5 Questions We Want Answered at Blizzcon 2011

Blizzcon 2011 is tomorrow(!) and we’re thinking about all the things we wish we knew about Blizzard’s three franchises. Some of these can be summed up with a simple, “Can we play it soon? Please?” but we do have some legitimate questions about the future of World of Warcraft and what we’ll be seeing during (and after) patch 4.3 and what StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is going to cost us. Here are five questions we really hope Blizzard is going to answer at Blizzcon 2011.

5. What’s the next World of Warcraft expansion?

Is it Mists of Pandaria? The Emerald Dream? Something completely different that we’ve never heard of? Blizzard seems about due to announce some new content for its super-hit MMO, given that we’re almost a year on from the release of Cataclysm, the last expansion to the game. We know a kung-fu panda-centric Pandaria could be possible, given that Blizzard copyrighted the name, even though it has said publicly that the whole April Fool’s gag that first introduced it has gone way too far. Blizzcon would make a pretty solid place to dish new information about the game, though making major announcements at its own con isn’t really Blizzard’s style. Nonetheless, the timing’s right, what with Blizzard prepping the release of patch 4.3 for Cataclysm, which will include the endgame raid that results in the defeat of Deathwing. So what do we get to conquer next? Seems like it’s about time for Blizzard to let us know.

4. When can we all play Diablo 3?

Diablo 3′s closed, invitation-only beta has been running for a couple of weeks and there are still scores of players feeling highly depressed that they didn’t come to the party. Despite the beta being relatively small-scale — only about two hours of content — it’s fair to say everyone at Blizzcon will be wishing they could give it a go. There have been some rumblings about the possibility about an open beta for everyone: could it be? Might we all enjoy Diablo 3 together sometime soon? If so, when, Blizzard? WHEN!?

And while you’re giving out temporal information about Diablo, we’d like a release date, please.

3. When the hell is Heart of the Swarm coming out?

Speaking of release dates, here’s one we’d like: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. Listen, Blizzard, I know you intend to tell us all about those silhouetted units you’re adding to multiplayer and give us the skinny on what the hell is up with Kerrigan’s hair and whatever else, but I really could care less about seeing pictures of zerglings or hairdos. I just want to know when I get to play the damn thing, and maybe a price point seeing as Heart of the Swarm’s single-player campaign is clocking in at about one-third shorter than Wings of Liberty’s. And hell, if you want to start talking about StarCraft II: Protoss Party or whatever it’s gonna be called, that’d be great too.

2. Titan — what’s the deal with that?

So there’s this thing Blizzard is making. It’s called Titan. It hasn’t been officially announced or even officially discussed, but there has been some randomized talk about it. It’s not World of Warcraft 2. And that’s about all we know about it.

But WoW is getting on 10 years old and the StarCraft and Diablo franchises are about to launch new games. Suddenly, Blizzard doesn’t really have anything to hype us up with for the next two four years (except that Protoss Playtime game, but I kinda doubt we’ll hear about it this weekend) — so why not drop us something on Titan?

1. World of StarCraft — is it a thing, and if so, is it The Best Thing?

Okay, so wishful thinking on our part, but we do know that Blizzard owns a copyright on the name and there’s a rumor that torch-and-pitchfork-wielding stockholders are trying to strong-arm the developer into creating another huge cash cow out of its two uber-popular franchises. So…c’mon, Blizzard. Howsabout you just spill already. Is this coming? Is it code-named Titan? Will we have to wait a decade to play it? Will it finally allow us the experience of StarCraft: Ghost we were promised oh so long ago? Can we be zerglings and eviscerate people before being mutated into something cooler? Can we essentially be smelly evil deadly Pokemon?

Blizzard always plays its cards close to the chest with information and I wouldn’t be surprised if we learned nothing about any of these topics — especially about the smelly Pokemon MMO I’m now currently working on copyrighting. But we can always hold out hope. And at least we can enjoy Foo Fighters.

Follow Hornshaw on Twitter: @philhornshaw.

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