Hearthstone’s card packs are being revamped in the next expansion, with the system changing in a way that could cause substantial changes to the game’s economy.
Hearthstone is the big earner in the card game space, with Superdata estimating Hearthstone made $394.6m in 2016. Most of this comes from the game’s card packs, which you purchase to get cards.
After the next expansion players will no longer be able to get duplicate legendary cards, Hearthstone’s most rare cards, and will instead get a duplicate legendary from the same set. Only when you had all of the legendary cards will you again have a chance of getting the cards you already have, and the cards are so rare that’s it’ll take you quite a while.
Similarly, every player is guaranteed a legendary card within the first 10 packs they open of a new set, meaning you won’t have to wait too long to get your hands on one of the most powerful cards in a new expansion.
The end result of these changes seems to be that people could feel less of a need to spend as much money on cards, but also ensures that when they buy a card they feel like it’s more worthwhile, instead of getting the same legendary eight times in a row. The first legendary within 10 packs is a good move too, as previously the only real system in place was a 40 pack pity timer that would give you a guaranteed legendary if you opened 40 packs without one.
It’s also impossible to pull more than two cards of any type out of the same pack, which is a rare scenario but uniquely irritating when it happens to you.
It’s unknown if these changes will actually cause any changes to how much cash Blizzard make from the game, but it’s possible that a lot of players are going to feel like the money they splash on card packs is going a little further. More details on Blizzard's announcement page.