Blizzard recently announced that with your Blizzcon physical ticket or virtual ticket, you will be getting several virtual items for use in Blizzard’s suite of games. This is pretty standard as far as Blizzcons go, as they’ve done this as far back as I can remember.
The real question is, do these items wow us (no pun intended, or maybe it was), or do they fall a bit flat? Lets also keep in mind this is the 10th anniversary of Blizzcon, and based on their physical goodie bag (particularly that stein) I had high expectations for the crop of in-game goodies. My grades of course carry my own personal bias, so let me know on social media what grades you would give to these items!
Lets begin with the World of Warcraft items.
This year it appears you get not one but two in-game pets; Horde and Alliance themed murloc companions. Every year they give out a themed murloc pet, so that’s no surprise, but this year we get two! Now each Blizzcon I hope they give out another mount, but they haven’t done that in a while, but I thought with the 10th anniversary of Blizzcon maybe? Nope, not this year, but wouldn’t it have been awesome to get a giant Fel infused murloc mount? Think Murkablo skin for Heroes of the Storm, but rideable, yeah that’s what I’m talking about! But alas no mount, but we did get an upgrade over the standard one companion pet, so what is the grade on these two companions? A-.
Next up is Blizzard’s latest franchise Overwatch.
Overwatch rewards players in game with character poses, skins, emotes, voice lines, intro videos and play of the game videos. Skins are usually the most prized possession of Overwatch players, showing off the rarest of the rare skins as they take down their foes. For their Blizzcon ticket holders, Blizzard is rewarding a Bastion Blizzcon themed skin. I know based on my social media feed that several folks are excited by this, others not so much. I am squarely in the middle. I think the skin looks awesome and definitely has the Blizzard color scheme down, but Bastion is not one of my most played characters, probably more so in the bottom half. I just think they could have offered a bit more variety for Blizzard themed skins for several characters, especially since this one looks like a simple recoloring for the most part. So while I will certainly equip it on my Bastion for those rare times I do play him, I really would have liked to see skins or perhaps even custom voice lines for other characters as well like Zarya, Soldier 76 and Mercy. Lets be honest – players have been pumped for Overwatch and so much more could have been done to reinforce that, which is why I give this in-game goodie a C+.
Next up is Diablo 3, which is 20 years old this year!
This year it looks like we get a miniature lord of terror to follow-us around in the world of Diablo. Beyond that there isn’t much to say, because I am a bit underwhelmed by this to be perfectly honest. Last year for Diablo we got a Murkgoblin pet, a pennant and a portrait – three items! The previous year we got weapon transmogrifications, one for each Diablo 3 class! This year we get one item- this is the 20th anniversary of Diablo and I feel we got downgraded, surely there is more to celebrate than just one cosmetic pet? Look, mini-Diablo looks great and all but for such a huge milestone for the game I kind of expected a bit more from this franchise, so for that reason I have to give this in-game goodie a D.
Next up is Blizzard’s ever popular digital card game, Hearthstone.
This reward is pretty standard fare. Last year we received a card back, so expectations are we would get one again, and we are. This year’s looks to have a bit more details, has the characteristics of a old time swinging door with the Hearthstone logo on the front. Definitely a visual improvement over last year’s card back, in my opinion. Now there are other things Blizzard could have tossed at us including more card packs, a character skin for one of the classes perhaps, but we got the tried and true reward. Not saying it’s bad, but to truly wow us and get the A, I would say you need to go above and beyond, this reward is on par with previous Blizzcon rewards, with a slight upgrade in visual styling, so for that I will give it a B.
Next up is Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard’s MOBA.
For the past two Blizzcons, attendees have received a mount (two years ago we also got a portrait). Blizzard also seems to really like the half translucent blue tinted mounts as goodies for Blizzcon rewards, because that’s the color theme for the past two years, and this year is no different. However, instead of a horse in 2014 or a battle beast in 2015, we now get a saber tooth tiger! No new portrait or even a skin for a character, though a skin would be hard to pull off with so many characters, almost a similar problem Overwatch has with their one skin for Bastion. This mount is no doubt though a fine edition to your HotS collection, and I would say its on par with last year’s Blizzcon reward, though I think a saber tooth tiger is so much cooler than a battle beast and because of that I give it a B-.
Finally we have Starcraft 2.
In previous years it was pretty much a guarantee you got portraits and/or decals for your units. This year, Blizzard is keeping most of the Starcraft 2 rewards a mystery. First they have said we get a new portrait, OK, good deal similar to last year. Now the most curious part is this statement “as a bonus, be among the first to unlock a fun new piece of upcoming StarCraft II content”, and further down the page it says “Bonus StarCraft II goodie will also be available separately”. What could this be? We’ve recently seen Nova mission packs, perhaps this content will be similar to that? Maybe new maps or game modes? We can speculate all day, and part of me loves that it is creating this discussion! Portrait on par with last year, but new content for a game also? Sign me up! For that, this in-game goodie definitely gets an A.
There you have it! All the in-game rewards for physical and virtual Blizzcon attendees. What are your thoughts on the items being offered this year?