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Blizzard at Gamescom: Azshara + New OW Shorts, Cosplay and More

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Blizzard is heading to gamescom tomorrow, August 21st, and it's bringing a whole lot of animation with it! We're getting the now long awaited final entry in the Warbingers series, featuring Queen Azshara and a huge chunk of the Battle for Azeroth lore, where we might find out just what level of Old God involvement the expansion will have (spoiler alert: a lot). Her majesty will also be an endboss in a later raid, is the frontperson on the Blizzard gamescom art and we'll get to see the start of her BfA story in the animated short on August 24th, after the Cosplay contest that starts at 6:15 CEST (and ends at 7:00, but the short might come up a bit earlier than that)!

In other parts of the Blizzard multiverse we're getting a brand new Overwatch animated short as well, right after a new content reveal panel. We don't really have any hint of what the short could be, although the smart money is on something Hammond/Wrecking Ball related. We'll also get some Lucioball action and get to meet the Lucio, D.Va and Brigitte voice actors!

We're also getting the return of Hanamura in HotS, as well as a playable Mephisto (at the show only); Tychus Findlay joins the co-op commander ranks in StarCraft 2, Diablo 3 will be playble on the Switch and there will be live drawings from the artists; Hearthstone gets a new Fireside Brawl and audience members competing in challenges in the Puzzle Labs live on stage. There's a lot more content to be had so make sure to check out the full schedule and list of activities below (just click on the image for the full schedule and check out the full press release under that).

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You can also check out the full Blizzard gamescom site for additional info.

Blizzard LogoPress Release (source)

BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENTBRINGS A FESTIVAL OF GAMES AND COMMUNITY ATTRACTIONS TO GAMESCOM 2018

Visitors can play the latest content and take part in activities for all of Blizzard’s game universes in Cologne, Germany, from August 21–25 

COLOGNE, Germany—August 20, 2018—Blizzard Entertainment will be showcasing its games and celebrating its community at gamescom 2018 in Cologne, Germany, from Tuesday, August 21, to Saturday, August 25. Attendees will have the chance to enjoy the latest playable content and plenty of activities for Overwatch®, World of Warcraft®: Battle for Azeroth, Heroes of the Storm®, StarCraft® II, Diablo® III, and Hearthstone® at the Blizzard booth in Hall 7 of the Koelnmesse. There’s also a full stage schedule, beginning with the unveiling of new content for Overwatch on Wednesday, August 22.

A calendar of main stage activities can be viewed on the new “Blizzard at gamescom” website (http://gamescom.blizzard.com) and mobile application, available on the App Store and the Google Play Store. The site and app also feature a catalog of merchandise that can be purchased at the Blizzard store in Hall 5, including some brand-new and convention-exclusive items, and visitors can create a personal wishlist in advance to facilitate their shopping experience. Some items from the gamescom collection can also be purchased directly on the European Gear Store.

In addition, the Blizzard at gamescom app allows attendees at the event to take an Augmented Reality tour of the Blizzard booth for the chance to win prizes.

Those who can’t make it to gamescom 2018 in person can watch the daily Blizzard at gamescom show via the website starting at 5:00 p.m. CEST Wednesday, August 22, through Friday, August 24, and 4:00 p.m. CEST on Saturday, August 25. Hosted by actor and presenter Naomi Kyle and well-known YouTuber Mark “Turps” Turpin, the show will include live-streamed and pre-recorded content, with spectators having the ability to change camera angles.

Visitors to the Blizzard booth at gamescom will be able to experience the following playable content and activities:

Overwatch

  • Blizzard is kicking off the first public day of gamescom 2018 with the Overwatch: New Content Reveal on the main stage starting at 11:15 a.m. CEST on Wednesday, August 22. Followed by the new content reveal will be the European premiere of a new Overwatch animated short, which will also be available to view on YouTube
  • German Overwatch World Cup 2018 team members will battle participants from the audience in Lúcioball showmatches live on stage on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for the Overwatch: Lúcioball Challenge.
  • Overwatch heroes D.Va, Lúcio, and Brigitte will come to life as their voice actors perform on stage in the Overwatch: German Voice Actors Panel at 11:00 a.m. CEST on Friday, August 24, followed by a signing session.
  • Attendees at gamescom will be able to enjoy some fun in the sun at the Blizzard booth with Summer Games-themed activities, including custom surfboards, face painting, community Lúcioball tournaments, a working Pachimari claw machine, and more.

World of Warcraft

  • World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth will be playable on 80 gaming stations at the Blizzard booth, where visitors can enjoy a solo experience with the Siege of Lordaeron in-game event and group up with friends at gamescom for the Island Expeditions feature.
  • World of Warcraft cosplayers will show off creations inspired by the latest expansion on stage and via live stream during the Battle for Azeroth: Cosplay Showcase at 6:15 p.m. CEST on Friday, August 24, followed by the reveal of the third and final episode in the Warbringers series of animated shorts—the tale of Azshara, Queen of the Naga.
  • Top German guilds Aversion and Set Sail For Fail will face off in Island Expeditions live on stage during three rounds of the Battle for Azeroth: Island Expeditions Showcase on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
  • Visitors to the booth will be able to attend a live Darkmoon Faire, with activities like an airbrush makeup station, a fortune teller, and photo opportunities with the Recruit-a-Friend X-53 Touring Rocket mount, as well as renowned European community content creators streaming live.

Heroes of the Storm

  • A new Prime Evil wreaks havoc on the Nexus—Mephisto, Diablo II’s Lord of Hatred and the latest Ranged Assassin in Heroes of the Storm, will be playable for the first time at gamescom. His spotlight video can be viewed here.
  • The Overwatch-themed Hanamura map is new and improved with an emphasis on action-packed team fights, and it’s back in the game—now dubbed Hanamura Temple, it will be playable by the public for the first time at the Blizzard booth during the show. Check out our Hanamura Temple video to see all of the updates in action.
  • In Heroes of the Storm: Live Drawing with Carbot, Jonathan Burton from Carbot Animations will create his wacky rendition of Mephisto live on stage at 12:00 p.m. CEST on Thursday, August 23.

StarCraft II

  • It’s about time—Tychus Findlay, the latest Co-op Commander for StarCraft II, will be playable for the first time at the Blizzard booth. His spotlight video can be viewed here. On Wednesday, August 22, and Thursday, August 23, StarCraft II lead co-op designer Kevin Dong will demonstrate the new commander live on stage with YouTubers Lowko and Winter in StarCraft: Commander Co-op.
  • In StarCraft: One vs Many, YouTubers Lowko and Winter will take on any audience members who think they have what it takes to defeat these pros in a live one-versus-three battle on Saturday, August 25, at 3:00 p.m. CEST.

Diablo III

  • Visitors to the Blizzard booth can try their hand at slaying demons anytime, anywhere, with anyone—Diablo III will be playable on the Nintendo Switch console for the first time at gamescom.
  • On Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, a Blizzard artist will be creating some diabolical artwork live on stage in Diablo: Live Drawing with Chris Amaral.

Hearthstone

  • In Hearthstone: Puzzle Time!, teams of gamescom audience members will race to complete challenges in Hearthstone’s new Puzzle Labs live on stage on Friday and Saturday at 12:15 p.m. CEST. These Solo Adventures for the game’s latest expansion, The Boomsday Project, will be released to the public on Tuesday, August 21.
  • Hearthstone players can enjoy a brand-new Fireside Brawl, available for the first time at gamescom.

In addition to these games and activities, gamescom attendees can head to Blizzard’s main stage for two concerts from the Video Games Live orchestra on Wednesday, August 22, and Thursday, August 23, at 6:00 p.m. CEST; the Blizzard Dance Contest on Thursday, August 23, at 3:30 p.m. CEST; and the popular Blizzard Cosplay Contest closing out the week at 5:00 p.m. CEST on Saturday, August 25. Those watching from home will be able to see the Video Games Live concert, as well as the cosplay contest and the Battle for Azeroth: Cosplay Showcase, via live stream at http://gamescom.blizzard.com.

For more information about Blizzard at gamescom 2018, visit the website and follow our social media channels for updates live from the event.

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So the Diablo 3 Switch version is playable there then? Awesome! That means it's done and could soon be released for public sale. Can't wait. ?

As for the Overwatch things: About freaking time we get a new cinematic. It have been ages. Let's hope it's a good, lore-heavy one. A shame that in the voice actor booth, they don't have Reinhardt though. Would be perfect as it's in Germany, but perhaps the voice actor was busy.

And HotS... Not been there for a while now, but Mephisto looks nice. Can't wait to try him on the PTR and see how he is. Hopefully not horrifically undertuned. ?

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Can't wait to hear more about the Queen of the Naga's! Really hope the new Warbringer's is good, and I definitely can't wait to take her down in a raid in the future!

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7 minutes ago, Lampanelli said:

And HotS... Not been there for a while now, but Mephisto looks nice. Can't wait to try him on the PTR and see how he is. Hopefully not horrifically undertuned. ?

Did you watch his spotlight? From judging it I think he will be horrifically OVERTUNED. Like Fenix levels of overtuned (maybe even more).

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So, they are basically organizing a mini-Blizzcon? That's a lots of things on that list - Blizzard used to be the kind of developer, who although may have a booth on these gameshows, but doesn't brings much announcments, only a few interviews. Maybe they have discovered that getting to Blizzcon is far too problematic for their fellow German & European fanbase.
 

20 minutes ago, dartbodman said:

8.1 announcement? BFA PTR?

8.1 is definitely Blizzcon though, way too early to tease even before Uldir starts. I would expect the Azshara animated short to be lore-only, no raid details. BfA timeline is something like:
Launch '18 August
Uldir '18 September
8.1 '19 January
8.2 '19 Summer
8.3 Late '19 or early 2020, give or take.
And then 9.0 2020 summer or autumn.

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50 minutes ago, Badadada said:

So, they are basically organizing a mini-Blizzcon? That's a lots of things on that list - Blizzard used to be the kind of developer, who although may have a booth on these gameshows, but doesn't brings much announcments, only a few interviews. Maybe they have discovered that getting to Blizzcon is far too problematic for their fellow German & European fanbase.
 

8.1 is definitely Blizzcon though, way too early to tease even before Uldir starts. I would expect the Azshara animated short to be lore-only, no raid details. BfA timeline is something like:
Launch '18 August
Uldir '18 September
8.1 '19 January
8.2 '19 Summer
8.3 Late '19 or early 2020, give or take.
And then 9.0 2020 summer or autumn.

They have previous stated that they view Gamescom as Blizzcon in Europe! 

Edited by Boothyp

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56 minutes ago, Badadada said:

8.1 is definitely Blizzcon though, way too early to tease even before Uldir starts. I would expect the Azshara animated short to be lore-only, no raid details. BfA timeline is something like:
Launch '18 August
Uldir '18 September
8.1 '19 January
8.2 '19 Summer
8.3 Late '19 or early 2020, give or take.
And then 9.0 2020 summer or autumn.

 

7.1 hit PTR just 2 weeks after Legion launch.

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1 hour ago, Badadada said:

So, they are basically organizing a mini-Blizzcon? That's a lots of things on that list - Blizzard used to be the kind of developer, who although may have a booth on these gameshows, but doesn't brings much announcments, only a few interviews. Maybe they have discovered that getting to Blizzcon is far too problematic for their fellow German & European fanbase.

Well they did announce Legion at Gamescon several years ago so, I guess they decide whichever event is the best time to announce major content.

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32 minutes ago, dartbodman said:

7.1 hit PTR just 2 weeks after Legion launch.

True, but Legion had a lot to proove after WoD's failure and content drought, so it was a must to push out new patches. I don't think that's the case right now - playerbase is safe, they can take a more relaxed approach with focus on bug-fixing and less frequent timegates. I'd also expect some 8.0.5 kind of "mini-patch" before 8.1 that may continue the War Campaign and/or a add a new dungeon, maybe Island Expedition, so lesser upgrades.

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22 hours ago, Valhalen said:

Did you watch his spotlight? From judging it I think he will be horrifically OVERTUNED. Like Fenix levels of overtuned (maybe even more).

This.  He looks absolutely insane and with his talents i can imagine him having a much higher skill ceiling than average.

He looks nuts.

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