After downloading patch 7.0.0 and opening up Hearthstone you’ll be met with this loading title.
If this happens to be your first time loading up Hearthstone, this is what the landing screen looked like before the latest patch.
Firstly, thanks for brightening up the logo Blizzard but that isn’t the point of this article. What interests me is the fact that the publisher has dropped the “Heroes of Warcraft” from the title of the game.
One could argue that everybody called it Hearthstone anyway and Blizzard dropped the secondary title for the sake of brevity but I have a suspicion that Hearthstone is about to expand it’s reach and the lore it can draw upon.
While browsing through my Hearthstone card backs (digital skins that change the way the back of the card appears) I went well beyond the card back’s I own and spotted this curious addition right at the back of the album.
Let’s dissect this shall we? First off, the name of the card back Secret Level and the word Moo, point straight at Diablo and the storied Cow Level. Secondly and perhaps most importantly is the name of the Tavern Brawl this can be acquired in, The Dark Wanderer.
For those that aren’t aware The Dark Wanderer is yet another reference to Diablo. The Dark Wanderer or Prince Aidan of Khanduras is the son of King Leoric of Khanduras. I won’t go into the lore too deeply here but Aidan eventually became a vessel for Diablo.
Of course this could just be a Blizzard setting up a Tavern Brawl that coincides with the release of the Necromancer for Diablo 3 next year but I don’t seem to recall a Tavern Brawl that was designed for the release of Overwatch. There is of course a card back for that game but it was acquired through a pre-order bonus.
There is also the matter of lore. While the expansions this year have been very much seated in WarCraft lore, the release of the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan is based off of a trading post in the Tanaris desert. To me it feels like a bit of a reach especially since both Whispers of the Old Gods and One Night in Karazhan drew inspiration from incredibly poignant parts of the Warcraft lore.
Perhaps then Blizzard is looking at expanding Hearthstone’s reach to include lore from not only Diablo but Starcraft and maybe even Overwatch as well just like Heroes of the Storm does.
Of course this is just a theory at the moment and there is no word from Blizzard that there are plans to expand Hearthstone’s reach to include lore from non-WarCraft games. You have to admit though, it would be quite fun to have cards based on Diablo.