Three months ago, we predicted that if Blizzard took a dip in the auto battler market, it would be through Heroes of the Storm. Today at BlizzCon 2019, however, we were proven wrong. Instead, Hearthstone is getting the auto battler-inspired game mode. It is called Hearthstone Battlegrounds, and it is clearly not going to be a quick auto chess clone. Early details on the gameplay show that Battlegrounds is very different from Teamfight Tactics or any other auto battler currently on the market.
Everything we know so far
Battlegrounds is an 8v8 mode within the normal Hearthstone client. In it, players recruit minions from a randomized market, which then auto-battle each-other for their owner’s glory. Much like other auto battlers, Battlegrounds uses existing assets from the game that birthed it. This means still Hearthstone card images will be smacking each-other around, just like in a regular match.
Some things will be immediately familiar. Players use coins to buy new minions, refresh their options, or upgrade their hero and gain access to stronger minions. Most likely, Hearthstone Battlegrounds will have interest and streak mechanics like other auto battlers. If that is the case, managing a coin economy will set the best apart from the rest.
However, Hearthstone Battlegrounds gameplay has a number of unique mechanics that make it different from other auto battlers. For starters, each player picks a unique leader hero at the start of each match. This choice will affect how their minions interact and perform. Battlegrounds will launch with 24 unique heroes.
Hearthstone Battlegrounds will launch in closed early access between Nov 5 and 12. Only BlizzCon attendees, virtual ticket holders, and those who pre-ordered Descent of Dragons for Hearthstone will have access to it. An open beta should launch shortly after that.
Stay tuned to Daily Esports for more updates on Hearthstone Battlegrounds coming soon!