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World of Warcraft creative director Alex Afrasiabi brought gnome lovers to their tiny little knees today with an announcement via Twitter: They could finally create characters whose pets might be bigger than they are.

Gnome hunters will officially be part of the World of Warcraft: Legion expansion to the massively multiplayer online role-playing game, which will launch next summer.

If you strain your eyes, behind the tiny mustachioed man in the front, you’ll see a mechanical chicken — which also has the WoW community aflutter. (Mechanical pets for hunters aren’t currently available in Warcraft, as far as we can tell, so that would also be something new.) Gnomes, a race in the Alliance faction, are known for their affinity for engineering and mechanical things.

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Players’ response to the news was immediately and (mostly) enthusiastic, with many crossing their fingers that gnome pets would remain the normal size as used by other hunters, thereby making them about twice as tall as the actual gnomes.

The @Muffinus Afrasiabi refers to there is senior designer Jeremy Feasel, who’s been posting gnome screen shots this afternoon.

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