Thoughts on BlizzCon

Watching a convention that’s celebrating something you’re not into is a weird experience. I mean, normally most people just wouldn’t do it at all, but in my case, MMO news and all of that, plus friends chatting it up on Twitter.

BlizzCon was, as always, quite the production and spectacle, and I’m sure it was a blast for those who attended. But for me? It was fairly tepid stuff. There were no huge game reveals (Blizzard decided to blow its Legion announcement months ago), World of Warcraft continued to get pushed into the background, and Blizzard is certainly hammering home the point that it’s diversifying its library, darnit.

The Warcraft movie trailer was a huge disappointment. It looked every inch the generic fantasy SyFy channel presentation, albeit with a higher budget. Orcs are such a turn-off to me, so to have the movie be about them and the bland humans is like picking the least interesting aspects of this franchise and running with it.

On the other hand, props to Blizzard’s cinematics team for creating a slam-bang Legion trailer that was — as always — quite well-done. So much so that it put the movie trailer to shame, in my opinion.

Diablo III really isn’t exciting to me these days (although it was a solid title), and I couldn’t care less about Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, or Hearthstone. Or Starcraft II, I think that’s still a thing. I’m just not part of the Blizzard ecosystem in the same way that, say, SOE players used to be back when SOE Live came out.

BlizzCon is weird to me because of the WoW hype (again, less this year than in years previous… perhaps because Blizzard is bleeding subs like crazy and is actually going to stop reporting on how many players are in the game after this quarter). It’s kind of like how I feel any time I hear or read a story about my old college. It’s a place that I used to belong to and have strong memories and emotions relating to it, but it’s also not where I’m at now.

I think it’d be too weird to go back to WoW. Sure, I think about it now and again, and I’m sure that a lot of ex-WoW players feel that pull around BlizzCon time. But I think about the sub fee, and I think about how happy I am with the games I’m enjoying, and I think about catching up to the new content and systems, and I think about how the world and classes that I used to know and enjoy don’t really exist as they did back in 2008 (when I was last playing full-time).

But one never knows. There’s something about WoW’s design and personality that I’ve always loved (which is also why I’m so attracted to WildStar). If I did go back, I think I’d start all over with a fresh character and play uber-casually. I wouldn’t want to touch garrisons with a ten-foot pole, however.

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6 thoughts on “Thoughts on BlizzCon

  1. Tyler F.M. Edwards November 9, 2015 / 2:38 pm

    I couldn’t disagree more about the Warcraft trailer. Even if you’re not a fan of the source material (like I am), I’d still say it’s incredibly well done. The way they’re telling the stories of both sides of the conflict and making the Orcs as deep and sympathetic as the humans is really pretty unique in mainstream fantasy, and the bright colours and more extravagant visuals helps set it apart from stuff like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones.

    As for the rest of BlizzCon, I’m pretty happy with it, for the most part. I spent all weekend rambling about it on my blog, so I don’t want to repeat myself too much, but the short version is: I’m glad they’re still expanding on SC2 even after the final expansion, but I’m disappointed there was no D3 expansion announcement or news of a single-player campaign for Overwatch. There’s a lot about Legion that sounds very appealing, though the fact they’re still jerking us around with flying is fairly facepalm-worry.

  2. Wilhelm Arcturus November 9, 2015 / 3:27 pm

    “World of Warcraft continued to get pushed into the background…”

    I keep reading things like this from people who ought to recognize that BlizzCon has gone from being pretty much a WoW-only affair to having to share the stage with five other games and a movie. Were you expecting Blizz to NOT mention its newer titles? Did they not have enough panels about Legion?

    You want to know what “pushed into the background” is like, be a fan of the Diablo franchise; no mention at the keynote and one panel about a patch update.

    Anyway, it is like the Blizzard slide on their quarterly report; it used to be mostly WoW and a couple lines about everything else. Now the game has to share billing with other projects. Yet, if I understand things right, there are more people working on WoW now than there ever has been.

  3. Tyler F.M. Edwards November 9, 2015 / 3:34 pm

    Yeah, I don’t quite get the perception of WoW being “pushed into the background,” either. It’s not the be all and end all of Blizzard anymore, but it still probably got more attention than any other single title at BlizzCon.

    It’s pretty smart of Blizzard to not put all their eggs in one basket, too.

  4. T.J. Schofield November 9, 2015 / 8:42 pm

    What a hostile post. You remind me very much of an ex-boyfriend trying to say something nice about a girl who dumped him a while back: ‘Yeah, I guess she was relevant…once…’ Your tone is carried clearly through a non-verbal medium – “Couldn’t care less”…”I think that’s still a thing”…”bleeding subs like crazy…”. Very strange post, from someone whose opinions and writing I usually admire. Maybe next time just recuse yourself from commenting on Blizzcon, if it is going to cause such negativity to show up in your writing. Just my two cents!

    – Hawk.

  5. baldwinp November 10, 2015 / 8:40 am

    Sorry to be off-topic, but did the entire style of your site change overnight or am I going crazy?

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