Hearthstone Runestones aren’t live yet, and the community is already complaining about the new game currency. What’s happening?
The next Hearthstone update comes with a new game currency: Runestones! This new currency will make its debut in Hearthstone with patch 24.2, which will go live on August 30th. Controversy is out there in the community, so make sure you check out this article to learn everything you need to know about Hearthstone Runestones before they go live.
What are Hearthstone Runestones?
First of all, we need to clarify something. Despite Runestones’ announcement being tied with Battlegrounds Season 2 post, the new virtual currency will replace real-money purchases for nearly every Hearthstone product you can find in the shop. This means that Runestones don’t just limit to Battlegrounds but extend to other Hearthstone modes.
Most iconic constructed products such as Pre-orders, the Hearthstone Tavern Pass and multiple Packs bundles will still be purchasable with real money if you rather use that instead of Runestones. The most relevant role Runestones will have in Hearthstone is that they will allow Blizzard to commercialize smaller-scale items like individual Battlegrounds Hero Skins for example.
On the other hand, the products players can usually buy exclusively with Hearthstone Gold like Card Packs, Tavern Tickets, Mini-sets, etc, will still be purchasable with Gold. One of the few things players will no longer be able to buy with gold is the Battlegrounds Season Pass.
How to get Runestones in Hearthstone?
Let’s talk about the big question, how to get Runestones in Hearthstone. Unfortunately for Free-to-Play Hearthstone players, the only way to obtain Runestones is to buy them. There are no plans to introduce a way of farming Runestones, according to the Hearthstone official blog post.
However, Chadd “Celestalon” Nervig, Hearthstone Features Lead, disclosed that Runestones don’t imply a change in the cost of the game:
“Prices are not changing, and Runestone prices are based on US pricing (100 Runestones per $1). Prices should still be very clear.”
While this “prices are not changing” statement is true for most cases, Battlegrounds players don’t feel the same. Since the introduction of Runestones to Hearthstone, they will have to invest real money for their Season Pass. Before Runestones, Battlegrounds Perks were included in Mega-Bundles and were also purchasable with in-game gold.
Another interesting insight we can add is that Hearthstone will be selling Runestones in packages that should match product costs. They aim to lower inefficiencies and wasted currency.
“We've chosen Runestone bundle sizes to exactly match the top selling products, and minimize wasted Runestones. Runestones allow us to offer smaller products for sale, like individual Hearthstone Battlegrounds skins or emotes.”
What does the community think about the new currency?
For starters, Battlegrounds players are less than happy now that Perks are only purchasable with actual money. The free-to-play experience will suffer a big hit. Even content creators are suffering the backlash from this change. Please, don’t kill the messenger.
While this reaction is more tied to Battlegrounds being paywalled, not just to Runestones, it will be hard to separate the concepts, especially for BG players. However, the discussion right now is around Battlegrounds being pay-2-win and not about the new content released.
Hearthstone constructed players shouldn't be affected by Runestones. However, with the original Battle Pass drama and then the Mercenaries pack and coin system as precedents, they fear that this monetization system changes could impact them negatively in the near future too. Furthermore, they are losing the capability of spending some of their saved gold.
Blizzard has made adjustments in the past after community discontent regarding monetization. Only time will tell if Hearthstone Runestones will be another of those cases.