Blizzcon has come and gone bringing with it a whole host of new announcements
Over the weekend, Blizzard Entertainment hosted their annual convention Blizzcon in Anaheim, California. While last year may have been a letdown, Blizzard was not going to make that same mistake this year.
Heading into the event there was controversy with the Blitzchung and Hong Kong situation but that did not stop Blizzard. Protests existed, but most people were there for the games.
While none of the game announcements were super surprising, a lot was rumored and leaked beforehand, it was still cool to see it on stage.
Some games were pushed off to the side, like “Heroes of the Storm” and “StarCraft”, but most of Blizzard’s big IPs got some sort of announcement.
Some are bigger than others. Here are all the things announced at Blizzcon 2019.
‘World of Warcraft: Shadowlands’
The eighth expansion for the king of massively multiplayer online games, “World of Warcraft”, was announced. While this expansion seems to not have very much new content, it is still early in development and they seem to be trying to fix the game more than add new things.
“Shadowlands” picks up right where the previous expansion, “Battle for Azeroth”, left off. It sees Sylvanas Windrunner head to Icecrown and confronts Bolvar who has been sitting on the frozen throne since the second expansion, “Wrath of the Lich King”.
Shunned from the Horde and looking to further her plan, she attacks Bolvar and steals the Lich King’s crown only to break it. Since the Lich King serves as the bridge between the world of the living and the dead, this causes that bridge to shatter and the realm of the undead to enter the realm of the living.
Players must venture into these shadowlands to stop Sylvanas and fix death before Azeroth is forever destroyed by it. They will venture through four new zones, Orbios and the Maw. Each zone has its own challenges and characters to meet.
Once players hit max level, they will get to choose a covenant to follow. This will introduce a unique storyline and the ability to unlock unique cosmetic items for your characters. Along with that will be a whole host of new raids and dungeons.
That is not all “Shadowlands” is introducing, as it sets out to revamp how a player levels up. Instead of the current 120 levels, “Shadowlands” plans to cut back down to only 60 levels.
From level one to ten, new players will experience a new starting zone called Exile’s Reach. Veteran players can choose the original starting zones. Then the new player will play through “Battle for Azeroth” from levels ten to 50, while veteran players get to choose whatever expansion they want to level in. Once at level 50, it will be time to enter the “Shadowlands”.
This new form of leveling promises to be a lot faster than going from one to 120. It also allows player choice and gets you to the new content quicker.
Along with that, we’ll see the return of many class abilities that have been taken away over the years, hundreds of new customization options, removal of random gear allowing for more player choice and overall improvements to the game.
More content may be announced later but that is all they showed off at Blizzcon. The expansion is set to release in 2020.
After last year’s train wreck announcement that was “Diablo Immortal”, Blizzard needed to win back “Diablo” fans. They walked up on stage and announced “Diablo IV”.
Going back to the dark satanic routes of “Diablo” with satanic rituals and a lot of blood, this game promises to be going back to the way “Diablo 2” was more than taking notes from “Diablo 3”.
The story will be nonlinear and set in an open world environment. It will be an online game, obviously, and promises classic “Diablo” gameplay.
However, it will not be releasing anytime soon so players will just have to sit tight. Right now, they can just rewatch the cinematic trailer over and over again.
They can also play “Diablo Immortal”, which is still in development but will see a release on mobile soon and could actually be a good game.
Rumored heavily last week, they have now officially confirmed “Overwatch 2”. They promise it will be a full-on sequel, even if it looks a lot like the first one.
The game promises a focus on co-op and new player–versus–environment modes. This will be in the form of actual story missions and hero missions, which will allow you to level up your heroes and unlock new skills.
It will also feature a strong emphasis on the player–versus–player content like the first one with new heroes and modes. The interesting part is that all the PVP content will be shared with the first one in a shared multiplayer environment.
This seems to mean that owners of the first game will not miss out on the maps and modes, only the story missions. All of your skins and cosmetics will also carry over from the first game to the second if you decide to make the jump.
The first new hero for “Overwatch 2” is a Canadian named Sojourn. We really do not know much else about her other than that.
Blizzard has no idea when the game will launch, so keep playing “Overwatch 1” while you wait.
“Hearthstone” also got an expansion announcement, which was not really a surprise. Called “Descent of Dragons” it will be “Hearthstone” but with more dragons.
You can expect new cards, a fun little story mode and more “Hearthstone”. Also coming is a strange auto-battle mode that lets you watch battles.
Currently in beta, it lets players set up matches and watch them see who wins. So, it is “Hearthstone” without the effort.
The expansion will be launching December 10 and promises to wrap up the year-long narrative arc. If you log in when the set launches, you will get a free card, Galakrond, so mark your calendars.
With only two of the announcements having actual release dates, this year’s Blizzcon felt like Christmas morning but having no idea when you can open your presents.
No updates or news on more “StarCraft” or “Heroes of the Storm” except for previously announced updates like Deathwing for “Heroes of the Storm”.
“Warcraft 3 Reforged” also got no attention aside from the fact that more people will be invited to the beta on Tuesday. “World of Warcraft Classic” also did not get much, but you really cannot do much with a game that promises to be “World of Warcraft” without the expansions.
Just like that Blizzcon 2019 is over. Now we pull out our wallets to pre-purchase those digital goodies and speculate what is next until Blizzcon 2020.