It’s no secret that there’s been a new Hearthstone expansion scheduled for the next couple months. The Standard year rolls over in late April, and with it comes a new set. At this point it is unconfirmed whether it will be an adventure or an expansion. Typically they alternate, meaning this one would be an adventure. However, they have discussed going to two proper expansions per year, so it’s possible this could be one. Regardless, there is a new set of some type due around late April. And now we know what it is.
Lani Minella is a voice actress. She has done voice acting for several hundred games in the past, including several Blizzard games. In fact, she has done a handful of Hearthstone cards as well. She has done the voices of Ancient Shield Bearer, Arathi Weaponsmith, Cult Master, Darkshire Librarian, Faceless Summoner, Imp Master, and Twilight Geomancer. Clearly she is quite involved in Hearthstone. So it’s no surprise that she is working on the new set as well.
This week Redditor Reidor discovered that Lani Minella had updated her résumé. She had added in voice acting for Hearthstone for a set labelled “Lost Secrets of Un’Goro”. Since it was noticed, she has removed the entry from her résumé. It is unclear whether the leak was intentional or not.
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Un’Goro Crater is an area within World of Warcraft – big surprise there. This particular area has a theme, as do many areas within WoW, and that theme is dinosaurs. From the sound of it, the coming set will have a lot of big beasties for us to play with. While it may mean nothing, there are several NPCs within Un’Goro crater. There is Williden Marshal, a human, Torwa Pathfinder, a minotaur, and Ringo, a goblin. There are monsters as well, including dinosaurs, elementals, and a variety of sentient wildlife.
The most notable thing about Un’Goro Crater, by far, is the dinosaurs. Lani Minella’s résumé also included the names of the characters she worked on. At least three of the five were directly related to dinosaurs. She has listed Pterodactyl, Anklesaur, and Brontosaurus, all very clear dinosaur names. The names are also fairly generic at the moment, so it’s possible that they will be changed in the future. The other two characters she has listed are Hydra and Golakka Creeper. Notably, Golakka is also a region within Un’Goro Crater.
Currently there are already two clear dinosaurs in Hearthstone, King Krush and Bloodfen Raptor. The most notable thing here is that both are listed as beasts. If this trend continues we may be seeing quite a few new beasts in the next expansion. This would be most beneficial to Hunter and Beast Druid. It would be unsurprising if Hunter was buffed significantly with the new cards, considering its current state. To be honest I’m a bit concerned because until now, beasts in Hearthstone have been very tempo oriented and boring. However, it’s my job to be jaded, and I really hope I’m wrong.
Tinfoil hat time. There is some speculation that this was an intentional leak. The Mean Streets of Gadgetzan set was leaked in a very similar way. Also, community morale is at an all-time low currently, so this announcement could be meant to revitalize. Then again, it could simply be an accident. Either way, I hope Lani Minella doesn’t get hit too hard for this, and I’m excited for the new expansion!