Welcome to BlizzCon 2014
"Welcome to BlizzCon." are three words that many gamers have enjoyed hearing over the past several years. Whether arriving in person, or watching from the comfort of home, one weekend almost annually since 2005 has seen Anaheim, California's convention center alive with the hustle and bustle of fans of Blizzard Entertainment. As one of those fans, I have kept an eager and observant eye on everything going on. Picking, prodding, and drooling over everything I was seeing, I filtered the event down to these heavy hitters of BlizzCon 2014.
Overwatch Reveal and Panel
Jaws dropped and heads rolled when a nervous Chris Metzen walked off of the stage towards the end of the opening ceremony, a cinematic reminiscent of a Pixar film played out before them. An action packed, exciting few minutes turned into an hour and a half of Blizzard giving us the rundown on Overwatch, a team based first person shooter with a heavy emphasis on class gameplay. Tanking, damage, and healing specific roles were all shown, along with insights on several of the different characters and how they all compare against each other.
Blizzard stressed that every character is accessible to every type of player, as long as the player uses the abilities of the character wisely. Blizzard gave the example of positioning a Defense character on top of a mobile objective in the form of a driving vehicle, jokingly dubbing it the 'Kill Dozer'. During a full length match shown at the end of the panel, the audience actually witnessed the 'Kill Dozer' in effect during a full length match, and while it certainly seems to be a powerful combo, the characters all seem balanced enough that with a little teamwork it can be dealt with swiftly. In addition to the footage of a full length match, 600 machines were set up so that attendees could try the game themselves. It was no surprise that all 600 were consistently full during the entire convention, with overwhelmingly positive feedback from gamers.
The Warcraft Movie Panel
Ever since the announcement of a Warcraft movie, speculation has run wild. What part of the storyline will it cover? Who will star in it? When will it release? Will it even be any good? While some of those questions where answered before BlizzCon 2014, Blizzard had quite a treat in store for their audience as Chris Hardwick spoke with Duncan Jones, Chris Metzen, and Bill Westenhofer. They sat down and talked in-depth about the production of the movie without , unfortunately, giving away much about the movie itself.
They did reveal that the Warcraft movie is going back to where it all began, taking place during the same story arch as the original game Warcraft: Orcs and Humans. The focus is on creating both human and orc characters that viewers can both sympathize and despise depending on where you stand in the conflict. Coming on stage to join the group was Rob Kazinsky who will be taking on the role of Orgrim Doomhammer. He spoke about his experiences during filming and bringing to life such an iconic character. Filming of the movie ended last year, and it is expected to release March 2016.
Other cast members revealed were Ben Foster as Medivh, Dominic Cooper as King Llane Wrynn I, Clancy Brown as Blackhand the Destroyer, Ben Schnetzer as Khadger and Paula Patton as Garona Halforcen.