Blizzcon 2014: World of Warcraft marches on

Zak Parchen, Staff Reporter

Over November 7th and 8th, Blizzard Entertainment hosted their eighth and largest Blizzcon in the Anaheim Convention Center.  The two days were full of announcements, tournaments, and competitions relating to Blizzard games–a dream event for anyone who is a fan of  one of the Blizzard franchises: World of Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft, or Hearthstone.

Blizzard announced Overwatch, the first new “Blizzard Universe” introduced in the last 17 years.  Overwatch is a team based FPS(first person shooter), which is a very different game type than what Blizzard is used to creating; however, Chris Metzen, a long term Blizzard developer, addressed that when the MMO(mass multiplayer online game) World of Warcraft was under development.  Blizzard had received much criticism for being known as an RTS(real time strategy) game company, yet World of Warcraft had quickly become the world’s most popular game in its genre.  No planned release date for Overwatch was given, although the beta will be available in 2015.

Other new game announcements included that of Goblins vs Gnomes, Hearthstone’s first expansion, and Legacy of the Void, being the final Starcraft 2 expansion.  Goblins vs Gnomes was said to be released during the month of December, and the expansion will feature over a hundred new Hearthstone cards, many of which are goblin or gnome themed.  Legacy of the Void will be the conclusion to the Starcraft 2 series, which will have a campaign featuring the story of the Protoss, as well as concluding the story for many of the main protagonists, Raynor, Kerrigan, etc.

Furthermore, there were more details publicized about the Warcraft movie produced by Legendary Pictures.  Although the movie is finished being filmed, many special effects are still being added into the film, which is why it is planned to be released on March 11, 2016.  For those who attended the convention in person, they got to see the trailer to the new film.  As was announced at the movie panel, the special effects were not completely finished, which could be seen throughout the duration of the trailer, but despite its incompleteness, it quickly became apparent that this is a movie that is well cared for and will definitely be great.  Blizzard and the film’s director also stressed that the movie will present the perspective of both the humans and the orcs, rather than portraying the Horde as villainous, which was an unpopular direction that a previous director wanted to take.

To wrap up the two day convention, Blizzard concluded with an hour long documentary,  titled “Looking for Group,” telling the history of World of Warcraft, showing the game’s origins and where it stands today.  Following the documentary, they had the band ETC, comprised of some long term Blizzard developers, play a few Warcraft themed songs, opening up for the well known band Metallica, who played for an hour and a half, concluding the event.