Hunt for treasure when ‘Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs’ launches December 7

There are dozens of great games to play this holiday season, but if you’re a fan of Blizzard’s Hearthstone, you’ll be too busy to play any of them in just a few days. Brush up on your Murloc scream, ready your treasure-hunting gear, and prepare for adventure, because the Kobolds & Catacombs expansion is out in December.

“Azeroth’s rat-like, candle-loving cave folk — the kobolds — have been digging deep beneath the surface for millennia,” Blizzard community manager Nik Gianozakos said in the announcement. “Their catacombs stretch on for miles, wending through forbidden toms and breaking through the walls of long-forgotten treasure vaults. A hoard of glorious loot is there for the taking — if you can survive the dangers that lurk in those uncharted tunnels!”

Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs will feature new weapons for every class, as well as the new “recruit” attribute, which allows extra minions to enter play without needing to draw them from your deck. “Spell stone” cards grow in power when specific conditions are met, while “unidentified” cards gain extra abilities when they’re drawn from the deck. All three seem like they will add an extra layer of unpredictability to a game typically rooted in strategy.

The real draw in the expansion is “Battle in the Catacombs,” which appears to be Blizzard’s take on a boss rush mode. You must defeat eight different enemies, each more difficult than the last, from a pool of 40, with your own deck and hero also gaining power along the way. You’ll have the opportunity to get new powerful cards along the way, and at the end of each fight, you’ll also be able to choose from a few different types of loot to best match your own playstyle.

To celebrate the release of the expansion, the Hearthstone community will be hosting a number of special “fireside gathering” events in December. A number of events are likely to already be planned for your area, but if you can’t find any, you can host your own using the resources available on Blizzard’s website.

Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs will be available on December 7. You can prepurchase 135 cards right now for $50.

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