A more Intimate BlizzCon: BlizzCon Travelogue Day 3
This year, we were told of a new type of BlizzCon. It would not be smaller in scale, but it would be different. instead of multiple stages doing multiple presentations at once, it would be a main stage for all the presentations, and a walk around environment for the rest of the convention. Let’s look at how well it worked out on the first day of the new BlizzCon.
Before the sun even began to rise, I was down at Carl’s Jr for a quick sandwich breakfast. I was not the only attendee with this idea, as there was a slow zombie-walk of people descending on the fast food restaurant for a quick bite before they were going to stand in line for the majority of the morning. The lines into the convention, one for those with passes already and a second for those who needed to pick them up, began ensnaring the block as more and more Blizzard fans anxiously awaited for the gates to open.
At first it was those who were lucky enough to win entry into the arena for the opening ceremony, but soon the flood gates opened with people filing into each hall. The lucky ones managed to snag the Diablo-themed Lovesac Beanbag chairs, while others found themselves at couches at Overwatch 2’s Hall C and church pews in Diablo 4’s Hall A. There was nowhere in the convention where you were not near a screen capable of projecting the main hall. Even the people who did not win the raffle for Opening Ceremony seats could easily be kept up to date on all the news that was happening — and those lounging in bean bag chairs certainly had a more comfortable seating arrangement.
Behind the Cameras
The three main properties took up their individual halls, with an extra hall granted for the Overwatch World Cup. Diablo was a dark, moody affair with gothic architecture, crimson lighting, and so much fog machine usage that the corridors around it were filled with a haze. There were plenty of props set up as well as a replica of the Tree of Secrets. The tattoo station were running non-stop but did have a cut off of only 40 people today. Sadly, this means that I did not have my necromancer leg tattoo forever etched to my skin — well, maybe tomorrow.
Overwatch‘s two halls were dedicated to the World Cup — which played throughout the day — and demo stations to try out the new hero, Mauga. There were also statues of iconic Overwatch Heroes, as well as meet and greet stations for developers and streamers of not just Overwatch, but other games as well.
Warcraft‘s Hall D was by far the most packed. Accommodating Hearthstone, Rumble and two versions of World of Warcraft, as well as the Darkmoon Faire and a giant sword that we all swear did not exist before the trailer today, Hall D drew a crowd from the moment the halls opened. The lines to try out the new Seasons of Discovery wrapped around the statues of heroes past and present of Azeroth.
Hearthstone set up a lovely replica of a tavern where you could relax by the fire and play a few rounds of cards, testing out the new Battlegrounds Duo features and opening up Catch-up Packs. It’s a cozy spot to use as a landmark to meet up with friends and guildies.
Warcraft Rumble, which officially released after the opening ceremony, also had a sizeable presence, but I was unable to check it out today, as well as the Darkmoon Faire. I do have to leave some things for tomorrow.
The Days are Just Packed
I did manage to ask around and a consensus I received was a lot of people do like the new format of BlizzCon. There are some features that are missing — I know I miss the voice acting panels as well as Carbot live — and it did feel that maybe too much space has gone to Overwatch that could have been used for other means, but there is room to mingle, there is room to play. Half of the space is not being taken up by chairs facing a stage, instead using that space for more interesting displays and features.
This is a BlizzCon about exploring, and I have one more day to see all that I can find.
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