It’s almost upon us now… another BlizzCon to sate our ravenous Blizzard appetites.
Every year, Blizzard hosts this awesome event for its fans in Anaheim, California. Attendees are treated to a number of tournaments throughout the convention, as well as new game announcements, such as last year’s debut of Overwatch, the company’s highly anticipated first-person shooter, and information on upcoming titles and expansions.
What will this year’s show bring? Obviously we’ll get more information on Overwatch, like when to expect its open beta. And, of course, there should be more than enough news revolving around Hearthstone to keep avid fans at bay.
So what is it about this special event that stands out? There are five different factors to consider:
There’s Bound To Be Surprises
With each passing year, Blizzard has come through with some form of surprise announced during the BlizzCon event. Obviously, last year’s was the debut of Overwatch. It’s also the place for new trailers to debut, including upcoming expansions for games. This year is likely to be no exception, as we’re sure to see something new for Hearthstone and a potential first look at content for World of Warcraft: Legion. And don’t be surprised if Diablo III resurfaces with something new.
The Best In the World Are Playing
Like previous years, there are bound to be several tournaments taking place around BlizzCon, including one for the forthcoming StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. Several players from around the world will be showing off their skills and competing for big prizes. There will also be devoted stages to Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, so keep an eye out for heated competition with those two games as well. And who knows, an Overwatch invitational could open up, allowing players to show off their stuff in a variety of classes.
Panels, Panels, Panels
Like any good expo show, BlizzCon will have its fair share of panels covering the spectrum of Blizzard’s game releases, from the original World of Warcraft to upcoming expansions. But information about games is just the beginning, as some panels will even go as far as to celebrate the culture surrounding these games, including cosplay (yep, there will be plenty of cosplay going around) and the art and sound composition that goes into each game. It’s a great place learn new information about your favorite games and celebrate it in your own special way. Whether you’re a programmer, a cosplayer, or simply a fan that wants to learn more about the series they love, there’s a panel here for you.
Not In the Area? Attend Anyway
Traveling to an event like BlizzCon can be rather costly, especially when you consider the going hotel rate around the Disneyland area, not to mention airfare and meals. So why not take the next best route and catch the action from home? Sure, it’s not entirely the same, but the Virtual Ticket beats nothing. The package includes a full broadcast of the event, as well as the competitions, the closing ceremonies, and so much more (like our own Wil Wheaton MCing the event!). Furthermore, you’ll have on-demand access over the next two weeks, in case you want to relive some of the show’s better moments. There will be plenty of exclusive interviews as well, so you’re getting even better access, without the lines. And let’s not forget the free loot for certain Blizzard titles as well. And it’s all hosted by Michele Morrow, Nerdist’s own Malik Forte and Alex Albrecht. Can’t pick a better team than that.
“But what if I want to buy stuff?” you’re probably asking. Don’t fret! A lot of exclusive goodies are already available for purchase through the official BlizzCon store. And yes, this includes the special Blizzard bag usually reserved for the event. Shop away!
Going Out With a Bang
Since the show’s inception in 2005, BlizzCon has managed to attract big bands to close out its event in style. The closing ceremonies, which are both live and simulcast, have brought down the house with a number of performers, including The Offspring, the Video Games Live orchestra (playing the best of Blizzard soundtracks, of course), Ozzy Osbourne, Tenacious D, the Foo Fighters and, as seen above, Metallica. For this year’s event, Linkin Park will bring the house down, and who knows what other surprise guests will appear.
And you thought the closing ceremonies had to have a droll dance number…
More information about this year’s BlizzCon, which takes place November 6th and 7th, can be found here.
Cover Image Source: VSquaredLabs