by Jeremy Rogers
Blizzard made no fancy show of starting their Gamescom conference; they just dove right into the fray with an announcement about their hit collectable card game, Hearthstone. A Blizzard representative announced that the next challenge in Hearthstone would be the final mission for the Knights of the Frozen Throne. Now players will be able to pit their decks against the Lich King for the Frozen Throne itself. This enemy will be the first enemy in the game to modify its strategy based on the player’s class that they bring to the fight. Fireside Gatherings everywhere will soon get access to the Lich King raid after its exclusive first run at Gamescom. After the announcements about Hearthstone, a new cinematic short was revealed that shows off how the folks at Blizzard could stay in business should that whole video game fad stop making them money.
If the characters shown make you yearn for more, fear not. Blizzard announced that they will be producing more content in the form of shorts, comics, and the like that explore the diverse cast of characters that populate the tavern.
The next game to get the Gamescom treatment was Heroes of the Storm. The game director, Alan Dabiri, came out and primiered a new hero’s video. The lich lord Kel’Thuzad will be the next playable hero to join the playable ranks of Blizzard’s popular MOBA. After showing off the character’s abilities in game, attendees were shown an event quest called Obey the Call, where players can earn portraits and other in-game rewards. To finish off this segment, Dabiri announced that Blizzard would be releasing a five-part documentary of all the behind the scenes work that went into putting a new character into the game next week. The title of the documentary is Raising Kel’Thuzad.
World of Warcraft was up next. A trailer for the upcoming 7.3 patch of the relatively venerable MMO was shown. The patch will be called Shadows of Argus. The patch is described by WoW game director Ion Hazzikostas as being a story heavy update packed with loads of new content. The patch will be expanding on Legion features and adding new features in the patch. Players exploring Argus will get to explore the home world of the Legion which is also the home world of the Draenei. Fans of the lore of the WoW will have plenty to dig into with this newest load of content. Players will be able to stride across Argus’ surface starting August 29th in the United States.
Blizzard’s latest mega-hit was next to take the stage with Chacko Sonny, the production director of Overwatch, announcing all the new content coming down the pipeline. Junkertown, the new escort map for the game that canonically serves as the home of JunkRat and RoadHog was explored in more depth. After a short talk the project director of Blizzard Animation, Ben Dai, came to the stage to introduce the next animated short for one of the heroes of Overwatch.