It’s that time of the year again and Blizzard’s epic two-day gaming convention is once again upon us. We’ve been hearing pretty strong (and all but confirmed) rumours of Overwatch coming to consoles over the past couple days, and of course tuned into the Opening Ceremony Keynote to see what else the company had in store for us.
Follow along as we update this post live during the keynote!
And here we go! The opening video for BlizzCon 2015 is focusing on StarCraft starting with the history of StarCraft and where it came from. The “Orcs in space” build didn’t get a very good response and Blizzard went back to the drawing board to start from the ground up. The video focus shifted to eSports and how StarCraft had a strong impact on the growth of eSports. As a result, the most important part of StarCraft is the community that has built up around the shared experience.
Up first is President and CEO of Blizzard Entertainment, Mike Morhaime. Morhaime starts off by asking the audience how many people are first time BlizzCon attendees, and how many have been before, and quite a few indicated through cheers that they’ve been to more than five BlizzCons. The BlizzCon livestream is currently being broadcast in 17 languages. Of course, there is a fan thank you with the company saying that Blizzard couldn’t be where it is are today without fan support.
Over $9 million has been raised by Blizzard gamers for charities to date. December 2nd will see the Brightpaw kitty charity pet come to World of Warcraft with all proceeds going to the Make a Wish Foundation.
Since last BlizzCon, multiple adventures for Heartstone have been launched, Heroes of the Storm launched, Heroes of the Dorm competition eSports competition took place, and Warlords of Draenor hit World of Warcraft. Last, but not least, the Closed Beta for Overwatch recently launched.
StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void
With that, a new launch trailer for StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void is introduced by Morhaime. Check it out below!
As we mentioned in the Activision Blizzard Studios announcement, Blizzard sure knows how to make cinematics!
All the races are getting new models and StarCraft II will be getting new modes that make the game more fun to play, one being a new co-op mission mode. Legacy of the Void is a standalone product, and previous versions of StarCraft are not required to play. So what’s next for StarCraft? In addition to ongoing support for StarCraft II, there will be StarCraft II mission packs available down the road. Take a look at one mission pack to be released at a later date.
This weekend, eSports World Champions will be crowned for StarCraft II, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm including the $1.25 million up for grabs.
The Warcraft movie project has been going on for a long time. The right partner was found in Legendary Pictures, and today they are showing a BlizzCon exclusive world premiere. Duncan Jones, the director of the Warcraft movie takes the stage. Some of the actors join Jones on stage including Travis Fimmel, Ben Foster, Paula Patton, Dominic Cooper, Clancy Brown, and Daniel Woo. And now, after being teased a couple days ago, the full trailer for Warcraft.
Anybody else getting goosebumps watching this?
Don’t worry, we’ll be posting it here as soon as it goes up online! Check it out below!
Heroes of the Storm
Dustin Browder, from the Heroes team, takes the stage and mentions that Heroes is a game where you can lose alone, or win as a team – and if you’ve played, it really is.
During the Beta earlier this year, the Heroes of the Dorm Collegiate competition took place. A brand new game mode is coming next year – the Arena!
The Arena is a mode without a lot of game rules.For starters, you can pick the same hero as your teammates or opponents – imagine a match filled with Illidans! There are three randomly selected heroes to choose from, pick a single heroic ability and try to achieve the objectives. Sounds interesting for sure!
The Heroes of the Storm team has been working hard, and a new video was shown, which showcases everything that will be available to play including new heroes Greymane, Cho’Gall, a new Battleground called Towers of Doom — and the Arena.
Towers of Doom is a map where you cannot attack the enemy Core directly, instead you attack towns and convert them to your side. Cho’Gall brings something new to the mix — two players controlling one hero.
Cho’Gall is not for sale, and cannot be bought in the store… he is only added to accounts of those attending BlizzCon or who have a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket. A few select Battle.Net accounts will also receive them. For everyone else, there will be a quest to unlock him. If you party up with someone who owns Cho’Gall and play two matches, you will receive him as well.
Game Director for Hearthstone, Eric Dodds, is up next. The very best Hearthstone players in the world are at BlizzCon for the Hearthstone World Championship. Dodds is introducing the very next adventure coming to Hearthstone — “The League of Explorers.” You’ll travel with the League across all of Azeroth for the Staff of Origination.
- Brann Bronzebeard – founder of League of Explorers
- Elise Starseeker – the brains
- Reno Jackson – fortune hunter
- Sir Finley Mrrrglton – brings sense of dignity to the League
New cards include the Explorer’s Hat — once you get it, you never lose it as you get it back when the minion it’s cast on gives it back when it dies. A new mechanic called Discover lets you choose from three random cards not from your deck, but they do complement your deck. Another new card, The Golden Monkey replaces your deck and hand with legendary minions.
“League of Explorers” will be released later this year, in fact, it will be launched later this month. Dodd mentions that the first wing will be available this coming Thursday.
Jeff Kaplan takes the stage next to talk about… Overwatch! Kaplan, Game Director & Vice President of Overwatch, reminisces about announcing Overwatch at BlizzCon 2014. After BlizzCon, Overwatch visited other game conferences and many new characters were introduced. Three new heroes and a new map are being introduced in the new Overwatch video.
D.Va, Genji, and Mei are the three new characters coming to Overwatch and are playable at BlizzCon. The new map is called Hollywood. Overwatch is a game about switching heroes, and the dynamics of the game is based on teamplay and switching heroes. When you buy Overwatch, you get all 21 of the announced heroes. You’ll also get all the maps, content, and features that have been discussed to date.
An Overwatch: Origins edition is available as well which includes five skins, and some other digital goodies for other Blizzard games. The base version of Overwatch is available for pre-order on PC for $39.99USD or $59.99USD for the Origins Edition which is also available on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. An Overwatch Collector’s Edition is also available on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Overwatch will be launching in the spring of 2016.
Take a look at what you get with the Overwatch Origins edition.
World of Warcraft: Legion
Chris Metzen — the voice of everyone’s favourite Horde character, Thrall, is next up to talk about World of Warcraft: Legion. World of Warcraft: Legion will feature the return of the Burning Legion to Azeroth. The events of Legion will follow the events of Warlords of Draenor and the call to arms has been sounded and the Alliance and Horde have rallied together to try and smash Gul’dan’s army. Illidan Stormrage will also feature prominently and returns with his Illidari. The expansion set will allow gamers to play as demon hunters.
…and another spectacular cinematic by Blizzard.
You can pre-order at wowlegion.com which includes a level 100 character boost and early access to the new Demon Hunter class when it’s ready.
So there you have it, a look at what’s coming down the pike from Blizzard. What are you most excited to see in the coming months? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.