Blizzcon 2014: Everything You Need to Know

Your one stop Blizzard news shop.

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We'll be updating this story throughout the weekend so check back again for the latest updates from Blizzcon 2014. In the meantime, here are the biggest stories so far.

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The Convention

Blizzcon road trip. Hop in the car with the GameSpot crew as we drive from San Francisco to Blizzcon central in Anaheim.

Blizzard CEO and Founder Mike Morhaime started off his presentation with a pointed discussion deriding hate and harassment in the gaming community. He added, ""Let's carry the good vibes from this weekend out into the world all year round."

Warcraft

The next World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor, is releasing just next week. But the primary Warcraft news at the show focused on the upcoming movie. Director Duncan Jones called it "Avatar and Lord of the Rings at the same," during a panel.

Legendary and Blizzard also brought down the wall on the Warcraft movie cast list, so you can check out the cast of the Warcraft movie. We got to see a work in progress trailer for the film (which will hopefully be available for viewing for non-Blizzcon attendees soon. But, in short, it looks epic and absolutely nails the look and feel of the Warcraft universe.

For the World of Warcraft game, 100% of the sales for an upcoming ram pet called Argi will go towards the Red Cross for Ebola relief efforts.

Overwatch

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Blizzard's first new, original game in 17 years, Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer shooter that was announced during the Blizzcon opening ceremony. After spending some time with a playable version of the game, we give our thoughts and initial impressions here.

The developer has said that there will be a lot more heroes coming in the future, but you can compare the members of first group that we got to play with here. Since it's early, we don't have a lot of other firm details; asked about whether Overwatch would be free-to-play or would come to consoles, Blizzard basically said, "Maybe."

Is Overwatch just made of the remnants of the previously cancelled project Titan? Not quite, but Blizzard discussed that issue in depth at a press conference for the game following Overwatch's announcement.

Heroes of the Storm

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Blizzard's entry into the MOBA arena has a beta incoming January next year.

We also learned about new additions to the game's roster including:

  • The Lost Vikings
  • Jaina Proudmoore
  • Thrall
  • Sylvanas Windrunner

New battlgrounds will include:

  • Sky Temple
  • Tomb of the Spider Queen
  • Diablo-themed battleground

Click on any of the images below to see a larger version.

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Diablo III

At Friday's Blizzcon Diablo III panel, it became clear the Diablo team is focused on the longevity of Reaper of Souls, making pretty substantial additions with each patch. Version 2.1.2 will see the addition of new types of treasure goblins (that drop gems and other materials), and the start of season two, but special attention has also been paid to rifts. The development team behind Diablo wants to improve areas that didn't necessarily make for good rifts due to placement of conduits (that will now be counter-acted by pylons that give buffs), the lack of variation in rift guardians, and problems associated with how and where players died. In fact, members of the development team revealed the possibility of a death timer, but they're expecting feedback if that ever gets integrated into the public test realm version of the game.

Additionally, some extensive work is going into the adventure mode. Many of the areas that were lacking in randomization are getting some attention. For example, Tristram Fields will be rebuilt with an eye for making it feel a little more dynamic than it was previously, almost by splitting it down the middle. But perhaps the most notable addition coming in a future patch is the addition of the ruins of Sescheron. Fans of Diablo will remember that as the barbarian stronghold laid to waste by Baal in the Lord of Destruction expansion for Diablo II, and it was great to see it interpreted for Diablo III.

There are several other items coming down the line for Diablo 3 beyond patch 2.1.2, including new monsters like the Rat King, as well as ancient items that are even more powerful than the game's legendary offerings. So while some may have been disappointed by the lack of an expansion announcement, it would seem the team is keeping itself plenty busy.

Starcraft II

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We got lots of new trailers for Starcraft II's next expansion Legacy of the Void, including an introduction Oblvion trailer and announcement of Archon mode. Sign ups for the beta area available now. Watch the other trailers here:

Hearthstone

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Less than a year since its official release, Hearthstone will be getting its first expansion next month: Goblins vs. Gnomes. You can get a sneak peek at 30 of the game's cards right here.

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