BlizzCon 2016 was announced on April 6, 2016 and will happen primarily on Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5, 2016. It will feature an extensive set of eSports championships with preliminary event in the weeks leading to the conference. This year, Blizzard switched ticketing services from EventBrite to Universe. Tickets will go on sale in two batches, one on Wednesday, April 20 at 7 p.m. PT and the other on Saturday, April 23 at 10 a.m. PT via the universe.com/blizzcon2016 website for $199 USD each. A limited number of tickets to an exclusive pre-BlizzCon Benefit Dinner will go on sale Wednesday, Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. PT for $750 USD each, with proceeds going to benefit Children's Hospital of Orange County with more information appearing at Benefit Ticket page.
The World of Warcraft 3v3 Arena championship at BlizzCon will have a $250,000 USD prize pool. To allow for composition flexibility and greater strategy during the tournament, teams will be allowed a four-player roster.
Virtual ticket hosts
The following presenters will be hosting the Virtual Ticket live stream of the event:
- Michele Morrow — Primary co-host at the DIRECTV Desk.
- Alex Albrecht — Primary co-host at the DIRECTV Desk.
- Malik Forté — exploring the show floor and reporting on all manner of convention activity, and back for his second year in a row.
- World of Warcraft – &
A curious automaton has been spotted exploring the halls of a local gaming convention. Cosplay as a BlizzCon-bound Bastion unit in your next match of Overwatch with this commemorative skin.
Celebrate two decades of terror with this anniversary-themed Diablo pet, based on the Dark Lord’s design from the original game.
Pull up a chair by the fireside at BlizzCon’s Hearthstone Tavern, then play a few hands with this year’s convention-innspired card back.
Introducing the latest BlizzCon mount to add to your menagerie—the Nexus Tiger! Dash onto the Battlegrounds riding this ferocious beast and show the opposing team they’re in for a fight.
- StarCraft II – Mystery Goodies
Show your opponents you were at BlizzCon with a new portrait—and as a bonus, be among the first to unlock a fun new piece of upcoming StarCraft II content.
- Battle pet for Make-a-Wish Foundation promotion
- Hearthstone expansion
The new Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft expansion will be called "Mean Streets of Gadgetzan" and will be based around the conflict between three (presumably mostly goblin) crime families and go live in early December 2016. The families are called the Grimy Goons, Jade Lotus, and the Kabal.
- World of Warcraft - What's Next - Patch 7.1.5 and 7.2
- "Evergreen" gear
- Timewalking dungeons:
- Return of the Brawler's Guild:
- New bosses
- - new currency
- New rewards
- Micro-holidays like:
- Class updates:
- Continue class Order Hall campaign.
- New faction: Legionfall
- New world quests
- Renewed assault - build a base and plan:
- Nether Disruptor
- Command Center
- Mage Tower
- Legion Assaults event inspired by pre-launch Legion Invasions, but now in the Broken Isles
- Flying in Broken Isles!
- Requires completing and .
- Unique class flying mounts acquired from class campaign.
- New raid: Tomb of Sargeras
- 9 bosses
- Descend into the depths of the Tomb
- Harness the Pillars of Creation
- New dungeon: Cathedral of Eternal Night
- 4 bosses
- Ascend the tower of the Tomb
- PvP Brawls - new group PvP mode
- Variation on casual battlegrounds
- Weekly event
- Southshore vs. Tarren Mill
- Instant-Cap Warsong
- Packed House - 15v15 Arena
- Winter Arathi Basin
- Artifact Weapon updates, mostly mechanics
Legion Design Retrospective
- Jeremy Feasel says Azsuna is one of the first zones worked on.
- Elements that didn't make it into expansion:
- Gnomes destroying ruins with gyrocopters shooting down pillars.
- An "evil", mind-controlled Tyrande with ghost priestess trash.
- The Alliance and Horde crossing paths much more.
- Loved fel art style and applied it in Legion affected zones, particularly Tomb of Sargeras.
- Jonathan LeCraft started by picking the big features of the new expansion, dungeons, raids, and Demon Hunters.
- Demon Hunter was developed rapidly. Demon Hunter had to be high fantasy, easy to learn, so their abilities to a single command bar.
- started out as “eye lasers.” Considered ridiculous... but of course they had to do it. The first iteration was a beam from your eyes to the target with minor AoE. Hovering and directional tracking added later.
- Initially Eye Beam had more AoE and other elements, but it was seen as too much so was split out as a separate ability.
- was just a short sprint with path AoE, but ignored gravity, so testers were rushing to their death. Found a good compromise where player controls whether rush sticks to ground or flies in the air.
- started out as just a damage buff and appearance change. More damage didn't make it distinctive enough, so add jump, stun, and haste bonus made it stand out.
- 2 out of 3 Legion accounts created a Demon Hunter.
- 30% of them leveled to 110 (as of jus before BlizzCon?).
- The big choice of champions in the starting experience: Kayn (chosen by 73%) vs. Altruis (chosen by 27%).
- 7.5% of Demon Hunter names are a pun (pun? maybe anagram?) on Illidan. Some of which were saved for a very long time. “As it turned out… you were prepared.”
- Owen Landgren talks about how Artifact Weapons took though about which specs they were associated with. Ashbringer ended up for Retribution paladins.
- Artifact trees looked much like old talent trees at first and eventually evolved into the current constellation system.
- Initially inspired by previous legendaries and their passives, but decided on adding more active abilities to have a meaningful and visually impactful effect on gameplay.
- Evolution of the catchup mechanism started with caps, but eventually led to the Artifact Knowledge system which should keep friends around the same advancement.
- Brian Holinka talks about honor system in Legion and attempt to make PvP more attractive to more people.
- Tried removing gear as a factor in PvP. “I don’t mean naked PVP.”
- Tried auto-scaled gear like Challenge Modes, but reduced incentive to get better gear. Settled on a hybrid approach where item level factored into scaling up of gear.
- To give a sense of progression, move PvP to a more XP style system with Honor Level and Honor Talents.
- With inspiration from other games, Prestige Level was added to prevent feeling of a fixed level system.
- Paul Kubit talks about Profession quests. Initial problem was too many quests seeming to be needed.
- Thinking about profession quests led to ... which started as a joke. “Artifacts are weapons, fishing poles are weapons…”.
- To promote a more of a community experience, Dalaran fishing raids (technically not in the city, but on an floating island nearby, like the Demon Hunter's portal island) were added. These were inspired by seeing groups fish in garrisons.
- The audience boos at , the cooking NPC, when he shows up on the screen. He burns all the food he cooks, but at least he gives you a reason to return to Dalaran. The burned food thing started as a joke. They wanted you to have a reward no matter what, so they gave you something you could sell for gold.
- Multi-tapping of resource nodes worked out great, except for skinners. They're working on it (whatever that means).
- Not super happy about recipe acquisition. One star recipe quest chains may be too long and two star ones were mostly just vendor purchased.
- They want to make sure crafting and viable throughout the expansion. In Patch 7.1, they added the trader and upgraded the cap. In Patch 7.1.5, they'll increase the cap, too. And yhey have more plans for Patch 7.2 and Patch 7.3. Gatherers can look forward to new items to gather, crafters can look forward to new items to create, and even, maybe, legendary crafted items.
- Jeremy Feasel returns to talk about world quests. They looked at how Mists dailys made increasing to-do lists with variety, but with not so exciting rewards.
- They looked at all the questing content already created including dungeons, rare spawns, max level quests, PvP, and pet battles. What could they do that went beyond that idea of the daily quest system?
- They wanted to vary experience, but also rewards. Even if you had the same world quest twice in a row, the rewards could be different, letting you have a different world quest every day.
- They started with 50 world quests a day, which seemed like too many. So they adapted the Hearthstone daily system. They put in emissary quests that send you to different zones every day. All together, this means you get a lot of variety.
- Lots of content didn't make it, like scenarios, class-specific world quests, summonable bosses, Legion Invasions in the Broken Isles (now coming in Patch 7.2), rare world quests (like Hulon in the Timeless Isle), regional world quests... all should be coming in Patch 7.2.
World of Warcraft Q&A
- Intro by Panser. Panelists are J. Allen Brack, Ion Hazzikostas, Matt Goss, Alex Afrasiabi, and Chris Robinson.
- Q: Rho from Realm Maintenance - Is crafted gear going to scale up in Patch 7.2?
- A: Yes, but still deciding how to do it. Obliterum? Obliterum? Still deciding.
- Q: How will they address low pop realms and faction imbalance on realms?
- A: Restrict what faction you can play on a given server is not good for gameplay. Looking at Connected Realms related solution, perhaps matching up major Horde and major Alliance realms to create a mega unified realms.
- Q: Any chance we’ll see Gnome Paladins or Gnome Druids?
- A: Ion jokes it would make it way too easy for all-Gnome guilds. Class needs to follow racial identity. Their interests don't go well with those classes, so not any time soon.
- Q: PVE vs. PVP class balance. More focus tends to be given to PVE. Why not PVP?
- A: PVE is easier because it is easier to gauge with stats. In PVP, many more factors involved. In Legion, though, they should have more tools to adjust class balance in PVP and have tried to do so.
- Q: What happened to Med'an from the comic series? Wasn’t he supposed to be the new Guardian?
- A: Certain fiction exists outside of World of Warcraft wouldn’t be considered canon. Med'an being the Guardian isn’t World of Warcraft canon. There may be a story for Med'an coming that could be canon, but the comic version isn't.
- Q: Any chance to pool Artifact Power at an account level so you can use it on a different character?
- A: The Artifact Power catch-up mechanics we currently have (and the ones we will have) are intended to address that. Artifact Knowledge provides a huge boost that continues to build. They aren't account-wide and aren't intended to be.
- Q: One achievement away from the Salty title. Where did the Stranglethorn Fishing Derby go?
- A: Had to turn it off because of "tech things" and it's coming back soon™. Aiming for Patch 7.1.5. Intended for Patch 7.1, but didn't make it. Realm sharding/phasing meant of Stranglethorn Vale made it difficult to determine realm's winner. Fishing tourney likely going region-wide with 50-100 winners.
- Q: Where's Wrathion?
- A: He was in beta, but got pulled because there wasn't enough time to get his full story in. He's wandering Azeroth and you'll see him eventually.
- Q: Many of the grinds in WoW should be account-wide for alt friendliness. Why can’t they be account-wide so they aren’t chores?
- A: They’d rather have effective catch-ups for alts rather than make things account-wide. There’s a lot of content in WoW that can understandably be called alt unfriendly. They’ve already tried to fix some of this with Patch 7.1 with some things account-wide: Attunement for Suramar dungeons, world quest unlocks, etc.
- Q: Are basic racial mounts getting a graphical upgrade? Horses, etc.
- A: Only if related content makes it happen as a side effect. The kodo gets an upgrade alongside Tauren content (because of Highmountain tauren?).
- Q: Blood Elf Paladins get their power from the Sunwell, but the Sunwell is on Azeroth. What's the range on that? Can they use it on other planets?
- A: Holy magic goes where it's needed. It can be accessed anywhere in the cosmos. There's no range on the Sunwell.
- Q: Any plan on turning the WoW Token into an item that can be used on other character services? Character recustomization, etc?
- A: Yes. They designed the system to be useful across all of their services, but to ensure it worked smoothly, they started off with 30 days of gametime only. When you use a token, you'll (eventually?) get the choice of how to redeem it.
- Q: Will you revamp the older armor sets? Why don’t you increase the size of the backpack?
- A: Revamping older armor sets unlikely, but they are used for inspiration for updated sets. The backpack would be nearly impossible to update is a “myth”. Apparently brought up at a recent meeting and a developer asked why people keep saying that, because it isn’t true. They will be updating the backpack size soon™.
- Blizzard appears to have redone blizzcon.com.
- As of April 8, 2016:
- The following parts are enabled: news and event info.
- The following parts are not enabled: watch (livestream?), schedule, esports, and forums.
- The domain eu.blizzcon.com does not work, but you can go to blizzcon.com and set region and language at the far bottom right of any page.
- As of April 8, 2016:
- ^ a b Blizzard Entertainment 2016-04-06. Get Ready to Raid BlizzCon® 2016 November 4 and 5. BlizzCon.com.
- ^ a b Blizzard Entertainment 2016-04-08. The World of Warcraft 2016 Road to BlizzCon.
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment 2016-10-19. Say Hello to Your BlizzCon® 2016 Virtual Ticket Hosts. BlizzCon site (US).
- ^ Hayden Dingman], Brad Chacos] 2016-11-04. BlizzCon 2016: Overwatch's Sombra revealed, Diablo returns, Hearthstone's Gadgetzan, and more (slide 2). PCGamer.com.
- ^ a b Philip Kollar 2016-11-04. Mean Streets of Gadgetzan is Hearthstone's next expansion. Polygon.com.
- ^ a b c Eliot Lefebvre 2016-11-04. BlizzCon 2016: World of Warcraft’s What’s Next liveblog. MassivelyOP.com.
- ^ Blizzcon 2016 NEXT WORLD OF WARCRAFT EXPANSION TEASER!!! Crowd reaction by Vanitea Nov 4, 2016
- ^ Elizabeth Harper November 5, 2016 2016-11-05. BlizzCon 2016: Legion Design Retrospective liveblog. Blizzard Watch.
- ^ Alex Ziebart 2016-11-05. BlizzCon 2016 World of Warcraft Q&A liveblog. Blizzard Watch.
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