It's all change in Hearthstone, as the Year of The Kraken ends and 2017's Year of the Mammoth begins. With the new year comes a new set of rules and a new approach to releases for the all-conquering card game.
First up, Blizzard has confirmed that 2017 will see the release of three full expansions for Hearthstone, each bringing 130 new cards to the experience. These new expansions will arrive at the start, middle, and end of the year, as per Blizzard's rather vague wording.
Interestingly, from the second expansion onward, Blizzard will move away from Hearthstone's traditional expansion template. Previously, it alternated between releases of card-focused Expansions, and the more lore-and-story-based Adventures. The three upcoming offerings, however, will combine both elements, adding ample cards packs as well as optional single-player missions that will highlight narrative and unique challenge.
Following the release of 2017's first major expansion, all cards from the previous Blackrock Mountain, The Grand Tournament, and League of Explorers expansions will become exclusive to Wild mode. Wild mode, of course, is the slightly unintuitive name for Hearthstone's original mode of play, in which all cards are available for unrestricted card battling.
Meanwhile, certain Classic cards previously available in Standard mode (which focuses on recently released card sets, but includes a core roster of basic cards) will also transition to Wild in a bid to keep things fresh.
There's more detailed information regarding the changes coming to Hearthstone during the Year of the Mammoth over on the game's official blog. Read it carefully; I'll be quizzing you at the end of the lesson.