Blizzcon 2016 Opening Ceremony Recap
For those who may have missed this year’s Blizzcon opening ceremony, and even missed our live tweeting of the event , this article will provide an excellent recap of what was announced, revealed, and even revived!
The ceremony started with a bang, revealing a heartfelt video of how far blizzard had come, from playing board games together, to creating worldwide phenomenon. Mike Morhaime, president of Blizzard took the stage, expressing his gratitude to all those who could attend (or were watching via virtual ticket). After a scintillating tease at what was to come in the World of Warcraft panel, he announced a new Make-a-wish charity pet coming.
Moving on to Overwatch, the behind the scenes view at the launch was interrupted, by the criminal Sombra, who then went on to replace the video with her own personal release cinematic! After demonstrating her espionage abilities, Blizzard was able to retake control, going on to reveal two new maps : Arabia, and Eco-point Antarctica (which as Morhaime said, was very cool…)
In Starcraft news, an extremely unusual announcement was made. Blizzard has announced a working relationship with google Deep-mind, Ai creators. By using Starcraft 2 as a learning tool for AI, deep-mind hopes to make personal AI training a possibility. A new multiplayer commander was also revealed, this time being Alexei Stukov, a fan favourite after his return for heart of the swarm.
After a short recap of Overwatch’s plans as an E-sport, Morhaime then went on to reveal the Overwatch league, a real world e-sports program, functioning similarly to professional sports leagues. Players will be able to go to tryouts, be scouted by managers, and even take their dreams to the competitive stage. A welcome addition on top of this was the promise of regular salaries for players, which is a major boon to anyone trying to make their place in the league.
For Heroes of the Storm, two dead heroes from the Warcraft series return to life in the nexus, King Varian Wrynn, and Ragnaros the firelord, showcasing their abilities in a heart stopping cinematic. Ragnaros will introduce a much more visceral character to heroes of the storm, whilst Varian has unparalleled versatility, capable of becoming a berzerker, or a shield and sword wielding tank. A brand new hero brawl game mode was also announced – Blackheart’s Revenge! Both teams will have a seperate objective : either helping Blackheart destroy the docks, or stopping the undead pirate in his tracks. Starting december 15th, if players complete atleast 5 matches with their friends, they will recieve not only the Zarya hero, but also a unique oni Genji skin for Overwatch.
Hearthstone wasn’t one to be outdone however, revealing a new expansion : The Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, a roaring 20s style gang warfare expansion. Split between the Jade lotus, the Kabal, and the Grimy Goons. With piranha guns, customs potions, and Pandaren assassins, Gadgetzan is ready to explode with the manic mayhem hearthstone players have come to expect.
And lastly, but certainly not least, Diablo 3 took the stage, revealing not only will the original Diablo 1 be remade in Diablo 3 (complete with grainy pixels) for the 20th anniversary , but the Necromancer class will also be returning in a character pack coming soon. 2 free maps for bounty mode were also announced, coming early 2017.
Overall an amazing spread of content dished out for each of Blizzard’s many titles. While the opening ceremony was extraordinary, the main portion of Blizzcon begins.
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