We broke down Blizzard’s new FAQ to bring you the latest Mercenaries news, including the wave of leaks.
The notes for Patch 21.3 released on Monday and are loaded with changes to Standard, Wild and Battlegrounds. Moments later Blizzard dropped the first real Mercenaries news we've had since the announcement: an updated FAQ. We went through and compiled some of the most important new Mercenaries information in these latest answers.
Breaking down the Mercenaries news FAQ
Blizzard tackled eleven questions for this FAQ, separated into two categories: "Cost to Play" and "Balance".
The former category of questions addresses the fears and hopes about how much time, money and Packs the players will need to invest. The community is tossing the term "gacha game" around a little too willy-nilly lately, implying that Mercenaries is Pay-to-Win, purely random, or unforgiving. Yet we barely know the numbers and this is what Blizzard hoped to assuage in this very FAQ.
The latter answers, regarding Balance, raised some intriguing points that perhaps only beg more questions. Let's take a look at what Blizzard delivered.
Summarizing the "Cost to Play" Responses
The most notable details in these responses were:
- Each individual Mercenary has a long, multi-part Quest that give you a lot of rewards: "3 packs and over 1500 Mercenary Coins" per Mercenary. These Coins can also go to Mercs you don't own, enabling you to earn currency for others while you grind a specific one. (The more ways to be allowed to grind currency, the better for the Free-to-Player).
- Mercenary Crafting is 150 Coins per Rare, 300 for Epics and 600 for Legendaries.
- Packs contain Mercenaries as well as Coins and Cosmetics, but each Pack is guaranteed to give you a Mercenary. There was a sneaky link to the Drop Rate details here.
- You'll also open a new Mercenary whenever you open one within a Rarity category you don't fully own yet. (This will mean you'll very quickly unlock every Rare and many of the Epics with minimal to no investment.)
- In terms of Time it will take "less than 10 hours of gameplay to max level your starting Mercenaries." (This number completely blows me away and singlehandedly gives me confidence to say the F2P experience will be fun, doable and rewarding.)
- You can even level up your Bench by completing Bounties without them touching ever Combat, so there are even "power-leveling" strategies to employ-- a F2P dream.
Summarizing the "Balance" Responses
This Mercenaries news gave less information about Balance and matchmaking, but Blizzard still offered some insights:
- Mercenaries is expected to be treated "like Battlegrounds" with regards to being a part of the regular development cycle. (That means regular patches, big changes when things need to happen and constant attention. Great news.)
- They accepted and even dare players to "beat up on the A.I." but expect PvP to have some more power outliers.
- However, (perhaps still most-confusingly,) they allude to a "dynamic matchmaking that takes takes things like team power into account."
- We still don't fully understand whether or not the Mercenaries will have internal "power ratings" themselves or a combination of Levels, Gear, both or more will determine the system.
- The question of how trustworthy the matchmaking system will be still remains one of the sharpest points. Unfortunately this is also likely to be a system we will never get full information on.
Altogether, these announcements were good but not wholly satisfying-- then again, I don't think anything could be. And that's okay! We simply can't answer so many of the questions until we have the game in our hands. The new mode is releasing October 12th and we still know very little about all of our Mercenaries.
Well-- we were supposed to have known very little. The deep Mercenaries news began a bit earlier than expected.
The Mercenaries Were Leaked!
Late last week the Hearthstone news site "Out Of Cards" leaked a wave of datamined information. Inside: every number and color for every ability and item and level of every Merc. We had nothing and now, suddenly, we have everything.
The leaks contained all of the Casters, the Fighters and a weirdly high number of Legendary Protectors, but everything seemed to be there. Some numbers and "colors"-- which "type" the Mercenary was, whether Red, Blue or Green-- seemed shifty. But for the most part, almost everything looked like it made sense. These numbers have been public and the collective gears have been churning, hungry to chew on just about anything. For still-- there's so much we don't know.
Until we're in the Fighting Pits ourselves or get another chance to gnaw on the next scrap of information-- good luck and remember to check back here at Esports.gg for more Mercenaries news!