It all started at BlizzCon 2005 with the above video revealing The Burning Crusade expansion. Some of you may only remember the cinematic trailers, but there has always been an announcement trailer comprised entirely of in-game footage. When Blizzard announced The Burning Crusade, they only revealed the new Horde race of Blood Elves. The Draenei were not revealed until about 6 months later.
Flying mounts, socketed items, a new race, and a new continent. It was an exciting time to be a WoW player. There were just 8,000 attendees that first year, which makes the Murky pet everyone received extremely rare. On the rare occasion when an unscratched card appears on the market, it can go for thousands of dollars. Also interesting to note that the canceled Starcraft: Ghosts game for PS2 and XBOX was playable on the convention floor that year. The Offspring performed in concert at the closing ceremony. The following year was one of the only two years since then to not have a convention, but BlizzCon returned in 2007 and was set to announce the most popular expansion yet.
BlizzCon 2007: Wrath of the Lich King revealed
Ah, the fabled dance studio announcement. I don't think Blizzard is ever going to live this one down. OK, but seriously, the biggest thing revealed here was death knights, the first new class to be introduced to the game since vanilla. Everyone was wondering what "hero class" meant exactly. Blizzard quickly assuaged our concerns, letting us know that it didn't mean the death knight would be more powerful than other classes. They would just have some perks such as class mounts and being able to start at level 55.
13,000 people attended the convention and the swag bag for this year included a beta key for Wrath of the Lich King and a Murloc Costume. Video Games Live performed at the closing ceremony along with Level 70 Elite Tauren Chieftain.
BlizzCon 2009: Cataclysm revealed
This one was less of a reveal, and more of a confirmation as almost all of the details of this expansion were leaked a week before BlizzCon. Regardless, I think this was my favorite of the expansion reveal videos to date. Learning that we could now fly in a revamped Azeroth was pretty big news at the time. This year's version of the dance studio debacle was The Path of the Titans, a new system for max level character progression which was scrapped about 6 months before release.
20,000 people attended BlizzCon 2009 and it was the first year they added a Virtual Ticket. Those of us who weren't attending the convention were finally able to get our hands on the in-game swag (Grunty) without paying through the nose on eBay. Ozzy Osbourne performed in concert for the closing ceremony.
BlizzCon 2011: Mists of Pandaria revealed
Pandas. Pandas didn't go over so well for some people, but I think as they learned more about the expansion the "Blizzard has gone kiddy" complaints started to die down. This was the first time an expansion had both a new race and new class. Mists was a refreshingly lighthearted change of pace (not that Pandaria didn't have it's share of bad guys to kill), and definitely the most polished product the WoW team has ever put out. Scenarios, pet battles, challenge modes, and the list goes on. The 5.0 dailies were about the only sour point of the whole expansion for me.
26,000 people attended this year, and many more watched with their Virtual Ticket as Foo Fighters performed at the closing ceremonies. Murkablo was the exclusive battle pet this year.
The next chapter begins this Friday at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT) at BlizzCon 2013. WoW Insider will have you covered with live blogs of the opening ceremony and all the World of Warcraft panels.
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