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BlizzCon 2011: Diablo III CE, Mists of Pandaria announced

During BlizzCon's opening ceremony, Blizzard dropped a few nice bits of news for Diablo III and World of Warcraft fans. Nathan Grayson was there, and liveblogged the happenings for us.

Diablo III: Collector's Edition, new cinematic

The big new for Diablo III, was not a release date has we'd hoped, but the announcement of a Collector's Edition, and the fact the game free for WoW Pass players, followed by a really nice cinematic called The Black Soulstone, which is posted below.

The RPG is still on slate for an early 2012 release as announced a few weeks ago, but creative development VP Chris Metzen said that, as usual, the title will be "finished when it is finished." Still, BlizzCon attendees will be able to play a new build of the beta on the showroom floor, as consolation.

No word on Diablo III for consoles, which was unlikely, even with Blizzard stating it was experimenting with a console version, and even even hiring for said project.

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Metzen showed a new cinematic for the Zerg-based Heart of the Swarm expansion for StarCraft II.  It showed how a Zerg unit that can yank Protoss walkers, and Kerrigan in "vaguely human" form. Apparently, the "girl you remember, is dead." Bless. You can watch it below.

While an exact date for the highly anticipated pack wasn't brought up,  the multiplayer content is playable on the showroom floor.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

For World of Warcraft, Blizzard's openly talked in the past about doing a fourth expansion after last year's Cataclysm, and finally announced it as Mists of Pandaria.

The name of the expansion was rumored back in August after a trademark filing from the firm was dig up. Blizzard, at the time, refused to comment on "rumors and speculation."

A new class will be introduced for the expansion, a monk class, and the residents of Pandaria will be a key to the conflict between the Alliance and the Horde and the factions' ongoing war.

The expansion will also include Challenge mode dungeons, PvE scenarios, a pet battle system, a new talent system with a level cap increase to 90.

Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime also introduced WoW Annual Pass at the beginning of the conference. When you buy a pass, you’ll get with it a 12 month subscription to World of Warcraft, as well as access to the Pandaria beta and a Tyrael’s Charger mount.

As mentioned above, pass subs will get Diablo III for free.

Watch the reveal video below.

Other useful WoW and Blizzard nuggets

Blizzard president, Mike Morhaime opened the ceremony with news that WoW patch 4.3 is currently on test realms, and it is the biggest content update for Cataclysm yet, and contains the "most epic raid content the game world has ever seen."

Rogues will also be getting a legendary in 4.3 -which was met with both applause and many a "boo" from the audience. Likely from those who like to beat up on Rogues.

Morhaime said that for the first time ever, every WoW player in the world is playing the same version of the game which has not happened since Burning Crusade, and once WoW launches in Brazil, Portuguese will be the game's 10th available language.

According to Morhaime, over 60,000 people from 130 countries bought a virtual ticket for BlizzCon, and the actual show this year has 26,000 attendees.

Not a word was mentioned regarding firm's new MMO Titan, but we didn't expect it, really.

DotA was shown briefly through a video, showing the various heroes that will be in the game. It is apparently, "coming soon," according to Blizzard. It will also be shown on the floor at the event.

Nathan's liveblog from Anaheim is below.

[Original story by Johnny Cullen, contributions by Stephany Nunneley, liveblog by Nathan Grayson]

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