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Off TopicNov 2, 2023 5:00 pm CT

WRUP: BlizzCon Predictions Edition!

It’s BlizzCon weekend and no one cares what we’re playing — if we’re going to find time to play anything! — so I thought that this week instead of talking about what we’re playing, let’s talk about what we’re predicting for BlizzCon!

Before we go any further I need to point out — I am not Mitch! I am Kalcheus, so these predictions at the top are mine, unless they’re wrong in which case feel free to think they’re Mitch’s.

So without further ado: What aRe yoU Predicting?

Christian “Kalcheus” Thoma

  • Upcoming Survival Game will be announced
  • World of Warcraft expansion will be titled The Storming Seas
  • Playable Vrykul!
  • Diablo 4′s expansion will not follow Neyrelle or Lorath yet
  • Heroes of the Storm makes a comeback

With this being the first in-person BlizzCon in 4 years I think they want to make a huge splash and the best way to do so would be a new IP, so I think it’s time for the Upcoming Survival Game to be formally unveiled. Bonus prediction: Qhira from Heroes of the Storm is a character.

The WoW expansion seems to be pretty likely us going west from Kalimdor to a place named Avaloren or Khaz Algar or both, so rather than come up with a clever title, I’m just going to title it after the feature that had previously blocked our journeying: the Storming Seas. I think it’s apt. Playable Vrykul is a pipe dream in my opinion but dagnabbit I want it!

D4 will very likely announce an expansion, and I think it’s going to stick to the southern part of Sanctuary and thus we’re not going to encounter Lorath or Neyrelle. Instead it’ll be a new plot that revolves around a different problem than Mephisto — I’m leaning towards Baal.

Finally, I’m hoping against hope that Heroes of the Storm gets resurrected. It ain’t happening, but maybe if I predict it it’ll come true!

Rob Flanagan

  • Diablo 4: Crusade of Light
  • World of Warcraft: N’zoth Dating Sim
  • An RTS

For Diablo 4, i feel before we revisit Lorath and Neyrelle, we will be dealing with Prava and the Cathedral of Light, who disappeared after declaring you an enemy of the faith. I also feel this would be a good way to bring in a paladin or crusader class.

For Warcraft, I like being surprised, so I have no prediction. But a mobile dating sim would be nice. Anduin is too predictable, so let’s have N’zoth finding love.

I would also love an RTS. I honestly don’t care if it is Warcraft 4, a remaster of Warcraft 1 and 2, or a Starcraft game. It was the Real Time Strategy genre that started my love of Blizzard Entertainment, and I would like to go back to it.

As an extreme long shot, a Warcraft-themed city builder game. Rebuild Undercity or Gilneas your way.

  • World of Warcraft expansion takes us to Avaloren and we get new Support specs for existing classes
  • Untitled Survival Game gets a title, but not much more
  • Diablo 4 expansion announced, Paladin/Crusader class
  • Something no one is expecting for Overwatch 2
  • New game mode for Hearthstone, a strong single player mode based on Dungeon Run

We’re obviously going to hear about the next World of Warcraft expansion, which will most likely have us follow the path of the green dragon Erinethria to the lands west of Kalimdor, “beyond the Storming Sea.” Maybe that land will be called Avaloren, and maybe Khaz Algar will be located there. I don’t think we’ll get a new playable race or class, but I think there’s a chance Blizzard will announce new Support specs for existing classes, following the lead of Augmentation Evokers. I also think we’ll see the first signs of a world revamp to Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms, but it’ll be done a few zones at a time, rather than all at once like Cataclysm.

I think Untitled Survival Game will finally get a title, some art, some very basic info, but not that much beyond that. AAA development takes a very long time, and for some reason I don’t think this project is anywhere near completion yet.

I think they’ll announce a new expansion for Diablo 4, which will heavily feature the Cathedral of Light (mostly as antagonists). That expansion will introduce a new “holy warrior” class, which could be called Paladin or Crusader, but could also have a new name.

Overwatch 2 will get some sort of announcement that will surprise everyone, I feel. Blizzard has not given up on that title, and will try hard to salvage it. While I don’t think they’ll go back on their decision to cancel PVE, unfortunately, I do think whatever they have in store for the game will be bolder than we expect at the moment.

Finally, I feel like Hearthstone will get a new game mode. My dream is that this game mode is some sort of strong single player experience, modeled after Dungeon Run — but also taking a page from Legends of Runeterra‘s successful Path of Champions mode; that is, being strong enough that it could viably become someone’s main mode of gameplay for the foreseeable future.

Sara Hanson

  • Expansion Announcement – World of Warcraft 11.0 title and theme
  • Expansion Announcement – Diablo 4, 2.0 title and theme
  • Overwatch 2.x relaunch strategy
  • Release Announcement – Untitled Survival Game title and background
  • ABK under Microsoft strategy

World of Warcraft 11.0 – even though the general consensus is that the expansion will be set in a nautical themed setting west of Kalimdor, I always love that first glimpse of the new environments and the creatures that live there. It’s all the optimism and promise of new things, new stories and mystery. Dragonflight gave us ducks, dragonriding and I love the new creatures coming with the Emerald Dream zone in the coming weeks. As a Druid player I also wonder if we will get more new forms based on the creatures in the new zone, now that they have the framework in place to make adding new appearances so easily.

Diablo 4 was launched with the promise of annual expansions. So we fully expect there to be an announcement of the next expansion. I think that they will talk about what the launch model for it will look like and whether it will be paid, and what new features you will have on Eternal/Seasonal if you don’t purchase the upgrade. As massive as Diablo 4 already is, we know the world map has many more zones available to choose from. The campaign for Diablo 4 launch was a delight, I am absolutely looking forward to another solid story chapter. Rumors have us heading south into the jungle — while I’ve really enjoyed the story and questing, I am looking forward to poking my nose into a zone that isn’t quite so ‘dead’. It can be grim without being quite so drained and lifeless. I’ve heard conflicting rumours about what new class they might introduce. I would love to see something that harks back to the D2 Amazon, but suspect a Crusader or Knight Penitent is more likely, especially given the in game story threads about the church.

Overwatch 2.0 wasn’t really received well. Full disclosure, I don’t play Overwatch. Firstly because I’m not good at FPS and I have been a MacOS user for years, I ended up getting a Windows gaming PC for Diablo 4. The vignettes for the original launch were awesome and I was really excited for it. But as development went on it became clear that Mac users were going to be shut out. I’m curious to see what they are going to try to repair the damage they did with dropping the PVE mode.

Untitled Survival Game – Aka Odyssey. I’m way more excited about this than OverwatchOverwatch was the last new IP launched by Blizzard. It had a really rich world and backstory. We’ve only seen a handful of screenshots to date and know almost nothing about the world this new game will be set in. I fully expect we will get an announcement as to the general theme of the game, and information on how to sign up for the beta and some high level timeframes for the game launch. My best guess is early in the new year for beta and mid year for game launch. I’m hoping that given how long it’s been in development that it might have a sheen of the old Blizzard “It’s done when it’s done” quality, I hope.

Lastly I think they will spend at least some time on what if any changes we will see as a result of the Microsoft acquisition finally being approved.

Blizzard Unnamed Survival Game

Phil Ulrich

  • WoW: a bundle of stuff iterating on Dragonflight, and that’s okay
  • Diablo 4: a new second class that uses shields and the return of one or more Prime Evils

Things I’m hype for in World of Warcraft: Fievel Goes West: boats. Pirates, whether Mike Ybarra says they’re in the story or not. (You can’t put that many pirate-themed items into the story, Trading Post, and cash shop and not expect people to draw that conclusion.) Old Gods, Yog bless. And maybe another support spec or two! It seems like Augmentation has been well-received, and I’ve really enjoyed playing it — it’s my favorite kind of role in tabletop roleplaying games, it’s been a favorite of mine in other MMOs, and so I’m glad to see the off-DPS buffing spec show up as a playable option in World of Warcraft, but man I would really like the support spec discourse to include something other than what I am personally playing at the time. Go get mad at, I dunno, support mages or something. (What would that even look like? I’ll answer my own question: time wizards. Arcane touches on it now and again but it’s really the one thing NPC mages are good at that we’re not.)

As for Diablo 4: I feel like announcing an expansion is inevitable, but as to where it goes? Couldn’t tell you. Probably it’ll bring back a Prime Evil of some kind (since one of them was suspiciously helpful and is now sort of on the loose in Sanctuary) and include some kind of heavily-armored class, whether that’s a Crusader or a Blood Knight or whatever, is inevitable. Our current shields are poorly utilized, let’s have a sword-and-board (or mace-and-board) wielding class. I’m currently pulling for Crusader, it was a favorite of mine in Diablo 3, but if they go the Blood Knight route like Immortal did then I would be pretty hype for a possible continuation of Season 2’s vampiric powers. (Have I mentioned that Season 2 is really, really fun? It’s gotten me all excited to see what comes next for this game again.)

Ted Atchley

  • Untitled Survival game
  • Warcraft 11.0
  • Hearthstone mini-set
  • New Mobile Game
I agree with many of my distinguished colleagues’ predictions. Making a splash with announcing a new IP for their as-of-yet-untitled Survival game seems like a safe bet. I’m excited to see what is announced for Warcraft 11.0. I don’t expect it, but I would love to see them talk about enhancing the “weekender” experience. They just announced the next Hearthstone expansion, but I’m sure the Hearthstone team would like something to announce so the next mini-set makes sense. With Warcraft Rumble launching this week, I expect we’ll see what’s next for the mobile development team. Perhaps a Warcraft-themed Pet Battler, or maybe a mobile version of Starcraft?

Mitch “Mitch” Mitchell

  • WoW expansion
  • Hearthstone expansion
  • Overwatch 2 expansion
  • Something about Game Pass and Microsoft

It’s weird having not played WoW much and seeing everyone talking about lands west of Kalimdor. I am quite behind on things! So with that in mind, my predictions are rooted in very little except gut feeling. Enjoy!

WoW is obviously getting an expansion announced; expansion cycles are kind of clockwork at this point. The real question for me is what we’re getting with it in terms of major features. I don’t really see another class being added, but I also can’t quite see another race getting added in the same way, say, Blood Elves or Worgen were introduced. If anything, I’d say we get a lot of customization options (and maybe some quests) for existing races. In the other Warcraft universes… I dunno. Rumble seems like it won’t see too many major surprises, as the focus will likely be on worldwide launch and sustaining throughout the first month of play. And Hearthstone is not one I’m privy to, but I expect something in a similar vein.

I’m also going to hazard a guess and say Diablo 4 will get its expansion announced at The Game Awards but NOT BlizzCon. Maybe I’m reading into the show floor layout a bit too much, but I don’t see much of a reason to hide Diablo demo stations from the map, even if Blizz had planned to announce an expansion. That’s not to say I think it’s impossible to see one announced at BlizzCon — I’m just not as confident in it as the other guesses here.

Likewise, I don’t place a ton of faith in the Unannounced Survival Game getting news. Maybe a teaser video during opening ceremony, but something playable? I hope but I do not expect.

Lastly, I’m expecting some Microsoft presence there, even if it’s just a self-congratulatory moment in the opening ceremony. More likely, however, we get a lot of stuff on Game Pass starting this weekend.

Lightning-round, “I doubt it but I’m gonna guess it anyhow” guesses: New specs for, if not all, at least several classes in WoW, with more to come during the expansion; Overwatch 3 is announced instead of an expansion; playable Unannounced Survival Game; literally anything about StarCraft or Heroes of the Storm.

Anna Washenko

  • Diablo 4: expansion plans and new class
  • Overwatch 2: new hero and roadmap

I don’t think we’ll actually see a new expansion for Diablo 4 for several months, but I agree that we’re probably going to get the teaser for it. Most likely I’d expect to have some continued drama centered on the church. Possibly some new leaders emerging to try and fill the void left by Inarius and lots of twisting faith for corrupted reasons, the sort of concepts that Diablo games tend to thrive with. And I’m joining the chorus expecting to see some sort of holy knight/crusader/paladin/templar added to the player classes.

I know that everybody and their dog has negative feelings about Overwatch 2 these days. Sorry not sorry, haters, but I’m still enjoying the game a lot and am curious to see what’s next in the roadmap. I’ve really liked all the new heroes they’ve added since launch, and I anticipate there will be an animated short and announcement centering on whoever is next to join the roster during BlizzCon. I think they’ll also have an additional flashpoint map teased, and probably reveal some more upcoming crossover events like we’ve had with One Punch Man and LE SSERAFIM. Finally, there will almost certainly be more story missions in the pipeline.

And what the heck: if I’m throwing out wild wishes, I’d love to see Jeff Kaplan return to the team. Hey, it could happen!

Anna Bell

  • WoW Expansion
  • Hearthstone expansion?
  • Next batch of Overwatch 2 pay-for-play narrative missions
  • Untitled Survival Game!
  • Blizz Arcade coming to Steam and Gamepass

I feel like the WoW Expansion being announced is kind of a gimme at this point. In years past the Hearthstone team was so consistent in announcing their next expansion at BlizzCon that would usually be similarly obvious, but they’ve just announced the rootin tootin Badlands expansion a couple weeks ago so beyond hyping that up more I’m at a loss as to what they’ll unveil next. A new game mode is definitely in play, I think. Overwatch 2‘s next steps will likely involve the unveiling of the next set of narrative missions, and considering how cinematic-heavy the previous batch were I’d guess they’ll showcase at least the intro of the first one.

In the more wishful thinking category, I am already beyond excited for the Untitled Survival Game, as that’s my usual favorite genre at this point. I’m really hoping we get a crumb of information on it — like the title, maybe. If we do get the title I’d guess we’ll get a rundown on the main character, and likely a few mechanic mainstays of the genre (thirst/hunger and resources, crafting, exploration).

Lastly, I think it’s pretty likely that given the acquisition by Microsoft and how everything’s been hitting Steam lately, I’d guess we’ll see some of the much older Blizzard titles appear on either of those platforms — and more likely both, as Microsoft continues to try to show a non-monopolizing face of this merger. I’d guess that on Steam they’ll be free-to-play, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I had to pay an indie-like entrance fee. I wouldn’t mind spending $5 to play Rock N Roll Racers on Steam (but please don’t tell Phil Spencer).

Liz Patt

My predictions are a little offbeat! Here’s what I think we’ll get during the Opening Ceremonies:

  • A spectacular WoW cinematic that has the audience gasping and all of us wondering why they aren’t animating features films.
  • A new bop masquerading as a Hearthstone expansion announcement, because we are wholly there for the music.
  • A dark, terrifying Diablo 4 expansion announcement guaranteed to live rent free in both our thoughts and nightmares, with bonus Warrior of the Light for the next class.
  • At least two minutes of expounding on the excitement of the Microsoft acquisition.
  • A change to the event lineup and/or convention map.

Oh, and one very excited Liz2 using entirely too many exclamations in Discord. That last one is a given and not a prediction.

Renee Lopez

Whoo! Predictions!

It’s taken me some time to think about it. This is the first BlizzCon I will miss and it feels very weird to not be there celebrating. I do have a few things that I would love to see.

  • Diablo 4 Expansion and a new character class
  • The rebirth of Heroes of the Storm
  • Some information about the untitled survival game!
  • Something something, RTS something? Fingers crossed!
  • The Awesome Mighty Return of StarCraft: Ghost!

With the success of Diablo 4, I would be shocked if we didn’t get some sort of Diablo 4 expansion news or at least information about a new character class. With the PTR stuff coming to HotS, I think BlizzCon is the perfect place to announce its triumphant return. And, if we’re lucky, maybe they can bring back Heroes of the Dorm. That was such a great event and I really enjoyed watching those matches.

At this point, I think some news about the untitled survival game wouldn’t be completely out of the realm of possibility. I know there isn’t anything to show, but it would be nice to know that it is still being worked on and that there is something. My hope and my dream is that we get something about a new RTS or something for StarCraft. I feel that the game has been neglected for a while and I would like to see it get some love. Which leads me to my big “pie in the sky” dream of them resurrecting StarCraft: Ghost. Maybe with the Xbox acquisition, Blizzard might be digging into that treasure trove of old ideas they had. And, honestly, a single-player game from Blizzard would be incredible.

Nick Marino

  • WoW Classic Cataclysm
  • WoW Classic Season of Mastery

Everyone else here has already said anything I could possibly say about World of Warcraft and Diablo 4. Don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely looking forward to hearing about the future of both games! I’m also really interested in seeing what happens with WoW ClassicWrath of the Lich King Classic Phase 4 arrived last month and it was called “the last phase” of Wrath Classic but there’s still the Ruby Sanctum raid, which was counted as Phase 5 of the Wrath’s original release, coming in the future.

It’s incredibly likely we’ll see Cataclysm Classic announced, the big reveal will be how they’re going to do it. The appeal of WoW Classic was the nostalgic return to the “old world” of Azeroth and since Cataclysm fundamentally changed the entirety of World of Warcraft into what we physically play through now in retail, you can see how going to Cataclysm would void that appeal. I want to stay in the Classic world because I enjoy playing it but I know that others want to move on to Cataclysm. I’m hoping we’ll get different servers/realms — one that maintains Classic, Wrath Classic, and Cataclysm separately.

I’m also anticipating an announcement of Classic Season’s of Mastery returning and including content from The Burning Crusade Classic. We know Blizzard was working on the next Season when they announced Classic Hardcore and that was about 6 months ago, so now would be the perfect time to touch on that.


Those are all of our hopes and dreams for BlizzCon. I hope all of your hopes and dreams come true, so tell us: What aRe yoU Predicting?

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