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Massively's BlizzCon 2013 liveblog: Opening ceremony and WoW presentation


BlizzCon 2013 is now underway, and we're expecting big news from the folks at Blizzard, like more details on the Diablo III Reaper of Souls expansion. There's also the first ever Innkeeper's Invitational for Hearthstone, the white-knuckle gameplay of the StarCraft 2 tournaments, and the Hollywood insanity of the upcoming World of Warcraft movie.

Most MMO gamers, however, are anxiously waiting to hear about World of Warcraft's fifth expansion. Is it happening? Whom are we fighting? Where are we going? Are there any new classes and races? If you want to be among the first to know but didn't snag a ticket, real or virtual, then join us in the comments below as we blog about all the juiciest news -- live!

And don't forget that the opening ceremonies are being streamed for free!

10:45 a.m. PST: Our sister site WoW Insider has noticed an oopsie on the livestream. Love that background logo!

11:04 a.m. PST: Mike Morhaime's on stage. He says he missed us last year. Awww. He's totalling more than 20,000 attendees at Blizzcon, up from 4000 during the first one.

11:11 a.m. PST: Cheers in the crowd as Morhaime discusses the death of the Diablo III auction house. Not as big a cheer as the World of Warcraft represent cheers, though! He's promising new stuff about the game "very soon." Tease. Confused cheers at mention of Blink-182.

11:15 a.m. PST: Heroes of the Storm video playing to a backdrop of cheesy hard rock music.

11:16 a.m. PST: Game director Dustin Browder coming onstage to talk HoS and SC2.

11:20 a.m. PST: Awesome trailer for HoS. Cheering seems oddly anemic. Browder says HoS is playable at BlizzCon! Beta signups are going live today.

11:26 a.m. PST: CCO Rob Pardo taking the stage to talk Hearthstone! Huge cheers from the crowd for Hearthstone. Open beta starts next month. "But in Blizzard-speak that might be January," he jokes.

11:31 a.m. PST: Pardo says BlizzCon attendees (and virtual ticket holders) will get a special Hearthstone card: the Elite Tauren Chieftan: Battlecry: Give both players the power to Rock! (with a Power Chord card). 5/5 for 5 mana. Game is aiming for both iOS and Android second half of next year.

11:35 a.m. PST: Ahh, World of Warcraft. Tarren Mill vs. Southshore. AQ and ZG. /nostalgia. So much clapping. And laughing at the trainwreck that was the Dark Portal.

11:41 a.m. PST: Chris Metzen taking the stage for the WoW presentation. HUGE CHEERS.

11:50 a.m. PST: "What if those dark days could come again? Dark days ahead. How do you fight a savage enemy without becoming a savage yourself?"

11:51 a.m. PST: "There will be honor to be served, and there will be asses to be kicked."

11:54 a.m. PST: Worlds of Draenor officially announced as the next WoW expansion. The video is amazing. HOPE YOU LIKE ORCS. New character models. New housing -- Richie called it! Boost to level 90 and play immediately. Level cap 100!

11:57 a.m. PST: We'll be back at 12:30 p.m. PST when the WoW panel gets under way!

12:29 p.m. PST: Getting ready to start back up here. Massively's Richie will be liveblogging the "World of Warcraft: What's Next" panel! Art!

12:34 p.m. PST: See, there's this group of Orcs, and their airplane crashes on an island, and something about time travel, and then they all disappear into a cloud of white light. Just kidding.

12:40 p.m. PST: Lorevalanche! "Defeat the Iron Horde: Grommash unites the orc clans. They plan to take an army through the Dark Portal and destroy Azeroth. This can't happen. You must stop them!" The Orc racial leader has not been selected yet. After the Siege of Orgrimmar, Garrosh escapes from his trial with a time-traveling friend back to a world and a time where things make sense to him. Garrosh's intent is to redeem the orcs ideals as he sees it. Garrosh is pushing the story forward, but he's not the final boss of the expansion.

12:45 p.m. PST: And a pretty map of the new continent. Does it look familiar? BC part the second? Click to enlarge! Draenor will have seven zones. The Alliance home city is the Black Citadel before it was the Black Citadel.

1:00 p.m. PST: The panelists are going through each zone one by one and how it's different from its Burning Crusade counterpart. Here comes a video!

1:15 p.m. PST: Why do you want a garrison: Epic gear for your character! Land all your own. Benefits from buildings. Limited access to professions you don't have!

1:30 p.m. PST: Greg Street says WoW is better with friends. Boost to 90 is to help people who are a few expansions behind catch up. They can jump right into the new content. New inventory management, find new items that have entered bags. Different quality items have colored outlines. Highlights vendor trash. Quest items not stored in bags!

1:40 p.m. PST: Raids and Dungeons with Ion Hazzikostas: seven new dungeons -- UBRS is back. Normal versions of max level dungeons are back. Bloodmaul Slag Mines is a new non-linear dungeon with four bosses in Frostfire Ridge.

1:45 p.m. PST: Big raid changes incoming. Lots more flex. Mythic mode is for hardcore... not flexible.

1:50 p.m. PST: Ashran -- Staging Area near the Dark Portal -- World PvP Zone, a PvP sandbox! Ashran will use cross-realm technology to handle faction balance. Build and commandeer siege vehicles. Reduce enemy bases to rubble. Siege weapons, etc.

2:00 p.m. PST: Them's the highlights! Thanks for joining us.

Massively's on the ground in Anaheim during the weekend of November 8th, bringing you all the best news from BlizzCon 2013. Whether you're anticipating World of Warcraft's and Diablo III's next expansions or reveals from Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, we aim to have it covered!

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