Monday, November 7, 2016

The BlizzCon 2016 Rundown

Okay, so the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket isn't worth $40 (no, not even for all the digital goodies in the games). What, if anything, was worthwhile out of this year's event?

Well, if you're not at all concerned about the videogame business then why are you reading this post? Come back later. That sorted, what value you get out of BlizzCon is pretty tightly tied to how into one or more Blizzard games you are. As there were no new games announced this year, all we got were Coming Soons and Retrospectives.

  • World of Warcraft: Patch 7.1.5 comming Soon (should be on the PTR tomorrow), which bring in Pandaria Timewalking; Patch 7.2 next year, which is when Tomb of Sargeras hits and Legion Flight becomes achievable. Patch 7.2.5 and 7.3 are a thing, but time to release To Be Determined.
  • Diablo 3: D1 celebration event Soon. Necromancer comes back as a playable class. New zones for Adventure Mode and Quality of Life changes.
  • Starcraft 2: Not much. Bumpkiss, really.
  • Overwatch: Sombra (looks like it'll shake up the meta), new maps, new modes, and Overwatch Pro League (Blizzard wants to be the NFL of Esports.) That last one, if it works, is a serious game-changer for the competitive side of the gaming business.
  • Hearthstone: Mean Streets of Gadgetzan changes the game with multi-class cards. Unfortunately, the cancer of cards that create more cards from nothing will only get worse. RIP strict F2P.

You can go watch all of the tournaments on Twitch or YouTube, so I won't recap other than to say South Korea dominated as they usually do. (Lost only the Hearthstone tournament.)

But then there was Closing Ceremonies. Nothing odd until Weird Al took the stage. If you've never seen a Weird Al live show, know this: that man, and his band, do a LOT of costume changes over the course of a show. While live audiences just make do, that's bad for TV (and thus for live streaming) so someone decided to tack on host segments to cover up the changes and prevent Dead Air. Still nothing odd, until you see some twat pretending to be "Jerry" Assange and some cunt pretending to be a vapid pop star do improv bits inviting people to Tweet at Wikileaks and gamedropped Gamergate on the regular as a deliberate insult to Blizzard's customers and BlizzCon's audience.

Someone done goofed. Badly.

No one who saw those segments liked them, seeing them--rightly--as a tone-deaf and incompetent attempt to be funny by injecting politics into a situation where they did not belong. Total Biscuit didn't like it. Jesse Cox did not like it. Users at /r/wow at Reddit did not like it. Attendees did not like it. But the real kicker was dragging Wikileaks into something that they were not associated with, and inciting people to go at them; that's illegal and someone at either Blizzard or DirectTV's Legal Department (or Watcher himself, being a lawyer), should've read the Riot Act to them and whomever else is responsible for it for exposing them to such liability in a reckless manner.

And there you have it, a decent convention with lots of good competitive play (seriously; that shit was GOOD), ending with a decent show (Weird Al delivered) but marred by that tone-deaf bullshit. Expect that to NOT happen again next year.

No comments:

Post a Comment