It looks like we’re getting closer to the announcement of a new Hearthstone expansion! What makes me say that? Well first there was this postcard-like post on Monday on Hearthstone’s official Facebook page which bids us greetings from Gadgetzan. According to WoW Wikia, Gadgetzan is a “Neutral goblin-made trading outpost where the races of Azeroth, especially goblins and gnomes, can share ingenious inventions and ideas with one another.” So what gives? Are we getting a reboot of the Gnomes vs. Goblins expansion? Or perhaps a sequel?

Speculation was obviously running rampant when Tuesday came and Blizzard shared the latest edition of the Gadgetzan Gazette daily newspaper:

Okay, they’ve clearly put some thought into this expansion announcement. Blizzcon is coming up in just over a week, so it’s not surprising to see the Blizzard hype machine churning out hype at full capacity. At some point in the past, the Gadgetzan Times was used to hype World of Warcraft, so it’s a nice nod to the main franchise to see it rebooted here. But what does it all mean?

The main article is a cute if cliche tale of a new bank being opened by goblins. It’s also rife with corruption and one would expect hilarity to ensue. The mayor of Gadgetzan also own the contractor company that built the bank? The security is impenetrable? They really don’t like Kodos? I think we can all put the pieces together and see things in Gadgetzan are quite peculiar.

But how does any of this translate to a Hearthstone expansion? Does a bank heist really make sense as the theme of a card game expansion? I expect not, but it might be part of the central conflict. There are plenty of interesting characters in Gadgetzan and stories to be told that can turn into an expansion set. The newspaper’s six pages of obituaries imply that conflict is quite frequent in Gadgetzan, so no worries there.

One key thing to note is the last paragraph which clues us in with the announcement of next week’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. That sounds like it’s going to be maximum-hype day for the Hearthstone community. But wait, there’s more! If you check out the original post for the above newspaper and click on the ad for Talan’s Bar you’ll be whisked away to a Facebook messenger bot and talk to Talan about Gadgetzan!

I won’t spoil the chat for you, but it’s a lot of fun and you’ll learn a lot more is going on in Gadgetzan than just the opening of a new bank. It turns out the Gadgetzan Gazette doesn’t have all the news that is of interest to the Hearthstone community. Then again, Blizzard has a whole week to crank the hype machine up to 11, so I expect we have more in store.

Standard will be rotating in just over two months when the calendar year rolls over to 2017. Blackrock Mountain, The Grand Tournament, and The League of Explorers will all vanish from Standard and we’ll be left with just the Classic set, Whispers of the Old Gods, and One Night in Karazhan. I assume you’re all prepared for the impending C’Thun vs. N’Zoth metagame. I know I’m looking forward to it.

But what about Gadgetzan? Should you start saving your gold to deposit in the new bank of Gadgetzan? How very meta as a metaphor for us coughing up all our gold to Blizzard in exchange for new content. But I digress. I hope the expansion comes out early in the year as Blizzard’s release schedule leaves quite a bit to be desired and the Standard environment can get stale fast. I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of depth if the environment is just the base set, one expansion, and one adventure. Let’s hope Gadgetzan comes out on January 1st.

Rich has been playing Hearthstone on and off since the closed beta and has a golden E.T.C. to prove it. He enjoys playing Warlock on the ladder and wishes he could get more than five wins in an Arena run. He’s trying desperately to figure out how Hunters always seem to have Call of the Wild on curve. 

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