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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft beta goes live for PC

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Blizzard Entertainment's digital strategy card game based on Warcraft, the free-to-play Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, is now in closed beta testing on Mac and Windows PC.

Access to the Hearthstone beta is being distributed in waves. Blizzard has already sent beta invites to press, fan sites and players who have opted into the closed beta. Interested beta testers can still sign up for the closed beta by opting in through their account.

The beta will allow players to test out the card-versus-card battles of Hearthstone in an attempt to balance the game. Players will also have the option of accessing Hearthstone's in-game store to purchase cards. Blizzard warns that player decks will be wiped at some point during the beta test, and that "players who made a purchase from the in-game store will receive a gold credit equivalent to their previous card pack and/or Arena purchases." More details are available in the Hearthstone FAQ.

The Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft closed beta is also an opportunity to test out the new desktop client, which was released in a beta capacity earlier this week.

Blizzard announced Hearthstone at PAX East in March, anticipating a 2013 release. The digital card game is bound for Windows PC, Mac and iPad.

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