BlizzCon 2011: Announcements and Predictions
BlizzCon 2011 is a huge event and it is coming very soon, in-fact it is less than a month away happening on October 21st and 22nd. The event is huge and a lot of information is going to be shared by Blizzard there. As the excitement is starting to ramp up about the event everyone is wondering what exactly is going to happen at the event.
By this I dont mean the normal stuff, game demos, costume contests, a concert at the end, and more. I am referring more to what Blizzard is actually going to talk about that is new. There is a lot of speculation out there and I figured I would get in on the action.
So, what does the Messiah believe is going to take place at Blizzcon 2011? Here are my predictions surrounding the major topics that I feel most people are wondering about.
Major Announcements at BlizzCon 2011
These are the big announcements that every wants to know about, what is happening with WoW, Diablo, StarCraft, and more!
Next World of Warcraft expansion announced
Probably the biggest thing likely to happen at Blizzcon is the announcement of the next World of Warcraft expansion. And no it will not be located anywhere in Pandara, so dont worry about crazy kung-fu panda monks invading the game we love.
While no one outside of Blizzard can say what the expansion will be based on with any certainly, Im going to take a stab at it. It will probably be something based around the Emerald Dream. This is based simply on the fact that all the rumours surrounding the last expansion were discussing the options between the maelstrom (Cataclysm) and the Emerald Dream. The only real concern I would have about a whole expansion based around the Emerald Dream is the amount of time it could mean spending outside of Azeroth. Burning Crusade made you feel very disconnected from Azeroth itself, WotLK and Cataclysm did better keeping you in the old world more.
Diablo III release day announced
I know Blizzard hates setting release dates, but after so long in development and Beta currently running, I really believe we will get a release date announcement for Diablo III.
Given that the beta is already up, I believe that it won't be long before it is out. It's probably still a bit much to hope for this year, but an early 2012 is pretty likely. Given that, I would imagine they set a Date around late February as the release date so that students can be well and truly buried in it for March break.
Details about StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Expansion
Its about time that Blizzard will let out some information on the upcoming StarCraft II expansion: Heart of the Swarm. While we were all told that it would follow shortly after StarCraft IIs release, it really doesnt surprise me that over a year later we still havent even seen a release date come out.
I do believe that Blizzard will at least have some information on it at BlizzCon 2011 though and hopefully another video trailer or potentially even beta announcement. Seeing that SCII launched July of 2010, I would like to think that the expansion would come out no later than July 2012 to at least be closer than 2 years apart.
No Info on Titan Released
While I would love to hear more about what the super secret Titan project is all about, I just dont see it happening. Blizzard has traditionally worked in secret on projects for many years before sharing information on them. I just cant see them willing to share anything on Titan at this point since it still feels too new for a Blizzard project.
The timing also doesnt work well for them, it wouldnt gain anything marketing wise. They have Diablo III nearing release, WoW 4.3 coming out soon, the likely announcement of what the next WoW expansion will be, and a promised StarCraft expansion sometime soon. That is four big things stretching from soon (Wow 4.3 and Diablo III) to items stretching into late next year (SCII expansion and WoW expansion). I dont see anything to be gained by them talking further out than that.
Again, I hope I am wrong, I would love to learn what Titan is about, even if just in general terms, but cant see it happening.
No Real Huge Info, Just Teasers
As we have learned from recent BlizzCons, no really BIG info is likely to be released. The event has become much more about a huge gathering of Blizzard fans than about Blizzard itself. People get together to socialize, party, and have fun.
The announcements and demos there have started to really play second fiddle to the people and socialization that happens. Not such a bad thing in my books, as whatever info is released is up everywhere in 30 seconds flat, so being there for the information release is kind of missing the point of the event.
There will obviously be lots of information and announcements, I just cant see something BIG coming out of it. It will be small things, things that we all expect. I hope Im wrong and we get more, but just cant see it.
BlizzCon 2011 Event Predictions
OK, now that I have touched on all the key Blizzard points, what about the event itself? For anyone who has been BlizzCon is more about the social aspect of the gaming scene that anything else. This is a place for people to meet, talk, and enjoy everything surrounding a set of games that they all love.
More Real People than us Geeks and Nerds at BlizzCon
This is something that has been commented on many times in the past, there are lots of normal people (including real live females) at Blizzcon. This will continue and probably even increase percentage wise this year. With all of Blizzards catering to the casual crowd from WotLK and Cataclysm content and mechanics getting simpler many of the truly hard core elite geek type players have left the game. More casual and normal players are playing than ever, this means an even more varied demographic at BlizzCon than normal.
Considering all the main stream publicity and exposure that BlizzCon gets, that isnt a bad thing. Then all us Geeks that play get slightly fewer negative comments from all the so called normal people at work when you talk about WoW, since they will have seen the crowds of what they consider normal people at these events.
More Fans Will Make fools of them Selves for our Enjoyment!
One of the best parts of the event is the Dance and Costume contests. They are great because we can see some real effort put in by many of the fans to go that extra mile and look or act exactly like their favourite in-game entity. While I have a lot of appreciation for the people that go all out on the costume entries, I think I can speak for all of us and say I love to laugh at those that completely fail.
I mean if you have no sewing skill, no imagination, or dont have a hope of looking anything close to a character, give up ahead of time. Or at least realize that you are there to be mocked. The same goes for the players that obviously have no physical ability or stamina at all and enter the dance competition. If you break a sweat going from your gamin chair to the fridge, please dont enter, unless it really is just for us to laugh. Its funny how people get upset over people laughing in the audience, yet if they had any sense of self conscience they would know they shouldnt be up on stage anyway. Again, maybe just me
Tournaments will be Packed
The first time I attended a BlizzCon I wasnt that into the whole tournament scene. However e-gaming has really taken off and the coverage provided at BlizzCon is top notch. It really comes across as a true sport with all the fans and excitement or a real event with real players like football or baseball. Dont get me wrong, the players have huge skills, its just that the coverage was poor long ago so it didnt feel like watching a sport. With the commentators getting more skilled, coverage getting more detailed, and production values increasing, it is able to be presented with all the polish that any other sport would be and it adds so much to the event.
Because of all the changes, it feels like there is a lot more excitement surrounding the esport events at BlizzCon now than in the past. I have seen what seems like a steady increase in the interest and excitement surrounding the tournaments from the general attendees over the years, and I see that continueing.
Fun Will Be Had By All
Finally, not really a prediction, since its kind of a given. The event is a blast for everyone, I think it is almost impossible to not have fun. Everyone should try to attend at least one major event in their gaming career, and BlizzCon is one of the best out there simply because it caters to everyone! I know I give Blizzard a hard time sometimes, and dont agree with everything they do, but man do they know how to throw and event. Make sure you get to one!