Quite unexpectedly, a video similar to so-called “hearthside chats” we’re getting commonly around expansion releases has premiered in China just a few hours ago. It’s a rather weird timing, doubly so given that it wasn’t announced anywhere as far as I’m aware. It’s really short and it features the Senior Game Designer Paul Nguyen, talking about upcoming game mode – Mercenaries.
Most of the info we’ve got was already available, but here’s a quick summary in case you weren’t following the mode previously:
- Mercenaries is a Hearthstone mixed with RPG and roguelite elements.
- It’s the “most ambitious” game mode yet and Blizzard wants it to become one of the main ways to play alongside Constructed, Battlegrounds and Solo Content.
- Instead of 30 cards deck, you will pick 6 different Mercenaries and play with them. The total number of Mercenaries available is unknown, but it will most likely be a lot.
- Combat system is completely new. We didn’t get any more info about it in this video, but from what we know from the previous sneak peeks, it will be turn-based. Each player will select three Mercenaries that participate in the battle and give them orders to play certain abilities / attacks at the same time as the opponent, and then combat will play out. Those skills have a cooldown so you can’t spam the best one all the time and you have to plan ahead. The system is probably a bit hard to explain without seeing actual gameplay, though.
- We’ll have permanent progression – levels, abilities, equipment – all of that stay between runs.
- The key will be matching different Mercenaries that synergize together to explore powerful combos.
- You pick your bounty, which is a map you progress through with random elements. The goal is to beat all the encounters (including smaller fights and other random events), get to the final boss, beat it and get the loot, while your Mercenaries also get stronger in the process.
- After you feel comfortable enough, you can challenge other players to PvP combat… although we don’t know how that part will look like yet. But from how it sounds, you can play it 100% as a PvE experience if you prefer.
- Mercenaries will launch this Fall, no exact date was given yet. We should also get a full stream dedicated to Mercenaries in the coming months.
- This entire video looked mostly like a promo targeted at Chinese audience – Nguyen said that if 200k/500k players pre-register for Mercenaries on TapTap (Chinese equivalent of Google Play or App Store) they will get some free Mercenaries (Brightwing for 200k and Illidan for 500k).
Like I’ve said, most of the info above was already publicly available. However, the best part of the video was that they’ve showcased some of the Mercenaries. You can find all the screenshots below.