We've received insight into a survey Blizzard sent out to some players asking about a Hearthstone "battle pass". This new addition to the game would potentially replace rewards from dailies, achievements, and simply winning games with a system based on experience. There are both paid and free versions of this battle pass that are discussed, and they have some very interesting rewards including alternate art for cards for the first time ever.

The survey states that this pass would launch with a new expansion and would last until the next set releases, giving you around 4 months to complete the pass. Earning the maximum amount of experience per week would take you 16 weeks to get the full 100 levels of the battle pass, where the main reward structure is.

Battle passes have become very popular with games over the past few years with it originating in Valve's DotA 2, back during The International tournament pass. The goal is simple: You play the game, earn experience, unlock rewards. The passes last a limited amount of time so they get players to engage more with the game so they don't miss out on rewards. Epic Games really pushed the battle pass approach to free-to-play monetization with its Battle Royale game, Fortnite, giving it a huge spotlight and getting other companies to jump on board such as rival Battle Royale, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.

Whether you like them or hate them, the battle pass appears to be here to stay. Although this survey, which we're going to get into in a moment, is a solid indication of development plans for Hearthstone's new progression systems, it should not be taken literally for the rewards may change based on survey feedback. This is potentially good news for Hearthstone due to rival card game, Legends of Runeterra, being more rewarding to play and thus open to free to play players. If this pass is done right, this could be a huge boost to the free-to-play side of the game and may even beat out the pass that MTG Arena has been doing for a few sets now.

Let's check out that survey!

Types of Rewards Discussed

Here are all the different types of rewards mentioned in the survey.

  • Latest Expansion Packs
  • Prior Expansion Packs
  • Upgradable Hero Skins
  • Experience Boost for the Pass
  • Arena Tickets
  • Individual Random Cards
  • A Choice of Hero Skins
  • Alternate Art for The Coin
  • Expansion Card Back
  • Gold

Rewards Breakdown

Here is a breakdown of the rewards and what level you would obtain them at.

As you can see, the idea is that you'd be able to upgrade the skins of certain heroes with 3 different tiers available. We're assuming this means each upgrade they get cooler looking. Perhaps this is related to the new heroes that we datamined just over a week ago.

In total, here's what this pass would give you as a member of the free tier if you get to level 100.

  • 18 Packs for the Latest Expansion
  • 14 Packs for a Prior Standard Expansion
  • 4 Arena Tickets
  • 2 Legendary Cards
  • 2 Epic Cards
  • A choice of a Hero Skin (unknown list)
  • Expansion related Card Back
  • 3990 Gold

Paid members of the pass would receive these rewards in addition to the free ones:

  • 1 Non-disenchantable Golden Legendary (Likely a unique legendary and not random)
  • 2 Upgradeable Hero Skins (3 levels of upgrades each) (Jaina and Rexxar)
  • 20% XP Boost for the Pass
  • Alternate Art for The Coin
  • 17 Packs for the Latest Expansion
  • 14 Packs for a Prior Standard Expansion
  • 4 Arena Tickets
  • 2 Legendary Cards
  • 2 Epic Cards

Additionally, all players are able to earn 25 Gold for each level above 100, to a cap of 150, which would grant you an additional 1250 Gold.

How This Changes Progression Now

The way it is explained in the survey, this would remove the Gold rewards from daily quests, winning 3 games, and achievements. Instead, you'd be earning experience from completing these tasks.

A rough maximum of experience earned per week is stated to be 9000. With a total XP count of 145000 being required for Level 100, a free to play pass player would have to max out their experience for 16 weeks - roughly the full 4 months. I don't know about you, but I've never maxed out my daily wins more than a handful of times which means if that's the metric to go by, this might be a hard experience for the free-to-play among us.

Other Mentions

In addition to the above, the following were mentioned.

  • Appropriate gold costs for cosmetic upgrades.
  • More upgradeable hero portraits.
  • Emblems by your name depending on your current experience.
  • Crafting cost discounts for cards from the current expansion.
  • Customizable visual emotes.

Fitting Into the Year of the Phoenix Roadmap

Since earlier this year, we've already known that we'd be getting an achievement system and player progression update in Hearthstone during Phase 3, which means if this battle pass does happen, it should begin with Hearthstone's December expansion to allow the pass go through its full 4 months of play. 

That still leaves the question of whether or not achievements gets launches with the December set or if we'll see it in the new year as some nice new bait to get everyone back into Hearthstone as things begin to calm down mid-set. We've also still got a few more "locked spells" so it will be interesting to see what the Hearthstone team is cooking.

Achievements & Progression - Phase 3