The hotly anticipated Hearthstone (Free) expansion Curse of Naxxramas is now live. Make sure you download the update that just hit. We’ve been following the build up for this forever, and if for some weird reason you own an iPad (or Mac/PC) and haven’t played Hearthstone yet, now is a fabulous time to do so. We loved the game in our review, and I’ve put up three different guides to help newbies get in to the game (and really, collectable card games in general).
Blizzard is handling the release of this expansion in a clever way. The original World of Warcraft raid instance Naxxramas was laid out in different quarters, and so is the Curse of Naxxramas expansion. Over the next five weeks, each of the five quarters will slowly be unlocked. Today, we have access to the Arachnid wing for free. Additionally, anyone who participates in the Curse of Naxxramas launch event will permanently unlock this quarter for free, so even if you’re not playing on an iPad it’s not a bad idea to download the game to get the freebie. It’ll save you $5 if you ever decide to get the rest. All you should need to do is satisfy the tutorial, then use the key to unlock the first wing.
As far as how you’ll pay for the rest of the expansion, Blizzard has a great pricing structure for all of it. We posted about it when it was first announced, but it basically works like this: Individual wings cost $6.99 a piece or 700 in-game gold which you earn by completing daily quests and slowly by just winning games.
There’s also bundle pricing, so as you unlock more wings, you can unlock the rest of them for cheaper. It’s a neat solution, as if you’ve got enough gold to unlock one wing on top of the (currently) free Arachnid wing, the rest will only run you $14.99. Here’s how the rest of the pricing works out:
What’s tricky is that while you can technically unlock the whole thing with in-game gold, it’s a better value to just buy it with real-world money. Unlocking everything will run you 2,800 gold, or, the equivalent of 28 packs of cards in game. Alternatively, with the free Arachnid wing unlocked, you can pay $19.99 to get the rest. If you were going to buy cards with that $19.99 instead, it’d only net you 15 packs. So, as weird as it sounds, if you’ve been saving up gold to unlock Naxx for free, it’s actually a better bang for the buck to spend some money instead, unless you’re just straight up philosophically against ever spending money in a free to play game.
Here are the cards you’ll unlock by beating the Arachnid wing:
Aaaand the official patch notes:
- Defeat 15 fearsome bosses to unlock a total of 30 new Hearthstone cards for your collection, including Legendary cards! Naxxramas cards can easily be searched for within My Collection using the search function.
- An all-new interactive Naxxramas-themed game board awaits you within the Adventure! Discover the surprises that lurk inside the slime pools, the quivering masses of spider eggs (spoilers: It’s spiders), and more!
- Surmount 9 diabolical Class Challenges that test your skills with each of the unique classes of Hearthstone!
- Defeating all of the bosses within a wing unlocks the extremely challenging Heroic Mode of that wing. Defeating all of the bosses of Naxxramas on Heroic mode unlocks a new card back for your collection.
- Five unique wings await those brave enough to venture into Naxxramas. The first wing, The Arachnid Quarter, will immediately be available to play for free for a limited time. The remaining four wings are immediately available for players to unlock with real money or gold, and will become accessible over a period of time once unlocked.
- The Arachnid Quarter – A web choked maze filled with many-legged minions.
- The Plague Quarter – Necromancers brew deadly plagues while a fungal monstrosity lies in wait.
- The Military Quarter – Tireless undead knights perfect their deadly arts within these chambers.
- The Construct Quarter –Abominations stitched together from the Scourge’s victims stomp through these slime soaked halls.
- Frostwyrm Lair – Chilly abode of Sapphiron and the arch-lich Kel’thuzad himself. (A curse upon my air conditioning bill!)
So, yeah, let’s go play some Hearthstone now that this is available. I’m going to be doing everything I can to power through unlocking as many of the new cards as I can. Stay tuned for more on Curse of Naxxramas, as we’ll probably do some kind of review, or guide, or something. I just need to play it first!