I hope you've been enjoying the card reveal season for the upcoming March of the Lich King expansion, as there might be yet another reason to turn one's hopes towards the promises of Constructed Hearthstone over counting on something like the Mercenaries mode to deliver. In case you were planning to reserve some of your Thanksgiving (or the weekend) to deal with a final list of tasks from the latest special limited-time event that brought us Rattlegore, that's no longer going to be an option. The event is already gone from the game, one week earlier than it was initially announced. All of a sudden, the character's Deathrattle did not trigger.
Despite the initial Blizzard blog post clearly stating that the end date of the Rattlegore event would fall on November 29, this apparently was never planned to be the case. Somewhere along the way, somebody has slipped and provided the community with wrong information - which hasn't been caught or corrected for the entire 3 weeks; until now, after the fact when it's of no real use for anyone to know. Oh, and unlike all of the previous limited-time events, this one did not even feature an in-game timer - possibly due to the revamp of the Task System and the introduction of Renown. But then again, that's hardly any excuse for the development team.
For reference, this is how it was all communicated to us by Blizzard when Patch 24.6 hit the live servers on November 1:
RATTLEGORE! Rattlegore has escaped and is making its way to terrorize your Village, starting on November 1. The event will consist of 10 special Tasks, centered around Rattlegore. Two new event tasks will be unlocked on each of the first five days of the event, but you have until November 29 to complete all 10 Tasks. Completing all 10 Tasks will get you the Rattlegore Mercenary, two random Golden Rattlegore Portraits, and 700 Mercenaries Coins! Orcs, Beast, and Demons will be helpful in completing this special event.
And to think it did seem so thoughtful and reasonable with what seemed like an extended duration (compared to most of the previous Mercenaries events of the kind), considering everything else that major update has brought, and everything that was still to come regarding March of the Lich King.
So Where Did Rattlegore Run Off To?
Update: Initially, we only knew what happened due to Blizzard's Associate Writer Nicholas "DeckTech" Weiss responding to one user on Twitter. It took over 24 hours for an official statement to be made, but fortunately it's one that now promises something will be done about this whole situation (eventually). You can find it within the official Known Issues forum thread for Patch 24.6. Stating as follows:
The team is aware that the Rattlegore Mercenaries Event ended earlier than initially published. We apologize for the miscommunication. The patch notes have now been corrected. We are working on a solution to the event ending earlier than expected and will share more details before that solution is implemented.
DeckTech has also elaborated further - as it is Thanksgiving holiday over there, it wouldn't have been reasonable to expect much else right now:
For Rattlegore, no exact solution to share yet–it's right before the US holiday so the team didn't want to rush something out and risk making things worse–but we understand the frustration and plan to make it right soon. Apologies again for the miscommunication.
Personally, I couldn't ask for anything more at this point. The problem has been acknowledged instead of being swept under the rug, and we can show some patience until there is more information to be shared.
The What and Why
Should you require further context of the whole situation, it's still possible to find out how everything unfolded in real time and what led to the above statement: just within its own clickable dropdown section below. Given the existing update above, it feels like the best approach to avoid causing any accidental confusion.
It all started with the players noticing something wasn't quite right:
Is the Rattlegore Mercenaries event over? I thought it was supposed to run through November 29th, but the task I was working on got removed from the campfire today.
Patch notes do say 29th. Not sure if that’s my mistake or something went wrong. Asking now.
This was swiftly followed by an update:
Looks like 11/22 was intended, sorry. I’m updating the blogs shortly. Thanks for flagging.
The blogs have indeed been updated post factum - not just the English version, but also the regional ones - but it's not like that's fooling anyone or that it really matters at this point. Players remember, and besides, there are plenty of places where the initial info still exists (including our own snapshot of the 24.6 patch notes, as they originally arrived on November 1).
Of course, this sad incident alone wouldn't have been the worst thing to happen, just an unfortunate mistake to be corrected at a later date or compensate for. It's just that the next answer wasn't exactly hopeful when it came to promising any actual solutions to the existing problem:
This doesn't sound like a correct way to fix this issue. Everyone think the event will be ended on Nov. 29 and now it ended on Nov. 22
Understand the frustration—I hadn’t finished the event on my personal account either. Unfortunately, that’s the only option this time.
As you can imagine, the remaining Mercenaries players (we aren't exactly a large crowd, from the look of things) have reacted rather strongly to such a statement - with many feeling rather disrespected and disregarded. And DeckTech might've borne the brunt of it over there, as "shooting the messenger" (who may or may not have been complicit in this situation, as one of the designated Hearthstone blog writers) is generally one of everyone's favorite pastimes on social media.
Some people also took umbrage with the silently updated blog posts that did not offer any further disclaimers as to what really took place. So now they do say "Correction".
why even update the blog? to make people who don't have a twitter account think they're going crazy?
Exactly. It should absolutely have a correction note. To just change it as though it has always been that way is dishonest. It reflects very poorly on the company and shakes customer confidence.
Good note on the "correction" language–we normally do add that when we change blogs, it just wasn't done this time because we were moving quickly and forgot. We'll add that to the English version today, thanks.
Followed by hopeful thinking:
Hopefully has language for making-good the error as well!
The team still has to figure that part out, so nothing to share on that front yet.
Good on the team for figuring out that necessary first step and accepting the community's point of view, in the end.
The dedicated players were understandably frustrated by this unexpected turn of events, and I'm very much one of them. It's been a rather busy month and not without its own added difficulties, not to even mention the largest Hearthstone expansion announcement to date with seemingly an endless amount of things to cover and talk about. And there was also the Hallow's End event to prioritize. All in all, I definitely wasn't concerned with starting and finishing at least some of the tasks for the Rattlegore event just yet - not while 'knowing' I could leave them up and plan for a slower day to progress before the due expiration date. Which, once again, was supposed to happen on November 29 as far as we were aware.
Is That It, Rattle No More?
Update: I'm glad I don't have to feel disappointed by the Hearthstone team, the hopeful take has now prevailed.
I would be vary of making any definitive statements just yet or bringing out the burning pitchforks - at the moment of writing, it's been only half a day since the sudden Rattlegore cancellation. Chances are, many players are yet to even notice; especially if they are playing Mercenaries casually. Conversely, Team 5 might not have had enough time to really think this through, devise any solutions, and address the situation. That's the optimistic version, at least. The pessimistic version involves having to put up with a simple "too bad, get over it" as the developers' final word on the matter.
The statement we were ultimately given should allow to continue an admirable trend for the game, with people in charge taking responsibility. We have seen some commendable reactions from the Hearthstone management lately, even as unfortunate bugs had temporarily locked players out of accessing their Mercenaries or Arena - there was swift communication on the subject, and then there were compensations with Team 5 owning up to their errors. The following was even somewhat true for the recent Twitch streams with the (initially broken) delivery of free card packs.
And let's be honest, this could be an issue with several potential solutions. Even if the technology to instantly bring back the event isn't there (and it's probably too late for it to make it for the upcoming Patch 25.0, expected as soon as next week), this might perhaps be addressed in a hotfix patch down the line. Or some form of compensation being delivered to all active Mercenaries players (they did give us some portraits before as a 'thank you', after all), possibly in the form of bountiful Rattlegore coins.
If handled correctly, we could just move on and eventually forget. Make fun (just a little bit) of Blizzard's rather unfortunate streak of breaking things, not for the first and probably not for the last time. Accidents happen, bugs come up randomly no matter how hard one might try. It's not even something I'm personally bothered by greatly, as long as the issue gets properly addressed in one way or another. And I've never expected it to be within a day or two, either.
It's hopeful that Team 5 is not trying to ignore the problem at hand, as the game mode doesn't need and might not have been able to afford another blowback in the making. After all, it's already seen even some of its more hopeful supporters turn away.
Where Art Thou, Mercenary
There are players for whom this is not going to be a big deal at all (with non-Mercs crowd just shrugging it off, for the most part), having already finished the event early and being able to look down at all these "dummies" among us who would rather take their time and explore other things. And who had Mercenaries to level up, other Bounties to finish, and Equipment to unlock while progressing at their own unhurried pace.
Update: Assuming you are among those who do care and were angered by this whole fiasco, the following applies to all situations where a company fails to live up to the community's expectations. Just mind that it's no longer needed in this particular case:
What to do meanwhile then, if you don't just want to idly wait around and fiddle your thumbs? Ideally, make your voice heard across the social media. Blizzard's official forums are a good way to make the developers take notice, along with opening support tickets to report the problem. Being loud on Reddit can have a desired effect as well. You could try to join the discussion on Twitter, but remember it's all rather unofficial; unless directly addressing the PlayHearthstone account. There is also the main Mercenaries Discord where the faithful still gather. Let us know in the comments below here as well, we don't know who may be looking. And above all, be respectful even if harsh criticism is to follow.
Old Guardian (at this point possibly the most dedicated content creator for Hearthstone Mercenaries) has also released a video on the matter in which he did not mince words - you might've already seen the relevant thread on our forums. But what's more, he also promised to send every comment that was left there on YouTube over to Team 5 (even if not being too hopeful about making an impact). Such direct line of communication with Blizzard has been established with him previously participating in content reveals for the game mode. I suppose now he won't even have to, unless it's already been done. You can still share your personal thoughts if you wish, but know that our collective voice has now been heard.
Next Hearthstone Patch and Rattlegore
Now, if you are like me and failed to complete the three initial tasks to unlock your free Rattlegore, there is currently no way to get a hold of this special Merc. But that should change fairly soon.
Rattlegore and its Portraits will not initially be available through packs or crafting. They will be available through all normal means in a patch after the Rattlegore event ends.
This next major patch might happen on Tuesday, November 29 for all we know. But it's not confirmed until it is stated so by official sources, of course. And not that it would be of any real consolation, to be sure. It's also worth noting that Rattlegore is of "only" Epic quality, unlike all the limited-time Event Mercenaries that came before. Slightly easier to craft with coins and not as terrible odds to pull from packs as the elusive Legendaries; in theory.
Although if you were set on pursuing any targeted grind, there currently doesn't seem to be any Bounty where the final encounter woud be "guaranteed" to contain Rattlegore-specific coins. Something one would expect to be addressed with the coming patch (maybe, hopefully), once the option to craft the Merc in question actually unlocks. For now, you can only try to accumulate some coins randomly by including Rattlegore in your party when completing bounties, getting lucky with the PvP chests, or waiting for the proper Renown visitor to appear at your campfire.
If that's no good, then you could always go hug your version of Rattlegore in Duels or Constructed, just to show a little appreciation for the guy.
I suppose you and I were not really meant to hang out this month, Rattlegore. And no, I will not be buying that pricey Portrait Mega Bundle that's just appeared in my Mercenaries shop for 1500 Runestones, thank you very much. There is some inherent irony in such timing with the special event abruptly gone.
Hopefully most of you have fared much better! We'll be making sure to update this space again, once the details of the proposed solution have been shared by the Mercenaries dev team.
Update: It turns out the ultimate solution involved bringing back the special event as it was, for an extended duration! All is well that ends well.