Tag: Blizzcon

A Tasty Bone

I’ve not been a complete slacker during Blizzcon. I wrote something on the opening ceremony for Geeks and Geeklets (which you can see here). By the way I’ve also started doing a Roblox YouTube series there too (nothing to do with WoW of course- although I may end up so good I’ll be able to recreate Azeroth in Roblox. Maybe. So far I’ve made a tree and a door.) In regard to Blizzcon I’ve mostly been catching up on the various panels that I’ve been too tired to watch in real time (I’m old and weary) & catching up on people’s views and opinions on these panels.

It’s fair to say everyone is very excited on what the Systems Panel offered yesterday- particularly on Transmog and Professions. In a nutshell you’ll get a Wardrobe holding all the finery you’ve ever been entitled to (account bound) & there’ll be a questing approach to professions. Personally I’m not wildly excited about the Transmog stuff (although I can see why other people are – it looks amazing). The problem is when it comes to clothes anything approaching good taste and style has always alluded me (in both real and virtual life). I have tried to change. I once dressed poor Seashell in the High Inquisitor Whitemane set. I  thought she looked awesome until someone laughed at me in Stormwind. So now Seashell is wearing a simple Runecloth set that I put together with my tailoring and that’s about as good as it gets. So while I’m happy for everyone else I’m not sure these changes are going to help me look good.  But I look forward to seeing all my old stuff again and creating some wildly mismatched looks that appeal to no one else but me.

As for the Profession changes –  well the questing approach could certainly be interesting. I hope the quests are challenging enough to give us a real sense of achievement when you get the profession reward but not too time consuming that by the time I complete then the reward is old hat (and as Seashell is a tailor it could literally be an old hat). In regard to the “no fighting over nodes” change – well to be honest on my server I never see much of this any more. Maybe it’s the areas I choose to hang out in but I’m usually on my own (was it something I said?) But again I can see how this could be welcome to many.

All of the above seem to be big crowd pleasers – I’ve just never  been part of the crowd. Legion isn’t out any time soon but look you get a Wardrobe and your own nodes. It’s the small things that matter it seems. People are happy now and all loved up for Blizzard when days before they were raging at delays and the lack of news. Seems to me that all Blizzard needs to do is keep throwing the odd tasty bone at its core audience. I don’t think this approach will get the subscribers up to 10M again but maybe that’s something Blizzard no longer need given all their other games? They’ve done enough to keep a large part of their current playerbase feeling happy, well fed and contented. Didn’t take much really.

Virtual Blizzcon – here I come (maybe)

Getting very excited about Blizzcon & strongly considering buying a Virtual Ticket. Even my toes are tingling (although that might be because the boiler is due a service). Now I know some people have decried (hysterically rent their garb more like) the lack of WoW stuff at Blizzcon but to me (a)it seems pretty much the same as normal – although I’ve not got any graphs to prove this (slacker yes) (b)it is Blizzcon so has to cover all Blizzard games not just WoW and  (c)umm  can’t think of a third one – I’ll distract you by singing until we get to the next paragraph.

Lalalalalalalaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Ok. Hope you enjoyed that. Anyhoo I am a big Hearthstone fan (& total pro within the hardcore level 17 circuit) so for me the mix of WoW & Hearthstone stuff is perfect. I’m unlikely to spend much time watching the other game segments. I’ve never done a lot  in Starcraft & Diablo, am only mildly interested in Overwatch & while I have enjoyed Heroes whenever I’ve played it, I haven’t played it much. So for me its going to be the WoW & Hearthstone items that draw me in – with the real toe tingling excitement reserved for the Hearthstone championship (I loved it when little Fruitbat won last year  – I’m such a fan)

I am particularly looking forward to the following:-

  1. The opening ceremony – I will be all snuggled up on the sofa bed watching this  (I bring it out for special occasions – I believe the Queen does the same). I wonder if any big announcement will be made? I know most people think there will be nothing big for WoW but I, the lone voice in the Azeroth wilderness, continue to hold out the hope that they will announce WoW is going F2P. Now I know there are no doubt (a)zillions of reasons why this will never happen (b)why this would a bad bad thing (c)why this could mean the END OF THE WORLD (OF WARCRAFT) AS WE KNOW IT but (a)I don’t like spending money every month (b)I don’t like spending money every month (c)I DON’T LIKE SPENDING MONEY EVERY MONTH. But I love the game & feel sad without it (boohoo poor me and my first world problems). And let’s not talk about WoW tokens – they don’t work for me. I have never been able to make much gold – I think I must lazily vendor all the good stuff or something. I basically make enough gold to get by but not enough to buy a token. Heyho. F2P please – you can do it just for me if you want.
  2. The Legion overview – excited to know more about this & finding out likely timescales (assuming these are realistic & not just made up on the night to get the crowd cheering).
  3. The Hearthstone “What’s Next?”  item – oooh interesting, although I’m not sure I can handle much more new stuff in Hearthstone right now. I’m still getting my head around TGT. And I don’t even know what I would want in the way of new stuff – I’m very happy with the game exactly as it is. What I definitely don’t want is anything in the way of in-game chat. There’s already too much BM with just the limited emotes available. I do not want those asshats to be allowed to string a sentence together (assuming they can). I like my Hearthstone like I like my men – silent and defeated (a joke dear husband, a joke)
  4. Hearthstone World Championship & Exhibition match –  needs no words – just excitement & popcorn (even though it will be crazy o’clock in the morning when I’m watching this I’m sure I’ll be awake enough to stuff some popcorn in my mouth – or a pizza).

Somewhat less excited about:-

  1. All the contests – not for me. Crowdsourced entertainment. The sort of thing you have to be there & drunk on atmosphere (or something else) to enjoy.
  2. The cinematic segments – if these are basically “Look at how we made this – don’t we do a good cut scene?” then they are not for me. I expect Blizzard to be able to do a good cutscene and I’m not their mother. I’m not giving them a pat on the back and extra pocket money for a well designed orc, even if they managed to colour inside the lines.
  3. Epic Cosplay & You – this sounds like a “Look at how this person made a super duper Naga outfit. You can do it too with three cardboard boxes, four hundred rolls of toilet paper and one partially sedated goldfish.” Not for me. I have better things to do with cardboard boxes and toilet paper (although admittedly have yet to find a way for the goldfish to earn its keep).
  4. Anything introduced with the words “Deep Dive” –  business jargon that has no place in a games convention. Plus totally insensitive to the goldfish.

One last thought:-

Just noticed it says Opening Ceremony on Main Stage, but Simulcast Ceremony in Halls A, B, C & Arena. Ooh Simulcast. This must be a new Sims-like game. How come nobody else has noticed this. Blizzard Watch – I demand an article speculating on what it means post haste. It’s going to be Blizzard does the Sims I just know it. Now that’s something I would be interested in. I’m definitely going to buy a Virtual Ticket for that. Money well spent.

 

ESporty Spice

Hard to type right now – I’m in a state of feverish excitement. Sticking with the Hearthstone theme of the last few posts I have just hit the grand old rank of 8. EIGHT. I write it in letters so there is no confusion. EIGHT. This is officially my best ever season. If this were a Rocky film I’ve just caught the chicken, Mickey is chuffed to pieces & I’m about to run up the steps with a load of kids cheering me on. It’s exactly that moment.

I think perhaps writing about my Hearthstone life (yes it is now my life) in this very blog is bringing me luck. So I must continue – everything depends on it.

I managed today to get from 10 to 8 playing a hunter deck. Life has come full circle. Two posts back I was a hunter, last post I was a priest, now I am a hunter again. I’m a holy man gone renegade. Let’s not talk about the bleak period in between (ie last night – we now call it Dark Friday) when I tried to play my own Paladin deck. I will never learn.

I have been rather inspired in my play by the Heathstone World Championship  EU qualifiers. Yes I’m even watching the game now & joining in with the casters who gasp at every turn and express shock and amazement at the most ordinary plays – “OMG Kolento just put down a mana totem, that’s why he’s one of the best players in the world.” Nevertheless their excitement is contagious – when a Priest thoughtstealed (yes its a verb) Jarraxus earlier today I reacted as if the player had got up from his chair & started levitating (“Look look”-pointing at the screen and spluttering-“Look look what he just did”).

It’s also interesting to watch the players themselves. A body language expert would have a field day. Everyone is rubbing their heads, their chins, their lips (their own of course – they barely make eye contact with each other). I noticed one practically rocking in his chair. There’s not much in the way of poker faces here. And they all look so young (like all the policemen these days – when did I get so old?).

When the camera pans back you see two burly bodyguards standing right by the table – less than a foot away from the players. Not sure what that’s all about. Are they expecting (hoping) that some lovestruck groupies are going to storm the stage, unable to resist these Hearthstone stars? All the players I’ve seen are men by the way.  No female players seem to have got through this time round (sadly my own winning streak started a little too late for me to be a contender). A blonde woman in a possibly too short skirt (depending on the viewing angle) tottered about the stage before the first game (I think the shoes were a new purchase)  asking the  players some fairly inane questions (“Are you excited to be here today?” monotone reply – “Yes”).  She clutched a huge question card in front of her – it was bigger than her skirt. I can only speculate on the reason (so I will  –  poor eyesight and a refusal to face up to the fact she needs glasses … been there sister). After a bit she gave up trying to engage the players in anything approaching conversation and stumbled off stage – nearly poking herself in the eye with her microphone as she went (that would not have helped her eyesight). The players were left  looking rather bemused (“What a weird groupie” one mouthed to the other, in my head). The bouncers looked on protectively.

One thing I’ve enjoyed is seeing the players make the same mistakes I make. Earlier today a player miscounted – he thought a play would kill his minion (thus triggering a card draw from a Cult Master) but once he had made his move he realised he still had one health left so no card draw. He smiled ruefully & promptly conceded.   “I’ve done that,” I told husband excitedly, “I’ve made that very same mistake.” Never before have I rejoiced so in my own ineptitude. Twitch chat was of course unforgiving but I was all warm and fuzzy inside.

It really is a lot of fun & I’m looking forward to watching the tournament (virtually of course) at Blizzcon. But every time I watch a game I get the irresistable urge to fire up Hearthstone and have a quick game myself. I used to be the same every June when Wimbledon was on – out would come my dusty racket & off I’d trot to the local tennis courts. Everyone had the same idea of course  so the courts were quite overrun with pretend Everts, Borgs, McEneroes etc  (I was always Evonne Cawley by the way – I was quite taken with her curly hair – sadly this taste in hairstyles led me on a rather unfortunate path through the years that eventually saw me looking like Noddy Holder at my father’s wedding). Anyway tennis fever never lasted much beyond Wimbledon fortnight. One month or so later the courts were once again empty and unloved and my tennis racket was back to being a make do guitar (not that tuneful I must admit, but my riffs never lacked in passion). Tennis is hard. Certainly too hard for me. But  Hearthstone is different – there’s no  running around and flailing wildly at a ball and I never get hot and sweaty (unless husband has finally agreed to put the central heating on for a bit – he usually relents when my nose is icy to the touch – let’s just call him frugal and leave it there) . I can play Hearthstone with coffee and cake by my side. That’s the type of sport I like – Esports. My PE teacher would be so proud.