Thought Collection: Blizzcon 2010


No I am not part of some secret plot to steal other people’s thoughts.  I am in fact collecting several of my own thoughts on various topics and storing them away, for future reference.

Expectations and Announcements

I am sick of hearing about how dull this year’s con was simply because Blizzard did not use the Con to make some big announcement.   I have always viewed the goal of fan conventions  (quake con, EQ fan fair) to first and foremost be a company sponsored reason for fans to gather.  A place for employees of these companies to be able to talk directly to their fans, and have the fans talk directly back.

I do not expect big announcements, I expect openness and communication.  Sure sometimes announcements happen at these events and when they do its very exciting, but I believe people should not go into these events with their expectations set on such things.

Diablo 3 & the Demon Hunter

Yes please. Now please. Thanks.

Diablo 3 continues to impress me. Not just the whizbang sexy new class, or the mad clicky demon popping loot dropping combat.  No what impresses me, is the way the team is willing to evolve the franchise’s systems.  They are not simply making a Diablo 2 clone, they are evaluating every system, and in some cases making changes that I might have feared to make, all in order to make the best game possible.  All while keeping the core feel of the game very much Diablo.

Kudos Blizzard.

One warning:  Hold fast to PVE driving the designing, do not let people sway you into balancing the classes for PVP.

World of Warcraft Q and As.

Blizzard I want to beg and plead with you to make a change to help your con attendees not stand up and act like fools at the microphone.

My suggestions will not make some people happy, but it hurts me to watch most people during the Q and As.  Questions that are not relevant to the panel, are not really questions, are spiteful, have known answers, or are just (I’m sorry for saying this) dumb, should never happen.   There is only so much time for questions and I hate to think that some good questions did not get asked because so much time was wasted with bad ones.

So what I would do is have attendees submit a question card before the panel. This card would include their name, guild, server, and one question.

Have someone to do a quick filter to toss out the obvious crap.  Then hand the stack of cards to a professional moderator. (say like Kat Hunter)

The moderator would then pick questions, which are relevant and provide variety, from that stack  and then read the question, addressing the author and maybe even have that person stand up next to them.

This would ensure actual questions get asked, increase the quality of the questions, and still allow the authors get addressed directly without them having to speak.

Dance Contest

Blizzard please oh please do a qualifying round earlier in the day, narrow it down to 5-10 finalists and then on air have that smaller subset of people dance.  Thank you.

Panels

I really enjoyed all the panels I watched though a couple really stood out.

First.  The way Alex Afrasiabi and Chris Metzen answered questions in the WoW Lore panel was worth the cost of the virtual ticket.  These guys love the game, the fans, and they are not afraid to have fun at the panel, even if its at the expense of the questioners.   While I am not the biggest WoW lore geek, I am still a geek, and I very much enjoy seeing how they have molded the world(s) across all the Warcraft games, novels, and comics.

So when I watch Metzen get worked up about how Garrosh’s leadership of the Horde is just a small thread in a great story being told and how Thrall’s role is critical to the world outside of his pre-cataclysm title of Warchief,  I got a little giddy.   I truly believe its that kind of passion that makes WoW the great game it is.

I am going to watch this panel again, several time.

Second. The WoW Art panel was also very memorable because the number of montage videos they showed through out it.  The open video in particular was something I would love to have a personal copy of simply because I love Blizzard’s art and music.  Great stuff.

Parting thoughts

One year I am going actually figure out a way to attend the con in person so I can meet up with guildmates,other fans, and even some friends I have at Blizzard.  Though until the planets align and I can get tickets, money and time to go,  the virtual ticket was a great alternative.

Oh and while I am dreaming, maybe one year instead of a rock concert they will close the con with a orchestral concert in front of a video screen showing off game footage / cinematics.   Of course I am probably the only person that does not relate rock music to Blizzard’s games. *shrug*

I look forward to Cataclysm, Starcraft 2 custom games, and next year’s con.


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