This past weekend, Activision Blizzard continued their tradition of hosting Blizzcon, a (mostly) annual convention dedicated to all things Blizzard. This usually means updates on all their favorite properties from World of Warcraft to Overwatch. Due to the pandemic, Blizzard was unable to host a physical event last year, opting instead to delay it to this past weekend and hold it digitally. During their opening ceremony (and slightly beyond it) we got news on some of their upcoming titles and ones we didn’t even know about.
A repackaging of three of Blizzard’s oldest titles was announced for PC and consoles. Blizzard Arcade Collection features The Lost Vikings, Rock N Roll Racing and Blackthorne packaged together for the first time ever. The collection will have a host of new features, including common ones found in emulators like a rewind feature, save states and filters. Some of the titles will have fancy new exclusive features, like Rock n Roll Racing’s 16:9 ratio and 4-player splitscreen, or Blackthorne’s level map.
We got a new WoW cinematic, which is always exciting, even if I’ve definitely lost the plot trying to follow them these past few years. A character named Anduin(?) being held in a prison called the Maw(??) has gone rogue for some bad guy trying to “unmake the entire Warcraft universe.” Sylvanas was there, because she’s always there, and this cinematic is supposed to set the stage for the latest content drop of the Shadowlands expansion called Chains of Domination. Sounds kinky to me.
World of Warcraft Classic, a version of WoW before any expansions dropped and changed the experience, launched some years ago to a ton of success, so it looks like Blizzard is just going to keep doing that. Blizzard announced the Burning Crusade Classic, which looks to bring the first major expansion of WoW to the new classic experience, truly making everything old new again. Players will be able to select whether they want to carry their characters into The Burning Crusade, or leave them in suspended animation in vanilla WoW forever. Blizzard also made clear that they would keep doing this sort of thing if the player base really wanted it, so start placing your bets for when Wrath of the Lich King is going to drop now. The Burning Crusade Classic, in the meantime, will be releasing later this year.
Hearthstone is kicking off what they’re calling the Year of the Griffin. This begins with the introduction of the Core Set, an “entirely free” collection of 235 cards, replacing the original sets available in Hearthstone. Continuing Blizzard’s fascination with the past, they’re also introducing a “Classic” mode of play, allowing you to play the game as it initially launched. Atop this, the latest expansion is on its way and it’s called Forged in the Barrens. As well as the usual bells and whistles accompanying an expansion, Hearthstone will be receiving a new mode called Mercenaries that looks to be a take on Slay the Spire’s roguelike structure featuring WoW’s iconic characters. The expansion will be dropping later this year.
We got our most expansive look at Diablo IV since its announcement two years ago and were treated to a first look at the returning Rogue class. A very mobile class, the Rogue looks to focus on archery, traps and quick strikes, allowing her to position herself behind enemies for the best possible attack. We were also treated to a cinematic featuring just way too many severed ears.
Finally, after years of rumors surrounding it, Blizzard finally came forward with the news that they are remastering their fan-favorite dungeon crawler, Diablo II, and its expansion, Lord of Destruction. Diablo II: Resurrected will give the 20 year old game a facelift and bring it to PC and consoles with cross progression later this year.
Moises Taveras is an intern for Paste Magazine and the managing editor of his college newspaper, the Brooklyn College Vanguard. He was that one kid who was really excited about Google+ and is still sad about how that turned out.