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Diablo is leaking into all the Blizzard franchises during its 20th anniversary, with tavern brawls, portraits, sprays and more showing up everywhere! It seems there's more to come as well, as this announcement is keeping some events close to the vest.
We know a little bit more about the secret WoW event, as we previously datamined some Diablo-themed items (including a bag and guitar!), so in case you missed it, you can check out that preview here.
As we approach the original game’s release anniversary on December 31, Blizzard Entertainment is thrilled to commemorate twenty years of Diablo. We’re ready to celebrate our passion for the world of Sanctuary and the brave heroes who inhabit it!
Starting soon, you can experience special in-game events and goodies in Diablo III, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, Overwatch, StarCraft II, and World of Warcraft to celebrate a few of the things we love about Diablo. These events and items will only be available for a limited time, so be sure to check them all out before they’re gone.
A small taste of each tribute is below—keep an eye out for more details about these celebrations. And thank you, all of you, for allowing us to continue adventuring in the world of Sanctuary. Here’s to twenty years of loot!
Recapture the feeling of your first play through of the original Diablo with The Darkening of Tristram tribute event. Venture through a reimagined version of the original cathedral in Diablo III and keep an eye out for some familiar items.
Heroes of the Storm:
The battle for the High Heavens continues, and a new Diablo-themed portrait is up for grabs! Can you emerge victorious on this hectic new brawl map?
In this Tavern Brawl, a hooded stranger awaits, holding a grim deck in his hands. Will you unravel the secrets surrounding this dark wanderer?
Bring the battle for Sanctuary into the fight for the future with in-game sprays representing your favorite Diablo III classes—along with a new player icon modeled after the Lord of Terror!
Put the Lord of Terror to work for you with a Diablo-themed worker portrait.
World of Warcraft:
Strange things are afoot in the world of Azeroth as denizens of Sanctuary cross over into an unfamiliar world.
Dave Kosak announced on Twitter that he is now part of the Hearthstone team.
Dave Kosak is best known as the Lead Narrative (Quest) Designer for World of Warcraft, his role being the creation of "overarching story vision for the franchise" and its implementation ingame. Today, Kosak announced that he is now working with the Hearthstone team.
Placeholder for tweet 803683460330102784 What could this mean for the future of both franchises? Well, we've recently seen that Hearthstone is becoming more independent from World of Warcraft by having its own unique characters and unexplored storylines. League of Explorers and the soon-to-be-released Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansion are good examples of how Hearthstone slowly deviated from its origins. We've also seen Hearthstone characters find their way into World of Wacraft: for example, Sir Finley is a quest giver in Legion.
It's possible that the devs want to expand even further on the lore of Hearthstone, perhaps making it a separate, spin-off universe altogether. Moreover, it's not entirely unlikely that the story of Hearthstone can inspire the story of World of Warcraft in the future and not the other way around as it was the case up until now.
At any case, we wish Dave the best of luck in his new position!
Celebrating the life of a Blizzard employee through the games he helped craft.
Well this is not new news, in fact we had reported about the sudden appearance of
Kanai's Stomping Grounds the day it occurred, Blizzard has released an official acknowledgement of this previously unknown level.
The post on Battle.net addresses the appearance of the level, confirms that this will be a part of the game annually, and summarises who Kevin was to Blizzard.
Blizzard has done an exceptional job of honoring one of their fallen with this tribute, and I just wanted to highlight it so that more people can understand the man behind the reason.
Normally, I urge readers to drop their comments below, but this time I urge you to take any nice things you have to say over to the actual post.
Thanks for reading guys, and stay tuned.
It came as quite a shock to all of us when Chris Metzen announced he was retiring, not only from Blizzard but from gaming in general. Now, in an interview with Scott Johnson of the Instance podcast, Chris talks about the reasons behind his decision. The whole thing is well worth a listen, but here are some highlights:.
"Leaving Blizzard was an incredibly difficult thing. I'd been there since, essentially, I was a kid. I think I was 19 when I got hired and it was my whole life, it was my identity. And it was in many ways, all-consuming. It was just incredible, but there can be a cost sometimes to running that hard."
As expected, developing Titan and then transforming it into Overwatch was extremely difficult and took its toll.
"I think during those years I burned out really hard. I think in my heart, I needed a change in my life. I wanted to slow down, I wanted to just not carry the weight of it all. But when you've been at a company like Blizzard for as long as I have, I think about Shawshank Redemption: I'm an institutional man now. I'm a Blizzard guy, through and through. I love that place. I love the people. It made me feel schizophrenic."
"I started having panic attacks left and right and just non-stop anxiety. Before I finally retired, I think I had been having panic attacks all the time, but I didn't know what they were. Kat and I would go on dates to go to a movie and almost all the time, I would start panicking in the middle of a movie. I had no idea what was going on."
That and his new born daughter added up to the decision to leave Blizzard and the wider gaming world behind, a decision we can all respect, and, in our own selfish way, be saddened by.
Unfortunately SoundCloud embeds don't seem to be working right now so you can listen to the full interview here.
42 million monthly active users across all Blizzard games and more data from the quarterly financial report.
Activision Blizzard shared their quarterly financial report and boy did they have something to report. It seems in Q3 of 2016 Blizzard had the biggest quarterly online player community in its history, with 42 million monthly active users across all games. This number has doubled in the last two years with the primary user sources being Overwatches huge popularity (it was the fastest Blizzard game to reach 20 million players), Legion's launch and Hearthstone which also had record monthly users for the quarter.
In more detailed statistical news, the overall number is up 25% quarter-over-quarter and 50% year-over-year, with Legion growing WoW's monthly active user numbers by 30% quarter-over-quarter. As you'd expect, game engagement also followed suit, with record daily and weekly active users, unique users and play time, and even the Legion companion app saw millions of users loging into it 4-5 times a day. It seems Blizzard has a lot to celebrate at Blizzcon these next few days, so let's all join in the fun and be proud to be part of such a massive community!
For an even more detailed look at Acti-Blizz's finances you can check out the full report.