I decided to treat myself to a virtual ticket to Blizzcon this year.
While attending the conference in person would have been an opportunity to geek out in epic proportions, my life at the moment doesn’t lend itself to winging away for at least a week (it would have to be at least 7 days, given the distance from “middle of Southern England” to Anaheim, California), so the virtual ticket was the best option available to me. Next time though…next time.
So I organised ahead of time to be free of mothering responsibilities only to have my charming and supportive spouse decide that an international rugby match requiring a night away was far more important than me having the chance to “geek out in epic proportions” in the comfort of my own chair. -.-
So for two days I decided to throw all the usual rules out of the window, and anything requiring less than 10 minutes of cooking was consumed, TV and computer time was unlimited, and this mummy had the chance to geek out in epic proportions over the revelations at Blizzcon, pausing only to engage in conflict resolution and the occasional technical support in the correct use and operation of the remote control.
On that note…OMG!!! BLIZZCON!!
Even from my chair right here in England, the excitement was real!
To be able to watch it all live…the opening ceremony, the announcement of Heroes of the Storm etc
The white elephant in the room that everyone tried hard to ignore was eleventy billion (or so it felt like) people hanging onto Chris Metzens every.single.word waiting for him to say the magic words…
I was trying to listen with both ears and type as fast as I could into my Armory app for my guildies when the time came for those three mind-blowingly exciting words to leave his lips.
Warlords of Draenor
I’m not going to go on and on about all the feelings I have about this other than to say, I am buzzing. BUZZING.
Key Highlights from Blizzcon
The things that stood out for me most included:
I’ve always been a huge fan of Sunsong Ranch and all that owning my own little piece of Azeroth offered me in terms of faction reputation gain, the ability to grow high end materials and generally just being able to have fun without having to fly around like a maniac killing stuff for loot.
Build your garrison in any zone you like! Place buildings that can offer you access to professions you have/don’t have obtain materials from these.
Get followers! Send them on garrison specific quests, upgrade your buildings! It’s everything I loved about Warcraft III and more!!
Map of Draenor
I love the fact that we are exploring a whole new planet (yes I know it’s Outland in the past), that is lush and gorgeous.
Earlier this year a potential spoiler was posted on MMO-Champion that said the new expansion was called “The Dark Below” and talked about a hive of tunnels connecting various underground zones…I was seriously concerned! I would have hated that the same way I hated Deepholm. It was fine for a level or two but I moved on to lighter and brighter zones as soon as I could.
I love that while it’s a “whole new world” it’s a familiar one too. Outland before the Burning Legion.
A couple of things I posted on our guild forums as they were being announced:
Hit, Expertise, Dodge and Parry are history…
No socket bonus, and no meta gems.Fewer gem slots (they are now quite rare), but gems will be more powerful.Fewer items can be enchanted, but greater variety of enchants will be available…
OMG OMG OMG drops will be only Plate/Leather/Cloth/Mail – and who ever wins the roll – it changes to their spec!!!!! EPIC!!!!!
New tertiary stats like speed/cleave/sturdiness etc.
Of course we all know a lot can happen between “the announcement” and “the release” and then any number of things can happen with patches and hotfixes, but the thing that keeps me buzzing is the fact that the development is still so engaging and the developers hugely passionate about bringing the best possible gaming experience for everyone. Throughout the panels I watched the number one overriding thing that each person was saying is what they wanted to bring out FOR US, with US as their inspiration.
Another thing that, I think it was Rob Pardo said, was that after “this expansion” they have them all stacked up one by one to release, completely eradicating my fear that they might turn around and say “this is the last one” – thankfully it isn’t even close to being the last one! In fact I think this may be the one that brings all those WOTLK quitters back in droves…