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BlizzCon Roundup: Day 1

Zach Yonzon

Whew. What a dizzying first day that was, wasn't it? Ok, well, I wouldn't know myself since I'm halfway across the world, but judging from the conference hangovers my colleagues have got, it's safe to say it was one whirlwind of an opening. If you weren't here yesterday to watch -- er, read -- the play-by-play, here's a quick recap of BlizzCon '08 Day One:
  • Our tenacious guys at BlizzCon liveblogged the opening ceremonies, although nothing really spectacular happened here other than the announcement of the Wizard, a hot new class for Diablo III. It was mostly trailers, recaps, and a reminder for everyone that something historic will happen in November. And it's not the elections.
  • Mike gave us all a preview of the people milling about in costume earlier in the day, but that was just a preview for the totally phenomenal costume contest this year. While past years have been pretty cool, this year's crop blew all the past ones out of the water. You'll have to check out the gallery for yourself to see what I mean. Can you imagine a turtle mount? Yes. A turtle mount.
  • Krystalle snapped quite a bunch of shots from the convention floor just to give everyone an idea of how BlizzCon feels. Looking through the general floor gallery, it almost felt like I was there. Minus the trademark convention smell, I presume, and the sad inability to purchase any of the cool swag.
  • The first World of Warcraft panel of the day dealt with the game's UI. It's pretty cool and was a proper teaser for the even cooler things that would pop up later in the day. Our man Alex did the liveblogging duties for this one. Itemrack will have to wait, unfortunately. More stuff from yesterday after the jump!

  • Sure, the Academy Awards are prestigious and all, but I think I'd be pretty happy walking away with an Oswald. Blizzard's own version of the Oscar is a small bronze gnome, awarded to the best of the best in WoW Machinima, and will make its debut this BlizzCon '08. I know Blizzard said they're not sure if there'll be a BlizzCon next year, but this is certainly something like the beginning of a tradition.
  • Our boy Adam took his turn liveblogging the class panel, and it was a fun one. Aside from the usual insight into the developer's process, the best thing about this panel was the revelation of Ghostcrawler, who turned out to be a guy! We wonder who started that 'GC is a girl' rumor, anyway. Arguably now the most loved blue owing to his candid and good-natured responses in the Beta forums, Ghostcrawler was also awesome speaking in front of an audience. My favorite quote (for obvious reasons...): "don't nerf me, bro!"
  • Mike Morhaime talked quite a bit during his press conference, and it's a really hefty, enlightening read. He talks about everything from the Blizzard design process to the exact nature of their relationship with their new overlords at Activision which was summed up thus: "They don't nag us at all about our games."
  • One of my favorite things to come out from yesterday was the revelation that J. Allan Brack, head honcho of our favorite game, loves WoW Insider and our readers. Is that awesome or what? Our little site actually got some Blizzard love! The best part? They love to read your comments, too! Read Mike's full interview if you don't believe me.
  • Daniel sat through the cool art panel to liveblog it for us, and we learned about the design process of everything from armor to special effects to dungeons and cities. If you're a fan of Blizzard's phenomenal art direction -- I know I am -- it's definitely worth the read.
  • Lastly, I just had to cover -- or at least watch in awe of -- the World of Warcraft Arena tournament. I was a bit disappointed that none of the Asians made it through to the top three, but I've been watching Fnatic Orz's rise through the pro circuit and was glad they made it. Of course, they lost to Nihilum Plasma, but there's still hope! Tomorrow's final matches will see the winner walk away with a stunning $75,000 in prize money.
Well, that was certainly a whole lot of things for just one day, wasn't it? It promises to get better today as everything concludes. I'm particularly excited to read the liveblog of the PvP panel myself. So sit tight, dear readers, because you're in for one whopper of a day as WoW Insider covers BlizzCon 2008!

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