With the unexpected arrival of snow today, this gave me an opportunity to work from home, which in turn allowed me to watch the BlizzCon 2017 opening ceremonies. And having already listed a few of the things I learned over in Discord, figured we could have a more in-depth conversation here on the forums too.
With more to come as the panels progress over the weekend, I’ll look to add further details as I find them!
So without any further ado…
How many of you had money on StarCraft II getting some love in the opening? Anyone?! The big news here is as of November 14, StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty is going free-to-play. Already have WoL? Then you’ll receive the Heart of the Swarm expansion for free. The remaining expansions will still carry a cost of $14.99.
Heroes of the Storm
With a major update in 2018 (or series of updates), Heroes of the Storm will see:
- introduction of Voice Chat.
- performance-based matchmaking.
- a rework of the stealth system.
- a new camera.
- laning improvements.
- evolved battleground mechanics.
And on top of this, the addition of Hanzo (assassin) from Overwatch fame and Alexstrasza (ranged support) from World of Warcraft.
The next expansion (launching in December) for Hearthstone will be Kobolds and Catacombs and is defined by Ben Brode as “a return to the roots” of the game. Beyond new cards, a new & free single-player mode called a Dungeon Run will be introduced where players fight 8 random bosses & earn new cards as they go.
And PS, if you login to Hearthsone next week you should score a new legendary card: Marin the Fox.
The first big news was the introduction of a new hybrid map called “Blizzard World.” While the map itself is cool news, the call out to all the different Blizzard properties in that trailer was darn cool (seriously… how awesome is Lost Vikings?!).
The new map should be available in early 2018.
And then there’s the new support hero, Moira. The best way I can look to describe her at the moment is a symbiosis of Mercy & Symmetra into one. To use Jeff Kaplan’s own words, “in case you’re wondering how to spell Moria, it’s spelled O P A F.”
We also got a new animated short to introduce more of Reinhardt’s back story. Tell me it doesn’t hit you right in the feels?
World of Warcraft
For those of you who harkon back to the days of old, you’ll be excited to know that Blizzard will be adding what they call “World of Warcraft: Classic” to the game - AKA Vanilla WoW.
Further to this, Blizz also announced the new expansion - Battle for Azeroth. With this update, you’ll receive:
- level cap bump to 120.
- new continents Kul Tiras and Zandalar with three zones where you can recruit allied races.
- new dungeons & raids.
- a new Island Expeditions system where you partner with 3 other players to explore.
- large-scale 20 player Warfront where you cooperatively battle to secure strategic locations.
Also in a subtle turn, they released the new expansion cinematic prior to the patch itself: