Login with Patreon
BlizzConNov 6, 2023 11:15 am CT

Everything that happened at BlizzCon 2023

BlizzCon 2023 has come to a close, but with all the news announcements it’s hard to keep up. If you want to know the latest news about your favorite games, here’s everything we learned at BlizzCon 2023.

World of Warcraft

Chris Metzen is back and in fine form, announcing not one, not two, but three World of Warcraft expansions. That’s not a typo: we’re getting three expansions bundled into a trilogy called the Worldsoul Saga. And guess what? We’re going to be learning a lot more about the nascent Titan that is Azeroth.

The three expansions are The War Within, Midnight, and The Last Titan, and Blizzard plans to wrap the story up by 2030. This is more info than we’ve ever had about Blizzard’s long-term World of Warcraft plans, though we only know details of the first expansion so far.

The War Within

Release date: Fall 2024

Get in losers, we’re going to Silithus. We’re finally (I hope) figuring out what’s happening with that sword, and it looks like Anduin and Thrall are leading the way. We have a rundown of the characters that appear to be playing a major role in the expansion to give you an idea of where the story begins. We also know that the Arathi will be making a return, so we have a rundown on their story as well.

But The War Within is more than just a pretty face: the game includes some new features we’ve been wanting for years. A new Hero Talent system will let you choose an additional heroic specialization for your class, like Keeper of the Grove for Druids or Farseer for Shaman. We know the names of every Hero specialization, but Blizzard only gave us a preview of Druids and Warriors, so other than the general concept, we know little about this. There’s also big news for alts with the addition of Warbands, which unifies your alt army with a shared bank, shared reputation, and the ability for any of your alts to collect transmog for any armor class. You can also collect Warbound gear that you can give to alts which will become soulbound after being equipped. It’s about to be easier than ever to play and level alts. Speaking of transmog, the WoW team is exploring the use of AI expand the number of appearances available, using the new tech to avoid making a real artist do repetitive tasks like display hair under the thousands of unique helms on offer.

Oh, yeah, and everyone can be a Dwarf now. The new Earthen Allied Race is available to both Alliance and Horde, and there are no reputation requirements to unlock them: you just have to finish The War Within campaign.

New outdoor content is coming with Delves, which feels a bit like Torghast and a bit like Zskera Vaults. You’ll encounter Delves in the world and be able to explore them alongside Brann Bronzebeard, who is probably here to help us out rather than just set off alarms and leave us to deal with the fallout. Delves will also be real end-game content for players that prefer to explore the open world. The Great Vault is getting an update that will replace the PVP tier — PVPers will keep acquiring gear via Conquest — but adds a tier for World content. This will give you rewards up to Heroic raid quality for completing Delves or other world activities.

Also the expansion seems to be breaking down the last big barrier to playing with your friends: cross-realm guilds are coming, and cross-realm Mythic+ will be available on day one of future raid tiers.

You can pre-order The War Within right now, and we’re a little concerned that the most expensive version — $90 USD— will also give you three days of early access to the game. Will we wind up feeling behind if we don’t shell out that extra cash? In the long run, probably not. But in the short run? Competitive players will likely be a bit behind the curve without this top-tier offering.

Patch 10.2

Release Date: November 7, 2023

Blizzard finally spilled the beans: Amidrassil will be the last raid in Dragonflightthough we’ll continue to get new content on a regular cadence — including a patch 10.2.5 coming sometime in 2024.

Patch 10.2.5

Release date: Likely January 2024

Dragonriding is coming to… well, everywhere, actually. In patch 10.2.5, Dynamic Flying will be available everywhere, with (almost) every mount in your collection. Dracthyr will also be able to fly, with Soar useable everywhere without its current cooldown — though Druids will have to wait, as Flight Form won’t be getting Dynamic Flight until the expansion.

World of Warcraft galleries

WoW Classic

Cataclysm Classic

Release date: First half of 2024

That’s right: Cataclysm is getting the Classic treatment with a revamped version of the expansion that destroyed the old world to the point that people wanted to go back to WoW Classic in the first place. While I don’t fully understand the desire to return to Cataclysm, Blizzard is bringing it back with #SomeChanges, for an old-new experience.

We don’t know very much about those changes yet, except that it will have faster leveling, more difficult dungeon challenges (likely a continuation of Wrath’s Titan Rune dungeons), and some quality of life improvements — like transmog being available on launch.

WoW Classic: Season of Discovery

Release date: November 30, 2023

But if you aren’t interested in re-experiencing Deathwing’s attack on Azeroth, the Classic team has something else for you: Season of Discovery. This new season is a full-on Azeroth remix, with a Rune Engraving system that will unlock new class-altering abilities. Warlock tanks? Mage healers? It’s all possible in Season of Discovery.

But it’s not just classes that are getting remixed: Blackfathom Deeps is getting re-imagined as a 10-player, seven boss raid. The raid will pit you against some familiar faces in challenging new encounters as you face off against Baron Aquanis, Ghamoo-ra, Lady Sarevess, Gellhast, Lorgus Jett, Twilight Lord Kelris, and Aku’mai. And while Ashenvale itself may look the same, it will feature a new world PVP event that challenges you to take out enemy leaders in camps across the zone.

On launch, the level cap will be 25 (and the BFD raid is designed for level 25), but the level cap will be raised in the future alongside new content releases. We don’t have any hints (yet) on what Season of Discovery may remix yet, but I’m very excited to find out.

The Season of Discovery is all about discovering secrets, and it will be launching without a PTR so we can all discover the content together. And we’ll be discovering things soon: Season of Discovery launches on November 30. Yes, this November 30.

WoW Classic galleries

Diablo 4

Though we didn’t get quite as much Diablo news as I hoped, we did get quite a few tidbits on content from new stuff coming next week for Season 2 to our first peek at the next expansion due out late next year.

Vessel of Hatred expansion

Release date: Late 2024

In the game’s first expansion, we’ll be chasing Neyrelle (and Mephisto) into the jungles of Nahantu, revisiting some familiar locations from Diablo 2 as well as new locales. This is where Mephisto originally corrupted the Zakarum, and it certainly seems dangerous for Neyrelle to visit such a place of power. But it’s not like anyone else had any better ideas on how to deal with Mephisto, so we’ll have to see how it all pans out. And to better help players jump straight into the story, newcomers will be able to play Vessel of Hatred content immediately, even if they didn’t play through the main story campaign.

There will also be a new class in Vessel of Hatred, but the team wouldn’t comment on it except to say it would be new to the franchise — sorry, everyone hoping for Amazons or Witch Doctors.

The expansion isn’t imminent, but will be out within the year: look for Vessel of Hatred to arrive in late 2024… and likely another expansion to follow in 2025.

Diablo 4 patch 1.2.2

Release date: November 7, 2023

Though the Diablo team rolled out a new quality of life patch just before BlizzCon, that isn’t the end of new content this season. On November 7 patch 1.2.2 will add unique Malignant rings for every class, bringing back select powers from Season of the Malignant. You’ll have to kill Varshan on World Tier 3 for a chance at getting one of these rings, and as a Necromancer I’m certainly looking forward to once again being able to automatically fire off Corpse Explosions everywhere.

Abattoir of Zir

Release date: December 5, 2023

If you’ve already hit level 100 and are tired of Nightmare dungeons and uber bosses, there’s a new end-game activity coming soon: the Abattoir of Zir. Described as a “grueling test,” this will be a bloody challenge for level 100, giving max level players a new way to test their skills.

Midwinter Blight holiday

Release date: December 12, 2023

A new wintery holiday is coming to Diablo 4 with Midwinter Blight, where we’ll be fighting a Red Cloaked Horror who aims to ruin the holiday season and perhaps earn some festive (maybe) transmog in the process.

Diablo 4 Season 3

Release date: January 3, 2024

Blizzard hasn’t revealed the name or theme of Season 3, but we now know that it will include a Gauntlet, which seems very much like Diablo 3’s Challenge Rifts. You’ll run the Gauntlet competing with other players for the best score and a spot on the weekly leaderboard — and the very best players will be immortalized in the Hall of the Ancients.

Diablo 4 galleries

Warcraft Rumble

Molten Core raid

Release date: Unknown

Warcraft Rumble has only been live for a day, but we’re already talking about the next batch of content: Molten Core. This raid encounter will pit teams of two against classic Molten Core bosses in an epic eight-boss raid culminating in confronting Ragnaros himself.

And because we’ve been getting this question a lot, no, there is not a version of Warcraft Rumble for PC.

Warcraft Rumble galleries


Showdown in the Badlands

Release date: November 14

We already knew Showdown in the Badlands was coming, but BlizzCon previewed some new cards in advance of the expansion’s pending release.

And if you’re having trouble catching up with the meta, or you’ve been out of the game for a while, Blizzard is adding Catch-Up Packs to the game, which can give you up to 50 cards in a single pack, depending on how many cards you’ve collected from the latest expansions. It’ll help you build a meta deck in no time, and all players will get two Catch-Up Packs for just logging in after the expansion launches.

Battlegrounds Duos

Release date: 2024

The real news from Hearthstone this BlizzCon isn’t about constructed, but a new Battlegrounds gameplay mode: Duos. This new mode will let you play Battlegrounds with a friend, teaming up with some deadly new two-hero combos as well as new hero Cho’Gall, which you can only play with a partner in Duos.

Hearthstone galleries

Overwatch 2

New hero: Mauga

Release date: December 5, 2023

Mauga was teased way back in 2019 in a short introducing Baptiste, and now he’s finally joining the live game. This massive tank hero — he’s one of the largest in the game — charges into combat wielding two chainguns, and has a brutal playstyle that focuses on hitting his enemies hard. He has a charge ability with a knockback, a life steal that buffs allies’ health, and his ultimate chains enemies to him while giving him unlimited ammo to blast away at his targets. Look for Mauga to arrive with Season 8 next month.

We can also expect three more new heroes in 2024: a tank, a support, and a DPS. One will be the support Venture and another is in development under the name Space Ranger — but we don’t have much in the way of details on either.

Clash mode

Release date: Unknown

This new game mode is 5CP that’s — hopefully — more balanced than the 2CP Hanamura map. The first Clash map will be Hanaoka, and it’s a spiritual successor to Hanamura.

Overwatch 2 galleries

Our BlizzCon experience

It’s no surprise that the team here at Blizzard Watch has opinions. Sometimes opinions. After seeing Soe take the stage in a bold pink and red shirt, we just had to rate the fashion choices of everyone on stage during the BlizzCon Opening Ceremonies.

Our own Rob Flanagan has traveled from Philly to Anaheim, and has been documenting his trip to BlizzCon… including eating a lot of really amazing food. It’s a good rundown of the experience of going to BlizzCon, though it will make you hungry.

And if you prefer to get your impressions in audio format, we did a post-BlizzCon podcast featuring some very tired writers — including Cory and Rob reporting in from Anaheim.


Panel galleries

Game screenshot and art galleries

Show floor galleries

Originally published November 4, 2023; updated November 7, 2023

Blizzard Watch is made possible by people like you.
Please consider supporting our Patreon!


Join the Discussion

Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our  commenting and community guidelines.

Toggle Dark Mode: