BlizzCon 2023 Opening Night Shares a Hurricane of Announcements

BlizzCon 2023 Opening Night Shares a Hurricane of Exciting Announcements

Developer Blizzard Entertainment has been on hand for the first day of the annual BlizzCon convention after a 2 years delay. Almost every Blizzard fan has something to look forward to in this: World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Diablo, and even the new Warcraft Rumble. Those holding out for StarCraft and Heroes of the Storm might not be so lucky.

During the Opening Night Live, Mark Ybarra and the rest of the team were devoted to showing fans the Blizzard of today and the Blizzard that the company is becoming. Players have made connections that span continents, languages, and generations, and those connections are what inspire the developers the most. Phil Spencer, the CEO of Microsoft Studios, also made a surprising appearance to address the fans. The commitment of Xbox is to bring more great games to more players in more places and to do so, the company will nurture the essence of what has made Blizzard unique.

Overwatch 2

Game director Aaron Keller appeared on stage to share the news about the future of competitive hero shooter Overwatch 2, joined by Art Director Dion Rogers. Following a number of hints and easter eggs scattered around the latest Samoa map, the team introduced new hero Mauga and his trusty guns: Gunny and Cha-Cha.

His name means “Mountain,” and despite him portraying himself as this bigger-than-life loud brute, he is actually a cunning tactician who is always a step ahead of his opponents.

“Overwatch 2’s latest Tank Hero Mauga is charging onto the battlefield! Equipped with two chain guns (Gunny and Cha-Cha), Mauga is ready to bash through the front lines of his opponents and tear through anyone who stands in his way with tons of firepower. Get acquainted with Mauga’s ability kit before his official debut in Season 8.”

In 2024, players will be able to enjoy a new core PvP game mode: Clash. It features 5 points positioned in row, with teams having to fight over them again and again by pushing into enemy territory or defending their own. The initial Clash map is a tribute to a player-favorite location: Hanamura. Are you ready to duke it out in Hanaoka, surrounded by cherry blossoms and carnage?

Additionally, the team is working on reworks of many important systems. Last but not least, Overwatch 2 will receive three new heroes in 2024.

Diablo IV

General manager of Diablo Rod Fergusson as well as Diablo IV production directors Tiffany Wat and Chris Wilson addressed the crowd from the stage, thanking the fans for their interest and love for Sanctuary. The team described the changes between Diablo IV’s initial state and the Season of the Malignant to the Season of Blood. In fact, the patch notes for Diablo IV’s second season were over 14k long to introduce changes based on player feedback.

The developers have also revealed the Midwinter Blight – Diablo IV’s holiday event that starts on December 12th and lasts for 3 weeks. Players are in for a bumpy ride through the transformed Fractured Peaks.

Vessel of Hatred, Diablo IV’s first expansion, is coming in late 2024. It will continue the dark tale of Diablo IV, explore the fate of Mephisto, and introduce a new region. More info will come this summer, so stay tuned!

“There will be no salvation in the light.”

Hearthstone

Cora Georgiou, the lead designer of Hearthstone, took the stage to speak about the future of Azeroth’s most popular card game, which is about to turn 10 years old. But before then, Hearthstone is for a new expansion: Showdown in Badlands, which arrives on November 14. The evil Bloodrock Mining Company, run by the dastardly Sheriff Barrelbrim, has set up a ramshackle mining venture to drain Azeroth of its Azerite resources. It is up to you to stop them!

The team has been hard at work on the catch-up packs, a game-changer for getting your collection caught up. Each one of those can have up to 50 cards instead of the usual 5. The cards received will be from within the last 2 years – and all players will receive one such pack upon logging in.

New game mode announced: Battlegrounds Duos. With the team combat, shared health pool, and sending cards back and forth to each other, it’s the ultimate co-op experience of Hearthstone.

Warcraft Rumble – Available Now

In taverns from Winterspring to Booty Bay, Horde and Alliance alike are gathering around a marvelous new machine, which brings miniature versions of their famous heroes and villains to life to do battle in strategic, frantic skirmishes.

The game features over 60 miniatures, inviting players into a lengthy PvE campaign and lively PvP matches on iOS and Android devices.

During the Warcraft Rumble Season 1, players will be able to collect the new playable Leader, Sylvanas Windrunner. Don’t miss out!

World of Warcraft

The team wants to add a unique Classic flavor with a certain seasonal note. Welcome to World of Warcraft: Classic – Season of Discovery. Players will be able to discover new secrets as they scour the world and obtain class-altering abilities. WoW Classic: Season of Discovery launches in a few short weeks on November 30th. And there will be no testing so that secrets hold out for longer!

Holly Longdale (Executive Producer for World of Warcraft) revealed that the Cataclysm Classic servers are coming! Mark your calendars for the first half of the next year: fire-breathing dragons are just around the corner. To celebrate the announcement, the team shared a new machinima from Hurricane.

World of Warcraft: Dragonflight – Guardians of the Dream is going live in just a few days. The story continues where Fury Incarnate left off. A special seed, planted by Tyrande, has grown into a new World Tree and is on the verge of crossing into Azeroth. Fyrakk and his forces, including his new allies—the Druids of the Flame, move among the roots of the World Tree, inflaming the Dream denizens as they attempt to tear into the Emerald Dream to infuse the heart of the World Tree with fire and use it as a conduit to spread eternal flames throughout Azeroth.

World of Warcraft: Worldsoul Saga comes as the culmination of 20 years of Warcraft’s story and consists of three chapters:

  • World of Warcraft: The War Within, coming fall 2024, will have players descend into the Heart of Azeroth itself and face familiar enemies.
  • World of Warcraft: Midnight – ready to return to the old world and the fabled lands of Quel’Thalas? The Sunwell is in danger once again as the forces of darkness seek to destroy it or turn its power against the world.
  • World of Warcraft: The Last Titan – in this chapter, players will return to Northrend. In Ulduar, you will see the return of the Titans to Azeroth and uncover a vast conspiracy, one that will challenge everything you think you know about the Titans, their intentions, and their plans regarding Azeroth.

Check out the trailers below or proceed to the official site to learn more about World of Warcraft: The War Within and pre-purchase the expansion. It is available in three different editions with certain digital perks.

Written by
A lover of all things RPG and TBS, Catherine is always looking for a new fantasy world to get lost in.

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