Editorial: Blizz Conning

Blizzcon is the yearly convention held by Blizzard entertainment in California in which they celebrate all things Blizzard. The entire convention is streamed through their Battle.net desktop application for the price of a small car, but the opening ceremony is free for all watch. This free section is where Blizzard announces all the new games and expansions that will be coming to their platform (eventually), and deeper looks take place is specialised talks later in the convention. The ‘highlight’ of this years show was the announcement of Diablo Immortal for iOS and Android which Silicon Noob has talked about in his news post, so I will cover the other information from the show.

I hear there's a powerful sword in Northrend for great heroes.

Arthas is such a great guy, he just wants to help the citizens of Stratholm.

Warcraft III is getting a remake

This is likely going to be the most important announcement for Blizzard fans. Unlike last years Starcraft remaster, Warcraft III: Reforged is going to be a total remake of the game with new character models, rerecorded voice lines, and cut-scenes. The remake will also include content from the Warcraft III expansion, The Frozen Throne. I have often said that Blizzard needs to make Warcraft VI so that they have additional content with which they can continue to add expansions to World of Warcraft. As I’m often wrong about these things, my new prediction is that Warcraft III: Reforged will eventually see expansion content based on World of Warcraft, bringing the setting full circle.

World of Warcraft: Classic

After talking about the possibility of the project for years, partnering with a team who ran classic servers, separating from said team, and announcing classic servers last year, Blizzard have finally pinned how they want to run the servers. Due in summer next year, World of Warcraft: Classic will use patch 1.12 ‘The Drums of War’ as its base, but with less content than the patch would have had. Blizzard wants to roll out content in stages to prevent gear from being immediately undervalued as people would inevitably want to go for the best available.

The game will be authentic to the era in that all the modern convenience added to the game will be stripped away. No quest markers, no linked auction houses, no dungeon finder. An interesting point to note is that bosses at the time were limited to having sixteen debuffs on them at any time, and players had to fight to apply theirs. The game is based on modern code though, so expect all the usual Battle.net integration and security.

Blizzard also detailed upcoming patches for World of Warcraft, the first of which is coming next month. The second , which is yet undated, will add a new continent to the game featuring cyborg Gnomes.

TOO SOON!

Imagine trying to pull together forty people without dungeon finder today.

A new Overwatch hero and cereal

As has become standerd each year now, Blizzard announced a new hero to be added to the game, Ashe, a female gunslinger whose primary weapon is a semi-automatic rifle. Ashe take on the damage role in the game with many damaging abilities. Her ultimate appears to be summoning a robot ally who knocks people into the air before shooting them with arm cannons. The character design is similar to McCree’s, and she appears to be a criminal he is after. Their connection seems to run deeper than this, as shown in the new animated short for the game, but extra information will likely come from voice lines added to the game later.

Blizzard are teaming up with Kellogg’s to give Lucio-Ohs a physical release. The breakfast cereal will come in ‘sonic vanilla’ flavour and contain a loot boost that will award players a second loot box upon gaining a level for their next three levels. The redemption system for these codes is not live yet, but the process is anything but simple. Players will be required to go to Kellogg’s own site and upload pictures of their receipts (individually) to receive the boosts. It is not yet known how the boosts will be applied to the game, or why Blizzard could not have codes in the box that could be redeemed through Battle.net, but these questions will likely be answered in time.

Better save up those reciepts.

Blizzard brings balance to diets as well as games.

The rest

Heroes of the Storm is getting a new hero, the first to be added to the game with no ties to any other title in the Blizzard stable. Orphea is a ranged Assassin who dances around her enemies while using spells to empower her attacks. The usual plethora of skins and quests will also be added to the game.

Hearthstone is getting a new expansion, Rastakahn’s Rumble, that appears to be influenced by the Gurubashi arena from Stranglethorn Vale in World of Warcraft. The expansion will feature a new keyword, overkill, and many new cards.

Destiny 2 is available for free on PC through the Battle.net app until 18th November. The game was previously one of the PlayStation Plus free games for September, so I expect Blizzard wants to get the base game into as many hands as possible to sell new players the expansions.

7 comments on “Editorial: Blizz Conning”

  1. I think my favourite announcement from the conference was Warcraft III: Reforged. I could see myself playing the game just for the expansion content that I never tried before.

  2. @Lusipurr: This shows my lack of excitement about this years announcements.

  3. Glad you haven’t kicked the stool yet, Imitanis. I’ve been getting legit angry at all the fake gamer journos calling Diablo fans entitled, when they had all payed to be there, and even those watching the BlizzCon Livestream allegedly had to pay for the privilege. If you want to charge for that shit then it had best be top tier!

  4. That’s something I’ve criticised for years—charging people to watch press releases and trailers demonstrates some truly astounding hubris; and the ‘fans’ who pay to watch ads have taken leave of their senses. The whole thing has a deranged, semi-cultish quality to it, which also explains the rabidity of ‘fan’ defences of the whole rotten thing.

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