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Today Blizzard revealed their upcoming free-to-play game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Hearthstone is an online, collectible card game inspired by their real-time strategy and MMO series Warcraft. The game will launch on PC and Mac and then make its way to the iPad.
Hearthstone players assemble a deck from hundreds of cards. The centerpiece of their deck is one of nine Warcraft characters, such as Uther, Thrall or Gul'Dan. Each represents a different character class. Players must then supplement that card with spells, weapons and other characters.
Once a player has their deck ready, they can practice against A.I. opponents or go head-to-head with other players over Battle.net. The Battle.net competition is available in two modes. "Play" mode is the standard 1v1 match, with players earning card packs or rank points with victories. In "The Forge" mode, players must assemble a new deck from a fresh set of cards each match - a good test of players' ability to improvise.
While new cards can be won through battle, they can also be purchased. Players can opt to spend real-world money on packs of five random cards. If they have undesirable or duplicate cards, they can disenchant them to craft new ones.
The game is available for hands-on demos at PAX East this weekend. A closed beta test will be starting soon as well. You can find instructions on beta sign-ups at PlayHearthstone.com.