Blizzcon 2013 Day 1 Wrap-up!

blizzcon 2013

If you didn’t already know, Blizzard’s (obviously) Blizzcon kicked off today. A truckload of announcements and tournaments got shown, here’s our little wrap-up of the first day:

World of Warcraft

Warlords of Draenor got announced, Outlands consists of serveral parts of Draenor before it got torn apart from the dark portals.

Main points

  • The game isn’t centered around time travel, the past remains untouched. However time travel will explain the story of the expansion.
  • There will be different factions in Draenor, including The Frostwolf Clan, the Draenor & more.
  • Popular villains and heroes of the Warcraft universe will appear, including the ones who died.
  • Garrosh is attempting to open a portal to the current time to seek revenge, with his Iron Horde.
  • Draenor being a savage world is a key point in this expansion.
  • The end of the expansion will lead to the future of World of Warcraft.
  • Level 100 is the new max level.

Features

  • New animations/updated models for most races & classes.
  • People can boost a character to level 90 along with some starting gear, this won’t be a paid service.
  • You will attempt to stop the Iron Horde from invading Azeroth.
  • The Alliance(!) will have The Black Temple as their main hub.
  • The Horde will have Bladespire Citadel as their main hub.
  • New areas, quests, PvP content, lore will be added, the usual stuff.
  • The introduction of Draenor will be a-like the Death Knight starting area.
  • You can build your own base on Draenor, where you can invite your friends over, with your base progressing even if you’re offline.
  • New stats such as Movement speed & Cleave will be added.
  • Hit and expertise stats will retire, in an attempt to make item stats more fun & interesting.
  • Player Health have been squished down to ~50k, up from ~500k.

My thoughts

It’s all well and good, I’m extremely excited for the expansion. This seems like a huge overhaul and Blizzard have put a buttload of resources into World of Warcraft, more than ever before; but I’m a little worried about the optimization of the game. The current engine is very poorly optimized and it can be seen when raiding, World of Warcraft barely touches the 3rd/4th CPU core, it’s a huge performance hog and it got worse with Cataclysm & MoP. I sincerely hope they put a decent amount of effort into the engine.

Other than that, the only expansion I’ve been more hyped about was The Burning Crusade, Warlods of Draenor looks really solid and I’m looking forward to be resubscribing (As are other editors here at DCM.)

Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm got a deeper announcement, originally it was only a cartoon trailer made by CarbotAnimations. Blizzard is known for its extremely good-looking cinematic trailers, and this one was pretty much spot on. The game is essentially Blizzard’s version of DotA2/League of Legends, with heroes and gameplay centered around mashing together the Warcraft, Starcraft & Diablo universes into a competitive team game. Heroes of the Storm has some unique features which may attract players who are tired of the general MOBA-style games.

Features

  • Heroes of the Storm has been in development for a long time, the original name was Blizzard DOTA, but got renamed to DotA-Allstars and now HoS.
  • The game is F2P.
  • Blizzard intends that Heroes of the Storm will have multiple maps, with the primary maps changing up to keep it fresh.
  • There will be mash-ups of creatures from the Blizzard game universes, imagine a Hogger in a cyborg suit from Starcraft.
  • The jungle will be different than other MOBA-style games, mercenary camps will aid you in battle when you defeat them.
  • Jungle creeps will have different levels, some can be soloed while others need a group to kill them.
  • There will be different bosses depending on the map, aiding the team in unique ways after being defeated.
  • Items can be leveled up, recipes for items aren’t needed.
  • Items will be focused around specific purposes, rather than a “+200 health +30 magic resist” item.
  • Mounts will be useable for travelling
  • The game will be more teamwork focused throughout the game rather than having a generic farming phase -> Team fight phase.
  • Underground levels will be in the maps, essentially playing on 2 maps at the same time.
  • Quests will reward you with gold, creeps, buffs & more.

My thoughts:

As a previous League of Legends player I’m extremely excited for this game, the fact that they changed up a lot of stuff from the DotA2/LoL scene makes it even more appealing. The current problem with LoL is the fact that it doesn’t promote teamwork=victory very well, I think this is because of the transition from the laning phase into the lategame phase. I will do everything in my power to get a beta key, the aesthetics & map design is spot-on in my opinion.

Hearthstone

Hearthstone got into closed beta some months ago, people are still struggling to get invited but Blizzard has increased the amount of players getting invited each wave. The game is set to go on open beta next month.

Wrap-up

  • There wasn’t a lot of information about Hearthstone during the first day, other than going into open beta next month.
  • The Hearthstone dev team is the smallest team at Blizzard!
  • The developers aim at a simple, easy-to-learn game with plentiful of depth to it.
  • Android & iPhone version got announced.
  • The game will be supported with addition of new cards & features after the game’s release.
  • A new card got released, the Elite Tauren Chieftain. The card will be given to attendees of Blizzcon & virtual ticket owners.
  • Day9, HuskyStarcraft & more will be playing at the Hearthstone Invitational tournament tomorrow, with TotalBiscuit as the shoutcaster.

Diablo III – Reaper of Souls

Reaper of Souls got announced some time ago, continuing the story of Diablo III.

Wrap-up

  • The devs aim to have 1080p@60FPS on the launch of Reaper of Souls for the Playstation 4.
  • Campaign mode is for players  who want to get immersed into the game, with quests & cinematics.
  • Adventure mode is for players wanting to gear up & slay monsters, the majority of quests are removed.
  • The gold & real money auction house is be removed.
  • The loot system is be completely revamped
  • Bounties will provide you with gold & loot, they will be daily quest-ish with random events such as clearing a dungeon or slaying bosses.
  • Nephalem Rifts is for the hardcore Diablo players who wants to do a quick loot run in a randomized dungeon, with powerful but short-time buff shrines.
  • Still no offline mode.

Starcraft

No new information about Starcraft, however there’s the World Championship Series which has started off completely insane, nail-biting matches. The World Championship winner will be crowned tomorrow.

Sources

World of Warcraft:
http://www.mmo-champion.com/content/3526-World-of-Warcraft-The-Adventure-Continues
http://www.mmo-champion.com/content/3524-Warlords-of-Draenor-FAQ-and-Videos-Heroes-of-the-Storm-Videos
http://www.mmo-champion.com/content/3523-World-of-Warcraft-What-s-Next
http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/blog/11514710/World_of_Warcraft_Warlords_of_Draenor_Revealed-08_11_2013

Heroes of the Storm:
http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Heroes_of_the_Storm
http://www.heroesofthestorm.com/en-gb

Diablo:
http://www.diablofans.com/news/2183-reaper-of-souls-first-look-adventure-mode/
http://www.diablofans.com/news/2186-lore-and-story-qa/
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/blog/11502590/prepare-for-ultimate-evil-on-playstation%C2%AE-4-11-8-2013

Starcraft:
http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/2013_StarCraft_II_World_Championship_Series
http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/2013_WCS_Global_Finals

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