Last year Blizzcon was quite frankly a disaster for Blizzard. With the underwhelming announcement of Diablo Immortal and no noteworthy announcements apart from Warcraft Reforged.
This year needs to be huge, and I am confident that Blizzard will have more than a few big announcements this year to make up for last year’s underwhelming Con.
On this list, we will talk about everything we are hyped about and that we hope to see, likely or not. This is a mixture of our hopes, predictions as well as community rumors and speculations surrounding this year’s Con.
Strap on your tinfoil hat and jump with us aboard the hype train as we take a look at our 15 most wanted announcements for Blizzcon 2019.
15. Hearthstone – Hopefully more than the usual
A new Hearthstone expansion is not speculation at this point, the Hearthstone team has been pumping out expansion packs like crazy, and I doubt this year will be any different.
However, with the latest controversy surrounding Blizzard and Hearthstone, in particular, the developer team needs to bring a bit more than a run of the mill expansion pack to satisfy their fanbase.
So let us hope they have something more than just another expansion planned this year.
14. Diablo 2 Remaster
The older Diablo games are among the best games ever made of their respective genre and after last year’s announcement of Warcraft Reforged, a Diablo 2 remaster seems likely.
With so many rumors pointing towards a Diablo 4 announcement, a Diablo 2 remaster would be a great way to build hype and give Diablo fans something to do in the meantime.
13. Heroes of the Storm revived
Last year was devastating for any fan of Heroes of the Storm(such as myself) as Blizzard chose to cut all support for its competitive scene and significantly reduce the size of its development team.
Heroes of the Storm(Hots) were never one of Blizzard’s highest-earning titles, and I understand that it cannot receive the same Esports support as Overwatch. However, a small investment, akin to how they ran the Hots competitive scene in the early days of the game, before the Heroes Global Championship, would be great to see.
We would also love to see some commitment to a development schedule, but both of these things are highly unlikely.
12. Overwatch 2
Much like with Hearthstone, it seems there is a set formula for Overwatch at Blizzcon. A new hero, a new gorgeous short, a map, and some new event or a small feature. However, rumor has it that this year will be different.
There has been a lot of talk about a potential Overwatch sequel or expansion being announced at this year’s Blizzcon. The current rumors point towards it being a big rebranding of the Overwatch IP, focusing on Player-versus-environment content complete with leveling, etc.
Either way, the announcement of an Overwatch 2 or even just an expansion is a lot more exciting than the usual hero & map reveals and I am excited to see what they have in store for us.
Update: More and more leaks are coming out every day. The Youtuber, Your Overwatch, did an excellent recap of everything we know so far about Overwatch.
11. Starcraft – Something Brand new
It’s been quite a while since anything significant has been announced for Starcraft apart from a few commander packs and a remaster. While the remaster was great, it hardly competes with a brand new expansion or game.
I sadly think Starcraft fans will have to wait a bit for any big news. A lot of different sources and rumors state that Blizzard recently canceled the development of its latest Starcraft title to focus on Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2.
Something like a brand new role-playing game set in the Starcraft universe or maybe a Total War-like strategy game? Not likely, but a man can dream.
10. World of Warcraft Panel – ”What we learned from Classic & how we will improve WoW.”
World of Warcraft has been a massive success by any possible measurement so far. It shattered records on Twitch, it increased the western subscriber base by almost 300%, and it still appears to be the most popular version of the game today.
More and more people are starting to realize that it isn’t about nostalgia when people log in to World of Warcraft Classic. It is about a fundamentally different gaming experience from what Battle for Azeroth offers, a gaming experience that is worth learning from.
Plenty of developers, including Ion Hazzikostas, the lead game designer for World of Warcraft, have stated that there a ”Lessons to learn from Classic”. Hopefully, this means that the World of Warcraft team has started looking into the raw game design of WoW Classic and learned from it.
Lessons that modern World of Warcraft could take from Classic:
- Sharding removed entirely and replaced with layering. Merge all the smaller and medium-sized servers and remove cross-server play from un-instanced content.
- Titanforging and catch up mechanics removed or severely reduced. One of the big joys of Classic has been the deterministic way in which you progress your character.
- Scale down on the number of raid and dungeon difficulties.
- Rework classes. In Battle for Azeroth, you play as your specialization, not your class.
- Reintroduce the old talents, but keep the new ones as well. Introducing the old-styled talent trees alongside a leveling squish would be the perfect way to make leveling feel rewarding again. And you could still keep the new talents for max-level customization.
- Reintroduce danger into the world. You can level from 1 to 120 without being remotely close to dying even once without any effort of skill. This is unbelievably hurtful to the game.
I could honestly go on forever about the lessons that Battle for Azeroth and future expansions could take from Classic. And I have, in this article.
Both Battle for Azeroth and Classic has its strengths and weaknesses. But after an expansion as unpopular as Battle for Azeroth, it would be foolish not to study World of Warcraft Classic and see which elements might work well in the modern game.
9 World of Warcraft: Classic – Phase 2 & 3 release dates
World of Warcraft Classic has completely taken over my life, and I love it.
While many are still leveling up and everyone is playing at their own pace, it would be nice to get a release date window for the next two phases.
I am quite confident that Phase two will come out as soon as Blizzard can remove layering from all the servers. When that is, it is hard to stay.
8. Brand New IP
With Blizzard’s latest IP, Overwatch, having such enormous success, we have to imagine that new IPs are on their minds. 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 though with so many massive announcements rumored at this year’s Blizzcon.
7. 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 said, Duncan Jones, the director of the Warcraft movie, has expressed a lot of passion for making a Warcraft 2 movie, and it is not entirely outside the realm of possibilities. The Warcraft movie revolved around the events of Warcraft 1, which is not really the high point of 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.
6. World of Warcraft Classic – What’s Next?
I know, I know. I am getting ahead of myself here. Most people aren’t even level 60 yet, and we still have five large content phases coming up, but I cannot help but wonder what Blizzard is planning to do with Classic after phase 6 has been out for some time.
Will we get a Classic Burning Crusade server option? Will we see brand new expansions or patches for Classic, or is Naxxramas just were the ride ends?
I have written numerous articles talking about the pitfalls of each option and even made a concept for how brand new Classic phases might look. In most ways, it is way too early to announce anything, but a small panel discussing how they would approach making this decision would be fantastic.
5. World of Warcraft Expansion Announcement
Battle for Azeroth is widely regarded as one of the worst World of Warcraft expansions to date, and the WoW developer team needs to bring their A-game at this year’s Blizzcon.
Luckily, the World of Warcraft team tends to release a great expansion after each bad one, and hopefully, this year is no different.
Things have also been getting better throughout the lifespan of Battle for Azeroth with 8.2 in particular, and it seems the developer team is starting to understand some of the gaping issues with the game. Ion Hazzikostas even hinted at the removal of Titanforging in the content preview for patch 8.3, which(in my opinion) is one of the more significant issues with the game right now.
The removal of Titanforging and a return to more deterministic loot might show that they want to implement some of the best aspects of World of Warcraft Classic. Hopefully, they won’t stop at Titanforging but also look into some of the numerous other issues, such as sharding.
4. Diablo TV Series
There is a lot of rumors going around about Diablo this year, and it feels like Blizzard is trying to hype up Blizzcon to make up for last year’s disaster. One of the most exciting of those rumors is the talk of a Diablo TV series produced by Netflix, and I cannot express how excited I would get if it turns out to be true. Mind you, these rumors were also present last year, so I wouldn’t count on it to be true this year either.
While I would also love a Warcraft or Starcraft series, Diablo makes a lot more sense. There are far fewer ”Alien” creatures that require CGI in Diablo compared to Warcraft and Starcraft. There still are a lot of demons and monsters that would have to be CGI, but the main cast could easily consist of all humans.
Final note: Ian McKellen as Deckard Cain, please Blizzard.
3. Brand New Warcraft Singleplayer RPG
The Warcraft universe is incredible and has millions of fans, but a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game is rarely the best media through which to tell a story.
This is why a third-person RPG like the Witcher or Skyrim games set in the Warcraft universe would be incredible, either where you play as a known and beloved character or a brand new story where you interact with the world you know and love.
The likelihood of this happening is next to none, but that won’t keep me from hoping for it every single Blizzcon.
They could also go with Starcraft for this project, but I would personally prefer the Warcraft setting, but either could potentially be fantastic.
2. Diablo 4
Last year’s Blizzcon was a disaster for most hardcore Diablo fans, with the only announcement being a mobile game. However, a lot of rumors say that the Diablo 4 announcement was planned for Blizzcon 2018 and was cut at the last minute.
This year has to be big, and Blizzard has a lot to make up for after last year’s convention if they want to regain the trust of their western Diablo fan base. There are so many rumors and leaks going around about Diablo 4 that I am almost certain that this is the year we finally get to see it.
Buckle up Diablo fans. This year is going to be big.
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 genres in the world, MOBA’s.
Of all the possible announcements Blizzard could make at BlizzCon 2019, 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 with Warcraft Reforged set to release in 2019, I highly doubt that it will come out any time soon.