Blizzard confirmed that the next major expansion for Hearthstone is set to become available in less than a week. Knights of the Frozen Throne will take players to Northrend, the seat of the Lich King, when it drops on Thursday.
The developer gave fans the good news in a tweet on Friday. Knights of the Frozen Throne was announced in July as the Hearthstone Championship Tour made a stop in Shanghai. It is the second of three expansions expected to drop in 2017, following Journey to Un’Goro, which was unleashed in April.
This content drop marks a major change in the way that Hearthstone approaches single-player content. Starting with Curse of Naxxramas in July 2014, Blizzard previously released Adventures, which consisted of themed matches that would reward players with new cards that tied into their individual setting.
However, Adventures are being phased out in favor of Missions, which will accompany forthcoming expansions from Knights of the Frozen Throne onward. The focus is still on battles with computer-controlled opponents but now instead of specific cards, card packs will be offered as a reward.
The Missions are free to play but will be rolled out over several weeks; the prologue and the first wing will launch alongside the expansion, the second wing will drop a week later, and a week after that, players will be able to engage in the final showdown with the Lich King. The mode’s narrative revolves around the player proving they are worthy to stand among the titular Knights.
Completing the entire quest offers three free card packs, which will help players flesh out their collection of cards from the Knights of the Frozen Throne set. The expansion introduces 135 new cards to the game, alongside the new Hero Card mechanic, according to Polygon.
It has been more than three years since Hearthstone graduated from its lengthy beta but the game shows no signs of slowing down. Blizzard continues to keep World of Warcraft alive for well over a decade and, at this point, it would not be surprising to see its card game enjoy a similar lifespan.