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BlizzCon blowout

The Anahiem Convention Center exploded in cheers as over 3000 people welcomed Mike Morhaime, President and Co-Founder of Blizzard, to the stage at Blizzcon 2007. "[BlizzCon] is our chance to say thank you in person," said Morhaime. It's also Blizzard's chance to unveil their latest announcements to their most loyal base of fans.

BlizzCon, which sold out within three days of tickets becoming available online, is a celebration of all thing Blizzard, and this year spotlights the unveiling of the much-rumored second World of Warcraft expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, as well as upcoming changes in the next patch.

Here's a taste of what WoW fans have in store for them.

The next WoW patch:

- Integrated voice chat: No more Ventrillo or Teamspeak. Chat with friends within the WoW interface.

- Guild bank: Guild Leaders can set permission levels and see who has donated and withdrawn items.

- Zul'Aman in the Ghostlands: This brand new 10-man raid instance features trolls gone wild. You can click here for a more detailed preview of the new instance.



Above: The new Zul'Aman raid in the next WoW patch looks like the spiritual successor to the Zul'Gurub instance

Wrath of the Lich King expansion:

- Level cap of 80
- Changeable hair styles (YAY!)
- Siege weapons and destroyable buildings in the PvP battlegrounds
- New Profession: Inscription - permanently 'inscribe' a player's spells and abilities to become more powerful
- New Zone: Northrend
- New Bad Guy: The Lich King
- New Class: For the first time in World of Warcraft history, Blizzard
will introduce a new class, the Death Knight Hero Class

Now that you've been briefed on the basics, click here for our stone cold preview World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, featuring a cool map of Blizzard's icy new continent, Northrend.

Also discussed was StarCraft II. At massive computer banks in the convention center, attendees will be able to play both Protoss and Terrans. While the Protoss were unveiled in South Korea, this will be the first time the Terrans have been shown to the public, and you can click here  for some screenshots featuring space marines drowning under waves of zerglings.

Also announced was Blizzard's new venture with Legandary Pictures. Together the two are working on a film based around World of Warcraft lore. "We're very excited about that film," said Morhaime. Judging for the crowd's response, so are the fans.

Check back here for continued coverage as we plumb the depths of BlizzCon for more details on StarCraft II, and World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King.

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