Fans of the Warcraft universe have been dying for the next installment of the series – Hearthstone. The hype has been building steadily and Blizzard has rewarded patient fans with a latest juicy update in the form of the Hearthstone Facebook Messenger chatbot.
Inquisitive fans can find their way into the chat through a labyrinth of links beginning on Hearthstone’s Facebook page. Once in they will be greeted by Talan, a goblin bartender in the city of Gadgetzan. Talan makes for a pleasant conversationalist. Plus he’ll even serve you drinks!
Users can ask questions of Talan, although there’s no guarantee that they will get a straight answer. He does consistently hint of mysterious ill-doings and dangerous-looking characters taking over the town, but you can’t get a straight answer from him.
The bot tells stories, giving a sneak preview of certain in-game features and storylines. There are also some pretty neat quizzes, which could possibly be data-gathering exercises for future chatbot campaigns.
The world of Facebook Messenger is not new territory for Activision Blizzard, who also used a chatbot with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, becoming one of the first major games developers to take this route. That bot was enormously successful with over 6 million chats in just 24 hours, and Blizzard will be keen to replicate that success with the Hearthstone bot.
Tim Ellis, the chief marketing officer of Activision, said of this previous successful foray into social media: “Messenger gives us the opportunity to engage directly with our fans in an interactive adventure that has never been done before”. Blizzard has so far been tight-lipped about this latest development, allowing the huge hype around the game to speak for itself.
The Hearthstone Facebook bot isn’t perfect. The bot is difficult to access and doesn’t give much away other than a few cryptic clues and hints that will delight devoted fans but mean very little to those not in the know. However, Blizzard does build anticipation for the upcoming release and rewarding its faithful followers.
If spending a half hour chatting to a goblin bartender about the current affairs of a mythical city is your idea of a good time, this bot is worth checking out for sure. For more fair-weather fans, the information might not be rich enough to satisfy.
Have you chatted up Talan and tried his noxious drinks? Let us know what you think of the Hearthstone bot below in the comments.