BlizzCon is an annual convention that celebrates Blizzard Entertainment’s games and community. Blizzard game series include World of Warcraft, Overwatch and Diablo. It’s a community-focused event that allows gamers to meet up with their friends and clanmates. Blizzard Entertainment also reveals their highly-anticipated new games and updates at the convention.
BlizzCon 2019 was held at the Anaheim Convention Center in California from Nov. 1-2. Virtual tickets to watch replays of all the video game reveals, panels and esports tournaments are available to purchase for $49.99 on the Battle.net website.
Here’s a breakdown of the major announcements from this year’s convention:
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands
World of Warcraft, the massively-multiplayer, online role-playing game is getting a new expansion called Shadowlands. It begins after Sylvanas Windrunner, former Warchief of the Horde, destroys the Lich King’s crown. Its destruction rips a hole in the barrier between the living and the afterlife.
Players must explore the five zones of the Shadowlands, “the resting place for every mortal soul — virtuous or vile — that has ever lived,” the World of Warcraft website said.
Players can choose between four covenants, sects with their own agendas, to join and gain access to their unique sanctum, quests, abilities, mount and visual appearance.
Torghast, Tower of the Damned, is an infinite dungeon. Torghast’s layout is ever-changing, so every run is different. Players have an increasing chance of receiving materials to craft legendary weapons and armor the farther they make it into the dungeon.
There is also revamped leveling in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, meaning that the max level in Shadowlands is reduced to 60 instead of 120. From levels 1-10, new player characters will complete an introductory questline showing them the ropes of World of Warcraft. From levels 10-50, players can choose to complete quests in any previous expansion zones. In levels 50-60, players can enter the Shadowlands.
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is set to release in 2020.
Overwatch 2 is a first-person, hero shooter that appears to be more of an update than a brand new game. It has a new look, co-op missions, a new mode and new heroes. Overwatch 2 takes place after the Overwatch team is recalled by their leader, Winston, an intelligent, genetically-engineered gorilla.
The new, replayable four-player co-op missions will feature more story elements and have upgradeable abilities for the heroes. For example, players can unlock an ability for the British, fast-talking, time-manipulating hero Tracer’s pulse bomb that causes secondary explosions to enemies damaged by the initial blast.
The new player versus player mode is called Push. It’s a tug of war where teams fight to take control of a large robot and escort it to the opposing team’s base. The team that pushes the robot the furthest toward the enemy base wins.
Overwatch players are able to play with Overwatch 2 players on the same maps and have access to the same heroes. Everything players unlocked in Overwatch will carry over to Overwatch 2, including skins, player icons, sprays and emotes.
The release date for Overwatch 2 is yet to be announced.
The role-playing hack-and-slash game Diablo IV is set after a dark ritual has summoned Lilith after eons in exile. Lilith is a demon who “awakens burning urges in the hearts of those around her… profound fears, unchecked rage, repressed impulses, sinful desires — all are brought forth violently and irresistibly,” the Diablo page on Blizzard’s website said.
Diablo IV features the dark and gloomy art style of Diablo II. Players will return to the world of Sanctuary and explore new areas such as Scosglen, a dense, foggy forest where those who enter never return and the Dry Steppes, salt flats home to cannibalistic blood mages, rugged barbarians and ruthless mercenaries.
New features in the game include a shared world, meaning that players will see other players in the world, according to Tyler Wilde at PCGamer, mounts which allow players to cover large distances and a new item rarity called mythic, which the player can only equip one of.
Three of five classes of champions have been revealed. Players can choose to wreak havoc as a barbarian — a brutal weapon expert, a spell-casting sorceress or a shapeshifting druid who can control the elements.
Diablo IV is currently in development with no official release date.
Hearthstone: Descent of Dragons and Hearthstone: Battlegrounds
Descent of Dragons is a new dragon-based expansion for the collectible card game Hearthstone.
“Galakrong, father of all dragonkind, has awoken… and he hungers! As the brave heroes of the League of Explorers clash with the villainous League of E.V.I.L. in the skies above, which side will you choose in this epic conclusion to the year-long story?” the Hearthstone website said.
The trailer for Descent of Dragons and all other Hearthstone expansions tell their stories through song. The trailer for the Saviors of Uldum expansion features a parody of Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out For A Hero.”
There are five different versions of Galakrond, which the five members of the League of E.V.I.L. can summon. Cards with the new keyword “invoke” will trigger Galakrond’s hero power and empower him.
Descent of Dragons releases on Dec. 10.
Battlegrounds is a new auto-battling mode similar to Dota Auto Chess and Teamfight Tactics. It’s an eight-player mode where players create a board of minions and duel other players until only one is left standing.
Battlegrounds will enter an open beta testing phase on Nov. 12.