Blizzard’s Gamescom 2016 announcements: new content for Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft II and Overwatch

Blizzard Gamescom 2016

Update: Blizzard have announced a massive amount of upcoming content for Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft and Overwatch.

In their Gamescom stream, Blizzard showed off what’s next for Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft and Overwatch. For Heroes, two new characters – including Overwatch’s Zarya – and StarCraft-based maps. StarCraft is getting some new co-op content with maps and commanders, as well as cosmetic packs. Meanwhile Overwatch got a new map, a German castle called Eichenwalde with a lot of verticality and it was confirmed that a whole second season of Overwatch shorts was on the way.

Heroes of the Storm is getting:

  • Two new heroes, Zarya and StarCraft II’s Alarak.
  • Two new StarCraft-themed maps, Braxis Holdout and Warhead Junction.
  • A new legendary skin for Kerrigan, putting her in a ghost-suit version of her Zerg form. It makes sense if you’ve played it, okay?

The whole Heroes presentation:

Meanwhile, for StarCraft II:

  • Alarak as an allied commander, who uses the various Tal’darim units from the campaign.
  • A new co-op map based on the Terrazine collection mission from Legacy of the Void.
  • Collections will be added soon, cosmetic skins and voice lines that can be used in multiplayer. Prices weren’t confirmed.

Here’s Alarak (and his lovely John de Lancie voice):

And finally Overwatch:

  • A new map, Eichenwalde, set in a castle in a forest. The castle is like Reinhardt’s, while the forest is where Bastion was found.
  • A trailer for the Bastion Overwatch short was shown, and can be seen in the archive below at about the 26 minute mark.
  • Confirmation that season two of the Overwatch animated shorts is on the way.

Here’s what the new map looks like:

Here’s the archive:

Original story:The creators of WoW, Overwatch and much more are going a bit all-in on Gamescom this year, treating it to as much scheduling and developer presence as their own Blizzcon event. Blizzard have got a five day schedule of community events, much of which is being streamed, and there’s interviews, mini-announcements and world debuts peppered throughout. Here’s a little guide to what’s on when.

As for what they’ve got coming next publically, here’s everything we know aboutWorld of Warcraft: Legion.

There’s two major announced events. One is the Overwatch Bastion animated short, which is debuting at 6pm CEST / 5pm BST / 9am PDT on Thursday, August 18. This will be shown on the Overwatch Twitch channel.

The other is a full preview of everything they’ll be showing off at Gamescom. This will come in video form to the official Blizzard Gamescom mini-site tomorrow at 6:30pm CEST / 5:30pm BST / 9:30am PDT. The livestream will kick off right here:

Some previews have also already been posted on Twitter:

Based on those, there’s a little something for every game. Rumours abound as to what that could mean – from a new Diablo expansion to Overwatch’s 23rd hero, Sombra, making her appearance. It could simply be another Legion zone preview, or the next Heroes of the Storm hero – we’ll find out in a bit over 24 hours.

After that, there’s five full days of livestreams from various community members. The streams will be on their personal channels, though expect them to be hosted by the main channel for that game too. Here’s the various special features you might want to look out for, split by game with times in CEST – minus one for British time, minus nine for Pacific:

  • World of Warcraft:
    • FatbossTV interview with assistant game director Ion Hazzikostas – 4:00pm, Friday.
    • Slootbag dungeon challenge with Ion Hazzikostas – 6:00pm, Saturday.
  • Heroes of the Storm:
    • chu8 interview with lead systems designer Travis McGeathy – 5:00pm, Wednesday.
    • Grubby interview with production director Kaeo Milker – 7:00pm, Saturday.
  • Hearthstone:
    • Thijs interview with designer Peter Whalen – 4:30pm, Thursday.
    • Lothar interview with designer Peter Whalen – 11:30am, Sunday.
    • Savjz interview with designer Peter Whalen – 2:30pm, Sunday.
  • Overwatch:
    • Muselk interview with level designer Aaron Keller – 11:00am, Wednesday.
    • Animated short premiere, see above.
  • StarCraft:
    • Lowko interview with lead level designer Matt Morris – 3:45pm, Wednesday.
    • Lowko interview with production director Chris Sigaty – 1:00pm, Saturday.

Given the number of these, it’s doubtful all of them are going to have world-exclusive information, but there will likely be followups on whatever is revealed on Tuesday evening. There’s nothing noted down for Diablo besides some speedruns, so those hoping for more developments in that area might want to lower expectations now.

There are also some non-game-specific events going on, which should be streamed across all channels:

  • Dance contest – 4:00pm, Friday.
  • Video Games Live concert – 6:00pm, Friday.
  • Cosplay contest – 3:30pm, Saturday

The main Blizzard channel will also host recaps each day at 9:00pm hosted by Mark “Turpster” Turpin and Soe Gschwind-Penski, while the mini-site will direct you if you just want something to watch on a random day. There’s also a load of holes in the schedule, and they’re probably just for switchovers/lunch/panicking, but last time there were slightly suspicious holes in a Blizzard schedule they announced Overwatch, so you know. Ears up.