Tag: Anaheim

Blizzcon 2013 Recap

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.

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Line behind us Friday morning

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.

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Line in front of us Friday morning

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.

Orc

Orc

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.

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Is There More To WonderCon’s Migration Than Meets the Eye?

The WonderCon website banner

Friday marks WonderCon’s first day in Anaheim, its new, temporary home for 2012… a notable migration from the San Francisco Bay Area, where it’s been held since 1987.

The convention’s supposed to return to its old residence in 2013, but if WonderCon’s a hit in the new place, will its owners really move it back and ditch a lucrative location? And is there more going on with this migration than the public’s been told?

Inquiring nerds want to know, and they’ve been wondering for a while. The Hollywood Reporter reported last fall that Comic-Con International, the organization that runs WonderCon, was moving it because the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco, where it had been held for years, would undergo construction during WonderCon’s scheduled March 16 – 18 dates. WonderCon had a record attendance of 49,000 in 2011, according to the Reporter, indicating great growth, so convention owners had to make a decision: either cancel the show for a year and break momentum or move it somewhere else.

By now we know their decision. The new location’s on their website, and they discuss it in a press release there, but official disclosures haven’t eased some folks’ worries.

Conspiracy theories abound, and here’s a big one. An article in The North County Times shed light on speculation that WonderCon’s organizers want to test the new Anaheim location as a trial run before moving San Diego Comic-Con to the same spot. If WonderCon does well there, then Comic-Con International, which runs both cons, will have the proof to support a Comic-Con migration from the San Diego Convention Center to Anaheim.

There’s been talk of Comic-Con’s possible relocation for a while. Its previous lease with the city of San Diego originally expired this year, so for the past few years, media outlets speculated that Comic-Con International might move its biggest convention to a new city starting in 2013. Los Angeles and good ole’ Anaheim put out bids for the con, but Comic-Con International announced that it was keeping the convention in San Diego through 2015, and the news silenced quite a few people.

Until now.

At least one person thinks that WonderCon’s move this year is bogus. If the Moscone Center won’t work, why not just move it to another building in the same city? Surely San Francisco has more than one place that’s big enough. The North County Times article quoted a commenter named Ryan on Comingsoon.net who wrote, “The Moscone Center isn’t the only venue in SF where they could hold it. There’s more to this move than just Moscone being renovated.”

Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer was quoted in the same story denying those allegations.

But what would he say to this theory? What if Comic-Con International is repositioning WonderCon as an overflow venue for people who can’t get into Comic-Con because the tickets sell out so fast these days? San Diego Comic-Con has grown in attendance rapidly over the years to about 125,000 people, and these days, so many people go online to buy their tickets simultaneously that the tickets are gone within minutes of being released. It’s a nightmare for fans who get squeezed out.

For now, it’s anyone’s guess. These theories could prove true, but they are just theories. There’s no proof that Comic-Con International is up to anything sneaky with these moves.

We can’t tell what’s going to happen in 2013, but here’s some good news for those who want San Diego Comic-Con to stay in San Diego: the city council has approved a $500 million expansion of the convention center, but it would require a tax on hotel room, so hotel managers will vote on the decision in April.

We’ll probably have to wait to find out what Comic-Con International’s plans are, but no matter what happens, WonderCon and Comic-Con will always be going on somewhere, regardless of the city. All you’ve got to do is sit back, pay attention, and keep your eyes peeled for when–and where–your next favorite con is going to be. The location won’t matter as long as you can have fun.

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