Still heartbroken over the removal of the Buddy system from Hearthstone Battlegrounds all those months ago? It turns out they have not all fully left us, after all. And certainly not for long. The sneaky designers from Team 5 have found a way to keep these memories going through a final, 'secret' Quest Reward appropriately called Partner in Crime. The prize? One "already tripled" Golden Buddy for your current Hero!
The rumors and rare sightings of another hidden outcome have been swirling following the latest major patch that introduced Quests as a new Battlegrounds mechanic, but until recently nobody knew for certain what was necessary to replicate this curious effect. And now we have both the official forum post from Blizzard and extra developer insights to clear any of the remaining doubts and provide the exact 'how to'!
Be warned however, it might take a lot of attempts before you succeed at triggering this in your own Battlegrounds Lobbies. The 1% chance is not going to make the task any easier.
The 'Secret' 25th Battlegrounds Quest Reward - Partner in Crime
Yes, that means the aforementioned patch notes regarding the Quests mechanic and all the early Quest Reward reveals did in fact omit this little piece of information on purpose.
Here is the official word on the matter:
Quote From Blizzard
Super-sleuths tracked down the rumors and put together the clues to discover that there was, in fact, another Battlegrounds Quest Reward option! This last, elusive Quest Reward is called Partner in Crime, and the Reward grants you your Hero’s Golden Buddy when completed.
Unlike all the other Battlegrounds Quest Rewards, Partner in Crime is only offered in very specific circumstances. Specifically, ALL heroes in the lobby must have a valid Buddy option (that means no heroes that came after Buddies left, like Sire Denathrius or Queen Azshara), and also nobody can be playing as Sir Finley or Elise Starseeker.
If your lobby fits these criteria, there is then a 1% chance of the lobby rolling Partner in Crime. If you do, it will be offered to everyone in the lobby.
Congratulations to everyone who helped solve the mystery, and good luck to everyone still searching for their Partner in Crime!
Rather picky, as far as the requirements go. So why are we only hearing about it now? As it happens, we have just about left behind the initial two weeks period of time where the two newest buddy-less Heroes (Sire Denathrius and Murloc Holmes) were being offered in every single lobby. Which certainly helps clear the necessary conditions for this Quest Reward to happen.
Quick Note: Technically, there are currently still 'only' 24 Quest Rewards available, as Another Hidden Body has been temporarily removed with a hotfix patch at the start of September.
Bonus Buddy Quest Reward - Hearthstone Battlegrounds Developer Insights
If you'd like to know even more about this particular topic, then we can as always count on Battlegrounds designer Mitchell Loewen. The official forum post cited above is actually based on this Twitter thread.
In a roundabout way, this also addresses the rumor that the Battlegrounds team has still continued designing Buddies for all of the recently introduced Heroes, just in case the system was set to make a return one day - not so, as it turns out. Besides the Denathrius/Holmes pair mentioned before, the other non-eligible picks include: Queen Azshara, Ozumat, Lady Vashj, and Heistbaron Togwaggle.
And while the reason for these newer arrivals not making it onto the 'Buddy-friendly' list is pretty self-explanatory, what about Elise Starseeker and Sir Finley Mrrgglton?
Quote From Mitchell LoewenI'm interested to know why Finley isn't allowed. I know Elise can't because her hero power mechanic changed but Finley is a weird one. Is it due to the fact that 2 buddies could be very steamrolly especially with Brann or are there other reasons
Finley was omitted because there's a risk he could get a hero power that doesn't have a buddy. So we did it to avoid possible shenanigans.
As for Elise, her Hero Power has been reworked as of a month ago - we used to have a plain Recruitment Map. The current Lead Explorer might not be such a good fit for the Hero's Buddy option.
So that's quite a handful of Battlegrounds Heroes that ought to be dodged in this particular instance. And even then the odds are not going to be in your favor. Should the stars ever align, you can consider yourself most lucky!
So Many Attempts - Battlegrounds Streamers on the Case
The news actually came about due to ninaisnoob and other streamers from the Hearthstone Battlegrounds community banding together to investigate the matter. And it took them 41 custom lobbies to even get there. The deed has been then immortalized through this YouTube video (and a Reddit thread), if you'd like to take a closer look at the proof of the hidden Quest Reward's existence.
Talk about dedication! We don't expect many regular players to be specifically hunting for this even with all this added knowledge at their disposal, but it might just naturally occur in one of your Battlegrounds lobbies... eventually.
How do you like the hidden inclusion of such a peculiar Easter Egg for the game mode? Have you actually witnessed it in any of your Battlegrounds lobbies so far, or plan to try triggering the secret Quest Reward by avoiding certain Heroes during the selection phase?
Hmmmm, but the question remains if the golden Buddie will be the best reward in every scenario. And if the average player were to get Partner if Crime, they'd have to tab out of game to google if the buddie is even that good for the hero they playing. Maybe ppl will just pick it regardless of the above coz it's such a rare quest.
To be fair, this information will not reach probably majority of Battlegrounds players, so even if some might intentionally try to pick Heroes to match the requirements, in a random lobby, there is a HUGE chance that someone will screw it up, intentionally or not.