A new patch has just hit the Chinese Hearthstone servers, one which apparently allows for the purchasing of Arcade Dust for real-world currency (thanks, Hearthpwn).
Once purchased from the store, this Arcade Dust can then be exchanged for a number of card packs equivalent to the amount of dust that was purchased.
While it might seem like a bit of an odd addition for the store, speculation around why this change has come about centres on recent changes to Chinese gambling laws regarding videogame “loot boxes” which contain randomised content.
Specifically, regulators want providers of these sorts of digital items to very candidly declare the algorithms that determine the contents, so that consumers can be more informed about the purchases they make ahead of time.
By having consumers purchase dust icons that are one step removed from the packs themselves, this presumably excludes the packs from falling under the renewed scrutiny. Blizzard, it would seem, is less keen than the regulators to shine any more light on how exactly the sausage is made.
For these reasons you shouldn't expect this option to hit other regions any time soon, although it's a fascinating insight into how this sort of gaming behaviour is increasingly becoming a matter of concern for authorities.
How do you feel about the randomised nature of card packs though? Do you think Blizzard should be more forthcoming about the algorithms driving the game, or do you accept that a certain amount of secrecy is unavoidable with these sorts of rewards?
Make sure you vote in the poll we've included below, and we'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section as well.