Blizzcon 2018: A roundup of the opening ceremony

Blizzcon is here, and with it comes a bunch of news for our favorite Blizzard products. Are we going to see Diablo 4? Are we going to get another Warcraft RTS? Will Heroes of the Storm get a much rumored class rework? And what’s the deal with World of Warcraft Classic? It’s time to find out.

Starcraft 2

  • Starcraft is celebrating its 20th anniversary as a game franchise.
  • New co-op commander, Zeratul, is playable on the con floor.
  • Google DeepMind has new updates about a Starcraft 2 learning A.I.
  • Starcraft 2’s official “What’s Next” panel will take place Saturday at 3:30PM EST.

Heroes of the Storm

  • The first completely original hero has come to Heroes of the Storm. Orphia, from the Nexus’s Raven Lord story is entering the Nexus. In addition, Heroes of the Storm’s backstory is getting fleshed out in new updates.
  • Orphia appears to be a new AOE mage style hero with a lot of mobility. Her official abilities will be revealed at later panels.
  • Leoric is getting a new Janitor skin based off of an old meme. Orphia will be getting a series of high-school related skin, likely as part of a Heroes of the Dorm update.
  • The Heroes “What’s Next” panel will be later today and a deeper dive will take place tomorrow.
  • Orphia will be free to everyone will a Blizzcon virtual ticket, and all Blizzcon attendees.
  • Both an animated short detailing Heroes of the Storm’s new plotline and a trailer showing Orphia in battle was shown.

World of Warcraft

  • Battle for Azeroth – Tides of Vengeance will be the next update.
  • New raid set in the great pyramid set in the center of the troll city. Horde and Alliance will receive completely different versions of the raid.
  • New warfront set in Tildrasil.
  • World of Warcraft Classic will be released in the summer of 2019.
  • Anyone with a normal WoW subscription will have access to WoW Classic at no extra charge.
  • Blizzcon virtual ticket holders will be able to play a demo of World of Warcraft Classic.
  • A deeper dive into World of Warcraft Classic will be seen in a panel tomorrow.
  • Womper the Yeti is the new World of Warcraft charity pet. All proceeds will go to Code.org nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities.
  • A new cinematic trailer was released showing a discussion between Anduin and Saurfang.

Overwatch

  • A new animated short, “Reunion” was shown starring McCree. A new female rival for McCree “Ashe” was shown off, wielding an old pump-action rifle. She’s the leader of the Deadlock gang. McCree also seems to find an omnic, Echo, who speaks in the voice of the Overwatch announcer.
  • Ash will be the 29th hero in Overwatch. She attacks with a long range pump action rifle that doesn’t zoom but has an accurate ADS. She can also use a sawed-off shotgun at close range to push people back, and can throw dynamite to attack in an area. She also appears to be able to do improvised rocket jumps with her sawed-off. Her ult appears to call in Bob, her Omnic bodyguard.
  • More about Ash will be revealed in the Overwatch “What’s Nextpanel.

Warcraft III Reforged

  • It appears as if Warcraft III is getting the Starcraft Classic treatment with Warcraft III Reforged. It will be remade from the ground up featuring fully remodeled characters and animations, maps, and campaigns.
  • It will be capable of 4K resolution.
  • It will come packaged with a more powerful map editor.
  • The Purging of Stratholme is playable on the show-floor.
  • Warcraft III Reforged will release in 2019, you can pre-order today at Playwarcraft.com. You can buy a “Spoils of War” edition which will get you cool Warcraft III themed loot in all other Blizzard games, including a Meatwagon mount in World of Warcraft. Further info will be revealed in a panel later today.

Hearthstone

  • The next expansion is in Stranglethorn Arena and is called Rastakahn’s Rumble. It will be themed around arena combat and trolls.
  • New keyword: Overkill. Overkill triggers when you deal more damage than is needed to kill an enemy.
  • New card. Sul’thrazze. 6 Mana 4/4 Epic Warrior Weapon with Overkill: You can attack again. Allows you to attack up to four times in one turn.
  • New card. Sharkfin Fan. 2 Mana 2/2 Common Pirate minion with “After your hero attacks, summon a 1/1 pirate.
  • Legendary champions will be legendary cards in this expansion.
  • Each class will have its own “spirit” cards that are 0/3 minions. All spirits have stealth for one turn and an ongoing effect of some sort.
  • Rogue spirit is a 4 Mana 0/3 Rare minion with stealth for one turn and the effect “Your battlecries and combos trigger twice.”
  • The Loa are all going to be legendary cards for each class.
  • Paladin Loa is a 25 mana 7/6 Legendary Beast with Divine Shield, Rush, and Lifesteal that costs one less for each Mana you’ve spent on spells.
  • Single-player content sill be the “rumble run” which puts you in control of a Troll hero attempting to become the king of the arena.
  • Rastakahn’s Rumble will release on December 4th. Pre-purchase begins today.

Diablo

  • Blizzard is making a brand new Diablo game exclusively for mobile platforms. It takes place shortly after Diablo II and is called Diablo Immortal.
  • Blizzard showed off a brand new cinematic for the game.
  • Players will be able to take control of one of six classes, Warriors, Demon Hunters, Wizards, Monks, Crusaders, and Necromancers.
  • The game will be massive multiplayer on all mobile devices.
  • Abilities will be controlled via quick tap commands on the touch screen.

Miscellaneous Facts

  • Blizzcon is streaming in seven different languages to 180 different countries.
  • Blizzard has made their own cereal, Lucio-ohs, in a partnership with Kelloggs. It will be available in December and every box will come with free Overwatch loot boxes.
  • Destiny 2 is now free for PC users on Battle.net. Claiming the gift now will allow you to keep the game forever. The offer will be valid through November 18th.
  • Mike Morhaime will be leaving Blizzard and turning over his position to World of Warcraft producer and president of Blizzard J. Allen Brack.
  • Blizzard fans raised $12.7 million for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation last year through the Overwatch Pink Mercy skin and other promotions, the largest donation from a single company they have ever received.

That’s it for opening ceremonies. We will bring you more updates from the convention when more of the “What’s Next” panels go down.