The first Expansion Pack for Blizzard's digital free-to-play card game "Hearthstone" is here, "Curse of Naxxramas" was released July 22, 2014.
Hearthstone is a World of Warcraft inspired game that established itself as a success soon after launch, and now the Curse of Naxxramas is ready to be experienced as a free teaser for all players. The download will start immediately as you launch the game, and if you hit the new "Solo Adventures" button in-game you will be taken to the new story mode this add-on brings. The adventures are inspired by a Raid instance in World of Warcraft, and has chapters dedicated to all 5 wings. The first one, now open to all, is named "The Arachnid Quarter". The rest will be launched on a weekly basis. "The Plague" will be available on the 29th of this month, "The Military Quarter" on August 4th, "The Construct Quarter" on August 12th and "Frostwyrm Lair" will be the last one open, on August 19th. In addition to the story mode, 30 new cards will be available, 21 neutral and 9 class specific. 9 new class challenges are also included.
The first wing will be free for all players upon access within the first month of its release. The next ones will cost you virtual gold, or around $4. (Some bundles and discounts are available). Blizzard might have changed some things for the better with this expansion and the system they are incorporating. You get to play the first quarter for free if you access it within a month, and then choose whether you want to spend real life cash or earned in-game gold to unlock the 4 upcoming wings. This is new, and has rarely ever been seen in any DLC. Free-to-Play games are always looking for a way to make profit, and so does this, but it also gives players a fair chance to grind for in-game currency and get the expansions for "free". You have several options in terms of how you choose to purchase; between gold, cash or a mixture of the two that still allows discounts over a full-priced bundle.
Did Blizzard just invent the new wheel in terms of an acceptable price model for Free-to-Play games and their DLC's?