While there are no Diablo announcements planned this year, Blizzard had plenty to announce for their other franchises. Mike Morhaime took to the stage to get the show kicked off and here are all the main announcements with videos.
Mike reminded everyone that this was the 11th Blizzcon throwing in a Spinal Tap reference that BlizzCon goes to 11. This year the event is larger with a new hall that’s opened at the Anaheim Convention Center and there’s a real focus on eSports with the new Overwatch Arena for the Overwatch World Cup finals. Mike sais that now 40 million players login to Blizzard games each month.
With all the teams now announced for Overwatch, Mike moved on to talk about the Overwatch League and the new Blizzard Arena. eSports is a big deal for Blizzard and Blizzcon is the event for all the major game finals.
StarCraft 2 is getting a new co-op mission which is on show for the first time at this year’s event. The big news is that StarCraft 2 is going free play from 14 November. Everyone will have access to all the Starcraft 2 multiplayer features
Heroes of the Storm
Heroes of the Storm was next on the BlizzCon 2017 announcement list and it was time to show of a cinematic revealing the new upcoming heroes. Hanzo, a nimble ranged assassin, and Alexstraza, a new ranged support who can turn into a dragon. Changes to come to HoTS include performance-based matchmaking, a new camera, laning improvements, stealth rework, and evolved battleground mechanics. See the official site for more.
Hearthstone was next up. The next expansion is Kobolds and Catacombs which is Blizzard’s “love letter” to the classic dungeon crawl. Blizzard then revealed some of the cards that will be added in the expansion in true dungeon crawler fashion.
A new single-player experience is being added, a new single-player mode called the Dungeon Run. An 8 card boss deck is shuffled and players will have to defeat 8 random bosses. If they lose they have to start over. They describe it a Hearthstone rogue-like and it will be completely free to play.
Jeff Kaplan entered then Overwatch Arena to reveal what’s coming up for Overwatch. Blizzard will be introducing a new Theme Park map called Blizzard World which features all their major franchises. The new map will be going live early 2018 and will be on the PTR soon. The map is part assault and part payload.
The next hero was also announced as Moira, a new support healer. She does a load of healing but can also deal a load of damage. She’s highly mobile as a support.
World of Warcraft Classic
Blizzard’s big news was a surprise, the reveal of vanilla World of Warcraft servers. After years of battling with unofficial servers and meeting with the unofficial server teams last year, Blizard is finally doing it. It will be called World of Warcraft Classic which is a classic server option for the game.
Blizzard says they are committed to making a Blizzard-quality classic experience. It will take some time but it will happen says Blizzard.
World of Warcraft
In other WoW news, Blizard also revealed a new which is going back the Horde vs Alliance battle. The expansion is called Battle for Azeroth and there’s two new continents, a level cap increase to 120, island expeditions, Warfronts, new race variations and more.
Details are now on the new official site.
Watch it all
The full BlizzCon 2017 opening ceremony can be watched below.