As expected, Blizzard did not show any new IP on BlizzConline. However, the company presented the trailer of the robber from Diablo IV, revealed the details of Overwatch 2, announced a remaster of Diablo II for PC and consoles, and one of the main curiosities was Twitch’s attempt to avoid the DMCA during Metallica’s performance.
Details of the games shown
- Blizzard Arcade Collection — a collection of three classic studio projects: The Lost Vikings, Rock & Roll Racing and Blackthorne. The release took place on PC and consoles today, and the collection is also available in Russian.
- A beautiful cinematics dedicated to the robber from Diablo IV. According to Blizzard, both melee and ranged combat techniques are available to this class. The video also showed the gameplay for the robber. The release date of Diablo IV is still unknown.
- Diablo II Resurrected is a remaster of the classic game, which will be released this year. In addition to the updated graphics (you can also switch to classic mode), the Lord of Destruction add-on is available to users, and the game itself will support overall progress on PC and consoles. The remaster is being developed by Vicarious Visions, which recently joined Blizzard.
- Forged in the Barrens is an add—on for Hearthstone, which will be released this year. The classic mode will be added to the game with maps available at the release of the project in 2014. There will also be a special Hearthstone Mercenaries mode, which is a combination of KKI and roguelike.
- Two announcements on World of Warcraft at once, which were already known thanks to the leaks that occurred: 1) the Chains of Domination update for Shadowlands with new dungeons, raid and items; 2) the release of The Burning Crusade add-on as part of WoW Classic, which will continue to develop the classic MMORPG mode from Blizzard.
- Overwatch 2 was dedicated to a separate panel. The game will feature new heroes and maps (Rome and New York), PvP will be redesigned and shooting will change. The main features of the second part will be the so-called Hero Missions, which should significantly change the PvE, and a separate story campaign with staged videos. Blizzard itself notes that Overwatch 2 is essentially five games in one.
Overall, the reaction to BlizzConline has been relatively positive, despite criticism from parts of the Overwatch and World of Warcraft community.
Esports commentator and insider Rod Breslau noted that Diablo IV and Overwatch 2 could be a chance for Blizzard to atone for all the sins before the players. At the same time, he drew attention to how during the announcement of the Diablo II remaster, the company deliberately did not mention the failed WarCraft III: Reforged.
Diablo 2 remaster is real as Diablo 2 Resurrected on both PC and console. “you can bring back all of that nostalgia exactly as you remember, much like we did with StarCraft: Remastered” yeah it’s a good idea you left WC3 Reforged out of there Blizzard pic.twitter.com/V2wVscQZHL
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) February 19, 2021
Journalist Jason Schreier separately noted Diablo II Resurrected, the version of which for Switch can damage its productivity.
Haha god Diablo II on Switch is gonna be so dangerous for my productivity
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) February 19, 2021
Game analyst Benji Sales, who is a big fan of Overwatch, was impressed by the presentation of the sequel. If earlier he didn’t understand why the game needed a sequel, now Blizzard was able to convince him.
I’m just so happy how much more ambitious of a sequel Overwatch 2 looked today than it did back in 2019 when it was first shown
Overwatch is my favorite multiplayer game of all time but it’s original reveal was lacking on why this needed to be a “sequel’. Way more impressed now
— Benji-Sales (@BenjiSales) February 20, 2021
However, BlizzConline was not without funny curiosities. The official Twitch Gaming channel unexpectedly drowned out Metallica’s performance and replaced it with a stock melody.
Such actions are due to the fear of the streaming service getting a strike for violating the DMCA (Copyright Law in the Digital Age) they became one of the main memes of the first day of the festival.
the current state of Twitch: the official Twitch Gaming channel cut off the live Metallica concert to play 8bit folk music to avoid DMCA pic.twitter.com/sCn56So8Ee
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) February 19, 2021
You can watch Metallica’s live performance without restrictions on YouTube.