This year at BlizzCon was one of the happiest I’ve felt in years. I was completely in my element with the crowds, the people, the friends. The convention itself was lackluster. Not a whole lot of news breaking or otherwise. We got a new demon hunter class for diablo. Some updated starcraft 2 maps. Cataclysm would be available at midnight. Yeah, that’s okay. But it wasn’t earth shattering like last year’s expansion announcement. I demo’d a ton of new maps like Blizzard DoTA and Starjeweled.
I haven’t done a list post in a while, so let’s do it.
- WoW Insider Reader meetup: Completely blown away by the scope and scale of the operation. Everything really came together. We had the whole pool deck and patio.
- The bar: I got the bartender’s name and tipped him real well. And that’s the secret. When there are two lines to get to the counter with 30+ people and you’re waving money for drinks, they know you. I did one better. While people were ordering from the counter, I waited at the back side.
Even bought my guildies drinks.
“Hey guys, what do you want?”
“1 Jack and Coke!”
”Make that 2”
”Hey I want one!”
”I’ll take one as well!”
Oh what the hell.
“HEY AJ! TEN JACK AND COKES!”
Now if only they’ll put out more DPS.
- Seeing old friends: Met some of my guild mates from last year. I didn’t get a chance to hang out with them as much largely because I was busy. But this year? We all stayed in the same place. We reserved a bunch of suites together. 12 beds in 3 rooms. It was spacious. Nothing fancy, but it did the job. Had that nice dorm room atmosphere as Wyn so eloquently puts it. Ran into people who I had met last year.
- Meeting new ones: New guild mates joined for the first time. Completely not what I expected but we got along amazingly well. Also great to have met my old starcraft friends of almost what, 10 years now?
Had only I stayed with Starcraft, things would be different.
- Getting Iced: Didn’t know about this drinking game until I saw the crew. Basically, how it works is this:
If a person sees a Smirnoff Ice, that person needs to get down on one knee and chug it unless they are carrying their own Smirnoff where they can then “ice block”. The attacker then has to drink their original attack Ice and the defender’s ice. I got Iced once. One of my other guys got iced twice on the same day. Someone slipped one into his bag.
And yes, that’s me getting Iced by my guild. Crafty guys. I had just stepped out of the shower. One of them mentioned something about my Macbook. So I turned the corner into my room and there it was lying in front of it.
Ugh, mango is terrible.
- Meeting one of the lead game designers: Ghostcrawler was standing right there.
He was surrounded by a legion of people asking about different classes and balance questions. Chugging drinks like a monster too.
"At one point hes like, I need to go to the washroom, I’ll be right back. Where is it?"
He looks around, then I step in and say "Over here GC, let me show you". The washroom’s behind the bar, so I lead him there and amazingly no one follows. I stand outside patiently while he does his business and then he comes out and says "Thanks, what’s your name?" (Yes, he washed his hands)
"My name’s Matt. Matticus is my handle."
"Matt… Matticus… *peers at my name tag, squints, double takes* … As in World of Matticus?…"
"Dude, great to finally meet you in person! We love your blog!"
I just about died. Had to blink back a few tears.
- Cheesecake factory: Actually ate there instead of drinking there. Love the Rib Eye. Just could not get the Cheesecake. Really wanted to try the cheesecake. Its called a Cheesecake factory. They had pumpkin as their seasonal special and I missed out on it.
- Hilton after party: The community team was in full force at the Hilton after party. So many people were in the lobby. My guys almost got thrown out. Thought it was BYOB. Nope! Not the case! We just stashed it outside in the parking lot. Even met the legendary Zarhym!
He’s one of the community managers on the Blizzard forums.
Only person I didn’t get to meet was Daelo. He’s the one who designs encounters.
- Beer drinking contest: First person who beats me in a beer drinking contest got a 30 day time card. I don’t know who wouldn’tve gone for it. its like a free month of WoW since I’m terrible at chugging. Picked up a few tips from my guild mates though.
- Meeting someone special: Every once in a while, you meet a person who who commands your attention. They have a presence which can pacify even the most angriest of bulls. When I met that individual that night, it was as if every problem I held on my shoulders just vanished. She was beautiful and amazing to talk to. I just wish we had more time.
But, in true fashion, I screwed up. I didn’t see the signs. I was just being dumb. I wouldn’t realize it until I was back home when my team informed me of what happened and what I (apparently) missed.
Why didn’t I publish this copy on my other blog? Because that’s for matticus, not matt. Some elements are the same, but this one was more personal.