Mandatory BlizzCon Post

Random WoW image from the media library because I can't be bothered to find one that makes sense for this post.

This will be what I hope is a quick blog post about BlizzCon, largely inspired by peer pressure more than any real interest. In fact, the main reason this post didn’t get deleted was I needed a vehicle to say that I’m trying to reserve most of my writing energy this month for NaNoWriMo. I’m still having back trouble so typing at keyboards for long periods of time is challenging. You can safely skip the rest of this post because I won’t be saying anything about BlizzCon that you haven’t already read a thousand times before.

So apparently BlizzCon happened this past weekend. I did not go, buy a virtual ticket, watch any free streams or cinematics, or even know about it until I started seeing tweets filter into my Twitter timeline. As it happened to be one of the days I was in a great deal of back pain, I didn’t pay much attention at first. But over time I got the impression that somehow Blizzard single-handedly caused the entire gaming world to explode into flames with an announcement about a mobile title called Diablo Immortal.

I’m not interested in a Diablo mobile title myself, but I can’t understand how anyone could get angry about it. But there have been a number of bloggers who have analyzed the fallout and determined what Blizzard did wrong here. (I would add links, but again, I just can’t be bothered for this dumb useless post.) I’ll just assume they know what they’re talking about, because it’s all quite a bit above my meager understanding of the Blizzard ecosystem. To me it’s like trying to understand the inner workings of a cult that I don’t belong to.

I guess people wanted a Diablo 4, but I don’t even understand why anyone would be excited to see that. Diablo 3 seems to be the pinnacle of that genre, and I don’t see how they could refine it to get any better. I would imagine Diablo 4 to be the exact same game rendered in an updated game engine. A “remastered” version of Diablo 3, for all intents and purposes. Why not just keep adding expansions to Diablo 3 ad infinitum? How is additional graphical fidelity and rendering power going to fundamentally improve the gameplay of an ARPG that already looks pretty good? (I know the answer, but I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader.)

But I did download the free Destiny 2 offer … although I have no real plans to play it. Partly because my back is preventing me from sitting at my PC, but also because I don’t think it’s changed much from the over-hyped mediocre shooter it was in open beta.

So as it turns out, I don’t have much of anything to say about BlizzCon. Blizzard came onto the scene during a period of my life when I didn’t care much about online games (c. 2001-2006), so they’ve never been very influential in my gaming life.

That attitude makes me feel like an outcast from the gamer, and especially the MMORPG, community. It made me wonder: We used to label outcasts from mainstream society as “nerds” and “geeks,” but what do we call outcasts from the nerd and geek communities?

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