The second best piece of mail I’ve received this month (the first being a desperately needed tax rebate from Uncle Sam), arrived in our office with no little fanfare today. By which I mean it literally arrived with a fanfare. When I opened up the small cardboard tube that had been sent to us by Blizzard, little trumpets played. I pulled out a scroll tied with ribbon, on which is the following message:
“Champions are gathering from around the world to witness the next exciting thing Hearthstone has in store. News travels far and wide in search of brave new faces ready to answer the call to arms — Are you one of them? Muster for battle and mark July 22 on your calendar. The next bit of news won’t come by carrier pigeon — thankfully, we have much better ways of communication now. Victory awaits.”
So what do we know? It's not entirely clear whether the date refers to the announcement of the new content, or potentially the content's actual arrival.
I would lean towards the latter, given that you don't muster for battle for a piece of news, you do it for the actual battling.
[Update: a little bird tells us to expect an announcement on 22 July.]
As for what the new stuff will be, well, the last time I got one of these oblique teaser messages from Blizz, it was of a Demolisher blueprint designed to hint at the then soon to be announced Goblins vs Gnomes card expansion. Given the logic that the rollout of new content so far has alternated between adventure modes (like the recent Blackrock Mountain) and card drops, it’s reasonably safe to say that 22 July will see the announcement of the next big card set.
As for how the next set will be themed, there are bound to be clues which smarter readers than me can pick up on in the text. But between the scroll and the trumpets, I get a distinct tournament vibe from it. Perhaps the new cards will all be participants in some grand joust. Or maybe there really is a tournament mode in the works, although I think that’s less likely as we’ve only just got Tavern Brawl.
[Update 2: Those of you with keen ears might have already noticed, but the fanfare that plays in the video above is nearly identical to the theme from the Argent Tournament, an event from World of Warcraft's Wrath of the Lich King expansion. This, along with the wording of the note, makes the Argent Tournament look like a strong candidate for the theme of the next expansion.]
Reddit seems to think Pirates vs Ninjas could be a thing, but at lunch my colleague Tom was convinced Taurens vs Worgens is the way to go. I’m just happy new stuff is on the way, as getting my dome shattered by Patron Warrior was becoming a little old. At this point I would be keen for everyone to stop getting in here thanksverymuch. And who knows, maybe Druids will get a playable new class card. I will pray to my leafy gods tonight.