Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Legion Hype: BlizzCon 2016 THIS WEEK!

Okay, this isn't strictly about World of Warcraft, rather fandom of all things Blizzard, but whatever. Blizzard's put on the 10th annual BlizzCon this weekend, and though I'm not attending (again) I will be enjoying all the panels and such via a Virtual Ticket that I (again) won in a last-minute giveaway from a WOW-related fan outlet. (This time, it was Final Boss, and I chose a Ticket from the options permitted when I won one of his post-progression kill giveaways for The Emerald Nightmare.) And like my friends, guildmates, and other fellow fans I follow who're hyped about it I look forward to seeing what's coming and what's going down.

What I am confident in speculating about is that Blizzard will take the opportunity provided by this being the 10th annual convention and the 25th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise to hype some new stuff that we heretofore had not expected. Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 are on their way out now; their teams are cut to skeletal states and people are being reassigned to other projects- some of which are unannounced as of this post. Overwatch is a success, Heroes of the Storm continues to push other MOBAs, and Hearthstone flourishes, while Legion is a return to form for World of Warcraft, but if Blizzard wants this success to continue it has to continue making new games and knowing when a game's lifespan expires. (Yes, even WOW will go down someday.) This is what I'm wanting to hear out of them.

The other thing I expect this year is more expansion of their IPs outside of gaming and tie-in literature. The Warcraft movie did well outside of the United States, such that I expect a sequel to be announced soon, because US box office and home video isn't the shot-caller that it once was in the movie world. I'm expecting those properties going fallow now to be next to get treatment to film and televsion, with Starcraft in particular being friendly to animation while Diablo allows for live-action treatment for television rather easily.

As for a new game, I expect more exploitation of the Overwatch property for new games. A new RPG, a new RTS, set in periods previous to that of Overwatch, would be welcome. Hell, more of those animated shorts (Hello, Terran!) would be welcome; those right there are Proof Of Concept that a series would work. Whatever comes, I expect to hear about it this weekend. I'm hyped, and as soon as I get my Virtual Ticket I'll be set for fun.

So, playable Vrykul please. I want to turn my Warrior into a Shieldmaiden. Oh, and when can I wield a spear as a one-handed weapon like those Shieldmaidens do? Gotta get my spear-and-shield action on.

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