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The Future of Hearthstone: What Hearthstone Adventures Could Follow Up Curse of Naxxramas?
I’ll be the first to admit my interest in it waned towards the end, but the month-long launch of Hearthstone’s first expansion Curse of Naxxramas was fascinating to see unfold. Though it only added a paltry thirty or so cards to the game’s cardpool, it’s winged single-player offering set a compelling precedent for future expansions – not to mention shaking up Hearthstone’s competitive endgame.
The question then, is to which part of Azeroth will Blizzard next adventure pack take us.
1. Molten Core
Ah, Molten Core. The classic WoW raid that started it all. Located beneath the volcanic Blackrock Mountain, this fiery pit has just as many cool and interesting boss encounters as Naxxramas did and the dungeon monstrous cast could lend itself well to the same winged structure. Additionally, it’s a classic dungeon that’s already getting an overhaul from Blizzard for the tenth anniversary of World of Warcraft and it wouldn’t be that surprising to see more favoritism for the raid.
That said, if there’s any big obstacle to Molten Core being the subject of Hearthstone’s next adventure pack, it’s that most of its iconic bosses are already incorporated into Hearthstone’s existing card pool. Ragnaros, Baron Geddon and The Beast have already made their appearances and I feel that will significantly undercut the appeal and impact of a Molten Core adventure pack.
Like the elemental Molten Core, jumping to the more cosmic side of the Warcraft mythology would make for a great shift in tone after the dark mysticism of Naxxaramas. Relics left behind by The Titans – a mysterious group of beings who more or less set life on Azeroth into motion – Uldum, Ulduar and Uldaman would all make interesting follow ups to Naxxramas.
Warcraft is a universe with an enormous mythology and it’s surprising how little of the legacy of The Titans has made it into Hearthstone. Would it be that crazy to have each of these dungeons be a wing in of themselves? Perhaps a ‘Vault of the Titans’ expansion where each vault is a different wing? Given their commitment to highlighting the full scope of Warcraft’s lore, I’d be very surprised if Uldum, Ulduar or Uldaman never make it into some aspect of Hearthstone.
3. Ahn Qiraj
Personally, I think Ahn Qiraj is one of the stronger bets for where Blizzard could be taking Hearthstone with the game’s next adventure pack. This ancient citadel has a host of interesting boss encounters to it and in terms of the citadel’s insectoid denizens, the Qiraji, have been almost-suspiciously absent from Hearthstone. Furthermore, there’s plenty of potential for a cool launch event inspired by the still-unmatched Gates of Ahn Qiraj event back in the old Vanilla WoW days.
4. Icecrown Citadel
Icecrown Citadel is one of the big bads of World and Warcraft’s popular raiding scene. Blizzard spent the entirety of Wrath of the Lich King building up the hype behind the epic dungeon that saw players go toe-to-toe with Death Knight and Lich King Arthas Menethil – so to say the dungeon has some significance and following attached to it would be a small understatement.
All that said, I don’t really expect the Lich King’s final stand to be the follow up to Curse of Naxxramas. While it does have the scope and size to suit Blizzard’s wing-based design well and the fun boss encounters to give it the required variety, it is a dungeon that’s very narratively and thematically tied to Naxxramas. While there are some key aesthetic differences between the two, I get the impression that Blizzard might be looking to a different corner of the Warcraft universe for their next Hearthstone outing.