BlizzCon came to Anaheim, California on November 3rd and 4th, bringing with it gamers from all over the world.
BlizzCon is an official con from Blizzard Entertainment that comes about annually bringing all of the news in regards to their games: Diablo, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, Starcraft, and World of Warcraft. BlizzCon is also home to the world championship events for each game are played and cheered on. Tickets were sold out for this con within mere minutes of each batch of tickets being opened for public sale. The best ticket, so to say, to this event is actually purchasing the Virtual Ticket which basically allows you to experience BlizzCon from home at your own time while also allowing you access to any of the BlizzCon items that are for sale.
The majority of the crowd seemed to be fans of Overwatch, which right now is probably Blizzard’s most accessible game currently. Overwatch can be played on Windows as well as Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Part of the popularity of the game seems to be that it’s more of a single shooter type of game, which makes it easily played on both computer and console and is more familiar to a wide variety of age groups.
Cosplay was also represented for just about every game. It was wonderful to see all age groups and all levels of cosplay at BlizzCon. The most represented cosplay seemed to be murlocs from World of Warcraft via the cute murloc onesie that they were selling at the con. From Overwatch, there were a lot of Mei and D.Va cosplay of all ages. The absolute breathtaking cosplay I saw at con was of Sylvanas and Nat Pagle (mainly because of his perfect artifact fishing pole).
Now for the big announcements and round-up from the happenings at the con, though I did see the reveals…I might have a bit more insight when it comes to World of Warcraft since that is that is the game that I play.
The next update to Hearthstone is “Kobolds and Catacombs“, which is supposed to be more of a callback to their roots. It will also bring about a new single-player mode called a dungeon run.
HEROES OF THE STORM
Hanzo from Overwatch will be joining the band of characters that are playable in Heroes of the Storm. In the announcement video, we see him fighting Alextrasza, who will now have the ability to transform into her dragon form when at low health.
The biggest reveal for Overwatch was of a new character who will be joining the ranks, Moira. She looks absolutely badass, a character who can deal insane damage as well as heal allies. She is so amazing that people were already doing amazing cosplay as her during BlizzCon.
Blizzard World was another reveal for Overwatch, but most people (me included) believed that this was actually an announcement of a real-life theme park. In fact, Blizzard World is contained within the world of Overwatch and much like Disney World, pays homage to all of the games within the Blizzard family.
Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty will be free to play starting November 14th, however remaining campaigns will still require $14.99 per to play.
WORLD OF WARCRAFT
Some might say that the most important announcement for World of Warcraft was that they are working on providing players with Vanilla servers. This has been something that has been asked about for so many years now (the game now in its 13th year) and has also been the center of some conflict with non-Blizzard Vanilla servers having been operated but unable to give the players the same exact quality of service. They even joked that the server blades that they auctioned off years back might need to be returned in order to make this happen. So, for anyone who really loved the original version of World of Warcraft before The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor, and Legion…you’re in luck because Blizzard is ready to take you back in time. They don’t have a release date yet, but they are definitely working on it.
The second announcement was, of course, the new expansion, The Battle for Azeroth. There has been so much discussion in the community about where this expansion could go and Jaina’s hometown was definitely a place discussed. We will see the Alliance and Horde in all-out war. We will be journeying to Zandalar (Horde) and Kul Tiras (Alliance), which are both islands with sea-faring races. The idea is that each location, Zandalar and Kul Tiras, have three zones where each faction will begin. As you continue on with the storyline you will then start to venture to the other faction’s starting island. Another exciting thing is that they revealed that there will be subraces that will be able to be played in this expansion. No date yet set for the release.
Something that I don’t feel like they announced loudly enough was their Guinness record-breaking diorama of The Battle for Lordaeron. This massive recreation of the scene also features 10,000 3D printed characters from the game, which were randomly chosen from one third of those who attended BlizzCon. You can actually visit their website (http://wowplayerdiorama.com/) to see if your character is on the field. I was actually pleasantly surprised to find my Draenei restoration shaman in the back of one of the outer Alliance formations. It would only be cooler if the people who had their characters featured in the diorama were eventually able to get their hands on their 3D printed character.
BlizzCon will return around the same time in 2018!
This event is especially great when you attend with friends! I know that that’s the goal of a bunch of my out of state friends, to get everyone to California for BlizzCon 2018 with the whole idea of wearing guild t-shirts one day and cosplaying the second! It’s not just about the announcements, but the ability to be immersed into part of your world (like Darkmoon Faire for those who love World of Warcraft) and to make some new equally as geeky gamer friends! Will you be there next year? What is your favorite part about these kinds of cons? Do you like the community? The atmosphere? The hype of the announcements? Being able to play new content ahead of time? Or are you there for the cosplay? Let us know!
Video Credit: Blizzard Entertainment