As predicted, Blizzard had a new Hearthstone expansion to announce today. Somewhat less predicted — unless you remember way back to the roadmap that was laid out in the spring — were the other changes coming to the game, including a new progression system and game mode, both of which were laid out in detail during today’s livestream.

The expansion is called Madness at the Darkmoon Faire, and it takes a twisted — well, more twisted than usual — look at World of Warcraft’s iconic festival. Naturally, the Old Gods are present, as well as a new keyword, Corrupt. If you play a card that costs more than a Corrupt card in your hand, you get the listed bonus effect when you do finally play that Corrupted card. The expansion set launches Nov. 17, but you can log in now to receive the Silas Darkmoon legendary minion for free.

Progression is also getting a major revamp with this expansion (which, oddly enough, is something I said would have a chance of getting me back into the game). The new system comes in several parts, including achievements, a reward track, quest revamp, and updated profiles. Hand-in-hand with the new progression is the new quest system, which grant XP progress on the reward track and will now include weekly quests. The new system goes live Nov. 12.

The new game mode is Hearthstone Duels, which is essentially a PvP adaptation of PvE Dungeon Runs. As one of the teachers of Scholomance Academy, you’ll start with a small deck — built from your own collection and limited to one copy of each card — and take on other players. Between rounds, you’ll have the chance to add more cards and occasionally powerful treasures. You can try out the mode today in early access form if you purchase one of the expansion’s bundles; otherwise, you’ll have to wait until Nov. 12 to try out the new mode. The official launch is Nov. 17, alongside the expansion.

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

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