Hearthstone’s game director Ben Lee has talked about Hearthstone being a platform for other card games. The newest mode, Mercenaries, brings the total number of modes up to eight, but the latest addition is quite unlike anything we’ve seen in Hearthstone before.
A strategic RPG that focuses on individual heroes rather than a deck of cards, Mercenaries ditches Hearthstone’s ten established classes in favour of three roles: Fighters (green), casters (blue), and protectors (red). You’ll still find iconic characters like Garrosh Hellscream and Valeera, but they’re no longer championing their individual class identities. Fighters like Sylvanas prioritise dealing damage, whereas protectors such as Thrall act as tanks or supports. Rounding off the trio are casters like Jaina and Gul’dan, whose role straddles the line between dishing out spell damage, and healing allies.
Once you’ve figured out what sort of team you want to run, there are abilities and equipment to consider, missions to unlock, and even buildings to construct. If you’re suddenly feeling lost in this flurry of fresh mechanics, then I’m sorry to report that things won’t get any clearer as you play. Mercenaries is easily Hearthstone’s most ambitious mode, but it’s also the platform’s most successful departure from the card game that was released seven years ago.
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