Blizzard announced recently via a post on their official blog that Hearthstone's newest expansion, titled Whispers of the Old Gods, will be pushed as an update to the North America region on the 26th of April, 2016 and to European and Asian regions on the 27th. The expansion promises to deliver 134 new cards to the game, of which 71 have been revealed at the time of writing, including the new legendary card C'Thun which all players will receive free-of-charge upon release.
Blizzard's latest expansion to Hearthstone will finally arrive this month after an enormously long wait since their last expansion, The League of Explorers. Whispers of the Old Gods seeks to firmly establish a theme centered around the Warcraft series' Old Gods, C'Thun, N'Zoth, Y'Shaarg and Yogg-Saron, providing many cards that directly interact with or against these four new legendary minions. Of particular note is C'Thun, who will be receiving many cards in the expansion that interact with the minion directly and by name - a first for Hearthstone. To stem any confusion players may experience when reading cards that directly reference C'Thun, Blizzard will be providing the card for free to any players who log in after the release of Whispers of the Old Gods. In addition to this, all players will receive three Whispers of the Old Gods card packs of five cards each.
At 166 days between the launch of Hearthstone's last currently released expansion and the announced release date, this is the longest Hearthstone fans will have ever had to wait for new cards, however it appears that Blizzard has been hard at work on several changes that will be launched alongside the release of Whispers of the Old Gods. While they have been announced for some time now, it may be of note for those looking to return to Hearthstone in time for the new expansion that the game might not be the same as it once was - close to release, Blizzard plans to break up the card sets of Hearthstone into different formats, as well as introduce a variety of nerfs to cards from the Basic and Classic sets.
Soon, Hearthstone's new standard format will see the departure of any card sets released before 2015, with the exception of the Basic and Classic set - this means that all cards from The Curse of Naxxramas as well as those from Goblins vs. Gnomes will no longer be legal in this format, and as such the Curse of Naxxramas adventure alongside the Goblins vs. Gnomes card packs will no longer be available for purchase. Any players who already own at least one wing of Naxxramas will still be able to purchase more wings however (although no cards will be earned through completing them) and withstanding Goblins vs. Gnomes card packs stored in a player's inventory will still be openable. With the introduction of Standard, any card sets released before the year before current will be rotated out and only playable in Hearthstone's alternative format, named "Wild". Come 2017, that means card sets Blackrock Mountain and The Grand Tournament (both released in 2015) will also be rotated out of Standard format, with similar restrictions in regards to purchase as those being applied to Naxxramas and Goblins vs. Gnomes. Any players wishing to play the new Wild format but finding their collections to be somewhat short of all the cards may still craft any card that has been rotated out of standard using Hearthstone's Arcane Dust system, including those from adventures which were previously uncraftable.
Whispers of the Old Gods will release April 26th for North America and April 27th for Europe and Asia - stay tuned for our article on the newly announced nerfs and changes to existing card sets in Hearthstone which will be going up later.