Blizzard seemed desperate to make sure their 20th anniversary is something to remember with Blizzcon 2011. I think they pulled it off, with 26,000 people at attendance, along with over 60,000 who purchased online virtual tickets to watch!
Blizzcon opened up with the president and co-founder Michael Morhaime discussing how Blizzard has grown in the last 20 years with its original games, and also revealing that with the help of loyal gamers, Blizzard has donated more than 2 million dollars to the Make a Wish Foundation this year alone!
After announcing many more great things about Blizzard, Michael Morhaime opened with the collector’s edition of Diablo III, and surprising the entire crowd by telling them that if they buy a World of Warcraft annual pass, they will get the FULL version of Diablo III when it launches, whenever it launches anyway. I am guessing that this offer was a limited time only thing for Blizzcon, so I believe that this offer is over now, but if you are a WoW player, keep a look out for this deal on any of Blizzards websites, because that is definitely a great deal!
Chris Metzen, senior VP of creative development came out after this big announcement to reveal more about Diablo III, and to tout Blizzards basic motto for games (especially when it comes to Diablo), “the games will be done when their done.” Chris then brought out the trailer for the new interesting game from Blizzard, “Blizzard DOTA (Defense of the Ancients). This little game looks very interesting, but I believe that it just wont be good as a Real Time Strategy game, it would be a lot more fun if it was a 3rd person shooter type game. Ill give Blizzard credit where its due though, it looks like an interesting game to try out.
Chris next brought out the Big Kahuna with a new trailer for Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm. This is the game I’ve personally been waiting for ever since finishing Wings of Liberty for the first time (I’m close to finishing my 12th campaign play-through, by the way) The trailer looked incredible, with cut-scenes for the game as well as hinting at the new units for multiplayer. The story does look a little iffy to me at this point, it looks like no more than letting Kerrigan regain control of the swarm and using it to destroy Mengsk. Those who play Starcraft already know about the bigger plot that’s out there at the moment, but, having said that, this is only the second trailer being released for HotS, so I am not going to make any assumptions yet, unlike many of those starcraft trolls out there. Now, I would love to go over the new units for starcraft, but I think it’s best if you look them up yourself, most of them look downright AWESOME! Here is a link that gives a decent description on the new units for HotS. http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/blog/3768748/StarCraft_II_Multiplayer_Panel_at_BlizzCon_2011-10_21_2011#blog.
Ok, before I have a huge nerd-gasm, I’d better move on to the World of Warcraft expansion: Mists of Pandaria. You read that right, Pandaria. WoW has gone “Kung Fu Panda” on us. Chris shows us a trailer for the new land that will be released to Warcraft soon, a land that had been apparently lost to the world for thousands of years, the very china-esk land of peace and pandarens. This new land brings several new things to WoW, including the Pandaren race, which, upon watching the trailers, look like they can fight for both the Alliance and the Horde. A new class will also be added, the Monk class. I’m actually kind of surprised this rank hasn’t made it into the WoW world yet, but it definitely seems like the right time to introduce them. A new challenge mode: the Dungeons, was introduced, along with the characters level cap being increased to 90, something I’m sure all WoW players will love.
All of this was revealed in just the opening ceremony! Pretty awesome, right? I don’t think I will be able to go through all of Blizzcon’s awesomeness without have a few more nerd-gasms. Throughout the rest of Blizzcon, all three franchises were discussed in heavy detail, along with having the gamers duke things out for themselves in the many tournaments played during Blizzcon. Through the kindness of their hearts, Blizzard has many videos spanning many, many hours showcasing everything online at http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/live-stream/#player-top. Unfortunately for us, they only opened up their hearts part-way. If you want to see everything that had to do with Blizzcon, you will have to buy a virtual ticket. Blizzcon will be available to watch all the way through November 20th, so if you read this and want more, you can go to the site above and purchase a virtual ticket for yourself. Now, if you don’t want to buy that ticket, that’s fine, because the best parts, such as the tournaments for Starcraft and Warcraft, are available to watch for free, again, only until the 20th.
The one thing I must say I’m disappointed about for this year’s Blizzcon; there were no release dates for any of Blizzards upcoming games, including Diablo III and Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm. I know Blizzard waits until everything is perfect for their games until they release those super awesome games to the world. That is one of the best things about this company, they make sure everything is done right. But sometimes the wait is just a dang KILLER! I am very eager for Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm to come out. Luckily, some of Blizzards leaders did mention that Starcraft will be ready to release in months, not years. That I can live with.
If you want to take a peek at any of Blizzards websites, head to http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/ to get started. Enjoy all the trailers I brought for you!