It’s that time of year again, and our wonderful friends at Blizzard have once again given us a virtual ticket to the awesomeness that is BlizzCon. I’m happy to say that BlizzCon 2018 was one of the best years for the show, as the company announced some pretty big and sweet news for fans of their games and newcomers alike.
The show kicked off with the always awesome Mike Morhaime greeting everyone there at the show and us watching live from the internet. After talking about some of the cool things in store at the show, things took an emotional turn when Mike announced he would be stepping down as president and passed the torch to J. Allen Brack. It looks like the company is in good hands though, as Brack is determined to do his best to make Blizzard Entertainment better than ever.
While there was plenty of other fun activities going on at the show from awesome looking cosplay contests, to loads of eSports action happening on nearly all of Blizzard’s biggest titles, the best part was arguably all of the hot news they dropped on their big franchises.
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth has its first major patch coming December 11 titled “Tides of Vengeance”. In this update to the story so far, the Alliance is getting their forces ready to fight back against the Horde. There’s also some cool new things added such as a new raid that features the Horde and Alliance duking it out, a new Warfront that takes place in Darkshore of all places, and there’s more to come in 2019 when another raid is set to release that will bring the Alliance and Horde to a massive war that will hopefully be one for the ages.
Blizzard also finally revealed a demo for the long delayed World of Warcraft Classic to give fans at the show and at home a taste of what’s to come. So those who miss fighting bandits in Moonbrook and other classic activities will want to give it a look.
Many fans (including myself) have been wondering what’s next in the Diablo universe. Well finally after all this time, Blizzard stepped up to the plate with not only placing the awesome game on the Nintendo Switch the same day BlizzCon 2018 was held, but also announced Diablo Immortal, a new mobile game for Android and iOS that essentially looks like a remastered Diablo III but will new enemies and locations. Taking place between the end of Diablo II and the beginning of Diablo III, you’ll be able to choose from six character classes such as the Barbarian, Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Necromancer, and Wizard. All of them will be fully customizable with new powers and abilities, with more playable classes planned for future updates.
The game is also designed to constantly update and become a new experience nearly every time you play, and you’ll be able to team up with others online, collect and craft gear, and more in your fight against the demons.
Another piece of news that got me and I’m sure all fans giddy was the announcement of Warcraft III: Reforged, a complete remaster of the beloved game and the awesome follow-up, The Frozen Throne that features remade visuals, over four hours of updated in-game cutscenes, and of course full Battle.net implementation. You’ll also be able to use matchmaking and can even participate in tournaments.
I can’t wait to get my hands on this as I’m a huge fan of Warcraft III. Fans will be even more excited to learn that Blizzard is bringing back to the World Editor that’s also been upgraded. So let the epic map-making begin.
Of course Hearthstone players had yet another expansion to look forward to that takes place in the Gurubashi Arena titled “Rastakhan’s Rumble” coming December 4. There’s 135 new cards and new mechanics to learn. There’s also some sweet pre-order bonuses for those who want to build their decks early such as bonus and rare cards to give players the mojo edge they will need.
For Heroes of the Storm, there’s a new hero coming in the form of Orphea, daughter of the infamous Raven Lord. Thankfully she doesn’t want to follow in her dad’s footsteps, and comes packed with all sorts of dark powers to fight back against him. She’s available right now for anyone who attended BlizzCon or had the Virtual Ticket, and will be around to play for everyone else later on when the next major patch rolls around.
Overwatch fans can also look forward to yet another hero joining the ranks with Ashe and her mechanical partner in crime Bob. Along with another awesome animated short that shows Jesse McCree and her having a past (I’m assuming by a picture on her hoverbike that they used to be lovers at one point), they showed off a few of the cool things she’ll be bringing to the table in the intense matches to come in the future. No word yet on when she’ll join, but I’m sure it will be soon.
Lastly there was some fun news involving all sorts of toys and apparel featuring Blizzard’s franchises, such as Overwatch LEGO sets, GameStop’s exclusive NERF Overwatch 2019 Rival gun, and more sweet stuff coming from Hasbro, UNIQLO and FUNKO that should keep collectors happy for a long time.
I had a good time watching this one, especially with all of the exciting news that was featured. I also liked how they expanded making virtual ticket owners feel like they were there with the spot on coverage you could switch through, and allowing us to download the WoW Classic demo to play along with the people at the show. It was easily one of the best BlizzCon’s in a while and I can’t wait to see what’s in store next year for the 2019 show.