This is the Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft™ FAQ.
To start of some links to where you can follow the official game:
The Official website: http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/
The Official Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/hearthstone
The Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/PlayHearthstone
The Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PlayHearthstone
The Official Trailer:
The "Making of" Hearthstone:
A video of a game in action, broadcast and live shoutcasted on Pax East:
The complete introduction of the game on Pax:
A second duel, Jaina vs Thrall (Mage vs Shaman):
A third duel, Uther vs Garrosh (Paladin vs Warrior):
A streamed event where 4 matches with different decks were played:
Questions from the Official FAQ:
What is Hearthstone™?
Hearthstone is a free-to-play digital strategy card game that anyone can enjoy. Players choose to play as one of nine epic Warcraft® heroes, and then take turns playing cards from their customizable decks to cast potent spells, use heroic weapons or abilities, or summon powerful characters to crush their opponent.
Why is Blizzard making Hearthstone?
We looooooove collectible card games and have been playing them since our Silicon & Synapse days. Creating a digital strategy card game felt like a natural next step for us, so we put together a small team and have been hammering away at Hearthstone for a while now. We’re excited to be working on something different from our other games, which we’ve wanted to do for a long time. Same goes for creating a game for iPad® in addition to PC. It’s been a thrill to work on Hearthstone and to finally be able to reveal it to the community, and we hope everyone has as much fun playing it as we’ve had building it.
Do I need to know anything about strategy card games or Warcraft to play?
Not at all! We’ve designed Hearthstone so that anyone can get into it, no matter how familiar they are with the Warcraft universe or collectible card games. The game will teach you everything you need to know as you play it.
On which platforms will Hearthstone be available?
Hearthstone will initially be available for Windows® and Macintosh®, with a version for iPad coming later.
What comes in a card pack?
Each pack comes with five random cards. Your chance to receive a particular card depends on its rarity: common (white), rare (blue), epic (purple), or legendary (orange). You’re guaranteed to receive at least one card of rare or better quality per pack. Each card in the pack also has a chance to upgrade to a “Golden” version of the same card.
How do I apply for the beta test?
Just visit www.playhearthstone.com to opt-in with your Battle.net account!
How will I get cards in the beta test? Do I need to purchase them with real money?
We do plan to test the in-game store during the beta test, and players will be able to purchase card packs using their Battle.net Balance or other Battle.net-supported payment methods. Players will also be able to obtain cards through Practice mode, Play mode, and The Forge.
The card pack price in the beta test does not necessarily reflect what the final prices will be at launch.
Will the cards I earn or purchase in the beta test carry over into the live game? What happens if I purchased beta card packs for real money?
Prior to launch your card collection will be reset, and any cards you acquired through a purchased card pack or earned during the beta test will be removed. However, any purchases you made during the beta test will be credited back to you in the form of new, unopened card packs at launch, equal to the value you spent during the beta test. Please note that these will not contain the same cards as those received from card packs in the beta test. Also, as a thank-you for testing out the in-game store during Hearthstone’s beta phase, everyone who purchased a card pack in the beta test will get a special gift.
I don’t live in the US; can I still participate in the beta test?
We hope to launch a beta test in other game regions after the initial beta-test launch in North America, but we don’t have any specifics to announce at this time. Stay tuned for updates.
Where will Hearthstone be available?
Our goal is to make Hearthstone available in the same regions supported by World of Warcraft, but we don’t have details to share just yet.
Official FAQ source: http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/faq/
And here some questions that were answered on the official forums and twitter that I've seen come by a lot:
Is this an April Fool's Joke?
Nope, Blizzard wouldn't go through all the trouble they went through for this as an April Fool's. This is for real.
When does the Beta start?
We're looking to start the beta this summer. Stay tuned!
How many classes are there in the game:
The launch classes are the original WoW classes: Warrior, Shaman, Rogue, Paladin, Hunter, Druid, Warlock, Mage, Priest.
What about DKs? Or Monks?
We're focusing on the original 9 WoW classes for now. Patience young Monks, and DK's.. you're immortal, so just chill?
Will I be able to play with (against!) my Real ID or Battletag friends?
Yup! You'll be able to chat with your Battle.net friends (BattleTag or RealID) in-game, as well as challenge them! (and summarily trounce them)
How do I obtain new cards in the game?
Right, we're really focusing on players building up their own collections and playing the game. If you have duplicates there's a crafting system, which allows you to break down (disenchant) what we call Expert cards and then use the subsequent Arcane Dust to craft new cards.
Expert cards are those you get from opening packs (packs are either won or purchased), or the ones you choose and get to keep if you win a game in The Forge. Basic cards are ones you earn just by playing a class, win or lose. Expert cards are denoted by a rarity jewel in the center of them. You can see both types in the screenshot here.
Can I trade cards with other players?
This question was asked in the above topic and Bashiok's response tells us we can NOT trade cards. The game is based on getting your own cards. It's also the reason Blizzard calls the game a CCG and not a TCG.
How do you choose my opponents?
It's a matchmaking system, so regardless of skill or deck or any other factors, their wins and losses, and the context of who those wins and losses are against, will place them against other players of similar records. If a "perfect" deck makes them a stronger opponent, they'll be matched with other players of similar clout.
If you're just coming into the game, don't have many cards, or otherwise just aren't at a high skill level, you'll be matched against similar opponents, have a fair shot in your games, and winning packs.
There's a medal ranking that resets each week, what ranks can I obtain in it?
The ranks are Apprentice, Journeyman, Copper, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master
There seems to be 1 rank above Master though (an Icon for it is shown just after the rank names) but no name seems attached. The shown Icon is a crown with 120 on it, compared with the Master rank just being a crown.
source: The introduction presentation video images.
How many cards are in a playing deck?
They're 30 card decks (minimum and maximum), and two maximum of any one card. There are over 300 cards to collect, meaning over 600 to build out a 'complete' collection if you want two of each.
Edit: Actually, you can only have one of each Legendary so slightly less than 600 total to collect, but if you include Golden cards then you're up near 1200 I suppose. Anyway... a lot of cards. ;D
Further explanation about Deck, hand, and table limits:
@finsane, there is a limit to 30 cards to a deck. You can have any number of expert cards in your collection, though only two of any common, rare, or epic card, and one of any legendary card, can be placed in a deck. Your hand limit is 10 cards and 8 7*** minions on the table.
***this number was changed in a later edit by Phenteo