BlizzCon is officially underway, and on day one there were several major announcements from Blizzard on Diablo, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch 2 and more.
Of course, the event is a little different than we're used to thanks to COVID 19, so instead, everything is taking place online. The neat part about it though is there's no need to buy a ticket to see any of the announcements, panels or other streams, so it's easier than ever to stay up to date with the latest reveals from the event.
It's also the 30th anniversary of Blizzard this year, so this is going to be a big one. So strap in and get up to date with all the happenings from Day 1 of BlizzCon 2021.
World of Warcraft
The next big update for World of Warcraft: Shadowlands has been revealed, and will be known as Chains of Domination. The update will include a brand new region, a new ten-boss raid and a new eight-boss mega-dungeon, along with a bunch of new features such as the ability to use flying mounts in some of the Shadowlands' zones. There's no release date on this yet, though.
WoW Classic is also getting some love, with Burning Crusade Classic servers coming in the near future, giving players the chance to relive the game's first expansion, from way back to 2007. It'll have a few differences though, as the raid bosses will be much harder than before (as players are, naturally, much more experienced these days) - and you'll also be able to pay to boost your character to Level 60 if you're not there already.
The big news is that Diablo 2 Remake is in development, and will be released later this year. It's an enhanced version of the original, with the ability to toggle between classic and updated graphics, which look very nice indeed. With newly enhanced 3D graphics and completely re-created cinematics, it's shaping up to be a definitive version of the game, which celebrated it's 20th-anniversary last year.
We also learned some new information about Diablo 4, which will have the Rogue class as one of the first available in the game. This will be it's first return since the original Diablo, but with some differences. You'll still be able to build it out as a ranged combat specialist, but will also have options to go with shadow magic or traps, and will also allow the use of swords, daggers, and crossbows.
There was some information revealed on how the open-world PvP will work in the game too, as the game will take place in a shared world. While you don't have to engage with the PvP elements, they aren't optional per-say, although they won't really be present during main story quests for example. PvP is also limited to clearly defined areas of the game world, with various safe zones available.
Sojourn is the latest hero to be revealed for Overwatch 2, and her insanely powerful railgun was revealed during the Overwatch 2 event. Some footage was shown demonstrating it to be a very powerful weapon that was tearing through enemies like a knife through butter. The alt-fire is especially powerful, charging up before firing. The primary fire looks more like a traditional fully-automatic rifle, so there's a choice for every situation.
Blizzard also talked about tanks in Overwatch 2, stating that they're giving some thought to their role in the game, and they even be called something completely different in Overwatch 2. "Hero Passives" are also being considered, which will further differentiate the three core roles in the game.
And finally, we learned that Hearthstone is getting a brand new mode known as Mercenaries. It'll be a roguelike mode which also features simultaneous combat. You'll build up your own team of mercs, and then square off against randomly generated challenges, before reaching a final boss. There'll be plenty of loot and experience to grab, and you'll also be able to evolve your mercs (Pokémon, anyone?)
There's also a new Core set coming, which will feature reimaged classics like Malygos, Deathwing and Ysera. There's also a new expansion on the way, known as Forged in the Barrens, and will focused on the Hoarde, including orcs and quilboars.