Last month, Hearthstone broke a longstanding precedent by selling a single cosmetic card upgrade for a whopping $25 (or a similar amount of in-game currency). Now that the expensive card’s performance tier is being scaled back, Blizzard is offering players who made the purchase a generous refund — while letting them keep the ultra-rare card on top of that.
Drek’Thar is extremely popular Hearthstone Card since its December release alongside the Fractured in Alterac Valley set. Thanks to the card’s ability to draw and summon two minions from your deck on each cast (if your deck is properly constructed), Drek’Thar appeared in over 20 percent of all competing decks this month, according to HSReplay.net stats. and decks with the card won more than 60 percent of the time.
A diamond is forever
for months Hearthstone Players could find a Legendary Drek’Thar in regular packs, craft a copy by using dust from excess in-game cards, or earn a “free” golden copy by completing various in-game quests. However, starting April 5, Blizzard added a way to get a new version of Drek’Thar: Pay $25 (or 3,000 in-game gold) to purchase an ultra-rare “Diamond” upgrade.
Diamond cards were first introduced in late March Hearthstone Update as a purely cosmetic modification of existing maps. The ultra-rare Diamond versions, which come complete with custom animations, are aimed at hardcore collectors looking to show off the rarest and most beautiful versions of their cards.
Most often, players could obtain Diamond Cards by completing quests on the game’s Tavern Pass Reward Track or by collecting full sets of other legendary rarity cards. Drek’Thar, however, was the exception; The only way to get the Diamond version of this card was to buy it with in-game gold or cash during its April sale window.
My friend found out that Diamond Drek’Thar is already in the game. Maybe one day we can get it?👀 pic.twitter.com/gKlWH9idWP
— guuey (@guuey) February 18, 2022
Many players weren’t happy with this sales tactic, as evidenced by a popular Reddit thread full of complaints about Blizzard’s perceived greed. “It would be one thing if you got multiple diamond cards, but for a single card it’s nowhere near enough to be worth $25,” wrote user prplehuskie13 in a representative comment.
Sorry for the nerf – have some gold
Fast forward to Thursday when Blizzard is on Hearthstone Update 23.2.2 has reduced Drek’Thar’s in-game power level. Instead of summoning two additional minions, the card now only summons one when cast. The change has resulted in an immediate reduction in Drek’Thar’s usage and win rates, according to HSReplay.
These types of nerfs are pretty common when a card becomes too dominant in the game Hearthstone metagame. And when they happen, Blizzard is offering affected players refunds in the form of in-game dust that can be used to craft other cards (while players can keep the newly nerfed cards in their collection).
However, for players who spent money on Diamond Drek’Thar, Blizzard is taking their refund a step further. “All players who own Diamond Drek’Thar at the time of patch release will automatically receive 3,000 gold upon opting in as a refund,” the company wrote.
That’s enough gold to buy 30 packs of cards, which would normally cost $35-$40 if bought in separate bundles. And that refund comes on top of the toned Diamond Drek’Thar itself, which players can keep as proof of their conspicuous digital consumption.
While Blizzard didn’t give real money back to players who spent $25 on a Diamond Drek’Thar, the in-game gold is a fairly generous bonus for those who made the investment. And who knows – maybe he’ll make it Hearthstone Whales that are even more willing to spend money on a single cosmetic card upgrade in the future.