BlizzCon started today and already it’s off to a hot start! Diablo 3 has been “coming soon,” for what feels like ages and seems Blizzard is aware of this. So what do to help increase your bread and butter and for those waiting for Diablo? Blizzard announced today that their World of Warcraft (WoW) fans will be given digital version for free! It will be available to people who subscribe to World of Warcraft for 12 months.
Lately, subscription for WoW been suffering from a decrease due to various factors (went through all the content already, too hard or too easy and so on). However this may be a nice boost to their franchises, especially if you’re already paying for a subscription to WoW.
Diablo III is an upcoming dark fantasy/horror-themed action role-playing game in development by Blizzard, making it the third installment in the Diablo franchise. The game, which features elements of the hack and slash and dungeon crawl genres, was first announced on June 28, 2008, at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in Paris, France.
UPDATE: Seems if you sign up, you also gain access to Tyrael’s Charger and beta access to the recently announced World of Warcraft’s expansion, Mists of Pandaria.
Blizzard’s BlizzCon 2011 is coming around the corner, it’s on October 21-22, 2011, and we decided to help post a guide and photos for new visitors or veterans of the convention. For those who want to skip to the gallery, make the jump.
Buying your ticket(s)
Easier said than done, since the event has been sold out since tickets were available this year. Generally, in order to go to this event, it does require you to queue in a electronic line and purchase your tickets online. However, for those who couldn’t purchase their tickets in time, there is always the Virtual Ticket (online streaming of the event). If streaming doesn’t sound appealing, there are also other means such as Craigslist and Ebay, but always exercise caution with those two options. If the price is at an unbelievable price, chances are it’s too good to be true.
Taking care of your body
This usually goes without saying, but sometimes we get a little excited for an event like this! Get plenty of rest, it’s going to be a long two days and you’ll want to be on your best form when pwning faces in StarCraft II or striking up an interesting conversation about why the Alliance is better than the Horde with another person. You may be on your feet for an extended amount of time either waiting in line to purchase merchandise, to try a game, and/or a booth offering free prizes. Get some breakfast before heading on down to the Anaheim Convention Center, stay hydrated, and get some coffee if needed. There are seats at panels for you to rest, if your legs get tired. Remember about hygiene too, you don’t want to scare somebody with your bad BO!
Understand the audience
Usually people who attend this are already true fans of the series, but sometimes significant others or new people do visit. Knowing what certain things, mean can help bridge the gap of confusion if this is new to you.
People who dress up may not always be professional models, but may be huge fans of series they represent. Always ask to take their photos, most will be glad to pose for the shots unless they are in a hurry. Don’t take it as a sleight against you if they refuse, as sometimes people have places to go or events to get ready for like the Costume Contest. They are on their feet for the entire day practically, so make sure to them thank for their time and hard work!
From the WarCraft series, red colors would signify the Horde and blue colors represent the Alliance. Allegiances run thick within this culture and many times you may hear shouts for each respected side (“For the Horde” and “For the Alliance”). However, don’t be too quick to judge other people just on the basis of preference. Respect each other for what they bring to the table and remember that without the other, the game would be completely boring (goes for all series and life). Everybody is here for the love of the game and variety is the spice of life!
Diablo, in short, is an action role-playing game about stopping the Lord of Terror. StarCraft is a real time strategy game involving three different factions with a rich storyline affecting each other set in space. Check Wikipedia or other wiki sources for more information on Warcraft, Diablo, and the StarCraft series.
When in doubt and you don’t know what to say, yell “For the Horde!”
Planning your day
Plan ahead! This can potentially save you time instead of wandering around aimlessly (though that isn’t a bad thing either). Check the BlizzCon forums for costume meeting times (they usually meet by the fountains) or realm meet up times (Gorgonnash FTW). Blizzard usually posts the schedules online (they are currently tentative at the moment) so plan around them accordingly. Some events may fill up faster than others (especially the popular events or panels). If you have any questions you want to ask a dev team or celebrity, write them advance. There is usually a Q&A session following each panel.
Charge your electronics
Don’t forget to charge your batteries for your camera, phone and any other electronic devices. Bring spare batteries if needed especially for your camera (and extra memory cards). A handheld game like Nintendo DS or 3DS can be handy when you’re waiting in a long line or waiting for the next panel to begin.
Not everybody needs to dress up in a costume. But for those who do, I salute you! For the veterans, there shouldn’t be any need to mention preparation. For those who are thinking of dressing up, sometimes the simple things are the best things. I remember two years ago, somebody came as a Level 1 Human Warrior and it was a major hit! Find something you enjoy and run with it. Like Mark mentioned in the Anime Expo article, “mashups = fun” and “mobility is inversely related to costume appeal.” Keep in mind that you may be stopped a lot for photo opportunities. A trend we notice last year was a lot of glowing light and stilt related costumes. Whatever you choose to dress up as, be safe with your costume choices (those stilts are crazy)!
If you are dressing up in costume, try to get some rest, as those last minute fixes and/or touchups can be quite stressful. Try to knock out your costume beforehand so you won’t be as stressed (easier said than done). You have until October 10th to register for the Dance and Costume Contest, if that is something you’re interested in.
Purchase merchandise early
If you already have your ticket (including virtual ticket holders), you can purchase from the Blizzard Store online on the BlizzCon page. The reason why is those lines for the Blizzard merchandise stores can be quite long! If you do purchase the day of, try to go when there is a big event where a lot of people may go. Lines usually thin out around the end of day and on the last day as well, but so does item stocks. Signs should be posted when items sell out.
Save up and know what item you want to get beforehand. Some vendors have exclusives for BlizzCon only so be on the lookout for that.
Despite that there are plenty of food and drink options that Anaheim Convention Center can provide, don’t forget to take a look at Google maps to see what’s outside the convention. The convention itself, does provide an cash bar (over 21 and older of course). If you drink, please be careful and have a designated driver! For more food options, there is a shuttle nearby that takes you to Downtown Disney as well.
Regardless of what you may be doing, there are tons of things for you to do at the event. In the past there was booth games to win prizes, treasure hunting, caricature drawings (be warned those lines can go long too), and more! For those visiting Anaheim or the Los Angeles area there’s always other tourist-y things, like Disneyland, California Adventure and Universal Studio Hollywood.
Take a look down below for photos from last year BlizzCon 2010! This may lean a bit heavier towards Lady Blaumeux in the beginning (a good friend of mine I bumped into last year).
BlizzCon is a celebration of the global player communities surrounding the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo universes. The sixth BlizzCon will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California on Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22, 2011. For more information visit www.blizzcon.com