World of Warcraft old and new, Overwatch, Hearthstone and StarCraft II: All the headlines from Blizzcon 2017

World of Warcraft old and new, Overwatch, Hearthstone and StarCraft II: All the headlines from Blizzcon 2017

Last weekend was Blizzard’s own Blizzcon event with a wealth of big announcements coming from the show.

The firm revealed a brand new World of Warcraft expansion, dubbed Battle for Azeroth. This adds two new kingdoms, various islands, as well as 20-player co-operative Warfront mode.

No release date has been pencilled in just yet, but it’s a safe bet for Q4 2018.

“Conflict is at the heart of the Warcraft® saga, and in Battle for Azeroth, tensions that have been simmering for a long time escalate into all-out war,” said Blizzard chief and co-founder Mike Morhaime said.

“World of Warcraft players are incredibly passionate about the characters and factions they identify with in the game, and this expansion will make them prouder than ever to declare their allegiance to the Horde or to the Alliance.”

That wasn’t the only big World of Warcraft news to come out of Blizzcon. Blizzard revealed that it would be going back in time with World of Warcraft Classic. This is a vanilla version of the game, i.e. one without the myriad expansions that have launched in the game’s lifetime.

This follows years of fans wanting access to the old servers. No release date is confirmed just yet, but this is a savvy PR move. It’s also reminiscent of Jagex launching Old School RuneScape - a version of the game as it was back in 2007.

In other big Blizzard PC game news, sci-fi RTS StarCraft II is going free-to-play later this month. On November 14th, the base Wings of Liberty title will be playable free of charge with subsequent expansions Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void purchasable for £12.99 each.

“StarCraft II is one of the highest-rated PC games of all time, and we’re excited to give even more people around the world a chance to find out why it has inspired such a passionate global community,” Morhaime said.

“With the massive Wings of Liberty single-player campaign, endlessly replayable co-op mode, prestigious ranked ladder, comprehensive map-making tools, and more, StarCraft II now delivers the ultimate real-time strategy experience completely free.”

Furthermore, Blizzard is making some changes to its smash hit team shooter Overwatch. A brand new support hero Moira was revealed. There’s also a new theme park-inspired map with areas themed after other Blizzard games like Warcraft and Starcraft.

And finally, Blizzard also revealed a brand new expansion pack for its hit collectible card game, Hearthstone. Dubbed Kobolds and Catacombs, this is the third and final expansion for 2017 and introduces 135 new cards to the game. In addition to this new content, the firm is rolling out a roguelike single-player mode where players explore a dungeon.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.