BlizzCon 2017 is only 41 days away as of writing this article. Meaning, it’s time to start the hype train and talk about what we might see at this year’s annual Blizzard Entertainment convention.
In this article, I will go over what I think would be the most exciting announcements that could come out of BlizzCon this year. As well as pointing of the likeliness of these announcements happening.
Remember, this is a mostly subjective list, and we all want something different. Let us know in the poll down below what you want to see at BlizzCon 2017.
10. New Hearthstone Expansion
Okay, the likelihood of this one is pretty much 100%, but we had to mention it right? Hearthstone is Blizzard’s immensely popular virtual card game set in the Warcraft universe. Hearthstone has been known to release new expansion sets consistently and quite often. Most recently with ”Knights of the Frozen Throne” which was incredibly well received by the community. Here’s to hoping they stick to the formula of KOFT, with having a free adventure as well as an expansion set released. I am hyped to see where the Hearthstone developers will take us next!
9. New Diablo 3 Class Pack – Possibly Druid?
It is no secret that Starcraft and Diablo have been the most neglected children of all the Blizzard IP lately, especially Diablo. We completely understand that it is not the type of games that usually stay in constant evolution such as MOBA’s, MMO’s, etc. But something besides a minor patch for Diablo would be incredible.
A year ago I thought that we had seen the end of the main content additions to Diablo 3, but the release of the Necromancer class pack changed that entirely. Next, to the Necromancer, the Druid class from Diablo 2 has been the most anticipated from the community and the season 12 rewards do hint at a possible druid class release. The Youtuber Rhykker has gone in-depth, with some compelling ”evidence” and I do think it’s likely that the Druid will be showcased at BlizzCon 2017. You can watch the full Rhykker video here.
8. Warcraft 3 & Diablo 2 Remastered
Warcraft 3 and Diablo 2 Remaster is more or less confirmed, it is more a question of when we will see them. Both games were among the best, if not the best games of their time. Pete Stilwell of Blizzard’s Classic Games team has stated that they will look at remastering Warcraft 3 and Diablo 2 once they feel the Starcraft remaster is all set. While remasters are usually not as exciting as actual new games, Warcraft 3 and Diablo 2 remasters would be close to it. I know that I for one would instantly buy both of these Blizzard classics and I hope we see an actual release date at this years BlizzCon. Especially the Warcraft 3 campaign is something that I cannot wait to go through again with upgraded graphics. While I am certain we will see it at some point, I don’t know if they will have something for us as soon as BlizzCon 2017.
7. New World of Warcraft Expansion
I think it’s safe to say that the latest WoW expansion, Legion, has regained much of the trust that they lost after the highly criticized Warlords of Draenor expansion. Blizzard has spoiled us this expansion with constant content updates, and I think it is one of the best expansions they have ever done. I am pretty much confident that they will be announcing a brand new World of Warcraft expansion at this year’s convention and I cannot wait!
A lot of speculation has been happening around the interweb and many people, including me, think we know what overall theme the next expansion will have. A lot of evidence point towards an old god centered expansion, especially with the recent data mining of Patch 7.3.2.
However, earlier this summer we also saw some data mining that pointed towards a Kul’Tiras themed expansion. Which, for those who don’t know, is the homeland of Jaina Proudmoore.
So the question is: will we see a Kil’Tiras/sea themed expansion, an old god expansion or a mixture of both elements. It is likely that they would do a South Sea expansion with both Kul’Tiras and the old god N’zoth. Most people seem to be pointing towards the latter.
BUT! I just want to say that Mist of Pandaria made many hints to the current expansion, Legion. And Blizzard even stated that it could have gone both ways, but we ended up with Warlords of Draenor before Legion. That being said, the recent data mining is hard to argue against, and I do believe we will end up with an old god centered expansion. Which personally, I am so excited about! They have always been the most interesting antagonists in Wow Lore in my opinion.
6. Blizzard IP TV Series
The Blizzard universes have some incredible characters, worlds, and lore to explore. While we would likely know if they were going to announce a big triple-A tv Series, they could go a more modest route. An animated series set in either of the four big Blizzard universes would be incredible, much like the Diablo 3 promo short film: Wrath or maybe more along the lines of the animated shorts from Overwatch. Either way, much hype! Sadly, I think the chances are quite slim.
5. Warcraft Movie Sequal News
I am not going to pretend like the Warcraft movie was perfect. It had a lot of major problems, but it also had a lot of amazing qualities, at least for a lifelong Warcraft fan such as myself. The movie was a box office failure domestically, but also the biggest cinematic release of all time in China. Overall, it more or less broke even, and that rarely results in a sequel, sadly.
That being said, Duncan Jones, the director of the Warcraft movie has expressed a lot of passion for making a Warcraft 2 movie, and it is far from outside the realm of possibilities. The Warcraft movie revolved around the events of Warcraft 1, and personally, I would say that is the weakest part of the Warcraft lore. So a sequel could not only fix some of the issues from the first movie but also move on to better and more exciting events in Warcraft history.
For a sequel to be a success, Duncan Jones will need to slow down and not rush past character and plot development. Which was, in my opinion, the biggest issues the Warcraft movie had.
I don’t think it’s likely, but I want it! Don’t give up after one try Blizzard!
4. Heroes of the Storm – Warcraft event
Every major Blizzard IP in Heroes of the Storm has had an event, with maps and hero releases, except for their most prominent one, Warcraft. With the new map, Volskaya Foundry, Heroes of the Storm now has two maps from Starcraft, Diablo and Overwatch and some neutral ones. Yet, their arguably biggest IP has no map representation, except for a few cameos.
The Warcraft universe has so many excellent places to draw inspiration from and even more, incredible lore characters. I am confident that this will happen eventually, but I am fearful that we might have to wait for 2018 before it becomes a reality. However, I don’t think it’s unlikely that we will see some map previous and announcements at this years BlizzCon.
Possible map/hero Ideas:
- Ashenvale/Barrens themed(Warsong Gulch) – Cenarius, Grom
- Hyjal/War of the Ancients – Mannaroth, Archimonde, Tichondrius, Cenarius
- Alterec Valley – Objectives build around Ivus the Forest Lord and Lokholar the Ice Lord and maybe Wing Commander Mulverick(Wyvern Rider) as a new hero?
Just to name a few, there are a LOT of possibilities with the Warcraft universe.
3. Brand New Blizzard Game or IP
With Blizzards latest IP, Overwatch, having such enormous success, we have to imagine that new IP’s are on their mind. They even have a so-called ”incubator team”, which mainly works on numerous new IP’s. So it’s always a possibility, and new IP’s are always exciting. I don’t think a brand new IP is likely at this years BlizzCon though. While there are always rumors, there is not much pointing towards it.
New IP would be awesome, but a new game franchise within the existing IP’s would be equally incredible. A Warcraft or Starcraft story-driven RPG, Witcher 3 style? Or a Dark Soul inspired game in the Diablo universe? While I don’t think either of these is likely, I know I would be hyped about any unexpected Blizzard announcement.
2. Overwatch Campaign/Story Mode
Saying that Overwatch is a massive success would be an understatement. It is the fastest selling PC game of all time, by quite a large margin and we can completely understand why. However, one thing that a lot of other Overwatch players and I have been craving is a campaign story mode. It seems like the game has a relatively large amount of lore behind it, but we don’t get to see it, except for in the Overwatch animated shorts.
While campaign mode has been less and less of a focus for FPS developers in modern times, I think that an Overwatch story mode would be nothing short of amazing. I have full faith that Blizzard could pull this off, the question is, will they?
1. Warcraft 4
Very few gaming announcements in the world would create as much hype as the reveal of Warcraft 4. Warcraft 3 is one of the most beloved games of all time. It had an outstanding campaign, impressive cinematics, good competitive gameplay and last but not least, an excellent map editor. The Map editor even gave birth to one of the biggest gaming genre’s in the world, MOBA’s.
Of all the possible announcements Blizzard could make at BlizzCon 2017, this is personally the one that would get me the most excited. That being said, the likelihood of a Warcraft 4 this year is quite small. Real-time strategy games don’t bring in the kind of money that they used to, as MOBA games have grown so incredibly popular. And competitive scenes are much more important for a game’s success today than it used to, and competitive RTS gaming is simply too demanding for most people.
A top 10 can hardly fit everything we want to see at BlizzCon, so here are some additional things we would like to see.
WoW Pristine Servers
Before you lose it, hear me out. When Blizzard closed down the private Vanilla WoW server Nostalrius, they saw a huge backlash from the community, demanding Legacy servers be announced at BlizzCon 2016. That didn’t happen, and they instead offered a potential middle-ground, Pristine Servers. Which at the time wasn’t received very well by most of the community, since it was neither here nor there and it was not what the community was asking for.
Now, looking at the multiple WoW forums, I found out that I am not the only one that loved the idea of Pristine servers. But our voices were simply not heard because of the loud cry out for Legacy servers. I do believe that Pristine servers would add a more old-school RPG sense to World of Warcraft that some people would enjoy. Unlike Legacy servers, it would require next to no extra development time, and therefore not take anything away from the live servers. I would be so happy to see just 2 Pristine servers announced, a PVP and PVE server, which could hopefully bring back the lost sense of community in World of Warcraft.
What are Pristine Servers?
It is specifically designed servers that remove some of the convenience of modern day WoW.
- Removal of Cross Realm Zones
- LFG/LFR Removed
- Leveling made harder, mobs scaled up, heirlooms and any leveling acceleration tools removed(recruit a friend, etc.)
- No character transfer to Pristine servers, everyone starts fresh
- Titanforging removed
- Maybe some more additional changes, such as removing flying mounts from capital cities.
I would love to know your thoughts on the subject in the comment section below.
Warcraft 1 or 2 Remasted
I am almost certain they will do Diablo 2 and Warcraft 3 first, but I am not against the idea of seeing these classics remasted. However, extremely unlikely to see it this year.
Heroes of the Storm Story/PVE Mode
Either a campaign or a player versus environment mode would be awesome in my book. Obviously, the story of the Nexus would not be canon to anything but inside the Nexus but seeing these characters from across universes interact with each other would be a lot of fun.
Let us know what possible releases you are most hyped about for BlizzCon 2017!