For those of you just waking up, getting off work or getting online for the first time since BlizzCon 2009 began on Friday afternoon; I promised you a quick-and-easy round-up of the most important news and announcements from "day one" of the convention. The biggest news of the day for most fans was the confirmation of the World of Warcraft's upcoming third expansion, Cataclysm. It turns out the rumors and "leaked" info we've been reading about was spot-on, for the most part. The Old World of Azeroth will indeed be permanently changed forever; the landscape of many low-level zones like the Barrens and Darkshore will be completely altered by the event, as will the rest of Azeroth's zones, to some extent.
Our next two playable races will be the Goblins and Worgen, aligned with the Horde and Alliance, respectively. The level cap will be raised to 85, and professions will increase by another 75 points. Archaeology will be a new secondary profession that everyone can use, and Azeroth will be retro-fitted to allow flying mounts the ability to traverse the skies. You can read about all this and more at Blizzard's newly-launched, official Cataclysm website.
Blizzard also announced Diablo III's next playable class, the Monk. Attendees saw a video of the Monk in action, and had the chance to play the game shortly after the announcement. The StarCraft, Warcraft III and WoW Arena tournaments raged on as the developer discussion panels began...the Class, Item and Profession panel proved extremely interesting; Zam's own Togikagi attended and reported a recap of the panel. Finally, returning MC Jay Mohr closed out the night and hosted the costume, dance, and sound-alike contests. Check out a few pics of the winners and other contestants at Blizzard's own TwitPic photo stream.
Check out the official recap of BlizzCon 2009 "Day One" after the jump, with all the links you need to find out more.
Blizzard's official recap of BlizzCon 2009 Day One, as compiled on its main BlizzCon website:
The first day of BlizzCon 2009 is winding down! We've had a blast meeting fellow gamers from around the world, and we hope you've enjoyed following along with the announcements, events, and tournaments. Here are just a few highlights of the day:
During the opening ceremony, thousands of players gathered round for a first-ever look at the new World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm. Once they learned the details of Azeroth's impending disaster, players got to try out the worgen and goblin starting areas for themselves on the show floor.
Attendees met Diablo III's fourth playable class, the monk, in a brutal and bloody introductory movie played during the opening ceremony. At the conclusion, players flocked to the show floor to try their hand at taking on the hordes of Hell as the holy martial artist.
Flanked by giant tournament screens in Hall A and Hall B of the Anaheim Convention Center, pro gamers wowed the crowd with their playing prowess on the first day of the StarCraft, Warcraft III, and World of Warcraft Arena tournaments. You can check out the results of day one on the tournament brackets page.
BlizzCon showgoers got to learn new details about all three Blizzard game universes at developer panels throughout the show. Check out some of the highlights from these panels.
At the Battle.net panel, Blizzard Executive Vice President of Game Design Rob Pardo revealed tons of new details about the reenvisioned and redesigned Battle.net, launching with the upcoming StarCraft II.
The evening wrapped up with style and silliness as Jay Mohr hosted the costume, dance, and sound-alike contests. Attendees imitating Kel'Thuzads, Mistresses of Pain, Sartharions, Raynors, and even meeting stones took the stage at this year's show -- look for photos and a list of all the winners soon!
These were just a few quick snapshots of day one at BlizzCon. Thanks to everyone here sharing their passion for games with us, and we'll be back tomorrow with more news, photos, and coverage from the show.
You can also check out the official "Panel Recaps" that Blizzard has posted (also on the official BlizzCon 2009 website):
World of Warcraft Classes, Items, and Professions – Check out what's in store for World of Warcraft classes, professions, and items in the future.
StarCraft II Battle.net Discussion – At the StarCraft II Battle.net developer panel on Friday afternoon, we gave players a first look at some of the cool new community and communication features that will be coming with the relaunched Battle.net online-gaming service, along with info on how it'll all be integrated with StarCraft II. Check out new details about Battle.net's state-of-the-art matchmaking system, achievement system, social networking features, and more in our new Battle.net FAQ
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Panel – Learn more devastating details about World of Warcraft's third expansion, Cataclysm.
Diablo III Heroes & Monsters – Take a closer look at the latest Diablo III class, the monk, as well as other characters and creatures from the game.