Train2Game News BlizzCon 2017 


At BlizzCon® 2017, more than 30,000 players gathered to experience the latest updates to their favorite Blizzard games and cheer on top esports competitors, with millions more joining online. 

Over two days packed with developer panels, friendly competition, and live entertainment, the Blizzard community learned about and went hands-on with new heroes, new gameplay updates, and new expansions coming to the company’s blockbuster franchises.

Attendees and viewers also witnessed the dramatic conclusions to three esports championships and three exhibition-style competitions:

StarCraft® II World Championship Series Global Finals

Winner: Rogue

With two championship titles already under his belt in 2017, Rogue arrived on the global stage at BlizzCon as a favorite to win the whole tournament. Once he got warmed up in the grand final against SoO, he showed the world he definitely deserves the title of WCS Global Champion with a 4­–2 series win.

Heroes of the Storm® Global Championship Finals

Winning team: MVP Black

MVP Black and Fnatic met in the final match of the HGC Finals after both teams moved past the semis with 3–0 wins. When the dust settled, it was MVP Black standing tall over the Swedish powerhouse with a 3–1 victory after a barnburner of a finale. MVP Black’s unwavering determination and dedication to their craft was enough to secure them their first trophy at BlizzCon.

World of Warcraft® Arena World Championship

Winning team:  ABC

The European streak continues as ABC sweeps Panda Global in the most decisive championship match in the history of the tournament. Working against a hostile crowd, ABC triumphed behind the Arcane Mage play of Alex ‘Alec’ Sheldrick to bring the WoW Arena trophy to Europe for the fourth straight year.

Overwatch® World Cup

Winning nation: South Korea

South Korea was always expected to be the “final boss” at BlizzCon—and runner-up Canada fought valiantly in taking a single map—but in the end the story finished as expected. Ryujehong and company’s sudden vulnerability didn’t make a difference as South Korea goes two-for-two in Overwatch World Cup Championships.

Hearthstone® Inn-vitational

Winning team: Grimestreet Grifters

After two days of frenetic and varied play among the 12 community personalities, the Grimestreet Grifters—comprised of Andrey ‘Reynad’ Yanyuk, Hakjun ‘Kranich’ Baek, and Pathra Cadness—emerged victorious. The best-of-11 finals saw the format of each game drawn from a sealed envelope, and players were individually eliminated from the stage until the Grifters claimed the trophy 6–5 over the Chillblade Crusaders.

StarCraft: Remastered Ultimate Title Fight

Winner: Bisu

Although Lee “Jaedong” Jae Dong and Kim “Bisu” Taek Yong’s lengthy careers largely overlapped, they hardly ever played each other outside of team leagues. That changed when the two StarCraft legends met in the Ultimate Title Fight, a best-of-five showmatch with $25,000 on the line. In the fifth and final game, Bisu seemed to get a read on Jaedong’s aggressive strategy, and managed to hold him off to take the series 3–2.

In addition to all the epic esports action, Blizzard made several major announcements for its games at the show, including:

World of Warcraft

·       Battle for Azeroth™—In the seventh expansion to World of Warcraft, the war between the Horde and the Alliance reignites as players embark on a journey to recruit new allies, race to claim the world’s mightiest resources, and fight on several fronts to determine which faction will lead Azeroth into its uncertain future.
·       WoW® Classic—In addition to a new expansion, Blizzard also announced early plans to develop a gameplay experience that recaptures players’ first journeys into the original World of Warcraft.
Hearthstone

·       Kobolds & Catacombs™—A new Hearthstone expansion, coming in December, will bring players down into the dungeons beneath Azeroth—and equip them with 135 new cards.
·       Dungeon Runs—Kobolds & Catacombs brings with it a brand-new, highly replayable single-player game mode for Hearthstone featuring challenging, high-stakes subterranean journeys inspired by the classic fantasy dungeon crawl. Dungeon Runs are free for all players; no pre-built decks are required for entry.
·       New Legendary Weapons—For the first time in Hearthstone, Legendary weapons are coming – and every class will get one!
·       Free Legendary Cards—To celebrate the new expansion, all players will receive a free legendary minion, Marin the Fox, on November 6, as well as a free random legendary weapon for logging in when Kobolds & Catacombs launches in December.
·       Eager treasure seekers can pre-purchase the new expansion card packs in a special 50-pack bundle for $49.99 and receive the jewel-encrusted “For the Hoard!” card back for free!
StarCraft II

·       StarCraft II going free-to-play—Starting November 14, players will get free access to the acclaimed Wings of Liberty® campaign, ranked ladder play, and all Co-Op Commanders up to level five.
·       Mira Han and Matt Horner—the newest Co-op Commander for StarCraft II’s popular Co-Op mode is actually two commanders in one: command a devastating mixture of high-powered Dominion air units as Matt Horner and fast-moving ground units as Mira Han.
·       War Chest Season 2—Following the success of this year’s War Chest, StarCraft II will once again offer a fresh batch of seasonal content for players in support of StarCraft II esports.
Heroes of the Storm

    Hanzo and Alexstrasza—Two new heroes, both dragons in their own right, will bring new and dramatically different styles of play to the Nexus in Blizzard’s fast-paced MOBA, Heroes of the Storm, later this year.

    2018 Gameplay Update—Several in-game changes are coming to Heroes of the Storm in the near future, including a wider field-of-view camera, new Mercenary mechanics, and other core gameplay updates.

    Voice Chat—Players in a party will automatically use Blizzard Voice Chat (unless they opt-out) and teams will have the choice to opt-in.

    Performance-Based Matchmaking—Lets the player’s personal performance in matches directly influence their matchmaking rating whether they win or lose.
Overwatch

·       Moira—A new support hero, the life-draining geneticist named Moira, will soon be joining the roster of Overwatch, Blizzard’s acclaimed team-based shooter.
·       Blizzard World—An amusement park celebrating the worlds of Diablo®, StarCraft, and Warcraft® serves as the location for Overwatch’s newest map.
·       “Honor and Glory”—The latest in the acclaimed series of animated shorts released for Overwatch takes viewers into Reinhardt’s past as he wrestles with a decision of whether to answer Winston’s call to join the newly reforming Overwatch.
·       Overwatch League—The inaugural season’s 12 city-based teams will sport in-game home and away uniforms and face off in the league’s Atlantic and Pacific divisions. League matches will be played over four days each week of the regular season, which starts January 10, 2018. Watch on Overwatchleague.com and on the forthcoming Overwatch League companion app.

For more information on the celebration of games, players, and esports excellence at BlizzCon 2017, or to watch VODs of the action with the BlizzCon 2017 Virtual Ticket, visit www.blizzcon.com .

Train2Game News Linkin Park playing Blizzcon

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Whether you’re geeking out on the show floor at BlizzCon® or tuning in from home, this is a performance you won’t want to miss.

Blizzard Entertainment today announced that Linkin Park will be taking the stage on Saturday, November 7, to provide an epic send-off for everyone attending this year’s BlizzCon or watching from home. While tickets to Blizzard’s two-day gaming convention are sold out, players and Linkin Park fans around the world can still watch the show live with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket.

Over the course of Linkin Park’s genre-defying career, the Grammy Award–winning band has sold over 50 million albums worldwide and is the biggest band on Facebook with over 63 million fans and counting. They also made Internet history by becoming the first rock band to hit 1 billion views on YouTube. This week, Linkin Park is celebrating the 15th anniversary of their smash debut album, Hybrid Theory. They’re currently in the studio working on their seventh studio album.

“We’re beyond excited to welcome SoCal natives Linkin Park to close out BlizzCon with a bang on Saturday night,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We can’t think of a better way to bring two full days of gaming and action-packed eSports matches to an epic conclusion than with a band that’ll carry the weekend’s electricity through to the very end.”

“Playing BlizzCon will be one hell of a first for us,” said Chester Bennington, lead vocalist of Linkin Park. “We’re looking forward to giving all the gamers out there a killer rock show.”

BlizzCon is a celebration of the global player communities that bring Blizzard’s games to life. Taking over the Anaheim Convention Center November 6 and 7, this year’s show is brimming with discussion panels of all sorts, eSports tournaments, contests, hands-on play time with the latest Blizzard Entertainment games, and much more.

Though tickets to the convention sold out rapidly, viewers at home can still join the excitement by ordering the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket (£24,99), which offers comprehensive live online coverage of both days of the event—including the community contests hosted by Wil Wheaton on Friday evening and Linkin Park’s performance on Saturday night.

As the countdown to BlizzCon continues, further details about the show will be announced at www.blizzcon.com

Train2Game News Blizzard announces Overwatch

OverwatchIn front of a live crowd of more than 25,000 BlizzCon attendees and an expected online audience numbering in the millions, Blizzard Entertainment announced Overwatch. A pick-up-and-play first-person shooter featuring an amazing cast of heroes and set in an all-new Blizzard game universe.

The action of Overwatch takes place in a technologically advanced, highly stylized future earth. In a time of global crisis, an international task force of soldiers, scientists, adventurers, and oddities known as Overwatch had come together to restore peace to a war-torn world. After many years, the group’s influence waned, and it was eventually disbanded. Overwatch might be gone now . . . but the world still needs heroes.

With an emphasis on accessibility and pure fun, Overwatch brings Blizzard’s signature easy-to-learn, hard-to-master gameplay to the FPS genre. Harnessing the power of their hero of choice, players will join forces in teams of six and battle each other across a range of futuristic global locations, from the hologram-lit streets of London to a bazaar in the shadows of a high-tech Egyptian pyramid. Every battlefield is iconic and built to highlight each character’s unique abilities, and fights can shift from streets to rooftops to open skies within the span of a breath.

“Overwatch is our take on a vibrant, near-future universe with amped-up characters and action-packed team-based gameplay,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “With every new Blizzard game, we look at our favorite aspects of a genre and put our own spin on things. Our goal with Overwatch is to create an awesome FPS experience that’s more accessible to a much wider audience while delivering the action and depth that shooter fans love.”

The heroes of Overwatch each bring their own distinct weapons and superabilities to bear. Here’s just a glimpse of the numerous heroes that will ultimately fill Overwatch’s rosters:

  • Tracer, a former British test pilot who shrugs at danger, can execute impossible acrobatic assaults thanks to her ability to teleport, drop energy bombs, and even reverse time.
  • Reinhardt, a hulking German soldier in battle armor, can charge great distances and pin his enemies to a wall or slam the ground with his rocket hammer to knock them off their feet.
  • Hanzo, a bow-wielding Japanese mercenary, has the ability to scale walls with his bare hands, fire off a tracking device that illuminates nearby enemies for his team, and unleash a huge spirit dragon that does grievous damage to all enemies in its path.
  • Symmetra, an Indian architech, manipulates light and energy to shield her allies and damage her enemies—and she can turn the tide of any battle by building a device that instantly transports her teammates to the front lines.

While each hero represents a formidable force on their own, players can amplify their potential by assembling into a well-balanced team and creatively combining powers. No matter which hero or playstyle they prefer, players will be able to team up and accomplish the incredible in Overwatch.

At BlizzCon this past weekend, Overwatch was fully playable and running on 600 PCs, and attendees there were the first in the world to play it. Gamers at the show could select from a current roster of 12 playable heroes and go 6v6 against each other, capturing or defending points and attacking or delivering payloads across three wildly different maps. New heroes and maps will continually be added to the game as development progresses, and beta testing will begin in 2015.

Learn more about Overwatch, including all of the heroes and maps revealed at BlizzCon, and sign up to participate in the upcoming beta test at the official website, www.playoverwatch.com. Further details about the game will be announced there in the months ahead.

You can enjoy the entertaining Pixar-esque announcement trailer below

Train2Game News BlizzCon from home

BlizzconGrab your most comfortable chair and invite a few friends over to join Blizzard Entertainment’s epic gaming convention from home with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, now available to order at www.blizzcon.com.

The BlizzCon Virtual Ticket provides comprehensive live online HD coverage of Blizzard’s Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo community celebration, taking place November 7 and 8 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Available for £ 24.99, the Virtual Ticket grants access to two exclusive channels of BlizzCon content on both days of the show, making it the next best thing to being there live. The BlizzCon 2014 Virtual Ticket includes:

Developer Panels & Exclusive Interviews Get the latest World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm news straight from the developers, and witness all of the epic moments as they happen live from the Main and Panel stages. In between, dig deeper into your favorite games in exclusive one-on-one interviews with Blizzard Entertainment designers, artists, and producers.

Community Contests—Hosted by Chris Hardwick Witness the spectacle of the legendary BlizzCon Costume Contest and Talent Contest on Friday night. This year’s festivities will be emceed by stand-up comedian and podcaster Chris Hardwick, host of Comedy Central’s late night Internet-spelunking game show @midnight and creative head of geek-minded media network Nerdist Industries.

Closing Ceremony—Behold the closing festivities on Saturday night, capping off two full days of Blizzard gaming and eSports action—more details to be announced later.

On-Demand Replays—Rewatch epic moments with the Virtual Ticket’s DVR functionality, and catch content you might have missed for up to two weeks after the show’s over.

Epic Bonus Loot Unlock this year’s commemorative BlizzCon in-game goodies for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm (details coming soon). The Virtual Ticket also grants early access to this year’s online BlizzCon merchandise sale, which will run from October 17 through November 11 and feature a selection of commemorative items that will be available for purchase at the show.

Even if you don’t purchase a Virtual Ticket, you’ll still be able to catch plenty of BlizzCon action online. Coverage of the opening ceremony and this year’s eSports tournaments—including the StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals, World of Warcraft Arena World Championship, Hearthstone World Championship, and Heroes of the Storm exhibition matches—will be streamed for free in HD at www.blizzcon.com.

More information on BlizzCon 2014 and the Virtual Ticket can be found at www.blizzcon.com.

Train2Game News: New World of Warcraft expansion announced

wow_wod_logo_hires_m03At Blizzcon this past weekend, Blizzard announced the next expansion for World of Warcraft, Warlords of Draenor.

The fifth expansion to Blizzard Entertainment’s acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game, sends players to the world of Draenor at a pivotal moment in history to fight against and alongside legends from Warcraft’s brutal past.

Across Draenor’s savage jungles and battle-scarred plains, Azeroth’s heroes will engage in a mythic conflict involving mystical draenei champions and mighty orc clans, and cross axes with the likes of Grommash Hellscream, Blackhand, and Ner’zhul at the height of their primal power. Players will need to scour this unwelcoming land in search of allies to help build a desperate defense against the old Horde’s formidable engine of conquest—or else watch their own world’s bloody, war-torn history repeat itself.

“Warlords of Draenor gives players a chance to take a commanding role in one of the Warcraft series’ most crucial conflicts,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “This expansion also includes features that make it easy for anyone to jump right into the action, whether they’ve played WoW at some point in the past or are just setting foot in Azeroth for the first time.”

To help new and returning players answer the call to arms on Draenor, the expansion will enable anyone to instantly boost one character to level 90, including a newly created character, quickly getting them up to speed and ready to enjoy the latest content with their friends.

To establish a foothold on Draenor once they’ve arrived, the displaced champions of the Horde and Alliance will be able to construct their own Garrison, an expandable, customizable stronghold that will serve as each player’s personal base of operations throughout the course of the expansion. As the Garrison grows, players will be able to recruit NPC allies and followers to take up residence, gathering resources and embarking on missions on the player’s orders.

Warlords of Draenor will also introduce fully revamped player character models and animations for many of World of Warcraft’s existing playable races, bringing the orcs, humans, and several other longtime residents of Azeroth up to the visual standards of newer races while still maintaining their iconic style and identity.

Along with these new features, World of Warcraft players will enjoy a wide array of new content on their way to the new level cap of 100, including new Zones, Dungeons, Raids, Scenarios, Battlegrounds, and more. Warlords of Draenor will also introduce questing improvements designed to encourage exploration and add unpredictability to players’ ongoing adventures.