Blizzcon From Home Part 3: Reacting Without Overreacting

Twitter fluttered (hahaha) with comments about Blizzcon all weekend, both from those at the events (so that we could hate them more) and from the rest of us sitting in front of our TVs and/or computers. Every comment was dissected, discussed, or dissed; sometimes all 3 at once.

These are the things that we can all agree on:

1. There weren’t any huge WoW announcements.

2. That hunter guy who asked the first question of the Class Q&A was F A I L.

3. Paul Sams deserves a swift kick to his twisted nether regions for that “joke” about the new MMO.

The rest is mostly opinion, but everyone has been quick to offer theirs. It’s a fine line between commenting and QQing, though. Here are my thoughts with as little QQ as possible.

Opening Ceremony. Was I a little disappointed that there was nothing new and shiny? Sure. But that isn’t the reason Blizzcon exists, and they even said during some of the interviews that they knew that this wasn’t going to be a big announcement year, but had they announced that there wouldn’t have been a Blizzcon this year, people would have been seriously upset. I think they made the better decision; I didn’t see anyone who was at the convention this year say they had a bad time.

The only thing I wish is that they would’ve held off releasing the Cataclysm cinematic until Blizzcon. It honestly doesn’t make sense that they released it just a week beforehand, so I wonder if there may have been something going on with it behind the scenes that we don’t know about.

I know a lot of people weren’t a big fan of the “Geek Is” speech, but I thought it was okay. If you were expecting a cinematic from the still unannounced next gen MMO, that’s probably why you didn’t like it. But taken alone, it wasn’t bad.

P.S. NO ONE'S GETTING A MOOSE, KK?

Panels. I enjoyed every panel I watched (which was basically every WoW panel), but some more than others. I loved the Lore Q&A the most; many of the questions were thoughtful and you can tell that Chris Metzen loves the lore and the story of WoW. It’s his baby and it shows. I got tickled every time someone would ask a question he liked–his eyes would light up and he’d lean over and say, “Can I tell them?” like a little boy asking for a trip to Disneyland.

The Class Q&A had a lot of paladins. If you’re at all familiar with the official forums, that shouldn’t have come as a surprise.

My second favorite was the Open Q&A, because I immediately liked Ion I-don’t-feel-like-Googling-his-last-name-since-I’d-misspell-it-anyway. He was a straight shooter with razor-sharp wit that he didn’t overuse, and you can tell he is extremely confident about what he knows. I know he wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I thought he was extremely cool. I also thought many of the questions and responses were thoughtful enough to make up for the ones that weren’t.

The Art, Sound, and Cinematic panels were fun and sometimes fascinating; I hope they make a return next year.

Contests. I can’t speak to the Warcraft, Starcraft, or Arena tournaments, because I only watched small chunks of them. I did, however; watch the entire costume and dance contests, and if I’m going to QQ some, this is where it’s going to be.

First of all, for something that people spend so much time working on and that so many people enjoy, the whole thing always feels like a disorganized afterthought. It lacks the professionalism I expect from Blizzard, and whatever your feelings about Jay Mohr’s comedy or personality, he isn’t the one organizing the event.

Lay out a real schedule. Give Kat and Jay something to actually work with; they should know what’s coming at any given minute. If there are rules we don’t know about, briefly explain them. No, interviewing each contestant isn’t necessary, but don’t rush them on or off stage, and for heaven’s sake lose the ramp.

Also, while I certainly think the guy who won Best Dance deserved it (best dwarf male dance in the history of WoW, I’m pretty sure), the costume contest made me sputter at my TV in disbelief. How the woman in the Starcraft Ghost costume, the Horde Moonkin, or for heaven’s sake, the AMAZING Putricide didn’t place but Jaina Proudmore and the other runners up did completely boggles me.

And while I think the monk costume was accurate and well done, Illidan was those things and also incredible; how he walked away with second place under her defies logic.

To sum it up, the costume contest was a huge disappointment to me.

Also, although I would have put them in a different order, I liked most of the machinima and music winners. That band was kickin.

Closing Ceremony. I’m sorry, Paul; stick to business and leave the comedy to someone else. That was a bit of a flop, putting it mildly. Also, your fake announcement made me want to punch the TV screen.

As for Tenacious D…I guess they’re an acquired taste. Despite my dislike for Jack Black, I had admittedly never heard any of their music, so I was ready to give them a fair shake. I found them to be everything I expected (forced and unfunny) and more (vulgar for the sake of vulgarity). I’m sure some of you are huge Tenacious D fans, and that’s cool; they just aren’t for me.

Final Thought. I know a lot of people are considering not buying the virtual ticket next year, and I really can’t blame you; but for me, the panels alone are worth the ticket price. I like to see what’s going on behind the scenes and to see the people behind my favorite game discussing their thoughts and work and I love seeing big chunks of the WoW and Blizzard community together in one place. Besides, how else will I know what everyone on Twitter is talking about?!

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