To say that Blizzcon is a big event is a complete understatement. With content from 6 game titles, the culmination of 4 World Championship circuits and one highly anticipated movie in the works, 2015 Blizzcon had a lot of fans on the edge of their seats. If you missed any of the news from the weekend, we’ve got you covered with our 2015 Blizzcon Recap!
For completely selfish reasons, let’s address the big one. It’s been 9 years since Blizzard first announced they would work on a live-action Warcraft film. After numerous delays and a changing of directors, it is so close to gracing our screen – or at least, we hope. Never the less, Blizzard blessed us with the official trailer for the Warcraft movie.
9 long years we waited for this… and the wait has paid off. The Warcraft movie is set around the opening of the Dark Portal where the Orcs are traveling to Azeroth, in an attempt to escape Draenor. Unfortunately, this means we won’t get to see any Night Elves, Blood Elves, Trolls, etc. Based off the trailer, the only races that will be slugging it out will be Humans and Orcs. Whether you’re Alliance or Horde, it’s hard to deny that the movie is shaping up to be absolutely epic.
The movie is scheduled to premiere on June 10, 2016 and will be viewable in 3D.
World of Warcraft
Continuing the Warcraft trend, following the announcement of the next World of Warcraft expansion, Legion earlier in the year, Blizzard premiered the cinematic trailer!
Varian Wrynn. Sylvanas. Infernals. Giant whirling cloud of fel energy. The best “FOR AZEROTH!” moment yet. The Legion Cinematic trailer has it all. There’s no denying that the sentiment around World of Warcraft has slowly been declining over the recent expansions. With Legion finally implementing a number of features the community has been requesting for years, a lot of us have high hopes for this expansion. If the cinematic trailer is anything to go by, we’re heading in the right direction. Information wise, there wasn’t too many new details released. To summarise the information we’ve been told so far:
- Release date – On or before Setember 21, 2016
- Level cap raised to 110.
- New continent – Broken Isles
- New class – Demon Hunter
- Revamped PvP Progression System
- Artifacts – Legendary class-specific weapons that scale with your character
- Class specific Order Halls – Similar to Garrisons, but class-based rather than individual
- New companion pets and other in-game content for other titles
- … the usual new raids, dungeons and bosses.
Blizzard have recently added more information for each class on the World of Warcraft microsite. Check it out if you want more details.
The game has been priced at USD $49.95 / AUD $69.95 for the standard edition and is available now for pre-order. Pre-ordering gives you early access to the new Demon Hunter class and a Level 100 character boost. The beta for Legion starts this year and you can sign up via the Battle.net website.
Also known as “No beta key simulator”. With the recent launch of the closed beta for Overwatch, it’s no surprise that everyone has been itching for more information about Blizzard’s newest IP. Blizzard finally announced the business model for Overwatch and unfortunately, it wasn’t what most of us expected. After the free-to-play offerings of Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, many of us assumed Overwatch would follow the same model.
Overwatch will be released as a full-priced game, set at USD $39.95 / AUD $69.95 for the base version of the game on PC. Blizzard are also releasing an “Origins Edition” that contains unlocks skins in Overwatch as well as additional content for other Blizzard titles – this will set you back USD $59.95 / AUD $89.95. Overwatch will also be available to play on both PS4 and Xbox One, with the Origin Edition being the only choice of purchase. All of the currently announced characters and maps will be included in the retail-release of the title. Unfortunately, Blizzard didn’t give any insight into the business model for future content releases. My hopes is that Overwatch follows a similar model to Smite, where all future content is included in the initial cost.
Blizzard believes that a traditional business model approach for Overwatch is fairer for players. Rather than restricting character choices to what players have paid to unlock, they are giving players the ability to build a team as they see fit. Fairness is also the reason why there won’t be any cross-platform play for Overwatch. The fear of PC players having an advantage over console players due to the nature of keyboard and mouse in a first-person shooter environment.
Blizzard also received 3 additional characters that will be available on release.
D. Va, a bad-ass female mecha pilot.
Genji, the stealthy mech-ninja.
Mei, the Eskimo…?
Ah Hearthstone, the game that keeps on giving… and taking from our wallets. Blizzard announced the next Adventure Mode, The League of Explorers!
You will fight through the different bosses of Temple of Orsis, Uldaman, The Ruined City and Hall of Explorers. Information about these bosses has already been released, so if you’re interested you can find more info on the Hearthstone microsite. If you survive the dangers that lurk in the unknown, you’ll be unlock 45 new cards. You can find more details about all the new cards over on the Hearthstone Facebook Page.
The League of Explorers adds a new mechanic into the game called “Discover”. When triggered, Discover draws 3 cards based on your class and you are able to select one to keep.
The new adventure mode is scheduled for release on November 12th and is available for pre-order. Each location from the League of Explorers can be unlocked for 700 in-game gold or USD $6.99 or all four locations can be unlocked in full for USD $19.99. Similar to previous Adventure Modes, a new location will unlock each week.
With the final instalment of the StarCraft 2 trilogy, Legacy of the Void, set to launch on November 10th, Blizzcon was the perfect opportunity to drop a cinematic trailer.
It should come as no surprise that the campaign will focus on the Protoss and Legacy of the Void will add new units for all races in Multiplayer. In addition to automated tournaments, Legacy of the Void will feature two new game modes:
- Co-op Missions – Take command and engage in action-packed, objective-driven missions with a friend.
- Archon Mode – You and an ally share control over a single base to battle against two enemies in Multiplayer.
Following the release of Legacy of the Void, Blizzard intends to add additional episodic single-player content for StarCraft 2 in the form of paid DLC. The first piece of DLC content, “Nova Covert Ops” is scheduled for Q2’2016 and will focus on Nova with new mechanics and a new equipment system to make her skills. I guess this is a good substitute for StarCraft: Ghosts!
Full details about the new game modes and incoming units can be found on the StarCraft 2 microsite.
Legacy of the Void warps in on November 10th and is available for pre-order. It is priced at USD $39.95 / AUD $54.95 for the standard editions. Legacy of the Void is a standalone expansion and you do not require any of the previous StarCraft 2 titles in order to play it.
Heroes of the Storm
Blizzard showcased new heroes, battlegrounds and a new game mode this weekend. With all the other heavy-hitters this year, this offering felt a bit underwhelming.
- Greymane is a Worgen, capable of transforming between his werewolf form and human form
- Lunara is a Dryad with quick attacks and high mobility
- Cho’Gall is a two-headed ogre that can be controlled by two players.
- Towers of Doom is a new battleground where the core cannot be attacked by Heroes. Instead, altars must be activated and players must claim bell towers to assault the cores.
The most interesting announcement for Heroes of the Storm is the new game mode, Arena. The battlefield is a lot smaller than your traditional maps and players must select a hero from a random selection of 3 options presented to them.
Blizzard dropped information about Patch 2.4.0 for Diablo 3 over the weekend. There’s a lot going on, but here’s a quick summary:
- New Zone – Greyhollow Island
- New Areas – Eternal Forest and Royal Quarters are now fully accessible
- Set Dungeons – After attaining a six-piece set, you can complete objectives in these challenging dungeons
- Item Updates – Revamped class sets and new Legendaries.
- Killstreak Rewards – This feature is being added to the PC edition.
- New Kanai’s Cube recipes