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BlizzCon 2009: Opening Ceremony Live Blog

Mike Schramm

We'll be live blogging the BlizzCon 2009 opening ceremony beginning at 11:30 a.m. PDT / 1:30 p.m. CDT / 2:30 p.m. EDT.

We're now live on the floor of BlizzCon! Hit the link below to read our updates -- newest at the top of the page.

Gallery: BlizzCon 2009 Opening Ceremony | 35 Photos

12:13PM That's it -- everyone's off stage, lights are up. Holy moly. We'll have live coverage all this weekend -- stay tuned on this post for pictures of the presentation, and stay tuned all weekend long for more panel liveblogs just like this. Thanks for reading!

12:12PM And it's over. Holy crap. More liveblogs coming later today.

12:12PM Archaeology will be a new secondary profession.

12:12PM DEATHWING HAS RETURNED!!!!!!! Real pyro on stage. Wow!

12:11PM Classic zones forever changed by the Cataclysm.
Heroic Shadowfang keep. Guild leveling system. Path of the titans character progression.

12:11PM Unearthed "bastions of antiquity." Looks like a dwarf instance.

12:11PM New Race/class combinations. Gnome Priests. New monsters.

12:10PM Flying mounts in Azeroth.

12:10PM Worgen transformation. Those who were once human have become something more. Forsaken attack them, Worgen Alliance race.

12:10PM Very misty, lots of cathedrals.

12:10PM Greymane Wall has been shattered.

12:10PM Goblins shipwrecked upon the Lost Isles, fighting Gronn. Goblins of Kazaan have found new Alliancs in the Horde. Playable Horde Goblins.

12:09PM Maelstorm churns -- goblins driven from their homes, seeking sanctuary.

12:09PM Wetlands is destroyed, Ashenvale hit as well.

12:09PM showing zones destroyed in laval. Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms. The Barrens full of canyons of lava

12:08PM As the terrible war against the Lich King continues, the defenders of Azeroth fight to secure a lasting peace. But there can be no peace when the world itself is devoured by rage.

12:07PM Trailer playing


12:07PM This set will be nothing less than earth-shattering.

12:07PM So come back for the panel. Yeah, but where's the trailer.

12:07PM It's a doozy. Before we do that, we'll have a panel later today that will tell you much more about the expansion set.

12:06PM The wait is over. We're going to roll the first gameplay trailer of the new expansion set.

12:06PM "Based on the Internet recently, there's been any number of rumors and speculation about the nature of World of Warcraft." A new expansion in the South Seas or the emerald Dream, new race/class combos. Wild, unsubstiated lore.

12:05PM Next up: Alliance and Horde. You've been very patient. And I'm quite certain you're curious about the fate of Azeroth.

12:04PM Lots of melee, very fast. There's that shielding spell again. Another spell that has the Monk warping from enemy to enemy in a blur. Touch an enemy and it explodes in blood and gore. He does carry some mace/staff thing, so it's not all hand-to-hand like an old-school Monk.

12:03PM "That definitely gets the old juices going" says Metzen. So how does it play? Showing another gameplay sequence with the Monk in action.

12:03PM Some kind of shielding spell protects the Monk, who then opens up a can of kung fu kickass on the demon. Like punching through the chest kickass. Diablo III logo.

12:02PM "You? You're alive? That's not possible?" Monk throws a rune around, and it turns out the masked dude is actually a crazy demon. Who knew?

12:02PM Guy whose face is covered disappears -- apparently it's a trap with a bunch of undead baddies. And the Monk proceeds to devastate everything.

12:01PM "The city's been overrun by the cultists, I barely escaped with my life" says a scary masked man in a desert to a tattoed badass.

12:00PM Without further ado, I'm proud to introduce the new Diablo III playable class, with all of its open-handed Tiger Strike fury: The Monk. Showing cinematic trailer.

12:00PM New class today. Roots in old school fantasy, but you haven't seen it like this before.

11:59AM Barbarian, the Sorceress, the Witch Doctor are all the classes we know so far, pulled from classic fantasy archetypes attached to new gameplay mechanics and combat conventions.

11:59AM "We've been working on a small little internal project that internally we call Diablo III."

11:58AM "Where are the Diablo players in the house?"

11:58AM Fair's fair. "Where's the Horde?" Oh, there they are, and there go my eardrums. He even threw a little Thrall inflection into it. "I think the Lich King is going to pee his little frozen panties when you guys roll on the Frozen Throne and bring him down!"

11:58AM First, asking a very simple question. "Where's the Alliance at?" It's deafening in here -- both boos and cheers.

11:57AM "I'm pretty sure you guys are curious about what we've been cooking up for the past year. It's got flava." A few trailers to show, a few things to announce.

11:57AM Showing off a black t-shirt that has a skeletal rattlesnake on it. If you see these shirts, they are likely attached to a Blizzard employee. Telling fans to roll up and say hi to any Blizz folks they say, they'll love it.

11:56AM Talking about how Blizzard doesn't put games out until they're done. But the flipside is that you have to wait to get your hands on our games. "I say all this to you to illustrate just how important BlizzCon is to us." Blizzard is geeked up by seeing all the fans so excited about their games.

11:55AM "What's up BlizzCon!" Metzen's got his usual inside sunglasses on. What a rock star.

11:54AM Now time for VP Creative Development Chris Metzen!

11:54AM "Please give yourselves a slash-cheer!" The audience obliges, though they can smell big announcements coming soon.

11:53AM And the Prince of Darkness will be here too: Ozzy Osbourne. They played a very short clip from his commercial too. "All aboaoaaarrrrdd!!"

11:53AM "We have one of our favorite rock bands in the world.. of Warcraft." L80ETC will play~

11:52AM MC Frontalot is here for entertainment all weekend. Jay Mohr is returning to host the contests this evening.

11:52AM There will be noobz figures on display as well -- three winning admissions from a contest, and Blizzard artists, or you can purchase your own figure to customize however you like.

11:51AM "You may have noticed something different about your goody bags this year." Angry yells. Not enough loot? Nope, all he has is the Raynor noobz figure that we already got. I liked it though. "It's an exclusive, instant collectible to remember BlizzCon. Or sell on eBay for the price of a small car." That wins them back.

11:51AM eSports has elevated far beyond what anyone thought possible. Some of the top pro gamers in the world are here this weekend, to fight for ton of prizes. This year, Blizzard has awarded $340,000 in prizes.

11:50AM We have a bank of 150 computers set up in Hall A to enter competitions throughout the event. WCIII, WoW, Starcraft, and WC2 (last one's new to BlizzCon) will all have tournaments going on.

11:49AM This weekend, for the first time ever, you'll be able to play the singleplayer campaign for Starcraft II.

11:49AM "This doesn't mean that Bruce Campbell will be playing Leroy Jenkins?" Boos. "But now that I think about it, it's not a bad idea."

11:48AM "Does the name Sam Raimi mean anything to you guys?" What you may not have heard is that Sam Raimi was at last year's BlizzCon and they loved his passion for the universe. He showed interest, Blizzard are fans of his work, and they're thrilled to have him on for the movie.

11:48AM Next year, Starcraft II and an upgraded platform. The new functionality will be shown off here at BlizzCon for the first time in the world.

11:47AM This November, the 5th anniversary of the launch of WoW. To commemorate it, they'll be revamping Onyxia (we knew that, but people are excited anyway). "The first encounter with her was merely a setback."

11:47AM iPhone Armory mentioned, very popular.

11:47AM Phasing technology represented a big step forward for how players experienced the world, and new features like the equipment manager and the upcoming character faction change service will be helpful too. Changing factions gets a big boo, Morhaime says "as it's known in politics, 'flip-flopping.'"

11:46AM The queues at some of those midnight openings were so long that Gamestop had to open new stores online and offer realm transfers. Get it? Transfers?

11:45AM Now showing lines around the world for Wrath's release. Fry's in Irvine, Mexico, Paris, London. Man that Wrath music is killer.

11:44AM L80ETC video, and the good guys at Video Games Live. Wonder how Tommy Tallarico feels about being bumped by Ozzy this year.

11:43AM Lots of great costumes being shown. The costume contest tonight will be great, too -- we've already seen some great costumes walking around.

11:43AM Awww, we remember that like it was just last October. Oh wait, it was!

11:42AM Talking about 2008 -- Wrath released. Within 24 hours, it was scooped by up more than two million people. And now showing highlight reel from last year's BlizzCon and Wrath launch.

11:41AM Thanking servicemen and women around the world who are also watching around the world. Amen to that.

11:41AM We've made arrangements to assure everyone's included -- 20,000 here, 50,000 gamers across more than 100 countries viewing us live via pay per view. They're showing us on TV now. Hi mom!

11:40AM It took 45 mins to process the orders, but essentially, 20,000 tickets to BlizzCon sold out in less than a minute. That's "faster than ret Pallys can storm the forums after a nerf." THAT gets a big laugh.

11:40AM Talking about binders containing letters, drawings, and "reviews" of Blizzard from fans at Blizz HQ. Blizzard fans have an "immeasurable passion" -- when tickets went on sale, if you didn't get in the queue within 30 seconds, you didn't get a ticket. So true!

11:39AM We have become a part of the ultimate gaming community. Also saying welcome back to our players in China. They're planning to relaunch the game with Netease for a huge beta test. People aren't sure if that's good or not.

11:38AM BlizzCon has the wonderful distinction of being the only convention where Azerothians outnumber the entire undergrad population of UCLA. They're also "rooting for something Cataclysmic to happen." Ha.

11:37AM Starcraft II just won best of Gamescom, the other convention this week, going on in Germany.

11:37AM "Ladies and gentlemen, Terran, Protoss, and Zerg, members of the Horde and Alliance, welcome to BlizzCon 2009!" Horde gets the biggest cheer.

11:37AM CEO and co-founder Mike Morhaime is coming on stage now.

11:36AM There are over 1700 PCs on the floor of the show to use. 150 are set up just for community tournaments, so go check those out.

11:35AM Be courteous, be mindful, and have a good time. He's just telling everybody to be good to each other, and now going into some specifics about where to pick up programs and other technical BlizzCon things.

11:34AM Someone who tried to say "gg," "pwnd" "lol" out loud. Audible chewing (no one laughs). Where's that expansion again, Gary?

11:34AM We at Blizzard listen to our players -- he's reading "an interesting thread." Pet peeves that you expect at BlizzCon.

11:34AM "A giant room full of my favorite people!" Wait, who are you again? Oh, he's one of the lead artists on WoW.

11:33AM Gary Plattner is on stage first.

11:33AM Music stopped, lights down. Here we go!

11:31AM Ok, Blizzard. We're seated and set. Show us what you got.

11:21AM Super crowded in the press area, right in the front of the stage. Lots and lots of videocameras around -- do they know that DirecTV doesn't want to share that footage?

11:16AM I also got the chance to finally meet Ghostcrawler last night, and not only is he awesome, but he says there will be plenty of surprises today, even considering the leaks we've seen so far.

11:15AM Over in the playable area for World of Warcraft, there are two big signs, draped in black fabric to hide what they're showing. Pretty sure that means there's a new expansion to talk about, and pretty sure that means we'll also be playing it at the show this weekend.

11:10AM We're live on the floor of the show in Anaheim, CA. Blizzard's music is playing, and this giant convention hall is filling up with excited fans!

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