Will we see Hearthstone for iPhone and Android by the end of this year like Blizzard mentioned back in April? No one's really saying much, including senior game designers. Personally, I expect an announcement along those lines at Blizzcon in November, where I assume we'll also hear more about the game's first expansion/booster (not to be confused with the recent Curse of Naxxramas adventure). And I'm hoping that tucked in with these announcements is a new game mode that's specific to mobile phones. What I'm calling Mobile Game Mode. I know, it's a terrible name, but just bear with me.
What would Mobile Game Mode look like? Basically, it's Hearthstone without the play timer. Think Words with Friends. And if you're not familiar with Words with Friends, I'd describe it as a casual game of Scrabble-lite played at the collective pace of the two players. Games can stretch out over several days, or can be over in ten minutes, depending on how quickly a player responds to his or her opponent's move.
In order to play Hearthstone on iOS (iPad) right now, the player must connect to a wireless network. Mobile Game Mode would be set up in such a way that, like Words with Friends, connection to a cellular network is all that's needed to support game play. Players can take as long as they'd like to make a move, and once they play, their opponent receives a notification that it's their turn to play. The cycle repeats until one of the heroes dies. I see this as being aimed towards casual play, and would be unranked so it couldn't be abused for player gains.
I've absolutely no idea at all what sort of server infrastructure would be needed to support it, but I can't imagine it'd required more than what Blizzard has right now. And if Zynga can do it, I would think Blizzard could as well.
The bigger question I'm left with: is this mode something that'd even appeal to players, or is it just something I'd like to see because of my affinity for Words with Friends?
I'm curious to know...tweet at me or leave it in the comments!