Blizzcon 2019 Opening Ceremony – All the News. All the Announcements.

Well well, we are finally here. November 1st has been and gone, and millions of eager Blizzard fans have had all their wildest fantasies fulfilled. Or at least that’s what the guys at Blizzard hope.

For anyone unaware of what Blizzcon is, it’s the annual event where the guys over at Blizzard (Famous for the Diablo, Warcraft, Overwatch and Starcraft franchises) hold a convention where a ton of people turn up to celebrate Blizzard and all the games they create.

The occasion is usually one for celebration as we find out what the teams have been working on and what new bits of content we can expect for our favourite games. They’ve not always been successful, last years was a little hit and miss due to the announcement of a little game called Diablo: Immortal and this year may not be without controversy due to recent political situations.

NEVER. THE. LESS. We are here for the games and the games only. There’ll be plenty of other places covering the political side of the event. 

So what happened? If you didn’t catch it, what did you miss? Well, read on and find out. We’ll also embed each stage reveal on the page so you don’t even have to go search it out yourself.

Diablo IV – First Look

That’s right folks, if you’ve been following the rumour mill, I can officially confirm that Diablo IV is real, it exists, it’s currently playable to some very minimalistic degree, and it’s more than likely (microtransactions and other stuff pending) everything you would have wanted from Diablo 3 and then some. If you want to watch the whole panel, skip to the bottom of this Diablo IV section.

Blizzard opened the ceremony after some words from J. Allen Brack with a nine-minute cinematic trailer for Diablo IV titled “By Three They Come”. I’ll stop rambling for now and just let you watch the darn video. It’s well worth it. As a reminder, if you just want to watch the whole panel, scroll down a bit further for that video.

Diablo 4: By Three They Come

Yeah. That’s a thing. Lilith is back. Ancient Evil has been awakened. It’s time to get back into it. The trailer does a great job of highlighting the new (old) direction Diablo IV will be going in with the game returning to it’s dark Gothic and dark Christianity vibes. Full of rituals, sacrifices and most importantly, Blood. The game promises a much darker and depressing tone and is 100% a throwback to Diablo 2. Something long-time fans of the franchise have been pining for.

Diablo IV Gameplay

Again, the leak just before Blizzcon has proven this to be true. Diablo IV will continue to be an Action RPG, but will be blending the environments and aesthetic of Diablo 2 with the fast-paced combat and ‘showy’ nature of Diablo 3. It’s the best of both worlds really.

Here are the confirmed classes for Diablo IV so far, out of a possible five:

Sorceress: Classic sorceress, in the trailer uses a variety of lightning, ice and fire attacks

Barbarian: Classic barbarian, wielding all manner of weapons as well as retaining the heroic leap ability from Diablo 3, as well as some cool earth-shattering moves

Druid: The druid we remember from Diablo 2, with some cool new visuals. Retains the ability to transform into beasts, and also seems to be handy with a weapon and some cool magic.

The gameplay trailer also showed mounts, which would seemingly nod towards a more expansive world, and the type of combat we’ve all grown to love form the series. You can watch the gameplay trailer just below. Again, if you just want to watch the whole panel, skip to the bottom of this section.

Diablo IV: Gameplay

It’s dark. It’s gritty. It’s impactful. It has pace. I might be getting ahead of myself, but the game is shaping up to be what Diablo fans have been wanting for years.

Diablo IV – Final Thoughts

There’s still more information to come out of Blizzcon for Diablo 4, and you can keep up with news on it right here. So far, this game is promising to be something that the fans have been asking for. It looks like they’ve listened this time and are returning to their roots: Back to what Diablo is at its core

More expansive worlds and the return of some fan-favourite classes may breathe some new life into this franchise that will keep players coming back for more.

If you want to catch the whole panel for the Diablo IV reveals, you can watch it here:

Diablo 4 – Full Reveal

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands – First Look

Here we are. The next chapter of World of Warcraft. The world is well and truly ravaged, N’Zoth is back, and stuff has gone down with Sylvanas and the Horde. None of which is positive. Before I forge on with the spoilers of the cinematic and what’s coming to World of Warcraft, you can scroll to the end of this section to see the announcement panel in full.

The panel for World of Warcraft opened with everyone’s favourite Ion Hazzikostas, kicking off with some chatter about the 25th anniversary of Warcraft and the 15th anniversary of World of Warcraft, detailing some events that will be happening both in-game and at Blizzcon 2019 for the attendees. After this, some words on WoW: Classic and how they are releasing the PvP Honor system soon, much to the delight of all the die-hard WoW: Classic fans.

Then, the cinematic rolls. After a brief introduction we see that Sylvanas, now cast out from the Horde, has taken to Icecrown Citadel where she is confronting the Lich King, or Bolvar Fordragon, depends who you want to reference. 

After a chilly exchange with the Lich King himself, Sylvanas captures the Lich King using some of her dark arrow trickery and removes his helmet. 

Now you would be forgiven in thinking that in her quest for power, Sylvanas will put on the helmet, but in fact, she does quite the opposite, tearing the helmet in two with her bare hands, which also splits open the sky, and a mirror-world is revealed above Icecrown Citadel. It’s some VERY cool stuff, and I definitely recommend watching the trailer, which you can see here:

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Cinematic

Any fan of the series will know. There should always be a Lich King, so this is unprecedented territory. Stepping into a world beyond the Old Gods, older than the Titans. All the lost souls of the world are gathered here, and what’s in store for the player? 

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands – Gameplay changes

Whilst not part of the official announcement of Shadowlands, there will be a level squish in this expansion pack, with players being squished back to level 50, to then level through Shadowlands content, eventually ending up at level 60. It’s something people felt Battle for Azeroth needed, so I feel that’s worth mentioning now. 

You can also read the games update and press release page to learn more about Shadowlands. 

Players will be introduced to 4 new zones; Revendreth, Ardenweald, Maldraxxus, and Bastion. No word on the capital cities just yet. Whilst journeying through the lands, players will have to commit themselves to a covenant that rules the zone. Covenants are probably best thought of as being similar to the Class Hall zones in the Legion expansion, and pledging yourself to a covenant will bestow upon you unique armor for that covenant as well as new skills and abilities to assist you in combat. This makes your covenant decision quite important as it will direct your campaign experience, as well as the growth of your character.

Wow: Shadowlands – New zone, Bastion

Alongside this, there will be several new dungeons and raids, new items and mounts, as well as a new “Tower of the Damned”. Introduced as a single player and 5 player dungeon experience, players can test their worth against the mightiest opponents in a rogue-like tower that is different each time you enter, fighting your way up to the “Jailer”.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Final Thoughts

After players have ridden out the Battle for Azeroth experience, lore nerds and hardcore WoW fans will definitely be intrigued by the concept of visiting the Shadowlands. Afterall, it is where dead heroes live, where your spirit healer resides (the kind soul that resurrects you when you die), and of course, Sylvanas who opened the doorway to the Shadowlands, is the only thing to have come back from the Shadowlands. This builds on intrigue, and promises quite an interesting plot as we unravel what Sylvanas has planned for the world, and how this affects not only the world of the living Azeroth, but also the world of the dead.

The new gameplay elements are interesting, but I imagine many people will be apprehensive after Battle for Azeroth being a let-down for many. You can catch all the World of Warcraft news from Lazy Shark Gaming here, and also, if you just want to watch the full reveal panel for World of Warcraft, you can check that out below.

Hearthstone: Descent of Dragons – First Look

With Blizzcon having something for everyone and everything, we can’t forget the latest expansion to the world of Hearthstone. 

Blizzards premier card battler is receiving a brand new expansion under the name “Descent of Dragons”. This will aim to conclude the storylines that have been started in the Rise of Shadows and Saviors of Uldum campaigns. As alluded to in previous leaks, the expansion will take place in Dragonblight in Northrend, where the dragon aspects are gathering near their respective shrines.

You can catch the trailed for Descent of Dragons below:

This expansion is looking to go live on December 10th, and not only will the expansion go live with new cards and moving existing cards into the wild rotation, it will be introducing a battleground game mode that will debut an auto-chess like mode into Hearthstone.

You can watch the Battleground reveal for Hearthstone just below. Be sure to stay tuned to Lazy Shark Gaming for all the latest news to come out of Blizzcon.

Overwatch 2 – First Look

We also saw some updates from Jeff Kaplan and team Overwatch. No surprises here, but after some praise for the players of Overwatch, Kaplan dimmed the lights for a good old fashioned Overwatch cinematic led by Winston and Mei named “Zero Hour”. The cinematic speaks for itself, so I’ll just let you watch it below.

 So there it is, Overwatch (the organisation) is officially back, and the reunited possé include Winston, Reinhardt, Mei, Genji, Mercy, Tracer, Echo, Sojourn, Brigitte, and as the first single-player map has him. Lucio.

Overwatch 2 Gameplay – First Impressions

One of the biggest announcements to come from Overwatch 2 is also the answer to one of the biggest wants of the players. Single-player and story mode campaigns. These come in the form of actual story-led campaigns that will take place in places such as Rio De Janeiro, Paris, Route 66, and more. As well as this, there are new “Hero stories” that will be “highly replayable” co-op adventures you can do with friends. 

In Overwatch 2, you will find a whole new suite of PvE abilities added to each hero on the roster, with players being able to level their heroes up as they play and modify their abilities to take on new forms. Some examples given in the trailer included Mei ice blocking and freezing every Omnic within her vicinity and Genji being able to use a projectile from his blade that cuts through enemies. 

As well as the PvE changes, the team at Overwatch has been working on PvP, and they are proud to announce their very first ‘core’ PvP game mode in Push. In this game mode, players will vie for control of a moving object and attempt to push it towards the enemy base. This game mode will be played across quick play, competitive and in the Overwatch League.

You can see the gameplay changes for yourself in the trailer just below:

What Happens to Overwatch (1)?

For everyone out there concerned about their progress in Overwatch 1 essentially being lost, Jeff Kaplan and the team at Overwatch have been hard at work to ensure that you are not left behind. Boasting over 50 million registered players, Kaplan was eager to let the crowds know that no one will be left behind. 

This means that going into Overwatch 2, each and every new hero and map will be present in the original Overwatch. If multiplayer is all you care about, then don’t feel the need to rush out and upgrade to Overwatch 2. Although, nothing was said on cosmetics, and we are currently unclear if Push will come to Overwatch.

For anyone that fancies the single-player experience and will be investing in Overwatch 2, then you’ll be glad to know that all of your cosmetics, emotes, skins, voice lines and everything in between will be carried over to Overwatch 2. So don’t be afraid of losing those elusive rare skins you’ve worked so hard for.

Overwatch 2 – Final Thoughts

Overwatch 2 is looking to address what the fans wanted most from Overwatch with a brand new fully-fledged campaign mode alongside hero stories. Diving into and exploring the lore and world of Overwatch has been something players have truly enjoyed, and rightly so, they wanted more. I mean, how can you resist those animated shorts?

As well as providing some gameplay updates, Overwatch 2 will also update the look of all current and future heroes to give them a bit of a polish, and will also be running in a new engine with new graphical capabilities. If you’re looking to get into Overwatch and you haven’t already, then Overwatch 2 is looking like a great introduction to the series.

If you want to watch the entire Overwatch 2 reveal panel (and it’s definitely worth it) then click on the embedded video below.

Blizzcon Opening Ceremony Wrap up

If you made it this far, then thanks for reading everything. If you missed all the action from the Blizzcon opening ceremony, then I hope you feel all caught up.

As the event unfolds, we will undoubtedly find some new information out about each game. However, the most important point of note right now, is that apart from World of Warcraft: Shadowlands and Hearthstone we have no information on Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 in terms of a release date. In fact, Diablo 4 is said to not even be ready by Blizzard’s “Soon” standards, so expect a good few years before we get the chance to see that game.

As always, thanks for reading, and you can catch all of the Blizzcon information alongside us at Lazy Shark Gaming by visiting this page. If you’d much rather catch individual games, then you can catch our tag pages.

Diablo 4 here
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands here
Overwatch 2 here
Hearthstone here

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