Hearthstone's new Auto Battler game mode was born because the team played so much Auto Chess



Late last night Blizzard kicked off their final main panel of BlizzCon's Friday festivities: Hearthstone. Although new cards and the reasoning behind the new dragon-centric set were the toast of the town, Blizzard also took the time to let the new Auto Battler-inspired Battlegrounds breathe, giving us new details beyond the scope of the opening ceremony.

So how was this mode born? As lead game designer Mike Donais explains: "we'd see about, half the people on the Hearthstone team was playing Hearthstone during their lunchtime, and the other half of the team was playing a game called Auto Chess (the first Auto Battler that spawned the genre). For reference, it's been in development "for the last six months," and the first kernel for the idea came in March when Donais and his team realized how big Auto Battlers were.

Battlegrounds will also feature 10 new minions and 24 (!) new heroes, and they previewed a few of them at BlizzCon. There's Lord Jaraxxus, which gives demons +1/+1 (ooo tribal themes) and George the Fallen, who can grant a friendly minion divine shield. You get to pick "from a selection" at the start, and every player (of eight in the match) will get a unique hero. There's also going to be "bonuses" for owning more base set card backs (there's the monetization funnel), like the ability to look at more granular stats, choosing between three heroes each game (instead of two) and visual emotes. Because of this, on top of the more random elements of Hearthstone, it probably won't be as competitive as other Auto Battlers.

And that's okay: it seems like it's being pitched as a crazy extension of the Brawl system, and being able to queue up with friends (for versus, no co-op mind) is all I need. It'll be in closed beta form on November 5 and an open beta will happen on November 12. In the meantime you can find all the newly revealed Battlegrounds content in the gallery below, or check out the cards in the official new database.

You are logged out. Login | Sign up


Click to open photo gallery:


Chris Carter
Chris CarterReviews Director, Co-EIC   gamer profile

Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! ------------------- T... more + disclosures



Also on Destructoid: Hearthstone   (52)   From our database:

  • Hearthstone just got three new battlegrounds heroes, with more events on the way - Chris Carter
  • The next Hearthstone expansion is going back to school just like Rodney did - Chris Carter
  • The Demon Hunter is coming to Hearthstone, which will be the first new class since 2014's launch - Chris Carter
  • Hearthstone needed more diversions like Battlegrounds, the promising new eight player Auto Battler mode - Chris Carter
  • Hearthstone's new Auto Battler game mode was born because the team played so much Auto Chess - Chris Carter
  • Blizzard halves banned Hearthstone player's suspension, gives back prize money - Brett Makedonski
  • Blizzard bans Hearthstone player for supporting Hong Kong because China's money is more important - Brett Makedonski
  • Meta Decks to try out in Hearthstone's latest expansion, Rise of Shadows - IcyVeins Kat
  • Hearthstone reworks competitive play so it's quicker to rank up - Brett Makedonski
  • More related stories
    Filed under... #android #Blizzard #BlizzCon #Card games #gallery #Hearthstone #ios #mobile #PC



    You're not expected to always agree, but do please keep cool and never make it personal. Report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community team. Also, on the right side of a comment you can flag nasty comments anonymously (we ban users dishing bad karma). For everything else, contact us!