BlizzCon From The Inside: Hardcore Player / BlizzCon Virgin


Posted October 25, 2010 - By Leah Jackson

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BlizzCon From The Inside In: Hardcore Player / BlizzCon Virgin

The moment I found out I was going to BlizzCon 2010 was one of utter bliss. There is no denying how much love I have for Blizzard's products: I've spent countless hours in Hell fighting Baal in Diablo, tons of fun yet frustrating nights trying to become better at StarCraft 2, and as for that other game Blizzard makes? Yeah, let's just say I've paid my dues to that monster. With five level 80 characters, it's time to admit that I have a problem. To be able to go and spend an entire weekend with people that are just as rabidly passionate for these games as I am was something I will never, ever forget. 

Passion is the perfect word to describe the gamers at BlizzCon. I've never had the absolute pleasure of meeting as many awesome people in a single weekend. These fans came from all over the world to be a part of this convention, to try out new products and games, aggresively compete in tournaments and contests, meet new and old friends alike, and to overall just be themselves for a weekend. I get a lot of crap from friends and family for how much time I devote to World of Warcraft, but to be around people wearing Horde and Alliance shirts, dressed up as Moonkins, and actually caring that I have five level 80 characters? It was magical.
BlizzCon From The Inside In: Hardcore Player / BlizzCon Virgin
I even got the opportunity to meet some of my World of Warcraft guildmates in person for the first time as well. They came all the way from New Jersey and Chicago to take part in the festivities. It's always so strange to meet people from online in real life, especially if you have no idea what they look like. I've played with these people for almost two years now, and these guys are people that I've spent the best part of my WoW career with. I was so happy to hoist some tankards of ale and meet some of my best friends in person. None of them looked how I expected though. One guy turned out to be a massive six foot seven giant! Which is funny because he plays a Dwarf in the game. Just kidding.
BlizzCon From The Inside In: Hardcore Player / BlizzCon VirginBut my experience wasn't just limited to Warcraft, and I was also lucky enough to meet a few really amazing Starcraft 2 pros including PainUser, Select, and the famous shoutcaster, HD. These guys, celebrities at BlizzCon, were so nice in person! I actually played some Diablo 3 with PainUser, which was surreal. To be at BlizzCon, hanging out with a legit top tier Starcraft 2 pro, playing the brand new Diablo 3 arena, does it really get any better than that? 
While the people at Blizzcon were super fun to hang out with, it was, of course, being able to play the newest Blizzard games that really got me excited. Diablo 3's newest class, the Demon Hunter, was awesome. When they unveiled her in the opening ceremony, everyone was so enthusiastic and impressed, and being able to immediately test out her abilities out on the show floor was great. The Diablo 3 demo was about two levels long and I got to play all five classes. I especially loved the monk and witch doctor and thought that the wizard was super overpowered. I played an Amazon in Diablo 2 for a very long time and felt like the Demon Hunter was a mix between an Amazon and a Rogue from World of Warcraft. The levels were a lot of fun, very well designed, and looked absolutely stunning. I played through them a few times with Kevin Kelly and we were both very impressed with the game. Diablo 3 was definitely my favorite game at BlizzCon.
But Diablo 3 didn't take up all my time! I also got my hands on the new Blizzard-made custom Starcraft 2 map mods. Starjeweled was so much fun, and I can't wait to play that with my friends. It's simple and well designed, and those two things usually equal a good time. Basically the more points you get, the more units you can send across the map to your opponent's base. So whoever gets the most points will win, but this adds a fun strategic element to classic Bejewled since there are a bunch of different types of units that can be sent to attack.
BlizzCon From The Inside In: Hardcore Player / BlizzCon Virgin
The custom map that I'm looking forward to the most however, is Starcraft Dota. I used to play Dota in Warcraft 3 all the time (Broodmother ftw!), and I even played a ton of Heroes of Newerth when that came out. With Blizzard designing their own Dota game, I can only imagine how popular it's going to be. The game is pretty well balanced, already features a ton of items, and the Heroes are all pretty fun. 
BlizzCon From The Inside In: Hardcore Player / BlizzCon VirginNot only were the games impressive, but the variety of panels was fantastic too. Being able to learn about how the newest World of Warcraft cinematic was made in one panel, to the development behind the latest Diablo 3 mechanics in the next was great! All of the developers seemed so happy to be there talking about and sharing their work with some of their biggest fans.
I also got to see the very end of the extremely controversial World of Warcraft arena grand finals. I watched the last four matches with some friends, and was there in person to see the heartbreak that team CompLexity.Red went through when their title was ripped away by team aAa. Everyone was in a bit of a sour mood (except for aAa of course) after the finals. But props should be given to both teams since they both play exceptionally well and walked away with a lot of cash. 
After those were over, so was BlizzCon! The entire weekend went by so fast, and thinking back on it I really can't believe I was there. It was a dream come true to go for the first time ever. Blizzard, along with all the amazing fans, made the event truly memorable and something special that this nerd will never forget.  
BlizzCon From The Inside: Hardcore Player / BlizzCon Virgin


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