Archives For Blizzcon 2010

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Mike Morhaime, President of Blizzard Entertainment

Greetings!

No, I hadn’t forgotten about doing this, life just got in the way as soon as I got back from Blizzcon.

I had a fantastic time!

Detailing out my time in Anaheim…

Wednesday was spent traveling, so by the time we arrived in Anaheim, I was pretty tired, but too excited to rest.  We checked into the hotel, and I immediately hopped online. I played around with twtter, and found a couple people who had already arrived (who I already talk to on twitter) and planned to meet up for dinner.  We went over to Downtown Disney and watched a hockey game, drank some beers and discovered that Mike Sacco from WoW Insider was hanging out at the bar.  We said hi, and chatted for a few minutes. He let it slip that instead of attending the WoW Insider Meetup via Skype, Felicia Day was actually going to be there. We eventually headed back to the hotels.

Thursday was a little bit more low key, but involved an awful lot of walking again.  Woke up, immediately started dinking around on Twitter and found out that Daewin had arrived.  Offered to go have lunch, so we did! We walked back down to Downtown Disney, hitting up Ralph Brennans and enjoyed some pretty decent Cajun food, and the most decadent black and white bread pudding.  Upon walking back from Downtown Disney, we decided it would be silly to go wait in line right when people were picking up their stuff.  The line wrapped nearly around the convention center!

Chris Metzen, VP of Creative Development

As we were laughing at all the people in line, we watched Chris Metzen walk outside for a smoke — clearly looking stressed, so we left him alone. We waited until around 6pm, then hopped in line.  It did move surprisingly fast, so we were done by 6:30, when we decided to go to the WoW Insider meetup and get some food. My husband was able to talk to Lodur and Matticus, and I was able to briefly talk to Frostheim. That place was ridiculously crowded, so my group and I decided to opt to head back to the hotel early and get a good night’s sleep before the convention.

Friday was an incredibly busy, tiring, and exciting day.  We woke up early and got in line for entrance.  I want to say it was around 6:30 or 7.  Yes, I was clearly still on east coast time.  We were easily some of the first to get into the convention hall, and we managed to snag some great seats for the opening ceremony. One of the coolest things about sitting in line for so long is being able to see a lot of the costumes for the contests that night. (full gallery of Blizzcon photos at the bottom of this post)

Opening ceremonies were a great bit of fun.  My husband decided he was going to dash to the Blizzard store as soon as doors open to get me one of the much coveted water bottles — and was amazingly back to the seats by the time the ceremonies started with all our loot.  It was quite fun to sit in an entire row filled with guild mates, and watch the presentation by the Blizzard Execs.  I was quite impressed with Metzen’s “Geek Is” speech.  I think it was very well put together, and proved a point that being a geek is about passion.  You’re classified as a “geek” if you get fascinated by something and make it a part of your life.  For many, Blizzard games have become part of their “geek” life.

As far as releases, this year was all about Diablo III.  The Demon Hunter is going to be a fun class to play, and I did eventually get a chance to play it.  The Cataclysm cinematic is amazing on a big screen with a huge sound system.  If you don’t have a way to do it, I suggest you find someone who can help you out.  The audio impact of the trailer is pretty incredible on a large scale.

The remainder of the day for Friday was spent running around playing games, going to the realm meetup for Destromath, and entering contests.  Believe it or not, we decided to skip the contests that evening in lieu of grabbing dinner.  On the way out of the convention center though, we bumped in to Chris Metzen again, and chatted with him for a few minutes.  He’s a really cool guy. My guild had already planned on going to dinner at Bubba Gump’s Friday evening, where we had a great time catching up.  We have been taking a break before Cataclysm, so it was great to catch up with everyone.  A few of the guild mates had never met before, so there’s always something great about that.  I can honestly say, my guild is like family.

That evening ended with the Twisted Nether meetup coming into Bubba Gump, and I decided I was far too tired to hang out for very long.  I said hi to Fimlys and left my husband there to mingle.  He had a great time!  If you’re a blogger, and haven’t listened to Twisted Nether, or looked at the Blog Azeroth forums, I highly recommend it.  It’s a great community out there.

Saturday was much more low-key.  We got up at a leisurely 7am, saw that it was drizzly and raining and said “screw the line, it’s breakfast time!” Promptly going down to the restaurant in the hotel for breakfast.  I’m pretty sure we didn’t start walking down to the convention center until around 8:30 or so, which was a far more human hour than the day before.  And the rain stopped, which is even better.

The day was spent wandering around, playing games, entering contests, going through the Jinx store. We also did the Daily Quest first thing.  This year the quest was gathering puzzle pieces from other vendors around the convention center, and then returning back to the Brady Games booth for prizes.  I managed to snag a Razer Orca headset and a mousepad because my prize card was a purple. :) The convention is far less crowded on Saturday, so you don’t feel like you have to trip over people to move, so there wasn’t a panic to try to get everything done.

The evening was happily ended with the Tenacious D concert, and much to my ecstatic surprise, Dave Grohl was drumming for them.  I’m quite proud to say I’ve had the opportunity to see one of the best rock musicians of our time get back to his Nirvana roots and tear up a drum set.  Big kudos to Blizzard on booking Tenacious D.  I know they were a controversial choice for a performer due to the adult nature of 99% of their songs, but they’re geeky enough, silly enough, and hard core enough to really rock Blizzcon.

Once my husband and I had seen all of the concert we wanted to see (had to witness The Metal and The Greatest Song Ever Written, of course), we headed back to the hotel with the remaining guild mates, ordered Chinese food and reflected on the convention.  I almost want to say that’s my favorite part of the trip.  I was able to strengthen relationships and get to know several more of my guild mates, and can’t wait to get back to raiding with them in Cataclysm.

In summary, Blizzcon this year was no less epic than last year, but for very different reasons.  Last year was my first adventure to Anaheim, I wasn’t part of the blogging community, and didn’t know what to expect.  This last year, I had an idea how things were going to go, but I had met so many new people via twitter and through the blogging community, I didn’t have time to spend with all of them, and be able to hang out with my guild too.  If plans work out okay, the intention is to go to Blizzcon again next year, and maybe I can work on this balance thing and be able to have the best of both worlds.

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Blizzcon 2010: I made it!

Morynne —  October 20, 2010 — 1 Comment

It’s official! I made it to Anaheim, California just in time for the meetups and of course, Blizzcon.

Here’s what I’m expecting:

  1. Big announcements for Diablo III.  Talking about the final class, gameplay, and more of a playable demo this year.
  2. More class balancing for Cataclysm, and information about some raid expectations/demos once we get past the base 85 content.  I’m curious what they’re going to have available to play since the beta has been out for awhile.
  3. SCII will be a minor player this year — it just launched and is doing very well.
  4. Mention of the new MMO? Doubtful, but it’s still possible.
  5. An EPIC concert of the Tenacious D variety.

I’m also expecting to chat it up with a bunch of new people and experience the con in a whole new way — since I’m no longer new to this, I’ll have a better idea of what to expect. (See what I did there? Shameless plug.)  I’m intending on going to the WoW Insider Meetup at the Annabella hotel Thursday night after picking up badges.  Friday I’m going to be at the Twisted Nether meetup at Bubba Gump, alongside a bunch of people from my guild.  Not sure where the majority of my attention will be though.

Saturday should be a little bit more relaxed — I’m really looking forward to the Tenacious D concert.

Anyone have anything specific they want a picture of? Leave it in the comments!

Blizzcon This Weekend!

Morynne —  October 19, 2010 — Leave a comment

I’m going to be more than likely off the grid for the next couple days as tomorrow is travel, and Thursday is prep for the con (tickets and whatnot).

As a reminder, I will be liveblogging the event as best I can starting on Friday!

Day 1 Liveblog

Day 2 Liveblog

I will be updating as much as I remember on Twitter, and fully intend on doing a full summary post at the end.

Until then everyone, Happy Hallows End!!

May the random drop rate be kind to you!

Blizzcon 2010: Event Map Posted

Morynne —  October 14, 2010 — 3 Comments

Those of you interested, the Blizzcon event map was posted yesterday, and it looks like there’s a few new things.

Click to embiggen.

The statues have been moved around a bit, but that’s to be expected.  I’m planning on spending some time in the main stage area for the opening ceremonies, the panel stage for the WoW stuff, and some time playing Diablo III.  Considering the DirectTV stage is right in front of the Diablo III playing area, I’m sure Diablo will be a big deal at Blizzcon this year.

Many of the vendors will be running contests, and I’ll be sure to tell you which ones are especially awesome.  I might even get brave enough to do the Loot Elemental this year.  Last year it was constantly packed with an extremely long line, but people were walking away with Spectral Tigers and other awesome loot.

If you have any special requests you’d like to see, please leave them in the comments, and I’ll do everything I can to make it happen!  Just as a reminder, I will be running a liveblog of the events here, and I will update the main page of my site with a sticky.

We’re only 7 days out people!

Blizzcon 2010: Must Pack List

Morynne —  October 1, 2010 — 2 Comments

Emails may have not been sent yet with ticket barcodes, but that’s not keeping me from starting to think about how I’m going to prepare for Blizzcon.

Last year, I learned some very valuable lessons about what to pack to take into the convention hall with me.

You definitely don’t want to be the guy on the left, over packed… nor do you want to be the guy on the right — taking practically nothing in.

Last year, I lugged around far too much stuff with me.  By the end of the day, I was exhausted not because I’d been doing too much, but simply from the weight of what I was carrying.

So let’s talk essentials.

  1. Backpack or messenger bag. Preferably mostly empty.  You will be picking up a lot of stuff as you go around the convention hall.  Make sure you have room to stash your loot!  Any bags being brought into BlizzCon should be smaller than 20 inches x 10 inches (roughly the size of two sheets of paper side by side). Anyone with a bag larger than this may be refused entry. (source)
  2. Water bottle and a few snacks. Convention food tends to get expensive, and frankly, it’s not terribly healthy.  It’s worth taking some granola bars or trail mix to keep your energy up.
  3. Handheld gaming system of choice. For line-standing while you’re waiting to pick up tickets or go inside.  You’ll find lots of people playing in Pictochat on the DS drawing pictures of male genitalia.  Though you might be able to find a few great races of MarioKart to pass the time, and plenty of people to trade Pokemon with.
  4. A music player is essential if you don’t feel like listening to the chatter of thousands about how big their epeen is.  Having conversations with strangers about WoW is pretty cool, but I can tell you that sometimes you may just want to drown it out.
  5. Camera. Make some memories! You’ll see some really awesome stuff.
  6. Blue Sharpies. If you’re an autograph collector, you’ll know the the blue sharpies, or metallic silver sharpies tend to stand up to the test of time better than black, or any other color.
  7. Cell phone. Or some other means of communicating with your party.  If you get separated or need to coordinate, these are invaluable. Also, some vendors run contests through Twitter.  This may just be your ticket to win. :)

So, my list of items to go into the convention center are the following:

  • mid-size jansport backpack.
  • refillable water bottle and some trail mix
  • Nintendo DS Lite (and a few games)
  • My Canon G7 camera for video and still shots. (and an extra battery)
  • 2 blue sharpies
  • iPhone 4 (additional camera, video, music, and twitter access)

Things you can’t take:

  • Laptops, unless you’re press.  Bloggers don’t count unless there’s an official press pass, so don’t even try.
  • Weapons of any kind.
  • Alcohol
  • Fireworks (yes, that’s on the FAQ)
  • Glass bottles, cans
  • Any other large container

Do you have any other essentials you are taking?

Blizzcon 2010: Survival Tips

Morynne —  September 21, 2010 — 2 Comments

We’re officially a month out from Blizzcon! Get excited folks!  I have a series of articles coming all about how to get through Blizzcon in the most painless fashion (while not just settling for the DirectTV feed).

Tickets? Well, as of this post, the bar codes haven’t gone out, but they’re still purchased!

Flight? Check!

Hotel? Check!

Convention survival tactics are essential! If you’re not careful, you’ll not have as much fun as you possibly could.

Here are some of my most valuable survival lessons I learned from last year:

  1. Print out your barcode tickets before you leave home! There’s no telling what kind of printers you’ll have access to at your hotel.
  2. Get lots of rest before the con. You won’t be sleeping much that Friday or Saturday, so make sure you’re prepared.
  3. Shower, daily preferred. The rest of the convention will thank you. Stinky people are no fun to stand next to in line. Also, don’t forget deodorant.  Many people forgo this.  Please don’t.
  4. Stay hydrated. Bottled water in this case is your friend.  Con prices for sodas and drinks are pretty high, so come prepared in the morning.
  5. Pick up badges/loot bags the night before if you can. Last year I saw a lot of people walking around the convention on Day 1 with giant bags with their Noobz figurines in them. Save yourself the hassle, pick it up the night before and stash it in your car or hotel room.
  6. Prioritize. Once you get your schedules for the convention, I highly recommend figuring out what is a “must see” for you and your group.
  7. Swap phone numbers with your group. Super handy when you’ve got a few people to help you get through lines faster, or if you happen to get separated.  And, bonus, if you’re going with guild members, particularly officers, you will now have their number to text if you’re going to be late to raid — or whatever.  I don’t recommend drunken text bombs though. ;)

Remember also that you don’t have to do too much in one day.  The first day is going to be filled with lots of costumes, and LOTS of people in the convention hall.  I think my group waited 45 minutes a couple times to play with the Cataclysm starting zones, but on day 2 we waited maybe 10 minutes.  Also, if you want to get some game time in, remember that most people want to watch the costume and dance contests — that’s your “in” for quick lines for game play, vendors, etc.

Coming soon… my essential “must-pack” list.

D’awww… isn’t he cute!

Today Blizzard announced the Blizzcon in-game item, and it turns out to be Deathy.  A murlock skinned like Deathwing with that great big iron jaw.  Now we haven’t seen his animations yet, but I think he’s got potential.

I’m a little disappointed as I was hoping for a mount this year, but I suppose I’ll live.

My only thing is that Blizzard seems to be taking this Deathwing theme a little too far.  After all, the Collectors Edition will come with Mini-Deathwing for a mini pet, and this murloc is basically the same thing, just with legs and no wings.  See?

I’m updating my Blizzcon page with this information now, so I can keep everything together.

Blizzcon 2009 Memories

Morynne —  June 5, 2010 — 1 Comment

Now that Blizzcon 2010 is on the horizon, tickets have been acquired, reservations for travel have been made, let’s go back and review some memories from last year at Blizzcon.

Yes, I really was that close to Ghostcrawler before the opening ceremony.  These are just some of the pictures I took from last year, but below I’ve also included the video from when Chris Metzen announced Cataclysm at the opening ceremony.

I didn’t.  Not yet anyway.

I started in queue around 4200, and when the “Sold out” sign came up, I was around 500 in line.  So close — yet so far away!

The next ticket opportunity is Saturday, June 5th at 10am Pacific, or 1pm Eastern.

I’m sincerely hoping I can sneak in on Saturday and get a couple tickets for my husband and I.

Good luck!