Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blizzcon 2011: Saturday

 (Read Blizzcon 2011: Friday)

Oh god 8am is so early when you drank the whole night (and part of the morning) before.

Cathy and I begrudgingly got up, attempted to pretty up and decided that sunglasses were definitely the way to go. We were meeting our friends at the lobby of our hotel where we'd then all pile into cars and go to Blizzard Entertainment headquarters.

Our hotel happened to have a free breakfast, so I had some orange juice and decided I wanted some of the hard boiled eggs, but I didn't want a plate. So I stuffed one in my mouth and carried another and went outside. Cathy took one look at me and asked "Did you put a whole egg in your mouth?" and I managed to mumble out "mhehbeh?" And then we cracked up. Maybe it was another one of those 'you had to be there' moments.

Blizzard was awesome. You have to sign an NDA before you go in, and there were so many awesome things I probably could've taken pictures of but didn't feel it was right to. I would love to work there, it looks so crazy fun.

 Statue infront of the blizzard offices with their company mission statement all around it.



My favorite part of the mission statement. 

 Us!

 Summon plz

Eeeeee

After a couple hours touring Blizzard offices we all went to In-N-Out. Cathy had never had it before. I remember it being better and I think I like Five Guys more.

Back to Blizzcon, more Diablo III, more Mists of Pandaria, met up with Chris whom we had met the night before and hung out with him. Watched the StarCraft II final match, which was crazy intense. I never thought I'd be much into watching professional gaming, but I think that match convinced me. We got some of the most DELICIOUS ice cream ever which I ate while exclaiming "This ice cream is sooooo gooooood" while we got extra strength Tylenol from the first aid counter since we both had massive headaches.

We skipped Stan's birthday dinner so we could go see the closing ceremonies and The Foo Fighters. Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftan played and were great. Not much new stuff since I saw them at Blizzcon 2007, but 'I Am Murloc' is timeless. Also: Get into the bunker! I CAN'T I'M THOR. Ahh. Memories.



We left the Foo Fighters early to get one more round of Mists of Pandaria in. I got kind of bored since it was our third or fourth time doing the same so many quests, so I started dicking around in the chat. Things got out of hand fast.


We got some food from Sbarro and went to relax at the hotel for a while before a third night of partying. Cathy took a nap and I finished off the last of my limon chips. I made a solemn vow not to drink that night, mainly because we were going to Disneyland the next day and I didn't want to be hungover and miserable at Disney. And also because...I honestly didn't feel like drinking anymore. Strange. I know.

Hung out with our friend and met a few people from Blizzard with him. Also saw Chris Metzen in the Hilton Bar and got a picture with him! It was another one of those "Herp derp how do I form sentence?" moments as he asked me if I was enjoying my weekend and all I could muster was a meek "yes!"

Me and Chris Metzen! :D

The rest of the evening was spent with Stan and Chris (not Metzen) and Stu and all of the other awesome people we met through them. A lot of them were flying out early the next morning and this was our last chance to hang with them for the weekend. We had hella fun, even though I didn't drink. (Cathy did, as she said in a text "Fuck I'm partying again.")

It was bittersweet as we knew post-con depression was looming just around the corner.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Blizzcon 2011: Friday

(Read Pre-Blizzcon 2011: Thursday)

Needless to say, we were pretty hungover for the first day of Blizzcon and even though opening ceremonies weren't till 11am, we had to be up and at IHOP to meet a friend and some of his friends for breakfast at 8am. Food was pretty disgusting. Except bacon. Mm..hangover bacon.

We got to Blizzcon with some time to spare before the opening ceremonies. Our friend procured some seats for all of us and Cathy and I went to wander the floor and see what was going on. Eventually got some tweets from another twitter friend who had pretty decent seats for opening ceremonies, so we went and joined him and his buddies.



Opening ceremonies were great. Loved Michael Morhaime's talk about the past 20 years of Blizzard. They announced the World of Warcraft Annual Pass with the Azrael's mount for WoW, instant access to the new WoW expansion beta and Diablo III included. (I, of course, bought this nearly immediately once we got home.) Got to see a new Diablo III cinematic, new info on StarCraft II Heart of the Swarm, some info on Blizzard: DOTA and the unveiling of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria by the incredibly hot and nerdy Chris Metzen.

Mmm Chris Metzen.

I'll admit, at first I wasn't sure if they were even being serious about WoW: MoP, and then once I realized they weren't kidding I was really skeptical about the whole thing. But Cathy and I ended up playing the demo at least three times (and didn't find that damn Pandaren poster any of those times!) and I'm really excited for the expansion. Can't say I was too keen on the Monk class, but then again I've always gone for ranged classes. Give me a hunter or mage any day.

After the opening ceremonies we wandered around for a bit, watched some StarCraft 2 competitions, got some food, played some Mists of Pandaria, played Diablo 3 beta (and the game servers crashed while we were playing and we got to sit and wait for 30 minutes for them to fix it while I attempted to flirt with one of the staff), bought Horde sweatshirts from the Jinx booth (I love mine so much I want to buy another one in case something happens to this one) and of course took a bunch of pictures.

For the Horde, baby! 

 Azrael

 Creepin on Day[9]

 The Diablo III play area.

Waiting for Diablo III to be fixed. 

Cathy Beeee <3 

Diablo III <3

We went and got seats for the Costume and Dance Contests with some of the guys we had met the night before (Wil Wheaton lookalike and Pocahontas). The Contests were great, I wish we had gotten better seats with a better view of a monitor so I could've gotten more pictures. Dance Contest was absolutely hilarious.

After the contests we went back to our room and I texted Stan to find out "where da party at" that night. He said he'd get us on the list for the Curse party and maybe we could go to the GSL finals barcraft being hosted by TwitchTV too, since they were next door to each other. The Curse party was pretty cool, other than the lack of drink options (but free booze, can't complain!) and the DJ who didn't have any Weird Al (uh, do you know where you're playing? White and Nerdy is needed!). They did have a beta of some FPS and a few PCs set up to try it out, a really lame basketball arcade game that I kept managing to knock balls out of and nearly spilling peoples' drinks, Monopoly Pinball (which we had at the arcade I worked at and I LOVED) and two SkeeBall machines. I decided to see if I still have my leet skeeball skillz and I kind of do, even when slightly intoxicated with a drink in my hand. GETTIN DEM 100s. It was fun. I think there are pics and a video somewhere of this taking place. I need them in my possession!

We went VIP for a bit at the Curse party, I ran into John who works with a friend from college, Jon, at Steelseries who was at Blizzcon for work. (Other Jon had the chance to go but decided not to like A JERK).

It was very dark. They had an awesome ice sculpture of a SSD too.

We went next door to the GSL final barcraft event, managed to get into VIP (which was really small and had a bad view of the match but we were drunk who cares). At the chime of midnight it was officially Stan's birthday and we did shots of vodka out of wine glasses to celebrate. I think we also took shots of tequila out of the wine glasses with no salt and no lime. Mmm. Delicious drunkenness.

GSL finals barcraft.

Me and the birthday boy.

After barcraft shut down the group we were with all decided to go on a drunken trip to Denny's. Denny's was much further than I thought, and I highly regretted wearing heels, but the bacon was worth it. Cathy and I had to be up by 9am to meet up with our friend from the previous morning for a tour of Blizzard offices. I don't think I got to sleep until near 5am or later.

Continue to Blizzcon 2011: Saturday.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pre-Blizzcon 2011: Thursday

What better way to deal with Post-Con Depression (PCD) than to relive your entire convention experience by writing it all down in some blog posts?

Cathy and I left for California after work on Wednesday the 19th and landed at LAX around 11pmish. By the time we got to our hotel it was well after midnight (and was past 2am in Chicago) so our California adventure really started on Thursday...unless you count the ridiculousness of us being in O'hare for nearly 4 hours. There was much laughing. And singing narration. And salt and pepper. Long story. Don't worry about it.

We thought having a hotel in downtown Los Angeles would be cool, but apparently downtown LA is actually kind of boring. We made a late night 7-Eleven run and got some snacks. I got potato salad and forgot to get a fork and ended up eating it with my hands. Classy. I know. Also, Limon Lay's Chips? They taste like the green Trix. Also: Delicious. That bag of chips lasted me the whole weekend and shared a bed with me. Also someone left their Spanx in our hotel room closet. And apparently the people the room next to us started banging audibly, but by that point I was already asleep.

Thursday morning Cathy was up super early in order to finish her stats homework since she needed to submit it before that evening. I slept in a bit, we checked out and left our bags with the hotel and got lunch with one of Cathy's friends from high school who works in the area. Then we decided downtown LA sucked and got a ride to our hotel in Anaheim and figured we should go and pickup our Blizzcon badges.

Holy fucking shit that line for the badge pickup was long. Once we got to the end of the line we were like "Well fuck this" and proclaimed that we would go and get beers instead. Two awesome guys from Geekadelphia overheard us and asked if we'd like join them for beers, so we did (and it was happy hour, 3 beers for $6?! The only alcoholic drinks I paid for all weekend).

Three beers later we went back and the line was much shorter, got our badges, got our swag bags, ran into my friend Ryan from twitter (was very nice to finally meet him! look forward to seeing him at Blizzcon next year), and then retired back to our hotel room to figure out if there were any parties or where all the Blizzcon people would be hanging out that night.

Cathy did some twitter searching and managed to find out about the WoWHead/WoWInsider pre-party through a guy, Stan (who works for Astro Gaming) who said he would get us in past the line, so we headed on down there.

Once there we were about to tweet at Stan when a very attractive guy passed me. Feeling pretty and confident, and slightly silly, I said "Hey there cutie" as he passed, not expecting him to hear it and, if he did hear it, not expecting him to turn around.

But he did hear me and did turn around AND it was the guy we were there to meet. Embarrassing much?

We went and sat at his table, met his friend Nick, who was taking photos of Blizzcon for Destructoid, and a few people who worked with Team Dignitas, and an awesome woman, Amber, from PMS Clan and TwitchTV. We got drunk with them and eventually left that party to head to the Hilton bar for more drinking!

Hilton Bar!

We mostly hung around Stan and his friends but they knew a shit ton of people since they're industry and go to a crapton of conventions and it's like a little community. So while they were mingling we did some mingling of our own.

Met a friend of a friend, met some guys we had judged earlier assuming they were just douchey bros (which was justified because they first assumed we were just dumb girls who didn't game) but who ended up being really cool, Cathy met some pro Starcraft players, I got a piggy back ride, we met a guy that looked like Wil Wheaton (and his friend who I decided would be named Pocahontas for his beautiful hair which Cathy and I drunkenly put in pigtails) and drinks kept magically appearing in my hand all night.

We got back to our room and passed out probably somewhere around 3am.

Continue to Blizzcon 2011: Friday.