I watched the opening ceremony which will only be up for a few more days, because promotional material should be hidden behind a paywall according to Acti-Blizzard-Vison.
- Former CEO Michael Morhaime starts, introduces new CEO J. Allen Brack, former World of Warcraft exec producer, who’s presided over some of the worst WoW expansions and the massive decline of WoW’s subscribers (it’s still huge, just less huge than 4-8 years ago).
- Starcraft: Still dominated by South Korea. So now Google “Deep Mind” is trying to make AIs capable of playing against them. In the grim post-apocalyptic wasteland after the Rise of the Machines, only South Korea will be able to defend humanity from Google “capture” bots. Good luck. But seriously, why is this 20-year-old RTS still relevant?!
- Heroes of the Storm: Inexplicably still running. Still charging you per character, in the most offensive monetization scam in the games industry. New character intro CGI cartoon is maybe the dumbest and most self-important thing I’ve ever seen. She’s from the NEXUS, woo-ooo.
- World of Warcraft: New exec producer seems like a doofus, may just be stage inexperience. New Battle for Azeroth “content” seems like more of the same crap: Wreck old zones, add some battlegrounds.
- World of Warcraft Classic: Demo out today (as was known). Release date announced: Summer 2019! Much sooner than I expected, I figured Fall/Winter 2019, maybe into 2020 given Blizzard Time. Any WoW subscription gives Classic access, no extra fee.
- Overwatch: Never watched. There’s a long post-apocalyptic pseudo-Western CGI cartoon which isn’t bad, though it has comically bad dialogue, but apparently you can’t play most of those characters yet, because Acti-Blizzard-Vision needs to extract your money over the next year. Also: In what seems to be gameplay footage (but probably more CGI cartoons), they’re fighting and automatically quip lines, but their mouths don’t move. How pathetic is that, for a bjillion-dollar AAA title?
- Warcraft 3 “Reforged”: Demo at Blizzcon, release date “next year”. I think I only played WC1, not 2 or 3, it’s been forever and they weren’t my thing, but I might try WC3.
- Hearthstone: Meh. Least interesting Magic ripoff gets new cards.
- Diablo: Mobile Diablo Immortal. Hilariously tacky lore summary, “Corrupted the Worldstone … turning Humans evil and violent”! Because Humans are so good and peaceful without evil magic stones, right guy? Lemme just check these facts: WAR. Oh.
Mockery of the presentation aside, the mobile port looks fine and I like Diablo when I don’t have to group. So… Can I play this solo? Or is it dependent on 3 other assholes none of whom know their role, and/or scream at you when you don’t run your character the way they would?
According to Diablo Immortal web site, the classes are Barbarian, Monk, Wizard, Crusader, Demon Hunter, Necromancer: No Witch Doctor! Well, I like Necros as well, but hmpf.
- Finally, there were these cosplayers, with the greatest shoulderpads ever: