Blizzard’s almost annual celebration gives fans a lot to talk about.
This year marks the 10th BlizzCon with tens of thousands of fans descending on the Anaheim Convention Center to experience the thrill of new announcements, eSports, and more. Making this year even more special was the 25th anniversary of Blizzard Entertainment and the 20th anniversary of the Diablo franchise. The weekend, as it always is, was jam packed with excitement. Here is a rundown of many of the latest developments from the weekend.
As many expected, the newest hero coming to the Overwatch lineup, Sombra, made an exciting debut by hacking the opening ceremony with an exciting animated short. We were also told that two new maps would soon be coming to the game, Eco Point Antarctica and Oasis. Some of these are already on the PTR for players to enjoy.
Another huge announcement was the introduction of Overwatch League. This league looks to take eSports into a whole new era. The Blizzard eSports division has a team of extremely experienced leaders from major sports leagues and broadcasting which appears to be part of the drive behind this new league focused around stability. It will feature teams based in major cities as well as players contracted to those teams with salaries and benefits who will fight it out to be the best in the world.
On November 22, players will be able to complete the Nova Covert Ops trilogy as the newest missions will be available for purchase. It was also confirmed that the newest co-op commander, Alexei Stukov will be joining the roster as well.
Another announcement was made by Oriol Vinyals about the newest project from Deepmind. After facing the best player in the game Go, the team is setting their sights on conquering the battlefield of StarCraft II. This will be a very challenging AI research project that the public can even help with. Will we see Deepmind facing off against the best players in the world next BlizzCon?
Heroes of the Storm
Two new heroes will be joining the lineup in the Nexus soon as we were treated to the introduction of Varian Wrynn and Ragnaros will be the next to make their way into the game. Additionally, the Nexus Challenge was announced. This event runs from November 15 until January 4 and brings some nice rewards for playing. By playing with one or more friends for 15 games you can unlock in game items for both Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch. You can proceed to 30 games and get even more rewards.
BlizzCon was also the debut for a new documentary about college esports titled, A New Hero: The Rise of College Esports. This in depth documentary follows the path of college esports players and more behind the scenes of the most recent Heroes of the Dorm event.
As anticipated, a new expansion for Hearthstone was announced. This time following the story of three crime families. The expansion is titled Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, and hearkens back to a feeling of a crowded city run by organized crime families. New cards and systems are coming, as usual, and you can pre-purchase the expansion right now so you are ready when it comes out.
After months of speculation, conspiracy theories about dice and more, we found out that there are no announced plans for Diablo 4. The 20th anniversary of the franchise is here though, and Blizzard had to have something up their sleeve. Announced this weekend was two more zones being added to the game and the introduction of the necromancer class. (coming in early 2017)
Not stopping there, the original Diablo will be incorporated into the game with ‘The Darkening of Tristram’ which will allow players to go back to face 4 main bosses from the first game. It features a retro look as well as original music. This will be available to all players to enjoy.
World of Warcraft
There is a large amount of content flowing into World of Warcraft over the next few months as the steady stream of new things continues. Patch 7.1.5 is coming up adding some of the smaller content to the game such as the return of the brawlers guild, new micro holidays, and more.
Patch 7.2 was detailed throughout the weekend as well. Coming in that patch is the continuation of order hall campaigns, the new Tomb of Sargeras raid, class mounts, legion assaults, and more. It was also revealed that in the future, in patch 7.3, we will be taking the fight to the legion themselves on Argus, but that is all the devs would say about that for now.
This BlizzCon, as all of them are, was full of surprises. This celebration of all things Blizzard thrills crowds with announcements, esports, and other events every time. The community contests were fantastic, again showing off the amazing creativity of the community members as they showed off machinima, music, and cosplay.
The event was capped off by a performance from Weird Al Yankovic on Saturday night. There is much more detailed news that came out of the event so look for more info from our affiliated podcasts, and in more stories coming here soon.
Did you attend BlizzCon this year? Did you watch the virtual ticket? Let us know what you thought about these announcements and more in the comments below!