On July 11th (KST), Inven had a chance to talk with Lead Mission Designer Dave Kosak, Lead UI Designer Max Ma and Senior Concept Artist Jerry Mascho to talk about the upcoming Hearthstone expansion - Knights of the Frozen Throne.
Please briefly introduce the upcoming expansion, Knights of the Frozen Throne.
Knights of the Frozen Throne will take place in Northrend and feature familiar faces from Icecrown Citadel including the Lich King himself. The expansion will have 135 new cards, and it'll also be the first expansion to offer an entire adventure content for free. Players will receive free card packs and a Legendary Hero card as they complete the adventure mode.
What are some of thematic focus of the upcoming expansion?
We wanted to make the visual to not look too scary, but definitely not goofy either. We've focused on player interactions with the Lich King, Sindragosa, and corners in the new game board.
How were the 'Death Knight' cards designed to fit with the existing nine classes?
It was difficult for us to change something from the nine Heroes, especially now that we are very familiar with those characters. However, we wanted to make them look like real villains after looking at the concept art for Anduin Wrynn. Please look forward to the new Hero cards and their Hero Powers as they are revealed.
With the Death Knight being a new 'mechanic' for existing classes, what are the chances for us to see the tenth class in future?
We can certainly say that releasing the tenth class will be a huge and difficult endeavor. While we won't completely rule out the idea, it's very unlikely that we'll make a new class.
This is the first expansion that will offer adventure mode for free to all players. What do you want to achieve through releasing the adventure mode for free?
Our goal was to let players have a hands-on experience with all 135 new cards through 8 'Missions'. We will continue to offer adventure mode for free in future expansions.
Will there be a Heroic difficulty for the adventures?
There won't be a Heroic difficulty, but the adventure itself will be more difficult than before.
If the Legendary 'Hero' cards will have different mana costs, can you tell us what they are going to be in a ballpark figure? Also, will all changed Hero Powers cost two mana?
Changed Hero Powers will all cost two mana, but we cannot answer anything else yet other than that they will all have game-changing effects.
What deck archetypes and cards will have a good synergy with the new Lifesteal mechanic?
There are some classes that lack self-healing mechanics. Those classes should be able to make the most out of Lifesteal cards and make their gameplay more interesting.
Only a few select Quest cards have seen competitive plays. Will there be new cards that will make less popular Quest cards more viable?
I believe it's up to the players to judge. However, there will be a few new Deathrattle cards being added in Knights of the Frozen Throne, so we imagine Awaken the Makers will be stronger than before.
The current metagame hasn't been kind to Hunters nor Warlocks. Will there be something for those classes to look forward to?
We cannot share a news about Warlock just yet, but we just unveiled Deathstalker Rexxar and its Hero Power Build-A-Beast. We hope this will be a good news for Hunter players.
Is there a plan to introduce a better spectator mode or replay functionality in near future?
Replay function is being considered as a long term plan. As for the spectator mode, it is something that we could work on further in future. We are not doing anything on it at the moment though.
* Correction (7/10): There was a part about Max Ma's rap song which was done in a jest but misinterpreted as a fact. We apologize for the error in translation.
* Correction (7/12): A further clarification has been made on the topic of spectator mode.
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