BlizzCon, the Blizzard’s game festival that any Blizzard game fans would have been waiting for the most, is nearly about to begin.
At the BlizzCon, new information of each game and titles are revealed every year. Fans are more than eager to check out newly introduced information at the festival for the first time in the entire world. The BlizzCon 2017 takes place for 2 days, from November 3 to 4.
Inven has summarized a couple of points that you should take note while watching or visiting the BlizzCon 2017. Let us have a look at them including the panel discussion, stage events, eSports, and a talk with developers.
Point #1 New expansions - Hearthstone and World of Warcraft
The most exciting news that all fans would be waiting to hear is the new expansions. At least one expansion is certain to be revealed. It’s Hearthstone. Blizzard once mentioned that they will announce 3 expansions during a Year of Mammoth. Having Journey to Un’Goro and Knights of the Frozen Throne already out, there is only one more expansion left to be announced.
Fans and the community continue their presumptions about the expansion. The theory that is mentioned the most is ‘mine’ and ‘underground’. Ben Brode has also mentioned that hints lie within the picture during the interview last time. In addition, the social media of a number of voice actors proved a few facts already, arousing fans’ curiosity even more. What will the next expansion be?
The next title following Hearthstone is World of Warcraft. After Warlords of Draenor and Legion, Blizzard announced that they will shorten the new expansion period of World of Warcraft. It’s been 1 year and 3 months since the release of Legion in August 2016, having the new expansion close to release. Jaina being placed in the middle of the BlizzCon main poster also backs up this anticipation.
The Legion has introduced two raid dungeons so far and there is one more left to be out. The third dungeon that will be introduced later is called Antorus - The Burning Throne, located in the center of Argus. In this dungeon, Varimathras, the dreadlord who came to redeem his mistake he made in the expansion Wrath of the Lich King, and Eonar and Aggramar, titans who have only been mentioned in the lore, are also expected to appear.
Along with details about the new raid dungeon, players have a high expectation of the next expansion, as it is deemed to be out after three raid dungeons. As the fight against the Burning Legion draws near, fans are curious as to what enemy they will face next.
Unfortunately, no special information or assumption of other titles has not been revealed. Starcraft 2 has already faced its end of the journey, thus there has been no mention of the title, except additional mission packs such as Nova Covert Ops.
The Diablo series is really “quiet”. It is completely opposite to the statement that there will be an “awesome news” last year. Only a few personnel are prepared at the demonstration zone and panel talk session in the event hall, and developers have already said that it’s not the time to reveal any news this year. However, they did say that a special reward is prepared specifically for those who visit the hall.
Point #2 New Character - Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm
One of the most notable news from the last year’s BlizzCon was the new Overwatch hero Sombra. She left a great impression upon many players with an animated short.
Many therefore expect another new hero to be revealed in this BlizzCon as well. The new heroes after Sombra are Orisa and Doomfist who changed the meta drastically. A couple of heroes were reworked as well.
As it left a huge impression last year, fans are excited to see if the new Overwatch hero will be revealed in this BlizzCon. The disappointing part is that nothing in relation to this has been revealed so far. It’s, however, almost certain that the new hero will be introduced in this BlizzCon.
Moreover, fans expect a new hero to join the Nexus, as Junkrat and Ana were anticipated to be revealed at this BlizzCon, but were added into the game much sooner. As Varian Wrynn and Ragnaros made a surprise appearance in the game last year, fans may see a random hero joining the Nexus without much information revealed beforehand.
On the other hand, a new battlefield with new rules may be introduced for entertaining players. Players are curious to see what change the company will bring to the Nexus, the battlefield where any characters with Blizzard backgrounds can join.
Point #3 KOREA NUMBAH ONE - eSports schedule
Many things happened in the last BlizzCon eSports. In the Overwatch World Cup, Korean teams showed outstanding plays by winning all matches without a single loss of score or set. This proved that Korea was not weak at FPS, they just didn’t try.
Also, the intense fight between Hyunwoo “ByuN” Byun and Ryeongu “Dark” Park in the Starcraft 2 Finals thrilled people who were watching the match. They obviously claimed the 1st and 2nd places. With Heroes of the Storm, the Korean team Ballistix claimed the trophy by winning against Fnatic from Europe.
Although they were not able to win in the World of Warcraft and Hearthstone events, Korean teams did manage to win three events and showed the true potentials of Korean eSports. In particular, Overwatch teams picked Korean team as the top eliminator and the one that they do not want to face.
There are many eSports matches prepared in this year as well, and unmissable matches are expected to unfold from the very beginning of the BlizzCon to the end of it. You can watch the matches even if you didn’t purchase a virtual ticket, so go ahead and do not miss out wonderful plays!
BlizzCon eSports Finals schedule
November 4th (Sat) 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM at North Hall Hearthstone eSports
Hearthstone Invitational Finals
November 4th (Sat) 12:00 PM - 2:45 PM at Hall A Overwatch eSports
Overwatch World Cup Finals
November 4th (Sat) 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM at Hall C World of Warcraft eSports
WoW Arena World Championship Finals
November 4th (Sat) 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM at Hall A Starcraft eSports
Starcraft 2 World Championship Global Finals
November 4th (Sat) 4:30 PM - 7:45 PM at Hall B Heroes eSports
Heroes of the Storm Global Championship Grand Final
Point #4 Mobile and Remastered - Blizzard’s new challenges
In last October, Tom Chilton who had been leading the WoW team for 12 years, announced that he is leaving the team for a “new journey”. It’s been 2 years already, but nothing about which department Chilton went to, or the game he is developing, has been known.
However, Blizzard has started somewhat suspicious job postings. They were about the “mobile” project. The company was mainly recruiting Unity specialists and developers with mobile game experiences. What kind of game they are developing is still unknown. Some say that it is a mobile RTS with Warcraft IP, but nothing has been introduced yet.
All titles that Blizzard launched were on PC or console except Hearthstone. Will fans be able to see the new title on mobile as well? Players are curious to know whether the Blizzard’s new mobile game will be introduced at this BlizzCon.
Other issues are about “remastering” of old titles. Blizzard has already launched Starcraft: Remastered on August 15th and the reaction was quite good. There is also the Starcraft: Remastered Event Match prepared at the BlizzCon this year.
That leaves Warcraft 3 and Diablo 2 for remastering. The company mentioned before that they want to bring an honor of the past once again, and the first remastered title is already receiving positive feedbacks, thus fans can surely expect the possibility of another remastering announced at this BlizzCon.
Point #5 - New title
There may be a completely new title other than mobile and remastered ones. The information about Overwatch was extremely limited until the very last moment of its announcement in the year of 2014, even though it was a new IP for Blizzard in 17 years.
Because of that, it is still possible that the new title will be announced at this BlizzCon. The new challenges for senior directors including Tom Chilton may probably be related to this. They may be an expansion of Overwatch, new titles of Diablo or Starcraft series, or a completely new IP. One thing that’s certain is that nothing is “certain”. We hope to see BlizzCon filled with more heat with a new project revealed on site.
More upgraded virtual tickets and unmissable events for fans
There are also other announcements that Blizzard fans should not simply ignore. First off, in the eSports section, there will be a talk about the Overwatch national league and hometown-based system that brought much sensation when they were announced last year. More details about the Overwatch league will be announced at this BlizzCon.
A couple of other entertainment news and events will take places such as the panel talk about the drastically changed Blizzard app, novels based on Blizzard lores, and the cosplay contest with incredible quality. Additionally, Muse, one of the most renowned rock bands with Grammy Awards, has confirmed to join the closing ceremony.
The good news for anyone who cannot visit the BlizzCon at Anaheim Convention Center this year is virtual tickets which allow people to watch the event online. Unlike last year when a couple of sessions were unavailable to watch, all stages will be broadcasted this year.
People who purchased the ticket can also watch a VOD after the live broadcast of stages, and this VOD will include the subtitle in various languages. Saralyn Smith, the senior director of Blizzard Global Community, said that they are planning to provide subtitles as soon as the broadcast ends.
Ms. Smith mentioned that the team is focusing more on the speed of translation rather than the quality. Thus, even if you couldn’t watch the session live, you will be able to watch the VOD with the subtitle in no time, making the experience of BlizzCon much more relaxing and entertaining.