Blizzcon 2011: Blizzard DOTA, Free Diablo III, Mists of Pandaria

If you attempted to visit mmo-champion or similar World of Warcraft news-sites in the past few hours no doubt you’ll notice most of them are offline. The reason is this year’s Blizzcon: there’s a lot of new information posted about some of our favorite games, and below you’ll find a recap of what was announced so far.

Diablo III

It appears that there still are some things about Diablo III that Blizzard kept from us. Wait actually, no there’s pretty much nothing we don’t know already. In fear of The Old Republic Blizzard already revealed more than plenty of details. As we recently learned D3 won’t come out this year, just as I predicted, and instead we’ll be able to play it in March 2012. The demand for beta keys is still insane though, so if you still haven’t tried the game don’t worry, many didn’t.

Anyway, Blizzard revealed this previously unseen Diablo III trailer: Black Soulstone, in which we find out about a new villain, Azmodan, the Lord of Sin, who like any self-respecting villain wants no less than to destroy the world.

Another high-quality cinematic, much like we expected.

But is seems Blizzard is really, really afraid of SWTOR, because now they offered a free copy of Diablo III for everyone who subscribes to World of Warcraft for 12 months! That’s definitely unprecedented and clearly goes to show that they will do anything to keep WoW subscriptions from falling. Nevertheless, it’s great news for everyone who still enjoys this game, and plans to do so for the next year.

Blizzard DOTA

Apparently this isn’t a new announcement, but I have no clue how I missed it. I had no idea Blizzard was making their own DOTA, especially since I thought Valve trademarked the name and started working on their own DotA 2. We’ve seen plenty of stuff concerning the MOBA genre recently: Heroes of Newerth went free-to-play, League of Legends continues to grow (and I continue to enjoy it), and there’s even been some new titles released: Rise of Immortals and Realm of the Titans, neither of which had much success unfortunately.

Back to the topic. We have a cinematic trailer showcasing some of the stuff and heroes we’ll get to see in Blizzard DOTA, and you can watch it below:

While story really isn’t important in MOBA games, I still think Blizzard DOTA’s story is really lame and Blizz could certainly do better. As you can see from the cinematic, we’ll be summoning heroes from other Blizzard titles, so hopefully it’ll turn out well. Judging by the trailer I’m not really sure whether Blizzard is really trying to make a serious game here or what, but in either case I’ll be sure to keep an eye on it in the future.

World of Warcraft – Mists of Pandaria

The name of the 4th expansion for World of Warcraft has been known for some time now, but finally it’s been officially confirmed:

This next expansion is set in a place that’s been lost to time for 10,000 years. A land of balance, harmony, beauty and hope until WE arrive.

The real enemy, the true villain of the franchise is going to be war itself.

Players will finally be able to play Pandaren, a long-awaited race, and we’ll have access to a new class as well, the Monk. Below is a recap of the announced features and changes:

  • Level cap increase to 90
  • Pet Battle system with Panda-like creatures
  • Monk class added
  • New Pandaren race
  • New continent: Pandaria
  • PvE Scenarios
  • New Talent System
  • Focus on Alliance vs. Horde war, rather than a villain
  • Pandaren will be playable by both factions
  • Challenge mode dungeons

Initial impressions from players are mostly disappointing. More details will surely follow and hopefully the general impressions will improve. If nothing else, we’ll always have Star Wars: The Old Republic ;)

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