Events have finally come to Hearthstone. The Midsummer Fire Festival has been a huge hit, and now, we’re starting to hear rumors about another upcoming event, the Frost Festival. Based on what we’ve seen so far, Hearthstone events mostly involve giving players bonuses for participating in certain aspects of play. The Midsummer Fire Festival, for example, was all about handing in quests. For the upcoming Frost Festival, the focus looks like it’s going to be on Arena play, which I couldn’t be happier about. I’m delighted to see events becoming a staple of the Hearthstone experience, and I’m certainly not the only player who’s grateful.
Midsummer Fire Festival
The Midsummer Fire Festival, which began on July 5th and wraps up on July 19th, was brought to us by Ragnaros. The first time you log in during the event, Ragnaros appeared on your screen to tell you about the event, and he was also featured in the first Tavern Brawl of the event as a “boss” of sorts. Players who complete the Tavern Brawl will unlock unique emotes, and if you manage to slay Ragnaros under a certain set of conditions, you’ll receive an upgraded “Wow” emote, which shoots off fireworks when it’s activated.
The far more interesting part, for me at least, is the fact that the Midsummer Fire Festival gives double gold to players when they finish quests. That’s right, every one of your daily quests will give double the gold during the event. I was lucky enough to get a 100 gold quest, which meant I added 200 gold to my coffers for a mere seven wins. Quests actually feel “worth it,” even for the lower gold amounts.
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The main menu is also covered in sparks. It sounds like nothing, and, really, it is nothing. However, it adds a nice bit of flair to the event. Sure, it’s silly and small, but enjoyable. Hearthstone does a good job when it comes to this sort of thing, and I’m always happy to see more of it. It’s the small things, like legendary minions having entrance animations, that make Hearthstone the game it is. These sparks do the same job, and they do them well. This event is, in the scale of things, fairly small, but it breathes some life back into Hearthstone.
The Frost Festival
The upcoming Frost Festival has not actually been announced yet. The information we have so far is from dataminers. This means that all of this could change without warning, but if past experiences are any indication, it’s somewhat unlikely.
While the Fire Festival was all about quests, the Frost Festival will focus on the Arena. From what we know so far, the Frost Festival will be three weeks long. Each week, players will be given a free Arena entrance. In addition, for the first three games you play each week, you’ll get a free Frozen Throne card pack. This isn’t three wins, it’s three games. That means that by finishing your (free) Arena run, you’re guaranteed to get your free pack. Since Arena runs already give you a free pack, players can expect to receive a minimum of six free packs during the event.
The other bonus is that you’ll start every Arena run with one win under your belt. It’s unclear whether this only applies to the three free Arena entries or for every run. The wording in the files obtained by Hearthstone’s dataminers does tell us that this applies to every run, but we can’t be certain until the Frost Festival actually starts. The free win doesn’t really matter, since everyone gets it, but because you get better rewards for each win you’re able to pull off in Arena mode, it’s an added bonus for everyone. You’ll only need six wins to get 150 gold, which is how much it costs for a single Arena run. For players who love the game mode, the Frost Festival is going to be a great way to build their gold stockpile.
This is all the information we have about the Frost Festival so far, but it’s a safe bet to assume we’ll see other features be added when the event goes live. This might be another themed Tavern Brawl, or some frost particles showing up in the main menu. Basically, I’m expecting it to be just as cool as the Fire Festival.
Long Term Implications of Adding Events to Hearthstone
For the past year or so, I’ve been asking Hearthstone and Blizzard to give us a bit more. More rewards. More expansion releases. More…stuff. Anything, really. These Festivals? These are something. They give me a reason to want to log in, even when I’m fed up with RNG. They give me something to strive towards, and an incentive to play the different game modes. I haven’t played Arena in months, but when the Frost Festival hits, I plan on grinding out a few dozen runs.
The timing on the Fire Festival is perfect as well. Honestly, I haven’t played much Hearthstone over the last month. My interest in the last set has faded, and I was content to wait for the new set to launch before diving back in. But the Fire Festival brought me back, and when I was playing just to complete the quests, I was actually having fun. I played silly decks like Ancestral Communion Druid, and it was great.
The Festivals give us a way to enjoy the game between major set drops. They also encourage players to explore the game in new ways. Both of these things are incredible for the short and long term growth of Hearthstone. Between this and the card pack rework, Hearthstone has been moving in a wonderful direction over the past month. It’s clear that the developers have been listening to all the complaints, and they’re trying to address them. They deserve credit, and overall, these kinds of improvements are a massive leap forward for Hearthstone.