BlizzConline 2021 will be free to tune in to, Blizzard has revealed in its new Fireside Chat video.
“We want it to be a big virtual celebration, so BlizzConline will be free to watch and engage in,” said Blizzard president J. Allen Brack.
Blizzard announced that BlizzConline would take place from February 19 to 20 2021 back in September, after announcing in May its decision to not have a physical event. The “engage” bit mentioned by Brack probably refers to the previously-revealed Community Showcase, which includes a Cosplay Exhibition, Art Contest, Digital Storytelling Contest, Talent Spotlight, and March of the Murlocs.
The Fireside Chat also touched on Blizzard’s machine-learning system to verify reports on abusive behaviour in games like Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm. According to Brack, the system resulted in an “incredible” decrease in toxic text chat and overall decrease in repeat offence rate. When implemented in World of Warcraft’s public channels, the MMORPG experienced a decrease “in the time disruptive players stick around by half”.
The video also touched on previous Blizzard announcements like World of Warcraft: Shadowlands’ release date and World of Warcraft Classic’s Naxxramas raid. It also mentioned that mobile title Diablo Immortal had its “largest ever internal playtest” recently, and that over 95% of Blizzard’s workforce was working from home.