Blizzard has spoken

There are times when working for a huge news company like CNN has some really great benefits for a nerd. For example: I get to sit at work and watch things like the live stream of BlizzCon 2011!

BlizzCon is Blizzard Entertainment's convention. At BlizzCon, the company makes product announcements and celebrated with the fans: 26,000 people at BlizzCon in Anaheim, California and another 60,000 people witht virtual tickets, watching the convention TV and computers.

Blizzard Entertainment usually makes their yearly "Big Announcement" at the opening ceremonies for BlizzCon, and this year they did not disappoint!

Full discloser: I am a long time "World of Warcraft" player and I also play "Starcraft 2." That's why I was really excited to find out the big BlizzCon news.

First, they got the crowd warmed up with information like:
•    $2.7 Million donated to Make a Wish and Japan Tsunami relief
•    Brazillian WoW port released in December
•    Every WoW player in the world is now playing the same version of the game, and that hasn't happened since the Burning Crusade expansion that came out in 2007

Then  Mike Morhaime, president and CEO of Blizzard dropped the bomb: "World of Warcraft" players will get the game "Diablo 3" for free! Blizzard announced an annual subscription model for WoW and with that players will get a electronic download of "Diablo 3" on the day it launches. Annual subscribers will also get a WoW in-game item: a new mount called "Tyrael's Charger." Additionally, annual subscribers will get access to the beta test of the next WoW expansions.

Speaking of the next expansion, Chris Metzen, the vice president of Creative Development for Blizzard said it will be called "World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria" and it will be the fourth expansion to the game.

It will include:

•    New talent system
•    Pandaren race (yea that’s a Panda!)
•    The region of Pandaria opens
•    New Monk class
•    Level cap raised to 90
•    Dungeon challenge mode
•    PVE Scenarios
•    Pet Battle System

Well folks, I am stoked! I plan on becoming an annual subscriber not only for "Diablo 3," but I personally love the in-game items Blizzard gives us. And after seeing the trailer for the expansion to WoW, I cannot wait to play a Panda as a Monk!

Over the weekend we will probably learn more about this expansion and news for there other two games Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3.