BlizzCon 2023 biggest announcements: Huge Overwatch update and two World of Warcraft surprises


GAMING giant Blizzard has unleashed a flurry of announcements about its smash-hit games – and three reveals have stolen the show.

World of Warcraft: Worldsoul Saga

World of Warcraft remains one of the most popular massively-multiplayer online RPGs, despite releasing nearly two decades ago. Now its creators at Blizzard are determined to create a story climax with the game’s first "saga". This will be a collection of three expansions – all teased at BlizzCon – that all progress through one core story.

The first is called The War Within, and will see players "descending into the heart of Azeroth". You’ll get to explore subterranean kingdoms, including visiting ancient cultures like the Earthen (which will become a playable Allied race) as well as the spidery Nerubians.

Second in the expansion series is Midnight, which sees gamers returning to the old world to "the fabled lands of Quel’Thalas". You’ll face the forces of the Void who have invaded Azeroth to "snuff out the light of the Sunwell".

Third up is The Last Titan, the final expansion in the Worldsoul Saga. This time you’ll return to the wintry lands of Northrend, which first appeared in 2008’s Wrath of the Lich King expansion. At Ulduar you’ll witness the return of the Titans to Azeroth and "uncover a vast conspiracy, one that stretches throughout the history of the world".

Amidst the new storyline, players will also get to enjoy new Hero talents (so you can become a Dark Ranger or Farseer, for instance), as well as new Delves, which are one-to-five-player encounters with end-game rewards. And a new Warband system will let you share your banks, reputations, and transmogrifications across your characters. The War Within is expected to launch in fall 2024.

New Overwatch Characters

Blizzard teased not one but three upcoming Overwatch heroes. The first champion is Mauga, who was fully revealed at Blizzcon and is the game’s first Samoan hero. This brawling tank hero wields a pair of chain guns: an incendiary shooter named Gunny and a "volatile" crit weapon called Cha-Cha. He gains temporary health when he deals critical damage, and his ultimate Cage Fight ability traps foes inside a cylindrical ring.

Mauga is available in a limited trial all weekend, before returning for his Season 8 release on Tuesday, December 5. You can unlock Mauga immediately with the Season 8 Premium Battle Pass, or at Tier 45 in the standard Battle Pass. Blizzard also offered up some clues about two more upcoming champions. The first is a new Damage hero called Venture, who will be available in Season 10. And there’s a mysterious support code-named Space Ranger, set to land in Season 12.

World of Warcraft Classic: Season of Discovery

World of Warcraft Classic is a wildly popular revisiting of the original 2004 game – with some tweaks here and there. Two decades on and it’s incredible that the iconic game can still surprise players.

Blizzard announced Season of Discovery, which is a seasonal reimagining of the original game. The game will feature "new secrets and class-altering abilities". For instance, Blizzard teased that Warlocks will be able to "tank" for the first time, while Mages can take on the role of healers.

There will be an initial level cap of 25 (rather than the usual 60) with some new end-game content at the lower level cut-off. This will include a 10-player version of Ashenvale’s iconic Blackfathom Deeps dungeon. To keep the surprises secret, there won’t be any public "testing" of the seasonal event. Instead, it’ll become available to all World of Warcraft Classic players from November 30. Meanwhile, the main World of Warcraft Classic game is finally set to move on to the Cataclysm expansion, which first came out all the way back in 2010.

Samoan tank Mauga is available to play for one weekend only before his full release in December