Once inside, I was taken back yet again by Blizzard's crazy ass budget, although I can't argue with the results given that World of Warcraft has just past the 12 million subscriber mark. That's 12 million times 15 bucks a month. The statues are always a good eye opener, kind of a very high resolution action figure that Blizzard has hanging out in their lobbies. The opening ceremonies this year were awesome, showing off what will probably be my class of choice in Diablo 3, the Demon Hunter, and a new PvP arena system for Diablo 3 as well. Starcraft is also getting an influx of Blizzard developed maps that mock the likes of Valve's Left 4 Dead in a custom map titled Left 2 Die and Bejeweled in a game called Star-Jeweled which mixes both puzzle elements and a push towards an enemy base. Look for hands on with these games and systems tomorrow, as for the remainder of the day I will be touring the show floor and taking lots of pictures that I will upload to my flickr account sometime next week.
The remainder of my day was spent taking pictures of various Blizzard stuff, including statue's and banners. The best part though? Trying to win a Starcraft King of the Hill Competition where I had to win three 1v1 Starcraft 2 matches in a row. This was by far the highlight of the evening, but let me tell you why. Perhaps my friend "Dramatic Tension" can help?
Match 1: Ryan (Zerg ) VS Terran
I decided since my opponent was playing Terran that I should go for a standard Speed Zergling build with Banelings into Mutalisks. Oh how I was wrong. Turns out the guy I was playing hadn't even finished the story mode yet, and was unaware that Medic's didn't exist in multiplayer. I stomped this guy using about 16 Speed Zerglings.
Match 2: Ryan (Zerg) VS Terran
Not wanting to press my luck, I decided to follow standard Zerg 1v1 play here, going for a quick expand into Mutalisks. While this opponent wasn't exactly a pushover compared to my first match, I eventually won due to having complete control of the map via creep and an extremely mobile army. A 1 base Terran is a dead Terran!
Match 3: Ryan (Zerg) VS Random/Protoss
The opponent I was facing was going random, so I decided that some early scouting with light harass was the way to go until I could see how he would react to that. Once I determined the race of my enemy, Protoss, I quickly analyzed his base to see that he was going four gate. I then proceeded to get stomped by an extremely well balanced force of Sentries, Stalkers and Zealots before I could even expand. He caught me while I was transitioning from Hatchery to Lair and completely obliterated me in about 6 minutes flat. Sadly I didn't win my poster. In a show of good sportsmanship, I stood up to shake my opponents hand and congratulate him on the victory. Low and behold it was HDStarcraft of YouTube fame. He completely worked me and said I needed to establish map control before I moved from tier 1 play into tier 2. I was completely awestruck. HDStarcraft, the commentator of the gods such as Idra and Boxer was giving me advice. This is advice I will use in all games I play from here on out... Thank you oh wise one.
Aside from that, I did manage to sneak in a quick session of the Cataclysm beta. And what did I find out?! Well the most important information ever!!! The dance animations for the new races! Male Goblins do Solja Boy, Female Goblins do 'All the Single Ladies' and Male Worgen do Bye Bye Bye from N'Sync. Sadly my play time expired before I could log out and create a female worgen to see their dance, but I guess some things will still be a surprise when Cataclysm comes out on December 7th.
After the BlizzCon festivities were over I headed out to the Twisted Nether Blogcast meet-up. I am absolutely floored how accepting they were of new members into their family like community. Definitely a cool bunch of folks, with or without beer. I highly suggest you check out their home on the internet at http://www.twistednether.net