overwatch

Blizzcon is this weekend and the anticipation is reaching full capacity. It serves as a celebration for all things Blizzard Entertainment and playing host to high-end tournaments featuring their games. From their big three franchises to their various spinoffs and rising stars, Blizzard has lots of goodies to share for their 2018 showing coming up. It’s difficult to predict every single announcement Blizzard will announce, but that won’t stop the speculators from trying to make their guesses. For this list, we will look at their current games and possible upcoming announcements to see where their games stand and where things will go from here.

5) Hearthstone: The 10th Expansion Coming up?

And are we going to get another animated short?

Hearthstone is still running as high as ever, but it’s difficult to say what kinds of announcements we will see from it. Back in August, we got the 9th expansion called “The Boomsday Project” and it would be difficult to say if we would see another expansion so soon after that. Considering though that the expansion arrives every 3-4 months and the next will mark the 10th expansion, it could be fair to assume that the next expansion announcement is just around the corner. While I would like to speculate on what the next expansion will contain, Hearthstone can be unpredictable to figure out, so I will keep my distance there.

There is one other thing for us to take into account, and that would be how we have not had an animated short for Hearthstone for some time. While I initially thought of leaving this part out, I did recall the girl from the short being on the Blizzcon 2018 cover. This may not mean much, but part of me wants to bank on the idea that perhaps we will get another short that will highlight her and expand the world of Hearthstone. Perhaps that could be the theme for the 10th expansion? More details will likely come up later this week.

4) World of Warcraft Battle For Azeroth: What’s next?

Back in August, World of Warcraft‘s latest expansion came out and with it: a full-scale war. It is the Alliance vs the Horde and things are about to pick up. Even though the war has gone on for almost three months, we will probably get an update that will highlight a new addition to the game.  Whether if this could be a new raid, location or even a PvP event, we can expect something big to drop soon. Where will the fight take us next for this long-running MMO series? We’ll see soon enough.

What’s funny is that wholesome look towards the future of World of Warcraft, just as many are looking to the past. With as much as the world of Azeroth changed of the years, many look back at the similar days of the original. The developers did confirm that a vanilla version is coming, but we have heard very little details about it as of late. We will likely get an update on it, but it would be fair to assume that there will be little time devoted to it, or at least during the opening ceremony. We’ll see how this plays out and if there will be a release date for the vanilla.

3) Heroes of the Storm: Next Set of Hero Reveals and Lore Coming Soon?

Is a Playable Raven Lord coming soon? Taking a wild guess here since there are no hints that this could happen mind you.

Blizzard’s massive online battle arena game continues to go strong with a roster size of around 80 heroes. The game itself continues to grow considerably with each passing year and this year will be no exception. The thing that has interested me is how for all the heroes they show new heroes, Blizzcon is when they drop their biggest names and characters. Last year, we got Hanzo and Alexstrasza (latter of whom can transform into a dragon). The year before we got Ragnaros and Varian (who was the game’s first “,ulti-class” hero).

Not that there will be as high expectations here, but it would be fair to point out how the hero reveals we get comes with someone significant. As for who it will be this time around will be difficult to say. We may we will see a highly requested character come in. Perhaps a character from Blizzard’s distant past will finally come in. Or maybe we will get our 2nd multi-class hero, whoever it might be. No one knows but the development team and many can’t wait to get their hands on the next set of heroes coming to the Nexus.

Now the other thing that could be touched on would be the lore of the Nexus itself. As of late, the team has been slowly building up the world, how it works and even their own “Special Nexus Skins” for heroes. We could get information on why all of this is happening and could lead to something even bigger coming down the line for the game too.

2) OverWatch– Hero 29, Animated Short, Skins and World Cup

Consider how much focus McCree’s got as of late…

For the last few years, Overwatch continues to grab the attention of gamers with their ongoing support and the start of the Overwatch League. Jeff of the Overwatch team confirmed that we would not get a new map announcement at Blizzcon (which is understandable since we recently got Busan). We also know that the Overwatch World Finals will play out this weekend that will feature the best countries fighting it out and the upcoming replay feature. It will be great to see a possible short demo before the beta that will feature the Finals.  Last year, we also got the exciting new additional skins that added in the special “Blizzard Inspired” skins into the loot box system. It is possible we will see the next set of skins that will dress the OW heroes as Blizzard characters, but we will see what happens there.

Last and not least is the whole reason fans watch the OW portion of the opening with both eyes wide open: the next Hero and the cinematic short. As of now, many believe this will be McCree’s year to get a short, although many are holding off on the chance of Lucio or some other hero. Considering the recent change to the Route 66 map though, it seems likely they could tie it with McCree, or even Hero 29. Speaking of, Blizzard does a fun thing with Blizzcon Hero reveals to where… we get no lead up. Last year, Moira dropped with us having no hint or clue and the same will likely happen this year too. Who will be Hero 29 and what will he/she/it bring that the game needs? The World can always use more heroes and one more is just around the corner.

1) Diablo Announcement Incoming?

Here he comes!

While Overwatch would always be my highlight at Blizzcon, I can’t deny that Diablo holds a special place in my heart. As Blizzard’s prime RPG series before WoW swept the lands, Diablo had players going up against the Devil himself as they traveled the lands to stop his evil.

What’s exciting about this is how we do not understand what this could mean. Are we about to the next installment of the series with Diablo 4? Could the series see its own spinoff and jump into a different genre altogether? Are we going to get a TV show? Will Diablo get a card game– okay those last ones might be silly, but you get the idea. All we know is that Diablo will be at Blizzcon this year, and will have a, “What’s next?” panel right after the opening ceremony. A lot of things to consider for one of Blizzard’s staple series and we will find out more this Friday.

So what do you think?

Are there any announcements you can’t wait to find out? What games can you not wait to see played at a high level? Be sure to follow us here at Culture of Gaming as we will cover Blizzcon all this weekend.

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