How Hearthstone Is Getting Gritty with March of the Lich King

Team 5’s Chadd Nervig dives into the new expansion’s “Silvermoon under siege” setting and outlines how each class fits into the Scourge versus Blood Elves showdown.

Foreign One of the things we were thinking of Was originally if we want to do The Lich King we wanted to do arthas and Death knight class what is the Appropriate expansion for that we've Already been to northrend we've already Done ice Crown didn't want to just Rehash that we wanted to do something New So we were looking at different places That we could do that we considered Doing the like try to retell arthas's Story But arthas moves around and like that Doesn't make for great setting and Character set for an expansion so The idea came up of okay let's look at Something that uh the Lich King did or Or part of his uh Scourge War so in Wrath of the Lich King In wow the very beginning the kickoff Event of Wrath of the Lich King is this Scourge Invasion where the scourge Invades all the capital cities Throughout Azeroth and it's like this Temporary event that ramps up over the Course of of a couple weeks with zombie Plagues and and players turning into Zombies and attacking their their Countrymen in in the capital cities and Everything and eventually fighting them Off and then going back to attack the Lich King's stronghold northrend but we

Wanted to take just a slice of that of Just specifically The Scourge invasion Of Silver Moon City because that way we Get to look at the blood elves there's History there the Lich King has attacked The Silver Moon before And uh got what he needed with the sun Well before and left now he's back to Finish the job so we thought that was The perfect setting and also gave us all These characters uh and and the city Itself to play with but we could put our Spin on it of this isn't like warm nice Vibrant Golds and reds Silver Moon the Lich King's attacking it it's under Siege there's this icy blizzard there's Icicles hanging off everything at weird Angles and Scourge rampaging through the Streets an interesting thing to Highlight here is many of hearthstone's Expansions have been Very silly off Canon Not Warcraft what Actually happened they're very tall Tales this time we wanted to skew more Towards gritty in world this isn't Necessarily Canon but it's plausible It's an embellished version of it in That we're just taking a very close look At the scourge Invasion just of one Capital city but everything that Happened here in Marshall Lich King Could have happened so we we got to Explore that story and also it gave us Another side to this to look at with the

Blood elves we've got all these Commanders of the blood elves they're Leaders all the people of Silverman City And then we get to have this Scourge Versus Silver Moon fight [Music] Aligning the classes with the two sides Was a was one of the challenges we Worked through during initial design Some of them fit very cleanly of like Okay the magisters are definitely the Mages the far Striders are definitely The hunters the blood Knights are Definitely the paladins but a lot of it Was on the scourge side of like well how Does a shaman fit into either side I am Truly in my element as a druid fit into Other side I don't like to fight and we Found aspects of the scourge that could Fit appropriately for those so like part Of the scourge are the nerubians these Creepy spider creatures and arachnid Related things so that Druid connection To Nature and beasts and we've had some Back in nights of The Frozen Throne we Had things like uh spreading plague There's long been this spider connection For Druids uh Druids of the Swarm sort Of stuff so we thought that was an Appropriate connection there shamans Warlocks priests dealing with Spirits Souls death the sort of things that the Scourge are all about so we found niches For those as well Rogues probably could

Have we probably could have come up with With some blood elf association with Rogues as well but there wasn't a like Organization a faction that fit exactly But to keep things balanced it worked Well for for Rogues to decide with the Scourge so we got to play with the Mad Scientists the professor putricide type Stuff which I think worked out really Well I'm really excited for the whole Concoction sort of thing and we also get To there's a Sprinkle of death rattle Type stuff that we wanted for gameplay Reasons we wanted to bring a little bit Of more death rattle Rogue stuff back I Think for the scourge uh classes we knew We wanted to do Undead as a common theme Amongst them one of the ways that we Delivered on that was we put in neutral A whole bunch of new Undead minions and Then in the classes there tend to be More Synergy cards that are Undead and Synergize with the undead so that There's an undead themed deck in all Five of The Scourge classes six of you Can't death knight but they all play out In different ways that feel very very Shaman very Druid very priest Etc I want To deliver on that you're playing as the Scourge sort of feel Foreign [Music] So for the blood elves we we knew we Wanted to do some sort of uniting

Mechanic for them as well we tried a few Different versions of a mechanic Eventually became known as Mana thirst I Wanted to do something related to Mana Or power the blood elves have this Reliance on magical power It's not the most healthy relationship In some ways for them and then they've Also recently at this point in the in The timeline uh Gotten through their Issues with kalethos and connection to Fell magic and demons and such but They're still a little bit of that left Over which was a good fit for Demon Hunter but back to man of thirst Manothurst is a bonus effect if you have X-mana crystals so the cards don't spend That extra Mana just they get stronger Part way through the game we wanted to Have a mechanic that United the blood Elves and we tried Manna thirst as it's Spending the Mana we tried optional Extra like delayed Mana spending we Tried a few different things in there And ultimately decided okay these can Just do their extra thing and that way They feel fine if you have to play them Early they feel great if you get to play Them later to save for it provided a Nice goal during gameplay to aim for and I think another note about it is that we Wanted a mechanic for the set a like Keyword for the set but there's so much

Going on in the set already ready with The death Knights that we didn't need Something super elaborate and complex so We intentionally went with something on The milder side for the set keyword

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