Written by Chris Kwock (@kwock)
I took a trip to Sanctuary, I mean - Anaheim, CA to attend Blizzcon at the Anaheim Convention Center. Blizzcon is run by Blizzard who brings us games like World of Warcraft, Star Craft, and Diablo. The con is very busy and its attendance is capped, which makes tickets sometimes very hard to come by. They sell out well within minutes of being released. It is only a 2 day con and for $175 you can be sure I went both days! Those who pony up the money are rewarded with all sorts of swag, a box of figures that is only given in their swag bag, as well as in game virtual vanity items across their games. I picked up tickets on Day 0 and the line was about an hour and a half or so. I was told if you go later in the evening it is faster, but I so didn’t want to chance it! It moved pretty fast and was well organized.
I’ve never gone to the Anaheim Convention Center before and it is huge!! I've done the virtual ticket before but I was not prepared to see how deep that main stage audience seating was. I admit I got lost a couple times when friends were all "Meet me at the _____ booth!" This was definitely like a candy store for anyone who is interested in anything from the Blizzard series. There were panels upon panels of their current as well as upcoming games. I actually sat in a bunch and some was just from passing by.
I went to Diablo's Reaper of Souls panel and there is so much that goes into character development! Their main focus for this next expansion is the Crusader class, where they talked about the art style of the character and weapon movement. I liked how they showed us the character's initial form and how it changed into its final form to be released to the beta testers. There were many artist panels with so many different mediums, digital drawing, model building, and even some sculpting. There was also the Music of the Games panel that had a live performance from musical guest, Critical Hit, a videogame music tribute band with a symphonic musical style. They played all sorts of music from across the Blizzard game series and that was pretty cool!
There were tons of other things to keep you occupied throughout the convention. They had a handful of booths such as Jinx as well as Newegg and Nvidia. There was one of those boxes where you go in and it blows everything around, in this one there were winner pieces of paper which got you a loot card for WoW, the line was seriously super long. I think my friends waited in it for 2hrs on the first day, the 2nd day it was over 3hrs!! There was a voice over booth that let you and your friends do voices for a specific scene in the game. We semi adlibbed a scene from World of Warcraft and it was hilarious, after they gave you a flash drive with your recording. On top of all this you could wait in line to buy things from blizzard, pop caps, plushies, t-shirts, mahjong, board games, and the ever so coveted bathrobe. They sold out of a lot of things on the first day! I was kind of sad they sold out on some things I wanted to get, but my wallet was really happy. I swear it was so easy to say "I want this and that!" and then when they tell you how much your bill is, you cry inside.
They of course had all the games and betas to try out in seas of computers. The line for their newest game, Heroes of the Storm, had some crazy 2 hour line to be able to play. I played a lot of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls and seriously needed more game time on that! I tried to rush through the new level and got to kill the first mini type boss. They also had the next World of Warcraft expansion and the new dungeon to demo. I have to say, playing through without your normal key bindings is hard!
Okay now the cosplays! I’m sorry but in my opinion, Blizzcon has some of the most intricate cosplays out there. It is so crazy how many people from all over the world come to Blizzcon! I got to meet Kamui, an amazing cosplayer well known for her Worbla talent, who came down from Germany as well as another cosplayer who came from France! The amount of detail in their work is unreal! I talked to Tiff who put together a stunning armor set and even has a tutorial on how she made it. Their costume contest is really a sight to see as well; I want to go back just for the cosplays!
And then to close Blizzcon, Blink 182 performed at their closing ceremonies. Overall, Blizzcon is definitely a con for anybody to attend, especially since you know everyone there has some interest in the same games. Even Conan O’Brien appeared around the con for a bit too. Plus, it is right across the street from Disneyland, so you can always go there before or after the con!