Blizzard Gamescom 2015 media briefing live report Finished
And that's a wrap! With World of Warcraft expansion details coming tomorrow, Blizzard made a bunch of smaller announcements across its busy slate. Hearthstone's Grand Tournament expansion is getting a Reveal mechanic, and some new cards were shown. The Infernal Shrines map was announced for Heroes of the Storm, alongside a new hero, Rexxar, and Artanis from StarCraft. Finally, StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void's Allied Commanders co-op mode was detailed. Join us for the latest on WOW tomorrow evening.
Our live coverage has now ended. Here's what you missed: Updating...
It's not for want of love for Diablo 3 in the EG office, believe me! A D3 dev confirmed it won't be there on Twitter. Don't count the game out yet though - I wouldn't be surprised to see news at BlizzCon in November.
If there's ever going to be a Warcraft 4, it's years away. Team 1 is busy with StarCraft 2 and Heroes of the Storm. Remasters, though... that might be another matter.
Reckon this is a good bet, though expect a gradual roll-out in typical Blizzard style.
We are in!
And, as I'm sure you'll all be delighted to hear, the wi-fi is good. Blizzard know how to do internet, unsurprisingly.
No Diablo news - that's been confirmed already - and The World of Warcraft reveal is tomorrow afternoon.
Which still leaves StarCraft, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch and Hearthstone.
Not a shabby batch, really.
Correct. We're partying like it's 2007 here.
Hello everybody! For some reason they're letting me be the one to report this. Oh ho ho.
It's very peaceful in here, Hearthstone tavern music tinkling in the background. You know, I'd like to own a pub like that, all pewter tankards clanging and raucous fantasy rabble.
The conference is starting in a few moments. Plenty of people here now. Projected Blizzard logos floating on the walls around us. This would be better in costume.
Blizzard has got an awful lot on its slate at the moment - more than I can ever remember. Pity we'll have to wait for the WOW expansion announcement until tomorrow, though. I couldn't even coax a hint of what it will be from the PR, who's a very lovely man.
I witnessed Bertie's interrogation skills when he asked that. It was brutal.
Lights down, we're going to start!
Guy Cunis, Blizzard PR, is making sure we don't film or use flash photography - and at just that moment someone took a picture. What utter mad bants.
Hearthstone: The Grand Tournament up first, with Hamilton Chu and Mike Donais to present.
Trailer first. Raged 7 for PEGI FYI - it's OK for your kids. We've seen this trailer before - it's the announcement one.
Show us some cards! Inspire us! Get it? Inspire? No?
Mukla's Champion Inspires 1/1 whenever you use your Hero power. This is the main new mechanic of the expansion in case you don't know.
Legendary card Gormok the Impaler has a Battlecry where, if you have at least 4 other minions, he deals 4 damage.
Bolster new spell. Give minions Taunt and 2/2. Burgle adds 2 random class cards t your hand (from your opponent's class).
They're unveiling a brand new mechanic...
Be careful what you wish for.
Something to do with jousting and steeds...
It's Jousting, the new mechanic!
Master Jouster, rare, has a Battlecry that when you Joust you reveal a minion in each deck. If yours costs more, gain taunt and divine shield.
Each jouster reveals minions in each deck, and if your card costs more, it triggers a mechanic. It's a gamble, in other words, as jousting is - to some degree. Don't joust with The Mountain if you know what I mean.
I didn't catch all the individual cards there, but that's the gist of it.
Mike Donais, senior gameplay designer, is talking about some quality of life changes now. It's the Highest Rank Bonus.
People who hit a high rank don't want to play anymore and lose rank. Not applicable to me because I don't get above 24.
Now they memorise your recent rank in your Quest Log. At the end of the month you get a small bonus for whichever rank you achieve, and it depends on how high you got.
At rank 17 the example is a new card back, a new rare card and some dust. It's all coming out this month.
Note: no specific date beyond August.
Dustin Browder now to talk about Heroes of the Storm.
We're seeing stuff from the Eternal Conflict. A new hero...
It's... It's... The monk from Diablo 3!
He's officially Kharazim. He sounds a bit cheesed off.
He's the first Diablo support character in the game. He's melee support.
You can choose the trait you want to take into battle at level one. No one else does that, apparently.
You can choose between three: more crits, a heal every third strike, and a third I didn't catch...
His abilities: Radiant Dash to jump to allies, based on charges. Bound to Q. Means you can get across the battlefield pretty nippy like.
W ability is Breath of Heaven that heals you and people around you. That's your core support ability.
E ability is Deadly Reach, which extends your reach and gives extra damage.
These are abilities the monk has in Diablo 3. I played a monk, you know, and he was very good. Lovely big necklace.
So you can push your spec towards support or, perhaps, melee assassin.
Heroic abilities: Seven-Sided Strike. He teleports around whacking people.
Divine Palm is a support heroic. Allows you to strike an ally and if they're killed while it's on them, they get a huge heal. It's a life-saver.
There's a new Battleground they're going to show us today. It's Infernal Shrines, and it's a strong laning map don't you know.
There are three shrines and they summon skeletons. First team to kill 30 skeletons gets a Punisher summoned for them.
Punishers are out for heroes. They come for you.
He hunts down the enemy team. We're seeing him now. He's a hulking brute with fiery blade arms. Hits hard.
Ah, you can have a frozen, molten or magical type of Punisher. He really smashes the snot out of people. A circle appears around an enemy player that he's targeting. He jumps over walls to get to them.
His jump attack stuns on landing. So he jumps on you then pound, pound, pound you're dead.
What's Next? He asks. They're going to go back to regular scheduled programming when they were bouncing around from Blizzard universe to universe.
Rexxar from Warcraft is coming in! He's a ranged warrior, the first of them. He has Misha the pet, a bear-cat thingamagic.
Master and pet work together - you don't control Misha independently. Generally she attacks what you're attacking.
Rexxar can use Spirit Swoop, a hawk he can launch out in a line attack at enemies.
He has a 'Misha charge' ability to send her out to charge and stun enemies in a certain area.
You can also Mend Pet, to keep Misha alive. Rexxar works best when she's alive obviously. If she dies, she'll return in several seconds, but Rexxar will be weaker during that moment.
The heal is substantial. You can still burst-damage beat it, but over time she'll win out.
Heroic abilities are Unleash the Boars, which sends out boars into a far off area, even one he can't see. Any enemy hit will be slowed and also be shown to Rexxar and his team. Oh how sneaky.
The boards are good to slow fleeing teams. Another heroic is Bestial Wrath, a huge buff for Misha allowing her massive damage to rip people up.
Artanis, the first StarCraft warrior, is coming. He's still being worked on. He's the dual-bladed guy. He can be very tough and do a lot of damage "even for a warrior character".
Sounds like he doesn't have so much mobility though.
They're showing some of the art - how the characters will look - in a trailer. Blizzard models and animations are so chunky and satisfying - they pack so much character into their work. It's very nice to see.
Sketchy internet issues! I'm tethered to Patrick Garratt's phone you know - he who runs VG247.
There's an awesome mounted Judgement-clad Paladin character being shown.
That's it for HOTS. Now we have Jeff Kaplan to talk about Overwatch. He did so much with World of Warcraft, remember, and was leading Titan before it sort of became Overwatch.
Overwatch, in case you don't know, is a free to play team-based shooter. It's a bit Team Fortress 2, but shh don't tell Blizzard I compared it to that. It's got loads of different characters/classes, and I expect they'll rotate in and out and be bought in a F2P MOBA way.
That's an Overwatch overview - ho ho! The announcements for Gamescom...
New maps! Off to Russia to Vokskaya Industries. This has two control points for an attack-defend vibe. New elements they're trying include moving platforms, so turret builders can suddenly get mobile.
No, just speculation on our part!
That may be me being crazy. Do not take as gospel! They didn't say anything about it and my internet is a bit slow to go and check things out at the mo (I don't want to touch it in case it falls down)
Second map is in Africa. It's Numbani. It is the most technologically advanced city in the (future) world of Overwatch.
It's a hybrid map, so the first objective is to capture a payload, and if you get it you then have to escort it through the map.
The map will have vistas of the horizon and you can actually knock people outside of the map. Players with great mobility can find shortcut routes around it too.
Seeing a video now. Volskaya first. Snow, obvs. Big city in background. Now Numbani. The future is curvy, and there are trees! That's a relief.
He's still on stage - you never know!
New hero: Lucio.
He's the 16th announced hero. He's got skates! He skates around. He's got big dreads. He's got a kind of futuristic bubble gun. He's mobile. He's really into his music. Now he's dancing. Cringe.
He's Brazilian. "We're ecstatic that we finally have a hero from South America," grins Kaplan. I'm not surprised - big game-playing market, that.
His gun is a sonic amplifier and he built it to rebel against the oppressive forces in Brazil.
If it's not capoeira, I'll eat my hat.
His gun has two firing modes. First is a four-round burst. Alternate is huge knock back. He has Crossfade. He has Amp It Up. He has Sound Barrier.
His defining feature is his music. One of two songs always plays, and one heals, and one gives a speed boost, both to him and his team mates.
Amp It Up "massively" increases bonuses from heal or speed song. The heal song heals your allies FYI.
Amp It Up on speed boost makes you go super-fast it sounds like, even big tanky-lump characters.
His skates allow him to jump on the wall and jump from wall to wall and keep the skate going. He's a good character to showcase the shortcuts Kaplan was talking about in the maps.
Lucio's ultimate ability is a powerful support mechanic. It's Sound Barrier. He slams his amplifier on the ground and it shields him and allies, giving them an additional health pool.
He works as both support and harassing skirmisher, Kaplan says.
That's it from Kaplan and Overwatch. No beta date.
Now Tim Morten is on stage talking about StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void. Yesterday they announced it will be shipping this year. It's haaaaaaaapening.
Legacy of the Void is standalone, as is Heart of the Swarm now. LOTV adds six new units to multiplayer including the Liberator and Adept. Also adds the Archon mode to team up with other players.
The new stuff... First footage of the new game mode Allied Commanders.
It's a new co-op game mode where you can play against AI, with objectives. You can choose between commanders Raynor, Kerrigan and Artanis. You'll level up and gain new powers.
Sounds an easy-in for newer players to me. No base-building, by the sound of it - more active.
Anyone who buys any version of LOTV will unlock Artanis in Heroes of the Storm when he becomes available.
Allied Commanders blends campaign gameplay and co-op gameplay. It's playable here at Gamescom.
That's it from Morten.
Everything they're showing will be available in high-res. Tom Chilton is coming up - game director for World of Warcraft. They're not announcing the expansion but they're going to talk a little bit about it...
That's tomorrow at 6pm CEST - 5 UK time.
They've got a few videos to show including a cinematic teaser. They're also doing a full BlizzCon-style presentation afterwards to do a full reveal on the expansion. That's really cool.
It's not like Blizzard to choose Gamescom for that kind of reveal. Makes me wonder what on earth they've got for BlizzCon - must be big!
That's it for Blizzard. That's it for me. Toodleoo! Smoochies!