BlizzConline opening ceremony announcements

BlizzConline, the 2021 digital-only showcase after 2020’s in-person event was cancelled due to the pandemic, kicked off just after midnight. The show sure felt different without a crowd reacting to the various announcements, but there were still a few things to showcase this year.

Blizzard Arcade Collection

Three of Blizzard’s oldest games are getting some spit and polish and put into the Blizzard Arcade Collection. It is available now on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch. Get ready to check out The Lost Vikings 1, Rock N Roll Racing, and Blackthorne. The collection will allow you to play the game as the originals, or play the Definitive Editions with a nice 10-second rewind feature and custom key-mapping for PC.

The collection is rounded out with a Museum, a digital collection of game art, development assets, unused content, lore and interviews.

“The Lost Vikings, Rock N Roll Racing, and Blackthorne ultimately made it possible for us to go on to create Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft, so we thought the Blizzard Arcade Collection would be a fun and fitting way to look back at our roots as a company,” said Blizzard president J. Allen Brack.

World of Warcraft Shadowlands

Next Shadowlands content update has been announced. It is called Chains of Domination. We will be going into a whole lot more info in a later post, but just watch this trailer. Oh my, they went there!

World of Warcraft Classic: Burning Crusade

World of Warcraft’s Classic has been growing since launch, with players taking on the various raids and rekindling old friendships, playing World of Warcraft like it used to be so many years ago. Now the next expansion is on the way, with The Burning Crusade heading to WoW Classic.

For those who don’t want to head through the Dark Portal, players can stay on “Classic Era” servers, or they can pay to clone their character, so that they can keep one character in Classic forever, with a clone heading to The Burning Crusade.

Hearthstone Year of the Gryphon

The Year of the Gryphon is around the corner, and two big changes are coming. First is the introduction of the Core Set, which replaces existing Basic and Classic cards with a collection of 235 cards. The Core Set will launch as the Year of The Gryphon starts, and it is completely free. The Core set is 160 class cards and 75 neutral cards, alongside a few reimagined cards.

The next expansion takes players to every Horde player’s favourite zone. Everyone has had to go through the barrens at some time, and it is time to do it, Hearthstone style. Forged in the Barrens is a 135-card set, with 10 Legendary Mercenary minions.

Those mercenaries will feature in a new single-player and competitive game mode called Hearthstone Mercenaries. Collect mighty characters from the Warcraft universe, level them up and see them become mighty forces to reckon with.

Three Diablo games!

The opening ceremony showcased three different Diablo games, so if you like clicking on things and watching them explode into loot and coins, then get your mouse hand into shape.

Things started off with a new class for Diablo IV being revealed. The Rogue, last seen in Diablo 1, is back, and she has a few new tricks up her sleeves. Borrowing from the Amazon and Demon Hunters, this dextrous killer controls the battlefield with big attacks that hit large areas of the screen.

Diablo Immortal was also mentioned, but until I have a phone that can play it (or I give up and run a phone emulator on my PC) its just… there really.

The big news is that Diablo 2 is getting the remaster treatment, with a lot of attention to the details of the original game. Called Diablo 2 Resurrected, it is aiming for a 2021 release PC and consoles with cross-progression. I lost a load of time to this game in the past and seeing the exact same camera angle, but with really nice spell effects and characters has me excited to give it another chunk of my life. Just look at those before and after shots!

Oddly Overwatch didn’t make the opening ceremony, but there was some news straight after the show, so stay tuned.

If it has the letters RPG in it, I am there. Still battling with balancing trying to play every single game that grabs my interest, getting 100% in a JRPG, and devoting time to my second home in Azeroth.

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