Hearthstone Battlegrounds Season 2 Is Now Live, But That's Not Stopping Player Backlash Over Monetization Changes Still
Celebrating new content has turned into "how much will Blizzard clean out my wallet?"
Hearthstone's Battlegrounds game mode has been around since 2019, and Blizzard has just launched a Season 2 content patch with controversial monetization changes. While there's a new Battlegrounds Track, Season Pass, and gameplay mechanics, fans are not letting Blizzard move past the atrocious switcharoo with in-game currency without hearing about it.
All the rage is the new Battlegrounds Track with Battlegrounds-specific rewards similar to the Hearthstone-wide Rewards Track model. There will be free and premium unlockable rewards, which include emotes, hero skins, strikes, and more.
The Battlegrounds Season Pass is where all the player heat is coming from, though. Fans are in an uproar over the premium rewards tier that "immediately [unlocks] the option to choose from two additional heroes at the start of each game." That and the newly-implemented premium Runestones currency have spurred the wrath of longtime Battlegrounds players on Reddit.
Despite the reaction, Battlegrounds has received positive content improvements and focuses on the anime-inspired "Magic of Azeroth" theme. The Battlegrounds XP feature is where players earn experience to progress along the free and premium Battlegrounds Track. Players will stay busy with the three weekly missions to gain experience, and thankfully, these missions will roll over into the following week if missed.
Then there's the new Quest gameplay mechanic that gives players three random card pairs to choose from on round 4 to complete a challenge and gain a powerful reward for the trouble. Season 2 also introduces two new heroes, eleven minions, and several updates to the overall card pool.
The new additions are overshadowed by Blizzard's monetization announcement and the general vibe of the game's future from the perspective of dedicated fans. With "no plans to earn Runestones in-game" yet gatekeeping an obvious pay-to-win aspect behind a premium track, how could you look at the new stuff when Blizzard did a 180° on you?
About the Author
Anthony Jones is a gaming journalist and late 90s kid in love with retro games and the evolution of modern gaming. He started at Mega Visions as a news reporter covering the latest announcements, rumors, and fan-made projects. FFXIV has his heart in the MMORPGs scene, but he's always excited to analyze and lose hours to ambitious and ambiguous MMOs that gamers follow.
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