With the Darkmoon Faire expansion launching next week, Blizzard has started releasing key parts of the Hearthstone update early. While most of the cards will remain locked until November 17, the new Hearthstone Duels mode is now available to play for free. For those who might have missed its announcement, Duels is a new game mode where you choose a Hero, a Hero Power, and a signature Treasure, before building a 15-card starter deck from your collection.
You will then face off against a series of human opponents while also being able to level up between each match by adding minions, spells, and powerful Treasures.
Duels is accessible through the Modes button from the Hearthstone main screen, where you’d go to play Battlegrounds or Arena. As confirmed by Blizzard, here’s how it works:
“When you start a Duels run, you’ll choose a Hero, a Hero Power, and starting Treasure.
“Then, you’ll build a starter deck of 15 cards from your Collection and play your first match. In its debut season, Duels will include a curated assortment of cards from a number of sets, including Scholomance Academy, One Night in Kharazan, Curse of Naxxramas.
“After the match is over, you’ll gain additional health, and get to level up your deck by picking one of three sets of cards categorised by theme. Occasionally, you’ll also be able to pick from a selection of three incredibly powerful Treasures.
“While separate, Duels uses the same Ratings system as Battlegrounds. Your run ends after you lose three times, or net 12 wins.”
Blizzard has confirmed that the early access version of Duels is rolling out and should be available to everyone before the start of the weekend.
Which is great timing for the latest virtual fireside gathering event across Android, iOS and PC platforms.
Blizzard has cancelled official Fireside Gatherings for the near future and disabled the ability to create public events.
However, the online pre-release weekend remains available, meaning you can still use the private event function.
According to Blizzard, players can register their own one-person event to enjoy opening Madness at the Darkmoon Faire card packs from November 13-15.
Private pre-release Fireside Gatherings will take place this weekend before Madness at the Darkmoon Faire goes live, November 13 at 10:00 a.m. PT – November 15 at 10:00 a.m. PT.
A message from Blizzard adds: “The Darkmoon Faire is almost open! A private pre-release Fireside Gathering will give you a chance to bust open Madness at the Darkmoon Faire card packs before the expansion officially launches on November 17! In addition to opening your packs early, Pre-release will also feature Fireside Brawls that will let you play with new cards.
“In the No Cards Barred! Brawl, you’ll be able to construct decks using the cards that you open during the Pre-Release event.
“There are no restrictions on class or duplicates, so go crazy. There’s also A Recipe for Madness, a pre-constructed Brawl that will include new deck recipes from the upcoming set for you to play with. You won’t need to have pre-purchased packs in order to play this Brawl.”