The first day of BlizzCon 2018 is over and this year’s convention has offered up some interesting reveals for Blizzard’s many franchises. While some content was not received well by fans, some announcements had fans crying out with joy.
In this roundup of Day One of BlizzCon 2018, we will have a brief look at what’s new from Blizzard and what fans can expect over the coming months and into next year.
Blizzard’s real-time strategy game, celebrating its 20th anniversary, is getting a new Co-op commander. As a familiar face in the StarCraft universe, Zeratul is joining the fray with the might of the Xel’Naga.
“Alas, the day has finally come…”
Wield the might of the Xel’naga with Zeratul, your next Co-op Commander! pic.twitter.com/mXnQ51Y9Re
— StarCraft (@StarCraft) November 2, 2018
Heroes of the Storm
During the opening ceremony, fans were given an introduction to a new character: Orphea. This character was developed entirely for Heroes of the Storm, a change from the usual formula of borrowing characters from other Blizzard franchises.
What we know is that Orphea is the daughter of the Raven Lord, and Heir of Raven Court. She appears to be a mid-range assassin using her dark powers to overwhelm her opponents. According to Blizzard, Orphea will be available for free for all BlizzCon attendees and Virtual Ticket holders.
New skins were also reveled, this included: Janitor Leoric and a high school inspired look for Orphea. More information will be revealed about the new hero at tomorrow’s Heroes of the Storm: Deep Dive panel at 4:00am AEDT.
World of Warcraft
The World of Warcraft: What’s Next presentation featured probably the bulkiest amount of information for attendees, so here’s a list of what’s in-store for WoW fans:
- Patch 8.1 – Tides of Vengeance.
- To be released on December 11 in North America, 12 in Europe, and 13 in Asia.
- A continuation of the war campaign.
- New Warfront in Darkshore.
- New raid will not be coming until next year.
- Heritage Armour for Blood Elves and Dwarves
- Patch 8.1.5
- Introduction of allied races: Zandalari Trolls and Kul Tiran Humans
- Patch 8.2 – Rise of Azshara
- Players will finally visit Nazjatar
- Headlining raid will be Azshara’s Eternal Palace. Includes: 8 bosses, a Naga Hatchery, an underwater boss, and a showdown with Queen Azshara.
- Heritage Armour for Goblins and Tauren
- New Zone: Mechagon
- Bee mount!
- Patch 8.2.5
- New character models for Goblin and Worgen will arrive!
- WoW Classic will be available to anyone with a WoW subscription upon its release in Australia, Winter 2019.
- Annual charity pet “Whomper”, where proceeds will go to support Code.org
- A new cinematic called “Lost Honor” – this cinematic gives us a look into an interesting interaction between King Anduin Wrynn and an imprisoned Varok Saurfang. Check out the cinematic below.
Another expansion is set to be released for Blizzard’s online card game, Hearthstone, called Rastakhan’s Rumble. On December 4th, players will be able to take up their chosen champion and battle it out in Stranglethorn Wilds with the blessing of their Loa spirits.
Along with the introduction of new cards and a new solo mode (Rumble Run), Rastakhan’s Rumble will introduce “overkill” where players will be able to attack as many as three times in a single turn.
A new damage dealing hero was introduced at today’s convention, Elizabeth Caledonia Ashe (aka Ashe). As a gunslinger and leader of the Deadlock Gang with ties to current hero McCree, Ashe will bring “high mechanical skill” to the game. Her kit involves a knockback, dynamite and a ultimate in the form of her robotic butler B.O.B.
What’s so fascinating about B.O.B is that he will act as a second hero, as he can be nano boosted, slept, healed, bubbled, and he can also contest and capture points. It will be interesting to see how Ashe and B.O.B change up Overwatch’s current meta.
In the cinematic short “Reunion”, we see how Ashe fits into Overwatch’s current lore.
The Diablo team released a new mobile game called: Diablo Immortal. While received with mixed reactions from Diablo fans, the game is the first Blizzard game to be made specifically for mobile – as Hearthstone was featured on PC before its mobile port.
To find out more about Diablo Immortal, check out our previous article which looks at what the new game has to offer.
A new HD version of the classic RTS game is in the works. The new remaster of Warcraft III, dubbed Warcraft III: Reforged, will take players back to the stories that shaped World of Warcraft today. Players will get to relive or experience for the first time the iconic moments in Warcraft history, such as the ‘Culling of Stratholme’, as Arthas and his forces purge the city of the Plague of Undeath.
Overall, graphics will be enhanced greatly from the original with 4K support, fully remodeled characters, updated maps and campaigns, and and an enhanced UI and world editor.
There is plenty more to come tomorrow, with Blizzard Esports presenting the semifinals and finals for its line-up of tournaments.
To watch along with tomorrow’s events make sure to have a look at the BlizzCon 2018 schedule.
What was your favourite announcement from today’s presentations? Was there anything you wished had been revealed? Let us know!