BlizzCon 2013

The BlizzCon weekend is over, I hope everyone’s had an awesome time both those who actually attended it in person and those, who like me, watched it live with the Virtual Ticket Stream. I wanted to write this post after day one, but I was so extremely tired as it was morning over here when the show ended and I just didn’t find time or energy for it yesterday after day two either. This won’t be a post summarizing everything that happened on BlizzCon this year, I just want to mention some of my favorite parts and moments of the show. I assume that everyone already know about the big announcements, if not this will contain spoilers.

I think this was the fourth time I watched the Virtual Ticket stream. It’s so great to be able to see what you want and when you want. But the sound could have been so much better during the panels on stage and music performances. It was a great experience to watch BlizzCon this year because it was the first time I watched it with my boyfriend and I also tweeted a lot and read other tweets during the show which made it a lot more entertaining.

I can only imagine how amazing it must be to actually be there in person. I hope that one day it’ll be my turn, maybe next year, I don’t know. It’s not cheap to travel from Norway or Sweden to Los Angeles and if I first travel that far, I’d want to stay there a while longer, at least two weeks because I’ve never been there before and there is so much I’d like to see. I might need some help and advice from some of you who’ve been there or live there if I decide to go. And it would have been great to meet up with other Europeans who’s going and maybe travel together.

I’m not sure how many of those who were at BlizzCon or watching the stream who know In Flames, a Swedish metal band, but we did hear them this weekend. Some parts of their songs were used as an intro several times during the show which I thought was awesome because they’re one of my favorite bands. One of the songs they used is called Pinball Map, check it out here.

We knew they were going to announce a new WoW expansion and it was either something with “The Dark Below” or “Warlords of Draenor” but I thought the first one sounded much more interesting because it made me think of Old Gods and it would seem natural to go there after what’s happened in MoP, but I didn’t think “The Dark Below” would be a very good title. To me “Warlords of Draenor” sounded more like a TCG card deck or something. But it wasn’t. At first when they announced it I thought “Hmm, well, this looks promising”, but I’m much more excited about the expansion after I’ve seen and heard so much about it! So many changes it’ll be like a new game!

Warlords of Draenor: What I’m looking forward to the most

The new character models, especially the tauren and the troll as my main will be either troll or tauren depending on which I think looks the best when the models are finished.

The garrisons which sounds very interesting but I’m still unsure how it will affect my gold income if anyone can put up an enchanting building and craft their own enchants. But the part where you’re able to invite your friends to visit sounds fun.

It’ll also be awesome to go back to Draenor and learn more about what happened there, how life there is, more about some of the legendary orc characters and the draenei.

The PvP changes with the reward changes and Ashran the new world PvP zone

The Draenor zones look absolutely stunning and I can’t wait to explore them

New hidden treasures and secret areas to explore is something I can’t wait to check out

I also love that they will create a tab for heirlooms, toys and maybe tabards, it’ll clear out a lot of bag space

I’m also excited about the new changes to stats and gear, but a little sceptical to the removal of reforging

Balance druid level 100 talents:

Touch of Elune: Balance (Sunfall) Passive – Entering Solar Eclipse will transform your Starfall spell into Sunfall and reset its cooldown.
Will of Malfurion: Balance (Zenith) Channeled – Targets all enemies within 60 yards and accelerates the caster’s Moonfire and sunfire effects, causing them to deal damage at 400% of the normal rate for 4 sec.
Might of Malorne: Balance (Equinox) Passive – Lunar and Solar Eclipse now last until the other is triggered, instead of ending at 0 Balance Power.

Thoughts on Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and Diablo III

Heartstone: I haven’t played Hearhtstone yet.. At first it seemed very simple and not so interesting because I’ve never been a fan of playing card games, but now when I’ve seen and read more about it I think it’s something I’ll enjoy, especially because it’ll be available on iPhone.

Heroes of the Storm: I’ve never been a big fan of games like this, but it looks a lot more fun when it’s heroes I already know so I’ll definitely try it

Diablo III: I’m really looking forward to the expansion Reaper of Souls because there are so many great changes coming up. Like the removal of the auction house, loot changes, adventure mode, the crusader and new content.

I loved watching

The art panel: I’ve always been interested in learning more about how they create the game. How they come up with the ideas, how it goes from concept to finished. It’s was fun to see the new character models, what an improvement! Can’t wait to see the troll models. But I’m a bit disappointed that we won’t see an update to Moonkin Form this expansion, more about that in a separate post.

charmodelsupdate

scrshoot1

artworkwod

Sound panel: The music in WoW has amazed me since I started playing, I listen to it in-game and on my iPhone or iTunes. I’m so impressed by everything the sound team does but especially the composers who write the music, to me they are geniuses, and I’m not missing out on a chance to learn more about how they work and how they think. And.. Great news, everyone! Jason Hayes is back at Blizzard! And his band Critical Hit performed Blizzard music pieces live which was absolutely amazing! Seeing them play music like that inspired me and I really feel like starting to play an instrument again. Check out their website or Facebook page. And by the way: You can download new Warlords of Draenor music on the new website!

Movie contest: This year’s movie contest was great, so I want to share my two favorites by <AFK> Pl@yers and Patrick James. The first one almost made me cry a little bit and the second made me laugh really hard, maybe because I’d been up for too long…

Costume contest: Oh my, there were so many fantastic costumes this year! My favorites were the troll druid in cat form, the tuskarr, pandaren and training dummy.

costume

Tweets worth mentioning

https://twitter.com/Kap_Kaos/status/398943237303312384

https://twitter.com/McMonkeyz/status/399304157112184833

If you want to read or see more from BlizzCon 2013, check out these links:

http://www.mmo-champion.com/content/3548-Blizzcon-2013-Recap

http://wow.joystiq.com/blizzcon-2013/

http://www.wowhead.com/blizzcon

BlizzCon 2010: Blizzard Sound

Finally the sound panel as the last panel on BlizzCon 2010. I had been waiting for this all day and was getting really tired, we’re 9 hours ahead of LA. But it was so worth it.

I’m a huge fan of the WoW music and have always played with ingame music on, I feel sorry for those people who play without, you’ve missed out on the most beautiful music ever made!

I feel like there is not enough talk about the music in the game, people forget about it, or don’t listen to it. When I now read on forums etc about BlizzCon most people only talk about the classes and dungeons, live raid, the D, and the dances and costumes, everything but the music? In one way, I feel sorry for those guys who don’t listen or care about it, as I said, in another way I’m like “pff, you’re the ones missing out”.

But these guys at the sound panel deserves a big thanks and some honor, they’ve done a wonderful job with the music and I’m so thankful for it. The game wouldn’t be the same without the music. Hours and hours of music have they composed, written and recorded.

On the sound panel we had Derek Duke, David Arkenstone, Russell Brower, Glenn Stafford and Neal Acree who are the composers of the music for Cataclysm. They told us how they fought over the zones, who should do which zone, everyone wanted to do the underwater zones, so they had to draw straws, but David made the Vashj’ir music.

David and some others played music live: Durotar, Feralas, Hyjal, Stonetalon, Vashj’ir, Temple of the Moon. I loved the flutist Susan Windberg, I played the flute in a marching band at school when I was younger, I enjoyed playing, but not the marching, so I quitted, but after hearing her on Saturday I want to start playing the flute again, realized how much I miss it, the sound of it.

They talked about the different ways to write music. Russell only uses a pencil and paper, but not everyone got the ability to “hear it without hearing it” as Glenn said. Neal uses keyboard, computer, Glenn uses piano, Derek prefers humming, David uses the computer and humming/singing to record his ideas wherever he is.

They also told us about their favorite composed pieces from Cataclysm.
Neal: Night Song: Night Elves
Glenn: Cataclysm 3
Derek: Skywall part 1, part 2
David: Nordrassil, Surrender the Booty
Russell: Mountain

My favorite of those has to be the Night Elves song, it was one of the first I heard and it’s so special, never heard anything like it before. You just have to hear it and you will understand what I mean.

It’s really interesting to hear them explain how they work, how they get inspired cause it’s so fantastic how they can just see a zone or a character, read a story and then just know how the music should be, what instruments they should use. They also get inspired by things that happen in real life, and try to put the emotions into the music. It’s so amazing how they do that.

As the Cataclysm takes place in Azeroth and many of the old zones, they had to remake a lot of music for the zones cause as the zones change the music changes too. But Neal said it’s important to stay true to the old classic music that’s why they reuse it in the newer cinematics and main titles, make a new version, they don’t wanna remove anything.

Orgrimmar was reforged, a lot got changed and new buildings were build after Garrosh took over, as all this changed Orgrimmar needed new music. So David accepted the challenge and he said it was hard because it’s a popular theme. But he just added more instruments, more drums and metal and made it more “kick ass”. I love the new version of Orgrimmar and you can find it here. David also made the Thunder Bluff/Mulgore music. Derek made the goblin music. Glenn did Arathi and Plaguelands.

Invincible


Music by Russell and Jason Hayes, lyrics by Neal Acree and Derek Duke.

Jason Hayes first made the song “O Thanagor” which was in Warcraft III The Frozen Throne closing cinematic, then the melody was putted into the WotLK main title and Neal wrote the lyrics. Then came the Fall of the Lich King patch and the first part which is in the main title called “Arthas My Son” become the Chorus and they wrote “Invincible” as verse to go with it, Derek wrote the lyrics.

And the lyrics contains a lot of lore. About Arthas’ feelings for his horse, how it was to be imprisoned, and feelings of the trapped souls. The song is named after Christie Golden’s book Arthas, and the title leaves you wondering if it’s about the horse or Arthas himself.

The BlizzCon 2010 Blizzard Sound panel can be found on YouTube.

Cataclysm main title: “The Shattering” + interview

I’ve been waiting for this since they announced Cataclysm and last week the music was finally out on YouTube, from the beta files I guess. Blizzard’s music department don’t like that people do that, but they understand we’re excited and I’m one of those who couldn’t wait for the launch to hear it.

I had really high expectations cause I loved the music from Vanilla, Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King. I’m a huge fan of classical, orchestra and choir music from games.

I have many favorite tracks, but I will try to only list a few ones here. Ok, that’s too hard.. I’ll pick some favorites from Wrath of the Lich King:

  1. Invincible (unlocked in the WoW anniversary)
  2. Arthas My Son (Wrath of the Lich King cinematic)
  3. Wrath of the Lich King Main Title (login screen)
  4. Ebon Hold (Death Knight)
  5. Ulduar Exterior Action (Razorscale)
  6. Bronze Jam (Forge of Souls)
  7. Fall of the Lich King ending cinematic music

So I started to listen to the Cataclysm music. Most of the tracks are from new and old zones, some themes for races and events. I haven’t heard them enough times yet to say what I think about them, and kinda need to hear them in-game, in the zone with ambience etc.

But what I can write about is the Cataclysm main title, oh my, I’ve been looking forward to this for such a long time.

I remember when I first heard the WotLK main title, my jaw dropped and I had goosebumps all over. The music made me so excited and happy, it still does. I listened to it all the time, like every day, everywhere, on my phone, PC and the mp3 player I had back then. Had it as ringtone till I got my iPhone and sometimes when I log into WoW I wait a bit with the authenticator to listen to the music.

I think it’s hard to explain how music makes me feel sometimes, how I hear and experience it, I don’t know if anyone will understand how excited I am about all this music. I have never met anyone else who love this music as much as I do, but I bet there are some out there somewhere.

I found a video with the music and footage from Cataclysm beta made by 1Nefti1, very good quality and the music and clips fit perfect together.

0:00-0:40 –
0:40-1:31 –
1:31-2:40 Legends of Azeroth
2:40-3:22 Stormwind Cathedral
3:22-4:47 Cold Mountain
4:47-5:27 New Moonglade
5:27-6:00 Goblin
6:00-6:40 Legends of Azeroth
6:40-7:38 Invincible
7:38-8:36 Eye of the Vortex Theme used in shattered areas
8:37-9:28 Worgen
9:29-10:04 Gunship
10:05-10:57 Ulduar (Thaurissan’s Reach)
10:58-12:06 Vanilla main title (Legends of Azeroth)
(not confirmed)

Now I’ve been listening to this music for hours, over and over again. First time I heard it was like two days ago but I didn’t really have the time to sit down and listen so carefully, so I did it first now.

And I’m so impressed! I had very high expectations and thought I would get disappointed because of it but no way, I didn’t.  This music brings back so many good memories from the first time I saw the WoW trailer, played the game, heard the “Legends of Azeroth”. I love how they re-use “old” songs in the newer expansions, they did the same with Wrath of the Lich King and Burning Crusade.

Some of the songs here, the worgen part 8:37-9:28, reminds me of Disney movies, not sure which ones and why, but it’s only positive. The Gunship battle music is my favorite boss fight music in Icecrown Citadel cause it’s just so perfect and exciting, not that the fight is very exciting at the moment, but the music sure is!

Uldum is the land of the titans and Ulduar was also made by the titans, so I hope they will make similar music in the Uldum instances with choirs, cause I loved the Ulduar music and was so happy when I heard it in the main title. It sounds so powerful and I really wonder what the lyrics are, if there are any, maybe it’s only made up lyrics for the sound of it. Saving one of the best parts to the end: Invincible! Nothing can ever beat this song. What else can I say, it fits perfectly in.

But the most epic parts are the goblin part 5:27-6:00, especially 5:45, so beautiful! And the Vanilla main title part 10:58-12:06, especially from 11:35. Goosebumps!!!

Just have to say: Thank you, Russell Brower, you’re the best composer ever!

 

Have to add that The Instance podcast had their #200 episode August 23rd, with special interviews with Russell Brower, Veronica Belmont, Felicia Day and Tom Merritt. Check it out here.