Hey everybody! Almost time for MAXIMUM BLIZZARD.
At 5pm tonight Blizzard will be hosting its grandly titled 'reveal ceremony' on its Gamescom stage (and in the stream embed below). This is distinct from the preview stream on Monday evening which already saw a bunch of announcements - including the Junkertown map for Overwatch and Kel'Thuzad's arrival in Heroes of the Storm - so we're not quite sure what to expect, but at the very least there'll be more detail on the new content for all the studio's games. Outside chance of a World of Warcraft expansion tease, too…
They're showing some cartoons to warm us up, which is nice.
I'll be filling in for Martin because he doesn't really know anything about Blizzard games. One Gamescom, I had to live-coach him about Diablo online while he was sitting in a preview for Reaper of Souls.
It's a good thing for him he shares my other loves (Nintendo and cars) really.
It looks like we won't have major new announcements this evening. The World of Warcraft team will be presenting, but just about the next content patch for Legion.
And we know we will get to see the new Overwatch animated short.
With nothing from Gamescom, the next WOW expansion seems bound to be announced at BlizzCon in November.
Bit of an odd strategy from Blizzard this year - hosting a canned preview stream on the Monday with new announcements (like the Junkertown map for Overwatch and Kel'Thuzad coming to Heroes), which doesn't leave much left for this live event for fans...
Holy cow, look at the size of that crowd.
For such an American company, Germany is really their second home.
Hearthstone up first.
Blizzard uses BlizCon for their announces
True, although Legion was announced at Gamescom two years ago.
Hearthstone's first co-op raid against the Lich King starts on Friday, which we knew already, but it turns out the Germacon attendees have already kicked his butt. Wonder if they got any legendary Pokémon from it.
THE LICH KING CAN NEVER DIE, HE IS ETERNAL.
I feel like I've killed him an awful lot for that.
There're a lot of people there for what is likely to be a fairly mediocre briefing...
The passion of Blizzard fans is something else. The energy at BlizzCon is off the charts.
Something else they do well - CG trailers and short films. Here's one with a cute mouse in it.
I have a glitchy stream though and it's making the sound wobble like this is playing on an old VHS tape.
Oh my goodness, this is a delight.
That Druid at the back looks like Getafix?!
Imagine an Asterix/Warcraft crossover.
Altogether now... no... one's... slick like Gaston, no one's quick as Gaston, no one's neck's as incredibly thick as Gaston's!
Well, that's Blizzard having won Gamescom as far as I'm concerned.
If this were an EA show, now we would have an awkward dance number.But it's Blizzard. And it's amazing.
Imagine having the money to commission a short like that just to celebrate a years-old live game. And the skills to make it yourselves.
Eva, the girl, and the rest of the cast of the short, will appear in some comics and stuff, too. Pure fan love.
Here's another of Monday's announcements - Kel'Thuzad in Heroes of the Storm. We're going to get a first look at his spotlight video showing what he can do.
Sorry, was just googling how to spell Kel'Thuzad.
Most requested hero, apparently. Plus end boss of Naxxramas, the greatest WOW raid ever. probably the greatest MMO raid ever.
Pretty cool how all of his abilities can *chain* together, huh?
I don't know what that skin is but it's amazing.
There's a documentary on the making of Kel'Thuzad next week, plus a big launch event for him in-game, some themed skins etc. They are really pushing this - and making the most of the links to WOW, Warcraft 3 and Hearthstone.
You'd think Heroes' links to so many other popular Blizzard games would help it more than they have.
WOW next! Here's Ion! Which is disappointingly pronounced more like Ian than I-on.
World of Warcraft up next! I spoke with Hazzikostas a few hours ago. No expansion announcement today, he said.
Here's a preview of patch 7.3 for Legion. Legion is so so good, but I haven't played since 7.1.
Shadows of Argus and oh my that was Illidan there.
Quizzed him about legacy servers (again). That interview will be up post-Gamescom.
No, don't do this again.
DO NOT TRY TO EXPLAIN WOW LORE LIVE ON STAGE.
It never ends well.
I didn't mind it when Chris Metzen did it.
Anyway, this sounds like quite the update. Multiple new playable regions on Argus.
I've enjoyed Legion, but I think I'm done with the colour green for a little bit.
I've always been impressed with how much Blizzard stuffs into the major WOW patches. They always come across more like expansions.
Yeah - it's like the expansions are new games, and the patches are expansions. Just insane amounts of content being produced by what is far from the biggest dev team in the business.
Hggggggn I want to play again so much.
In-game cinematic. Now we're talking!
Illidan, there, using a lot of words to tell the Draenei they're not prepared.
Overwatch time! Hey, I interviewed this man too.
30 million players. That's a pretty big video game.
Oli, we keep saying the same thing when a new game turns up. We're so in sync!
Really looking forward to another animated short here.
Blizzard statue fans: there's a new life-size Junkrat being displayed at Gamescom. No word on whether it uses real human hair.
IS IT A MEI ONE?!
IT IS A MEI ONE. YES, PALS.
(Blizzard has a department called Story and Franchise Development.)
She has a murloc coffee mug. Everything is great.
Everything is not as great now.
Oooo, that has to be a new skin!
Only just clocked she's wearing an old Sumer Games t-shirt. Gosh, they're so good at this.
NO LITTLE ROBOT FRIEND DON'T YOU DO IT
He did it Chris.
Really enjoyed Snowball's animated short. Cool Mei cameo too.
That was great but Asterix and the Hearthstone and the Beast wins.
Yeah, I'm with you there.
No major announcements but some good detail on WOW there, and some fantastic videos. It was fun.
That's us done then? Better get working on these Blizzard interviews!
Blizzard streaming Destiny 2 later. I look forward to the Bungie merger soon.
I'm off, but here's another chance to watch the Hearthstone song. Laters!