Chris Metzen hosted this year's keynote, and after some Blizzard buffs, we broke into a steady run of news beginning with the next WoW expansion.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will be on sale December 7th, and for those that don't want to wait in line at midnight, players can buy and download directly from the website in advance. That way players can get into the game the minute it goes live (pending everything goes well). Cataclysm will go on sale for $40 and for the true fan boys you can pick up the Collector's Edition box set for around $80. Warcraft players can also expect the Emerald dream coming in the future, but no reveal as to when.
After the Cataclysm announcement subsided Metzen went straight for the horns of Diablo III. Metzen announced the 5th and final class for Diablo III with an awesome Cinematic trailer. Just imagine an RPG ranger met a vampire hunter and they made a baby; that would be the new Demon Hunter class. Check out my article here to watch the cinematic and a little game play teaser. It really seemed that Diablo III was the main focus of this year's Blizzcon. It was also announced during the show that 1000 attendees would receive a Diablo III beta key, so hopefully that means the Beta is drawing near.
In other Diablo III news Metzen delved into the new PvP system, which looks a lot like the arena battles in World of Warcraft. Players can jump in for some 1v1 action, all the way up to 3v3, which judging from the game play trailer we saw, it is going to be the latest Blizzard craze.
The panels were great, especially the Q&A's, which are always a ton of fun. Also the winners of the Warcraft III (Remind) and Starcraft II (NEXgenius) were both presented with $25,000 checks during the closing ceremonies, along with an eSports custom ring that makes Super Bowl rings jealous.
No news on the Starcraft II front so that unfortunately means no expansion news. A few new maps that will be released on Battle.net were announced (a total of four), including a DotA style map which will whip your pants off and blow your mind.
Finally Tenacious D performed at the closing ceremonies, where they rocked the house until there was nothing left. It...was...epic...
So that's about it. No word on their new MMO, probably not until 2012, but I'm sure that next year they will get us a lot more news, but that's still a year away...