BlizzCon 2017 Overwatch: What’s Next Panel Transcript

Blizzard World

I don’t know if any of you were here at BlizzCon a couple years ago, but I remember it well because I think it might have been my first time up here on the main stage, and I was sitting next to our creative director Chris Metzen, and someone asked a question, and Chris decided that he wanted to talk about kind of a fun idea that we had which was the idea of the Blizzard amusement park, and he kept asking me like “Hey, should I just say something?

And I was shaking my head like: “no, no, no. Don’t say anything. don’t say anything. Too far, Chris.” But he went ahead and did it anyways. So that idea has been in the back of our minds like pretty actively. Honest. To be fair, for the last couple of years, and finally we thought: “Wouldn’t it be fun to actually go ahead and make that?” So We have taken this idea and made Blizzard World, and now we have made it into an entire park.

 

So I am the story guy. I am going to give you a little backstory on Blizzard World. Blizzard World is an amusement park. It is celebrating the worlds and universes of Blizzard Entertainment. It was built in Irvine, California, obviously; and one important note from a story standpoint is that there is no Overwatch part of the park.

 

So in the world of Overwatch, Blizzard Entertainment exists. It did not create the video game Overwatch or licenses a game from Overwatch. So there is no Overwatch in the park. This is celebrating the rest of Blizzard. We are going to play that video again mainly just because we love it; and to let you see a little bit more of the park again.

Announcer: When you took your first steps in Azeroth. Where you confronted the Lord of Terror himself. Where you spawned your first zergling rush. Sometimes epic memories can only be made in an epic world. Your adventure, your community, your memories. See them come alive in your world: Blizzard World.

Epic song detected!

Well met!

Stay awhile and listen

To the fireworks!

Come and visit Blizzard World. New adventures are waiting for you.

Tracer: I can’t wait to get on some rides.

Torbjorn: For the Horde.

Attendee yells: Make it real!

Aaron: That’d be great (laughs). I am so excited to take you guys through Blizzard World. The whole team of Blizzard is so excited about this map, and we thought that BlizzCon will be the ultimate place to show it to you guys.

 

So Blizzard World is Overwatch’s newest hybrid map. It is going to take players on an epic journey through the lands of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo.

 

Like our other hybrid maps, the match starts as a fight over the first control point. The Defenders start in the Heroes of the Storm Arcade.

 

While the attackers will spawn in the Hearthstone tavern.

 

From here the attackers can choose to attack the first point through the gates of Stormwind, or they can bypass the choke entirely by going through Lost and Found Vikings.

 

There is so many places the scene explore. There is flanking routes all throughout the first area like the Fargo Deep Mine, Flight to Duskwood, or if you want you can just stop off for a burger and some death wings at Snaxxramas.

 

Michael: A great name. That is right.

Aaron: It’s a good name right? The design of the first choke is more of a mini arena. There is multiple routes for both the attackers and the defenders to get here, and also to access the high ground.

 

As the attackers insert the area they will find an abundance of cover, and several health packs in order for them to gain a foothold, and inevitably the fighting sort of turns into this big rumble around the statue here; and ultimately, if the attackers are successful the defenders kind of have to fall back towards the point further into the area.

Now when the attackers take the first point, they will capture the payload and push it out of the Warcraft area, and into the StarCraft area past the Siege Tank, and around the Pylon Terrace. Now this area is really a large circular arena. There is an abundance of high-ground, and there is direct access to it for both the attackers and the defenders.

 

The defenders can set up around the pylon (above the cafe), and when they need to, they can drop off and directly contest the payload there. The attackers (if they want to)… they can try to take the high-ground and contest it against the defenders. By taking a path up by the Siege Tank, or then you can try to bypass it, and sneak around through the Ghost Academy, or through the Nexus Experience.

There is also all sorts of flanking routes in here. There is a lot of interior opportunities either to attack the defenders, or to try to set up. Inside the Nexus Experience is a really great spot for Sombra to set up the mega health pack, and Symmetra; and just create the meanest nest inside the pylon terrace. It is nasty.

 

So once the attackers push the payload to the first checkpoint, they’ll start pushing into the Diablo area, and their new Spawn room will be the passenger loading area for the Reign of the Black King ride while the defenders move all the way back into the park’s command and control centre.

 

So here the attackers pushed the payload into Leoric Manor, and all the way to the throne of the Skeleton King himself.

 

This area just exudes Diablo mood in flavor, all of the lighting in here reminds you of Leoric Manor. We have all sorts of props like the chandeliers, and the shrines, and the weapon racks that you can find in Diablo. You can break the barrels. Maybe you will find some epic loot here. Maybe there is some last bit of lore to discover inside this area. Right here this is actually a super cool Genji flanking route. You can run around the right. You just got to watch out for the drop.

 

This map was a labor of love for everybody on the team. We are all huge Blizzard fans on the Overwatch team, and a lot of the people that we have on the team work all across the company. We have people that worked on this map that worked on World of Warcraft, and Diablo, in StarCraft, and Heroes of the Storm, and Hearthstone; and they all came together to provide so many different ideas about the park itself from all the crazy rides that you can see in the background and in the gameplay areas.

 

To all just even the cool signs for some of these rides like the Spawning Pool in Lost and Found Vikings that is. Who is that in the Spawning Pool right there?

 

Arnold: I don’t know, but I think the water starts blue at the beginning of the day, and–.

Aaron: We made special props for all the areas from the inflatable Doomhammer, to the treasure chest, to the leather-bound copy of the Green Hills of Stranglethorn, forward Jeff Kaplan’s original masterpiece.

 

Arnold: It is magnum opus.

Aaron: There are souvenirs in each of the area that you can get. There are different flavor props that you can find for all these different areas. We have packed so much into it, and there is so much more than we are showing you here.

 

There is so much more detail. There is so much more passion and ideas; and there is a tiny little Easter eggs — not just in the art, but in the audio as well. As you run around, you hear the voices of Deckard Cain, and the Adjutant from StarCraft.

 

This is something that we have done for ourselves as fans, and for all of you as fans as well. So that’s Blizzard World. You guys can play it on the showfloor today. It will be playable all throughout BlizzCon.

It is going to be hitting the PTR soon, and it will go live sometime early next year. But this isn’t all we have to talk about. It is not just heroes. It is not just the new map. There is one more thing we have in store for you and to talk about it is Aaron Tzang.

NEXT: BLIZZARD-THEMED SKINS

BlizzCon 2017 Overwatch: What's Next panel transcript
1. Moira Concept Art2. Moira Gameplay3. Blizzard World4. Blizzard-themed Skins
5. Community Q&A

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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)

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