Blizzard’s annual fan convention, BlizzCon 2018, is officially underway. Today brought with it the opening ceremony, which effectively serves as a press conference for the company where it tends to make many of its big announcements for the year. The ceremony has now concluded, but it started out with a heartwarming moment as former Blizzard president Mike Morhaime, a fixture of these events, spoke to the crowd before handing things off to his successor, J Allen Brack.
Below, we’ve also rounded up all of the major news Blizzard has shared. While it likely won’t have anything huge to share over the course of the weekend–the big news typically comes in the opening ceremony–we’ll report back with any other news, along with interviews and more.
Heroes of the Storm is expanding with a wide variety of content, much of which is coming in 2019. But most notable among the game’s BlizzCon reveals was that of a new character, Orphea. Significantly, she is an original character for HotS–the very first one to be designed for the game, rather than being imported from another of Blizzard’s franchises.
Destiny 2 Goes Free On PC (For Now)
Just prior to the opening ceremony, Activision announced that Destiny 2 on PC–which is available through Blizzard’s Battle.net client–is now free to download. This isn’t a permanent change, but if you claim it before it returns to its regular price, you can keep it permanently. You’ll need to buy the Forsaken DLC to make the most of it, but it’s still a nice freebie.
During the pre-opening ceremony segment, Blizzard confirmed it is indeed set to release a breakfast cereal based on Overwatch in partnership with Kellogg’s. It plays on a joke from the game itself and is called Lucio-Ohs. You can get a look at it in the video below.
WoW Classic Release
World of Warcraft Classic is playable for BlizzCon attendees, and a demo is on the way for Virtual Ticket holders. For everyone else, WoW Classic will release in Summer 2019. It’ll be available with a standard WoW subscription.
The Horde-Alliance feud has seen some real twists and turns of late, and that will only continue going forward. Blizzard revealed a brand-new WoW cinematic that sees a new partnership being forged; check it out above.
New Overwatch Animated Short And Character — Hero 29, Ashe
Following an entertaining talk with Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan, the game’s newest animated short premiered. “Reunion” centered around McCree and a new rival of his named Ashe (who’s accompanied by a large robot named Bob who wears a tiny hat). It culminates in McCree rescuing a female robotic character named Echo to whom he says, “Welcome back, partner.” It seems as if her, Ashe, and Bob could all be new characters, which Kaplan acknowledged afterward. Sure enough, Ashe was confirmed as Hero 29, with Bob functioning as her Ultimate.
Ashe’s Abilities, Play Style, And History Detailed
Following the BlizzCon 2018 opening ceremony, Blizzard held the Overwatch: What’s Next panel and went into detail about the character, specifically her story, the design ethos behind her creation, and how she plays. From what we’ve seen so far, the leader of the Deadlock gang will mix up the existing rhythms of gameplay in a big way. Here’s all the details you need on Ashe.
Rather than new content for Diablo III or another port of the game, Blizzard’s news for the franchise involved a totally new game for mobile called Diablo Immortal. It features the same style of gameplay the series is known for, but adapted for mobile.
StarCraft 2 Gets New Co-Op Commander
StarCraft II is adding yet another co-op commander: Zeratul. We don’t know much about him yet, but Blizzard says that “by collecting powerful artifacts, Zeratul unlocks powerful new capabilities and the ability to customize his global top bar abilities.”