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BlizzCon 2009 Kicks Off - Friday BlizzCon Highlights

by: Jesma ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 5/2/2012 • Leave a comment

BlizzCon '09 kicked off today, August 21st, and within the first hour some epic announcements were made regarding two of Blizzard's hottest titles: Diablo and World of Warcraft. Here's the highlights of the Friday program at BlizzCon 2009.

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    Opening Ceremony

    blizzcon 

    At 11:30am PST Mike Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard Entertainment took the stage at the fourth BlizzCon, a massive celebration of Blizzard Entertainment game titles, focusing in on Diablo, Starcraft, and World of Warcraft. While his presentation was fairly generic and didn't reveal anything exciting, the mildly comic introduction (featuring a particularly funny stab at Ret Paladins) closed when he brought Chris Metzen (Vice President of Creative Development) on stage.Mike Morhaime CEO Blizzard Entertainment BlizzCon 2009 Chris Metzen VP of Creative Development Blizzard Entertainment, BlizzCon 2009 

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    Diablo 3 Fourth Playable Class Announced - Monk

    Diablo 3 Playable Class - The Monk - BlizzCon 2009 Coverage Chris Metzen's stage presence was huge, as usual, with a mix of comedy and enthusiasm little seen in game developer presentations. And why shouldn't he be in a good mood, considering he had the honor of presenting two of the biggest announcements from the company this year. Shortly before noon, Metzen addressed theDiablo 3 Class - Monk - BlizzCon 2009  Diablo fans in the crowd, then proceeded to unveil the fourth playable class in the upcoming Diablo 3. The new class, the Monk, joins the Wizard, Barbarian, and Witchdoctor in the lineup of Diablo 3 classes, with a fifth still yet to be announced Diablo 3 Monk Gameplay Screens - BlizzCon 2009 (though we are assured the announcement will not be at BlizzCon 2009).

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    World of Warcraft Next Expansion Announced

    Immediately following the eventful Diablo 3 announcement, Metzen segued directly into World of Warcraft, where he teased the audience with a little banter about "unsubstantiated lore" rumors floating around the internet of late. He then proceeded to shock even the most die hard of us with when he announced the new World of Warcraft expansion pack: Cataclysm, then gave extensive details and aired a trailer. It would be impossible to cover everything he announced in this summary and the following panel discussion, so here's the highlights.

    • New Playable Races - Goblins (Horde) and Worgen (Alliance)
    • Return to the Old World, with a complete overhaul of all Kalimdor and Eastern kingdom zones, questlines, items, and more.
    • Deathwing returns as the star of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
    • Seven new zones announced, including Hyjal, Uldum, and the zone containing the lore rich Grim Batol
    • Guild Advancement System
    • Level cap raised to 85
    • Flying mounts throughout all of Azeroth
    • New Race/Class combinations (Tauren Paladin, Dwarf Shaman, Troll Druid, and more)

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    World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Trailer Images

    World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - BlizzCon 2009World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Churning MaelstromWorld of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Azeroth in TurmoilWorld of Warcraft: Cataclysm Ripping Azeroth ApartWorld of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Azeroth ZonesWorld of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Auberdine DestroyedWorld of Warcraft: CataclysmWorld of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Deathwing ReturnsWorld of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Horde GoblinsWorld of Warcraft: Cataclysm Alliance WorgenWorld of Warcraft: Cataclysm Worgen Moon Gilneas
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    Battlenet Revamp - Blizzard Games as a Social Network

    BlizzCon 2009 Battlenet Panel After the epic Diablo 3 and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm announcements were a long panel with extensive details on the new WoW expansion, followed by a Diablo 3 Heroes and Monsters Panel which revealed additional information, BlizzCon 2009 Battlenet Panel - Current Broken Ladder System particularly about the just-announced Monk class. At 3:30 a long discussion kicked off focusing in on a complete revamp of Battlenet, the Blizzard facilitating system for online Starcraft, Diablo, and Warcraft play launched in 1996.

    BlizzCon 2009 Battlenet Panel - Improvements The goal of the revamped Battlenet is to transform it almost into a social networking tool for Blizzard games. With all of their titles tied into Battlenet, Blizzard hopes to allow players across all of their games to communicate regardless of what games they're playing.BlizzCon 2009 Battlenet Panel - Real ID  Additionally every account would be tied in with a profile where players can put various bits of information. A main feature of this is to allow players who know Bob Jones as Cerritus in World of Warcraft, to find out his Starcraft II screen name and play with him via Battlenet. This way friends, both real life and in-game can stay connected across all Blizzard titles.

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    BlizzCon Contests

    After a long day of panels, the night finished off with the three big contests of the evening: Costume Contest, Soundalike Contest, and Dancealike Contest. Comedian Jay Mohr hosted and amidst jokes about gamer nerds and illegal leafy greens, expressed repeatedly his affinity for blue women, particularly during the stunning Costume Contest which featured barely legal Night Elves, Succubi, Draenei, and Trolls prancing around stage.

    The Costume Contest was the highlight of the evening, with dozens of WoW, Diablo, and Starcraft fans paraded across stage - some in costumes that must have taken years to make, and others in little different than what they wear on any other day. Of all of them, there were six finalists and three winners. People dressed as: Mother Sharaz (WoW, Black Temple raid), Mistress of Pain (Diablo), Shaman in Tier 7.5 (WoW raid gear), Kel'Thuzad (WoW, Naxxramas raid boss), Valeera Sanguinar (WoW, comic character), and a Paladin in Tier 8.5 (WoW raid gear). Here are some images of the more spectacular costumes of the evening.

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    BlizzCon 2009 Costume Contest

    BlizzCon 2009 Costume - Alexstrasza the LifebinderBlizzCon 2009 Costume - Night Elf Priest, Tier 8.5BlizzCon 2009 Costume - Night ElfBlizzCon 2009 Costume - Blood ElfBlizzCon 2009 Costume - Valeera Sanguinar FinalistBlizzCon 2009 Costume - Kel'Thuzad, 2nd placeBlizzCon 2009 Costume - Mistress of Pain, DiabloBlizzCon 2009 Costume - Mistress of Pain Winner

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