What’s New for Fireside Gatherings 2019!
We’ve been a little silent on the Fireside Gathering front recently, but that’s because we’ve been hard at work getting it ready for a big year! If you’ve never attended one before, Fireside Gatherings are a great opportunity to get together with friends old and new to play Hearthstone.
A key focus for us in the Year of the Dragon is to communicate with you ahead of big upcoming changes. We also want to be more flexible when it comes to about making changes that we think will lead to better experiences. So without further ado, here’s what’s in store for Fireside Gatherings this year!
Real Life Rewards
We’re telling a big story in Hearthstone this year, and Fireside Gatherings will be a substantial part of that through campaigns timed to coincide with expansion launches. We typically send out care packages for Fireside Gathering campaigns, full of cuddly plushies and other goodies you can find on the Blizzard Gear store.
This year, we want to treat you to care packages themed around expansions. The items in these packages be available in limited quantities, but they’ll be available to taverns worldwide. Some of them will be Fireside Gatherings timed-exclusives, meaning you can only get them at Fireside Gatherings. (These exclusives may become available through other methods at a later date, though; we’d like everyone to have a chance to get a hold of them!) We know that many of you have enjoyed the Gear Store goodies, so let us know what you think of the new care packages as they start to go out.
Pre-Release events—which are typically held on weekends, and allow you to open your packs and play with new cards ahead of an expansion’s launch date—will also continue in the Year of the Dragon. If you haven’t been able to attend one yet, remember that you can now also host your very own Pre-Release event from the comfort of your own home.
Which brings us to…
While public Fireside Gatherings are still a great way to play, we’ve found that the more informal, friendly atmosphere of a smaller event can be welcoming to players just picking up Hearthstone. They can also be a great playground for the budding innkeeper, who might want to figure out their routine before going big. And best of all, you’ll be able to bring all that Hearthstone fun (not to mention your friends!) into the comfort of your own home.
We debuted unlisted Fireside Gatherings last year, but want even more people to be able to enjoy this feature. We’ll have more frequent reminders on how you can best enjoy your Fireside at Home this year. Here’s a little reminder to get you started:
- A Fireside Home will be able to receive Nemsy Necrofizzle if they fulfill all hosting prerequisites. This means having an established Tavern! Learn more about how to establish your tavern here.
- Fireside Home events will be eligible for the Fireside Gatherings card back.
- You can create a Fireside Home event and host it in the same day.
- Fireside Home events will have access to the same Fireside Brawls as public Fireside Gatherings, and that includes Pre-Release features!
- A Fireside Home will be visible on the website only to the innkeeper hosting it. The Fireside Gathering itself will be visible in the game client, and attendees will be able to search and find it in the client as well.
Tavern vs. Tavern
They came, they saw, they conquered. In 2017, we held a Tavern vs. Tavern competition for North America. The team from The Cave walked away the winners. This year, it could be your tavern!
We’ll be hosting a wider Tavern vs. Tavern tournament this time around that’ll allow for participation from around the world. It’ll kick off later in the year, so look for more details (including the full ruleset) in the second half of 2019.
North America Partnerships
In North America, we’ll be partnering with Tespa and Microsoft Stores to bring the Fireside Gathering experience to a whole new group of players.
Microsoft Stores offer a curated selection of PCs, gaming consoles, tools, and software, all over the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. And now, they’ll also be hosting regular Fireside Gatherings! The Microsoft Store Fireside Gatherings program kicked off with the Rise of Shadows Pre-Release, and participating stores will continue to run monthly Fireside Gatherings the first Wednesday of each month, from 5:30pm – 9:00pm in their local timezones.
You can pre-register for the festivities and get exact event dates and times here. Note that registration does not guarantee a seat at the table—it’s first come, first served, so be sure to arrive early to ensure your spot. Participating in a Microsoft Fireside Gathering may even win you Classic Card Packs or Microsoft Store Gift Cards!
We’re teaming up with our friends at Tespa to provide an array of heart-filled, Hearthstoney experiences, starting with the Tespa Rise of Shadows campaign. There will be more fun to come when the Fall academic year begins, so keep your eyes open! If you’re a student and you want to learn more about Tespa, find a chapter near you.
Fireside Gatherings have always been an integral part of Hearthstone, and we’re excited to continue working on more awesome initiatives alongside new offerings. For those of you who have not yet had the chance to attend a Fireside Gathering, we’d like to say: welcome to the inn! It’s a busy night, but there’s always room for another.
We hope to see you at a Fireside Gathering soon!