Blizzard its preparing to launch the next major expansion for its free-to-play collectible card game Hearthstone, noting that further details will be revealed at BlizzCon in November.
A teaser tweeted this week suggests that the next expansion will take place in Gadgetzan. In a novel twist, fans who dig deeper into Blizzard’s recent teasers may find themselves chatting up a Facebook chatbot masquerading as a goblin barkeep in their search for clues.
Blizzard began teasing its upcoming expansion via Twitter this week, as the company’s official Hearthstone account uploaded a postcard image stating “Greetings from Gadgetzan. It’s as clean as it is safe!”
Polygon points out that Gadgetzan is a goblin-run trading outpost within Blizzard’s MMORPG World of Warcraft. Notably, the outpost serves as a universal auction house that allows Horde and Alliance members to trade with one another, despite the factions being adversaries elsewhere in the game.
Blizzard continued teasing fans with an image depicting a faux newspaper from Gadgetzan. Much of Blizzard’s recent media focuses on Gadgetzan’s “unbreakable” bank vault, suggesting that a robbery of some sort will play a role in Hearthstone‘s next expansion.
Hearthstone fanatics who scrutinized Blizzard’s recent newspaper image discovered a link to “chat with Talan,” the goblin proprietor of Talan’s Tavern. The link leads to a Facebook Messenger session with a Blizzard-authored chatbot. From there, players can prod Talan for further details regarding Blizzard’s future plans for Hearthstone.
Fans who keep up a conversation with Talan are rewarded with several images featuring Hearthstone production artwork, which could later be repurposed as character art for new cards. Blizzard’s chatbot also accepts unique commands and dialogue options, making it likely that players will uncover further details before the next expansion is revealed at BlizzCon.
BlizzCon 2016 kicks off on November 4 at the Anaheim Convention Center in California.