More of the same stuff happened today. They repeated most of the same things they showed yesterday, so I did the things that everyone did yesterday, but with shorterlines. I played World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (more below). I attended some of the panels, which gave awesome information. I got to play more StarCraft: Ghost. In the afternoon, I attended the comic panel with the guys from Penny Arcade, GUComics, and PvP. Those guys are way funny. Also, the finals of the BlizzCon invitational tournaments were today. I got to see the best StarCraft and WarCraft III players from around the globe compete. It was awesome.
World of WarCraft: The Burning Crusade
I also got to play World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade today. They had a bunch of computers set up for playing the expansion. What they mean by the expansion is The Blood Elves, and the new raid dungeon Ahn’Qiraj in Silithus. I was rather disappointed by the amount we got to play. After waiting in line from anywhere from 1/2 hour to a few hours, we were allowed to play for 30 minutes. Thirty minutes really isn’t enough time to play. I chose a mage, because I play a mage, and I wanted to see what they had going for them. After spending 10 minutes getting my action bars and gear in place, then spending a few minutes trying to find a raid group, and 10 more to get it part way filled, we had just enough time for someone to pull a Leeroy Jenkins and wipe the raid group. I later got in line again to play a little of the Blood Elves. To play the raid, they supplied us with level 60 characters with a full complement of epic gear, but to play the blood elves, they gave us 1-3 level blood elves to play on Sunstrider Isle. Their racial ability is Mana Syphon, it enables you to steal mana from an enemy. Even warriors get this ability, but they don’t get the mana, they just remove it from their enemy’s mana supply.
Blizzard did a few special tournaments on Battle.net a while back, and the top players from that tournament got a special invite to come to BlizzCon and play. These guys are really at the top of their game.
First off, I’m a huge StarCraft fan, and these guys were amazing. Now, I didn’t see any really great new strategies, but I did see nearly perfect implementation of existing strategies. One thing that didn’t help is that the commentator for the StarCraft games didn’t really know what was going on. It happened on several occasions that the announcer was talking about something (like a probe exploring the map), and totally missed a battle. The audience screaming stuff like “Top left!” eventually got us to see what happened to be left after the battle was over. Now there really isn’t a lot of professional StarCraft going on in the United States, so the regular announcers were a little uneducated. Also, I saw a lot of great micro management. It’s really amazing just watching their fingers move, and watching the units move around on the screen so perfectly.
Now I’ven’t played a whole lot of WC3, mostly because the game is quite perverted from the originals, but I still enjoy a good game every now and then. So I’m not as familiar with all the hot WC3 strategies (cf SC, where I still play competitively in local tournaments), combined with the fact that the annoucers really knew what they were talking about, I was way more impressed with the WC3 players (even though the SC players were way amazing). Everything from base layout, unit knowledge, micro management, hero progression, caring so much about hero experience, everything, was sheer perfection. It truly was an awesome privilige to see.
The panels at BlizzCon were quite enlightening. No, no one told us the alliance race, but they did say that there won’t be any new character classes. I got a lot out of the raid panel. They talke a lot about the future of what they’re trying to do for high end raid content. They talked about creating smaller 10-man dungeons, and larger 40-man dungeons. They showed one of the maps of a new zone they were working on, and it was very large. So large that the entire Scarlet Monastery Doan wing fits inside the boss room. They also talked a bit about Naxxramas, where Illidan will be. Karazhan, the Tower of Medivh. The Caverns of time, which enable the players to go back in time and reenact historical battles, like The battle for Mount Hyjal. Tempest keep, where the Sunstrider of Kael’Thas is currently at.
In the evening we went to the concert. First they had Level 60 Elite Tauren Chieftan Storm, Earth, and Fire play. They played a few songs, For the Horde, I am Murloc, and Leeroy Jenkins, Paladin of the Horde. After that, they had a stand-up comedian come. I forget his name, but it wasn’t all that entertaining. Sure he said some funny stuff, but had they pulled a comedian who actually plays WoW, that would have been a lot better. After the comedian was finished, they spend 1/2 hour getting prepped for The Offspring, and then they came on stage. This was quite easily the worst concert I have ever been to. First off, the sound quality was poor. I couldn’t hear what they were singing, because the instruments and effects were too loud. Second off, they had no showmanship. They didn’t talk about the songs they were playing, they really didn’t even talk to us. The most they said, was that one of them mentioned that he had a friend who bought WoW, and that he never heard from him again. They didn’t even say goodbye, all they gave was a quick “Thanks”. So, in my opinion, if you didn’t have concert tickets, you didn’t really miss much.
Well, that’s all I’ve got, but if you have more questions, please ask, and I’ll see what I can do to answer them.
Thanks for playin’