Hearthstone expansion Fractured in Alterac Valley pits the Alliance and the Horde against each other once again, this time in a snowy battleground being fought over by the Frostwolf Clan and the Stormpike Guard. World of Warcraft players may remember it as the place where they once farmed 200 storm crystals so they could summon the Ancient of War known as Ivus the Forest Lord to the Field of Strife—and now Ivus is back, in Hearthstone form.
“The Frostwolves have pushed us back!” says Blizzard. “Quickly, you must collect crystals from fallen enemies to bring to Archdruid Renferal. She can use them to conjure Ivus, the Forest Lord! The more crystals you gather, the stronger he will be, so do not delay! The tide of battle shall turn in our favor. For the Alliance!”
What that means in the game is that for a cost of 1 Mana, you get a 1/1 minion with a Battlecry that blows all your leftover Mana, every point spent giving +2/+2, Rush, Divine Shield, or Taunt at random. There's an obvious synergy with another card from the set that's already been revealed: Wildheart Guff, a 5-cost Legendary Druid Hero who increases your maximum Mana to 20. Play Ivus once you've got 20 Mana points and you'll potentially annoy the heck out of your opponent.
As well as bringing back old mate Ivus the new expansion will be asking players to choose between the Alliance and the Horde. The choice will determine which quests you're given, and completing those earns Honor Points. The faction with the most Honor Points at the end of the launch event determines which of two golden Legendaries get handed out for free: Drek'Thar for the Horde; Vanndar Stormpike for the Alliance. Everyone gets the freebie, however, whether your team won or lost.
Fractured in Alterac Valley will be out on December 7, and the battle for Honor Points will run until January 11.