If you’re a little bored of Hearthstone’s usual card games, Blizzard is releasing a new game mode that turns the CCG into a rogue-like role-playing game. Known as mercenaries, players can collect Hearthstone characters and then send them into battle to collect bounties. As with battlefields, you won’t be using your collection of maps for this, you’ll have to gather a party as you set off. It will be released later today and will be free to play.
Mercenaries reminds me a little of how you play Darkest Dungeon. There’s no deck building, instead you gather a group of mercenaries in a town (which will act as your center) and from there have options to send them on missions, collect rewards, manage your group, shop, and more.
Then, like with Slay The Spire, when you send your party out with bounties, they travel up a map with a series of procedurally generated encounters that end in a boss fight. In battle, you can place your mercenaries and use their various skills to defeat your enemies. If you die, you restart your run. All known stuff if you’ve played a roguelike or two. As a fan of this, Hearthstone first piqued my interest.
If you feel like fighting other players, mercenaries have a PvP option as well as PvE. However, the gameplay is slightly different between the two. In PvE you can see information about what your enemies are doing next, while in PvP you need to learn to read human minds to get that type of knowledge.
Mercenary arrives today in patch 21.4, which is also preparing some Halloween celebrations, adding new box dressings, and making room for new cosmetics (like fairy tale skins) that you can buy next week. General bug fixes and improvements are also added, see the patch notes for full details.
Activision Blizzard is the parent company of Hearthstone maker Blizzard Entertainment, so it’s worth noting that the company is currently in multiple legal proceedings on allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment. The latest development is that two US authorities have discovered a potential conflict of interest in a proposed settlement.