For my first official post I figured what could be better than to post a recap and highlights of BlizzCon 2010.
This year felt like a limbo year for Blizzard. With Starcraft II: Wings of Libertyreleased a few months prior, Diablo III with no confirmed release date and the company getting ready for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, this Blizzcon felt like it didn’t have anything new to offer, besides the usual dance/costume competition(with an epic undead dance), tournaments, developer panels and the long lines to do quests. I will be going through the different games and discussing all the new content, updates and future content for each game.
As the most anticipated game from Blizzard, this year everyone hoped to hear a release date for one of the company’s most successful franchises. Though we did not get our much desired release date, we did get a look at the final character added to the Diablo 3 roster, the Demon Hunter. This fem fatal is armed to the teeth with twin crossbows, an arsenal of rogue gadgets and a never ending thirst for the undead. Being mostly skilled at ranged, the Demon Hunter brings a different balance between the Barbarian, Wizard, Witch Doctor and Monk characters. She can also wield a single two-handed crossbow for extra firepower.
We also got news of a PvP arena system. Where players can join for free for all or team based matches with their characters for supreme domination. We will have to wait for more news at next year’s Blizzcon.
This is why I came to Blizzcon this year. Starcraft is part of my childhood. It is a big factor why I got into gaming in the first place. For years my friends and I would get online on our dial up modems and try to battle it out over Battle.net v1. 10 years later I got what I wanted. A much needed face lift on one of the games that changed PC gaming.
Upon entering BlizzCon you came upon a statue of Jim Raynor. Just beyond Jim were banners for what seemed to be new in house developed Starcraft II mods. Among them were DOTA(Defence of the Ancients), Starjeweled (I am sure you can figure it out by the name), Auir Chef and Left 2 Die. Each of these games were very well produced and offered a new spin on the competitive nature of Starcraft II.
This popular mod from Warcraft 3 was ovedue for its Starcraft II appearance. Out of all the mods this is the most anticipated from all Starcraft fans. One of the great additions to the game is the hero selection, anywhere from World of Warcraft’s Patches and Lady Sylvannas to Starcraft’s Lady Kerrigan. DOTA’s game play comes down to squad based assaults on enemy monsters and structures. Each team starts with a hero of their choice and 3 different paths to their enemy base. Along the way you will be battling enemy units that spawn periodically from the opposing teams base. The goal is to level up your hero to gain new skills and powers and also destroying the enemy base. This all sounds easy on paper, but when the opposing team is coming at you with their heroes, you can find yourself in a tug of war match of skill and wits.
VIOLENT SCORE: 9
Sadly this was the most disappointing of all the Starcraft 2 mods. Once I saw the banner for Left 2 Die I immediately thought of an awesome 3rd person overhead like Alien Swarm. To my disappointment I found this game is just a 2 player co-op of a campaign survival map called “outbreak” where your only goal really is to survive.
VIOLENT SCORE: 6
Starjeweled is a remake of the immensely popular online game Bejeweled. I feel like this mod will be one of the more successful out of the bunch. The goal is to match 3 jewels in a row which will spawn a single marine and give you energy. The marine will walk in a straight line to the opponents base till it is killed. The goal is to get as many matches as you can so you can grow an army and take out your opponents base. This game seems simple but with having to choose what units to bring out with your awarded energy, trying to counter the enemy’s units, and playing the puzzle at the same time, it takes a lot of concentration and multi-tasking to master this game.
VIOLENT SCORE: 8
Auir Chef offers more than you would expect. At the start of each game you choose the type of chef you want to be. After a hilarious announcer introduces the “theme ingredient”. At this time you and your opponents run off to find the ingredients needed for the three recipes. Each recipe yields a different amount of points based on the difficulty of finding the ingredients or the quantity of ingredients needed. The objective is to outscore your opponent at the end of the 5 minute round to become the next Auir Chef!!
VIOLENT SCORE: 7