The stage is set, the lights are up, and its time for Blizzcon, blizzards nexus for news and e-sports tournaments. It all starts with the opening ceremonies.
We open this year with a video about Starcraft, lots of talk from developers about how much they love the series, and how it spawned a e-sport around it. This is really a love story to Legacy of the Void, showing us that the community and the devs made the game it is today. The video wraps up in a neat presentation all about how much everyone loves the Blizzcon and how it all comes here, to this convention. It’s the nexus of all of Blizzards E-sports and all of their news and game dev and its all coming to this stage.
Mike Morhaime (president and a co-founder of BlizzardEntertainment) comes up on stage, and he’s here to talk about how much Blizzard also loves Blizzcon. People attend from everywhere, around the world, and millions buy the stream pass to watch this live. Blizzard is 25 this year, even scarier 20 years since WarCraft II tides of darkness (my first blizzard title I feel old). We get a cute bit about how people have met their spouses here, how people love blizzard, how much it is great company and how much they love the fans.
The first big annoucnment is Brightpaw, a manna kitty, this years charity pet! Its a cute pink cat, who if you purchase your money will go to charity.
Next we got a new trailer for the end of our Star Craft journey. Jim Reynors voice tells us “we just gotta finish what we begun” This trailer gave me literal goosebumps, I couldn’t believe it. it’s a cinematic love story to the SC world, we see the Protoss fighting Aemon, and hear a bit about how the Protoss will be fighting in this the last Star Craft expansion. This is a much expanded trailer from what we have seen so far, but its not really giving us much story. Unfortunately this seems to have been an internal video and I cant find it anywhere that’s shareable.
Our next announcements are Archon Mode, and Co-op missions. They will be non 1v1 modes that are co-operative, and will cater to more casual players, who may not want to ladder.
Next we get more talk about whats coming after the release of LoTV, Blizzard will create SCII mission packs, whihc offer new stories and experiences in the StarCraft universe.
A video plays, and we see NOVA covert ops, its Nova on screen (wait isint she dead?) shes in a strange char, with a large camera pointing at her. Is this what becuase of Star Craft Ghost i wonder? Nova puts her visor down, Cloaks up and it cuts to a screen telling us we have to wait till 2016 to find out more. Pehaps we will get more details at the SCII panels
Now we are on to E-sports, there are multiple championships (4 actually) all of which are taking place here at blizcon. Queue the highlight reel, of the various road to Blizzcon tournaments around the world that ran us up to the worlds that are going on here today. Highlights from last year are mixed in with stuff that went on this year, WOW, Heroes of the storm, Hearthstone, and SCII all make appearances on this real, and it’s really set up like an NFL highlight real might be. Lots of announcements about what you can watch with your 40$ pass and when, even some exhibition matches (oh god Boxer is back) along with MC and HUK and snoot and TLO. This is really a well done job by Blizzard, they are doing their level best to bring content to everyone. Also mentioned are the costume contests hosted by Will Wheaton and hearthstone tavern. Essentailly we are getting a list off of what’s going to be going on, oh and LinkinPark will be playing to close out (oh god its 2008 again)
NOW ITS TIME FOR THE WARCRAFT MOVIVE TRAILER. Mike brings out the direcor of the movie Duncan Jones to introduce the movie, he brought the voices of Durotal, medivh, King Lane, Black hand, and Gul’Dan as well as Gorona, Its an impressive cast for a movie based on a video game. They all come up on stage and stand looking confused as to why nearly half a million people are watching this. Now it’s time for the trailer
Ok this trailer looks fucking amazing, it’s got the look of a big budget fantasy film, and all the talent behind it, the orcs look great, the humans have HUGE armor that looks just like it came out of the game. I love it, coming this summer, so I assume that means summer 2016. Id be really happy if this was a good movie and not something that they just dragged out of the Depths
Now were on to heroes of the storm, Its Dustin Browder on stage, talking about Heroes of the Dorm and how successful it has been, how much the game has done well. The first announcement is a new game mode. It’s called the arena, and it looks like it’s similar to ARAM games, and conducted in a large single lane battle ground. With no limits on what heroes there are it looks like you can have similar heroes and do almost anything you want. The new mode is playable today at Blizzcon, no word on when it will go live on the PBE or heroes proper.
“heroes team loves to challenge” now we get a video of what’s playable today at blizzon. Looks like new hero reveals, Greymane, Lunara, Towers of doom Map, (gravekeeper?) and the areana, a one lane map that features random heroes. Lots of skins for existing characters, a few mounts and finally another look at greymane, who honestly looks great, Cho and Cho’gall which is played by two players?
cho’gall will be exclusive, to people who came to teh con, and people who bought the con ticket, as well as a few lucky players on bnet (streamers?) Everyone else will have a quest to make cho’gall useable, anyone who parties with someone who has the hero, and plays two games, they will get the hero as well. If you play 4 games with people who dont own Cho’gall you will get a big sack of gold to thank you for spreading the “cho’gall” virus through out he nexus
According to the devs the arena will play heavily, as well as the new mode, all available at the contention. Also the HoTS worlds are this weekend at blizzard. A final thank you to Blizzard, and it’s time for Hearthstone
Erik Dodds is now on stage, and it’s time to talk about heartstone. The best in the world have come to Blizzcon to compete, in the World Championship. Erik is not messing around, starts right off announcing a new adventure for Hearth Stone. New solo missions and new cards will be a part of the adventure.
That was a cool video, love the Indiana Jones references, the title is League of Explorers, and there’s a website to go with it, leagueofexplores.com You will be looking for the staff of origination, an item while trekking around the worlds of Azeroth. The four members of the League of explores eno Jackson, Elise Starseeker and Sir Finley Murgleton whom all will feature in cards.
Now we get to the real meat, new cards, the first is an explorers hat, (this is a reference to Indiana Jones) and new mechanic exists now called discover. Next we see the jeweled scarab, which features the new mechanic Discover, which will let you pick one card out of three, NONE OF WHICH WERE IN YOUR DECK. Now we have a video demoing the mechanic. Each member of the league of explorers will also have their own card, which will of course be playable. It seems that each have unique abilities that do things related to the explorers. Another new card now, the golden monkey it’s effected is to replace your hand and deck with legendary minions. (This is pretty insane) this card seems incredibly broken, but that’s just my opinion man. And now were back to Erika League of explores will release “later this year” but really what he means is later this month, so November, very nice. Oh its going live next Thursday, I love it when they do that, so this will at least be playable soon.
On to my biggest excitement Overwatch
Now we have the Game director of OVERWATCH, Jeff Kaplan up on stage we go, we already know that Overwatch is coming to consoles, and that it’s going to have a box release, at least 40$, so what can Jeff possibly tell us. Oh hey speaking of that he’s making a joke about how all of the announcements were blown last night. “Its been a year since last Blizzcon (is that how that works?!!) and Overwatch has come a long way, and it’s been pretty fantastic, we traveled to PAX east, and introduce McCree and Zaraia, we did a media capmpign for Solder 76, in Cologne we brought Overwatch to Europe to play and last but not least the Junkers. But we are not done, not only will we introduce three new heroes but a new map as well” Ok now we get video re-cap of last year and hopefully the new heroes.
The new maps looks well like a map (im no map design expert ok) we see Zarya and Tracer killing a reaper a Bastion, and then getting wheeled by Junkrat. Next widow maker, and Tracer again, Symmetra, and solderi 76, and then Roadhog, McCree with his BAMF buckle and the new map looks like a movie set? Lots of cool set pieces around the area. Lucio skates in and kills our soldier, now we see the first new character a D.va a mech rider, with a pistol. She’s got a mech, woah that’s cool The mech can fly. Then its Mei, the cold using girl who slows everyone. Last but not least we get our green samurai, Genji. Genji and Hanzo face off. Genji is hanzos brother (im surprised) D.va has a mech, Mei, who can create terrain, and Genji who I guess has a sword? Looks like he can block projectiles and throw ninja stars too. got to say I’m most excited for the mech (if I ever get in to the game)
Image here if I can find one
Ok now we have a proper image of the three. Genji, D.va, and Mei, all playable at Blizzcon, and stay tuned for the panel about what the new heroes do. Now we are in to talking about the games strategy, “hero switching is necessary” so when you buy Overwatch you get all 21 heroes, all the maps all the content and all the features. There is a base version of the game. there’s also special edition. Overwatch Origins edition (60$) looks like it comes with skins lots of skins ok 5 but that’s a good bit. Each skin talks to the heroes back story, and plays in to the lore. Also the Origins edition will come with some other in game goodies for other BLizzard games.
the 5 skins, one or soldeier 76, one for bastion, one for reys(HE GETS A FACE AND ISINT DEAD), one for Pharah, and one for every ones favorite tracer. DII players get Mercy wings for their champions,, SCII players get 6 in game portraits and WOW players, get a babby Winston pet, and hearthsone gets a card back. Heroes of the storm get an IN GAME TRACER to play. The origins edition will come to both the Xbox one and the Play Station 4. This shouldn’t surprise anyone really. There is also a collector’s edition, that looks like it comes in a cool box, and will probably be even more expensive. It comes with a solider 76 bronze statue. Game is available at buyoverwatch.com everyone who pre-orders will get a widowmaker skin. Overwatch will launch Spring 2016.
Now we are on to WOW legion, here we go its Chris Metzen to talk about the newest WOW expansion. “2016 is going to be an amazing year for Blizzard enertainment” no kidding Chris, a major motion picture and a huge god dam game in the form of multiconsole Overwatch. Now talking about the movie, its a prequel about what got WOW started, how we got to the World of Warcraft (wasn’t that what orcs and humans was for?). Ok on to the game “the burning legion has returned” So now it’s time to see what this new WoW expansion is all about (i know nothing about Wow) apparently this happened before in Warcraft III during reign of chaos, when they came to destroy the world, but now it’s happening again. “The legion is back and they are playing for keeps” Third times the charm? The orc warlock Gul’Dan now returns to fight with the burning legion. Gul’dan created the fell storm which leveraged the power of the tomb of (somoene ) to from this storm the Burning Legion has emerged once again. Both the Hoard and the Alliance have summoned all of their forces to invade the isles, to stem the tide of the invasion before it can ever get started. The alliance and the Hoard are going to need all the help they can get. Chris says “another soul is stirring in the void, a soul fueled by vengeance, that hates the burning legion more than anyone, Illidan Stormrage is returning” Justice will be dispensed by the demon hunters. (the crowd goes wild)
Now we see the first Cinematic for WOW legion
The legion is coming, and we see our heroes preparing to go to the islands and fight the Legion as it arrives. Hoard ships and Alliance ships head to the islands to confront the new rising menace. A burning golem appears, it’s huge and Burns with Green fire, Heroes fight, and fall, the sky is tinged a pale green and the legion is returning. Some awesome combat in this trailer I have to say. It ends with FOR AZEROTH and the green logo of the next expansion. Pre-ordering gets you the abilty to play the demon hunter, and sylvanas windrunner, fan favorite is also in this trailer. More details to come at the dev panel later today.
Seems like that’s it for announcement’s we have covered all of blizzards major announcement’s, and its time to get in to the nitty gritty, hope you all enjoyed this re-cap. Have a great Blizzcon.