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Starym

Detailed BlizzConline Predictions from Most to Least Likely

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Update: the likelihoods of a D4, Immortal and BC Classic beta announcement has increased after news of the beta support pages being updated.

We've already taken a look at some ideas of what we'll be seeing this Friday at BlizzConline, but today I'm going to dive a little deeper and take a look at all the possibilities, from the most likely, 99% certain to be happening, to the crazier ones.

Most Likely/Almost Certain

We'll start with the "well duh" ones:

  • Burning Crusade Classic Announcement
    This one is 100% coming, the only looming question is how much we'll find out about it. We're most likely getting a beta release date and hopefully details on how it will interact with Vanilla Classic. The beta might also start immediately after the event ends.
  • Diablo 2 Resurrected/Remastered Announcement
    Again, an almost certain announcement after the recent news, but the details here could be a little sparse.
  • Wandering Ancient revealed
    This is definitely happening and we're also most likely getting the mount during the event as well.

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  • Diablo 4 new class + quarterly update level of info
    While we're definitely getting something from Diablo 4, it's unclear what it could be.
  • Diablo Immortal release date + beta
    This one is more on the "this has to happen now" level, as it's been a long time without us hearing anything about it, and the Alpha is looking pretty finished. The beta will also most likely be announced and either start immediately or soon after the event.
  • Shadowlands 9.1
    While we're obviously going to get a lot of 9.0.5 and 9.1 details, the question is which details specifically.
    • New cinematic (more likely in-game)
    • Flying prerequisites
    • New raid
    • New dungeon(s)?
    • Maw zone expanded, World Quests etc.
  • More mobile games
    We should expect at least one more mobile game get announced, considering Activision's previous statements, most likely Warcraft based, but possibly StarCraft as well, as that franchise has been very neglected for a while now.
  • Hearthstone expansion, HotS new content
     

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Possible But Less Likely

  • Full Burning Crusade Classic rollout
    All the details: beta date, release date, the actual structural details like which patch will it be running on, will there be fresh servers, how exactly will it work with current Classic (keeping Vanilla only servers etc.), what the plan is on "no changes and so on.
  • Shadowlands 9.2 tease
    This would be a very short one, as they want to keep the focus on 9.1, but a quick image or short teaser could happen.
  • Diablo 4 Endgame + alpha/beta
    A lot more D4 info would be given, from new zones, a new endgame activity in addition to the key dungeons. We'll also get a an alpha/beta date announce.
  • Full reveal/trailer for the Diablo Netflix show
  • Overwatch 2 beta announcement
     

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Very Unlikely

  • A full Classic plan
    We get to know Blizzard's Classic "schedule", with several expansions planned out ahead of time. Basically they would announce WotLK, Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria Classic at the same time as Burning Crusade.
  • Diablo 4 release date/window
    This one might as well be in the not happening pile, but there's at least a little bit of a chance here. We do know it's not coming this year though.
  • Overwatch 2 release date/massive info
    There's only one real Overwatch panel in the schedule so we won't be getting that much info from the game.
  • Diablo 2 Remaster is much bigger
    Players have been unhappy with the direction Diablo has been on so far, and D4 is quite a ways off, so with a brand new studio working on it, the D2 remaster could be more significant than "just" the same game again. We're taking new expansion or similar levels of added content.
     

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Not Happening/We Wish

  • New game announcement
    A brand new game from Blizzard Entertainment would be glorious. If we had to bet it would either be something completely new or come from the StarCraft franchise, and our money would be on open world RPG, not quite an MMO but with plenty of online features. 
  • World of StarCraft
    Ok, this one's just a personal wish, but it obviously isn't happening. Although Destiny 2 is quite popular I hear, HINT HINT.
  • WoW 2
    Yea, no.


So, what are your expectations and wishes from this very unusual BlizzCon? You can check out the full schedule for the event here to get a better idea of what's happening.

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I'm pretty sure you did a type-o putting " HotS new content" under the certain category. Unless you count re-colored skins on a recycled holiday event as new content? Because they aren't doing literally anything for lunar new year or other similar holidays recently. I doubt there's much more in the pipe-line for this game other than a half dozen balance patches and maybe another hero this quarter but I'd even put a new hero pretty low down the list at this point.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm not overly excited about any of this that's listed. It's all known things, and most of it is still quite a ways off (Diablo 4, Overwatch 2). Even the unknowns like a new hearthstone expansion are interesting, but pretty rinse and repeat at this point. I'm bored of the con format of "Get excited about this" when often times they then come up on stage a full year from now and say "Are you excited about this exact same thing still?!" You can't have a three year hype window anymore. Most other game companies, like Nintendo, have learned it's better to do shorts and only talk about what's even relevant to a player.

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Expectations: basically what you wrote. 

 

Impossible dream: more coop commanders and map for sc2 coop, one of blizz's finest gem of a game mode. 

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I'm thinking/hoping a D2 'remaster' using the D3 engine. As some I'm sure know, original D2 code was lost or corrupt, and they've said for the longest time that it would be really hard to replicate, specially with most if not all Blizzard North people gone.

So why not use the D3 engine then? It really plays fantastic, and is console/bnet ready. Just drop all the crap that was D3, and build D2 with it.

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Most likely nothing for HotS, Starcraft and Warcraft 3, as these games don't have anything scheduled. Perhaps D2 Remaster will be the only "surprise", although they might not announce it yet, if it's too early to show anything. Rest will likely be just patch content/quarterly update, as this post predicts. So overall, I wouldn't expect too much, even OW2, as we know, isn't supposed to be released this year.

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6 hours ago, Laragon said:

I'm pretty sure you did a type-o putting " HotS new content" under the certain category. Unless you count re-colored skins on a recycled holiday event as new content? Because they aren't doing literally anything for lunar new year or other similar holidays recently. I doubt there's much more in the pipe-line for this game other than a half dozen balance patches and maybe another hero this quarter but I'd even put a new hero pretty low down the list at this point.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm not overly excited about any of this that's listed. It's all known things, and most of it is still quite a ways off (Diablo 4, Overwatch 2). Even the unknowns like a new hearthstone expansion are interesting, but pretty rinse and repeat at this point. I'm bored of the con format of "Get excited about this" when often times they then come up on stage a full year from now and say "Are you excited about this exact same thing still?!" You can't have a three year hype window anymore. Most other game companies, like Nintendo, have learned it's better to do shorts and only talk about what's even relevant to a player.

I actually was thinking of cosmetics and maybe a new hero for HotS yea 😄

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8 hours ago, Arcnail said:

I'm thinking/hoping a D2 'remaster' using the D3 engine. As some I'm sure know, original D2 code was lost or corrupt, and they've said for the longest time that it would be really hard to replicate, specially with most if not all Blizzard North people gone.

So why not use the D3 engine then? It really plays fantastic, and is console/bnet ready. Just drop all the crap that was D3, and build D2 with it.

I hope they did that and not just refreshed the textures.

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Man I would have been hyped as hell for a Diablo 2 remake from 2010 until about 2 years ago. But from exploring PoE, and more recently, Grim Dawn (especially Grim Dawn), it's just a little late. It's like, these games have taken the soul and reinvented it in a lovely light. I will again say, especially Grim Dawn. Man that game is awesome.

 

I'm going to also throw out here that I've never been less interested in a Blizzcon. Pandemic troubles aside, there's almost nothing that's really getting me hype. It's like they've rested on their laurels for too many years, and now hungry sharks (other passionate game developers) are passing them by. I miss the Blizz passion.

 

I probably sound like I'm 75 🤷‍♂️

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8 hours ago, Arcnail said:

I'm thinking/hoping a D2 'remaster' using the D3 engine. As some I'm sure know, original D2 code was lost or corrupt, and they've said for the longest time that it would be really hard to replicate, specially with most if not all Blizzard North people gone.

So why not use the D3 engine then? It really plays fantastic, and is console/bnet ready. Just drop all the crap that was D3, and build D2 with it.

Just dear god do not use the same lighting technique as D3. I honestly enjoy D3, especially following RoS, but the way they illuminated their game made nothing spooky/scary/creepy whatsoever.

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12 minutes ago, TyZone said:

Man I would have been hyped as hell for a Diablo 2 remake from 2010 until about 2 years ago. But from exploring PoE, and more recently, Grim Dawn (especially Grim Dawn), it's just a little late. It's like, these games have taken the soul and reinvented it in a lovely light. I will again say, especially Grim Dawn. Man that game is awesome.

 

I'm going to also throw out here that I've never been less interested in a Blizzcon. Pandemic troubles aside, there's almost nothing that's really getting me hype. It's like they've rested on their laurels for too many years, and now hungry sharks (other passionate game developers) are passing them by. I miss the Blizz passion.

 

I probably sound like I'm 75 🤷‍♂️

Hmmm gotta disagree there. Neither PoE nor Grim Dawn have recaptured D2 on any level. They each have their own merits and many many things they do better than D2 (I mean they are a decade and a half older) but neither has the formula down at all. The biggest crime is that they didn't manage to get combat, the basis of the entire genre, on the level of D2, it's just worse (I'm praying PoE2 fixes this).

I can't say I'm mega hyped for D2 remake either, especially since my main D2 fun has come from mods in the past 10 years or so, but if I had to pick which to play right now between PoE Grim Dawn or D2.... yeeea I'd be doing at least 1 max level run in the old playground.

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8 hours ago, Starym said:

I can't say I'm mega hyped for D2 remake either, especially since my main D2 fun has come from mods in the past 10 years or so, but if I had to pick which to play right now between PoE Grim Dawn or D2.... yeeea I'd be doing at least 1 max level run in the old playground.

Was there ever a word of it being a remake? People sometimes confuse remake with remaster. We can't be certain yet, but D2 might be just the same game, only upscaled.

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1 hour ago, Arcling said:

Was there ever a word of it being a remake? People sometimes confuse remake with remaster. We can't be certain yet, but D2 might be just the same game, only upscaled.

I don't think it's ever been confirmed either way. You're exactly right there's a big difference between those two.

I think for D2 to be successful it needs to be a remaster. Just upgraded graphics will please some people, but won't give it any legs to be enjoyable more than a month or two beyond the hardcore fans that are still playing it in it's current state.

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4 hours ago, Arcling said:

Was there ever a word of it being a remake? People sometimes confuse remake with remaster. We can't be certain yet, but D2 might be just the same game, only upscaled.

It's a remake because they lost all the soruce code, so no choice.

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44 minutes ago, Starym said:

It's a remake because they lost all the soruce code, so no choice.

Technically it could count as remake then, though I wonder how it would differ from original, if they end up remaking/upscaling old 2d sprites. Wouldn't mind small alterations, like removing limited sprint mechanic (just set it to default move speed and get rid of that bar).

Edited by Arcling

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4 minutes ago, Arcling said:

Technically it could count as remake then, though I wonder how it would differ from original, if they end up remaking/upscaling old 2d sprites. Wouldn't mind small alterations, like removing limited sprint mechanic (just set it to default move speed and get rid of that bar).

Yea my main bummer there is that all mods would die immediately and also not be able to be remade due to the nature of importing mobs from other similar games of the time. I loved fighting Baldur's Gate mobs and similar in Hell Unleashed and other mods..

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