BlizzCon 2018: Support Blizzplanet’s Panel Transcripts. Hear my story

Greetings to all our Blizzard games fans visitors.

It is difficult for me to write these words, and set aside shyness and sort-of pride; but I need to share the story. Pride in the sense that we shy people tend to be protective of ourselves, and build a barrier to not be affected emotionally by bullies and trolls. I do get those from time to time, still, but I cope.

Blizzplanet is nigh 16 years old, thanks to Blizzard Entertainment and to the community. I was there as the website was born, and ever since.

Those who have visited Blizzplanet for many years are aware of some of the thoughest moments of my life. From 2010-2015, I ended up living in a shelter for the homeless. I had no income other than food basics (probably under $100 a month). I have been disabled physically since 2001, but hadn’t gone to doctors to properly diagnose it.

Without going into details about my disability, a simple trip to the city or to visit my sister, knocks me in bed for a week or two unable to walk during that period. I battle through pain and poor sleep due to this. Legs, muscles, and body in general need to recover and heal to the best possible, which isn’t much, after a trip. Summers increase the pain, as my body doesn’t know how to sweat to cool down. Just so you know, simple tasks as going to the supermarket or anywhere within 1-10 miles I do on a Mobility scooter. I’m 47.

It was around early 2013 that through a couple of doctors I was diagnosed. With their evaluation and tests, I was able to apply for disability. With the help of a legal aid, I got approved. This helped me eventually to fill the requirements to get low-cost housing assistance, and finally move out from the shelter into an apartment.

I have been a Blizzard fan and gamer since my first Apple Mac G4 in 1999, and later an HP computer in 2003 where I played Warcraft III and World of Warcraft beta. I know what it is to be in the low end after suffering through those 5 years as a homeless. I know what it feels to be a disabled person. And to not have a steady income to afford things beyond food or my favorite games.

That’s what made me decide to do something unique here at Blizzplanet these many years ago since 2013 — when I was still living in the shelter.

That was the first time I started transcribing the BlizzCon panels. I have done so in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and now in 2018.

From a humbled position where I have gone through so much, I know some of you. You… the one who is maybe underage and obviously go to school, maybe don’t have a job yet. Or maybe you do but still can’t afford to buy a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, far less a normal ticket, flight and hotel.

I know You… the one who probably is disabled. Whether hearing impaired, or otherwise. Sometimes you might not be able to afford the Virtual Ticket. Even if you do, most of the time the camera is not showing the person speaking. You can’t read lips that are not shown onscreen (especially when the screenshot slides are shown full screen, or the audience is shown). During Q&As, the fan asking a question is not always shown onscreen. So a hearing impaired fan can’t read lips most of the time to learn what’s been revealed or discussed during the panel. Or simply, you can’t afford the Virtual Ticket to begin with.

A couple years ago, in 2016, as I posted several of the BlizzCon panel transcripts, and got a lot of visibility in the internetz things changed drastically. I don’t know how it started, but fans started to share my transcripts on Reddit. All heck broke loose. The servers got hammered hard knocking Blizzplanet offline for several days. Back then, I paid $15 a month from the ads. The website self paid itself without me.

When Reddit, MMO-Champion, WoWhead and WoWpedia started opening the flood gates of traffic for fans to read the transcripts, I had to take a decision that affected and hit my pocket directly. Upgrading to a better server plan to prevent the site from going under. Blizzplanet costs $85 a month nowadays. The transcripts take me too long all by myself, so I am now outsourcing to professional transcribers who charge $5-10 per 15-20 minutes of transcription.

So you see, when I put my pride aside and ask our visitors via Twitter to support Blizzplanet via Patreon or PayPal, I am not a greedy fella. Most of it goes to these transcripts each year, or the website hosting. Sometimes I get a hit to the pocket when there is not enough from the ads or the YouTube partnership program.

These BlizzCon panel transcripts are useful to those who can’t afford traveling to BlizzCon, or the Virtual Ticket — whether you are underage, unemployed, or even homeless. The disabled, including the hearing impaired. It is useful to all fans who attended or watched the livestream as well.

The Virtual Ticket VODs are there for a limited period of time, and then they are gone.

The transcripts help so many fans. These are also shared in forums and social media to estimulate discussion. These are shared by fellow writers as a resource of information to publish articles based on straight quotes from the developers, or even an archive of information for those who love to contribute in WoWpedia.

Special thanks to those who currently or in the past have supported us, and to those who share our transcripts and interviews throughout the community.

This year, I already posted the World of Warcraft: What’s Next panel; and the Diablo Immortal panel transcript.

For $37 — Velma, a professional transcriber, is right now working on the Heroes of the Storm: What’s Next panel transcript and the Warcraft III: Reforged panel. Another transcriber should be almost done with the Hearthstone: What’s Next panel for $12.

Once they deliver the transcripts, I have to proofread. While they are professionals, they aren’t infallible to video gaming terms, names, and locations they never heard before. So I spend hours reading and listening to the panel VODs to correct the typos, format, and add images as needed. I do that for free, for our community. However, I can’t cost everything on my own. Not all panels in past years have gotten transcribed for a reason, but I try to cover the basic ones.

Please, support Blizzplanet via Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/blizzplanet — or one-time donation via Paypal: http://www.paypal.me/blizzplanet

Many thanks for your unconditional support over the years,

– Tom / Medievaldragon

 

Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)

***Fans who would love to watch Blizzard-related panels and appreciate our efforts can support Blizzplanet’s patreon in a monthly-basis, or a one-time basis. Our staff are volunteer fans like you. Your donations will help us travel to all the Blizzard events we attend year-round to bring you the latest interview with the developers, photos, and panel videos (where allowed).

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