Blizzcon 2011: Monks, DOTA, and Weakened Resolve

It’s Blizzcon time again.  Time to be reminded of my weak resolve, get hyped, and agonize over a wait that will surely feel infinite.

Mists of Pandaria was confirmed, as if it wasn’t already.  I am done with WoW.  I swear, I am.  Really.  I mean it.  Yet… Panda… Monk…want… No, I’m done.  Maybe it was the music in the trailer or the open-fist fighting styles of those pleasantly plump kungfu pandas that sucked me in and took captive my mind.  I am a slave to my own desires for polish.  It looks great.  A zone on the back of a turtle for crying out loud!

Maybe the coolest part of the opening ceremony was watching the Diablo III and Heart of the Swearm trailers.  I feel like we can piece them all together and make a real movie.  I have this fear that Diablo 3 is never going to release because the day it does the world might stand still.

Blizzard DOTA looks neat.  A SC2 custom map, probably.  Looks legit, though, and worth checking out if they actually devote real time to making it feel stand-alone and not like a cheap custom map.

Just take my money, Blizzard.  Let’s get it over with.



  • hah, I was just picturing a kung-fo panda clip cutting in after the deep voiced intro… missed opportunity

    I think ill stay away from wow, going to get d3.. blizz dota looks interesting

  • Gnome Monks…. must… resist.

    Nah never playing WoW again, but it still is interesting watching the game evolve.

  • I don’t really know what to say about the new expansion, but I am always a fan of a new race & class being added to the game.

  • Ok i am not playing wow since some months now… but.. pandas.. come on this ruins this game completely..

    also the oversimplification of talent trees is a wrong move as well

    for me it doesn’t suit the atmosphere even if lore wise its acceptable for me its not..

    good bye wow it was a nice ride as it lasted!!

    they are gonna loose TONS of players with this info…

    too bad 🙁 i was expecting more of blizz.. well diablo 3 looks sweet though so..

    diablo 3 and hoping that gw2 will be worth it 🙂

  • If Metzen made aliens from outer space work as a new race, I don’t see why Pandas in the Mist is all that ‘out there’ in the lore, especially since they were actually in a Warcraft game already.

  • Over at Bioware huddled around the PC nervously watching for what Blizzard will introduce as their WoW next expansion..

    “Here it is guys…”
    Trailer plays.
    –awkward silence as everyone looks at each other in utter disbelief.–
    –Then reality sets in, SWTOR has nothing to worry about.–

    “We’re safe guys, lets go get a drink.”

  • None of any of the information really mattered to me until I read this…

    “The expansion highlights the idea of “war,” with Metzen saying that the Alliance and Horde will go to war in ways we haven’t seen since WarCraft 2.”

    This will be the key for me.

    Now what about the annual pass?

    I was thinking of canceling WoW, but I know I’m getting D3, so that essentially would make WoW $7.50 a month? Hmmmm.

    Damn you Blizz that’s brilliant!

  • @Howdy: It’s tempting, but at the same time I don’t want to pay the WoW monthly fee AND the SWTOR Monthly fee AND the GW2 monthly fee.

  • @Keen

    True, but it does make the decision a lot harder now.

    I still enjoy logging in every now and then and running around lower levels, so at $7.50 a month I may hold on to it if I felt that there were good things coming in the expansion.

    I need more details on the expansion…. before D3 ships!

  • The fact that Blizz is returning to a traditional expansion with a large new continent to explore…c’mon, no one does beautiful immersive zones like WoW.

    But that means getting through Cata…which was a no buy for me. And the new talent “trees” wth?

    WoW has moved up to my plan ‘D’ mmog with this reveal. Which is good I guess, cuz they had dropped off my radar altogether.

  • I may have misunderstood, but I heard the new “continent” is only 2x the size of Twilight Highlands. Is that true?

  • A couple things:

    1). You realize GW2 doesn’t have a monthly fee, yes? =P

    2). Each zone in the new continent is bigger than Twilight Highlands.

  • @Nerokis: Good catch, you’re right about GW2. Hmm. So I was mistaken indeed. I guess what they said was each zone is 2x the size of Twilight highlands instead of the whole continent. Well, that didn’t help my resolve to not play WoW.

  • If it’s just going to be another race to 90 so I can start running heroics to gear up for raiding to wait for the next content patch formula, Blizz can probably count me out.

    That’s why I’m not raiding anymore and I think it is why Blizz is losing subs. To be honest, I wouldn’t be subbed at all if it wasn’t for the buds I do arena with.

  • It is an interesting direction that Blizzard has chosen for WoW. I have to interpret it as an intentional effort to simplify the game mechanics and increase the appeal for the more casual, younger, and potentially Asian market.

    I was wondering about how serious the SWTOR image would be cast in comparison to WoW, especially concerning holiday events (Santa suits/pumpkin heads/etc). It seems that Blizzard has aggressively taken the first differentiating step by incorporating Disney-like Kung Fu Pandas; I only wonder how long it will be until Jack Black starts making voice over commercials.

    Originally I had concerns over whether SWTOR skill trees would provide more customization choices than WoW’s, but it seems that just by having skill trees they provide at least the illusion of more skill options than WoW’s new system.

    Blizzard is massive money making operation (MMmO) and major changes in fundamental game mechanics do not occur frivolously. Blizzard has a new vision for WoW, one that shifts it firmly into the realm of tongue in cheek, cartoonish, and universally “accessible” appeal for the casual market (i.e. not most of us who actually contribute to gaming blogs, long live the Keen!).

  • The Warcraft xpac looks absolutely dreadful, same s##t difficult skins, the Pokemon addition looks scary. Couldn’t we actually get something new? player housing, guild fortresses, player owned/crafted air/sea ships. This is just more of the same, more instanced focused gear grind.

  • @ gankatron

    You beat me to comments with “an intentional effort to simplify the game mechanics and increase the appeal for the more casual, younger, and potentially Asian market”

    I would add that it seems like an American concept of how to gain ground in the Asian market – “Pandas + Monks = $”

    Not sure if the Pacific Asian market will become interested in WoW or rather more insulted by the pandering.

    See what I did there?

  • The overwhelming response I am seeing on various forums has been negative; my own take being that this signals WoW’s Death Knell (at least here in the West). Who would have thought WoW’s Killer would be WoW?

    Others have of course pulled out the old standby: “Blizzard/WoW has jumped the shark”.

    They really have IMO: bouncy Kung-Fu Pandas, Pokemon, even easier Raids, more re-hashed Dungeons and yet another compression of the Talent System. And all of this riding about on the back of a giant turtle.

    I genuinely had to check it was no April Fools: The Revenge

    I love some of the new world graphics they’ve achieved but now I feel almost embarrassed by the fact I ever played WoW because it’s just unrecognisable now. Giving D3 away with the WoW Annual Pass speaks volumes too.

    Ah well, I continue to hope Titan is much, much more serious 🙂

  • WoW has been going down this road for many, many years. They took the seriousness out of the game within the first year. No one should be saying that Pandas are the cause. I don’t have the bandwidth to list all the other reasons that came before Pandas.

    And, again, Pandaren were in Warcraft 3 back in 2004. They were not an april fool’s day joke back then — that was the other guy. They were a legitimate hero character called the Pandaren Brewmaster who would drink alchohol and kick butt.

    In my opinion, easier/more accesible raids are mandatory if WoW is going to remain a raid-centric game. Pokemon battles aren’t any more ridiculous than having the pets themselves with pet toy shops in Dalaran. Hopefully you get my point.

  • I see what you are saying; they have shifted from a game that had humorous elements, to one that could easily bear the Fisher Price name. Years ago people used to joke about if one couldn’t handle WoW then they should instead play Hello Kitty Island Adventure; the difference between Japanese cartoon kittehs and Chinese pandas is currently lost on me.

    True, WoW has been going down this path for years, and it isn’t hard to see the animosity it has generated from its once loyal fan base; the phrase “Go play WoW!” is commonly used as a derogatory response in game forums. The drift over the years to the casual side has been evident, but it is interesting to have Blizzard functionally state this by showcasing their newest product’s will switch to a more simplified system utilizing Kung Fu fighting Panda Bears…

  • Rereading my first two sentences I see that they could be misread. I don’t mean to infer that YOU are suggesting that “they have shifted from a game with humorous elements, to one that could easily bear the Fisher Price name.” That is solely my opinion. I probably shouldn’t have used a semi-colon there! 🙂

  • Blizzard Dota… that trailer was just stupid. So stupid, that it was actually good.

    Haven’t played WoW in almost a year. Pandas are cool, but this seems like a bit of a stretch.

  • Keep in mind with the new zones that you wont be able to fly until max level.

    Echoing Keen here but we have had cow people, space goats, and so many other *insert animal* people in this game for years now. Why are people suddenly picking pandas as “going too far”?

  • Apparently all these hardcore WOW fans are unaware of any actual Blizzard history, especially that involving Samwise Didier, the art director (who loves him some pandas). I went on a walk break Friday before the Blizzcon announcements started with two coworkers who I’ve played WOW with off and on since launch… at that point I honestly had no desire to ever play WOW again (loved Lich King, hated Cataclysm). Then the anouncements started and one of the guys (in the cube next to me) kept running over with increasingly awesome announcements… For some reason, this gives me some of the same feelings I had for Lich King- I’m definitely playing SWTOR but WOW is now back in the running for me again.

  • Blizzard has understand the big picture which many of you saying “doom” don’t understand.I will use movies for a example highest grossing movies of all time only titanic was a drama everything else was scifi,Kids movie or a comic book movie that you could bring your whole family too.The point is you think pet battling(Kids) and Panda(kids and Asian customers) is going to hurt WoW that is just plain silly.Casual gamers,Asian market and Kids are all way bigger groups than serious RPG players.WoW success based on the fact that it attracts females and kids,Older gamers as well RPG nerds.

    They added freakin pokemon to WoW,That move is so brilliant it is amazing that move alone has probably extend wow life by a year or so.I am more serious RPG player but i can see the value attracting widest base possible.

    Also Pandas killed seriousness of WoW? I taught Motorcycles,Mohawk grenade,Space cows,anything with Goblins and tons of other general silliness was the cause.

  • I never said that it would hurt WoW, just that it just shifts their demographic to a larger and potentially more profitable one; I wonder if they will consider an Asian F2P model at some point? The kung fu panda thing appears to be a calculated move to a younger, more casual, and potentially Asian market; that is not synonymous with saying that it “is going to hurt WoW”.

    They seem to be positioning themselves into the most diverse amusement park type of experience possible; I am sure many people will find it entertaining, just not necessarily the same population that originally made them financially successful.

  • Don’t be surprised if there will be an advertising connection to Dreamworks in the works…