BlizzCon 2015 LIVE: Opening Ceremony

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20:15: That’s the end of the official announcements, with a break of 15mins before we take a look at World of Warcraft: Legion – World and Content Overview!

20:13: Wow, that’s an awesome trailer. I love the detail that was put into it, the narrative by Varian… Sylvanas being a badass and trying to save Varian against the infernal raiding the Skyfire. It’s comparable to the Wrath trailer in my opinion, which has always been the strongest overall trailer for me. Wow, that was incredible!

20:08: Introductory cinematic for Legion already? Is this expansion actually a lot closer than September than we thought?

20:04: More and more introduction of the Legion expansion, alongside some audience interaction that caused him to slip up on his lines. Wait, so Metzen’s actually human? With a little more explanation of how the expansions link, we’ve found out that Gul’dan has ripped apart the fabrics of the world to open a portal to the Legion. With links to Illidan’s return as well, it seems that he really is a demon according to the fact that they can only be killed within the nether.

20:02: After explaining what to see at the Overwatch panels, it’s finally time for World of Warcraft content from Chris Metzen himself! I do love me some Metzen on the big stage! Hyping up the previous games some more, he then goes into his usual Horde v Alliance roars… Makes me remember that last year is that the Horde and Alliance roars of BlizzCon were actually used in the movie. Do I get an imdb entry?

20:00: Collector’s edition is included too, with a bunch of goodies including a statue of Soldier 76. You can pre-purchase at BuyOverwatch.com, with a full release in Spring 2016!

19:55: Overwatch will be purchasable it seems, with all 21 heroes announced here alongside all the new maps. In addition, there’s the Overwatch Origins edition where 5 awesome looking skins with background and stories, alongside cross-game promotions for Diablo (Mercy Wings), StarCraft portraits, cardbacks for Hearthstone, Baby Winston pet for WoW, and the introduction of Tracer into Heroes of the Storm! Xbox One and PS4 platforms for the game too!

19:50: D.Va the eSports pro wielding robot is the first announced hero, alongside Mei the ice queen… And what is that? Some Cyborg Samurai called Genji? Oh hell yeah! I love the direction and freedom Blizzard can get with this game, it certainly seems anything is possible, even if it includes two cutesy heroes to come out of BlizzCon this year. I have to admit, I don’t know much about the maps to detect which one was new (*cough* gimme beta Blizz *cough*).

19:48: After talking a while about what happened over the past year, introducing the 6 new characters that have been announced since the 12 we got to play last year. We now have 3 new heroes, 1 new map and a trailer of all of this live at BlizzCon!

19:45: Playable today is helping Reno Jackson escape a collapsing temple, and Dodds announces that the first adventure later this month – more precisely, on Thursday! So much hype for the Hearthstone crowd! And here he passes the stage onto Jeff Kaplan, lead designer for Overwatch.

19:42: New legendary with one of the Explorers, Elise Starseeker, does this weird thing for a map for the golden monkey, that you can drop for 2 mana that will roll a Golden Monkey into your deck… That replaces your hand with legendary cards. That sounds… Strong… And meta shifting.

19:39: Brann Bronzebeard and his crew seem to be heading this adventure with the League of Explorers! Searching for the Staff of Origination across Azeroth, you’ll be joining them to get new cards such as an Explorer’s Hat: a 2 drop that gives a minion +1/+1 and puts it back into your hand. Other cards include the Discover mechanic – a new mechanic that gives you 3 random cards that’s decent for your deck to choose from.

19:37: Eric Dodds enters the stage for Hearthstone discussion and announcements, starting off with the eSports in the hall next door. However, he does also open with, as predicted, a new adventure! This time with a new apparent twist…

19:34: I don’t… Wasn’t this an April Fools? Oh hell yeah, Cho’gall added to Virtual Ticket and BlizzCon attendees! Everyone else goes on a quest to get him to have people play with the Cho’gall picker and win two games as him. This looks like a really interesting mechanic that looks like it could be awesome, or flop terribly. All I hope is that I don’t get put with someone who AFK’s and I’m left with half a hero.

19:31: These look ready to go soon after BlizzCon as they’re playable there: Genn Greymane, Lunara the Dryad! Towers of Doom Battleground with a spooky Headless Horseman theme, and of course the Arena! Skins, mounts… And Cho’gall to round out the third hero! As… Wait, what? Two players controlling one hero?! What the..? Blizzard really want to push the boat out with breaking the MOBA norms here!

19:30: 3 randomly selected heroes to pick from; small dangerous single objective battleground!

19:28: Dustin Browder enters the stage now to talk about Heroes of the Storm! Kickstarting with the impressive stats of hitting mainstream television while still in beta, having two new battlegrounds and six new heroes. New game mode of the Arena announced, with a fun trailer to go with it. Looks like we can be 5-stacked with the same hero?!

19:24: “It’s all just one big computer!” Seriously though, whoever said that Avatar set a benchmark that won’t be beaten for years to come in terms of CGI definitely needs to see this trailer. It looks absolutely gorgeous, and has come along so much since last year – and last year it was pretty impressive!

19:22: Morhaime rounds out his presentation with the Warcraft movie as he hands over to the director, Duncan Jones! Let’s see this world premiere! He certainly seems a little nervous… A lot more than last year at least.

19:17: Here we have a short video on looking at the eSports scene and the culmination of all the different games’ Roads to BlizzCon. I’ve said it to friends in WoW, and I hope that the changes to Warcraft PvP will bring it back into the ranks of Hearthstone, StarCraft and Heroes of the Storm. We can only find out later, I guess! Sure, we have Warcraft in the world championship, but it’s certainly no match for the other games.

19:15: The first mission pack looks to add a bit more depth, finally, into Nova – our lovable ghost from Heroes of the Storm. She nearly had a game based around her for consoles already through StarCraft: Ghost, but since has only had token appearances for short periods of time in the campaign. We can expect 3 missions in Spring 2016 – I wonder how much that will cost.

19:13: I don’t know if it’s my lack of enthusiasm for StarCraft as of late (though I’ll still definitely play the final chapter), but it didn’t seem as epic as it was starting out to be. Morhaime hyping up the two new co-operative modes for StarCraft with Archon Mode and Allied Commanders. For the future of StarCraft, Blizzard have gone down the road of DLC (I guess purchasable) to unlock mission packs!

19:10: StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void hype! Introduction video of Jimmy Raynor making a sentimental speech, alongside clips from the previous games’ cinematics make up the start of the video, before a gorgeous clip of the first time seeing the hybrid in cinematic quality – among Protoss and clips from the gamescom video we saw earlier this year.

19:08: Thank you’s for raising money for charity, $9m made in the past year alone! On Dec 2nd, Brightpaw the Mana Kitty where money made from the companion pet will go to Make-A-Wish foundation.

19:04: Mike Morhaime enters the stage, does his usual questions of asking the audience how many times they’ve been to BlizzCon. It’s interesting to hear from the screams that most appear to be first-timers, continuing the trend that it’s certainly a once-in-a-lifetime thing that you definitely have to do at least once.

19:01: Opening up with the celebration of their RTS genre, celebrating StarCraft shortly after the creation of Warcraft II. Interestingly enough, their original design was orcs in space… And it looked cringey as heck.

19:00: Let the con begin! After a short introduction of Blizzard’s last year and what to expect from today, let the info dump happen! Please note that throughout today I will be updating the posts constantly, and will be making new posts for each panel. The timestamps are in my local time (GMT) to avoid confusion on my part; at the end I’ll update them for timestamps within the presentation itself too so any vods that are uploaded, you can use the stamps for reference. Now where were we with that movie hype?

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