I had started writing this right after Blizzcon last year, but in traditional Jessica-fashion, I didn’t finish. Since now is when Blizzcon 2020 was supposed to have happened (Oct 24-25), I am re-editing this blog and finally uploading it! Maybe this will be a nice reminder of the fun we had in years past or a nice prep for those who plan on attending a future con for the first time!
I’ve been playing Blizzard games since 2000, when Diablo 2 came out. World of Warcraft since 2005. But I have not been to a Blizzcon ever! For the 15th anniversary of World of Warcraft and 25th Anniversary of Warcraft, I thought I had better not miss it because it was going to be HUGE! Now, after this experience, I never want to miss another Blizzcon. I came home with an overwhelmingly warm, positive feeling that lasted about a week. (This never happens!)
Since I live in California already, I don’t have a travel guide for you. (Unless you want to know the best pit stop along the 5!) However if you Google it, there are a few articles with travel tips specifically for Blizzcon. However, in 2019, “make space in your luggage” wasn’t enough. They gave us such HUGE items to tote home that people had to mail it to themselves. In fact I saw a great tip: The Hilton can ship items for you if you cannot make your way to a UPS store. Honestly, it would have been better if Blizzard just shipped the statues to us in the first place! It was a lot for people to have to carry!
What I Wore
Most people wore gaming related t-shirts and a lot of people wore their guild shirts, which was pretty cute. I wore my own designs because why would I wear anything else? Next time, I hope to have more illustrated tees out! But the “Mage” hoodie was a great conversation opener!
If you are going to Blizzcon to meet people, it may be worth your while to book at any hotel near the convention center such as The Hilton or Marriott. I believe The Hilton bar had a lot going on. However, if saving cash is your priority, and you have a car, it will be better to stay in another city. I stayed in Santa Ana, and it was only a 10 minute drive. We saved about $800 by staying there. Would I recommend the hotel I stayed at? No, there were ants. There are so many hotels, motels and Air BnBs in the Disneyland area, you’ll find somewhere to stay. The question is how much do you want to spend and if you are willing to walk or drive. Though I’d try and book as early as you can to get the location you want. But for 2021, we have to wait and see if this was actually happen. The online one is in February, but we don’t know if we can even have massive gatherings by October of next year.
I know that people recommend booking as a group to save some money. For women, I’d never recommend this for safety reasons. Especially if there will be guys that you don’t actually know that will be sleeping in the same room. If you have to share a room, please let it be with someone you already know and trust 100%! Also for personal comfort reasons, I wouldn’t want to be the one stuck sleeping in the bathtub.
Before we went to pick up the passes, we grabbed drinks at Requiem. A place of interest if you are going to a video game convention is a geeky fandom themed coffee shop! It was gorgeous and right up my alley!
They have three themed sections (fairytale forest, castle and sci fi) and my favorite of course was the fairy one. There are so many nooks you can sit in! You can even climb up onto a small bar area! It was really cool! (You can tell by now that I am choosing the Night Fae as my covenant.)
I had both the Health and Stamina Potions, which were desert pear lemonade and lychee lemonade. They often have special limited themed menus, be sure to check out their social media to see what and when. I wasn’t there for The Overwatch menu, but it looked fun and I’m sure the customers enjoyed it. The baker does awesome work, and she has an Instagram that you should check out!
I will definitely be back at Requiem when I’m in Anahiem again! I’d also try and make Sugarbuzz in the Anahiem Hills. I went here three times previously when it was Creme & Sugar. I hear the menu isn’t different with the new owner and location, which is great because I loved what they offered as Creme & Sugar. It’s a great place to go for Instagramable shakes and desserts if you’re staying in The OC. A tad out of the way, but worth it to me.
Within walking distance from Requiem is LAG Bar. It was closed because it was the morning. But the ST:TNG font caught my eye and then everything else! It looks like a great place to organize a meetup with your guild and you can play free games!
Outside The Convention + Foodtrucks
Outside the Convention Center was a big hangout place for everyone. The food trucks were parked, cosplayers, and fans in general were already celebrating! It was a great vibe! Though the convention center was closed to us, we were ready! (The North Hall was open for the Store, badge pickup and Darkmoon Faire.)
I hear the cosplayers gather the day before for a group photo. So if you are there, go check it out and take some photos! This may be a great chance to talk to them and ask them questions!
Out-of-towners, don’t let the season fool you. It was HOT, especially in the sun! Wear sunblock if you plan on hanging out in the courtyard! Inside is cold, so bring appropriate clothes. Welcome to California!
I loved the food trucks. I mean, they were expensive A F, but I go to food festivals and Vegas all the time. I should be used to obscenely priced food by now. If you are going, you should know how much you should expect to pay so you can properly budget for it. So here is how much I paid:
The Coconut Truck- $20 (Teriyaki Chicken Bowl)
Pizza- $64 (8 slices)
Devilicious- $52 (2 grilled cheese sandwiches, and loaded fries. To be fair, my sandwich had lobster.)
Turkey sandwich from vendor inside $10
There may have been a soda or two thrown in each order.
Yes, I legitimately ate half a pizza watching the Deep Dive.
Night At The Faire
The Darkmoon Faire was open to Portal Pass holders the night before the convention. The lines were still long. But still probably shorter than the other day unless you stay late at night. The stuff at Night at the Faire is exactly the same the next two days. So if you don’t have Portal pass, you won’t miss out.
If you are here because you want to know what’s at The Darkmoon Faire…. I’ve got you covered!
I was drawn toward the book store and there was Christie Golden! I had to tell her how much I loved “Before The Storm” so I purchased a couple of her books for her to sign! I bought Lord of The Clans and Rise of The Horde.
The best part was, there was no line! You could just go in and browse!
I am glad that you can see what they offer on the banners and you can also just stand outside it and see what’s in the shop. But I wasn’t in any mood to stand in any lines and I didn’t see anything that grabbed my attention. It’s better for me to save the money!
Caricature artists were turning faire-goers into a choice of characters. I didn’t want to stand in line, but I’d probably go for Arthas! But I’d like to see them turn me into Deckard Cain too!
If only we could whack-a -gnoll in real life or ride the coaster! I guess that’s what Disneyland is for.
The only “game” was for a random prize like those little machines at drugstores. But a lot bigger. There were two lines, one to pay for the tokens and another for the machines.
It cost $2 per token, so of course people want to make sure they’re going to get the item they want so they dump a lot more money into it. They were for the velcro badges and if you were lucky, you could even get a bigger prize such as an in-game item or a statue. Since I am on a budget, and already got two Treasure Chests, I didn’t opt for it. The treasure chests had two velcro badges and even random in-game items anyway, so it wasn’t necessary.
I ended up getting the Savage Raptor mount and an Ogre Pinata from the loot cards I got from the Treasure Chest. I could have made a few hundred dollars, but I’ve been playing this game for 15 years, I don’t seem to be quitting any time soon, I might as well learn the mount!
There was a concession stand and I legit wanted the popcorn because it smelled so good and probably it’s what the Darkmoon Faire smells like! (Besides tonk oil.)
Timewalker’s Treasure Chest
They were selling mystery boxes, so the logical thing to do was to stand in line for an hour to pay $50 for a mystery. Many people bought a few boxes and I was saying they were like that World Quest in Zuldazar.
I wanted the Gold Sylvanas Funko Pop and it was a guaranteed item. Plus it seemed to be somewhat of a status symbol to have a box… or five!
The boxes did sell out by the end of the day on Sunday. I figure if someone really wanted it, they wouldn’t wait until the last minute! Plus you can see what’s in them because people are around trading or consolidating their goods. So if you want one, swing by where those people are to see what you might get (and see if it’s worth the line!)
I will be selling the Overwatch items on eBay! I may sell it as a mystery box because people seem to love that.
Con Before The Storm
The most fun I have ever had on Halloween ever and I didn’t even dress up or do anything Halloween related!
I watch all the WoW You Tubers. Gameplay, lore, gold making, machinimas…. So of course after seeing the lineup of Meet and Greets I knew I was going to be very busy! I thought I wouldn’t be able to meet everyone, but I did and then some!
Even if you aren’t there for the Meet and Greets, there is still a lot more to do! It’s a party! Everyone is nice and willing to chat. They had a panels, spin the wheel for prizes, a scavenger hunt quest, an art gallery, indie merchants and of course the bar downstairs.
On the opposite side of the 2nd floor was the Benefit Dinner. Those tickets were a lot more expensive! I was just fine without it.
I could go on and ON about how much I enjoy watching the videos of WoW You Tubers, how long I have been watching them, why you should, and our interaction. But it would take way too long!
I felt like I had to cut the conversations too short because I knew other people were waiting to talk to them. Of course I would have loved to talk to them some more! But I want to make everyone happy! If someone is waiting, I better not leave them annoyed!
I met a couple that lives in the Bay so that was pretty awesome! Say hello to Shadycheez and Dalayla on Twitch! That’s the great thing about these conventions, we meet people and we already know we have something in common! I had a lot of fun talking to them in line, I actually lost my voice! (Mostly because of the screaming I did when I spotted someone and yelled for them to come over!)
I had written about my funniest interaction, however, in June we had found out about JoshPriest. I had to edit him out of the photo composite, even though meeting him happened, I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea. I was so excited to see him at the Con and now it’s just disappointing to think how happy I was to have met him, not knowing the truth about him at that point.
Taliesin & Evitel’s meet & greet line was insanely long. I met more people in the line for T&E than actually going up to Meet and Greet tables! It was pretty hilarious! I knew it was going to be long, but I didn’t expect to wait 2 hours, but I met a lot of people in line, and meeting people was the goal! I heard it lasted for 4 hours! Its pretty amazing that they stayed longer than usual to meet everybody! It shows they appreciate their fans! I just hope pregnant Evitel was able to go to the bathroom when she needed!
My only regret was wearing uncomfortable footwear. I can usually last an outing in these shoes and I was perfectly fine all day. But when you are standing still for 2 hours….. nope! It was a party and I wanted cute shoes. Well, I have nerve damage. I was able to go to the car and change shoes. That’s one tip, if someone *must* wear certain uncomfortable clothing. Have a backup change of clothing or shoes just in case! (That’s one advantage of staying in the Hilton, or at least have a car and store it in the trunk like I did.)
Hiru’s meet and greet was the last one at 10pm. I asked him if I could post the pictures online, he said everyone else who took pics was going to anyway. Well it looks like my ass was the only one to do it! Oops. I guess I was the one to do the face reveal. (Isn’t the term “face reveal” so creepy?) I chose the pic where he was making a face so no one would recognize him on the street unless he was making that face! Anyway, I hope no one Googles him and finds it and then makes a big deal of of it. Sorry Hiru! All the women will be sliding in to your DMs soon!
The Blink Store
When ordering $100 or more, you were given a free “oversized” Warcraft bag. Oversized is an understatement. Comically oversized would have been more accurate! But I saw everyone lugging this around and I just had to have one myself! Little did I know, you can buy this for $8! But why not purchase the items I want and get it for free? Yeah, that’s how online shopping gets me too. Don’t get me started on how much I’ll spend just to get free shipping.
Blink shopping was ordering online in advance and picking it up in store. You’d think that would save you some time. Well, you’d be wrong. I swung by several times and going in and buying them at the counter looked a LOT shorter because the Blink lines were 70-90 minutes long. The shortest I saw was at 40min. A great tip: Do it at the very end of the day. There are barely lines for anything nearing closing time. Or just don’t try to save time using Blink because the regular line was shorter!
I ended up getting a Cute But Deadly bag (I like to get the large bag because I like to see the print!) and a Sylvanas mini backpack! I love them so much! And yes, I have the comically oversized potato sack that came with the purchase.
This year was the first year for Portal Pass. As long as you are willing to actually show up early, then it’s worth it!
If you have Portal Pass, it will be worth your while to actually arrive early. (Unlike me!) Arrive before the door opens for General Admission, otherwise you wasted that perk. I take forever to get ready, plus we didn’t know how long it would take to get from the hotel and then park at the convention center. Well I was so late that I ended up in Hall A frantically searching for a seat. The live show was way on the other side in Hall D. But I saw it and thats what counts!
Hall D was so packed, they had an “Overflow Line” in Hall C and they let people trickle in. That line was way too long, so I basically didn’t get to set foot in Hall D until the evening.
We all knew that it was going to be Shadowlands… but I don’t think most of us expected for it not to be Old God themed. We expected it to be a place of nightmares, but we were greeted with Ardenweald and Bastion. Unexpected, but welcome.
I read a crazy comment that there was too much Sylvanas. Nonsense! We need *more* Sylvanas! I like her because she’s such an intriguing character! Do I like what she’s has done lately? No, of course not. But it makes her an interesting character and it’s only a story.
Voice Actors Panel
Portal Pass holders actually have their own entrance, which was worth it and I didn’t get to take advantage of it until Day 2. Seriously, wake up earlier, me!
By Day 2, I was able to get into Hall D before General Admission. I so badly wanted to see the Voice Actors Panel because the ones in the past have been so epic! (Laura Bailey singing “Daughter of the Sea!”) I held my seat for awhile until I got super bored and decided to check out the Diablo IV demo because there was no line. As soon as I got there, a horde started pouring in! I ran back to my seat as the security guard laughed at me! “Run run!”
I think the most impressive thing was when Terran Gregory did Thrall’s voice. What? I didn’t know he could do that! You go Terran Gregory!
It was worth the money to get a seat seat where I could see the actors with my own eyes and I even got a Voice Actor’s Guild pin because I was close enough to get one! I had no idea they were going to do an autograph signing, so I am disappointed I missed out on meeting Patty Mattson.
I have a better camera/iPhone now. Next time the pictures will be less oil-painting-filter-in-Photoshop looking.
Portal Pass Lounge
Portal Pass Holders also had access to the Lounge. If you were looking to hang out with YouTubers, they’re not hanging out in there. They have a special Media Room. There were signings going on where eSports players and game devs were at a special table.
The front desk had plastic Warcraft Anniversary Steins to hand out to anyone with Portal Pass. It was great because everyone else had to buy a beer and stand in line for it! Seriously that line was loooong for a plastic mug!
In the Lounge were TVs to watch the panels live. Because I couldn’t get into Hall D for the World of Warcraft Deep Dive, I watched it there on the couch. There was a lot of talking going on, especially with the noise of the eSports players and the music, that we had to request the volume be turned up. They not only did that, but they had someone install more speakers! That’s pretty great customer service!
I saw a dev panel signing posters. They had the posters spread about the room free for the taking if you wanted to have them signed. It was a $14 value from the store and we got as many as we could take for free. I sent one to a friend!
Another thing that made Portal Pass worth it was the bag check. We had treasure boxes, statues, comically oversized bags…. it was needed!
MDI- Mythic Dungeon International
Now this is something I understand and can follow! Sports. Nope. I don’t care for baseball, football or basketball. But WoW eSports, I can get with! There were these guys behind me talking about the MDI, one asked his friend which team he was pulling for. He said he doesn’t care as long as it isn’t either of the Method teams. Them’s fighting words! It’s the raiding team that I’m a fan of, and now they have reformed into Echo. I ended up meeting a handful of them, and they’re the nicest, most humble guys. I had a lot of fun talking to them!
By the end of the day I was finally able to get into the Shadowlands line. I met these cool guys from Ohio while in it and I can’t tell you how great it feels to actually talk about the game and answer questions about my class and have people understand me. I can talk nerdy, and we all got it. We are all here for the same thing!
The demo was 15 minutes in Bastion. I swear we spent a lot of that time trying to mess with our keybinds. It’s muscle memory, we need for all of the spells to be in the right place! Not all was lost, I got into Beta and ended up playing more then!
Diablo IV is a lot darker, and the art looks great! My main class was the sorceress in D2, and she’s back in D4! And yes, I am Li-Ming from D3. Everyone texted me after Immortal was announced. I apparently look like her and I am a cocky mage. It’s like the Devs were at my house spying on me.
Diablo IV is definitely a game I will buy! Even though I prefer WoW, Diablo is also pretty fun! And I am sure the story telling will be strong is this game!
I don’t know what it was like in past years but what a great way to celebrate the 25-year anniversary of Warcraft by having demos of many of their older games! The entire vibe of the room was pretty nice and it smelled like bacon!
Displayed was a timeline of Blizzard game history as well as a case of rare collectables, including the WoW Special Collector’s Editions that I regret never buying. It was awesome to see the collection! Plus there were a ton of awesome backgrounds on the whole floor for photo-ops if you’re into that!
Once upon a time, I studied illustration and wanted to be a concept artist.
I bought this Pureheart Courser print from artist, Eva Widermann. I obviously needed it.
A .F. Kay by Adam Byrne. I really regret not buying this print! This is completely me! The guild I used to raid with can confirm this! 100%! I keep checking to see when he is selling prints because I’m buying it. It should hang right about my PC to remind me that I could be eating cupcakes and not cc’ing anything. I think that is Kaliista running away.
I went to this panel expecting to learn about the art and design of Sylvanas. I missed the WoW Q&A with T&E. DOOOOOOD.
Now this was more like it! This panel was of three different Blizzard artists which showed how they work, and we got to ask them questions. Exactly what I was looking for!
Tips on Survival
Wear comfortable shoes.
Wear comfortable shoes.
Wear comfortable shoes.
I wore comfortable shoes on the convention days. But I did not the day before when I went to Requiem, and the two parties. Well, I have nerve damage due to wearing heels. I deserve this punishment.
Outside the convention center is a big hang out place. If you are going to be outside and you burn easily, apply some sunblock.
Inside the convention is actually pretty cold because they need to crank up the AC to keep all of the computers cool. That means you’ll want to wear sleeves. Bring a hoodie or whatever you like to wear.
Bring a sealed bottle of water so you’re not paying $5 when you are super parched.
There are plenty of food vendors inside the convention center and food trucks parked outside. It’s all overpriced, but budget for it and you’ll be fine! I told you how much I paid so you can get an idea of how much you can expect to pay. For the cheapest eat, you’ll be spending $10 on a simple sandwich. It’s a lot of money for what it is, so you may want to allow more $ in your budget if you want something a little more exciting.
Stay late in the evening if you hate lines. You can play demos without the long wait if you are there at night!
If you don’t want to haul a bunch of merch all day, either come collect them the Friday before, or pick up the purchased merch at the Blizzard store in the evening.
Don’t feel bad about going alone! There’s so much to do and see that I never felt awkward about doing anything by myself! If you’re willing to be social, you’ll meet people who are nice and into the same hobbies as you! Plenty of people attend the con by themselves and it’s not weird at all. There’s so much to do, you probably won’t get bored.
Don’t feel pressure to lose weight for Blizzcon. I see this comment all the time. You do not need to lose weight for Blizzcon! You can if you want to, but please know that we are happy to see you no matter what!
Don’t be afraid to approach your favorite YouTubers/steamers. I look like such a fan girl, but whatever. It was nice to meet them and make some new friends! They’re just regular people, and it’s a nice thing for them to know that they are appreciated. A lot of work goes into what they do!
The cosplayers are a huge attraction! They seem to get more and more elaborate and we all love it! They all did amazing and I am shocked at how much detail they can do with foam! It must be difficult for the judges because there were so many that had outstanding craftsmanship! I couldn’t tell you my one favorite because they were all impressive!
My friends ask me all the time if I’ll do cosplay. When have I ever liked the attention? Have they met me? Why don’t I stream? I hate attention. Why don’t I have a YouTube? I hate attention. Why are my social media accounts private? I hate attention. I will make this into a t-shirt. I hope no one asks me about it.
However, that doesn’t mean I won’t be willing to make things! I wouldn’t mind crafting stuff or making the designs. I admire the work that goes into designing and creating the costumes and weapons. Let’s not forget the makeup and the photography shoots!
Above is Ashley Oshley as Anduin. Incredible! She also re-finished it, check her out on IG!
Usually they have some big names performing. Dude, I can’t even talk about 2019….
I rolled Need on all the loot!
This is stuff people gave me, loot from the Timewalker’s Treasure Chest, stuff I bought from the merch store, art I purchased from the artists’s corner in the Hearthstone area and the free stuff that they gave us in the lounge.
After The Con
I had to go home, Monday wasn’t a day off. However, many people go to Disneyland the day after! If you are from out-of-town, this is a great opportunity to visit Disneyland while they have the Halloween decorations up! I even saw people go to Universal Studios 2 or 3 days after! So if you are there to hang out with people, you might want to plan this! Plus, Universal Studios is north, located in Hollywood. It should take 40 minutes away from Anahiem, but with LA traffic, it might be realistically 2 hours. I’m not exaggerating. I timed it, it was legit 2 hours in traffic.
I hear there are parties but I didn’t know about them. A Twitch party (was that really a thing?) and a Method Party which you needed an invite to. I’m super bummed I didn’t score an invite to the latter.
Everyone was friendly, we all have the same love of these games and I was able to talk nerdy about the game without weird looks. I could talk about my mage and why I focus more on crit instead of mastery and them knowing what I am talking about! People who relate to me and know the pain of being in dire straights in Classic fighting one wolf vs pulling the entire fucking zone unscathed in retail. People who know who other streamers are and we go looking for them!
I will gladly forgo any other vacation destination if it means I get to go to Blizzcon again!
Unfortunately my good mood got foiled by the fact that Thanksgiving is coming up. Nothing good about that! Cleaning, cooking, family… NOPE! Take me back to Blizzcon!
Disclaimer: I’m definitely not sponsored by Blizzard. There are a couple of links to my online store.