The Big Announcements from BlizzCon 2016…

BlizzCon 2016 is here and fans across the world are celebrating all things Blizzard. During the festivities yesterday, Blizzard took the time to announce several updates coming to popular titles such as Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Diablo 3, and Hearthstone. Here is a breakdown of all the major announcements:

The Mean Streets of Gadgetzan

The popular free-to-play card game will be getting an expansion in December called The Mean Streets of Gadgetzan. The new set will be focused on the lore of Gadgetzan, a bustling port town filled with all sorts of gangs and factions. The new expansion will feature 132 new cards and introduce new styles of play such as factions, faction specials, and multi-class cards. All cards in the set will belong to either the Kabal, Grimy Goons, and the Jade Lotus which correspond to the following classes:

The Kabal: Mage, Priest, Warlock
Grimy Goons: Hunter, Paladin, Warrior
Jade Lotus: Druid, Rogue, Shaman

This will mark the fourth expansion for Hearthstone and follows the recently released adventure, One Night in Karazhan, which was released back in August. No official release date has been set for next month, but expect more information on the new expansion in the coming weeks.

Necromancers are Coming Back to Diablo

After a long absence, necromancer are finally making their way into Diablo III. This is major news for Diablo fans as the necromancer was a favored class from Diablo II. This will be the first update to come to Diablo III since the Reaper of Souls expansion back in 2014. Players will also receive additional  in-game updates such as an in-game pet, two additional character slots, two additional stash tabs (on PC), a portrait frame, pennant, banner, and banner sigil. The Rise of the Necromancer pack is slated to release next year. No price or official release date has been announced.

Blizzard is Creating an Overwatch eSports League

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Blizzard is going forth with the creation of Overwatch League, an eSports association dedicated to supporting and promoting the best Overwatch players in the world. Blizzard wants to give truly passionate and competitive players the platform to test their skills among the best of the best. The company also sees it as a career opportunity for players who are able to prove their skill and make their way onto a major Overwatch team. Blizzard plans on kicking off the inaugural season of Overwatch League next year. More information on the new league can be found at https://overwatchleague.com/en-us/.

Heroes of the Storm is Getting Some Updates

The popular MOBA will be getting two new playable heroes, Varian and Ragnaros, a new brawl battleground, and a major giveaway. The two new, bombastic heroes will be debuting this November and December respectively. The new brawl battleground, Blackheart’s Revenge, is currently in development and no release date has been announced. More info on the upcoming battleground can be found on Battle Net. And finally, the Nexus Challenge is Heroes of the Storm‘s latest giveaway which will take place November 15th to January 4th. Players will be able to unlock epic gear for both Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch simply by playing and enjoying Heroes of the Storm.

And finally…

Sombra Got to Takeover BlizzCon…

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And everyones heart.

There has been a few months of tedious, augmented-reality build-up for the new Overwatch hero, but thankfully Blizzard has finally lifted the veil and revealed Sombra. The Overwatch fandom had been feeling Sombra fatigue up to this point due to Blizzard’s mind-numbingly long and anti-climatic ARG games, but thankful Sombra delivers and then some. The artwork for the new Mexican hacker had leaked a few days prior to BlizzCon, but that did not make her reveal any less enjoyable. Sombra’s entrance was a bit predictable as she hacked into a trailer of Overwatch gameplay, but she immediately captured fans’ hearts with her charm and slick move-set.

Blizzard released a stellar, new animated short giving the character some more background. They also released a trailer showcasing the new character’s move-set. Sombra’s main ability is hacking other heroes and temporarily disabling their abilities, shields, and devices like turrets and health packs. She can also use active cameo and a translocator. The translocator ability is particularly slick as it allows her to set up a point anywhere on the map that she can then immediately teleport to at will. Her ultimate is an EMP blast that disables all enemy hero abilities, shields, and other devices within range. Her main weapon is a short range machine pistol that appears to be quite lethal at close range. Players have been comparing her to a mix between Reaper and Tracer which definitely feels like a fair comparison given how she is played during the gameplay trailer. Overall, Sombra is without a doubt a powerful and fun character that we all cannot wait to play as.

Sombra will be available for play next week on PC via the Overwatch Public Test Region (PTR) along with a new desert map called Oasis. An official release date has not been given for Sombra, but Oasis will release next month along with a new arcade mode featuring 1v1 and 3v3 game types.

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What has been your favorite part about this year’s BlizzCon? Been “booped” by Sombra? Need your hands on some new Hearthstone cards? Been fiending for new Diablo content?

Sound off in the comments!

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