Blizzcon 2014: Revelations or lack of them

I didn’t like Diablo 2, I definitely didn’t like Diablo 3, I have never played Starcraft, I’m not in the Heroes of the Storm alpha and I find Hearthstone a bit meh. When I think of blizzard, I think of World of Warcraft, that is the game of theirs that I play.

Now, the next expansion Warlords of Draenor releases in less than a week. Announcing the expansion after it, before this one is even released, would have been an odd choice. However, they have said they want to release expansions faster, they are planning on only two raid tiers which means surely it has to be faster. The next expansion will be wanting to release not long after next years blizzcon, there has to be a beta cycle first, so it can’t wait that long for announcement. I thought it was about 50/50 as to whether they announced it and they opted not to. I’m assuming that the announcement will be made at gamescon or something similar.

However, what I was sure they would do is talk about future patches. What would be coming up in 6.1 or 6.2, more about the future of the patch, something that we haven’t heard before. There was a big Warcraft panel yesterday and all of it just reiterated either what was in the 6.0 patch notes, or what they had said a year ago during last blizzcon. When I read the recap I was so glad I hadn’t bought a virtual ticket this year. Not giving any new information? That’s just wrong and in my opinion quite disrespectful. That this is hot on the heels of the longest content drought since the game was launched and it doesn’t exactly give a good feeling.

I’ve seen a few other people express this opinion in comments on WoWInsider, they have been stomped on for being cynical trolls. Why is it a bad thing to be critical about something you care about? If I didn’t care then I wouldn’t say anything. Now it’s possible that something new will be said during today’s panels. I certainly hope something new is said as otherwise this con offered nothing for Warcraft game fans. There was of course the movie which finished shooting months ago and is set for release in 2016. Seriously? It’s kinda hard to get excited when it’s still that far away.

Anyway, enough about Warcraft for the moment. The big reveal of the con was the new IP Overwatch, an entirely new game, a team based shooter. The suspicious part of me is sure that this was part Titan, as somebody must have been working on this as it can’t just have come out of nowhere. I thought that the footage of the game world was very Pixar, I wondered if it was aimed at kids but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The gameplay footage looked relatively polished and the beta is at some point next year.

My problem with it? It’s a shooter. I can’t play first person as I get really badly motion sick. I have enjoyed in very small doses games like Sanctum but even in small doses I pay for it afterwards. Plus it just seems to be a team based game, so you always have to play with others and it looks like it will be all PvP, so playing against people not an AI.¬†Even if I didn’t have the FPS issue I don’t have enough friends to play, and I don’t really like PvP as I suck at it.

The new game is obviously not for me but I actually feel bizarrely sad about that. I might have thought the animation was aimed at children but I enjoyed it anyway. I got a real superhero vibe from it and I love superheroes. I was hoping all the way through that the announced game would be an MMO RPG, so like Warcraft but this whole new universe as I would have played that in a heartbeat. The graphics looked fantastic, I loved the world and the settings, the powers looked good, it was light and bright and it was superheroes. I love Marvel Heroes but at the end of the day that game is about smashing stuff, it’s a dungeon crawler not an RPG, I want a superhero RPG.

However, it’s not an RPG, they don’t want to give themselves competition I guess. It’s a shooter and that makes me sad. I love shooters in theory, being the hero, taking down the bad guys, it being a lot more real and immediate. There’s no quests or raids in shooters, they aren’t that kind of game so it’s more immersive. I wish I could play, I want to play, I really really want to play. When I was a kid my cousin had a shooter game, and he had a plastic gun that connected to the console, I wanted one so badly but I can’t play shooters. I try and play shooters and I get physically ill, so all the wanting in the world can’t change that.

I think that’s what really makes me disappointed in Overwatch. That I would love to play it but something physically prevents me. I would much rather just hate the game itself and maybe the more we learn about it, the more it’ll suck. Who knows?

There’s still a day of blizzcon left. However, from what I remember of my virtual ticket last year all the news was dealt with on day one, there were just additional details on day two. I don’t expect anything earth shattering but I will read the reports anyway. Warlords of Draenor launches in five days, Mists of Pandaria you really outstayed your welcome.