BlizzCon 2018 takes place this weekend, running from November 2 - 4 with three full days of announcements, tournaments, and more for all of Blizzard’s best and biggest titles. Every year, the BlizzCon opening ceremony is like a mini E3 for fans of the studio, with loads of surprise announcements and crowd pleasing reveals for Overwatch (opens in new tab), World of Warcraft, Hearthstone (opens in new tab), and all the rest.
Now that Battle for Azeroth is out, and with Diablo 3 (opens in new tab) about to hit the Nintendo Switch, Blizzard is in a strong place to generate even more buzz this year, and anyone tuning in online can expect some big news out of the convention. While some of these predictions are more speculative than others, we’ve listed five of the biggest things to keep an eye out for at BlizzCon this year, from the reveal of Hero 29 in Overwatch to a potential remaster that everyone’s talking about.
Something something Diablo
Earlier this year, Blizzard straight up admitted that multiple Diablo projects were in the works at the studio, though stopped short of announcing anything in detail. Immediately, rumours began flying across the internet of an impending Diablo 4 reveal, at which point the company then had to walk back on its statement somewhat, explaining that “while we won’t be ready to announce all of our projects, we do intend to share some Diablo-related news with you [at BlizzCon].”
The latest gossip suggests that news could be the reveal of some Diablo themed Amiibo, which makes sense given that the Nintendo Switch version of the action RPG (opens in new tab) releases on the day of BlizzCon’s opening ceremony. Either way, demon slayers should prepare for the unexpected both this weekend, and in the months beyond.
Overwatch’s Hero 29
It’s been some time since Overwatch’s last new hero, Hammond the hamster (opens in new tab) (otherwise known as Wrecking Ball) rolled into the roster this summer, and BlizzCon has been a consistent source for character announcements ever since the shooter launched back in 2016.
While Overwatch fans everywhere have been scouring the maps and regular patch notes for details of who could be next, Jeff Kaplan and company are usually pretty good at keeping things under wraps until the day of the big reveal. If we’re lucky, there may even be a new Overwatch cinematic short to go with Hero 29’s BlizzCon announcement, alongside reveals of more maps and modes for the multiplayer game that refuses to run out of steam. Fingers crossed.
The World of Warcraft Classic demo
It’s no secret that the first playable demo for World of Warcraft Classic (the hugely anticipated Vanilla version of Blizzard’s ancient MMO) will be available for both BlizzCon attendees and those at home with a virtual ticket to the convention, and hackers have already managed to break into the vertical slice for an early (and probably illegal) taste.
Blizzard has promised that “players will have a chance to explore and enjoy a limited questing experience through a pair of classic early-level zones - one Horde and one Alliance - and experience firsthand our recreation of the original Azeroth.” That sounds well and good, but could we finally be getting a release date announcement for WoW Classic at this year’s BlizzCon too? Judging by those hacks, it seems that fans are ravenous to get their hands on the game as soon as possible, so hopefully a launch window isn’t too far away.
A new Hearthstone expansion
Hearthstone may have slipped off the radar for most of us, especially with the launch of Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales (opens in new tab), but Blizzard’s card game is still immensely popular and widely played across the globe, and you can be sure that the studio has some surprises in store for the community at Blizzcon 2018.
Whether it’s a brand new expansion or some less expected (but very welcome) quality of life updates, a “special announcement for Hearthstone” has been promised for the opening ceremony on November 4, so players should glue their eyes to the screen as soon as that familiar theme tune begins to blare through the stage speakers.
A surprise announcement
In previous years, Blizzard’s proclivity for “one more thing” surprise announcements at BlizzCon have been... inconsistent. Sometimes, the studio reveals no more than it has to, and others - like last year - we get treated to the reveal of World of Warcraft Classic. As for 2018, all bets are off.
Rumours of a Warcraft 3 remaster have been circulating ever since the 15 year old game saw a massive update earlier this year, and it would certainly be a good way to replace the inevitable absence of any World of Warcraft expansion announcements now that Battle for Azeroth is out. Other predictions include something Starcraft related, or even the reveal of a new IP altogether, but don’t get your hopes up. Instead, this is more of a pipedream than an expectation, though we’d be silly to underestimate Blizzard’s ability to surprise everyone out of nowhere.