BlizzCon 2019 took place this past weekend, and it was easily one of the biggest BlizzCon's to date! A new main entry into the Diablo series stole the show while Hearthstone and World of Warcraft announced their next expansion sets. Overwatch also announced a second game in the series, and the rest of Blizzard's franchises all announced their upcoming content. It's certainly going to be difficult to top the quality of announcements for years to come.
Fans of the Diablo franchise were disappointed last year when Diablo: Immortal was announced as a mobile game, and there were no signs of a new major game entry into the series. All of that changed when the countdown, which signaled the beginning of the opening ceremony, stopped on 4 and a new cinematic trailer played.
The trailer was dark, gritty, and frankly quite disturbing, but Diablo IV was finally announced. Diablo IV is a return to the dark gothic style which was made popular in Diablo II, and combines it with the visceral combat of Diablo III. The game is still early in development, but we know three of the five starting classes: the Barbarian, Sorceress, and Druid. Diablo IV will also be an online-only game where you may run across other players in its vast open world, but it has been confirmed that the entire game can be played solo.
Diablo: Immortal also received an update at BlizzCon which was not mentioned in the opening ceremony, and fans at BlizzCon could go play a new demo which featured the playable Demon Hunter class. A release date for Immortal is still not known, but the game has made good progress over the past year.
As is typical for Hearthstone at BlizzCon in past years, a new expansion was announced along side an upcoming new game mode. Hearthstone: Descent of Dragons is the conclusion to a three part series which started with the Rising of Shadows expansion, and adds "Invoke" as the new keyword.
Invoke makes the newly added Galakrond legendary more powerful each time you play a card with Invoke on it, much like how C'thun works with its associated cards. Descent of Dragons also adds an all new game mode called Battlegrounds. This new mode is an 8-player auto-battling experience where players will face off in an action-packed series of duels until one of the players is crowned champion!
World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands was announced during BlizzCon's opening ceremony with an epic cinematic trailer which featured Sylvanas and Bolvar dueling it out until Sylvanas tore the veil between Azeroth and the Shadowlands. The Shadowlands is a world between worlds that preserves the delicate balance between life and death
Shadowlands adds several new zones to explore and four covenants which players can join. Joining a covenant will provide players with new abilities specific to those covenants, and players can switch covenants if they are unhappy with their choice; although, not without a lot of work.
The upcoming expansion also introduces a level-squish to the game, and the new max level will be 60. Players can choose to level new characters from level 1-50 in any of the previous expansions, and the speed of leveling has been increased by up to 70%. Additionally, there is an entirely new starting zone that ties directly into Shadowlands so new players are able to feel connected to the new content.
Starcraft & Heroes of the Storm
Both StarCraft and Heroes of the Storm got minor updates at BlizzCon. For StarCraft II, Arcturus Mengsk is the latest addition to the co-op commanders. Megnsk is capable of summoning a large disposable army of Dominion Troopers, and also has a new Royal guard unit which can be leveled up. Heroes of the Storm featured the Deathwing hero announcement from a the previous week, and also announced that anyone with a BlizzCon ticket or Virtual Ticket would be receiving the hero for free.
Overwatch 2 was announced at BlizzCon this year, but isn't necessarily an entirely new entry into the franchise. Overwatch 2 adds a new PvE story campaign, which is one of the top requested features from players over the last several years. Overwatch 2 also features a visual redesign of many characters, but all of the redesigns are more of a refinement than an overhaul.
Players of Overwatch will be able to play with those on Overwatch 2, and vise-versa. It was Blizzard's goal to not split the Overwatch community between two games, so Overwatch 2 can be seen more as an expansion than a fully new game.
So what announcement had you excited about? Let us know in the comments below!
Chris "Zenkiki" Brosseau
Chris is a content creator on YouTube who covers all things gaming and nerdy! He plays a large variety of games, including competitive shooters and strategy games, but specializes in Role-Playing Games. Chris has been creating gaming content for over ten years and is an indie game developer in his spare time. He is also an avid tabletop gamer, and has a +3 bonus to devouring cereal.