BlizzCon was a roller-coaster of emotions, most of which were positive. It was my first time going and I am glad and thankful I got to go in the first place. The Overwatch World Cup bracket stage took place there, as well as the bracket stage for the WCS Global Finals for StarCraft 2. Also at the event was the Heroes of the Storm finals, the Hearthstone Championship and the WoW Arena bracket stage. Between play testing areas, beautiful sculptures and some amazing Cosplayers, there were places from the games brought to life. Such as the Hearthstone tavern, and Joey Ray’s Bar.
Everything was a bit overwhelming at first. I didn’t know what to expect and had minimal equipment and provisions. Luckily, the PR coordinators did an exceptional job of pointing me in the right direction, even if it was impossible to get into the Overwatch Arena without wasting a lot of time first. Cass Reynoso, the PR coordinator for StarCraft 2, did a wonderful job at reaching out to me when interviews became available. I tried to absorb as much as I could at BlizzCon, because unfortunately I was the only Armchair Journalist on scene. There was a booth run by a phone company that had partnered up with Blizzard, that had a few TVs, beanbags, and love seats for some of the fans of all the esports going on to somewhat relax and watch all of them.
There were a lot of announcements on the Mythic Stage during that first day, some more promising than others. There were two announcements for bringing back old games, these were for World of Warcraft Classic, and Warcraft 3 Remastered. Each of these got some positive feedback and while their launches are somewhat distant, they are reasonably launching within the next eight months or so. Zeratul was announced as the new SC2 Co-op Commander and I got to play test him twice, once playing as him and once playing as Nova to test some strategies with a nice stranger who played Zeratul. This is a promising announcement as well. HotS was announcing the first champion FROM the Nexus in Orphea, a troubled young woman who has learned some very Dark Magic but fights for the good side. I asked a few HotS players about her and they all seemed to think she was a breath of fresh air as well as a fun character to play. Hearthstone is getting another expansion that may bring back some life into the game with Rastakhan’s Rumble. Ashe, a cowgirl ex of McCree was introduced and immediately beloved by all.
Not all announcements were met with so much joy however. Walking into the Mythic Stage for the first time I noticed a Nintendo Switch booth, hosting a new Diablo 3 expansion under the guise of Diablo Immortal. It piqued my curiosity, but we would find out later what exactly it was. After the opening ceremony and some emotional stepping down of superiors and rising up of hopefuls to carry on the Blizzard legacy, we were met with the Diablo Immortal official announcement. This was that it was to be a mobile only release, and after further questioning at a panel it was said that, “…we have no current intentions to release it on PC” after being met with a symphony of boo’s the panel returned with “What? You guys have tablets, don’t you?” met with more booing. During a StarCraft 2 panel, a point was brought up about giving the player base some real storylines, such as the Nova Covert Ops expansion, as the Co-op Commander mode was more challenges than real storylines. This was met with “…we think that the Co-op commanders get more players.” Which was in reference to people playing the campaigns, and Nova Covert Ops expansion once and then never playing them again. Some people seemed unhappy with this response, but I begrudgingly admit that on this one, I can’t blame them. Though I would be happy with a WinterStarcraft announcer pack and am still kicking myself for not inquiring about one during the panel.
I had a great time, it was a breath of fresh air and keeping notes and short recordings of some of the events, along with the Maru and Serral interviews (look forward to my next article to see those!) made me appreciate the difficulty of being a journalist in the field. I am looking forward to playing some of the new releases and even trying new games I haven’t played before, the hype at Blizzcon was real.
Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR25 at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.