So Blizzcon 2014 day one is over and wow was it an awesome night. Things kicked off with a very touching and poignant statement on the main stage by President and Co-Founder Michael Morhaime. He touched on recent events in the media in relation to the gaming community, how the gaming community has been getting a bad name and went on to encourage kindness and acceptance within this vast and wonderful community. Here is a segment from his speech:
“I’d like to take a moment to talk about something serious. Over the past couple months, there’s been a small group of people who have been doing really awful things. They have been making some people’s lives miserable, and they have been tarnishing our reputation as gamers. It’s not right. Blizzcon is a great example of how positive and uplifting gaming can be. Let’s carry the good vibes from this weekend out into the world all year round. There is another person on the other end of the chat screen. They’re our friends, our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters. Let’s take a stand to reject hate and harassment. Let’s redouble our efforts to be kind and respectful to one another. And let’s remind the world what the gaming community is really all about.”
The speech says it all so I’m going to say nothing more on it. Next up was the reveal of a stand alone Star Craft game called Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void. The best thing about this game is that it’s not an expansion, which means that you can pick it up without the others and play without missing out on too much story or content. It’s also a fantastic way to entice in new players to the franchise and, while some would have preferred a Star Craft 3, I think that this is the freshest approach to take right now and will hopefully be as successful as the last game was. You can check out some more info on it here.
The next thing Blizzard touched on was the reveal of their new Hearthstone expansion Goblins VS Gnomes. The expansion will have 120 new cards that will centralize around different engineering gizmo’s from World of Warcraft. Exploding Sheep, Annoy-o-Trons, and other similar things will be featured as cards. This was, again, teased the week coming up to Blizzcon when Blizzard sent out postcards featuring a Repair Bot and Harvest Golem sketch to prominent gaming websites. I’m actually quite excited about this one because I really enjoyed Naxxramas and want to see what Blizzard can do this time around. You can check out the trailer here. Hearthstone will also be available for Android by the beginning of 2015.
Then came possibly the most exciting news of the convention beside Warcraft Movie news. Blizzard announced their first new franchise in 17 years! Overwatch is an action-packed, team-based, multiplayer shooter. They showed off a cinematic introduction video for the game, as well as some gameplay footage and 12 playable characters. The opening scene was cute fun and fresh with a Pixar vibe. From what I can tell it has Borderlands character development with a Team Fortress style of play. The beta is due to be released sometime in 2015. But you can check out more info and character gameplay here.
When the excitement of Overwatch finally wore off enough for us to function again we tuned into the Warcraft Movie Panel. There we were given a taste of the props and characters to come with a definitive story arc. Duncan Jones announced that it will be centered around Warcraft 1 and will specifically feature 50% Horde and Alliance. He described the movie as “Avatar and Lord of the Rings at the same time.” Blizzard then went on to announce a range of characters and actors that will feature in the movie. It’s a long list so if you want to you can find more info here. A teaser trailer was also shown but unfortunately we did not get to see. We do know that it featured orcs, Stormwind, Dalaran, high elves with glowing eyes, humans and orcs running at each other and a dwarf in Ironforge. We just cannot wait for this. The movie is set for release March 2016.
Heroes of the Storm was then touched on with Blizzard stating that a closed beta should begin this January. There was also new maps, characters and new features. everyone’s excitement came when they announced that The Lost Vikings would be playable characters. You can check out some more info on that here. We also should have some news of the Alpha coming soon as one of our team was lucky enough to be given a key.
So far nothing has really been announced for Diablo except for minor updates and changes to gear and talents etc which is kinda standard for all of the other games too. If you want a quick run down on that here is a link for you to check out.
What were my favourite bits?
I would have to say Overwatch. This is a game with a fun back story that I can get behind. It mashes superheroes with gaming and that, for me especially, is awesome. Also my favorite tweet of the night came from Appy and read:
Ubisoft: “Girls are hard, guys.”
Blizzard: “Here’s five playable females, two robots, and a gorilla wearing glasses. You’re welcome.”
Another nice touch was the release of the new charity pet Argi. The pet will be available for adoption on December 3rd and 100% of the money earned between then and December 31st will go towards the support of the American Red Cross to assist in Ebola relief efforts, helping enable the Red Cross to provide assistance to those in need. He’s an actual space goat check him out :O
Finally, the costume contest. There were so many amazing cosplays and the amount of talent was astonishing. My favorite would have to be one of the Arakoa but the winner really did deserve it. The Grand Empress Shek’zeer cosplay, even though it had a malfunction, was the winner and you can check out the photo here.
The rumored Eye of Azshara hasn’t been touched on at all but who knows what Blizzard has in store for the rest of the weekend. Some are saying Warcraft 4 others are saying the next WOW expansion I don’t know, all I know is I do not want another underwater area but that’s just me. So that is all for today but we will make sure to update you on news and photos as they come so don’t forget to check in later on tonight.
Christine is an avid gamer and comic enthusiast with a passion for waffling She grew up on console games and sugar but is currently veering off into PC gaming territory although she still hasn’t grasped WASD. Originally growing up she wanted to be a Superhero but had to settle on model making and design instead…she didn’t look good in a cape. Her goal in life is to succeed in something but unfortunately there was too many bugs in the coding so she is still stuck in beta. She currently works from home as a freelance artist.