Blizzcon 2009!!

26Aug09
Oh my goodness, this year’s Blizzcon was a blast!!! For those that don’t know, it’s a convention that the video game company Blizzard holds for its fans (and publicity!) in Anaheim, California. This was my second year going! However, getting to California was absolute hell… at least on the first day of trying. Since my family works in the airline industry, I decided to use Buddy Passes (standby flying) to make the trip cheaper. On Thursday, we ported in Miami from the cruise at 5am and got off the ship by 7:30am. We got back to KC fine since we had real tickets, but we got bumped off our standby flight to Denver once, got to Denver, then got bumped AGAIN and we were stranded in Denver. It was ridiculous! A lot more people fly standby AND more people were flying than I expected. We got up super early Friday morning and got to California easily, and we even got to the hotel in time to shower AND get our badges without missing the opening ceremony! We didn’t even have to stand in line! So things worked out well in the end.

Anyways… on to the convention!! I was there with a group of 10 total, some friends from California, which was a blast!! I love them 🙂 We also split two hotel suits together, so everyone only paid $65 for the whole weekend! If you go next year, I definitely suggest getting a big group and splitting the room! It was great to just have a huge herd of friends to laugh and drink with. I’d go again next year just for that!

The biggest announcement, the one I was most excited for at least, was World of Warcraft’s next expansion, Cataclysm!

Deathwing has returned! And with his return, a sundering of the world has begun. The world of Azeroth as we know it will be torn apart, and some areas will bounce back anew with life!  Here’s a quick overview of the features we can expect with this expansion:

  • New level cap, of course! It’s been raised to 85!
  • Two new races to choose from; Goblins for the Horde, Worgen for the Alliance!
  • Azeroth is being revamped. New quests, new zones, and old areas redone
  • With its revamp, you can now use your flying mounts in Kalimdor/Eastern Kingdoms!
  • Guild Advancement system! Being a part of your guild will mean a lot more and have rewards!
  • Rated Battlegrounds! Return of the honor ranks! Ready to do the grind for Grand Marshal?

And much more. I’m only going to talk about what I’m the most excited for, since I really don’t have the time or room to talk about every single thing. If you want more details, check out http://www.mmo-champion.com or http://www.wow.com! 🙂 Jonathan and I did get interviewed by RadNerd.com after our WoW demo was finished, but they didn’t add it into their Blizzcon coverage. It makes me a sad panda, but oh well! I’ll get my e-fame someday, eh? 😛

Worgen
I couldn’t believe it when it was leaked, but the Alliance do in fact get to play Worgens! I’m definitely going to be rolling one, as I love werewolves in general and the lore tied to the Worgen, but I’m not sure if I’ll re-roll as one for my main. Worgens can be every class except Shamans and Paladins, which makes sense to me. A lot of people want to roll Worgen druids, but to be honest, I don’t get the point. As a druid, you’re constantly in one of your forms, so you won’t get to appreciate the Worgen shapeshifting to its fullest! For me, I’m not sure what I’m going to do; Worgen priest is definitely on the list, but I may give up healing and go for a DPS or tank route.

I only played the Cataclysm demo once, and the Worgen starting area was very crowded so I felt rushed in doing the quests since I had limited time to play. The starting area is very reminiscent of Darkshire, so anyone who enjoyed that zone like I did will really appreciate Gilneas. Obviously the beginning quest lines start you as being a cursed Gilnean human, and someone helps you subside the curse only enough to where you keep your mind. Next, you learn that you’re being invaded by undead, and the questlines roll on from there. It’s definitely quite involving and the quests are a lot easier to follow this time around!

Guild Advancement System
This is a fantastic idea! Whoever came up with this should get a promotion at Blizzard! *wink* Pretty much, doing things as a guild gets you guild experience which in turn levels your guild. The higher level your guild, the more perks it gets — there are guild talent trees, for example, that will let you lower the cost of repairs, or give you the “Mass Resurrect” ability to rez everyone in the raid once every 30 minutes. Another example, is when gold is looted from a boss, an extra percentage of that is automatically directed to the guild bank! Yes, extra gold, so the gold you would normally loot isn’t taxed, it’s a bonus! (Take that, Warhammer, haha!)

There’s also Guild Currency. You earn the currency by doing things with and for your guild, and then you can spend the currency on things such as guild heirlooms, potions, or reagents for consumables or spells! Also, the guild heirlooms are bound to your guild, so if you’re worried about guild hoppers — once they leave your guild, the item is returned to the guild bank. I was really happy to see that Blizzard thought ahead on this and nipped guild hoppers in the butt! Now everyone’s encouraged to stay with their guild and participate.

New Zones, etc
Obviously, I’m very excited for the new zones like Hyjal and the Sunken City, Heroic Deadmines, and all the revamping they’re doing to Azeroth. I’m very glad that they aren’t ignoring their original content any more. Afterall, it’s THAT original content that made the game what it is today! It’s the center of the storyline and as Blizzard said themselves, it shouldn’t just be the place to train and sell items. I’m glad they’re bringing more back to the old continents.

Moving on from WoW, Diablo 3 also announced their fourth class: the Monk. Starcraft 2 announced their voice actors, a 2010 release date, and 1000 more beta keys being given away to all of the Blizzcon attendees and DirectTV/Livestream buyers! Cataclysm also has a 2010 release date, so Blizzard is going to be keeping us busy with all of their new developments on their projects!

The costumes this year at Blizzcon were leagues of skill beyond what appeared last year! I was so impressed, and almost happy that I decided to put off participating in cosplay myself. I would’ve been put to shame! I was really happy to see the Alextrasza and tier priests costumes, and of course the Mistress of Pain who won the contest got all the recognition she deserved!

Alex the Dragon-Queen cosplay!

Alex the Dragon-Queen cosplay!

Costume Contest Winner!

Costume Contest Winner!

I’m definitely already excited for next year’s Blizzcon… who else is already planning their trip? Haha, you gotta’ know Blizzard puts on a great event when the second day of their convention is half way over and you’re already thinking of next year’s; that’s what I did! I’m going to be more determined in making a costume, as well… Kerrigan from Starcraft!  To be more specific, I’ll be using the statue you’ve all seen at Blizzcon as my reference.

Oh, I almost forgot. Ozzy Osbourne was present for this year’s Closing Ceremony (though I’m sure if you pay attention AT ALL you already know that!) I enjoyed having him as a performer a lot more than another year of Video Games Live… in my opinion, the symphony is a one-time must-see. After that, it’s kind of boring. Ozzy definitely put on a good show, though, especially for how old he is!

Ozzy, picture taken from the screens around the con

Ozzy, picture taken from the screens around the con

Well, that wraps up my Blizzcon post. Can’t wait to go again next year! Like I said, I’ve already got some costume plans brewing and other than getting screwed by tickets, I’ll be good to go.

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