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!