The Blizzard flock is currently crammed inside a surely stuffy convention center in Anaheim, while you're sitting at home in front of a monitor. The good news is that you don't really need to be at BlizzCon to hear, well, the news from the Blizzard's community-focused event. The announcements--sorry, still no Diablo III date, folks--hit the Internet as soon as they spilled out of marketing folks' mouths, so in the interest of serving you, we've decided to carry what's been revealed, too.
== TEASER ==World of Warcraft Cataclysm Will Be Offered As A Download On Launch Day
Like the heading says, Blizzard plans to release the digital version of Cataclysm day and date with the disc-based versions of the expansion. In an interesting twist, Blizzard, for the first time, will be allowing Blizzard.net pre-purchasers of the content the ability to preload the expansion before launch, giving its digital consumers a slight edge on release day.
That sounds like a small deal, right? Watch Second Skin and get back to me. Rabid World of Warcraft fans are serious about getting new content and devouring it as soon as possible. (via WowInsider)
The Demon Hunter Is The Fifth And Final Diablo III ClassUnless Blizzard gets frisky, don't expect another class announcement after today. The Demon Hunter is the fifth and final class for Diablo III, joining the already-announced Monk, Barbarian, Witch Doctor, and Wizard.
According to its official page on the game's website, the Demon Hunter is a lithe archer-type that can cast numerous devastating projectile spells. One move, the Fan of Knives, is particularly brutal. When initiated, the Hunter spins in a circle and tosses out hundreds of knives, essentially slicing whatever is in the area of effect. The weird thing is that she's kind of a cutie despite being so lethal, but, uh, I'd appreciate it if you didn't tell her I said that. I don't need a grenade in my face anytime soon.
PVP Coming To Diablo III
Want to take your Demon Hunter online and prove to people that you've got the fastest mouse finger in the West? You do? Great! Blizzard is throwing a player vs. player mode into Diablo III, allowing such a thing to happen. Details are light, but we do know that Blizzard is crafting specific arenas for the PVP and will let you take whatever you've earned in the campaign into battle with you.
Blizzard, according to Shacknews, said this about the ladder-structure: "Our system is focused on encouraging furious combat and multiplayer progression, not stringent competitive rankings, so you'll earn points after every match and Battle.net matchmaking will pit you against similarly skilled opponents."
You can read more about the PVP structure here on the official page.
Blizzard Gets Into The StarCraft II Custom Map BusinessThe oddest announcement of BlizzCon thus far is this one: Blizzard plans to release four brand new custom maps for SCII, all based on current games that Blizzard doesn't make. The names, which betray the influence, are as follows: Aiur Chef, Left 2 Die, StarJeweled, and Blizzard DOTA.
The maps weren't given a definitive date and the official website isn't willing to drop one on us, either. You can, however, read up a bit on what each the maps will offer if you're curious.
There's a small chance that more news will come out of the event today and tomorrow, so keep a lookout on this space just in case. In the meantime, answer this: are any of these announcements tickling you in a special way? Honestly, I just want to know when to expect Diablo III, already.