Last week’s annual BlizzCon 2009 has come and gone. Here is a compilation of all the important news bits and announcements during Blizzard’s two-day event:
- World of WarCraft: Cataclysm
The third World of WarCraft expansion, called Cataclysm, was officially announced. Along with the usual new high-level content raids and dungeons, Cataclysm will raise the level cap to Level 85, and have two new playable races: the Worgen (Alliance) and Goblins (Horde).
Interestingly, the WoW Wiki reports that Queen Azshara will not be a major character in Cataclysm, as originally speculated when information about Cataclysm was leaked to the public before BlizzCon. The main antagonist of the new expansion will be Deathwing (yes, he’s back). You can view the full list of proposed changes and features for Cataclysm here.
- Diablo III
The Monk in Diablo III plays quite differently from the one in Diablo: Hellfire. At first glance, his gameplay and skill designs seem similar to the Assassin from Diablo II: Lord of Destruction (minus the Traps), relying on multiple combinations of martial arts abilities and “charged” attacks. DIII.net has an extensive preview of The Monk, along with a list of all of his announced skills so far.
- StarCraft II
The map editor that will be released with StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty was demoed at BlizzCon 2009. As you can see from the preview video below, budding map-makers and modders have the ability create new units from scratch, or entirely new game modes such as 3rd-person shooters or top-down Space Invaders arcade shoot ’em ups. All this is done purely within the map editor, with no knowledge of computer programming or coding required. Amazing stuff.
Additionally, Shacknews reports that Blizzard is planning to implement some sort of “pseudo-LAN” support for both StarCraft II and Diablo III. Details about how this would work was not explained in detail, but fans crying foul over Blizzard’s original No LAN-game support announcement would surely be pleased by this compromise, especially since it has galvanised more than 100,000 members of the StarCraft community to join an online petition requesting for StarCraft II LAN support. Eat your hearts out, all you L4D2 boycotters.
- No Diablo III in 2010
Last but not least, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime has confirmed at BlizzCon that both WoW:Cataclysm and StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty will be the only two Blizzard releases in 2010. Sadly, his statement implies that Diablo III will be relegated to a 2011 release or later, as the chances of a 2009 release for D3 seems highly unlikely.