Diablo 4, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, Overwatch 2, and Hearthstone: Descent of Dragons announced during opening ceremony
Beautiful cinematics and a quick apology
Blizzard started off Blizzcon 2019 by directly addressing the elephant in the room. Blizzard’s president J. Allen Brack prefaced the opening ceremony by apologizing directly to the audience for the actions taken against Hearthstone esports pro Chung “Blitzchung” NG Wai. Chung was punished earlier for expressing his support of the Hong Kong protests during a Hearthstone broadcast.
BlizzCon’s opening ceremony officially began by giving the audience an impressive first look at Diablo IV. Game director Luis Barriga then appeared onstage to let fans know that the game would be going back to its darker, bloodier roots, signifying a departure from the more toned down aesthetic from Diablo 3.
Blizzard kept the momentum rolling with another amazing cinematic, revealing the next expansion for World of Warcraft, titled Shadowlands, as well as a fun look at the next Hearthstone expansion Descent of Dragons.
To finish off the opening ceremony fans were treated to another gorgeous cinematic, giving everyone their first look at the new Overwatch 2 game.
Diablo IV has been revealed, and it looks like to be a return to the darker and moodier tone that was part of the Diablo 2 experience. The cinematic shown at the opening cermony gave viewers a much bloodier look at what is to come in this iteration of the popular franchise.
Members of the Diablo IV dev team revealed many new changes to the Diablo experience, such as a shared open world with events that players can join, a non linear campaign, a social hub for players to interact with each other, and even PvP.
It seems that Diablo 4 will feel more like an MMOARPG, but the developers did give reassurances that solo players would not be forced into participating in these social activities if they choose so.
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands
Shadowlands is shaping up to be a major update for World of Warcraft’s lore and systems. The expansion will be bring 4 new playable zones, as well as Covenants that players will interact with in each region. These Covenants will also have their own full endgame narrative campaigns that your characters can experience.
The expansion will also bring a new 10 boss raid, 8 new dungeons, and new character customization options. A unique endless randomly generated dungeon, similar to a rogue-like game, will also be available.
Overwatch 2 will be a new separate game, promising to change the definition of what a sequel is. Many concerns were addressed during the presentation. Certain promises were made to the crowd as well. For instance, Overwatch players will be able to play with Overwatch 2 players. Kaplan also stated that all progress and cosmetics would carry over to the sequel as well.
Major PvE content will be a main component of Overwatch 2. Story and Hero missions will offer new ways to experience the story and lore of Overwatch. In addition, heroes will unlock new versions of abilities as they progress through these missions. These new talents will not carry over to the competitive portion of the game.
All current 31 characters, as well as new characters to be announced in the future, will be making their way into this ambitious sequel.
Hearthstone: Descent of Dragons
With help from a fun cinematic trailer, Hearthstone’s next expansion Descent of Dragons has been announced. Interestingly, this expansion will offer more than just new cards and a conclusion to the ongoing narrative.
A new game mode called Battlegrounds will be a part of Hearthstone’s new expansion. It is an 8 person auto-battler mode, similar to DOTA Auto Chess, with 24 unique heroes.
It will be interesting to see how much popularity this new game mode will garner once it is released.
Stay tuned for more BlizzCon 2019 coverage.