Blizzard recently announced the latest new hero to be added to Hearthstone, a gnome named Nemsy Necrofizzle. However, the method that the studio has laid out to gain access to the character seems to have backfired somewhat.
There was some backlash when Blizzard introduced alternate hero skins to Hearthstone, as many players felt that the cosmetic content was rather overpriced, especially when compared to the cost of expansions. Perhaps in response to those complaints, Necrofizzle is being released for free – but there's a different requirement for warlocks who want to play as the gnome.
To unlock the skin, players need to take part in a Fireside Gathering. These are special in-person multiplayer events that are designed to give Hearthstone some of the social component of physical card games like Magic the Gathering and the Pokemon trading card game.
However, not everyone is quite so eager to actually get out into the real world to earn this reward. Part of the difficulty is the fact that the "taverns" hosting these events need to have put one on in the past, so it's not like a bunch of new locations are springing up to allow players to get their hands on the character.
As a result, many are resorting to spoofing Fireside Gatherings, faking their GPS data to put their device in a location that it really isn't present at. Unfortunately, it seems that people going through the process legitimately aren't having much better luck, as many early events have already been marred by technical issues.
Blizzard should be commended for attempting to do something different with Hearthstone, and giving players the chance to earn a desirable bit of in-game content in a way that will foster a stronger sense of community. However, for the time being, it seems that this particular promotion isn't going exactly to plan.
Hearthstone is available now for Android and iOS devices, Mac, and PC.