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Blizzcon 2017 live report

Classic WOW servers! New WOW and Hearthstone expansions! New hero and map for Overwatch! StarCraft 2 goes free to play! This is how it went down.

Join us from 6pm UK time for Blizzard's annual Blizzcon opening ceremony celebrations.

We're expecting news on the new World of Warcraft expansion, this year's final set of Hearthstone cards, more new characters for Heroes of the Storm, and something fresh for Overwatch, too.

Watch with us here in the UK, where Oli will be shoutcasting in text form, with special guest appearances from Chris "Bratterz" Bratt in the audience over in Anaheim, California.

Our live coverage of this event has finished.

Coverage

Hello! Not long to go now. Remember, we're almost certain of a World of Warcraft expansion reveal, but Blizzard has ruled out any major Diablo reveals, sadly.

Robert Purchese

We've also already had one BlizzCon 2017 leak: Hanzo and Alexstrasza are heading to Heroes of the Storm.

Robert Purchese

With Blizzard pushing the Overwatch eSports overhaul hard, it's tough to imagine what else there will be to show. A new animated short?

Robert Purchese

Talking of animated shorts, there may well be another one for HearthStone, as per Blizzard's new animation plans announced at Gamescom.

Robert Purchese

Chris Bratt

I'm here in Anaheim! There's a LOT of people and they're VERY excited. Must be a Blizzcon.

Chris Bratt

Chris Bratt

We're already in the main hall, ready for the opening ceremony. It doesn't kick off properly for an hour and 40 minutes though.

Chris Bratt

I wish I'd brought sandwiches.

Chris Bratt

kettls: What are you gonna do for an hour and 40, Chris?

There'll be a preshow at some point, so, erm... maybe I'll go find those sandwiches.

Chris Bratt

Chris Bratt

Jaina Proudmoore features pretty heavily in this year's keyart, fuelling rumours that she's going to be a big player in the next WOW expansion.

Chris Bratt

People keep saying there's going to be boats too. So there's your latest rumourwatch from Eurogamer: Jaina and boats.

Chris Bratt

The Horde were much louder. All is well.

Chris Bratt

A booming announcer just asked us to cheer for the Alliance and then roar for the Horde. I love this daft show.

Chris Bratt

Kami: I'm more interested if the datamined "race-variations" thing they dug up on Tauren will happen. Mostly because Tauren are easy... everything else would be considerably more work.

Yup, sub-races look like they might be happening!

Chris Bratt

Red Shirt Guy himself broke that news!

Chris Bratt

Lucio's voice actor just showed up during the preshow, interviewing some Overwatch fans. Gosh, he's infectiously excited.

Chris Bratt

What do we think about a new Overwatch hero being revealed? The game desperately needs it, particularly a Support.

Chris Bratt

And their What's Next panel is an hour long. They must have something to talk about...

Chris Bratt

Chris Bratt

They've packed out the main stage. Thousands of people eagerly await some lovely words from Mike Morhaime.

Chris Bratt

Oh and some video game announcements too, I suppose.

Chris Bratt

The pre-show just opened with: "Are you ready to get Blizzy?"

Chris Bratt

I don't know about you, but I most certainly am.

Chris Bratt

Feeling Blizzy.

Chris Bratt

Chris Bratt

Almost there! I think Oli will be joining me for the ceremony itself.

Chris Bratt

Hello!

Oli Welsh

I'm enjoying this Overwatch World Cup interview because they're having to pretend that South Korea aren't guaranteed favourites.

Chris Bratt

The UK team went 15-0 on their way into this competition, but let's be serious here, pals...

Chris Bratt

I'll be talking you through tonight's opening ceremony but fair warning - I only really play WOW and Diablo, so I might need your help on the other stuff.

Oli Welsh

There are 30,000 attendees here today. Oosh.

Chris Bratt

They just said they're extending the Anaheim convention center. Jesus. That place was cavernous enough already.

Oli Welsh

I'm more eager to see details of this WOW expansion than I have been the last few. I enjoyed Legion SO much.

Oli Welsh

Here we go! Are you ready to get Blizzy, Oli?

Chris Bratt

How you build on it is quite a difficult question to answer (especially Artifact weapons, as one of you guys just pointed out) - but that only makes this more interesting.

Oli Welsh

Not Diablo 4 interesting, but still.

Oli Welsh

Here we go!

Oli Welsh

I've been Blizzy all day, Chris.

Oli Welsh

What were your first Blizzard games? Warcraft 3 for me.

Chris Bratt

I'm a regular Blizznessman.

Oli Welsh

Vanilla WOW was my first. I played it for half a day and wasn't convinced. And then I looked up and it was six months later and I was still in my dressing gown.

Oli Welsh

I'm falling for Blizzard all over again right now. The Blizzcon reset.

Chris Bratt

Lovely Mike Morhaime takes to the stage!!

Chris Bratt

And he's NOT wearing a bowling shirt?!

Chris Bratt

Super inclusive and sentimental reel of players emoting about Blizz games there. But the thing is, if you ever go to this show, the community feeling really is unbelievably strong. It's truly uplifting.

Oli Welsh

What up Kami!

Oli Welsh

This was a lot quicker when it was just Horde and Alliance for cheers...

Oli Welsh

Just realised it's 10 years since my first BlizzCon. Though it was in the summer then if I recall correctly.

Oli Welsh

It was the Wrath of the Lich King reveal and the whole thing leaked a day early and Frank Pearce (Blizz founder) looked really, really cross. And he is a terrifying man.

Oli Welsh

God, yeah, I wouldn't want to upset Frank.

Chris Bratt

Mike's Overwatch polo shirt is very restrained and tasteful compared to the old WOW bowling shirts.

Oli Welsh

I suppose that's a good thing but I'm kinda sad about it. Vile lime green and black bowling shirts on every staff member up to and including the CEO are a BlizzCon tradition.

Oli Welsh

Desinty 2 just got a shoutout at Blizzcon. It's not right. It's just not.

Chris Bratt

Metzen never wore them though. Maybe that's why he had to go.

Oli Welsh

Bungie have been Blizzard fanboys for so long, that must have made their day Chris.

Oli Welsh

Esports reel. Sped-up drone footage of central European cities. Dry ice jets. Crying men in headsets. A team called 'Heroes of the Dorm'.

Oli Welsh

Chris Bratt

I'm so close to the big man.

Chris Bratt

Kiliko: Mike Morhaime's reverb has more depth than Destiny 2.

I like Destiny 2, as it goes, but I'm so up for Blizzard fans condescending to the new boy.

Oli Welsh

StarCraft 2 is going free-to-play!!

Chris Bratt

From November 14th, you'll get the Wings of Liberty campaign for free. If you already own WoL, you'll get Heart of the Swarm instead.

Chris Bratt

It remains one of the greatest singleplayer RTS campaigns you can play. That's great!

Chris Bratt

PyD: yes Oli what the internet and online gaming has been missing is people being condescending to one another

I know, it's awful. This event brings out my inner fanboy.

Oli Welsh

"There are no strangers at Blizzcon, just friends you haven't met yet" Mike, once again, asking players to be nicer to each other. If only they'd listen!

Chris Bratt

StarCraft 2 going free is big. Interesting that it includes the campaign. Pushing the multiplayer would have been the easy option, but this is a better way to build a more inclusive community around it. That said, it's a sure sign that the game doesn't have enough players and the SC2 esports scene is flagging.

Oli Welsh

Heroes of the Storm up first. Time for those new hero reveals.

Oli Welsh

Yup, there they are: Alexstrasza and Hanzo.

Chris Bratt

Malek86: Look at it this way: for how much people ignore HotS, Blizzard are ignoring Diablo more

I believe they've reduced D3 support to a minimum because the team is fairly serious production on Diablo 4 now. Doesn't mean it's not still years away, mind.

Oli Welsh

Say something about dragons, Hanzo! Go on!

Chris Bratt

Kami: I'm hoping D4 takes more from D2 than it does D3. I'm a terrible person.

I prefer D3's combat and structure, but a 50/50 mix would be quite something. Or something new!

Oli Welsh

dingo75: I thought the Dragon Aspects are done now since the end of Cataclysm. It's all so confusing! We need red shirt guy! ;)

This is in the Nexus though, where any retcon is possible.

Oli Welsh

Anyway, we're spoiling the HOTS reveals with Diablo talk.

Oli Welsh

If I could play any MOBA (I am far too old and rubbish to play one), it would be HOTS. Not just because I'm a Blizzard fan. 20-minute matches sound good to me, and last hitting is stupid. You heard.

Oli Welsh

I'm pretty into this double dragon vibe, but HOTS remains a blind spot for me. I like seeing what they can do with the Overwatch character builds, but it's never properly grabbed me.

Chris Bratt

Ben Brode and his excellent voice now take to the stage (a different stage to the one I'm sitting in front of).

Chris Bratt

That's because you're a Dota snob, Chris.

Oli Welsh

Hearthstone time!

Oli Welsh

I dunno about this jumping to different stages thing. I fear change.

Oli Welsh

Hearthstone's expansion arrives next month and it's called...

Chris Bratt

Kobolds & Catacombs!

Chris Bratt

Oh my god, he's doing a Choose Your Own Adventure. I love this man.

Chris Bratt

This is such a great way to talk about a card game expansion.

Oli Welsh

The expansion's first card is being given to players for free on Monday.

Chris Bratt

Imagine Ben Brode was your DM.

Chris Bratt

Kiliko: wish I could get into HS. seems quite pleasant.

Same.

Oli Welsh

A new singleplayer mode called Dungeon Run is being cited as the reason for Brode's presentation. I don't believe that's the real reason. Not for a moment.

Chris Bratt

Over to Overwatch!

Chris Bratt

Kaplan has been critical of the toxicity within his game's community recently. I wonder if he'll have anything to say about that?

Chris Bratt

Jeff is not wearing Blizzard branded clothing! Something is wrong. This is like McCartney's bare feet on the Abbey Road cover.

Oli Welsh

Overwatch is getting a Blizzard theme park map?! I'M BACK IN, PALS.

Chris Bratt

"Theme park." The lawyers told him not to say Disney, didn't they.

Oli Welsh

Oh my goodness gracious me, this is such a wonderful thing.

Chris Bratt

This is both a cool map idea and a useful concept exercise for something that is definitely going to be built one day.

Oli Welsh

And there's a hero!!!

Chris Bratt

She's Overwatch's shadowpriest.

Chris Bratt

We really needed that, I think. Another genuine Support Hero.

Chris Bratt

Jeff Kaplan can say whatever the hell he wants. I love this. He's having fun.

Chris Bratt

"In case you're wondering how to spell Moira, it's spelled O P A F, just in case you're wondering."

Oli Welsh

Reinhardt just turned up. I'm almost in tears.

Chris Bratt

All professionalism just went out of the window.

Chris Bratt

"Crying is my ultimate. I will cry!"

Chris Bratt

And yes, he's there for a reason. Here's a new Reinhardt short.

Chris Bratt

This is going to be a sad one, isn't it?

Chris Bratt

williamarthurfenton: @dingo75 Yes, Legion is second best, WoTLK is first.

This is correct.

Oli Welsh

Ahaha, he's being a crap Reinhardt tank. Rushing ahead, leaving the team. We've all been there.

Chris Bratt

This is what happens when you go for kills with Reinhardt. I hope we're all paying attention.

Chris Bratt

Well, unsurprisingly, that was an excellent watch.

Chris Bratt

Sentiment and on-the-nose gameplay advice wrapped into one.

Oli Welsh

WOW time!

Oli Welsh

And J Allen Brack is representing with a truly horrible bowling shirt. Respect.

Oli Welsh

Great showing for OW. Hope it's the shot in the arm we needed. Now, it's time for a WOW expansion.

Chris Bratt

Oh. My. God.

Chris Bratt

OLI IT'S HAPPENING

Chris Bratt

OMGGGHGHGGGJAHFGSdjh

Oli Welsh

CHRIS HOLD ME CHRIS

Oli Welsh

I can't believe I didn't see where that ice cream thing was going.

Oli Welsh

The crowd here is going nuts. Finally, it's happening, Vanilla WOW returns.

Chris Bratt

Me neither! I thought he was building up to say something about Ice..Crown?

Chris Bratt

WOW classic. It's what we've all begged for.

Oli Welsh

This is no small deal. It means supporting basically a whole other game.

Oli Welsh

"The classic game experience - not the actual launch experience." And "It's going to take some time."

Oli Welsh

I still can't believe how good that setup was.

Chris Bratt

williamarthurfenton: I hope it has the new models as an option.

I sort of want it to be OG all the way. (Apart from the server stability.)

Oli Welsh

Kul Tiras is the home of the next expansion, as rumoured. The Horde and Alliance aren't getting on so well.

Chris Bratt

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

Chris Bratt

Allied races! Hmm, what's that?

Oli Welsh

One more thing!

Chris Bratt

Not much info on those new features - we'll have to wait for the WOW panel to find out more.

Oli Welsh

Oh hello, we're getting the intro cinematic too.

Chris Bratt

What a show this has already been.

Chris Bratt

Anduin is OP. Blizz pls nerf.

Chris Bratt

My god, we say this every time, but Blizzard's cinematic team are truly exceptional.

Chris Bratt

And that brings the opening ceremony to a close. I better rush off to my interviews. One of my favourite openings, easily.

Chris Bratt

Well that was kind of overshadowed by the WOW classic announce, but still.

Oli Welsh

I actually like how they've swung away from a single uber reveal to a broader spread of entertaining stuff. That Hearthstone reveal was beautiful.

Oli Welsh

That's a wrap. Chris will be bringing you more from the show on the site and our YouTube channel over the weekend. Have a good one and thanks for joining us!

Oli Welsh

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Tom Phillips

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Tom is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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