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Filed under: BlizzCon

The BlizzCon Meeting Stone is no more

Last year's BlizzCon introduced a real-world version of the Meeting Stone to provide a central place on the show floor to arrange meetups and find your friends. But while basking in the presence of a giant, Meeting Stone was pretty fantastic, the dark, noisy convention floor wasn't a great place to have conversations. This year, Blizzard is nixing the Meeting Stone idea altogether and encouraging attendees to set up their own meetups when and where they like.

On one hand, you're freed from the tyranny of organized meetups... but on the other hand, this year's BlizzCon won't have any central meeting space to find your friends. You'll still be able to find members of the community team at the Community Booth and you can arrange your own meetups (if you're into that kind of thing) on the BlizzCon Meet-up forum.

But the worst part of this news is that the Meeting Stone itself isn't slated to be on the show floor. How are we ever going to summon everyone without it?

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2014 Talent Contest now open for submissions

The sign-up page for the BlizzCon 2014 Talent Contest is now open and taking entries. For the Talent Contest, entries should be a 2-minute video of a Blizzard-themed performance. This year, Blizzard has obtained the rights to several different songs that can be used during the performances, either as a backing track, or even as a Blizzard-themed derivative version -- in other words, parody tracks using the approved songs are completely fine. The full list is available on the official announcement post.

Semi-Finalists in the Talent Contest will receive $500. Four Finalist acts will be chosen and provided with airfare, tickets and hotel accommodations to BlizzCon 2014, where they will perform their acts for the judges, who will then decide the winners. The Fourth Place winner will receive $800, Third Place will receive $1,250, Second Place will receive $2,000, and First Place will receive a whopping $3,000. But if you want to throw your hat in the ring, you better get moving -- all entries must be received by 11:59PM PDT on August 5.

As a reminder, those looking to enter the Blizzcon 2014 Art and Movie contests only have a few days left to enter -- submissions will be closed on July 7. Good luck to all who enter!

Filed under: Contests, BlizzCon

BlizzCon costume contest sign-ups open

It's official, BlizzCon 2014's costume contest has opened up its sign-ups. Just like the earlier opening of sign-ups for the Art and Movie contests, there are some interesting prizes here - the top prize is $3500, or $2500 and a 'tribute' in an upcoming Blizzard product. What does that mean?

A tribute could include taking the form of having an NPC, weapon, etc. named after the first place winner.


In addition to that there's $2250 for second place finish, $1500 for third place, $1000 for fourth, and a $250 for secondary winners. Considering how much time and effort people put into their costumes, it's nice to see the possibility of a few people at least getting a little compensation for that. If you're interested in entering this year, head to the official site now.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, BlizzCon, Arts and Crafts

BlizzCon 2014 Art and Movie contest submissions now open

If you're an artist or a movie maker with a penchant for all things Blizzard, now's your chance to show off your talents and win some prizes. The Art and Movie contests for BlizzCon 2014 are now officially taking submissions, and there's a sweet list of prizes to be had. For the BlizzCon Movie Contest, third place will receive $850, second place will receive $1,300, and first place will receive $2,000 and an Oswald Statue. Prizes for the BlizzCon Art Contest are $700 for third place, $1,000 for second place, and $1,500 to the first place winner ... but that's not all. Each winner for both the Art and Movie contests will also receive either a ticket to BlizzCon 2014, or an additional $175 cash.

Keep in mind that the submissions for these contests don't necessarily have to be Warcraft related -- you can take your inspiration for your artwork or film from any of the Blizzard franchises. But if you want to enter, you might want to get a move on -- the deadline for submissions is 11:59PM PST on July 7. For more information, official rules, and submission guidelines, head to the official site.

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

How to update your BlizzCon badge information

June 6th is the last day you'll be able to change the name attached to any BlizzCon tickets you've bought -- which is important, because the name on the badge needs to match the photo ID of whoever picks it up. So if you've bought tickets for guildmates or friends, but haven't updated your information, it's important to do so before it's too late. Fortunately, the process is pretty simple:
  1. Log on to Eventbrite. (If you didn't already have an Eventbrite account, it should have been created for you during checkout. Just log on using the email address you used to buy the tickets.)
  2. Select BlizzCon under Current Orders at the top of the page. (If you regularly buy tickets through Eventbrite, you may need to click All Orders to see BlizzCon on the list.)
  3. If the information listed isn't correct, click Edit details and then enter the correct information. Each attendee needs a first name, last name, and email address listed.
  4. Click Save -- you're done!
Nearer to the show, each attendee will get an email with a barcode they'll have to bring to BlizzCon to pick up their ticket -- so be sure to print out your barcode and have a photo ID!

Filed under: BlizzCon

BlizzCon Benefit Dinner tickets on sale tomorrow

If you've missed getting BlizzCon tickets so far, you've got one last chance: on Wednesday at 7PM Pacific tickets to this year's Benefit Dinner will go on sale. Though they're pricer than the usual ticket -- $750 each -- these get you into BlizzCon as well as a pre-BlizzCon dinner with Blizzard staff and developers. While this isn't the budget-buyer's way to BlizzCon, these tickets do benefit Blizzard's favorite charity, the Children's Hospital of Orange County.

So if you want to lend a helping hand for the kids at CHOC -- and get to enjoy BlizzCon -- head over to the Eventbrite tickets page tomorrow at 7PM sharp. Good luck, ticket-buyers!

Filed under: BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2014 General Admission tickets officially sold out

The second and last round of tickets for BlizzCon 2014 have now sold out. Eventbrite's sales system gave the notice at 10:39am PDT. As with every BlizzCon past, it didn't take long for the ticket queue to immediately fill up with would-be attendees. There are still tickets available for the BlizzCon Benefit Dinner, however -- the remainder of those tickets will go on sale May 14 at 7pm PDT.

Hopefully those of you that were looking for tickets were quick with your clicking and got your orders in -- if so, we'll see you at BlizzCon! If not, there's always the Virtual Ticket, which usually offers the digital goodies and complete coverage of just about every panel and event at BlizzCon. Better still, you can view it all from the comfort of your own home. While Virtual Tickets are not as of yet available for purchase, expect to see them well before November.

Filed under: BlizzCon

Breakfast Topic: Are you getting BlizzCon tickets?

Today is the second and final day to pick up tickets for BlizzCon 2014, November 7-8 in Anaheim. This year, tickets are being sold via Eventbrite. The first round sold out almost immediately, much to my dismay -- so I'll be spamming F5 with everyone else come 10am PDT and trying to get a ticket from this batch. I have to admit, I really liked the Blizzard Store ticketing system far, far better than Eventbrite's strange method of putting people in waiting rooms and booting them out before tickets are actually gone.

Regardless, I'm sure I'm not alone. How many of you guys are going to be trying to get tickets this morning? Are you planning on attending, or just getting the virtual ticket this year and watching from the comfort of your home? Have you managed to traverse the Eventbrite system and already obtain a ticket for the event? Good luck to everyone giving it a try this morning!


Filed under: Breakfast Topics, BlizzCon

More details on the BlizzCon ticket waiting room


Blizzard and their ticketing partner Eventbrite have issued some details on their ticketing process (in particular about the cumbersome waiting room):

Blizzard Entertainment
The waiting room is enabled for high-demand events such as BlizzCon to seamlessly allow the first few thousand ticket buyers to complete their transactions within the registration time window. Keep in mind that being in the waiting room doesn't necessarily mean you're guaranteed tickets. As ticket buyers complete or abandon transactions, or if they do not complete registration in time, the same number of ticket buyers will be selected from the waiting room for a chance to purchase tickets. If your turn arrives before the initial allotment of tickets has been fully claimed, you will be moved from the waiting room directly into the checkout process.

Those who come to the site after the initial allotment of tickets has been claimed will no longer be allowed in the waiting room. For those who are still in the waiting room after this point, if your requested number of tickets becomes available because other customers abandoned their purchases, you will be moved from the waiting room directly to the checkout process. In some cases, due to a variety of factors the system may attempt to move you from the waiting room to the checkout and realize that the number of tickets you selected is not available at that moment. In that case, you'll be moved to the event page, but you will still be able to refresh your browser to try to purchase tickets before others who were not in the waiting room, and/or change the number of tickets you'd like to request. If the quantity you requested is now available, you will proceed directly to the checkout process.

As Blizzard said in their original post, these are certainly details that help us understand the system better, but the system itself seems unintuitive and unnecessarily complicated for simply waiting in a large queue for an event ticket. I recently bought Paul McCartney tickets and the system wasn't nearly this detailed.

The next round of BlizzCon tickets go on sale this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. PDT.

Filed under: BlizzCon

Blizzard: Eventbrite meant to combat scalpers

On the BlizzCon forums, CM Phenteo explains that one of the reasons Blizzard is using Eventbrite for ticket sales is to combat ticket scalping:

Phenteo
One reason why we're using Eventbrite is because there is a quick and easy system to help us monitor purchases and be able to take tickets back from scalpers/bots.



We're all for getting tickets into the hands of fans rather than scalpers, but considering the number of BlizzCon tickets up on Ebay, we're not entirely sure this strategy has worked. However, if Blizzard is able to take tickets away from scalpers, this makes Ebay ticket shopping even more hazardous than usual -- and with the way ticket pickup has worked in the past, it's always been a bit hazardous.

If you didn't score BlizzCon tickets last night, you'll have another chance this weekend.

Filed under: BlizzCon

First wave of BlizzCon tickets sold out

Is it any surprise? Tonight's wave of BlizzCon tickets has sold out. Eventbrite's sales system gave the notice at 7:05 p.m. PDT, but it's likely that every ticket was spoken for within the first 5-10 seconds, as has been the case for BlizzCons past.

The second wave of tickets will go on sale Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. PDT.

Filed under: BlizzCon

BlizzCon Tickets on sale today

Do you intend on buying tickets to BlizzCon? If you do, then get ready, because today at 7:00 pm pacific, you can attempt to do that very thing. If you don't manage to get your hands on tickets, don't immediately despair, for a second round of tickets will also be available this Sunday, May 10th. From what I understand (having never actually managed to go to BlizzCon) it can be pretty crazy when the opportunity is presented, so you can make use of these resources to try and maximize your chances, also provided on the Blizzard official site.

Best of luck to everyone out there trying to snag those tickets. Remember, that's 7:00 pm Pacific, through the Eventbrite site.

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, BlizzCon

How to buy BlizzCon 2014 tickets through Eventbrite

In previous years, Blizzard has sold tickets through their own store -- which meant old hat BlizzCon attendees knew what to expect when it came time to buy their tickets. But this year's switch to Eventbrite means that most of us aren't quite sure how the ticketing process will work. However, Blizzard has posted a comprehensive walkthrough of the ticketing process so you know just what to expect when the first batch of tickets goes up for sale this Wednesday.

Key points to note are:
  • General admission tickets will be on sale at Wednesday, May 7 at 7pm PDT and Saturday, May 10 at 10am PDT. Benefit dinner tickets will be on sale at Wednesday, May 14 at 7pm PDT.
  • You can buy a maximum of four tickets -- or just two benefit dinner tickets -- per household.
  • You'll need names and email addresses to associate with each ticket -- but if you don't have them when you buy, you should enter your own name and email address. Just be sure the names are accurate before June 6th!
  • A commonly used trick in the past of clicking "buy" for a single ticket and changing the number at checkout won't work on Eventbrite -- the number of tickets you selected to purchase originally cannot be changed later, so be sure to select the right amount up-front!
We still don't have details on the ticket pickup process, but if it's like previous years you should expect the buyer to have to pick up tickets with an ID and possibly credit card.


Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2014 - Many contests, handle them

I have never been to BlizzCon, so I assume it's a lot like a raid. This year, amongst the many encounters will be a series of contests that you have the opportunity to defeat. As is customary, there will be an excellent costume contest (at least, it's always been excellent when I watched it on the stream) with some fairly sensible rules, like 'no real weapons' and 'please design your costume so you can see and walk because otherwise you'll fall down a lot'.

Then there's the expanded talent contest. Can you sing, dance, or make people laugh? Send 'em a YouTube link with your intended performance and make sure you keep it within their suggested limits so they can use it during the con if they like it and you.

There's also an art and a movie contest, for the artistic and visionary types among us. So go ahead and check out the dungeon journal for the BlizzCon contests. There's also an email address for any questions you may have - BlizzConContest@Blizzard.com.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Contests, BlizzCon, Arts and Crafts

Garrisons and their role in Warlords of Draenor

We're all talking about garrisons these days. Whether it's how they're going to work, where they're going to be, or what we're going to do with them they're the big new feature for Warlords of Draenor and we're all constantly worrying at the bone to try and squeeze more information out of them. It's understandable. Players have wanted something akin to player housing for years, and the garrison goes beyond that - it's effectively your own fortified town. It brings back memories for players of old school pen and paper RPG's like me of hitting the end of the expert levels in D&D and getting a dominion.

We've recently found out that the garrison will be heavily integrated into the leveling experience, requiring it to have a stable location (Frostfire Ridge for Horde, Shadowmoon Valley for Alliance) and that there will be specific racial-themed buildings for the professions section of your garrison. There's even going to be group content for garrisons. Mumper has even assured us that the garrison will not be required to level. Meanwhile, Muffinus has asked players who, out of the entire World of Warcraft, would they want as a follower - I'm personally pulling for Rexxar and Marhsall Windsor. Yes, I know.

What this all means is in flux, of course, as Mumper himself acknowledges - design is iterative, and changes happen. We're still waiting for more details, but what I wanted to talk about now is how the garrison is shaping up to become one of those rare things, a feature that can completely transform your playing experience in fundamental ways, yet not directly.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

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