Blizzard Entertainment’s BlizzCon of 2016 has come and gone once again. Here’s a quick look at the big announcements made for StarCraft II, Diablo III, World of Warcraft, and more during the event.
Blizzard has partnered with DeepMind to create a more intelligent AI for computer-controlled enemies and allies. DeepMind is a Google AI research subsidiary which specializes in “machine learning”. Therefore, this partnership should construct an enemy which seems as though it’s reacting to a player’s strategies and counter accordingly.
The necromancer class will be making a return to the Diablo franchise in the form of a game pack. In addition to unlocking the necromancer, the pack will also provide an in-game pet, two character slots, two stash tabs, and more portrait frames, pennants, banners and sigils.
The Diablo team must have been feeling particularly nostalgic this year because they also announced a new annual event titled Darkening of Tristram to celebrate the original Diablo game’s 20th birthday. This free update will bring players back to the Cathedral with special graphical effects to ensure Diablo III looks just like the original game during the experience.
World of Warcraft
Patches 7.1.5 and 7.2 were unveiled and they will refresh old content in addition to adding even more. Six dungeons from the Mists of Pandaria expansions will be entering the Timewalking cycle, classes will finally be receiving some much-needed balance changes, and there will be some PvP updates as well. 7.1.5 will also kick off Blizzard’s new micro-holiday events, which will be non-essential content that can sometimes only last for one day.
7.2, on the other hand, will be a bigger update comprised of a new raid, a new four-boss dungeon, and the final stage for unlocking flight within the new expansion will finally be released. Each class will also be receiving their own class-locked epic mount which will all have the ability to soar through the sky when the player has flight unlocked.
The notorious hacker known as Sombra has finally come out of hiding. She is an offensive character with quite the collection of crowd-controlling abilities. Sombra camouflages and translocates her way behind enemy lines to disrupt turrets and shields. This provides her allies time to rush in and take over strategic points on the map with ease. Sombra is even equipped with an EMP which can destroy enemy barriers or shields which could potentially bring down an enemy player’s only defense when timed correctly.
Heroes of the Storm
Varian Wrynn and Ragnaros will be fighting to the death in the next team-brawler update. The late king of Stormwind will be the first character to fall under two different class types; warrior and assassin. As a warrior, Varian wields both a sword and shield in order to fight multiple opponents. After dropping his shield and splitting his sword into twin blades, he becomes much better suited for dueling one-on-one. The fire elemental Ragnaros is also an assassin and comes with the ability to splash waves of magma to reduce forts to ash.
Courageous heroes will be braving the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan in Hearthstone‘s next expansion. There are three crime families who are feuding over control of the city and players must choose who they want to support. The Grimy Goons have requested help from the Hunter, Paladin, and Warrior. Meanwhile, Mage, Priest, and Warlock players will be joining the mysterious Kabal. And finally, the members of Jade Lotus have the earned support from the Druid, Rogue, and Shaman. Each affiliation will have their own special surprises to bring to the table in order to ensure victory.