Sunday November 5, 2017
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‘Hearthstone,’ ‘World of Warcraft,’ ‘Overwatch’ ‘Diablo,’ and ‘HotS’ characters feature on the Blizzcon 2017 poster. — Picture courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment‘Hearthstone,’ ‘World of Warcraft,’ ‘Overwatch’ ‘Diablo,’ and ‘HotS’ characters feature on the Blizzcon 2017 poster. — Picture courtesy of Blizzard EntertainmentSAN FRANCISCO, Nov 5 — This year’s edition of an annual fan convention hosted by Blizzard Entertainment, the company behind World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Hearthstone and Overwatch, is set to begin at 11am PDT on November 3.

The 11th edition of Blizzcon begins at 11am with an announcement-filled opening ceremony, streamed live online to ticket holders and non-paying viewers alike.

The free stream also includes access to Overwatch, StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm, World of Warcraft and Hearthstone eSports tournaments.

Those with a digital ticket, which Blizzard sells for US$39.99 (RM169.40), can also see all stage events — panels, talks, community events, and the closing ceremony — plus tournament replays, a selection of pre-Blizzcon videos and a clutch of in-game goodies.

Those streams can be seen through the Blizzcon app (on iOS and Android) or through the event’s website, blizzcon.com/watch.

Since its formation in 1991, the worldwide studio network has presided over a succession of video game titans.

Real-time strategies WarCraft and StarCraft led to the creation of era-defining subscription MMO World of Warcraft and genre-defining fan game Dota.

Action role-playing game Diablo is still an ongoing influence, over 20 years on from its debut, while Hearthstone translated the Warcraft mythos into a portable digital card game, Heroes of the Storm took Dota and ramped up the accessibility, and vibrant team action title Overwatch made an enormous impact on 2016’s gaming landscape.

Blizzcon has become the de facto destination for big Blizzard announcements, with tournaments and contests held throughout the two-day event, as well as a live concert to close the event — this time courtesy of UK rock band Muse.

As for what to expect, World of Warcraft has been on a two-year expansion schedule, meaning that a new excursion is very likely due late 2018, and making Blizzcon 2017’s opening ceremony the corresponding platform for a big reveal.

Likewise, the next year of Hearthstone expansions begins in April 2018, with Blizzard confirming there’ll be a Blizzcon-related reveal.

Less official but no less certain, a pair of characters from Overwatch and World of Warcraft are to be introduced to Heroes of the Storm, according to a graphic that went up early on the game’s Chinese landing page.

And while a new map could emerge for Overwatch, alongside general tweaks and perhaps another animated short, Blizzcon also represents the game’s last World Cup Finals before 12 franchised teams from around the world compete in 2018’s Overwatch League, with a pre-season starting December 6 and a seven-month season beginning January 10. — AFP-Relaxnews

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