So BlizzCon 2016 has come and gone. There were quite a few announcements to go around concerning each of #Blizzard's big-selling games. Here is our overview of all the news and action that came out of BlizzCon for another year.
Might as well start with one of the biggest announcements: Sombra! This big hero reveal at #BlizzCon is one that pretty much every Overwatch player knew was coming due to the hints, leaked images and so on. She's a very mobile character that uses hacking to disable enemies on the battlefield.
To get more of that sweet Sombra goodness, read:
- Watch Sombra's Animated Short 'Infiltration' Here, and Welcome The Newest Overwatch Character!
- Did Sombra's Origin Story Just Hint at Two Other New 'Overwatch' Heroes? (Brigitte Theory)
- I Just Got To Play Sombra, Here's Everything You Need To Know
- Overwatch's New Hero, Sombra, Leaves A Very Good First Impression
How about the non-Sombra Overwatch announcements? Well, there's the upcoming Arcade mode, with a plethora of options for when you want to mix it up. It includes 1v1, 3v3, Mystery Heroes, previous brawls, and No Limits. No Limits essentially will replace the current style of Quick Play, since one-hero select is going to be introduced into Quick Play. Arcade Mode will have weekly rewards and will also be home to the Eco Point Antarctica map for the smaller skirmish arcade matches. A new control map called Oasis will be coming earliest on PTR in December.
If #eSports is your thing, then you may be interested to hear that Blizzard is launching Overwatch League. That's right, an official eSports league for Overwatch. If you think you got what it takes to make it as an Overwatch professional, then this may be for you.
2. World Of Warcraft
Legion is getting a bunch of new content updates. Blizzard talks about having WoW impart the sense of a living world that's dynamic and evolving. With that in mind, Blizzard plans to deliver a steady stream of content.
Patch 7.1.5 will be a small one that adds new systems, new rewards and evergreen content. Timewalking Dungeons is part of the evergreen content. There will be a Mists of Pandaria Timewalking added in 7.1.5, with six dungeons. A revamped Brawler's Guild will return with dozens of new bosses and the occasional rumble — when raid level bosses spawn and pull in all players who are waiting their turn into the arena. Blade's Edge arena is getting revamped art and an announcer. Micro-holidays will be introduced. These holidays are intended to last a day or two rather than a week or more. Ahn'Qiraj Remembrance Day is one such holiday and will be held on January 22. Lastly, there will be updates to classes, secondary stats and rotations.
Patch 7.2 is the bigger content patch and will have quite a lot of content. The Tomb of Sargeras nine-boss raid, the Catherdral of Eternal Light four-boss dungeon, Legion Assaults, and account-wide flying are the notable changes. PvP brawls — a weeklong wacky variation mode — are going to be added, which are similar to what Overwatch and Hearthstone offers. The continuation of the Class Order Hall Campaign, epic class mounts, dungeon updates, a new faction called Armies of Legionfall, new world quests including class-based ones, and updates for artifacts including types, challenges and continuation of the artifact quest line will also be added as a measure to enhance the world.
Mischief the Fel kitty will be the Make-A-Wish Charity pet for the year. Starting December 1 through the end of the year, #WoW players can pick up this pet and the full purchase will be donated to the Make-A-Wish foundation to benefit children with life-threatening illnesses.
3. Heroes Of The Storm
Varian Wrynn and Ragnaros, both from World of Warcraft, are being added as the latest heroes of the Nexus. Varian comes out the week of November 15 and will be the first multi-class hero; he'll be able to wield a variety of weapon options based on your trait selections. Ragnaros, who comes out in December, will have a special trait enabling him to fuse with a fort and become the giant boss monster that he is. Check out the hero trailer for both of them below.
There is a new brawl being added, called Blackheart's Revenge. One team must gather cannonballs that allow for Blackheart's ghost ship to damage the defending team's core. The opposing team can stop the onslaught by gathering cannonballs themselves and retaliating with their siege in order to sink the ghost ship.
Blizzard also unveiled the Nexus Challenge. Team up with friends to brave the Nexus in order to obtain sweet rewards; and not just for Heroes. Starting November 15 and going until January 4, you can earn the Oni Genji skin, spray and player icon in Overwatch, as well as Zarya and the Oni Genji portrait in Heroes of the Storm. All you have to do is finish 15 Heroes games with one or more friends in one of the following: Co-op vs. A.I., Quick Match, Unranked Draft, or Ranked. Finishing 30 matches will additionally unlock the following in Heroes of the Storm: Auriel, Greymane, Kerrigan, Li-Ming, the new Orochi Hovercycle mount and a 30-day stimpack.
Mean Streets of Gadgetzan is the next expansion coming to Hearthstone. This criminal underground-themed expansion is complete with 132 new cards and three factions: the Grimy Goons, the Jade Lotus, and the Kabal. The trailer for the expansion is quite good. It even has a catchy tune! Check it out.
5. Diablo III
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Diablo, Blizzard is adding a special content update to the #ReaperofSouls expansion. This update will take players back to the Cathedral, a 16-level monster-filled dungeon where you'll face off against four main bosses from the original Diablo game. Of course, there will be retro touches, such as special graphics filters and eight-direction character movement.
Blizzard is also bringing a new class to Reaper of Souls. In 2017, the Rise of the Necromancer pack will allow you to play, you guessed it, a Necromancer! You'll be able to have an army of undead, use death magic and even corrupt corpses to explode.
6. StarCraft II
The third and final Nova mission pack for #StarCraft2 comes out on November 22. The infested Terran admiral Alexei Stukov and a new map will also be introduced into co-op missions.
Some news that may pique interest for developers is that Blizzard is collaborating with the DeepMind artificial intelligence team to further advances in artificial intelligence. Blizzard is also releasing an API next year that will allow developers and A.I. researchers to build and train A.I. with which to play StarCraft II.
Bonus: 25 Years Of Blizzard Games
Celebrate Blizzard's a quarter of a century milestone with a video that kicked off this year's BlizzCon.
That's all the announcements! What are you excited for? Let me know in the comments.