This year’s BlizzCon 2021 event began this weekend, offering a virtual version of Blizzard’s perennial community and gaming celebration. The studio announced new details for the “Overwatch,” “Hearthstone,” “Diablo,” and “World of Warcraft” franchises, with new content and a remaster on the way.
Starting with the Diablo franchise, Blizzard officially announced “Diablo II: Resurrected,” the long-rumored remaster of the hit action-RPG and its expansion, Lord of Destruction. The game is slated to release on Windows PC and consoles, and PC players can sign up at diablo2.com for a chance to participate in future testing.
The franchise also offered a first look at the Rogue class for the future title “Diablo IV.” Blizzard screened a cinematic trailer to introduce the character, with gameplay that showcased the player class in action. According to the company, “The Rogue is a swift, deadly, mobile class with unparalleled versatility. Rogue players can choose from a variety of ways to attack and trap their enemies and can enhance their combat through poisons, shadow magic, and specialized techniques.”
The “Hearthstone” fanbase will celebrate the Year of the Gryphon in the free-to-play digital card game. The year will bring along with it a new Core set of cards, and introduce the Classic format, which will let players craft decks and compete using the original Hearthstone cards as they were when the game launched in 2014.
The franchise is also launching an expansion in 2021 called Forged in the Barrens. The new expansion is inspired by the iconic “World of Warcraft” locale. Blizzard stated that later this year, the company would start releasing Hearthstone Mercenaries, a single-player and competitive game mode in which players collect characters from the Warcraft universe and level them up in tactical battles.
In World of Warcraft news, Blizzard announced Chains of Domination, the first major content update coming later this year for the recently released Shadowlands expansion, as well as an all-new charity pet program. The charity drive will gift players two separate pets, named Bananas the monkey and Daisy the sloth, once donation goals are met. Guests also got a first look at Burning Crusade Classic, a recreation of the first World of Warcraft expansion set to release later this year. That expansion will be included in players’ existing World of Warcraft subscriptions at no additional cost.
Retro fans can enjoy The Blizzard Arcade Collection, a digital set of Blizzard’s original console hits, “The Lost Vikings,” “Rock N Roll Racing,” and “Blackthorne,” all enhanced for modern platforms.
Throughout the weekend during BlizzCon 2021, six channels will offer extended looks into these franchises, including a look into the ongoing development of “Overwatch 2” and “Diablo Immortal,” the mobile RPG. Viewers can also watch multiple segments featuring artists, musicians, voice actors, content creators, and streamers, as well as a showcase highlighting some of the talented cosplayers, storytellers, and other artists inhabiting the Blizzard community.
The video below includes the opening ceremony, a celebration of 30 years of Blizzard; World of Warcraft; Overwatch 2; and a deep dive into Diablo.