San Diego Comic Con 2011 – Blizzard Swag Show

In fine standing tradition for Blizzard, they had a lot to show and only a few promises to make. They refused to answer any questions about releases, just outright asking the audience to focus solely on what was being discussed at the panel. Not the worst thing in the world overall. Present at the panel were Cory Jones, Sean Gailey from Jinx Clothing, Christie Golden a writer, Hank Kanalz a DC comics editor, Chris Metzen a story developer and finally the writer Micky Neilson.

Sean started the panel talking about the new Jinx Clothing and accessories that they are going to offer in the coming year. Overall it will be comprised of World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2 and the forthcomign Diablo 3. He did offer his thanks to Blizzard who helped him move the office outside of his bedroom where it started. The highlight he talked the most about was one of their Cut and Sew line, the Demon Hunter Armor. He did comment a lot of the line he wanted to be geeky but still wearable. What he meant by that was to have something anyone can appreciate but those who know the game would get more out of it.

Chris Metzen was up next, talking about the upcoming books, most of which take place before patch 4.2. It looks into the impacts of Losgoth inside of King Varren. Second book they talked about was Starcraft Ghost: Nova. It was kept simple without much being told of the plot aside from it would continue the story from the vaporware game Starcraft Ghost. One book did get a bit  more attention as it is still in the works but offered up something everyone will soon be clamoring for. It is an Official Diablo Companion. Written by Deckard Cain, it chronicles his experiences from his own adventures. It works to fill in the gaps between Diablo 2 and 3 as well as set an official record. This is tentatively called “The Book of Cain”.

Cory talked next about about the upcoming expansion the World of Warcraft trading game titled “Throne of the Tides”. This is going to introduce an unofficial third faction of monsters. These can be played with either Horde or Alliance heroes or simply as their own. All of these characters and events tie to the game itself. They have, after a number of expansions, caught the Trading Card Game up to the MMO itself. All of this adheres to one principle, that the fans come first. He also talked next about a new product they are releasing called Dungeon Decks. These can be played with 2 to 4 players. The one nice features of it is these are built to run with the pre-made hero decks and come with instructions on how to level up the decks to scale to the dungeon. In addition the dungeon deck runs on its own. Unlike the raid deck which required 4 players, this one scales with who is there.

This was followed by by a surprise announcement of Blizzard teaming with Megablocks. Megablocks approached Blizzard with a Vulture model from Starcraft 2. Blizzard was blown away by the model and told us at the Swag they are looking forward to having them completed. In addition we were told at least the Vulture model will possess the ability to transform.

Hank spoke next about the upcoming DC comics series that will be released shortly. Focusing on the “Dark Riders” it will follow some of the exploits and help us come to understand these mysterious characters from the game. As DC has conclude the monthly series that had been previously running it gives them power to focus on the Worgen and the Alliance. The second series they announced was called “The Blood Sworn”, which takes a good look at the Horde. The horde, they remarked, is something interesting as it was born solely out of necessity. This comic focuses on a squad from the horde with representatives from each of the races and them having to face numerous objectives together. The last comic they talked about was Diablo focused “Sword of Justice”. This apparently focuses on Jacob who has been having prophetic visions which are apparently Tyreal's Sword calling him. The sword is calling to humans to find someone to be the Champion of Justice in Sanctum. The final announcement of the panel was one at the book focusing on a fight between Nova and Kerrigan was in the works.

For a swag panel, it was surprisingly informative. Very little was given out aside from what was learned here. It was very good to hear about all these coming products.