Although students from around the world recently started their summer break, Hearthstone is headed back to school. On Tuesday morning, Blizzard Entertainment revealed their upcoming expansion for the long-time collectible card game, Scholomance Academy.
The fifteenth expansion, set to launch in early August, introduces 135 new cards, including 40 Dual-Class ones that (as the name implies) can be used by two of the ten different classes to create unique playstyles, strategies, and mechanics shared by both.
"If you played World of Warcraft you probably remember Scholomance as this broken down school for necromancy filled with undead professors and skeletons and creepy stuff," said Principal Narrative Designer Dave Kosak. "But for Hearthstone we wanted to envision 'Hey, what would that place have looked like at its' peak, in its' prime. When it was one of the premier schools of magic on Azeroth."
A couple of ways they are helping bring the world of magic and academia to life are through new keywords and mechanics such as Spellburst and Studies.
Spellburst is a minion and weapon card type that trigger a one-time-only effect the next time the player casts a spell. As the concept is so new to the game, the design team needed to create a little bubble identifier that players will see to notify them that spellburst is currently active.
For Alec Dawson, one of the team's Game Designers, just the concept of spellburst opened up design ideas that previously weren't possible.
"It opened up a lot of places where we have things that care about spells already but these are one-time big effects that we could do that we couldn't repeatedly do over and over," said Dawson.
The other type of spell card are Studies that allow players to Discover a card immediately and reduce the mana cost of the next card of that type you play.
When the team was first creating the mechanic, it acted in a much broader sense but wasn't as interesting, according to Dawson. In its current iteration, players will be able to explore deckbuilding further and work the mechanic into what the deck wants to do as opposed to having it just be a feature that a card or two within it have.
Newly revealed Scholomance Academy cards
For players who want to get a head start on the expansion, a Scholomance Academy Mega Bundle is available for preorder which costs $79.99 (USD) and includes 80 Scholomany Academy card packs, five bonus Scholomany Academy Golden card packs, one random Scholomany Academy Golden Legendary card, the Kel'Thuzad Mage Hero, the Kel'Thuzad card pack, and a Tavern Pass which includes four Arena Tickets.
Tim Rizzo is the editor and a reporter for Inven Global. He joined the company back in 2017.