Posts Tagged ‘Blizzard Entertainment’

Why WoW Is Now All About WarCraft 3-Style Player Bases

By Tom Mayo on December 8th, 2014.

Garrisons are the biggest, splashiest feature of Warlords of Draenor by a considerable margin. Players have been rhubarbing about the lack of player housing for years, and this is Blizzard answering them while drawing from their RTS roots for inspiration. Combine these factors and you get an instanced Warcraft III-style base of your very own, complete with meaningful building choices and dozens of NPC followers.

If there’s one reason to return to World of Warcraft, or maybe try it out for the first time, this is it. Let me tour you around my home and I’ll explain why.

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Black, White And Free All Over: Mists Of Pandaria

By Graham Smith on October 15th, 2014.

Preparations for the Warlords of Draenor expansion to World of Warcraft continues. Yesterday brought The Iron Tide, the traditional pre-expansion patch with all its many changes. Now Blizzard have done the other now-traditional thing and folded the last expansion’s content into the base World of Warcraft game. That means subscribers who never bought Mists of Pandaria no longer need to, as its landmass and quests are available to all.

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Interdimensional Time-Orcs: WoW 6.0.2 Coming Soon

By Ben Barrett on October 11th, 2014.

I returned to World of Warcraft earlier this year on the encouragement of a few online friends. I hadn’t played since the release of Mists of Pandaria in late 2012 and hadn’t paid attention to the game’s systems since the end of Cataclysm’s life cycle. It was an odd experience; a game that I find in some ways intimately familiar, made strange through numerous small changes. Not bad, just different.

I’ll be feeling that again come October 14th, when the pre-expansion patch for Warlords of Draenor – called 6.0.2: The Iron Tide – is released and everything is different again. These patches bring the systemic and mechanical changes of the expansion to the game, and set the scene for the new expansion’s big bad with new world events.

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Diablo 1 HD Mod Adds Support For Modern Machines

By Graham Smith on September 24th, 2014.

Diablo games become like obsessions, and like any obsessive-compulsive knows, slight changes to routine can cause you to lose your shit. That means that you might like or loathe Diablo 3, but if the first game was your first love, you’ll likely long to return. The Diablo 1 HD mod makes that much easier by increasing the game’s resolution, introducing support for widescreen displays, improving the interface and making it work better on modern copies of Windows.

It also goes a step further – for better or worse, I’m not sure – by adding extra content to the game alongside the graphical upgrade, including Barbarian and Assassin classes, new items and crafting recipes, and new locations, bosses, spells, skills and more. There’s a trailer below showing the destructive scale of the thing.

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Getting Better At Hearthstone With Computers

By Ben Barrett on September 4th, 2014.

Dr. Elie Bursztein is a computer security expert employed at Google who, for the past few months of his free time, has been focused on Blizzard’s card game Hearthstone. He and his wife Celine used math and machine learning to understand more about the game, detailing their results in blog posts. They started out wanting to identify cards that were “undervalued”–where you got the most power for your mana–using an algorithm. Separately, they began analysing games and decklists to build a model to predict what cards would be played by opponents based on what had already happened. It ended up pretty dang accurate all right.

He gave a talk about all this at the DEF CON 22 hacking conference last month, and now it’s online for us to watch.

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Hands On: Heroes Of The Storm

By Philippa Warr on April 29th, 2014.

‘Hero brawler’. That’s what Blizzard would like you to call their all-star lane pushing videogame, Heroes of the Storm. In marketing terms it’s better than referencing your competitors by saying Dota-like or LoL-a-like (sidenote: no-one says LoL-a-like and this is a crying shame). More importantly, it’s better than the emotionally dead and uselessly expansive MOBA. It gives you the flavour of the game you’re about to play. The phrase ‘hero brawler’ contains something of the rambunctiousness you’ll find infecting lanes, infiltrating the weird scrubland that the genre’s traditional vocabulary dubs ‘jungle’ and venturing into haunted mineshafts.

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Wot I Think (Of The Open Beta): Hearthstone

By Rich Stanton on January 31st, 2014.

Every time Hearthstone launches the first thing you see is a box. The camera lingers on the bevelled edges of the lid, gaining height before tilting to settle on a top-down view. The inset stone glows with restive energy, clunks backwards and spins – in a surprise twist, the lid doesn’t flip open but splits vertically. Hearthstone‘s roots are in the real-world, and a big part of the joy in card games is the physical pleasure of playing with them. This lovingly-crafted box is the opening volley in answering one question; can Blizzard make a digital card game that feels like a real one?
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World Of Warcraft Merges Servers Without Merging Servers

By Graham Smith on October 28th, 2013.

Steamwheedle FTW

World of Warcraft is 9 years old, which is 1012 in MMO years. The old thing still has its wits about it, but in its dotage, we’re going to start seeing more changes like patch 5.4’s ‘Connected Realms’ functionality.

Expanding on existing tech, this will link servers together so that players on less populated servers can play with those from other servers without having to migrate their characters.
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Robo Not Much Cop: Blizzard Win Lawsuit Against WoW Bot

By Graham Smith on October 21st, 2013.

Probably these are all robots.

I always think of automated bots in MMOs as a type of game criticism. As in, if your players can, without mod tools, write scripts to easily automate some part of your game, probably that part isn’t as engaging as it should be. Probably there’s a reason why players want to bypass it.

I also understand why it’s bad for a game’s community for such things to carry on, so I don’t blame Blizzard for winning another agreeing to settle another lawsuit to the tune of $7 million against a World of Warcraft botmaker last week, as reported by WoW Insider.
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