BlizzCon is an annual gaming event that Blizzard directs in order to promote their new products. But an unusual step they took last year. In the midst of a crowd of PC gamers, they instead offer mobile games. Coupled with the incident with champion Hearthstone Blitzchung, the company seemed to lose touch about how it should treat players.
Many people are skeptical about BlizzCon this year, and according to the agenda, the event was also colored by demonstrations in defense of Hong Kong (the Activision-Blizzard partnership with NetEase and Tencent is considered to be the cause of the harsh punishment of Blitzchung for voicing support for Hong Kong’s liberation). On the other hand, fans are eagerly awaiting the revelation of the long rumored Blizzard game.
BlizzCon 2019 finally opened on November 1 local time, held at the Anaheim Convention Center, California. Missed the opening ceremony? Don’t worry, I’ve summarized all the newer games that Blizzard announced. This is it:
Following rumors circulating for more than a year, Blizzard finally officially revealed Diablo IV through two trailers: cinematic and gameplay. The visual design direction of Diablo IV looks different from Diablo III which is ‘quite bright’ regardless of its dark fantasy theme. Diablo IV tries to continue the dark world of Diablo II, while again presenting action-RPG gameplay with an isometric camera perspective.
Diablo IV’s cinematic trailer lasts more than nine minutes, and the content actually resembles a horror movie. Like the game, this video is not suitable for consumption by those who are still underage – because it is full of violence, blood and a surprising twist. For the gameplay trailer, I see the existence of cooperative modes and PvP. Almost certainly, Diablo IV will return to using the always online system like Diablo III.
Overwatch is a brilliant game, but in truth, it is just a hero-based first-person shooter. Overwatch has no in-game narration, except through dialogue between characters. We can only understand what is happening in the world through short animated films and comics that Blizzard publishes separately. Overwatch 2 is designed to complement the playing experience through the presence of Story Missions and Hero Missions. Gameplay is now more focused on PvE content and co-op, while maintaining PvP.
All your favorite heroes will come back, but now the game is built with a brand-new engine so that the visual aspect is better and the developer can present a wider-sized map. Uniquely, Blizzard did not want to leave the first Overwatch just like that and try to ‘connect’ the two games. Every time Overwatch 2 gets a new map, the map is also presented for the previous game. Then the collection of cosmetic items that you have painstakingly collected in Overwatch can be used again in Overwatch 2.
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands
Once a big fan of WoW, now my understanding of game stories has lagged far behind. Shadowlands cinematic trailer is focused on Lady Sylvanas Windrunner. He came back to Icecrown Citadel, then invited Bolvar (the Lich King to replace Arthas Menethil) to a duel. Sylvanas defeated Bolvar, then won the Lich King crown. When we thought he would wear it, Sylvanas instead destroyed the crown.
That action tore apart reality, exposing Shadowlands to normal nature. WoW players are most likely familiar with ‘Shadowlands’, they are a stopover when your character dies. In addition to presenting new locations and introducing deadly enemies (one example is Void Lord), the mainstay feature in Shadowlands is serving four Covenant options: Kyrian, Necrolord, Night Fae, and Venthyr.
Hearthstone: Descent of Dragons
Descent of Dragons will be the last expansion pack of the Year of the Dragon event. This update presents a number of new mechanisms. I’m not a Hearthstone player, but based on the explanation of developer Alec Dawson in the video, Descent of Dragons introduces Galakrond hero cards, the ancestors of all dragon species. It is very powerful and can be upgraded to three different forms while it is on your deck.
All players will get Galakrond when Descent of Dragons glide, but only the ‘evil class’ can use it (Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior). Each person may get a different version of Galakrond (Azeroth’s End, The Apocalypse, The Wretched. Meanwhile, ‘good classes’ (Mage, Hunter, Druid, Paladin) are allowed to play with cards that are no less effective, namely Side Quest: The way it works is similar to Quest Cards.
Yes, that’s the four mainstay Blizzard Entertainment games in BlizzCon 2019. What is your favorite title? I personally hope that Overwatch 2 is able to provide a more comprehensive playing experience. But among these four titles, my attention is locked on Diablo IV. I hope (despite knowing that the opportunity is very small), Blizzard lets gamers play offline. From the initial impression, ARPG dark fantasy looks so impressive.