Blizzcon 2014 – Tickets Worth Paying For?

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I’m going to say “no” off the bat, and I’ll tell you why. 200 dollars for a ticket is a lot of money, even for both days, but let’s examine why its so much.

At PAX East, a day pass was 40 USD, so if you wanted to go to the entirety of the event (which was 3 days, not 2) it was 120 USD. That seemed like a lot as well, but once it was announced that there would be free beta keys for WoD and likely equally cool stuff for the hundreds of other titles there, it quickly became less of a price tag burden.

At Blizzcon, you do get some cool stuff no doubt. Regardless what the doorbag is though, there wont be anything equatable, at least for World of Warcraft. Obviously the game will be out by then, and even if for some reason its not, there won’t be anything exclusive to give out for it. No beta key that people are selling for hundreds of dollars, or anything on that level.
What will they even discuss at Blizzcon, come to think of it? Let’s break it down by title.

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor should be just weeks old, but honestly if it comes out too close, its just a waste of time. No one wants to take a weekend off a game release like that, so for their sake I hope its at least out for a month or two before then. Realistically, we will get some big announcement about patch 6.1 and 6.2. An early vote goes to the Timewalker dungeons, which they are again testing the technology for in this upcoming Beta test. Quickly, if you haven’t heard you will get scaled to level 100 even if you aren’t already for any raid or dungeon testing. Back on topic! What else will there be for WoW? Likely just a bunch of screenshots, recap of how successful WoD’s launch was or was not, and introduction of one big upcoming feature.

Diablo 3 will likely have some big patch or expansion to discuss as well. By then, Reaper of Souls will be about 9 months old, and while I wouldn’t expect too much, they will certainly have something in the works. I don’t follow the game much, but I’d say it to be slightly bigger for the game than what WoW announces, but still nothing worth 200 dollars to hear with your own ears instead seeing online.

Heartstone will absolutely have something in the works. This is a title that has potential for an expansion every few months, so there is no doubt in my mind the first major one will be around this time. Issue is, it seems rather long, but I suppose that depends when the Adventure mode patch comes out. Regardless, I wouldn’t expect any other title to have more information divulged than this one. Especially considering the world championship, this would be the big draw for me, if I cared about the game as much as WoW.

Heroes of the Storm will likely use this to announce a release date. Its not uncommon, as we saw with the Hearthstone release date set at 2013 blizzcon. It wasn’t very accurate, but still happened. Aside from that, what else might there be? Who knows! Hopefully new maps, new champions, and other big innovations and plans. Its a game that has the potential to be released early, but I see being in “testing” phases for at least a full year, if not longer, so November lines up pretty well with when they will begin talking about a finished project.

Starcraft will likely announce its new expansion or something along those lines. This game literally didn’t even have a booth during Blizcon 2013, and for a good reason. They had nothing. Now, that WoW effectively has nothing, it shouldn’t be surprising to see their other titles toss some big info around casually. Expect nothing less.

Potential new title? Something we have all mired over, by the name of “Titan.” I don’t think its happening any more though. This was all before Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, so if they release another big budget title, its not gonna be any time soon. My vote and hopes would go towards seeing another Warcraft RTS. Blizzard’s CEO stated that Warcraft 4 is not off the table just because WoW has the persistent story, but wasn’t being discussed in 2013. Now, come November, we will likely have some big mystery title they are working on. This may be the main facade of why to go, but I still can’t justify it.

On top of these mediocre title announcements, the hotels in that area are hilarious. Last year, I had purchased the ticket, and when I had calculated the airfare, hotel, and expenses, it came to nearly 3000 USD. FOR TWO DAYS! Unreal, I could do so much with that money its not even funny. The main draw to go is to mingle with other WoW players and associates. I’d love to spend time in real life with Syiler and Meoni and the others from Stratics, and I would also love to see some of my Guildmates that I’ve been playing with for nearly 5 years now, but no way is that worth 3000 USD. I can literally use that money to pay all expenses for both Syiler and Meoni to visit my area for the week instead and still have about 1000 dollars left over! The only way I see this worth the price is if you live in the area and either don’t need a Hotel, or can cut out the costs on the airfare. If you only have to spend the 200 dollars to be there, then its likely worth it.
Regardless, the hype is real, don’t get it twisted. This is the penultimate Blizzard party of the year, and to miss it pains me every time. It really does. But two days after its over, and I’ve watched every second of it on the Virtual ticket, I realize how much time, effort, and money I saved. Every year, a few of our guildies end up there, and always say how difficult it is to find each other, how overpriced the beers are, and how loud it is for no reason. These things are all very party-like, but in real world scenarios, I’d much rather my first meaningful contact with these people I’ve spent so much time with online to not be at a rave.

So what do you guys think? Is it worth all this effort just to live up to the party hype assiociated with it? Will you be going? [Discuss it over at our forums] I’ll join you shortly in the conversation!

WoW News Roundup – 17th March 2014

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Today news comes in the form of news about future events featuring Blizzard Entertainment, with interesting speculation towards a possible Blizzcon 2014.

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The Blizzcon Virtual Ticket page has recently seen changes to its terms of service page and in doing so changed the title to 2014, rather than 2013. This could be an error internally, however it could also be that we could see another Blizzcon this year, allowing for possible reveals for the new ip’s and post release for Warlords of Draenor and Heroes of The Storm. This comes as a suprise to me after the event finally returning after it’s hiatus, however i feel that people will be particularly excited by seeing this, and if it’s true then we are likely to have a very good year for Blizzard News. Such News does mean there would be certain reveals of information to be posponed until the event, as Blizzard does enjoy giving information exclusively on stage at their own event. Early predictions for such an event would be of a possible open beta for Heroes of the Storm or a release date, and possibly information on Diablo 3 and future patches after this months Reaper of Souls release. The event usually sells out instantly when tickets become available, so keep your eyes open and we at Stratics will try and give you the heads up as soon as anything comes from this. Whilst we wait for any noise from Blizzard themselves to either confirm or deny such an event exists for the year, one event that is sure to be taking place is Pax East, a yearly event featuring tournaments in all areas and genres of video and table top gaming, it also features some of the most prominent developers and development teams from around the world, here to showcase their latest and greatest products for early feedback and testing.

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Today’s press release unveiled the presence of Blizzard Entertainment at the convention, where they are allowing visitors from 10AM-6AM on both Friday April 11th and Sunday April 13th to get hands on playtime with the Warlords of Draenor playable demo we have seen earlier last month. Visitors will also be able to visit various Q&A sections of the Blizzard schedule, including Developer talk for Diablo 3 : Ultimate Evil Edition for the Playstation 4, a brand new demo for Heroes of The Storm, with the developers present and on hand for interviews and questions.

Expect information from these Q&A sections and events to be reported on here on Stratics when new information becomes available for discussion, I’m fairly certain the amount of time players will have to access the demo, we will be sure to see more footage and screenshots float around the internet that we will be sure to collate into readable information for you. Heroes of The Storm’s demo will feature heroes never before seen or played outside the event and will be the first stage of hands on feedback before they are included into the technical alpha which is also presently being sent out to press and streamed over on Twitch.tv channels. It could also be a time for Blizzard to send another wave of access out for the technical alpha but don’t hold your breath.

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Not to forget that Pax East also provides certain rewards this year, in the form of Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft exclusive content, presumably in the form of the exclusive card backs we saw leaked earlier in the month, or possibly Pax exclusive cards that we may of not seen, many of the card packs have been confirmed for in-game rewards and achievements, however the card featured to the right has not, and it wouldn’t be suprising if this small cosmetic addition was the reward they are talking about. With the various press events and featured demonstrations of Warlords of Draenor in full swing over the past few weeks, we can be sure for more information on the beta soon, with our previous predictions in out bi-weekly podcast coming to an end and our estimates changing every week, we have to get news on even a closed alpha for the game at some point soon. This year does however look to be a wonderful time for both Blizzard Entertainment and those who play Blizzards games! If Blizzcon 2014 is confirmed at some point it would certainly be the icing on the cake for this year.

You can find more here about Pax East and a full schedule for the event. CLICK HERE

This about wraps up today’s World of Warcraft and Blizzard news, we expect information on future beta / alpha events and unveilings further this week or next, so be sure to become a part of WoW.Stratcis today! Fantastic rewards from the Sites with Benefits feature on the side of the screen, along with monthly giveaways on our forums and a great place to talk about all of the topics we feature. We are always open for guests and your questions on our bi-weekly podcast, so if something makes you opinionated, make a post and Get your voice heard today!