Geek is… having Blizzcon regardless

The opening ceremony of Blizzcon was a little odd.  Chris Metzen spent most of the time talking about this year’s motif: ‘There’s a hero in all of us’ by posting pictures of geeky stuff (following the audience shouting “Geek is…” before each picture came up) and relating it to imagination and nostalgia.  I didn’t understand why they were wasting so much time displaying pictures of Star Wars and Thundercats until Metzen interviewed with the commentators after and said that this year they actually discussed not having a Blizzcon because they had nothing “super” to announce (other than the Demon Hunter).  Metzen actually paid respects to EverQuest during the presentation crediting it as starting it all and then got emotional talking about Star Wars… so you know they had absolutely nothing to talk about at this point.

Diablo 3 PvP Arenas are the only announcement worth discussion so far.  As you would expect, it looked just like WoW’s arenas.  The thought of arenas makes me ill, but it works in theory with Diablo.  PvP rooms were created all the time in previous Diablos.  People would join them and just fight outside the first town’s borders.  People would jump out and kill each other and it was the best we could do with the tools we were given.  Essentially this pits people against each other in an atmosphere conducive to actual competitive PvP.  While some will criticize arenas in Diablo, you would be ignorant not to recognize that this is just the natural direction it was always going.

I’m still hoping for -some- sort of “super” announcement, but I think they’re going to hold back and make 2011 a Blizzcon to crush all their competition.

  • Do you have any idea how many people purchased the Pay Per View to watch Blizzcon?

    If a person did throw down the money to watch it they have to be one of the geeks.

  • And I understand that they didn’t have anything to spectacular to share. But why not hold off on the Cata Date and movie. Not only would it have been something, it also made it worse because now the thinking was if they shared that, they MUST really have something big.


  • I guess you are right with the “natural direction”, however i´m not sure at this point if i like the idea of arenas in diablo. I fear it will go to much into the WoW direction “this is the best spec for your char” and tons of people crying about unbalance and nerfs and so on. I´m already seeing PvP ladders. I kinda liked the days of D2, when we were doing it just for fun (and collecting ears 😉 )

    The Hunter class was not a big deal, it was clear this would come, the ranged non-caster class was the last thing missing. Which is fine for me, i like “hunters”.

    I hope they will at last reveal something about the next SC2 game!

  • Blizzcon announcements are generally only the opening ceremony. Blizzcon itself is about the players. The tournaments. All of that jazz. Sure, it’s about marketing too, but the players are really what makes Blizzcon what it is. Not the other way around. There was no real reason not to have a Blizzcon. Whether they were blowing people out of the way or not.

  • I wasted an hour waiting for something new.. I was there last year.. was disappointed there as well. Glad I didn’t spend money to go this year. The geek is thing was kinda fun, but it was dragging too long.

  • Well Metzen has confirmed that all the announcements have been made though of course they may be hiding something for later.

    But even if they have nothing really interesting to reveal it’s too much of a tradition and I dare say a money maker not to have it anyway.
    The danger of a weak show though is diluting enthusiasm for the next one where I think they will finally start to drop some info on their new MMO….

    I really don’t get why anyone would Pay-per-View this stuff though – any actual news is in print in realtime and frankly all the other bits are relatively weak fluff.

  • Sadly, all of the streams have been shut down. You’re welcome for that link, by the way if you got it from the forums. 😛

  • In a later interview the lead designer on D3 said arenas are not meant to be competitive in the same way as WoW arenas, even going as far as to say that esports were “covered” by Starcraft 2. I think this is a good choice, let it be a fun side game, even have ladders and such, but don’t stress about balancing the game around. The ARPG genre has always excellent at PvE and killing hoards of monsters, and a focus on PvP balance would negatively impact that I think

  • My feeling is just that arena is fundamentally a boring format, as it’s imagined nowadays. Maps need to be big and inspiring, you should look at the map and be like “hell that’s cool, I could do this strategy, and this strategy…” It should be evocative.

    Too many arena maps are basically just a big box with some LoS breaks. Maybe their use of “arena” in D3 gave the wrong impression, but it seems odd to have the PvE side of the game focusing on this sprawling, dungeon crawling mechanism, but then the PvP side is just… 6 guys in a box with pillars.

    It just seems to me they could have come up with some sort of competitive dungeon crawl – actually innovate a bit rather than just cloning WoW arena (even 3v3?) into D3. Not only would it be a little less stale, but having more terrain to deal with opens a lot of strategies that don’t revolve around raw class mechanics.

    Eh, this wasn’t a game on my radar to begin with, but this just feels like another step for Blizzard down the road of “been there, done that, let’s polish it up and make it pretty”. There has to be more at some point, particularly with the huge budgets they’re playing with, or the temptation to overwork and overdesign things is just too great.

  • I think Arenas for Diablo is perfect, just as Keen said, its the natural progression of where Diablo is heading.

    If anything it should be in Diablo and NOT in WoW.(WoW would benefit more from something more persistant and meaningful)

  • I agree Joy – take Arenas out of WoW and focus on developing them for D3! Then PvP in WoW can get back to open-world and Battlegrounds.

  • I agree, better in D3 then in WoW. It won´t happen but, it wouldn´t make a difference, there is and will be no world or open pvp in wow. Nor would it make any difference in wow at all.

  • @ Cirdanx

    Prior to the dungeon finder, finding open world PvP wasn’t that bad if you knew where to look. Not a truly satisfactory experience for me, but it was still out there.

    There is also Wintergrasp which is, while somewhat contrived, still pretty fun.

    Nowadays true open world PvP is pretty hard to find, hopefully Cata will renew that to an extent.

  • I agree. OPvP in WoW is really more a memory than anything else at the moment. I do remember the days of 150-200 people massacring one another in Westfall, though. Those were the good times. Now PvP is so compartmentalized in WoW that it’s almost not worth it. Wintergrasp can be incredibly fun but it feels like just another BG.

  • Yo Keen, I was at Blizzcon. The D3 arenas were very fun. I heard that Blizzard isn’t going to both with PvP balance though in D3 so people are going to have to accept that. I think it’s good for the game. The Demon Hunter was a very fun class to play, and a fun point of knowledge Bridget from Girls Next Door was dressed up as the Demon Hunter. After my friends and I finished playing the D3 arena we all agreed that that is what WoW arena’s should have felt like. It was very fast paced and in the course of our 8 matches strategies developed quickly.

    Blizzard also made some custom games for SC2… one being SC2 DOTA. It was amazing, though sort of unbalanced. Played it a few times. They said they were planning on releasing it in a few months. Other custom games were Left 2 Die, Star Jeweled, Auir Chef, and King of the Hill.

  • I’m a 3-time Blizzcon attendee, and I was pissed that i wasn’t able to go this year but I picked up the PPV for my son and I. Mainly my son because he wanted the pet.

    Anyway…..I watched the opening ceremony and I thought that it sucked. Mike’s speech was painful to watch, he seemed really awkward on stage, and it looks like he just dusted off last years speech and updated it with current WoW sub numbers.

    Then watching Chris Metzen was pointless, showing the Cat Cinematic Trailer? Which was shown online a week or so prior? Then that BS with “Geek is…..”, wtf.

    Even the Goodie Bags have sucked of late. Yes, yes – it’s free! I’ve kept my previous years Goodie Bags and each year they progressively worsened. Now the focus is on ads. Also, the Halls are so fucking crowded, any booth worth visiting has a long, long line….

    TenaciousD?!?!?!?! lol, sad.

    I sat back and I was really glad that I didn’t drop 2k-3k going back to Anaheim this year.

    I love hitting the road with my sons and gamer geek friends, Blizzcon was always a fun trip, the joy really was in the journey. But I think my Blizzcon days are over.

    Has anyone done E3 lately? Is that worth attending?

  • To be honest, while it was crowded, the longest line which was D3 Dungeon only took 45 minutes to get through and you got to play for 15 minutes or so. Most lines were under 30 minutes.

    The main hall was packed all day though. Good luck getting a seat but luckily they had a 2nd area set up behind the D3 area to watch and no one ever seemed to go their.

    I had fun. I’m not sure if it was worth all the money I spent but I’m already planning on going back next year. Everyone is looking at Blizzcon as what goodies did I get for $150 and what annoucnements did I see. To be honest if I only went to see some great announcement that I could just read online it would have been a major waste. I can probably buy the items from the goody bag for a fraction of what I paid to go.

    Blizzcon is about the experience. It’s about being with fellow nerds. No matter what you look like you know that you can’t be judged their. Everyone paid the same amount of money to participate in an equally nerdy manner. (those that snuck in excluded)