Blizzard Entertainment’s BlizzCon is back and in-person for the first time in four years. BlizzCon 2023 runs Nov. 3-4 in Anaheim, but Blizzard fans can watch the show from anywhere, with two days of live broadcasts.
The biggest newsmaking event took place Friday, when Blizzard held BlizzCon’s opening ceremony, a nearly two-hour event that promised “exciting announcements” for World of Warcraft, Diablo 4, Hearthstone, Warcraft Rumble, and Overwatch 2. Blizzard delivered, revealing multiple new heroes for Overwatch 2, Diablo 4’s first expansion, a staggering three expansions for World of Warcraft, and Cataclysm for World of Warcraft Classic.
Here’s everything Blizzard has announced at BlizzCon 2023, so far.
Overwatch 2’s new hero(es)
Blizzard revealed the next hero coming to Overwatch 2, the Samoan tank Mauga, on Friday. The dual-chaingun-wielding Mauga is coming to Overwatch 2 in season 8 of the free-to-play hero shooter, but fans of the franchise can try him out early this weekend.
Overwatch game director Aaron Keller also offered a sneak peek at the next year of Overwatch 2, including a new PvP game mode called Clash, which he described as a five-point capture gameplay mode. Clash will feature the return of a reworked location from the original Overwatch: Deprecated map Hanamura is coming back, re-imagined as a Clash map called Hanaoka.
Keller also promised overhauls to Overwatch 2’s most important in-game systems, including a reworked version of Competitive play and all-new Competitive rewards. He teased themes for upcoming seasons, which will focus on Eldritch horror, Egyptian mythology, witches, and a mirror universe “where heroes become villains and villains become heroes.”
Finally, Keller teased two more heroes coming to Overwatch 2 in 2024: a new damage hero, Venture, coming in season 10, and a new support hero currently codenamed “Space Ranger,” coming in season 12.
The future for #Overwatch2 is BRIGHT ✨— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) November 3, 2023
⚔️ New Game Mode CLASH
New Map Hanaoka
New Damage Hero
New Support Hero
Dive into these reveals and more of what's to come in 2024 TOMORROW at 1:30pm PT during the What's Next Panel! pic.twitter.com/OWiUyo8Xpe
Diablo 4’s first expansion, Vessel of Hatred
In the midst of season 2 of Diablo 4, Blizzard teased season 3, which will introduce a new type of weekly challenge dungeon called The Gauntlet.
But the bigger news was the reveal of Diablo 4’s first expansion, Vessel of Hatred, which is coming to the game in late 2024, Blizzard announced. Players will visit a jungle region new to Diablo 4, once again face Mephisto, and get access to a “completely new class, never seen before in the Diablo universe,” Diablo 4 production director Tiffany Wat said.
World of Warcraft Classic
Holly Longdale, executive producer for World of Warcraft, revealed that “a new way to play hardcore mode” in World of Warcraft Classic is coming in 2024. But the bigger addition for WoW Classic will be an updated version of the Cataclysm expansion that originally launched in 2010. Longdale said that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Classic will include changes based on player feedback.
In the shorter term, Longdale also teased Season of Discovery for World of Warcraft Classic, describing it as “vanilla WoW with a spicy twist,” with new secrets and class-altering abilities. That means players could become a Mage healer or a tanking Warlock. Season of Discovery launches Nov. 30.
World of Warcraft’s next expansion(s)
Chris Metzen, executive creative director of the Warcraft universe, returned to the BlizzCon stage to talk about the future of World of Warcraft. Metzen laid out an ambitious plan to chart the next two decades of World of Warcraft, which will start with the Worldsoul Saga. That’s not just one expansion, it’s three.
- World of Warcraft: The War Within, which will send players to the subterranean kingdom Nerubian Empire to dispense justice;
- World of Warcraft: Midnight, a return to the old world, sending players to the fabled lands of Quel’thalas to battle the forces of The Void;
- World of Warcraft: The Last Titan heads to the wintry lands of Northrend, where players will bear witness to the Titans of Azeroth, uncovering a vast conspiracy that stretches throughout the history of the world and reveals the true nature of the Titans.
The first expansion in World of Warcraft’s Worldsoul Saga trilogy, The War Within, will be released in 2024. It will be WoW’s 10th overall expansion.
Cora Georgiou, senior game designer for Hearthstone, showed off the trailer for Showdown in the Badlands, a new expansion which takes place in Azeroth’s version of the wild west and tells an origin story for characters Reno Jackson and Elise Starseeker.
Georgiou also revealed a new way for Hearthstone players to get new cards: Catch-up packs are “game changing for getting your collection caught up,” because players can get up to 50 cards from a single pack.
There’s also a new mode coming to Hearthstone Battlegrounds called Battleground Duos, a new cooperative way to play.
Blizzard’s mobile action-strategy combat game set in Azeroth, which creators say “harkens back to our RTS roots,” Warcraft Rumble, is out now. Season 1 of the mobile action game kicks off with a new tabletop mini-style version of Sylvanas Windrunner.