Despite my best refresh and clicking efforts, we did not get lucky enough to purchase tickets to Blizzcon. As a condolence prize, we ordered the livestream of the event, and are watching it (well, the pre-show right now) on the 27” iMac in glorious HD.
I am bummed to not be in Anaheim, getting to meet the many tweeps and bloggers I enjoy chatting with online. But I am happy to be sitting at home with the kitties, wearing comfy clothes, and still getting to participate virtually.
There have been some hiccups with the stream, right now probably due in large part to the opening ceremonies and pre show being viewable for free to everyone. I’m not going to be liveblogging everything word-for-word, but I do plan to make some regular updates here with highlights of what I see/hear.
Opening Ceremony Update
Not at all comprehensive, but these were the highlights from my POV:
- Mike Morhaime announced the Moonkin Hatchling will be this year's charity pet! Available for sale from the Blizzard store in November.
- Last year's Pandaren Monk pet raised $1.1 million in proceeds for Make-A-Wish.
- Arthas has been slain ~489,000 times.
Getting all the fan love. Which makes sense. How often do CEOs get fan love? Other than Steve Jobs I can’t think of any others off the top of my head. Today's word? GEEK. The power of the word.
And MAN he does a great Arnold Conan the Barbarian impersonation.
The Geek is segment got a little long but Metzen did a nice job of getting the crowd engaged and excited. Cute how he got a little choked up over the idea of his kids watching and absorbing Star Wars for the first time.
Big announcement? The 5th and final Diablo 3 class -- demon hunter. Nice bonus that she was a fully-clothed, bad ass chick.
Also, Cataclysm will be available for download digitally as of midnight on release day, December 7. (Personally, I am OK with my release day delivery from Amazon.) Will be interesting to see if folks will be able to pre-order and download it all in advance and thus actually start playing on December 7, or if that's when downloads can start. UPDATED: later in the event they said one could start playing at midnight.
Cryptozoic is going to be releasing the World Breaker WoW TCG expansion close to Cataclysm's launch. Nice to see the card game finally synching up more closely to what's happening in WoW.
Dungeons and Raids Panel
When doing the Cataclysm dungeons preview, I liked their inspired tagline for Abyssal Maw: "It's nothing like Occulus." Heh. So, not a ton of news in this panel but still a number of nice little chinks of good to hear information:
- As previously announced, you now get your dungeon quests inside the dungeons. No more zoning in and realizing that awesome blue quest reward item requires you to have done a 7-stage quest chain on the opposite continent.
- Long dungeons are being trimmed down (removing excess trash or extraneous wings that are not necessary to clear to complete the instance
- Complex dungeons such as BRD that can't be cut in half (like Mauradon will be) will have teleporters to help get from section to section
- Graveyards will be within a 30sec run back from the dungeons so no more extra long death march through Serpent Lake!
- Improved 2D maps for all dungeons (existing and new) in Cataclysm
- These dungeon maps -- basically incorporating what Atlas Loot used to do (great maps with boss loot details) plus details on the boss's background and abilities