The panel kicked off with a brief overview of Wings of Liberty, discussing the story and where it left off: Raynor and Sarah reunited, with Mengsk crawling back to the shadows, his plan temporarily thwarted. We know Kerrigan is once again on the warpath in Heart of the Swarm, attempting to reassemble her brood, but "why?" is to remain a mystery until the game is released.
While many of the Heart of the Swarm campaign mechanics were originally announced back in May,
much of the panel today focused on where the game has progressed since
those details were unveiled. The time since the initial announcement has
been spent crafting new and unique mission mechanics with even more
impressive, interactive, and mind-boggling features in the planned 20+
As you control Kerrigan and rebuild her brood, it will be up to you to decide how to evolve your fighting force. While standard army mutations (upgrades like those in Wings of Liberty) will unlock at key points throughout the game, you’ll also be presented with evolution choices that will take you to remote locations to obtain the genetic code needed to advance.
In one example, the zergling is given a choice to evolve one of two ways. In your first choice, you go to attack indigenous leaping creatures and harvest their DNA. By integrating the DNA of the indigenous leaping creature, you can modify your zerglings to grow wings and leap as well. For your second choice, you're contacted by a queen on a remote world who wishes to join your brood. She’s evolved her zerglings to hatch rapidly and spawn three zerglings per cocoon, and believes her strain would be of use to you.
Each of these approximately 14 skirmishes will be a short mission
that will only take a few minutes to complete, and will present both
evolution choices through gameplay, allowing you to test their strengths
and ultimately help you pick which genetic code you wish to splice into
your own brood.
While you'll be tending to key strategic missions with Kerrigan, the swarm will be rampaging across the sector, and they'll need your guidance. Throughout the campaign your brood mothers will contact you for advice on tactical decisions as they carry out your orders on distant planets. These decisions will also determine how you’ll achieve success, providing you with bonuses to your arsenal and abilities. You’ll also have choices at key points to engage in the ‘Destruction of Worlds’ mechanic, adding a planet’s resources to your own as your swarm pours over its surface.
How will you consume the galaxy?
Day One Headlines
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria -- The fourth World of Warcraft expansion set, Mists of Pandaria, has been unveiled! Shrouded in fog since the world was sundered more than ten thousand years ago, the ancient realm of Pandaria has remained unspoiled by war. Its lush forests and cloud-ringed mountains are home to a complex ecosystem of indigenous races and exotic creatures -- including the noble and enigmatic pandaren.
Sign Up for the World of Warcraft Annual Pass and Get Diablo III Free -- With Deathwing’s shadow looming over Azeroth and the mortal realms of Sanctuary steeling for war against the forces of Diablo, the World of Warcraft Annual Pass has arrived to offer WoW subscribers a chance to participate in both apocalyptic conflicts… without breaking the bank.
Diablo 15-Year Retrospective -- While Blizzard turned 20 this year, we’re also celebrating Diablo’s 15-year anniversary. Chris Metzen covers the past, present, and future of the Diablo franchise.
The Diablo III Collector’s Edition -- Stay awhile and listen… for the time has come to unlock the Diablo III: Collector’s Edition, and unveil the epic treasures that lie within. Emblazoned with the alabaster hue of the High Heavens, this limited edition collector’s set slides open to reveal the following wealth of rare and legendary items.
Blizzard DOTA Trailer -- In addition to the Diablo III Cinematic, the BlizzCon 2011 opening ceremony also featured the first official trailer for Blizzard DOTA -- and we have it here for you in stunning high definition.
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Teaser -- Since we originally unveiled Heart of the Swarm back in May, we’ve continued working in secret, laboring in the dark recesses of Blizzard’s sheetrock-lined offices on the dank and gloomy coast of Southern California. Today we showcased a new teaser cinematic of footage rendered entirely within the StarCraft II game engine.
Blizzard 2011 Year in Review -- It’s been an exciting year for us since BlizzCon 2010, and to illustrate that point Mike presented this Blizzard 2011 highlight reel during the opening ceremony.
Contest Winners -- Hosted live from the Main Stage at the Anaheim Convention Center and broadcast to millions of viewers around the world, the Dance and Costume contests have always been a highlight at BlizzCon, and this year proved no different. We laughed, we cried, we cheered. More importantly, we were amazed by the exceptional amount of talent displayed by all of our participants.
Watch the BlizzCon 2011 Diablo III Cinematic -- Some tantalizing Diablo III cinematic footage was shown for the first time just moments ago during the BlizzCon 2011 opening ceremony and we’ve got it here for you in high definition.
The Diablo III Gameplay and Auction House Panel -- Jay Wilson, Jason Bender, Andrew Chambers, Wyatt Cheng, and Chris Haga took the main stage at BlizzCon this afternoon to offer a comprehensive look at the design and direction of Diablo III.
The StarCraft II Heart of the Swarm Campaign Panel -- Matt Morris and Brian Kindregan from the StarCraft II development team took the stage today along with Chris Metzen, senior vice president of story and franchise development, to unveil the latest developments in the upcoming expansion.
The StarCraft II Multiplayer Panel -- Dustin Browder, David Kim, and Josh Menke from the StarCraft II development team took the opportunity to talk about the state of play in StarCraft II, and of course, new multiplayer units for Heart of the Swarm on the Panel Discussion stage this afternoon at BlizzCon 2011.
BlizzCon Tournament End Day 1 -- The first day of tournament action at BlizzCon 2011 was absolutely explosive. We witnessed the first six rounds of the StarCraft II Global Battle.net Invitational.
World Of Warcraft
World of Warcraft Preview Panel -- The Mists of Pandaria will open the doors to the mysterious lands of the pandaren, inviting the people of Azeroth to discover the wisdom and power of this mighty race while also exposing some of their darkest secrets. The World of Warcraft Preview panelists unveiled many of the new features, art, and gameplay changes that are coming with this next epic expansion.
World of Warcraft Class Talent System -- World of Warcraft Game Director Tom Chilton, and Lead Systems Designer Greg Street took to the stage this morning to discuss the direction of class balance for World of Warcraft, as well as the new talent system coming in Mists of Pandaria. Their panel focused on the philosophies and goals of this new system, what’s changing, and what expectations players should have as they level up in Pandaria and beyond.
The WoW Dungeons and Raids Panel -- While much of the event thus far has focused on the pandaren race, monk class, and talent system overhaul, the bigger question is what are you going to be doing with all of it? The Dungeons and Raids panel kicked off just a bit ago to answer that very question. Who are the big bad guys I need to kill, and where can I kill them?
BlizzCon Tournament End Day 1 -- The first day of tournament action at BlizzCon 2011 was absolutely explosive. We witnessed the first six rounds of the World of Warcraft Global Battle.net Invitational.
Please join us in congratulating SlayerS_MMA, the winner of the first GSL finals ever played outside of Korea. If you didn't catch the action live, don’t worry. Our tournament ladders are updated on the BlizzCon Tournament page, so you can see who is moving on to Day 2 of the BlizzCon 2011 Global Invitationals, and who is being left behind. We'll be updating that page with replays and videos, so check back soon.
All that, and we're just getting started -- so be sure to join us tomorrow for the exciting conclusion of the BlizzCon 2011 Global Invitational Tournaments.
If you weren't able to join us at the convention this year but still want to witness these epic battles, we've got you covered. You can get the standard definition action streamed straight to your living room forfree, or you can pick up a BlizzCon 2011 Virtual Ticket to see it all in glorious HD.