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Hearthstone’s next big expansion is called Whispers of the Old Gods

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New cards and lots of tentacles

Blizzard's addictive digital card game is getting bigger, once again. Today the developer announced the next major expansion for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, dubbed "Whispers of the Old Gods." It will introduce cards and characters from a dark, H.P. Lovecraft-inspired part of Warcraft lore, in which ancient, parasitic god-like creatures ruled the land before Azeroth as we know it existed. What that means for players is that 134 new cards are being added to the game, including fearsome monstrosities like the titular Old Gods themselves.

Hearthstone: Whispers of the Old Gods

"Under the sway of the four Old Gods of Azeroth, familiar friends have been corrupted (and have sprouted a few extra eyeballs in the process), new monstrosities have appeared, and unrest spreads throughout the tavern with every turn," Blizzard explains. You'll be able to buy packs of the cards using in-game gold or real cash, as per usual, as well as win them in the arena mode. If you're really anxious — and have some money to burn — you can pre-purchase 50 card packs from "Whispers of the Old Gods" for a limited-time price of $49.99. The cards will unlock as soon as the expansion launches, and you'll also get a new card back to enjoy.

"Whispers of the Old Gods" will also feature strong support for the new "standard" game mode Blizzard introduced earlier this year, which forces players to create decks using only the most recently released cards (you can read more about how standard play works over at Polygon). If you play ranked games in standard mode using cards from the new expansion, you'll get access to what are described as "special new quests."

"Whispers of the Old Gods" is the third major expansion for the game, following last year's "Grand Tournament," though Blizzard has also released a trio of single-player add-ons as well, most recently with "The League of Explorers" in November. No release date has been set, but Blizzard says that "Whispers of the Old Gods" cards will be in Hearthstone sometime in late April or early May.