I apologize for the lateness of this recap but I sadly picked up the dreaded Con Plague and have been down for the count the last several days since returning home.
Wow. Literally, WoW (snicker). Blizzcon 2013. What a crazy couple of days. I will try to recap as much as I can remember. It was pretty intense.
Badges were available for pickup starting at 4pm on Thursday. We spent the morning at Disneyland (which was kinda a mistake to be walking all day) and then headed over to get in line for badge pickup around 3pm and there was already a huge line. It’s hard to describe the layout if you are unfamiliar with it, but basically there is the main floor of the convention center and a lower level where the pickup was. And then outside there is a pathway that snakes around a large fountain and goes down about 2 blocks between 2 hotels down to a main street. When we got there, the line was at the fountain and about 10 minutes later it was down to the main road. We waited about 2 hours to get into the building, and from there we went into a hall that had lines roped off, going back and forth, for about 12 rows. It was like a giant cattle herd moving through. I even started saying “Mooo” in my husband’s ear. Eventually we got to the counter and got our badges and goody bags and got out of there. We heard there were people lined up since about 9am that morning just to get their badge and goody bag.
The next morning, the doors weren’t open until 10am (I think) and opening ceremony was at 11am. We decided to have breakfast at 7am then head over to the line. We got there about 8:15am and the line was already about 20 people wide and halfway down between the hotels. There were food trucks parked up and down the line and they were doing good business, I’m sure. This time the line seemed to move quicker and eventually we made it into the lobby.
When the doors opened there was a huge surge of people in 2 directions: 1 to the main stage and 1 to the store. We went to the store. That was another line (yes, weekend of lines) and about half an hour before we got to the front. We got some t-shirts, a Murloc plushie (squee!), a Horde towel, Arthas and Illidan Pop vinyl figures, and a poster. We then headed over to the main stage area for opening ceremonies and found fairly decent seats off the to side but had a large screen to watch. It was awesome to hear the crowd so pumped. The opening ceremony was sort of an overview of what was to come, including the new World of Warcraft expansion and the new free to play Heroes of the Storm. It was really awesome to be live in the room for it and a great way to start the Blizzcon. Something like 30,000 people bought tickets so you can imagine how crowded it was in there.
After the opening ceremony we hung around the main stage area for the panel on World of Warcraft that was a preview of what would be talked about. They announced the expansion, Warlords of Draenor, as well as went over some of the upcoming changes (level 100, boost to 90, garrisons, new zone, new raids and dungeons) and again the crowd went insane. Since this was just an overview, we planned to head back for the next WoW panel which explained things in more depth.
We wandered around the floor and looked at the computer part vendors, watched some people playing Diablo, grabbed a drink then headed back for the next WoW panel that was all about Warlords of Draenor. This room was packed again. I took away the following from the panel:
- Level 100, and only 1 new talent, but no real new spells, instead the spells you have will get buffed as you level
- Boost to 90, where with the expac you can either boost a toon to 90 or start a new level 90, and jump right into new content
- Hit/Expertise/Dodge/Parry gone
- No more reforging, gear will go with your spec
- New character models (less cartoony looking)
- Garrisons, which are like mini towns you own (town hall, inn, etc), you can add to them and gain followers that will quest for you and bring you loot, and your friends can visit your Garrison, a huge part of the expac
- And of course the new zone and lore, Draenor, what Outland was before it blew up, the layout is similar so it will look familiar, and Hellscream went back in time and is trying to unite the old Orc clans to form the Iron Horde
Basically it was the highlight of Blizzcon for us. So much to take away from it and it was really cool to be there for the announcements of it all and be among the first people to know.