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The next Hearthstone expansion is called Whispers of the Old Gods, and we've played it!

Ben Brode: 'This is the darkest thing that Hearthstone will ever do'

Product: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft | Developer: Blizzard Entertainment | Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment | Genre: Card battler, RPG, Strategy
For: Android   Also on: iPhone, iPad
It's official, Hearthstone's next expansion pack will be called Whispers of the Old Gods, and we went to Blizzard's Californian headquarters to find out more.

True to the rumours, the old gods are coming to Hearthstone and will be bringing 134 new cards to the table, in addition to the launch of the game's new Standard and Wild variants.

For a variety of reasons, this is the most exciting expansion so far. For a start many of the old cards that fans of the game will be familiar with, are getting wiped away, like tears in the rain.

They'll still exist, safe for everyone to use in Wild mode, but in Standard mode you'll be playing with a reduced amount of cards, designed to counter the power creep that's currently afflicting Hearthstone.

But Blizzard has also removed some cards to remove their stranglehold on the meta.

It's a move that worked well for Wizards of the Coast's tabletop CCG Magic the Gathering, but Blizzard and their designers have managed to put their own spin on it.

The rotation will, unlike Magic, leave their classic set of cards intact, so players returning after a long time away will still have something to work with.

When the question of balance comes up, lead designer Ben Brode preaches caution - "The cost of nerfing a card is quite high for us, so we've been quite conservative with regards to nerfing."

"We still care about the balance in Wild," Brode says, "we're not just sweeping the cards we don't like under a rug."

But why focus this expansion on the Old Gods? The team liked the idea of working with a darker theme, especially creating "bizarro" versions of cards.

C'thun feel the noise

Playing with C'thun feels like a total game changer, and so that every player can have a crack at the big tentacley beastie, when you open your first pack of Whispers of the Old Gods cards you'll be guaranteed to receive a C'thun.

Soon you'll be able to pre-purchase a Whispers of the Old Gods bundle of 50 card packs for special one-time price of $49.99. This will also net you a card back with creepy animated eyes.

What about the three other old gods? There's similar support in the expansion, although this will be revealed more in the next few weeks.

C'Thun has the most support from other cards in the set but Blizzard is hoping you feel inspired to build a deck around each of the legendary gods.

Recipe for chaos

The final addition is the new tool - Deck Recipe. It's a much smarter version of the old deck helper for new players. Click on a recipe and if you have those cards it'll be built for you immediately.

If you don't have the card you'll be offered something that'll fit well - so if you're building a beast deck the game won't suggest you throw in a couple of Murloc cards.

If it can't work this out, it'll suggest the best card for you in a vacuum at the mana cost you need.

It's a small tweak, but a welcome one for anyone that's struggled through the deck helper utility.

Are you looking forward to playing the expansion? Let us know in the comments below.

Reviewer photo
Jake Tucker 11 March 2016
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