This Is Me, Getting Mushy About Blizzcon. While Sober.

It’s been more than a week since Blizzcon. Since then, outrage has, well, raged, on all fronts, from the game-related announcements (what cute, zen pandas aren’t badass?), to the step backward in the evolution of gaming culture taken at the closing ceremony (I honestly didn’t notice the slurs until someone pointed them out to me- contrarily to what some bloggers wrote, the closing ceremony nerdrage was heavily censored- but yeah, I agree that there are ways to express nerdrage without hatespeach). And I believe I may have been drawn into, without my active participation or even knowledge, a social outrage (I feel so famous and important now).

So much excitement, and I missed it all.

Curse you, internet drama, for only happening while I’m busy looking out of train/bus windows instead of at my computer screen!

While the rest of you have discussed Blizzcon to death and have moved onto the bigger and better things, I’m just getting started.

Yep, only picture I thought to take during Blizzcon. Too busy to take pictures!

I had a great Blizzcon.

I really did. Blizzcon exceeded my expectations by millions and millions of…whatever it is you measure expectations in.

Oh, I’m not sure what I think of Pandaria. I got to play it a bit – the world is gorgeous and I love the Asian feel, but, um, I like me some epicness. Place me in the “wait and see” crowd.

Otherwise, I’m excited about Diablo and I’ve felt stirrings of an urge to fire up Starcraft 2 again (how awesome was the Blizzcon tournament finale? I’m not sure what impressed me most, the competitors or the emotional involvement of the audience). And the cinematics panel! How I love the cinematics panel! Again this year I squirmed in excitement, admiring the work that goes into making a game cinematic (in this case, the Diablo III trailer).

And, of course and as usual, the community was the greatest attraction at Blizzcon.

Really, what a great group of people! Not perfect by any means, but to me, our imperfections only make us even more awesome. We come in all shapes and sizes and colours and ages and social backgrounds but we’re all gamers, and proud of it. We do great things and we do stupid things. Geeks we may be, but we’re all so totally human.

I met so many fellow bloggers, podcasters and twitterers. I won’t attempt to list them as I’ll likely forget several and I don’t want to play favorites. But there is one encounter I do have to share!

Why I wouldn’t make a good socialite

It was early in the WoW Insider party. Not quite warmed up yet, I was chasing after my friends, trying not to lose them in the big, scary mass of people. I’m shy and it’s been awhile since I’ve come face to face with a crowd. I was debating sketching off early. Too many people, too many nerves, feeling sick and lightheaded.

Then out of nowhere, I hear: “Hi I’m Theck!”

I was a little confused for two reasons. One, I was kind of expecting Theck to be a sort of ethereal godlike creature, not a normal-looking human being. Two, how on earth does someone like him know who I am?

I stood there with my mouth open, speachless and starstruck. All I could squeeze out was a lifeless “I’m such a huge fan”

Yep, I’m just an endless reserve of social grace. I hope he forgives me.

The 1 Year Guild Reunion

In case you enjoy emotionally-charged guild stories and were waiting in anticipation with big bowls of popcorn… I did see my old guildies again. I was expecting to run into them at some point, but I had no idea what would happen. What impression did I leave behind? Would my hard feelings cause me to make an ass of myself? And most importantly, would they even remember who I was?


All I can say is this:

It was perfect.

Or at least as close to perfection as all our personalities would allow. I had some great moments at Blizzcon. Some engaging conversations with interesting people. I had a lovely dinner with my ex-guildie, conveniently named X (to whom I certainly owe one). But the highlight was Friday night, after TNB, after hanging out at the Hilton for a bit.

I found myself in the same hotel room I partied in last year, sitting on the same floor I sat on last year, watching my friends play the same drinking game I watched them play last year. It was also reminiscent of all those nights I spent idling on vent/mumble listening to their banter.

Yeah, I know I’m stupidly sentimental, but I don’t think I can be happier than I was at that moment. It wasn’t quite the same gang as last year – some were missing and there some new faces, but the feel was exactly how I remembered. Though Conquest sort of branched off into two separate guilds a few months after I left, my ex-guildies from both sides were hanging out and getting along great. I savoured the moment. For that little snippet of time, I was home.

I think it did help a lot that I’ve grown to love my current guild and I really enjoy working with my raid team. Seeing my former guildies made me realize how much I missed them, but it wasn’t a “I wish I could play with you” missing. It was a “I’m so happy to spend time with guys again” missing. I could really lean back and enjoy the night without any bitterness.

They were also nice enough to walk me back to my hotel at 5 am (which took about an hour!), to put up with my guild history blabber, help me look for my ereader (which was likely stolen by hotel housekeeping, grrr) and even drive me to the airport on Sunday.

The Uncomfortably Sentimental Ending

As I float from city to city on my post-Blizzcon tour, I spend hours (and sometimes days) gazing out of bus and train windows with nothing else to do but think. And the thoughts that surface the most are about those fellow gamers all over North America (and sometimes beyond!) that I’ve had the honour and privilege of being acquainted to.

My awesome ex-guildies of course, but also my awesome current guildies, and the many others who’ve given me kindnesses without asking for anything return. Fannon and his family, Voss and Vid who, though we’ve only met a few times feel like a brother and a sister to me, Oestrus, my eternal partner in crime, all those who’ve supported my silly little WoW projects, who’ve read the blog or listened to the podcast, who’ve emailed me, who’ve talked to me on Twitter.

I have no idea what I’ve done in my past lives to deserve such kindnesses and the company of such wonderful individuals, but I am grateful. So, so, so, so extremely grateful.

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18 Comments on “This Is Me, Getting Mushy About Blizzcon. While Sober.”

  1. Lument Says:

    Damn, what a good read! Thank you for sharing your experience–you relayed the feeling of your experience really well, could also tangible touch the ‘feeling’ hehe.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Aww thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s kind of you to say. I didn’t expect anyone to be interested in my guild mushy-mushy ramblings so I really appreciate it!

  2. Bravetank Says:

    That was lovely. Glad you had such a great experience and that it’s left you feeling good and positive about all the people who have become important to you through the game.

  3. this was so beautifully written. You share your emotion of the weekend so well. I had a very similar Blizzcon experience as well. It was overwhelming at times how wonderful it was.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Thank you!

      I went to comment on your post, but you have comments turned off. I love what you said about watching two friends meet on Saturday at the Hilton. I find that really touching too, there’s just something about male friendship that I find utterly heartwarming. And just the notion of friends who hang out together all the time but only get to see each other once a year is pretty moving. One day I swear I will write a book about guildie/fellow gamer meetups ^_^

  4. Corath Says:

    Really glad that you had a great time! Unfortunately when we went in 2008 we didn’t know about any of the fun parties, but we still had a blast. Next time we go, it’ll be that much better because of the knowledge.

    It’s so nice seeing positivity. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Ophelie Says:

      I can’t imagine what it would be like to go to Blizzcon and not know anyone. Glad to hear that you still managed to have a good time! You speak of next time… do you plan on going next year?

  5. Saif Says:

    Sounds like you had a great time. ๐Ÿ™‚ I really need to make it out there some day.

  6. […] sets in the more a player thinks about the design of a game. โ€œOphelie, the Bossy Pally, is getting mushy about Blizzcon โ€“ โ€œIโ€™m shy and itโ€™s been a while since Iโ€™ve come face to face with a crowd. I was […]

  7. Great post. With all the controversy and outright anger surrounding bits of Blizzcon, it’s really nice to hear just how special any gathering of people who don’t normally meet in the flesh can be.

    Also, I totally want to meet Theck too.

    I’ve featured this post over at the MMO Melting Pot as part of our post-Blizzcon musings roundup!

    • Ophelie Says:

      You know me! Always looking for the sunshine, hehe.

      Thanks for the link love! I appreciate it.

      And yeah, Theck is very cool! I wish my nerves hadn’t kept me from having a conversation with him.

  8. slice213 Says:

    Grats on the fun time! It awesome how a game can bring people together even though IRL these people are all very different a times!

    • Ophelie Says:

      Yes! That’s always fascinated me. I’ve had guildies who were firefighters, cops, office workers, military, students, air traffic controllers, homebuilders, pilots, cooks, bartenders…. and the list goes on. Yet when we’re playing, or meeting up, we’re all just geeky WoW players.

  9. I didn’t think it was possible, but that made me want to go to Blizzcon even more than before.

  10. Ah, I’m being soppy with you now and I wasn’t even there! (In spirit through the V.Ticket of course, mind you)

    I just love the thought of feeling the community. As I described in my latest blog post, I could just feel the atmosphere from the internet! Can’t imagine what it must have been like first hand.

    Really hope to go along next year!

    – Jamin

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