Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why I'm Not Going to Blizzcon

I thought about trying to nab a ticket to Blizzcon and taking a trip out to California, but for whatever reason, I couldn't justify it. I am, however, completely cool with not going because my twisted imagination has me thinking that the random conversations out there would resemble something like this:

Me to neighbor prior to the PvP discussion panel: Hey, nice to meet you! This panel should be pretty interesting. I hear Ghostcrawler has some interesting points to bring up about the weakness of casters against melee.
Neighbor: Eff that, ganker. I hope they announce that they're removing the Arenas and BG's. You griefing assholes ruined my game!
Me: ...


Me to dude wearing a Boomkin costume: Nice costume! What are you? Some kind of demented WoW Furry? You know there's no real life achievement for pretending to be the product of a Pigeon, Deer, Bear 3 way, right?
Boomkin: ...


Ghostcrawler: We're buffing melee!
Me: ...

Regardless of the possible exchanges with tardtastic WoW nerds, the underlying sentiment that completely nullifies any possible justifications for buying a ticket is that the game as developed a pattern in it's production/development cycle. Due to that established pattern, there is no real anxiety for me to go as I can pretty much anticipate what's coming next in WoW. To explain this, let me give a broad and reasonably vague example.

In the world of software, a typical business model for generating a continuous revenue stream consists of 3 phases: Implementation, Maintenance and Renewal. The implementation phase is where the software company installs their software and trains the end user how to manipulate the program to their benefit. Teething issues are worked out and eventually the software goes into the Maintenance phase where the software company supports the continued use of the product. When the next version comes out, the company works to secure continued use of the product (via the upgrade) and the cycle repeats itself: Implement new version, Maintain new version, sell next version. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

WoW has gone through this cycle once already from Classic to TBC, and now from TBC to WotLK. Heroic 5 mans? Check. Badges for Gear? Check. Entry level 10 man? Check. Entry level 25 man? Check. Completely borked first Arena season? Check. Completely stupid Honor grind? Check. How many people suspected that there was going to be a 'New Isle of Quel'danis' in WotLK? I know I did.

The bottom line is that the formula for Blizzard's last two WoW expansions works. It's generated record sales and subscriptions and has consistently produced excellent consumable content for a variety of gamers. To me, this formula is also stale and unexciting. As Blizzard is the master of taking what works and building upon it, I can already predict how the next expansion will play out and unfortunately, going to hear presentations on their upcoming content (ie: how they're tweaking their established business model) doesn't excite me or make me anxious for future releases.

And that is why I'm not going to Blizzcon.

Actually, that's all a big fat lie. I could justify it, but I totally forgot that the tickets were going on sale and happened to be away from the computer.

... Sorta.

P.S. I would totally wear a Boomkin costume for some hot cosplay action.

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