At the 2020 Hearthstone Summit Alec Dawson (Game Designer) talked us through Hearthstone’s returning player and new player experiences in Year of the Phoenix. Both returning and new players will get some special treatment when loading up Hearthstone to make it easier to play and easier to understand as they try to navigate the increasingly complex game that is Hearthstone.
Returning players will now experience three quick catch-up missions, playing as Illidan when he was still a Mage. These matches remind you of the mechanics of Hearthstone and how to play.
The catch-up matches also explain what’s changed in the game and gets you back into the swing of things as quickly as possible. Once the missions are complete, returning players will be rewarded with some card packs and “an entire standard deck of the class of your choice.”
Hearthstone Player Experience
If returning players are coming back to Hearthstone for the Demon Hunter Class, the three catch-up missions dovetail into the Demon Hunter prologue.
New players to Hearthstone will also be granted the same choice of free Standard deck when they graduate from the new player experience.
To be eligible to receive the free Standard deck as a returning player you must not have logged into Hearthstone “in the past 4 months beginning on March 17, 2020.”
Valerie Chu (Senior Narrative Designer) told me that the returning player experience is a revamped version of the new player experience. “The three missions have been totally revamped the be themed around Illidan and his storyline, she explained. “If you were a Hearthstone player and want to come back because of Demon Hunter there’s an experience tailored to that.”
With the addition of the Demon Hunter, new expansion, duplicate protection and the new and returning player experiences, now is a great time to get into or back into Hearthstone.
Leo Stevenson travelled to Irvine, California as a guest of Blizzard. Travel, accommodation and meals were provided by Blizzard.