Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.
Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.
I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)
***Fans who would love to watch our recorded Blizzard panels, BlizzCon panel transcripts, and appreciate our efforts can support Blizzplanet's patreon in a monthly-basis, or a one-time basis. Our staff are volunteer fans like you. Your donatives will help us travel to all the Blizzard events we attend year-round.
The latest Overwatch PTR patch 18.104.22.168 introduced a Symmetra rework, and balance changes for Doomfist, and Orisa. Multiple bug fixes for several heroes, and map updates.
The Horizon Lunar Colony has been heavily edited with known access points closed, and new access points added, including a new stairs to access the catwalk above the Point A, and shield pads placed at the catwalk to take cover behind.
Most intriguing? Specimen 8’s room is now open for exploration, and this might be a big smiley-face hint that Specimen 8 (aka Hammond) is coming to Overwatch as a new Hero. Hammond is a chimpanzee. You can read more about him here (that was the May 2017 article where the Horizon Lunar Colony was first introduced in the PTR.
To see how the Specimen 8’s Room looked like in Live servers go here.
The tickets to attend the Overwatch League Grand Finals have sold out at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Impressive. That’s almost the amount of tickets to fill up BlizzCon at the Anaheim Convention Center. The event will be held there through July 27-28. You can watch the Grand Finals at Twitch.tv/OverwatchLeague
Fans purchased more than 20,000 tickets to the esports championship in Brooklyn, New York. The largest esports event ever slated at Barclays Center sold out within two weeks of its public on-sale date.
IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jun. 1, 2018– Tickets to the first-ever Overwatch League Grand Finals have sold out. The competition to determine the champions of the world’s first major global, city-based esports league will be held over July 27–28 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. More than 20,000 tickets were snapped up following the public on-sale date on Friday, May 18, marking the largest esports event ever slated at Barclays Center.
Activision Blizzard sent out a press release to annouonce its presence at the Licensing Expo 2018, and to reveal its new partners. Blizzard Entertainment has licensed Overwatch to Hasbro, NERF Blasters, Lego Group, and UNIQLO (apparel).
In addition, something new is that Scholastic not only does the World of Warcraft: The Traveler series, but they have landed the Overwatch license as well. That one in particular will be on fans’ radar.
AS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 22, 2018– Set for ongoing growth with a slate of world-class entertainment properties, Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group (ABCPG) arrives at Licensing Expo 2018 with an all-star roster of licensing and retail partners. Through gameplay, film and television content, esports events and consumer products, Activision and Blizzard Entertainment are creating depth, breadth and longevity of engagement around their franchises and across platforms. A year into the group’s formation, ABCPG is successfully delivering against the company’s franchises, including Blizzard’s Overwatch® and Activision’s Call of Duty®, among others.
The merchandising program for Overwatch is significantly expanding. Hasbro has been awarded the master toy license for the franchise with plans for a wide range of play experiences including a NERF product line, games and more. Additionally, LEGO® Group has plans for multiple Overwatch building sets across various price points. Further, Overwatch is just one of many Blizzard Entertainment properties featured in the recently announced exclusive apparel line from UNIQLO as part of its Spring/Summer 2018 collection that launched globally on May 18.
Esports has emerged as a significant opportunity that engages millions of players and spectators worldwide. Activision Blizzard is at the forefront of competitive gaming with the Call of Duty World League, MLG Network and the Overwatch League™, the first major global professional esports league with city-based teams. A robust apparel line is at the center of the merchandising program, designed to appeal to a massive global audience of gamers. ABCPG is currently seeking best-in-class partners across all product categories to explore burgeoning licensing and merchandising prospects targeting a new era of fans.
“Since debuting at last year’s Licensing Expo, we’ve begun to successfully realize our vision of offering more value and more opportunities for our global licensing and retail partners by leveraging the blockbuster franchises that Activision and Blizzard have created and expanded over many years of dedicated development,” said Tim Kilpin, CEO and president, Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group. “For our hundreds of millions of players around the world, we’re working hard to build lasting global franchises that they can connect with across game platforms and through esports and vibrant transmedia story content. We are well positioned to continue playing a leading role in shaping the future of entertainment.”
Located in Booth #U202, additional highlights of Activision Blizzard’s slate coming to Licensing Expo 2018 include:
With a player base of 40 million¹, Overwatch’s wide appeal continues to drive a robust merchandising program supported by new and returning partners including: Hasbro (Master Toy); NERF (Blasters); LEGOGroup (Construction); UNIQLO (Apparel); Bioworld International (Bags, Accessories); Spirit Halloween (Costumes); Disguise (Costumes); Brown Trout (Calendars); Insight Editions (Stationery, Cookbook); Trends (Posters, Sticker Packs); Just Toys (Sticker Books); Good Smile Company (Figures); Razer (PC Peripherals); J!nx (Apparel, Accessories); Dark Horse (Artbook); Funko (Apparel, Bags, Home Accessories, Figures); and Scholastic (Books).
WORLD OF WARCRAFT
More than 100 million passionate players have enjoyed the ever-evolving online adventure of Blizzard’s seminal massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft¹. Partners include: Brown Trout (Calendars); Del Rey (Novels); Panini International (Novels); AST (Novels); Jeu Media (Publishing); Ju Ju Be (Bags and Accessories); J!nx (Apparel, Accessories); Insight Editions (Cookbook); Funko (Figures); and Dark Horse (Publishing).
Blizzard recently launched the 12th content release for Hearthstone, its internationally acclaimed free-to-play digital card game that continues to engage and delight a massive global audience across PC and mobile platforms. Licensees include: Insight Editions (Pop-up Book); Displate (Fine Art); Panini International (Art Book); and Huginn & Muninn (Art Book).
Blizzard Entertainment released a sneak peek into a new Deathmatch map named Petra, expected to arrive around the 2nd Anniversary of Overwatch (May 22 – June 11).
A group of archaeologists have begun an excavation and preservation project among the ruins of Petra, a new Deathmatch map that puts all heroes on their own, facing off against one another until one hero scores enough eliminations to win the match. Take in Petra’s majestic views, from high vistas to twisting passageways and deep caverns. Travel along deadly cliffs, but be careful to not fall off! A dilapidated bridge stretches across the map, and the ground underneath it can crumble away to reveal a lethal pit. Hopping on a green jump pad will boost you up to Petra’s higher levels and unlock new strategic possibilities for you…
The latest Overwatch PTR introduced the new Escort map: Rialto — located in Venice, Italy. It absolutely shows a portion of the Retribution event map, but you get access to some rooms that weren’t accessible in the event.
Play a part in history in Overwatch Archives, a seasonal event that brings back last year’s Uprising mission and introduces a new PvE co-op mission, Retribution. More than 160 Archives Loot Box items will be available to unlock during the event, including items from last year’s Overwatch Uprising event along with 8 new Legendary skins.
The all-new Retribution mission gives players a chance to return to the past and experience a critical Blackwatch operation that ultimately led to the fall of Overwatch. Taking place in Venice prior to the events of Uprising, Retribution casts players as Blackwatch members McCree, Moira, Genji, and Reyes (before he became Reaper) in pursuit a high-ranking member of the Talon organization.
In Story Mode, players must fight the forces of Talon in the streets of Venice as the four agents of Blackwatch, teaming up and relying on their distinct abilities to battle their way to an extraction point. In All Heroes Mode, players can bring the hero of their choice into the mission, engaging in dynamic encounters with foes that spawn in different locations each playthrough. Can you master the highest level of difficultly?
If you didn’t watch the Brigitte origin story video entirely, you should wait till the last frames play to see what I meant. Toward the very last 5 seconds you can clearly see an outdoor image of the Eichenwalde Inn seen from the cafeteria house’s perspective.
Immediately, you will notice there is some sort of mobile command center (or if you are familiar with The Punisher comics: the Battle Van). This van is nowhere in any of the Overwatch maps. It is unique.
The second thing you will notice is that the destroyed omnic is still at the Inn’s entrance to your left, but the big vehicle scrap is missing. The banners by the windows have changed as well. There are no trees in the in-game Eichenwalde by the Inn either. That’s like 4 differences comparing the in-game Inn versus the one shown in the Brigitte Origin Story video.
Could this be an upcoming update to Eichenwalde? A new special event? If it is a new special event, it doesn’t seem to be set in the past, but more contemporaneous. The current Eichenwalde map is set possibly shortly after Reinhardt and Brigitte visited the Eichenwalde castle, where Reinhardt placed the Overwatch insignia on the throne. But that happened shortly after Winston sent out the message to all inactive Overwatch agents.
The image shown below shows a van that has never been there before, and the vehicle scrap in front of the Inn is missing. What do you think Blizzard might have done here on purpose?
@Modstersmash points out this Battle Van was featured in the “Dragon Slayer” digital comics that featured Reinhardt and Brigitte (Originally posted on April 28, 2016).
Blizzard Entertainment has officially unveiled the new Hero 27: Brigitte. Torbjorn’s daughter. The surprising twist is that Brigitte is not a tank, as I had speculated, but a Support hero. Whoa? Didn’t see that one coming. Still, she is tanky. So I still get half-point?
She has a shield, shield-bashes, and hits enemies with her flail weapon. Damage she does at close-range heals her nearby teammates. In addition, now we know why Health Packs were re-sized in the PTR. Brigitte dishes out Health Packs for friendly players. She’s basically a Diablo III Crusader in that she is a tank and a healer simultaneously.
An engineer with peerless armor-constructing abilities, Brigitte Lindholm is a valiant squire who fights on the front line to protect her allies.
The youngest of Torbjörn’s daughters, Brigitte is an adventurer who travels with her godfather—Reinhardt Wilhelm—to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. Previously, she aided Reinhardt by repairing his armor but as time has passed, Brigitte has realized that there is some damage that her hammer cannot fix. Her desire to help stronger than ever, Reinhardt is training her to fight while she built her own armor in secret. Now she fights alongside him on the front line, where she can make an even bigger difference
Brigitte’s armor engineering capabilities make her a stalwart support hero, capable of holding her ground in combat while also providing healing and armor for her allies. Her primary weapon is her heavy-hitting Rocket Flail that she swings in a wide arc in front of her to smash multiple enemies at once. Whip Shot enables Brigitte to fling her flail forward, striking enemies at a distance and knocking them backward. With each blow, Brigitte’s passive ability, Inspire, heals nearby allies over time.
Brigitte’s Barrier Shield deploys a frontal energy barrier that can absorb a limited amount of damage and protect any allies directly behind her. Once her Barrier Shield is deployed, she can use Shield Bash to lunge forward and stun the first enemy in her path. Drawing on her engineering prowess, Brigitte can create Repair Packs to instantly heal wounded allies or provide armor to teammates at maximum health. When Brigitte is at her strongest, she can activate her ultimate ability, Rally—a galvanizing call to arms that generates a substantial amount of armor for nearby allies and increases Brigitte’s movement speed so she can lead them into battle.
Brigitte is the seventh support character to join the Overwatch lineup and her gameplay is engineered to defend allies while also providing healing and armor. She excels at healing multiple allies at once with Inspire while pressuring the enemy team’s front line as she whittles them down with her Rocket Flail. Her Whip Shot can be used to disrupt an enemy formation or to shove a flanking assassin off a vulnerable teammate. Repair Pack can be either used as an instant reactionary heal or as a preventative heal when anticipating incoming enemy damage. Brigitte’s Barrier Shield is most effective as a personal shield to absorb some damage so Brigitte can reposition herself if she finds herself being targeted by the enemy or safely move up into the heat of the fray. Shield Bash’s stun can be key in defending her allies from foes who get too close, or to immobilize an important target and start a team fight. Its mobility allows her to move into a fight or escape from an enemy’s reach. Rally can be used either to engage the enemy with a favorable advantage or safely disengage from a losing battle. Armor gained from her ultimate is permanent until chipped away by damage.
Brigitte is available for testing right now on the Overwatch PTR!
If you’d like to help us hammer her into shape, simply log in to the Public Test Region, then head to our official forums to report your findings. Click here for more info.