Blizzard fans were counting down the days to BlizzConline 2021, eager to see what the company has been cooking up over the last year. Now the event has come and gone, and Blizzard certainly had plenty to share. Brand-new reveals, updates on fan favorites, and tons of content refreshes in the works. It’s an exciting time to be a Blizzard fan, all thanks to these major BlizzConline moments!
Everyone loves a good shadow drop, which is exactly how Blizzard kicked off BlizzConline 2021. To celebrate the company’s 30-year history, Blizzard revealed the Blizzard Arcade Collection. This package includes old-school favorites the company built their name on, such as The Lost Vikings, Rock N Roll Racing, and Blackthorne. You can relive these retro favorites in their original forms, or with quality of life improvements like save states, rewind, and more. Best of all, the compilation is available digitally right now! You can find it on Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
The surprises from Blizzard didn’t stop there, as they also revealed a rumored title that fans were crossing their fingers for. Just before BlizzConline aired, rumblings of some sort of re-release for Diablo II surfaced. Turns out that was exactly the case, as the company announced Diablo II: Resurrected. This isn’t a remake, but a remaster of the classic that took the franchise to a whole new level. Diablo II: Remastered gives the game a complete visual overhaul, bringing the graphics up to today’s standards. As for the gameplay, that remains nearly exactly the same as it was 21 years ago. You can even flip the visuals from modern to original with the click of a button! Diablo II: Resurrected is heading to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Switch later this year.
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Sticking with all things Diablo, Blizzard also revealed the Rogue for Diablo IV. This new player class is all about speed and cunning, allowing players to attack from the shadows with deadly traps, or slip in for a more personal kill with poison and other attributes. Those looking for a bit more challenge from Diablo IV will no doubt want to give the Rogue a try, as it’s hard to master, but nearly unstoppable when you’ve honed your skills.
It’s clear Blizzard has a lot of love for the Diablo franchise, but that doesn’t mean they’re neglecting other big brands. That’s quite far from the case, as Blizzard also showcased a ton of content for the free-to-play digital card game, Hearthstone. Players can look forward to the Year of the Gryphon ushering in all sorts of new goodies, including a fresh set of Core cards, as well as the Classic format. Those who played Hearthstone back when it originally launched will find a lot to love in Classic, as you can create decks using cards that were available at the game’s launch all the way back in 2014!
That’s still not all for Hearthstone players, though. Blizzard unveiled the Forged in the Barrens expansion, which is due out later this year, and it has even more ties to World of Warcraft. This expansion adds the Frenzy keyword, which will kick in the first time one of your character cards survives damage. There’s also an all-new Ranked Spell that will grow in power whether it’s in your hand or still in your deck and the Spell Schools mechanic that adds an all-new layer of complexity to Hearthstone in general. If all that wasn’t enough, Blizzard also confirmed that a single-player and competitive Hearthstone Mercenaries mode is coming in 2021, featuring classic Warcraft characters that you’ll take into battle. With all this card-collecting fun on the way, 2021 could end up being the best year of Hearthstone yet!
Of course, you can’t have a BlizzConline event without some love for World of Warcraft. Content for Hearthstone is nice, but what about the MMORPG itself? Heroes and villains of Azeroth can look forward to the Chains of Domination update tied to the Shadowlands expansion, where you’ll inch ever closer to the Jailer, aiming to discover the depths of his power. Along with this comes a new charity pet program that includes Bananas the monkey and Daisy the sloth. Finally, those who like to keep their World of Warcraft fun old-school have the Burning Crusade Classic to look forward to. This is a recreation of World of Warcraft’s first expansion, letting players dive back into the early days of WoW to once again see what made them fall in love with the game in the first place.
Finally, Blizzard shared a look at a game everyone’s been waiting to hear about. While many were hoping Overwatch 2 would be out by now, that’s sadly not the case. The good news is that the game is coming along well, with plenty of new tweaks and features in the works. Blizzard’s team stressed that they want to ensure Overwatch 2 is a game that not only matches the quality of the original but surpasses it in every way possible. That means development isn’t going to be rushed for an arbitrary release date. The game is coming, and it’ll be launched once the team is completely satisfied. Until that unknown date, the Overwatch faithful will just have to hang in there and wait for the next info drop.
All in all, BlizzConline 2021 was a big success, giving fans plenty to salivate over. The lineup for 2021 and beyond is looking fantastic, proving that Blizzard is firing on all cylinders. The only bad part about the event is having to wait for the upcoming games and expansions to release!
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Kevin Cassidy has been covering all things Nintendo for over 15 years now and has been leading the weekly GoNintendo Podcast for just as long. Kevin is also quite passionate about pro wrestling, anime, comic books, and more! Follow Kevin on Twitter via @GoNintendoTweet.