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BlizzConNov 6, 2015 12:00 pm CT

BlizzCon 2015: Opening Ceremony Live Blog

This is the live blog for the opening ceremony of BlizzCon 2015. The ceremony will take place at the following times:

  • 2:00 p.m. EST
  • 1:00 p.m. CST
  • 12:00 p.m. MST
  • 11:00 a.m. PST
  • 7:00 p.m. London
  • 8:00 p.m. Paris
  • 6:00 a.m. Sydney

Even if you don’t have a Virtual Ticket, you can watch the opening ceremony here: http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/live-stream/ or at http://www.twitch.tv/blizzard

The live blog begins after the break!

Most recent updates will appear at the bottom. Refresh the page to see the latest updates! Not refreshing? Hit shift-refresh and it’ll update to the latest.

12:37 p.m. CST: Michele Morrow just said there will be a surprise for Virtual Ticket holders… Unannounced, but it’s something.

12:50 p.m. CST: Opening ceremony live blog begins in just ten minutes!

1:00 p.m. CST: We’re about to get started! Timer on the main stage just hit 0. Hype!

1:01 p.m. CST: A StarCraft retrospective is playing. Quotes from Chris Metzen, Samwise Didier, etc. Looking back on the game’s full history. The first build they showed off of StarCraft…people didn’t like it. Orcs in space. Underwhelmed. They rebuilt the engine until it looked good.

1:04 p.m. CST: StarCraft retrospective wraps up with nod to the community and “This is Blizzcon.” Mike Morhaime taking the stage!

1:05 p.m. CST: Morhaime is full of energy this year. He’s putting his all into hyping people up — way more energy than he’s had previous years, where he’s been the even-keel business guy.

1:06 p.m. CST: “How many of you have been to 5 BlizzCons?” Surprising number of people cheer.

1:07 p.m. CST: This is Blizzard’s 25th anniversary as a games company. Warcraft: Tides of Darkness’s 20th anniversary hits next month. Morhaime talking about the history of the Blizzard community, I get the inkling he’s teasing the remakes of those older titles.

1:07 p.m. CST: “Happy anniversary” to the people who met their significant others at BlizzCon.

1:08 p.m. CST: On December 2nd, Brightpaw the Mana Kitty will go on sale with all proceeds going to the Make-a-Wish charity.

1:09 p.m. CST: Another retrospective happening, Morhaime going over the events of the last year. Heroes of the Dorm, various release, so on — they’ve already run through this once today, just prior to the opening ceremonies.

1:10 p.m. CST: Retrospective cinematic trailer narrated by Raynor playing. “Some things are just worth fighting for.” It appears to be a highlight reel from all of StarCraft 2’s cinematics thus far. Wings of Liberty, Heart of the Swarm, all leading up to Legacy of the Void.

1:13 p.m. CST: Cinematic wraps up with “My life for Aiur.” Have to admit, I wasn’t feeling the Legacy of the Void hype until now. THe highlight reel was a good reminder of the story thus far.

1:14 p.m. CST: Morhaime reminding players of the new game modes. Allied Commanders, Archon Mode, etc. Blame someone else for losing! “What’s next for StarCraft following Legacy of the Void?” He reinforces Blizzard continues to support their games after release. StarCraft 2 will be similar. Blizzard will release “mission packs” with new stories in the StarCraft universe.

1:15 p.m. CST: Showing off a mission pack. “Nova Covert Ops.” Opens with a cinematic of Nova waking up on a medical table. A voice tells her to lower her visor. She lowers it, computer display tells her she’s in danger. Mission pack [with first three missions] will release Spring 2016. “By June 19th” shown on-screen.

1:17 p.m. CST: Back to hyping esports. Looking back on the road to BlizzCon, showing highlights of the countless, crazy tournaments leading up to this weekend’s finals.

1:20 p.m. CST: Morhaime wrapped up his segment with a rundown of on-site events. However! He says the words “Warcraft movie” and people go nuts.

1:22 p.m. CST: Warcraft trailer world premiere incoming. Duncan Jones, director of the Warcraft movie, is taking the stage right now.

1:23 p.m. CST: Duncan Jones looks nervous or exhausted. Or both. Members of the cast are taking the stage!

1:24 p.m. CST: Warcraft movie trailer!!! The cast members who took the stage didn’t say a word, by the way.

1:25 p.m. CST: Cinematic opens with what appeared to be Dalaran. Travel Fimmel providing voiceover. Going to be honest, it looks beautiful.

1:26 p.m. CST: This cinematic is telling a slightly different story than the one we know! Less outright aggression between all orcs/all humans. Some groups from both sides arguing alliances, etc. Difficult to describe the aesthetics in words. It’s gorgeous. We’ll include a trailer in this liveblog as soon as it’s online.

Watch the trailer here:

1:27 p.m. CST: On to Heroes of the Storm! Dustin Browder taking the stage. “Heroes of the Storm is a game where you can see Diablo ride into battle on a unicorn and then get killed by a murloc.”

1:29 p.m. CST: Teasing a new game mode for Heroes of the Storm! Browder introduces The Arena. It looks… like a WoW arena. Which characters you play seem to be determined randomly, however. Teaser trailer showing a slot-machine style apparatus changing peoples’ characters. Unknown whether it happens throughout the match or only at the beginning. Arenas still appear to use various assets. Saw a dark garden arena, a desert temple arena.

1:30 p.m. CST: Browder explaining. You get 3 possible heroes, you can pick one of them. The Arena allows for multiple copies of the same hero on one team, unlike the primary game mode.

1:31 p.m. CST: Trailer showing all of the new stuff for BlizzCon. Genn Greymane! Dryad Lunara, who looks amazing. Agile. Towers of Doom map. Headless Horseman! More shots of The Arena. Too many skins to rattle off! Cho’gall. Cho’gall is one hero played by two people! Ninja skin available for him.

1:34 p.m. CST: Tower of Doom sounds like a wild map. You don’t attack the enemy’s core directly. You conquer and control parts of a town. Cho’gall wasn’t a joke, he is genuinely controlled by two people at once. He isn’t for sale in the shop for cash or gold. Everyone at BlizzCon (physically or virtually) is getting Cho’gall for free. This month.

1:35 p.m. CST: Everyone else who wants Cho’gall must “go on a quest.” When someone who has Cho’gall plays at least two games with someone who doesn’t have him, the person who doesn’t will get him. He’s a virus. BlizzCon attendees must spread him.

1:37 p.m. CST: Hearthstone’s Eric Dodds taking the stage. Some seriously downtempo Hearthstone music playing. Way to kill the buzz, Blizz.

1:38 p.m. CST: New Hearthstone adventure! “A little different than you guys might be expecting.” New solo adventures, cards. TheLeagueOfExplorers.com

1:39 p.m. CST: League of Explorers Hearthstone Adventure. We join the League of Explorers to find the Staff of Origination. Brann Bronzebeard, Elise Starseeker (who looks rad and is described as the brains of the operation), Reno Jackson (with a questionable moral compass), and a proper gentleman murloc Sir Finley Mrrgglton.

1:40 p.m. CST: New cards! Explorer’s Hat. Give a minion +1/+1 and Deathrattle: Put an Explorer’s Hat in your hand. Once you play it, never lose it.

1:41 p.m. CST: Jeweled Scarab. Battlecry: Discover a (3) cost card. When you Discover a card, you pick from one or three random cards. They’re showing an example. It looks like Hunter’s Tracking, only the cards don’t come from your deck — they’re three random cards.

1:42 p.m. CST: The Explorers are legendaries. Elise Starseeker Battlecry: Shuffle the “Map of the Golden Monkey” into your deck. What the heck is the map?

1:44 p.m. CST: Golden Monkey. Taunt. Battlecry. Replace your hand and deck with all legendary minions. 6/6. Holy crap.

1:45 p.m. CST: For the sake of clarity “Holy Crap” was not part of the card text.

1:46 p.m. CST: League of Explorers will release “later this year.” Technically later this month is later this year, Dodds says. First wing of League of Explorers will release this coming Thursday.

1:46 p.m. CST: Overwatch’s Jeff Kaplan is taking the stage!

1:47 p.m. CST: “Is there anybody in the hall that doesn’t have access to the internet?” One guy. “I have amazing news for you!” Referencing the leaks hitting retailers, I assume.

1:48 p.m. CST: Again, a quick retrospective. The announcement, the new heroes at PAX, Soldier 76, Gamescom. Feels like they’re obligated to show a LAST TIME AT BLIZZARD sizzle reel.

1:49 p.m. CST: New heroes and a new map incoming. But first… another retrospective video!

1:51 p.m. CST: The new map looks like a film studio. One of the warehouses had an Alliance lion logo. Warcraft movie… in the future!

1:52 p.m. CST: D.Va being shown off. She can jump in and out of an exosuit. New hero Mei uses ice powers. Slows, ice wall ult, ice block defensive ability. Cyborg ninja people have been eager to see since OVerwatch’s launch is Genji. Genji is Hanzo’s brother. Moment of tension in the reel. Melee based-hero. Aaaand back to the montage.

D. Va page.

Mei page.

Genji page.

1:54 p.m. CST: New map confirmed as Hollywood.

1:55 p.m. CST: Switching heroes mid-game is considered a core part of the game. Thus all of the maps and heroes announced so far will be included in the base game. “Overwatch Origins Edition” which was leaked by retailers last night is now being officially announced.

1:56 p.m. CST: The Origins Edition will come with a selection of cosmetic skins which are actually a part of the character’s backstory. We’re seeing Strike COmmander Morrison, Overgrown Bastion (grass on ‘im), Reaper’s Blackwatch Reyes, Security Chief Pharah, Slipstream Tracer.

For more details see our post on Overwatch Origins: http://blizzardwatch.com/2015/11/05/overwatch-origins-edition-40-preorder-offer-console-availability-confirmed/

1:59 p.m. CST: Tracer coming to Heroes of the Storm!!!

2:00 p.m. CST: Overwatch confirmed for Playstation 4 and XBone. There’s a base PC version, the Origins Edition for PC, XBone, and PS4, and a Collector’s Edition also available on all platforms — comes with a Soldier 76 statue, a source book, a soundtrack, and the contents of the Origins Edition.

http://us.battle.net/overwatch/en/buy/ for full details!

2:01 p.m. CST: Overwatch will release Spring 2016, on or before June 21.

2:02 p.m. CST: The Human Hype Train Chris Metzen is taking the stage.

2:03 p.m. CST: We’re going through the Horde vs. Alliance schtick. Metzen is talking about the movie, how it sets the stage for the modern age of Warcraft — the one we’re playing. “To contrast that” Legion is firmly in the Warcraft present.

2:05 p.m. CST: Retrospective of Burning Legion invasions! Metzen is building up how dangerous these invasions are, how pissed off the Legion must be about their failures. “There’s some Gul’dan fans in the back. There’s something wrong with you.”

2:06 p.m. CST: Focusing on Gul’dan. The Legion gave Gul’dan the task of ripping a hole in reality. He accomplishes it with the Felstorm. The Burning Legion enters Azeroth via the Felstorm. Gettin’ a little Dragon Age Inquisition up in here.

2:07 p.m. CST: The Horde and Alliance send fleets to the Broken Isles to stop the invasion before it can get too terrible. Apparently, it goes… mostly okay. Metzen looked like he was lying about that “mostly okay” part. Illidan Stormrage returns and “he’s pissed, too.”

2:08 p.m. CST: “You guys ready to play demon hunters? Crowd goes wild, but briefly.

2:09 p.m CST: Intro cinematic for Legion about to hit.

2:10 p.m. CST: Varian Wrynn narrating. He looks weird fully animated. THey’re sailing — his compass goes crazy. Everything goes crazy. It’s crazy. Sylvanas! She nods. He nods. Unexpected. Alliance and Horde working side-by-side, getting wrecked by the Burning Legion. Infernals shattering airships. Pretty sure Sylvanas just saved Varian’s butt.

Mitch: I’m totally fanboying right now. This looks amazing.

2:12 p.m. CST: Maybe I spoke too soon. Those butts are still having a hard time.

2:13 p.m. CST: No no, their butts are okay. Good news, everyone: the butts are okay.

Full cinematic here:

2:14 p.m. CST: As retailers leaked last night, pre-order for Legion is now available and includes early access to the demon hunter (when it’s ready).

2:15 p.m. CST: That wraps up the opening ceremonies! Thank you for joining us. Blizzard Watch will be here providing BlizzCon coverage all weekend long.

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Filed Under: Blizzcon-2015, Live Blog

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