August 24, 2009 1:00 PM | Simon Carless
[Since there are quite a few Blizzard geeks reading GSW, and our own Chris Remo was nice enough to cover BlizzCon in Anahem, sunny Southern California for Gamasutra at the weekend -- here's all the neato coverage that resulted.]
In its fourth year of operation, Blizzard Entertainment's fan-centric BlizzCon event sold out its approximately 25,000 tickets in under a minute, reflecting the studio's status as an industry institution all its own.
Sister site Gamasutra was there, covering the notable news surrounding World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Diablo III. We also spoke to Blizzard executives and developers about the company's plans.
Here are all of our news stories from the show floor, with full interviews with Blizzard staff to run in the coming days and weeks:
- Blizzard Officially Unveils WoW Expansion Cataclysm
In the headline announcement of the show, Blizzard shared details on its third boxed World of Warcraft expansion, which promises to radically alter the in-game world with new location design, characters, quests, and races.
- Internet-Authenticated LAN For StarCraft II Likely
Blizzard has taken hits from some fans for its decision not to include pure offline local area network play in its upcoming RTS StarCraft II, but comments from two key figures suggest the company is planning on option to allow LAN-level latencies while authenticating player data through the Battle.net online service.
- StarCraft II Will Allow Modders To Sell Custom Maps
In an attempt to learn from and compete with the success Valve has had with encouraging user mods of its games, at some point post-launch Blizzard will be allowing StarCraft II mod-makers to sell their creations through an official marketplace.
- Blizzard's Pardo - Battle.net Bigger Than WoW
Although World of Warcraft has been an unprecedented success in the MMO world, Blizzard design honcho Rob Pardo says there are still more users on the free Battle.net service, which hosts Blizzard's other online games and is set for a major relaunch come StarCraft II.
- Battlestar Galactica Actress Tricia Helfer Joins StarCraft II Cast
Since Blizzard announced that StarCraft voice actress Glynnis Talken would not reprise her role as Kerrigan, Queen of Blades in the upcoming StarCraft II, fans have wondered who would. It turns out it's Cylon-portrayer Tricia Helfer, who spoke on her experiences as Kerrigan in a BlizzCon panel.
- Diablo III Monk Class Design Influenced by 'Console Brawlers'
Game design inspiration can come from anywhere, as Blizzard developers demonstrated when they revealed the Monk class from upcoming PC action RPG Diablo III was influenced by console fighters and brawlers. Several designers and artists discussed the thought process behind the character.