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Blizzard confirms WOW expansion Cataclysm and cloud play for Battle.net

StarCraft II also to incorporate mod community marketplace

Blizzard has used its annual BlizzCon conference to announce its latest World of Warcraft expansion, as well as a series of new features for the Battle.net online service and upcoming StarCraft II.

The new expansion will be called Cataclysm and it will, Blizzard said, "very literally change the face of Azeroth as you know it." Two new races will be introduced, reports EuroGamer - however the publisher is yet to confirm a release date for the add-on.

Meanwhile, the company also had news on the feature set of Battle.net, which will ship with StarCraft II when released next year.

The Xbox Live style service will enable friends lists, chat and achievements across all Blizzard games, plus a type of cloud play feature which will allow users to access their StarCraft II save from any computer.

Players will be able to pick up their Campaign and multiplayer profiles from any computer they have the game installed on, without physically moving files from one machine to another. Other features also incorporate league and tournament matchmaking systems and a profile that allows the tracking of achievements, stats, match history and more across multiple characters and games.

Finally, Blizzard executive vice president of design Rob Pardo unveiled plans to allow the mod community to sell content on a StarCraft II marketplace after the game's launch.

The marketplace will be a forum for publishing and downloading both free and premium maps with "a portion of the revenue" from the premium offerings to go to the creator.

This forum will hopefully lead to more evolved mod content from creators, said Pardo, and, in turn, add greater longevity to StarCraft II, lure the best amateur designers away from platforms like Steam and help bridge gaps between official Blizzard content.

It won't be a feature StarCraft II will see at launch however, confirmed Pardo, as its inclusion would delay the title's release even further.

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