What will be shown at this year’s BlizzCon?

Blizzard has announced plans for BlizzCon 2010, which will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in southern California from Friday, October 22 through Saturday, October 23. But before you pack your bags and book your flight, you’re going to want to make sure you have a ticket first. In a press release announcing the upcoming convention, Blizzard reminded readers that tickets for last year’s BlizzCon sold out in a matter of minutes.

With games like StarCraft II, Diablo III, and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm in the works, we doubt that getting tickets will be any easier this year. So what exactly will show goers get to see this year? Here’s what Blizzard has to say so far:

In addition to serving as a gathering place for Blizzard Entertainment gaming communities, BlizzCon will offer attendees a chance to enjoy:

- Hands-on play time with upcoming Blizzard Entertainment games
- Discussion panels with Blizzard Entertainment developers
- Competitive and casual tournaments for players to showcase their talents
- Community contests with great prizes
- Commemorative merchandise based on Blizzard Entertainment’s game universes
- More exciting activities and attractions to be announced.

The official statements are currently very vague. But based on past BlizzCons we’re betting that attendees will get a chance to see the following.

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm will be playable

According to Blizzard’s third quarter financial call to investors last year, the company reported that they still expected StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty to launch during the first half of 2010. The target release date was reiterated again during a recent Twitter chat, where StarCraft II developers answered questions from fans.

Q. Are you still confident about releasing the game in mid-summer? 
A. Yes. We are still on target to release the game in the middle part of this year.

Above: We’re betting that players will get their Zerg on with StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm at this year’s BlizzCon

If Blizzard manages to meet their target release date for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, the game will have been out for at least three months before BlizzCon 2010 takes place in late October. And if that’s the case, then we think it’s very likely that StarCraft fans will get to sample some of the singeplayer Zerg campaign from StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm.

Diablo III's final class will be revealed

By now, Blizzard has revealed four of the five playable classes that will appear in Diablo III. So far, we’ve gotten to see a bit of gameplay, art, and screenshots of the Witch Doctor, Barbarian, Wizard, and Monk. This would make this year’s BlizzCon the perfect place to reveal the final fifth class for what will be the king of all dungeon crawlers. We’re also predicting that the fifth class will be playable after it’s introduced in one of the discussion panels.

Above: Four classes for Diablo III will be revealed – and we think fans will be able to score hands-on time with the fifth at BlizzCon 2010 

WoW: Cataclysm’s first new raid

Blizzard is famous for keeping their target release dates closer to their chest than most developers. But if StarCraft II is slated to release in the middle of 2010, we’re betting that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm won’t be released until later this year, probably in late September or early October. Now, if that’s how it plays out, then this year’s BlizzCon would be the perfect time to introduce the first new raid dungeon to be added to World of Warcraft after the release of Cataclysm.

Above: New World of Warcraft: Cataclysm raid content may be shown

Other than that, expect the usual WoW-centric fanfare. Codes for an exclusive in-game pet that’s Diablo-themed would make for a sensible follow up to the Murloc Space Marines that were given away last year. The traditional costume, dance, and character impersonation contests will likely continue as well.

Above: Last year, Murloc Space Marine pets were given away. This year, expect an exclusive in-game pet that’s Diablo-themed to promote a 2011 release

What say you? Tell us what you think the highlights for BlizzCon 2010 will be in the comments below.

Mar 25, 2010 


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