I must admit that this year’s BlizzCon doesn’t have much going for it in my book.
The only game of theirs that I have played in the last six months is World of Warcraft, and that got an expansion just about two months back, so there didn’t seem to be much in it for me. I wasn’t going to actually GO to BlizzCon or anything, which would be a totally different experience, if only because I just got back from EVE Vegas… and, also, tickets to BlizzCon sell out in seven seconds.
So I was tempted to simply ignore the whole thing and ready about it in the funny papers next week.
Then Blizzard went and announced that “Weird Al” Yankovic was going to be the closing musical guest and I decided I kind of wanted to see that. I mean, he isn’t Permaband, but he does have more than five songs. With my daughter keen to see the costume contest and my wife always amused by the dance contest, I subscribed to the pay per view version of the event.
So there we are.
And if I am paying for the event, I am certainly going to pay attention to it and get at least two blog posts out of it, so here we go with the first one. As with previous years, my mostly uninformed preview of the event will include what I want to see and what I actually expect to see.
World of Warcraft
As I noted above, WoW just released an expansion, so the options are limited. It likely won’t be a WoW year on the main stage.
expect to see:
- How great the Legion expansion is doing
- Some hint about the next content drop
- WoW in other media (film, TV, graphic novels, etc.)
want to see:
- Details about the plan for 7.2, 7.3, and, one would hope, 7.4
- When we will get flying in the Broken Isles
- Something about retro/nostalgia/legacy servers – Yes, I know, the have already explicitly said they will NOT talk about this, but a man can dream right?
- Nothing whatsoever about Mark Kern, who is still trying to inject himself into the legacy server thing so he can disrupt BlizzCon with it
- Tom Chilton saying something he shouldn’t about WoW just one more time
Unlike WoW, the world of Diablo is prime for something new. Diablo III is going to turn five next May and even the expansion will be three in March. Presumably, with more than 30 million copies sole, Blizzard isn’t going to let there be another decade gap between releases. Plus, the 20th anniversary of the original Diablo is coming up. They have to do something.
expect to see:
- Positive but vague words about how popular the game remains
- The Diablo 20th anniversary plan
MEUsMAUs and China
- Something new coming for Diablo III seasons
want to see:
- Diablo IV announced… Reaper of Souls setup the next game
- A new expansion for Diablo III announced… if not a new game, at least this
- Something about that remastered version of Diablo II they were talking about a year ago
- The original Diablo either remastered or on iOS and Android… I would throw money at the screen for a good remaster of the original
The StarCraft franchise is in an awkward place as Blizz has sort of finished up what they initially planned to do for StarCraft II. Last year the big news was DLC missions to come after Legacy of the Void shipped. We got a three part module in this year in the form of Nova Covert Ops. The first two parts have been released and the third is promised for December 1.
- General “Woo, StarCraft!” stuff
- Reassurance about the third part of Nova Covert Ops shipping
- A DLC pack for 2017
- Tournament play
- Remastered original StarCraft because, honestly, I would much rather play the old version if it wasn’t locked into 640×480 resolution (because this)
I don’t play the other Blizzard titles so I will lump them under a single heading to hide the paucity of entries about individual games while condensing the cynicism into a single, bitter pill.
- Everything is Awesome playing on continuous loop, at least metaphorically
- New hero and/or map for Overwatch
- Positive Overwatch play time stats
- A new card pack for Hearthstone that will make all previous packs obsolete
- Some over the top stats for how many games of Hearthstone have been played
- Some new play mode for Heroes of the Storm to try and make it at least visible in the market after League of Legends and DOTA2
- Tournament plans or some such that make it sound like a lot of people play Heroes of the Storm
- A mobile game from Candy Crush Saga division using Blizzard IP; Manic Murloc Melodrama or some such
- Overwatch on MacOS so my daughter will stop complaining about Blizzard betraying her
- Any mention of the original Warcraft RTS games being remastered
- Report on how that Cho’gall plan from last year turned out for Heroes of the Storm
- A “Weird Al” song about any Blizzard product
And that is about it. I hope it will be a big year at BlizzCon for Diablo, give the 20th anniversary and all, but I have been disappointed on the Diablo front so many times in the past that wouldn’t bet on it.
What else should I expect to see… and what do you want to see at BlizzCon?