Teaser and leak hint at new Hearthstone adventure, with Karazhan the likely theme

If you play Hearthstone regularly, you’ll be able to recognise the feeling when you’ve had exactly enough of the current meta. For me, it was queuing into five straight Shaman decks, all of which opened with Tunnel Trogg into Totem Golem or coined Feral Spirt. So, it’s nice to see signs that Blizzard is about to announce the next adventure mode. For those who don’t play regularly, these are the snack-sized expansions, like Curse of Naxxramas and League of Explorers, which appear between the big card sets.

The most recent clue is an invite which was handed out to some players at a  Fireside Gathering event that took place at the University of California a couple of days ago. Blizzard is fond of this sort of cryptic teaser prior to content reveals, and we received similar messages before the Goblins vs Gnomes and The Grand Tournament expansions were announced.

Prior to the teaser, a post on a Chinese forum claimed to have leaked information that the next expansion will be based on a World of Warcraft raid that is written as three Chinese characters. From that, the internet soon sleuthed the following shortlist:  

  • 卡拉赞 — Karazhan
  • 奥杜尔 — Ulduar
  • 永春台 — Terrace of Endless Spring
  • 悬槌堡 — Highmaul

As to why a Chinese forum should be given any credence in the first place, well, the same post also claimed that the next Hearthstone hero skin would be Morgl the murloc, and that it would be available through a new refer-a-friend scheme. Which turned out to be totally true.

Of those four locations, our money is heavily on Karazhan. Partly because the magical tower, and its last known inhabitant, Medivh, both appeared in the recent Warcraft movie, which makes for a nice crossover. Also, the alliterative emphasis on “majestic, marvelous, magical” from the clue seems intended to make you think of mages. But most telling is that in March 2015, lead designer Eric Dodds said: "We certainly talked a lot about Karazhan, and I would be surprised if we didn't do it at some point in the future." 

That point is probably now. Karazhan is a beloved raid, so it certainly makes sense. We’ll likely find out for sure this time next month, with Blizzard planning to have a big presence for all its titles at Gamescom in Cologne. It’s possible the expansion will be announced beforehand, and then be playable at the show itself. We’ll be there, either way. Who knows, maybe Priest will finally get a decent 2-drop! 

Tim Clark

With over two decades covering videogames, Tim has been there from the beginning. In his case, that meant playing Elite in 'co-op' on a BBC Micro (one player uses the movement keys, the other shoots) until his parents finally caved and bought an Amstrad CPC 6128. These days, when not steering the good ship PC Gamer, Tim spends his time complaining that all Priest mains in Hearthstone are degenerates and raiding in Destiny 2. He's almost certainly doing one of these right now.