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Gameverse | July 25, 2017

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Blizzcon 2014 Virtual Ticket Experience: E-Store

Jesse Tannous

Blizzard Gear Exclusive Items

I consider myself a longtime fan of Blizzard.  The original Starcraft and Broodwar expansion, Diablo II, and World of Warcraft ate up a considerable portion of my childhood and young adult life.  Despite this I have never attended a Blizzcon.  I’ve always wanted to, but the funds were never right, the timing didn’t work, or life happened and Blizzcon has remained a distant fantasy.

However, as I have settled into a job that allows me the weekends off I was extremely excited this year to finally get a small taste of what Blizzcon was like in the form of the Virtual Ticket.  From my history of convention experience $40 did not seem like an exceptional amount to be asking for a price of admittance, even if my viewing would be via digital means exclusively.

I was eagerly awaiting the opening of the exclusive Virtual Ticket holders merchandise selection said to become available on October 17th.  My initial reaction to the modified storefront was lukewarm at best.  Most of the items are not exclusive, and were available to anyone at the Blizzard Gear store.  Admittedly, it was still early, and Blizzard has set the expectation that more items will be released on or closer to the convention weekend.

Even still, after fidgeting around for 20 minutes trying to figure out where this exclusive store was located and how to ensure my Virtual Ticket purchase was being identified, it was a disappointing realization that pretty much the only exclusive items offered to me at the moment were a couple t-shirts and a hoodie.  For those who might have had the same sort of confusion I did while trying to locate the store simply go to Blizzard Gear, and sign into your battle.net account after purchasing your Virtual Ticket and a new section labeled Blizzcon 2014 will be available.

My inner statue collector was disappointed not to find any exclusive pieces to purchase, as the Funko collectibles, action figures, and even Faerie Dragon Plush were all available without a ticket.  If clothes are more your thing though then the exclusive Heroes of the Storm Hoodie or the assorted Diablo III, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, and E-Sport t-shirts might be of interest.

While I wasn’t “wowed” right out of the gate with the Virtual Ticket experience I’m still withholding the majority of my judgment. Hopefully the early store access feature was more of a way to try and solve Virtual Ticket technical issues well before convention day, and less a key feature that Blizzard honestly thought I’d be thrilled for.  For those who are looking to learn more about the Blizzcon Virtual Ticket experience I’ll be covering the event in detail over the next few weeks so make sure to check back for updates.

  • Guy

    Blizzard doesn’t do cons well. I made it in some years ago and while the “meat” of the con was good (i.e. panels), the “glue” that held it together was pretty bad. They seemed completely unprepared for crowds despite knowing exactly how many tickets were sold and having done a con in years prior. Every position was woefully understaffed, including the ticket takers at the door. 15K people (at the time) is normal for, say, a big concert, basketball or hockey game. Same issues & timing (everyone shows up at once) as Blizzcon. Yet the line just to get in the door was over 2 hours long. Merchandise lines were similarly long. Missed 2 panels standing in these absurd, completely unnecessary lines. The virtual ticket is superior, You get the content without the hassles created by incompetent convention planners. They really should just outsource the event.