All the big news is at the end!
We’re gearing up for the start of BlizzCon – and its freebie virtual stream – as the opening ceremony kicks off at 2 p.m. EDT. As we’ve noted, the event includes multiple panels for World of Warcraft, WoW Classic, Overwatch 2, Hearthstone, and Warcraft Rumble, plus more tomorrow – including Diablo IV. Check out our “what to expect” post from this morning for some of the rumors and teases we’re anticipating (as well as some things we won’t see at all), and then strap in to watch. We’ll be updating this post at the end as the event trucks along!
• Casually Classic: Analyzing WoW Classic’s 2024 roadmap
• Massively Overthinking: Our MMO predictions for 2024
• Casually Classic: The seven most important things that happened in WoW Classic this year
• End-of-year Eleven: The healthiest live MMOs at the end of 2023
• Overwatch 2’s new hero Mauga is ready to wreck faces starting tomorrow
• Global Chat: Tarisland is the real deal, folks
• World of Warcraft’s John Hight talks cosmic scale in expansions and sticking to the timeline in Classic
• The Daily Grind: Which version of World of Warcraft has you interested the most right now?
• Global Chat: Reactions to BlizzCon’s World of Warcraft announcements
• Overwatch 2 digests its PvP-focused BlizzCon reveals, promises more ‘surprise and delight’ events for all
• Blizzard says it’s ‘held back surprises’ for WoW Classic’s Season of Discovery
• World of Warcraft will see three more updates after 10.2 in the lead-up to The War Within
• Vague Patch Notes: BlizzCon 2023 wasn’t a disaster, but it needed to be better
• Massively Overthinking: Did BlizzCon do what it needed to do?
• The Soapbox: Will Diablo IV’s Vessel of Hatred be a sufficient answer for Path of Exile 2?
• The Overwatch League appears to be dead after six seasons
• Massively OP Podcast Episode 444: The return of BlizzCon
• Blizzard president confirms a focus on mobile and live service games, briefly discusses studio’s ‘new era’
• Blizzard suggests World of Warcraft is ‘pretty well positioned’ for a console port
• Casually Classic: BlizzCon took WoW Classic into the ‘plus’ era
• World of Warcraft will develop ‘Saga’ expansions in parallel, addresses War Within’s headstart controversy
• WoW Classic won’t be keeping Wrath Classic realms, debates what to do with Season of Discovery characters
• BlizzCon 2023: Overwatch 2 previews competitive updates, Clash game mode, and upcoming heroes
• BlizzCon 2023: Diablo IV compares its Vessel of Hatred expansion to a bacon BBQ burger
• BlizzCon 2023: World of Warcraft’s War Within systems deep dive
• BlizzCon 2023: Warcraft Rumble deploys pocket-sized fun
• BlizzCon 2023: Hearthstone expansion Showdown in the Badlands launches November 14
• BlizzCon 2023: WoW Classic panel reveals Cataclysm, Hardcore, and Season of Discovery
• BlizzCon 2023: Everything we learned about The War Within in World of Warcraft’s What’s Next panel
• BlizzCon 2023: Overwatch 2’s new hero, Mauga, has goofy guns that were at one point bigger than Tracer
• BlizzCon 2023: World of Warcraft’s next expansion is The War Within, first in the Worldsoul Saga expansion trilogy
• BlizzCon 2023: WoW Classic is getting Cataclysm in 2024 and Season of Discovery in Vanilla
• BlizzCon 2023: Diablo IV announces its first expansion, Vessel of Hatred
• BlizzCon 2023: WoW, Diablo IV, Overwatch 2, and more at the Opening Ceremony
• BlizzCon 2023: Diablo is getting a tabletop RPG and a ‘co-op adventure’ board game
• Here’s how to watch BlizzCon 2023 for free – plus everything to expect from WoW, Diablo IV, Overwatch 2, and more
• WoW Factor: What I’m hoping to see in the next World of Warcraft expansion
• BlizzCon’s schedule highlights World of Warcraft but ditches Q&As
• Diablo IV leak hints at a new class and region for the game’s first big expansion
• The Daily Grind: What are you hoping to hear from this year’s BlizzCon?
• Massively Overthinking: What’s next for Blizzard under Microsoft?
• WoW Factor: No-selling BlizzCon
• Warcraft Rumble will officially launch on November 3 at the start of BlizzCon
• Mike Ybarra says World of Warcraft and its IP will get the most news at BlizzCon
• Datamining uncovers potential details about World of Warcraft’s next expansion
• WoW Factor: Potential destinations for the next World of Warcraft expansion
• BlizzCon 2023 tickets are on sale starting at $299
• BlizzCon 2023 has been announced for November 3-4 in Anaheim
Mike Ybarra/Phil Spencer intro
Ybarra is out on stage first, saying four years between live shows is too long. He says the show is about “the Blizzard we are today and the Blizzard we are becoming.” He’s stressing that “players are the forefront” of what the company does. He also addresses the Microsoft buyout of Activision-Blizzard and introduces Microsoft’s Phil Spencer for his “first BlizzCon ever.” He promises to “nurture the essence of what has made Blizzard unique” at Xbox, specifically saying the company will support the developers of the games. Ahem. When Ybarra returns, he reiterates the idea that this is a new era and appears to be holding back tears when addressing the Blizzard team.
Aaron Keller is onstage for Overwatch 2 now, recapping the game’s 2023 to date. No mention of the problematic PvE cancelation, of course. Art director Dion Rogers then joins to introduce the new hero, Mauga, who has been teased since something like four years ago. He’s the game’s first Samoan hero, and he’s got kind of a lot in common with Maui. He’s meant to have a “brutal but cunning” playstyle, and he’s launching with season 8 – however, he’s playable in quickplay today after the opening ceremony.
There’s also a promo for OW2 esports and for the LE SSERAFIM kpop collab, and when Keller returns he teases several new things coming to the game next year: A core PvP game mode called Clash is on the way, set in a Hanamura-spinoff Hanaoka map. It’s also reworking the whole competitive system and teasing new themes – sounds like a superhero, Egyptian, and spooky theme. Plus it’s working on a new damage hero Venture and a support hero codenamed Space Ranger.
Rod Fergusson takes the stage to talk Diablo next. He also mentions Diablo Immortal, which the company hasn’t been promoting at all. Production directors Tiffany Wat and Chris Wilson then join to first recap the last few months of Diablo IV content and then tease what’s coming next: Next week, the game is introducing new rings to allow players to relive old mechanics, adding an enchanting preview window for the UI, and the Abattoir of Zir six-week limited time event, meant for Season of Blood endgamers. Diablo IV is also getting a holiday event starting December 12th – a “winter terroland.” A “slayride” pun was made. Then we’ve got a teaser for the next big content drop. Diablo IV: Vessel of Hatred is the name of the new expansion, coming “late 2024.” It’s got a new region, a nostalgia throwback zone, and a new class never seen in Diablo.
World of Warcraft
WoW’s John Hight is on the stage talking up the franchise’s 30-year history. He says today is the beginning of a new chapter in the franchise to run the next 30 years. There’s a tease for the expansion and then… nope.
Hearthstone’s Cora Georgiou announced Showdown in the Badlands, the new expansion launching November 14th.
“The Bloodrock Mining Company found powerful Azerite in the Badlands. They’re digging deep and bleeding the land dry, disrupting the Badlands and awakening slumbering elementals! Now mysterious outlaws are riding into town to set things right. Tumbleweeds roll by and high noon looms. Grab your horse and your hat, it’s nearly time for a Showdown in the Badlands—launching November 14th!”
The team is also introducing catch-up packs intended to help new and returning players get back into the game. Everyone’s getting some, with extras for BlizzCon attendees. Finally, the team announced Battlegrounds Duos, a new co-op mode available at BlizzCon for demoing.
Vik Saraf takes the stage to reintroduce Warcraft Rumble, the mobile strategy title set in the Warcraft universe and meant to provide “joyful chaos.” It technically launched yesterday, meaning it’s playable right now already.
World of Warcraft Classic
Holly Longdale is here! She begins with WoW Classic, saying that the studio is adding a new way to play Hardcore next year – no details given. More importantly, she announces that WoW Classic is getting the Cataclysm expansion – with #changes. It’s coming, she says (while the crowd shouts “Classic Plus!”), first half of next year. And maybe even more important than that, the Season of Discovery will offer “class altering abilities” and other differences from the original title. That’s coming November 30th.
World of Warcraft
Chris Metzen is here to cap off the show.
Metzen suggests the next stage of WoW is meant to be the culmination of the last 20 years of storyline and “vector” the team into the next 20. He’s calling it the Worldsoul Saga, and it will play out over multiple expansions, a little faster than we’re used to. They’re not unveiling a ton here; he promises that it’s coming and they’re moving with purpose. In fact, he’s announcing the next three expansions all in one go. The first is called The War Within, the second is Midnight, and the third is The Last Titan. “When it comes to WoW’s storytelling, we ain’t screwin’ around,” he says. “Now is the time to come home.” The War Within launches next year – no tighter window than that. We’ve put more details into our followup post!