Hearthstone stands as a shining example of impeccably-balanced multiplayer design and free-to-play monetization done right, but one of its best ideas by a mile is the concept of “adventures.” Whereas most card game developers can only shake things up with huge periodic expansions and format-changing banlists, Blizzard can use adventures to periodically inject new content into their game and give players something to do beyond simply fighting each other.
The first adventure, Curse of Naxxramas, was based the pre-Burning Crusade Naxxramas raid. If data-mining of the latest Hearthstone patch is any indication, vanilla WoW’s top-tier raid “Molten Core” could serve as the basis for the next one. Players will be able to earn a Ragnaros card back by achieving rank 20 or higher in an upcoming season, and a “purchase brm presale” achievement will net them a “Molten Core” back. Given the context “BRM” is likely short for “Blackrock Mountain,” the location of the Moten Core raid, as well as several other raids and dungeons
All signs point to this being a re-imagining of the classic Molten Core raid, building up to a showdown with Ragnaros the Firelord. If this is the case, we’ll probably see a handful of fire-based neutral minions added to the game, alongside new legendaries like Golemagg the Incinerator and Garr. Interestingly, two of the major bosses from Molten Core – Baron Geddon and, of course, Ragnaros – are already legendary cards, and quite widely-played at that. If they are indeed bosses in this expansion, then it could be Blizzard’s way of making them more accessible to casual players. This in turn would make certain control-oriented decks, specifically Control Warrior, considerably more budget-friendly.
Thing is, though, Molten Core is a little on the short side compared to classic Naxxramas, and many of the bosses (in particular the firewalkers) are a little samey. To remedy this, I suspect that Blizzard might be planning to integrate elements from the Blackwing Lair raid introduced in Patch 1.6. In terms of lore these two raids are closely connected, and none of the bosses in Blackwing Lair have been made into cards yet, making it an excellent choice for source material. It would also bring the number of bosses up to roughly 15, putting the adventure’s content in line with Naxx.
Regardless of how this adventure is put together, I’m excited to get my hands on it. Naxx was a blast to play through, and Goblins vs. Gnomes has added a great deal to Hearthstone’s competitive scene. Blizzard clearly knows what they’re doing