Live from the show floor in Anaheim, California - what surprises and announcements will Blizzard have to kick off two days of delicious PC gaming goodness?
11:00 - Keane and I rock some Diablo III before heading on over to get seated in preparation. It's so good.
11:20 - We're here seated and ready to rock the hizzle. Ten minutes left to go - is that the Tristram music from Diablo II? I think it is. Geez, this hall is huge.
11:30 - Time to get started? Well, the music stopped. And here go the lights.
11:31 - Gary Platner, lead artist of WoW comes to take the stage. Welcome, welcome. Reading a list of "Pet Peeves of BlizzCon." "Loud chewing, saying GG, PWNED, Mouthbreathers, People who want to fight you in real life for not being Horde." That one gets a loud cheer.
11:34 - There are over 1,700 PCs set up at BlizzCon. That's a big number.
11:35 - Ladies and gentlemen, CEO Mike Morhaime. Oh hey, we're live at Gamescom - StarCraft 2 won best of show there.
11:36 - There are more denizens of Azeroth here than there are undergraduates at UCLA. "The only place in the world where everyone is rooting something 'Cataclysmic' to happen." Looking official here.
11:38 - If you didn't get into the queue for Blizzcon 09 tickets within 30 seconds, you didn't get a ticket. Period. 20,000 tickets to BlizzCon sold out in less than one minute. "That's faster than Ret Paladins can storm the forums after a nerf."
11:40 - And we get some numbers for the DirectTV - over 50,000 Pay-Per-View watchers. Geez again.
11:43 - BlizzCon '08 highlight reel, with clips from the WotLK midnight launch. Way to make nerds look epic, Blizzard. Lots of self-celebration thus far, but that's not really surprising.
11:45 - "The queues at some of the midnight launches were so long that GameStop and Best Buy had to bring new stores online and give free transfers." Ha ha, Morhaime. The announcement about faction transfers gets a pretty big boo, though. Time to look into the future.
11:47 - Remember the announcement about Sam Raimi directing the Warcraft movie? Well, Morhaime just disappointed people by saying that it didn't mean Campbell was going to play Leeroy Jenkins, though he admitted it was a good idea.
11:48 - Singleplayer StarCraft II will be available here.
11:53 - Morhaime leaves the stage to Mr. Warcraft VP of Creative Development, Chris Metzen. Metzen invites everyone to give Blizzard employees hug.
11:55 - What have they been cooking up the last year? Well, they've got trailers and things to announce. "Where is the Alliance at?" "Where's the HORDE?!" Blizzard totally favors Horde. Lame.
11:57 - They're unveiling a new D3 class. Let's see what it is: With all of his open-palm, tiger-strike glory: The Monk. Nifty little trailer action. Some sort of cursed desert city overtaken by cultists. Some serious gore here.
12:00 - Holy crap, the Monk looks AWESOME. Fights a demon, bats back evil curses, hand-to-hand combat, puts a palm through its chest. Now we're getting a gameplay look at the Monk. He's teleporting all over the place, some whirlwind strikes, ki blasts. Everything from Street Fighter a la Diablo.
12:05 - Time for WoW. They're going to be airing the trailer for the next expansion. Cataclysm? Yes, I think it is.
12:09 - Yep, it's Cataclysm. Everything is official.
12:11 - Holy hell, talk about going out with a bang. I think something actually exploded on stage. That's it for the opening ceremonies. We'll get a better look at WoW: Cataclysm next.