BlizzCon 2011: A Race Against Time – Blood Legion vs. Vodka Live Raid

BlizzCon 2011 was the sixth Blizzard-based convention ever. Despite the condensed celebration of all things WoW, StarCraft and Diablo being so young, tradition has already settled in. Opening monologues, tournaments, Jay Mohr, and fan contests are all expected staples. Three years ago, another tradition began, the Live Raid.

The introduction of the Live Raid panel came about like an indie project. It was small, cheaply produced and barely advertised. And it was a massive hit. The unexpected masses didn’t know what to make of Hogger decimating a professional guild, but we wanted more. A lot more.

Blizzard, and the chosen combatants, have delivered.

In a scant few years, the panel has gone from a hodgepodge of modified encounters to an all-out specially designed realm. BlizzCon 2011 is the first time that Blizzard has dedicated a significant amount of resources to the event. This year’s extravagance featured a custom Firelands raid, sans the trash. The goal: Defeat Ragnaros and all his minions as fast as humanly possible.

Yet, the goal was not designed for one group of pro-gamers, but two. And let’s not forget the defining factor of the foot race: Alliance versus. Horde. For the alliance was Vodka, with Blood Legion representing the horde.

The added dynamic forced leaders to think outside the box. To create new patterns of attack, ignore or sidestep encounter mechanics, to be on the bleeding edge of pass/fail.

Not all of the decisions were good ones.

Be sure to check the entire run by hitting the jump below. In total, it push four videos topping out at about 50 minutes of quality footage. I won’t spoil it for you, but there’s a nice surprise for whichever guild doesn’t down Ragnaros first.