Blizzard Entertainment really outdid themselves with BlizzCon 2007. From the moment the doors open and the crowd cheered, to the moment it all ended - there was an electricity that filled the entirety of the Anaheim Convention Center. BlizzCon saw more than 13,000 spectators visit the event, and Curse was proud to have been invited to such a historic gathering.
Every which way you turned there were Blizzard fans having a great time. Whether you visited the Elekk ride, the jousting pit, the developer autograph corner, the main hall for panels, the StarCraft II and World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King playable demo areas, the Upper Deck TCG section, or the stage with various tournaments taking place, you saw people having a great time.
The panels were quite possibly the most popular thing at BlizzCon - though the tournaments came in a very close second - with extremely large crowds gathering - even some fans sitting on the floor to take part and listen in as developers explained the philosophies behind the game's design, gave a glimpse of what's coming in the future and of course, answered some of the questions that are no doubt plaguing many WoW players minds.
Of course the StarCraft, Warcraft III and Arena tournaments were all action-packed and the onlookers got into the matches a great deal. Even Tom Chilton was there for a front row seat to watch the Arena tournament unfold - eventually going on stage and joining in on the commentating. If BlizzCon was any indication, the future is very bright for World of Warcraft on a competitive level and can indeed be entertaining to watch.
There was ample time to chat with the community of players who gathered for BlizzCon, and we took full advantage of it. We have some video we're going to be putting together to show everyone and help Blizzard drive home the true reasons for BlizzCon - fan appreciation. It was fun talking with World of Warcraft players on a more personal level; joining discussions on forums is one thing, but sitting down and actually meeting players in person is great.
You'll also want to keep an eye out in the coming days for a video interview with Jeff Kaplan - Lead Designer on World of Warcraft - filmed during BlizzCon. Jeff was kind enough to answer a few questions for us, including some which we gathered from players.
Another thing to go into is from my experience playing Wrath of the Lich King. One of my characters is a Paladin, so I was obviously curious about the upcoming changes for Retribution in 2.3 and if they were in the expansion build. Sure enough they were so here's a quick recap of the changes:
- Improved Judgement of the Crusader: Design change. In addition to the normal effect, your Judgement of the Crusader spell will also increase the critical strike chance of all attacks made against that target by an additional 1% per rank. 3 ranks.
- Vindication: Gives the Paladin's damaging melee attacks a chance to reduce the target's attributes by 5% per rank. 3 ranks.
- Vengeance: Gives you a 1% bonus per rank to Physical and Holy damage you deal for 30 sec after dealing a critical strike from a weapon swing, spell or ability. This effect stacks up to 3 times.
- Sanctified Crusader renamed to Sanctified Seals: Increases your chance to crit with spells and melee by 1% per rank and your Seals(this part of the description was unfinished). 3 ranks.
- Crusader Strike: Reduced cooldown from 10 to 6 seconds.
2.3 - the Zul'Aman patch - should be a great one for Paladins and Shaman, as there are some Shaman enhancement changes going in at that time too.
We enjoyed meeting everyone we talked to while there, be it developers, players or even some of the exhibitors who are players too - as you'll see from some of the video interviews. Hopefully I speak for the other 12,999 attendees when I say that I can't wait for next BlizzCon.