by Will Park

The sun has set on the first day of BlizzCon 2011, where Blizzard Entertainment announced a couple surprises and costumed attendees took cosplay to a new level.

We kicked the day off with the BlizzCon opening ceremonies. Blizzard president Mike Morhaime took to the keynote stage to announce that World of Warcraft subscribers will be given free access to the much-anticipated Diablo III title, in return for signing up for a World of Warcraft annual pass. We were also shown a trailer for the fourth expansion pack, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.

The NVIDIA booth was home to our GeForce LAN and 3D photo booth. Attendees lined up for a chance to play their favorite Blizzard games, powered by GeForce graphics card. The 3D photo booth featured NVIDIA models dressed as Blizzard characters, with photos taken on a Fuji 3D Digital Camera.

Starcraft shoutcaster Husky also made an appearance at our booth, offering tips to and taking questions from a crowd of fans. A quick trivia game ended with the winner getting a chance to play Husky in a round of Starcraft II.

BlizzCon took cosplay to a new level. Amidst somewhat impressive costumes, we saw truly inspired designs. Some were provocative, while others were unique and innovative. It turned out that originality and creativity took top billing this year with Avery Faeth’s depiction of Starcraft’s “Adjutant” winning first place, and $3,000 in cash.

For a more detailed look at BlizzCon 2011 Day One, head over to