I couldn’t possibly be more excited to be attending BlizzCon 2018! This will be my first time attending BlizzCon, and as such, I’ve been inundating myself in as much information and advice I can possibly find. With all of that, whether this is your 1st or 31st time at BlizzCon, there are some
- Con Before the Storm
I know this one’s completely unfair because it’s not technically part of BlizzCon. But it’d be equally unfair for you not to know or be at this incredible event because it’s BY fans, FOR fans, the night before BlizzCon starts, and completely FREE!Some of the biggest draws to Con Before the Storm include the casual environment, tight-knit community, the chance to meet some of your favorite streamers, and an incredible art gallery with many selections available for purchase. I’m obviously biased, but World of Podcasts is the thing I’m most looking forward to! Join me along with ChanmanV from Value Town, Garrett from The Angry Chicken, RidiculousHat from Coin Concede, Stormraige from Blizzlet, Kevin from Hearthcasual, Espo from Legend of the Innkeeper, and Adam from Around the Hearth at 7:30pm on Thursday, November 1st on the 4th floor of the Anaheim Hilton.Check out the Con Before the Storm website for more information.
If you’re not able to attend Con Before the Storm, you can still join them for Pod Before the Con on their Twitch channel on Sunday, October 28 at 10pm EST, featuring our friends WickedGood of Off Curve and Rho from Realm Maintenance!)
- Opening Ceremony
This is a no-brainer, as the opening ceremony is the kickoff for the entire weekend jampacked with most (if not all) of the major announcements for Blizzard games and plenty of surprises. But there are two huge things to know about: one newish and one brand new:1. Multiple stages – New since last year, the opening ceremonies will actually have portions that are live from different stages across the event. The live stages include Mythic, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Overwatch Arena stages. You only get one guess for which one I’ll be at. 🙂 Support your favorite franchise, or be at the main stage. Either way, it’s going to be electric!2. Increased security means “get there EARLY” – If you’ve been in touch with the esports community this year, you know that increased security measures is absolutely necessary. I’m thankful that Blizzard is being proactive about making sure that we’re all safe and don’t have to be looking over our shoulder all weekend. Because of this though, they are suggesting that you get there early to ensure you don’t miss out on anything.
Important to note: The security entrances will open at 6am PST, and the show floor opens at 9:30am. Don’t sleep in if you want a good seat for the opening ceremonies, even though they start at Noon. With a fully charged phone, you’ve got plenty of Hearthstone to play while you wait anyway!
- What’s Next panels for your favorite franchises
After all of the big announcements have been made during the Opening Ceremony, each franchise will take the mainstage one at a time to flesh out more of the details behind what’s coming next. You can pretty much plan to be at any of these sessions for your favorites. Don’t be surprised if an announcement for a game you don’t usually follow catches your eye and heart too, though! The whole afternoon is set aside for this on the main stage, and though the main stuff was announced earlier that day, there will surely still be some great details that get shown here for the first time. You can check out the full schedule here.
- March of the Murlocs
If you’re not here for the silly fun, what are you doing?? Blizzard has announced that all Murloc-themed cosplayers (as well as any fishy fans) are going to parade around BlizzCon on Saturday, November 3rd at 10:45am. If you’d like to join them, meet up then at Hall D. They’ll march from Hall D through A and then to the Grand Plaza. The group photo at the fountain at 11:30am should be a great chance to revel in all the finny fun!
- Exclusive Discounts around Anaheim
When the show closes at 10 each night, you’ll need something to do. And the great folks at Blizzard have teamed up with the city of Anaheim to offer discounts to entertainment and food in the area exclusively to BlizzCon attendees! Especially interesting are the discounts that you get just for bringing your badge from the day along with you. There are high-end options (5-course meal and show, anyone?) along with simple late night treats, so check them all out and have ’em in your back pocket when you’re looking for a place to meet up with friends!
It’s impossible to limit this list to just 5 things. I didn’t touch the Closing Ceremony, fan booths, insane cosplayers, and tons of other great breakout sessions that are going to be a blast. The bottom line is this: Prioritize what’s most important to you and any traveling friends before you get to BlizzCon. That way, you’ll be prepared to enjoy everything that matters for your once-in-a-lifetime trip!
…OK, two more tips. One for people attending, and another for those who can’t make it!
Attending? If you’re coming to BlizzCon, make sure to have the official BlizzCon app downloaded to your phone before you get here! You’ll have instant access to the schedule and map wherever you go along with notifications about any changes or other happenings for you to be aware of!
Not able to make it? Not a problem. Blizzard has outdone themselves this year with the BlizzCon virtual ticket. For $49.99 (US), you get livestreams of EVERYTHING. Opening ceremonies? Done. Breakouts? Done. Esports events? You won’t miss a single play. PLUS all of the digital goodies they’re giving away you get access to as well. It’s a phenomenal deal and well worth the price of admission.
Hey guess what? I’m planning some fun content for The Happy Hearthstone podcast during BlizzCon! Want to be one of the first to find out about it? Join my free newsletter! You’ll also get a free copy of my “Ultimate Guide of Twitch Streamers to Help You Get Better at Hearthstone,” complete with recommendations for specialty streamers that will help you get better by signing up! Check it out today!