BlizzCon starts tomorrow, so it is about time I got around this post. I have ordered the Virtual Ticket, so I will be watching all of what is coming. However, the question is, what will we actually see?
- World of Warcraft
There will no doubt be some words about Battle for Azeroth, how everything is fine and wonderful and even if it isn’t Blizz will be making things better shortly. There might even be a mention of some new content and plans and maybe a reference to how the game will be fifteen years old next year.
But the main thing will be WoW Classic. Once I ordered the Virtual Ticket I figured out how to download the demo so I could play it once it goes live. It doesn’t get its own entry on the Blizzard launcher… not yet at least. Rather, it is one of the options under “Region/Account.”
There are not any Patch Notes, the link there points to to WoW 8.0.1 patch notes.
Once you have selected it, you can click the “Install” button and off you go.
The download itself is… substantial. It weighs in at 11.5GB, so I suspect we are getting more than just The Barrens and Westfall as part of the package.
Given that I said last year that this BlizzCon would be all about WoW Classic, at least on the WoW front, I suspect that will be the case. I don’t know what else they would go on about.
The play time people will be allowed for WoW Classic, even for the home download, is reported to be capped or otherwise limited, which I am sure will bring out some rage. And reports indicate that the experience will be very much in the classic vein.
- Diablo Franchise
There has been considerable buzz around the Diablo franchise over the last few months, with speculation that we might get a Diablo IV announcement. And, looking at the BlizzCon schedule, the first item on the main stage is Diablo: What’s Next presentation. That primacy of place usual goes to the franchise with the big reveal.
On the other hand, Blizz has been dumping cold water on rumors, warning people not to expect too much. So who knows.
I would still like to hear something about Diablo II remastered, something they mentioned ages ago. Other than that, and taking Diablo IV off the table, I don’t know what else they would have to present. I mean, Diablo III on the Switch is nice and all, but it is old news by now, even if it officially launches tomorrow.
A new hero seems to be in the works. A new map or a new play mode would be interesting, but as with the Diablo rumors, Blizz has been trying to set expectations low. Since I don’t play Overwatch, I am not sure what else they might announced. New cosmetics maybe?
Hearthstone seemed to do pretty well as a franchise over the last year. But with a collectible card game the path forward is always clear; new decks and new play modes. Would anybody bet against one or both being announced?
- Heroes of the Storm
It is getting a “What’s Next” presentation on the main stage, so something is up. I suspect we will hear more about how they are going to make it better and/or more competitive with its rivals… though, it main rival, League of Legends, has been down so far in 2018, so maybe the MOBA thing is fading.
Also, new heroes and new cosmetics I am sure.
What do you do when your franchise doesn’t get a “What’s Next” panel until mid-way through day two? I suspect that means no big announcements.
StarCraft and StarCraft II have their own room and channel for the esports league competition, so the franchise remains a staple there. I expect that the most likely news will be some sort of adventure pack for SCII.
Along with the StarCraft and Diablo II rematsers, there was also talk of a Warcraft III rematser as well. Maybe we might hear something about that? StarCraft made it and is on the launcher, so the trail has been blazed.
And then, of course, maybe Blizzard could announce something new. They have been hiring for new projects and they are good at announcing and keeping momentum going through until launch. But I don’t see any large, unaccounted for open slots on the schedule. Maybe that “Inside Blizzard” presentation is just a decoy?
Anyway, that is my somewhat mild forecast for BlizzCon. Blizz could still shake things up with a surprise or two, but unless there really is a Diablo IV announcement I think WoW Classic will be the big item for the event.