just as simple attack, so your minion will bash into another minion like you might expect,” says game director Ben Lee. “Another one might be dragon breath, say Alexstrasza, where she doesn’t attack but she deals her damage directly to an enemy unit. Or if you want to, Alexstrasza, because she’s the the aspect of life, you choose to cast that dragon breath ability on a friendly minion, it might heal it instead. So there’s a lot of complexity and nuance to it. We think it’s a very deep mode. We’re trying to make it so that it’s pretty simple to get into but there’s a huge amount of depth if you really want to engage with this mode and master it.”
Against the computer, you can read enemy intents before locking your turn in, so you can plot the perfect path. PvP is a game of imperfect information as you’re going to have to predict enemy actions and prepare your counters! After a battle, you’ll gain experience points and resources.
Hearthstone: Mercenaries is coming later this year!