After four years, Blizzcon is BACK!
I have been playing Blizzard games since 2000, when Diablo II came out when I was in college. I grinded and grinded on my Sorceress for years! Then World of Warcraft came out and I started playing in 2005. The first character I created is still the character I play to this day. My human fire mage on the Silvermoon server. Despite playing Blizzard games so so many years, 2019 is the first Blizzcon I attended! After that convention, I left with such a positive feeling. I met so many great people and found friends I share interests with. That great feeling of positivity came back after this year too!
I am trying to edit a long video, which is kinda challenging to do with so much footage. But it should be posted eventually! This is a super short one of photos:
@ineedthisunicorn Blizzcon 2023 in 6 seconds I am editing a much longer video as well! Thank you to @Shojo @Kira Arlayna @Jay The Bard @MrGM – Warcraft for stopping for a chat and taking a photo! I had so much fun and loved meeting more lovers of WoW! I hope we can all play together soon! #blizzcon #blizzcon2023 #worldofwarcraft #warcraft ♬ Escaping the Void – Timecop1983
Blizzcon is always a great time! Even if you never watch any of the panels, there are new friends to meet and loads of activities to do! I have been to one other Blizzcon, and this year felt totally different due to the layout, as well as the schedule. I was afraid the vibe would be off due to controversies, but when I was there, I didn’t think about it at all. If anything it felt different because of the changes. Not that it should be the same every year, but certain things were missed by me personally.
Most most obvious difference was that there was only one stage located in the Arena instead one in each hall. There also weren’t more panels beyond what was next in each game. The Voice Actors panel and Concept Art panel were missed. But I would have to guess, with the short time frame to plan, it may not have been realistic this year. The Opening Ceremony, What’s Next panels for each game, Community Night and the concert were all held in the Arena, which used to host the Starcraft events. The Arena looked like it was a stage for television, and it looked spectacular! However, I was unable to even set foot in there to experience the grandeur.
We also noticed that Starcraft and Heroes of The Storm, (which are on maintenance mode), were not in the lineup at all. A little sad because I know so many people love Starcraft and I enjoy Heroes myself.
I am unsure of how the layouts were before 2019, but I definitely missed the art gallery (as an illustrator who wanted to become a video game concept artist) There was also a section for up and coming artists in a corridor previously.
Though people commented how this year wasn’t sold out, it definitely felt over sold! The crowd was packed inside certain areas. The Darkmoon Faire was so crowded on Day 2, that they needed a line to get in and had to cap it when it grew toward Hall C. The Arena as huge as it was, could only hold a fraction of the attendees. The Diablo Hall at one point got so crowded, that we had to turn back, and abandon the mission to escape the crowd.
In the past, the convention would end at 10pm, which worked well if you wanted to try demos or any activity with no line. This year it felt rushed and it closed at 7pm. But I can see at an employee point-of-view that they had a long day and probably wanted to go home. I think most attendees would have left by dinner anyway, to attend group dinners and such, so perhaps it didn’t make a huge difference to many of the guests.
The pre-parties, Con Before the Storm and the Benefit Dinner, unfortunately couldn’t happen. It was perfectly understandable that Con Before the Storm couldn’t happen, it was the short notice and logistics that made it impossible. We can forgive them for that. A new friend in line told me about the Benefit Dinner and how fun it was, so maybe if they have it again I will consider getting tickets. This year there was a Raider.io mixer. I don’t know if the general public could attend. But the bar at The Hilton is free and everyone is invited!
I love that I captured the professional photographer for scale. Also “What Sword?” Ion said it so perfectly during the Asmon interview!These screens in The Corridor of Time played the cinematics (with sound) of the past expansions at the end of the hall was Sargeras’ sword. Like in Classic WoW, people politely waited in line for their turn to take photos with the sword. They even had cute signs we could hold that said, “What Sword?”/ “That Sword”
This year the Darkmoon Faire was inside the Warcraft Hall and not in its own room, in a different building. This choice proved to be a mistake, which the organizers are very well aware of! I just don’t think anyone predicted how popular the booths would be or that the smaller space would cause such a bottleneck. They did put in a bunch of tables which was great for pin traders to display their collections for trade. I recall last time, people were straight up on the floor, going through their Mystery Crates, trying to make trades. Unfortunately, there was no Mystery Crate this year. I loved the vibe of the Faire, the problem was, everyone else in attendance did too! It’s popular for good reason, it’s a lot of fun to obtain collectables! I think the organizers know that they need to use the larger space again, unless they want dealings with the Fire Marshall!
If the organizers come across this, my suggestion would be to offer themed snacks and drinks like they have in the game. Which sounds like a disaster because it was already crowded! Do we need even more people packed in there? No! But what’s a faire without faire snacks and drinks? I always want to eat. I would suggest games too, but I am already creating a problem offering a snack tent! haha!
The Warcraft floor during the Guild Clash, very popular! Go Echo, Go Echo, Go!
The Warcraft Rumble dev team, just before Opening Ceremony. I spent a few hours in this section, not knowing that Portal Pass had a theater. But it was good to be on the floor where the action was!
This area only looks empty because I went here first thing, before General Admission started to arrive.
I’ve been enjoying Rumble since I got home. If you are familiar with the concepts of Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, you’ll pick up on Rumble right away. You basically want to make your way to the other side of the field to destroy the boss, while dealing with enemies and obstacles, and each of your units has a cost (like your cards do in HS.) You will also want to be smart with your leader and unit choices, as well as your timing and placement. The best part is only lasts a few minutes so you aren’t spending a whole lot of time on each game. Since it is pay-to-win, I will be avoiding PvP since the power level will be obvious. But it’s a fun way to pass the time and I know I’ll be playing it all day on Thanksgiving while I hide from elderly family members.
The ambiance of the tavern was comforting and the theme was of Hearthstone’s western themed expansion.
It looks like they were not able to obtain a liquor license in time, which is alright with me. Maybe not so much for other people. The last Blizzcon, a group of 5-6 guys, who were very drunk, came up to me and started coming at me with the cheesiest pickup lines ever. I had no one with me to come to my defense, so I had to deal with these drunkards alone. I did not miss the alcohol one bit this time.
Instead they had a couple of mocktails. They had offered copper Moscow Mule mugs, but they were sold out within a half hour of opening on Saturday. No loss, there was no logo or special print. The mocktails, however, I loved! It was hard to choose between Rumble Elixir or Starseeker Sour, but the Starseeker was my favorite.
I liked the drinks so much that I wanted to recreate them. I believe the Starseeker Sour has to be from a mix. No way was anyone squeezing lemons, nor was it sour enough for it the be from fresh lemons! It was super sweet and didn’t feel too acidic. I just need to find a Prickly Pear Lemonade mix to make it at home.
The Rumble Elixir was Red Bull Blueberry and Starry. However, I can see from my pictures that there is a blue liquid pre-poured in the cups, I don’t know what that is, so I am missing the one ingredient. I made it at home anyway, and I like the result! This is actually what I would imagine the Darkmoon Faire’s Fizzy Faire Drink to be. In the photos I have them in the free mugs I got from 2019’s convention.
There was a print last Blizzcon, A F Kay, by Adam Byrne that I wanted to buy. So this year I was determined to get the coveted print! He wasn’t there.
There was a lot of great art prints available to buy! Eva Widermann was back with her beautiful illustrations. I have her Pureheart Courser print right next to me.
I had played Diablo 2 for many years! My main was a Sorceress, and all of my video game characters since are some sort of fire spell caster. So I’m a big Diablo fan…..I cannot play Diablo IV or D2: Resurrected on my PC. It’s just too old and the drivers cannot update on such an old system. It plays Dragonflight just fine though! I am able to play D2 on my PS5, though inventory management is very annoying with a controller. Still better than not having it at all!
I wanted to do an activity in the Diablo Hall, so I chose the Tarot Reading. The line looked short enough, so I got into it. (The line was deceiving!) I’ve never had a tarot reading before, nor do I really believe in it, but I respect it. I wanted to try it for fun! Being in that line for as long as I was, I was able to observe that it looked like a much needed therapy session. I enjoyed talking to my tarot card reader, McKenzie. It wasn’t a bunch of bullshit. She gave me general life advice that could apply to anyone, but certainly advice to consider. Plus she was super pleasant! It was a nice experience, except for the two-hour wait. But I was in the line and committed to it! The cards can be purchased on Amazon. (Not an affiliate link.)
Mountain Dew Altars of Mystic Punch Scavenger Hunt
Mountain Dew had four different booths throughout the convention where you had to find all four to collect badge flags and also get free samples. Why badge flags? I don’t know, but it was something to do. I wasn’t able to get the purple one because the Diablo Hall became a cluster fuck of fuck due to a raffle being held. It wasn’t a big deal to miss one. Just an activity to do. I appreciate the free refreshments.
The blue one is on crooked.
The Library was a store with different vendors (Upper Deck, Mysterious Galaxy and more). They sold books, trading cards and art prints. On Saturday the line moved very fast and I was able to efficiently browse and make my purchases with no trouble. The people working at the booths were also very helpful and kind, so it was a great experience. I bought Warcraft’s newest novel War of the Scaleborn and a pack of WotLK trading cards. They also offered some free gifts with purchase so I also got 2 free trading cards and an Alexstrasza art print.
There were two halls of Overwatch, one was dedicated to the World Cup.
I actually don’t play Overwatch, which was awkward to tell the dev when he asked. I did tell him I like the art! I do have a favorite character because I play Heroes of The Storm. (It’s D.Va!) Love her whole aesthetic and I keep the toys I have of her because she is so cute!
Portal Pass- Was it worth it???
Yes and no.
Let’s start with the Pros!
•Early entrance- Not standing in the crowd, in the sun and being able to relax inside the lounge was good. I was also able to hang outside the Hall D doors to be one of the first (besides Media) to check everything out before the hordes of people.
• Exclusive, spacious lounge with seating- Our own lounge which was only crowded before Opening Ceremony. It was completely chill the rest of the time I went in. The only other time, it had a lot of people was during the free plushie giveaway.
• Free plushies/pillows- We got the Alliance and Horde pillows that retailed for $35 each! I saw them in the store and wanted them. They’re really high quality and I am very pleased abut my new pillows.
• Bag Check- since I had posters and pillows, it was necessary!
• Meet N Greets- This made the price (almost) worth it. I got to not only meet the devs….but people I have heard of! I actually had stuff to talk about or share with them. General admission also has Meet N Greets but I do not know if they were able to meet the lead developers and the execs like we were.
• The Price- $800 per person as opposed to $550 in 2019. That is a HUGE price jump without double the perks! In fact, I call inflation and shrinkflation at the same time!
• No Guaranteed Arena Access- when it was promised as a perk that we could have our own entrance line to get inside, also a dedicated section (so I heard). If we wanted to get in, we had to wait hours with everyone else and probably not even get in. We actually tried to wait in the Wow Deep Dive line with everyone else, but the line was capped and we were turned away. :/
Not only was it displayed on the screen in the Lounge as a perk, but I heard from people who were actually inside the Arena that Portal Pass holders had reserved seating. I spoke to concierge about it, she didn’t know anything so she asked her boss. The boss profusely apologized and said that shouldn’t have happened. If I was smart I would have asked her to come with me to speak to the people who claimed there was no Portal Pass line. Meanwhile, the boss said that was not the case. I could have gotten in to see Community Night if I waited in line in the sun for four hours, but that would have been a waste of time and I would have missed out on meeting all the people I met in that time frame.
It was very frustrating because we wanted to be in the thick of it. Watching it on screens is okay, but you’re not going to be clapping, hootin, hollerin and woot-wooting, pumping our arms Arsenio-style when it’s not live and in person. That’s like clapping at the movies! For Community Night, we especially wanted to be there in person to cheer everyone on.
I think Portal Pass is worth it with the 2019’s price. Not $800 per person like this year. They would have needed to really spoil us for it to be worth it. $800 was a steep price already and being denied from the line felt bad.
I actually didn’t pay for it, it was an anniversary gift. But my husband did not feel like he got his moneys worth because he wanted to be there for Community Night. He doesn’t play Blizzard games, he doesn’t know who the WoW devs or creators are, but he is interested in the craftsmanship of cosplays. So that was the one event he wanted to see in person.
Another bonus that Portal Pass holders should have gotten was guaranteed seats at the Opening Ceremony. It was a lottery system as to which ticket holders got in. And with the price we paid…. come on. The experience seemed to be more grand when you were in the audience and everyone you wanted to see and meet was IN the Arena.
No Exclusive Access, Like Previously- In 2019, we had an additional perk, which was The Night At The Faire, we had early access to the Darkmoon Faire before everyone else. Which meant shorter lines for the Toy Shoppe, Pin Buying and Trading, Capsules and the activities they had. Because it wasn’t in its own room, it couldn’t happen.
We may have had early access to the inside of the venue, but since there were no stages with open seating in each hall, there was no first come, first serve for the panels. It felt great to see the Voice Actors panel up close last time!
Other + perks:
I don’t think they had this in 2019, but they had set up a theater. They had TV screens throughout the lounge, but this was a place to sit really focus on the panel/event. We watched the Community Night from here.
We also had our own concessions, a few more than we had last time. It was just standard cold sandwiches and drinks last time. This year we had Korean Tacos, banh mi, and food in chafing dishes. There also seemed to be stuffed waffle cones. I don’t know if people got them from there, but I wanted to know if it was a pizza stuffing cause then I would have gotten it. What was in the chafing dishes? I have no idea! But if you were hungry and didn’t want to deal with the food truck crowds, we had the option, plus plentiful seating to relax and eat.
Our own restrooms- Try going to the restroom after the Opening Ceremony! hahaha
Xbox gaming stations with comfy chairs- They were all taken when I went to go look. But what a fun thing to have after the announcement of the partnership!
Free Water- a small thing, but big impact!
There was a Quiet Room that I forgot to visit. I assume this was open to everybody. The Portal Pass Lounge was already pretty chill most of the time, so that is also nice if anyone has a need for it. But the Quiet Room was probably even quieter.
I watched the WoW Deep Dive on this tv while eating lunch. Hero specs sound exciting! Should I go for Fire-Frost or Fire-Arcane? Choice, choices…
The view from the balcony was also another nice perk. Especially if you wanted to watch the March of the Murlocs.
Meet N Greets
The lineup changed periodically. I heard from a friend that they had to ask devs to come up to the lounge because people could cancel and they needed more people for signings.
I saw John Hight, and I wanted to stick around to go meet him at the Meet N Greet. He was very kind, so I am glad I waited. In line, someone told me that Ion Hazzikostas was coming in. They added him last minute, however he was 40 minutes late and only stayed 20 minutes. I created a meme video of him leaving. Meanwhile my new pal and I looked at each other like WTFFFFFF!
I still had a wonderful time meeting the people I met, fans as well as developers!
For Halloween, and for a pre-Blizzcon cosplay contest, I created Sylvanas makeup on myself and made a video on TikTok. I spent many hours on it, it didn’t get many views, but it was all worth it when I saw Holly Longdale’s jaw drop when she watched my video! I was also able to ask her about the GORGEOUS coat she wore at Opening Ceremony. She confirmed that it was custom based on Alexstrasza. She also gives us more details on her Twitter account if you wanted to know!
I had the opportunity to meet two Diablo devs whose signatures I cannot read, so unfortunately I cannot tell you whom they are.
At the leaders table I met:
Gavian Whishaw, Executive Producer of Diablo
Holly Longdale Executive producer and Vice President of World of Warcraft
John Hight, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Warcraft
Aaron Keller, Game Director of Overwatch
Tom Chilton, Game Director of Warcraft Rumble (And formerly of World of Warcraft)
Terran Gregory, Cinematic Narrative Director, World of Warcraft.
I was so excited to meet Terran Gregory, who was so kind! I’ve heard so many nice things about him from other people. He does the most amazing job on the cinematics and his wife, Deva Marie, also does some of the voice acting!
I do have to admit, it is awkward when you have no idea who a dev is. If their face isn’t on their YouTube videos or they never appear on stage, you probably wouldn’t know who they are. It’s even more awkward if you don’t even play their game! It is okay to ask what their role is and what they work on, especially with the non-leads. I don’t think they expect us to know what their name is or what their role is. I know who the Warcraft people were, so I had conversations with them. All nice things to say of course, they ain’t here for a laminated list of grievances!
Now I just need to find the wall space to hang these! It should go without saying, but people do ask, these are not for sale. I am keeping these!
Ashley Oshley did incredible work with her Sire Denathrius cosplay! Her award of Master Crafter was well deserved!
This is a sweet moment with her mom, touching up her makeup.This Hogger cosplay was also amazing! It even made the gnoll noise! Little did I know, another cosplayer I follow is actually next to Hogger! I didn’t recognize her without her warlock gear on!
I love that they have food trucks, it made leaving the area unnecessary (and we didn’t!) Avoid going during prime meal times! I cant even see where the line ends in the last picture!
What was inside the Love Sac truck?
I had a less than stellar experience with a food truck the night before. The person taking orders was super rude. So I want to feature a food truck where I had a very pleasant experience where the server was friendly and left me feeling positive about their business… and the food was good too! First, I never see sushi food trucks, so I was delighted! Rolling Sushi Van is a business I would go back for! The people are friendly and the food was just what I was looking for! (As someone with gallbladder disease, my options are limited.) I had the Chirashi Burrito, and the fish tasted fresh! My only complaint is that it wasn’t bigger! (Cause it was so good and I wanted more!) I would get two next time!
Blink Blizzard Store
Set your pickup time for the evening to avoid standing in yet another line. I had mine set for 6pm. I didn’t have to wait at all. I had enough time to eat dinner and meet people in the hotel lobby afterwards.
I feel like this Sylvanas Windrunner bust is a must-have! Put it in the middle of my living room! The one in the Blizzard gear store is not the same!
As much as the Sylvanas bust costs, these chairs are even more!This Wrathion statue is really well done! The dynamic movement and the smirk on his face. But also give me Sabellian!
Here is what is pictured:
Giant Bag that came with everyone’s Blink store purchase. One side is Dragonflight, the other is Wrath Classic.
Signed posters, which were free
Free backpack that all attendees received
Alliance and Horde Pillows that were free for Portal Pass members
Illidan tee ($35)
Deathwing tee ($35)
Diablo Fire Bolt Sorceress Statuette ($30)
Warcraft Rumble tee ($30)
Upper Deck Wrath of the Lich King trading cards ($25)
Two free trading cards (Lilith and Chen Stormstout)
War of the Scaleborn novel ($32.32)
If you want to meet people, fellow gamers as well as creators (You Tube & Twitch), stay at any of the hotels right at the property.
The last time, I stayed in Santa Ana. This time I stayed at the Anaheim Marriott, just steps away. It’s so much better to stay at the hotels on the property if you intend on doing a lot of socializing. The Hilton bar was IT if you wanted to meet people. The Marriott lobby was a lot more chill, but you will still run into other attendees and streamers/YouTubers. I was told to come by the Hilton bar afterwards by a few people, but it was just as crowded as the Diablo Hall when the raffle was happening. Everyone was probably there but I couldn’t find anyone I knew! I wonder if the Hilton staff hates Blizzcon or if its like this at every convention!
There aren’t a ton of food options, I think each hotel has one restaurant each. The Marriott also has a to-go pizza place called Slice, which I ended up at. There are places around since its right next to Disneyland, but pizza suited me just fine! And THE bar to go to is at The Hilton. I don’t know how anyone manages to get a drink in that crowd, but if you’re determined enough, you’ll get one!
@ineedthisunicorn Do you say “hi”? 🤣 #Meme #MemeCut #blizzcon #blizzcon2023 #awkwarddogs ♬ الصوت الأصلي – البرنس
I would absolutely attend Blizzcon again and again, but it isn’t completely up to me! I am unsure if my husband would be willing to pay $800 each ticket for Portal Pass again. I completely understand that.
Here is my Halloween video I worked so much on! I was actually my Hogwarts Legacy character for actual Halloween, but I do not have a video of it.
@ineedthisunicorn This is how I feel about this wig! #sylvanas #sylvanaswindrunner #ladysylvanaswindrunner #windrunner #thedarklady #ladymoon #undead #forsaken #bansheequeen #warchief #rangergeneral #silvermoon #theundercity #loredaeron #forthehorde #horde #wow #warcraft #worldofwarcraft #blizzard #blizzcon #blizzcon2023 #sfxmakeup #sfx #cosplay #makeup #halloween #blacklight #halloween2023 #spooky #spookyseason #zombie #kimdracula #seventythorns ♬ original sound – Kim Dracula
I was asked a few times why I didn’t go in cosplay. That face paint is so drying that it gives me wrinkles and crows feet and makes me actually look my age! Also I only just have a hoodie and the printed yoga pants and not an actual crafted armor set. Meanwhile people are walking around looking fantastic in the cosplays they worked so hard on for months! I also really, really don’t like attention.
LA and Orange
So Anaheim is in Orange County, where the drive is a LOT longer that you might expect from actual Los Angeles. Seriously, I have been on this drive many times, and by the time we get to So Cal, it takes 2 hours to get from the Hollywood area to Anaheim. It’s stupid ass LA traffic and we can’t help the time we get there unless we leave the house at 4am. They have 6 whole lanes and it’s still a disaster!
When in Orange County, There are places I like to go to. But sadly, we did not go this time. But if you are not from CA and are planning on going to Blizzcon, and you have the time… I recommend:
Sugarbuzz (This is not nearby and located in a non-tourist area.)
Irvine Spectrum Center. They have the Hello Kitty Grand Cafe
Trade Marketplace (Food Hall)
I have not been here, but I really wanted to check out the Anaheim Packing District (It’s a food hall.)
I have friends in the LA area, but if I don’t tell you I am coming and I don’t schedule a day to see you, I most likely have a jam-packed vacation. I don’t wanna be like, “I’m going to be in your area but I won’t have time to see you! HAHAHA!” I feel bad, but it’s also like… my schedule is packed and I need to wake up at 6am daily.
I really do need to get on my Rest Stops from the Bay to LA and Vegas blog post. It’s a lot of collecting video and photos from many years of different trips. But I can tell you we paid a visit to Bravo Farms in Kettleman City six times this year!
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. My review is my opinion, everyone has a different experience. The tickets were a surprise wedding anniversary gift from my husband, so I didn’t pay for them personally. None of the links are affiliate links.