E3 2007: Blizzard shows off 'Starcraft 2', new 'World of Warcraft' content

World of Warcraft fans can look forward to built-in voice chat, guild banks, and the new 10-man Zul'aman instance dungeon.

With its own Blizzcon convention coming up in just a month, we weren't surprised that Blizzard didn't make any big announcements at E3. We did learn a little, though.

The new 10-man Zul'aman dungeon, coming soon to World of Warcraft. Blizzard Entertainment

For you World of Warcraft fans, you can look forward to built-in voice chat, guild banks, and the new 10-man Zul'aman instance dungeon. Expect voice chat and guild banks first, and it sounded like Blizzard was set to provide more details of those features at its own show. It did tell us that the voice chat will automatically lower the game volume when someone starts talking, and that it will also indicate the current speaker in your group with an icon over his or her character's head.

Zul'aman looks like a semicasual departure for raiding WoWers. Blizzard hopes to make the new instance doable in one night or a few hours, rather than Karazhan, the current high-level 10 man dungeon that can require a more significant time investment. Zul'aman will be an outdoor instance (like Zul'gurub), with six bosses in total. It will have quests attached to it, but it won't require any prerequisite quests to get in, nor will it involve boosting your character's reputation with one of the game's many factions. Accessibility is the key.

Finally, in keeping with our interest in forthcoming games, DirectX 10, and Games for Windows Live, we found out that Starcraft 2 does not currently have any DirectX 10 content. Those longer shaders and optimized pathways could find themselves added to content as development continues, but citing timeliness and, again, accessibility, Blizzard's development team isn't too focused on pushing Starcraft 2's graphics into the so-called "next-gen. Also, as you'd imagine, it will be sticking with Blizzard's own Battle.net player matching software, so don't expect a major push toward Games for Windows Live on this title, either.

About the author

Rich Brown is an executive editor for CNET Reviews. He has worked as a technology journalist since 1994.

 

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