BlizzCon 2019 Day 1 Recap: Diablo 4, Overwatch 2, And More
Thousands of fans are headed to the Anaheim Convention center in California to attend BlizzCon 2019, the top convention to celebrate everything and anything under the Activision Blizzard umbrella. Before the show officially kicked off on November 1, rumors were already swirling that attendees would be the first to witness the reveals for Overwatch 2, Diablo 4, and a possible World of Warcraft expansion.
The gates opened on November 1 at 9 AM PT, with the opening ceremony for BlizzCon taking place at 11 AM PT. Before the ceremony could take place, there were tons of fans waiting in line in anticipation. Some fans were even showing off their cosplay designs, like these fans:
The opening ceremony began with J. Allen Brack talking to the crowd about Blizzard’s recent reputation earned through mainstream media and promised to be better. “I’m sorry and we take accountability,” as the crowd clapped back in approval.
With people from 59 countries in attendance for BlizzCon 2019, this event could be the turning point that Blizzard needs to redeem themselves. Brack closed out by thanking fans for spending their family and vacation time by coming to Anaheim and promised to impress fans with the intense amount of work Blizzard has been putting on behind the scenes.
The first trailer opened with a very dark and gory scene, with a group of men fighting to defend themselves against a horde of zombie-like creatures. One man sacrifices himself to save the other three, but unfortunately for them, nobody is safe. Diablo 4 will drop players into a sinister, dark story similar to Diablo 2.
Players will be able to fight against enemy camps inside a brand new PvP as they play as a Barbarian, Druid, or Sorceress. Diablo 4 will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Fans at BlizzCon can play a demo of Diablo 4 this weekend.
Brack next introduced the Blizzard Arcade, where fans can enjoy old school Blizzard games like Rock ‘N’ Roll Racing, The Lost Vikings, and The Black Thorn. In the arcade, StarCraft 2 fans will be able to play against DeepMind agents. DeepMind is an AI-operated system that is capable of beating 99.8% of all human StarCraft 2 players. Beat the bot, and win notoriety amongst the community and exclusive swag.
Heroes of The Storm will be adding DeathWing as the latest hero and is playable in the Blizzard Arcade. Anybody with a BlizzCon or Virtual Ticket will receive DeathWing for free. As a way to celebrate BlizzCon, all heroes will be free in HoTS until November 10th.
The launch of WoW Classic celebrated its 25 year anniversary since launch, and welcomed back millions of new players. World of Warcraft Reforged will have a beta on Tuesday, November 5th. All BlizzCon ticket and Virtual Ticket holders will gain access.
World of Warcraft Shadowlands was revealed with an intense trailer and will include brand new dungeons and raids. The Shadowlands, the afterlife in the WoW universe, will allow players to meet old characters from the series. BlizzCon attendees can try out the latest WoW expansion on the show floor this weekend. WoW Shadowlands will be available in 2020.
Hearthstone was next up and announced it’s next expansion, Decent of the Dragons. It will include the most amount of dragons out of all the Hearthstone expansions and will introduce new mechanics. Invoke will allow cards to be evolved into three different forms, starting with the new card Galakrond. The new expansion will be available on December 10th, but pre-purchases are available today.
Autobattle fans were introduced to a new mode with Hearthstone Battlegrounds with the game set in the WoW universe and will feature characters and groups from Blizzard games like Hearthstone. A beta for Hearthstone Battlegrounds will begin on November 12th, but BlizzCon ticket and virtual ticket holders can play a bit earlier on November 5th.
Jeff Kaplan was next to grace us on the stage, as he spoke about the expectations behind Blizzard and Overwatch’s success as the game has gone on to have over 50 million players. With a new trailer, heroes from Overwatch are seen in Paris battling against the evil group, Null Sector. When it seems like the heroes are headed towards defeat, a new hero approaches and saves the day. In the final seconds of the trailer where fans can see Winston, Mae, Tracer and more, “Overwatch 2” can be seen displayed behind the crew of heroes.
Overwatch 2 will include co-op missions and PvE modes, allowing players more ways to enjoy the Overwatch world. Heroes will also be allowed to be leveled up and customize abilities, allowing fans to build their own versions of their favorite characters.
Owners of the original Overwatch will be allowed to play the new maps and heroes that will be included in Overwatch 2 for free. The first hero of Overwatch 2 will be Sojourn. Kaplan did not announce a release window for Overwatch 2, but we should expect to hear more in 2020.
BlizzCon is currently underway with the rest of the day full of panels covering upcoming games like Diablo 4 and esport events like the Overwatch World Cup.
We'll continue to keep you updated with the latest announcements from BlizzCon 2019 right here on the G FUEL Blog. So stay tuned for more!
Top image via BlizzCon
This article was written by Amanda Zelauskas.