Blizzard have released their traditional BlizzCon Survival Guide for the 2008 edition of BlizzCon. It contains most of the essential information on how to get the most out of the grand event. Since the event is even larger than last time, it might be even more crucial to know what to do exactly!
Having been at one BlizzCon and one WWI before this, I can vouch that all of the tips are excellent! More after the jump.
Get Your Badge Early
There will be lines at the badge pick-up stations when the show first opens. Beat the rush by coming by on Thursday between 4 and 11 p.m. or on Friday starting at 7 a.m.
Make a (rough) schedule
One of the easiest and biggest pitfalls that even experienced conference-goers can make is poor time management. On one end of the spectrum is cramming everything humanly possible into a rigidly regimented schedule, and on the other end is doing one activity for too long and missing out on something else. A happy medium, where you have a defined but flexible schedule, is best. Having a list of priorities for each day can work well. Keep in mind that there are differences between Friday’s and Saturday’s offerings, such as the different slate of developer panels for each day.
Get to the live events early
The live events, such as the developer panels and the tournaments, were heavily attended at previous BlizzCons – since there will likely be even more people and interest this time, come early. For these live events, you can’t beat the view of the action that a well-placed seat can provide.
Bring your gear
Just like your World of Warcraft character, you can rely on a variety of items – equippable, usable, and consumable. Bring a camera, because you never know when its “use” function will come in handy – you will likely see a night elf, murloc, tauren, or other denizen of Azeroth that you want to keep a memento of. Food such as trail mix or an energy bar will regenerate your health as well as provide a temporary “sugar rush” buff. Water restores mana and keeps you hydrated in the midst of all the walking you’ll be doing. A backpack (at least 16 slots) will be handy for carrying around these items, including the precious goody bag you’ll receive when you pick up your BlizzCon badge. Before packing your bags, take a look at the BlizzCon FAQ, which includes information on prohibited items.
Don’t wait until the last day to get your stuff from the BlizzCon Store
Don’t wait until the last minute to get what you want from the BlizzCon Store. At previous BlizzCons, many items were sold out by Saturday afternoon, with the most popular items disappearing even before then. Thus, even though the lines may be long, just stick it out if there’s something you really want. BlizzCon 2008 features not one but two store locations, one in Hall A and one in Hall C, which will hopefully reduce line sizes.
The biggest lines will be in the early-to-mid afternoons
At previous BlizzCons, the largest lines for the hands-on gaming stations were in the afternoons. To make the most of your time, you should try to get your gaming fix in the morning (the floor opens at 9 a.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday) or in the late afternoon/early evening. This way, you can use the busy afternoons to attend the live events as well as browse other parts of the show, such as the Developer’s Corner, the licensed partners, and even the mechanical bull. Also look for ebbs in the lines – these will likely happen near the start of popular live events such as the tournaments and developer panels.
Stay for the live contests
The live contests, which are slated for Friday evening, were a definite highlight of previous BlizzCons and is not to be missed. This year’s new contests look promising as well. Hope you brought a camera!
Get in touch with your in-game friends
Meeting people you’ve been adventuring with for the last three years can be one of the highlights of your BlizzCon experience. Finally, you can put a face to the friends and foes you’ve crossed paths with in Azeroth and Outland. Many realm forums have a thread about who is attending Blizzcon. Rooms 202 and 203 on the second level are reserved throughout the show for meeting with players from your realm, and will have signs for each battlegroup.
Talk to strangers
Go ahead and say hi to people you don’t know, because at BlizzCon we’re all part of a big happy family – as long as they’re not from the opposite faction, that is. Odds are that the person standing next to you in line has the shared experience of playing World of Warcraft, and thus you will have a lot to talk about right off the bat.
Know your local entertainment options
The area around the Anaheim Convention Center is full of restaurants, shopping, and other attractions – and many of the best and closest options are clustered around Disneyland. Downtown Disney is an all-in-one outdoor entertainment, shopping, and dining area right across the street from the convention center. Plan a trip to nearby Huntington, Newport, or Laguna Beach if you’re in town before or after the show, and otherwise take advantage of what Orange County and Los Angeles have to offer.
Check the BlizzCon Forum
Visit the Official BlizzCon Forum for discussions devoted to all things BlizzCon. From restaurant recommendations, to travel and hotel suggestions, to organizing meetings and activities, the topics on the forum are related to many of the tips in this guide. Find out where the unofficial afterparty is!