After a long period of silence from the developer on the subject of Fireside Gatherings, these numerous plans confirm the commitment to localized events, which are always a good opportunity to join up with friends to enjoy the game, as well at meet new some new ones.
Real Life Rewards are the first major point that was presented. As has been the trend recently, a greater focus will be placed on Fireside Gatherings to coincide with major expansion launches. For this, Blizzard will be sending out care packages themed around the year-long story they claim will play out in this, the Year of the Dragon, in each expansion. While the items themselves will be limited in quantity, Blizzard promises to provide them at events worldwide, giving players more incentive to head out and find their local Innkeepers. These are not to be confused with the current Pre-Release weekends, which allow players to access their new expansion packs and try them out ahead of official expansion launch dates. Blizzard has stated that both types of events will be happening with greater frequency.
Fireside Home is the second big point that Blizzard brought up. This allows players who want to slowly creep into the role of Innkeeper for larger Fireside Gatherings, but also want to practice in a smaller-scale venue. A Fireside Home will have access to the Nemsy Necrofizzle promotion, as well as the Fireside Gatherings card back, both only needing the normal hosting prerequisites to be met.
Tavern vs. Tavern is the final piece given by Blizzard, which was first introduced in 2017 with a Tavern vs Tavern competition for all of North America. These will run on a smaller scale as well, and details are limited at this point. Blizzard states that more information will be revealed in the second half of 2019.
Last but note least, North America will be partnering with both Tespa and Microsoft Store to expand on the possible locations for Fireside Gathers. This was tested with the Rise of Shadows expansion Pre-Release to much success, and seems to be growing in scope for 2019.
While the commitment to Fireside Gatherings is going ahead in full force, many players wonder why this is the direction Blizzard has chosen to take. This, hot on the heels of the formal announcement and then cancellation of Tournament Mode, leaves some scratching their heads.