Last weekend Blizzard Entertainment hosted Blizzcon, their annual convention specialising in all things Blizzard. Expectations were high this year after pricing increases, particularly in the digital tickets, allowing fans at home to stream the convention live to their PC screens. But did it live up to the hype?
Well, things certainly didn’t get off to a good start with many WoW players who pre-ordered their virtual tickets left disappointed by the in game rewards which usually include a pet/ mount but which this year only gave transmog items and timed beta access to the upcoming WoW Classic. But did the event itself make up the early disappointments. Well, let’s take a look at an overview of the event’s WoW related announcements.
World of Warcraft Announcements
There were many announcements in relation to WoW. A new charity pet is being released with all proceeds going to Code.org. A new BfA cinematic was released which is linked above. The classes for the upcoming Allied races Kul Tiran and Zandalari Trolls were released along with their racial abilities. Which are as follows:
Druid, Hunter, Monk, Priest, Rogue,
Brush It Off: Increase Versatility and
regenerate a portion of damage taken.
Child of the Sea: Hold your breath
longer and swim faster.
Haymaker: Haul off and punch an enemy,
stunning and knocking them back.
Jack of All Trades: Increases skill in
Rime of the Ancient Mariner: Reduces Frost
and Nature damage taken.
Druid, Hunter, Mage, Monk, Paladin, Priest, Rogue,
Embrace the Loa: Pray to a Loa and gain their
City of Gold:Loot additional coin from monsters.
Regeneratin’: Concentrate to heal quickly over
a short time.
Pterrordax Swoop: Can whistle up a Pterrordax
to glide you to the ground.
These are confirmed for release as part of patch 8.1.5
The release date of the Tides of Vengeance update was announced as December 11th which will bring with it A new Warfront in Darkshore, Faction assault, similar to the Legion invasions, New Island Expeditions, a new raid zone – the Battle for Dazar’alor – which will not be released until early 2019. Further quests in each faction War Campaign and heritage armour for the Blood Elves and Dwarfs. The update will also bring with it a number of improvements such as a vendor for Azerite Gear and some improvements to the War Mode with extra rewards for those who activate it as the underrepresented faction, mostly alliance… And new Worgen and Goblin models have been announced but there is no set release just yet.
Many of the contents for upcoming patch 8.2 was also announced with two new zones coming, Nazjatar and Mechagon, a new raid: Azshara’s Eternal Palace, and a new dungeon, Mechagon Megadungeon and new heritage armour for Gnomes and Taurens, two new Island Expiditions and heroic Warfronts. Flying will also be released in patch 8.2 and will almost certainly be gated behind a long and arduous rep grind.
Would of Warcraft Classic was also confirmed for a Summer 2019 release along with the fact that it will have a linked subscription with modern WoW, BfA and beyond.
Other Blizzard Titles
In non WoW related news, a Warcraft 3 remaster was announced along with a controversial announcement for a Diablo mobile game, Diablo Immortal, which wasn’t exactly well received with the franchise’s fan base. A new Troll themed Hearthstone expansion was announced and a new Overwatch hero. It was also announced Destiny 2, the base game, is available free for all PC users until November 17th.
Considering the hike in ticket prices, it seemed understandable that many who invested were left feeling underwhelmed, as the in game bonuses weren’t up to previous standards and there were no major announcements for any of the franchises. Many Diablo fans were anticipating a Diablo 4 announcement and were understandably annoyed when all that was announced was a remaster and a mobile title. I confess that there is nothing among the Blizzcon announcements that really gets me excited, and had I paid $50 for the privilege of watching the live stream, I wouldn’t have considered it a worthwhile investment. It does seem strange that Blizzard Entertainment chose this year to hike their ticket prices, when they clearly had so little, in terms of announcements, to offer fans in exchange. Is this yet another symptom of Blizzards loss of connection with its fan base? I would say so.