Two more days of bated breath and growing dissatisfaction. Two more days of stretched patience and mounting hype. Blizzcon is here – the gaming equivalent of Christmas, at least for Blizzard fans. Overwatch players, especially, are already exhausted, their patience worn thin by the controversially executed Sombra hype train. Everybody else in Blizzardverse has things to look forward to too – though the mysteries waiting for them there in Anaheim have been a lot more downplayed in comparison.
Here’s what we’re keeping an eye out for.
Gadgetzan! …Gadgetzan… If we’re going to get the Goblin race as an expansion theme, the natural expectation is for a lot of mechs. Again. Another Annoy-o-tron? Dr. Boom’s revival?
There’s also that thing where Hearthstone tweeted a parody of Mario pulling back the curtains on the Nintendo Switch that fueled a whole bunch of rumors about the game getting ported onto Nintendo’s new console, but – no. It’s highly unlikely that any of Nintendo’s partners, confirmed or otherwise, will be making confirmations of their involvement or games on the Switch until the January Direct.
On the other hand, if any Gadgetzan cards revealed at the time happen to be notable Nintendo parodies…
Heroes of the Storm
If there’s going to be a Heroes of the Storm competitive circuit, there will probably be more news of it in a couple days. Also, obviously: more Overwatch-inspired maps and cosmetics, and maybe a character re-interpreted as well.
There’s also the thing where Blizzard loves doing cross-promotions for their title. Gadgetzan cosmetics seem not unlikely.
Speaking of the big OW: yeah, that Sombra trailer better be something else to justify all of this coy flirting that’s been going on for endless months. There comes a point in a relationship where you both have either agreed to make it serious and take it to the next level – LIKE LETTING US KNOW WHAT THE HERO ACTUALLY DOES – or it’s time to move on to somebody that will.
Your move, Blizzard.
Also: there were some folks that wanted to boo whatever was announced, and the frustration is both understandable, tangible, and sympathetic. This supposed “Augmented Reality” Game turned out to be more stunt than reality – cracking the code didn’t so much dole out rewards in snippets as it just doled out more teasing toward a conclusion that looks to have always been out of the hands of the players. It’ll be interesting to see what the live response will be.
As for actual mysteries: the Diablo side of things is full of it. Hints of the return of the Priests of Rathma as the Necromancer class makes its debut in Diablo 3 has a few folks excited. More interesting are tantalizing hints of two other parts of the franchise. A modernized high definition version of Diablo 2’s been in the rumor mills for ages, original cow level and all.
And then there’s the matter of Diablo 4.
Finally, among at least the games: there's the matter of what is there left to do for Starcraft. This may be the first year in a very very long time that a western player's managed to win a Starcraft major, but it's also the year that South Korea's Proleague's shuttered its doors. It's the year that some of its most storied teams have decided to pull out.
Heck, it's the year that the Bosstoss decided he'd rather coach League of Legends.
Nothing short of a developer's intervention, it feels, can revive the scene.
Two last things. First, it wouldn’t be Blizzcon without a little heavy metal. So hopefully Elite Tauren Chieftains have dinged level 110 by now.
Second: Chris Metzen has retired – but that’s not at all to say he won’t show up.
Granted, if he’s not a Blizzard employee anymore, it makes you have to wonder: did he have to gamble on getting a ticket like the rest of us?