Blizzard Entertainment’s whenever-the-hell-it-feels-like-it celebration of its properties is back to make a mess of Anaheim in 2013. The shameless self promotion and fandom that is BlizzCon will return to the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, November 8 and Saturday, November 9. The seventh event will be the latest in the year its ever been and focused on, uh, Hearthstone? The final installment of StarCraft II? Mayhaps Project Titan?! The upcoming Diablo III expansion?
Who knows. Whatever it is, we’ll be there with bells on.
That is assuming we win at Refresh Wars during the ticket sales at 10:00 PM EDT on Wednesday, April 24 or the second round at 1:00 PM EDT on Saturday, April 27. Ticket have been bumped higher still, costing would-be attendees $175. The Children’s Hospital of Orange County dinner is available once again, costing a hefty $500 to attend.
Virtual tickets will once again be available. No word yet on Jay Mohr. Make sure all of your billing information is up to date in your account!
After a year hiatus in 2012 to allow Blizzard to, you know, make the games we enjoy so much, the company has announced its intention to throw its formerly (kinda) annual community gathering. The convention will once again be held in the Anaheim Convention Center, taking a step back from the typical October celebration to Friday, November 9 and Saturday, November 9. It’s official.
Convention goers can expect your typical BlizzCon activities, an insane rush to get tickets, eSports finals, in-depth panels and Q&A sessions, tournaments, statues, and everything StarCraft, Warcraft and Diablo. Who knows, maybe Project Titan will even make an appearance!
Ticket price and purchasing dates have not been revealed yet. Prices have increased the past few years. Expect a price from $100-150 a pop.
A dedicated LoreHound crew is fully expected to be – physically and digitally – present for all your coverage needs. Let the argument over Jay Mohr begin! We’ll have more details as they come.
This article has been in my head for ages. Massive multiplayer online games, any subgenre from sandbox to themepark, do not show well at conventions. I’m not one to make blanket statements, but I’m fully confident with this one after traversing the convention circuit for half a decade. MMOFPS combat the notion, but ultimately falter.
Let’s set the stage of your general show and showgoer. There’s an insane amount of visual and audio noise when you hit the floor. There are options left, right, upside down and in every nook. Most of the offerings are visceral experiences that focus on the hook, something in the game that you’ll remember, ideally, when the game approaches release a few months down the road. Perfect for single- or normal multiplayer games.
The most disciplined of showgoers will get to their target games early and camp the line, assuming there is one. Finally, the moment comes where showgoer gets to jump on the open desktop. For most MMOGs the machine is set to offer some combination of: grind a few mobs, kill other showgoers, play with some new abilities or a character class or roam a new area. Before showgoer knows it time is up and the flabbergasted gamer is ushered out the back door. Maybe showgoer had 30 minutes. Probably less than 15 minutes.
BlizzCon is fantastic for many reasons that Blizzard explicitly provides. The exclusive announcements, interviews, tournaments, swag, statues, panels and so much more. But, as the company’s employees often suggest, it’d be absolutely nothing without the community that has grown around the company. The collective determination to excellence has itself spawned and unimaginable community composed of scores of skilled and creative people.
Much of this is on showcase at the various fan contests, from dancing to costumes to various “core” artforms. And yet, each BlizzCon, you can happen across something from the community that impresses the most jaded fan. Take for instance the above human-powered Sindragosa. At least, that’s what I have taken to calling it.
This three person contraption may have been at BlizzCon 2010, but I didn’t see it until now and it’s a sight to behold and hear, thanks to snapping jaws and scrapping claws. The above video gives you the full 360 degree tour and and an in-her-face show of the glowing maw.
If you don’t know who that is, take a seat and get educated. Mike Morhaime is one of the founders of Blizzard Entertainment, the company you so obviously have come to know and love. He’s the most forward facing of any of the co-founders, despite his awkwardness at these fan-based conventions. He may not be as silky smooth as Chris Metzen, but really, few can rock sunglasses whenever they damn well please.
Mike’s role, barring the ever-powerful title of CEO, in the company is anything but a holdover. Check out the above video for his opening presentation where he proves it by announcing the crazy WoW Annual Pass, its inclusion of Diablo III and drops his best jokes ever, with only a little bit of awkwardness.
Those public speaking classes are starting to pay off.
Holy crap, Metzen isn’t wearing sunglasses. Write this day down in history! Chris Metzen, Lionel Richie’s biggest fan, was caught without his token shades during his opening ceremony presentation. For those of you not into TMZ-style reporting, we’ll move to our regularly scheduled writing style.
Metzen, the vice president of Creative Development broke onto the stage for a short soliloquy compared to last year’s “Geek Is…” monolog. The voice of Thrall and so many others teased WoWers with a new expansion before shifting gears to the upcoming Diablo III, the newly revamped Blizzard DotA and StarCraftproper. Then, after calling the WoWers back, he unleashed pandas on the audience.
Check out the presentation, filled with cheap pops Mick Foley style, above.
Lines, we stood in them. Cosplayers, we snapped photos of them. Statues, we contorted our bodies for the best angles of them. We did the grunt work, and in the end, we have one of the most comprehensive collections of pictures from BlizzCon 2011.
This collection features a little bit of everything. Panel stills, shots of banners, cosplay, Mega Bloks layouts, Horde symbols (poorly) shaved into skulls, empty panel areas, hidden Mists of Pandaria reveals, scores of computers, the Lore Stage, tournaments and more. It’s not exhaustive, just thorough.
Take a gander at the 140 images after the break and don’t forget to take a look at the other albums linked above.
Doesn’t the title say it all? Do we truly need an explanation to one of BlizzCon‘s consistently anticipated events? No, not the inevitable reveal of a new World of Warcraftexpansion or something new in the StarCraft or Diablo universes. Not Jay Mohr’s recycled punchlines and Grand Theft Auto anecdotes, but the customary Costume Contest. Which, by the way, is the only contest to remain largely unmolested, changing some key rules – size maximums – but continuing its tradition of showing any and all dedication to cosplay, from enormous turtles and a mistress of pain to hand-studded leather gauntlets and a Minecraft player that fell off the stage!
And so let it begin. You can see an ever-so-small morsel of the extravagance directly below, but the meat of the situation is after the jump. Our compilation spans the up-close-and-personal pictures to the far-and-away snapshots taken during the procession.