BlizzCon 2011 – Opening Ceremony

Yesterday it suddenly smacked me upside the head that BlizzCon is today and tomorrow. I have no idea how I managed to forget that, but I suspect that Katie MacAlister is partly to blame.

Right now I’m watching the fairly annoying Pre-Show Coverage segment of the Virtual Ticket Stream, which at this point seems to be showing highlights from last year. Also, there is a nice woman reporting from the floor who is doing her pee-pee dance in excitement – a nice woman who actually seems to play the games, which is always appreciated. (Less appreciated is the fact that she’s bragging about already beating Diablo III. I want to be in beta, damnit!)

I didn’t want to do a real liveblogging thing – in part because I got about three hours of sleep last night and I intend to crash again soon – but I figured I’d update this post with thoughts about whatever happens at the Opening Ceremony since that’s where we usually get the big news. I’ll also be on alert for news about hunters and pets, but I expect that what with my sleepiness I’m going to be relying more on the Petopia Community for that.

11:06am: Mike Morhaime mentions the rogue epic in Patch 4.3. Many people sort-of boo … to which he responds, “Now the rogues around you know who you are.”

11:16am: We have finally finished the Opening Ceremony opening comments and Mike Morhaime is talking about Diablo III. I like the Collector’s Edition box; I like the fact that I’m going to have to buy it to get the WoW in-game pet.

Ooh! Blizzard is adding an Annual Pass – a 12-month subscription to WoW (billed monthly) that includes the full digital version of Diablo III for free. You also get access to the next WoW expansion beta and Tyrael’s Charger, a WoW mount.

Ergh! This is going to screw up my scheme of using the free time I earn from my WoW Visa card to pay for my WoW accounts. Hmm … I guess I could just give away the free time.

11:32am: Diablo III cinematic. Very nice. Followed by Blizzard DotA (?!). Now a Starcraft II Heart of the Swarm cinematic. Have I ever mentioned how much I like Kerrigan?

11:40am: Mike Morhaime is teasing the next WoW expansion. He says the last few expansions have all been about the big bad (I’m paraphrasing), but the next few years will all be about war between the Horde and Alliance.¬†Oh, joy.

11:45am: WoW cinematic. Yup … It’s Pandarens. New race, new class (Monk), new continent, level 90, new talent system … And something called a Pet Battle system?

11:58am: Mike Morhaime on the Virtual Ticket Stream has clarified that both Horde and Alliance can play the Pandaren race. Same race, but you choose which faction you side with, apparently.

Also, MMO Champion is calling the Pet Battle system a Pokemon thing. Hmm …