Posts Tagged ‘Blizzard’

Diablo III Patched, Now Greater, More Seasonal

By Ben Barrett on August 29th, 2014.

Replace eyes with spikes for +3 damage.

Because video games, one of the things added in the latest Diablo III patch is “The Cesspools.” They’re the sewers of Westmarch, a city overrun by an angel of death and his hoards of minions, making them only slightly better than a toy store in the run up to Christmas. They’re included in patch 2.1.0 as a new area to explore within the endgame Nephalem Rifts, quick one-shot dungeons with totally random layout and encounters. These have also received an upgrade, now with timed “Greater Rift” versions that provide unique rewards and global leaderboards for speed and difficulty. The most significant introduction is Seasons, similar to the character ladders in ealier Diablo games, which allow a competitive version of levelling and loot hoarding.

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World of Warcraft Getting Warlordier On November 13th

By Ben Barrett on August 15th, 2014.

I would honestly not be surprised if the official name for this thing wasn't 'The Darker Portal'

I’ve spoken about the Blizzard cinematic siren before and it has gone off again. Yesterday evening at an event in Los Angeles (which, for some reason, was then simulcast to the Blizzard booth at Gamescom rather than just being ran there) the titanic MMO developer showed off the CGI intro to Warlords of Draenor, the next World of Warcraft expansion. Blizz announced its release date–November 13th–and spoke about what’s coming in the expansion itself. They also showed off the first episode of their new animated series about the eponymous Warlords. Find it all below.

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Heroes Of The Storm Alpha Update: Orcs & Artifacts

By Ben Barrett on July 23rd, 2014.

I know it would be embarrassing to change the name again but ... I mean, come on.

“Me too!” cries Heroes of the Storm as it sprints after big siblings League of Legends and Dota 2. “No,” they say as they slip behind the bike sheds, “you can play when you’re older.” Infinite Crisis titters in the background, the nerdy friend who gets in because it does their homework. Heroes of the Storm stamps its feet and sulks. It just wants to share its new patch.

I’d basically forgotten about Heroes since Pip’s hands-on report in April. The ongoing “Technical Alpha” is still invite-only and mostly unavailable to regular humans, but Blizzard are still blitzing out information about the patches to the general populace. The latest adds a new map, a new hero and changes customisation and progression options.

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You’re Probably Prepared: Curse of Naxxramas Released

By Ben Barrett on July 23rd, 2014.

The left hand side of this image lovingly dedicated to Richard Cobbett

As we enter the third year of the Valve-Blizzard-Riot war for all of the money, everywhere, ever, the latest offensive from the mega-juggernaut weather system has arrived. While the above picture is supposedly a marketing image, I choose to believe it’s a photograph of Mike Morhaime offering up this morsel to those who’d broken the Hearthstone habit. Curse of Naxxramas is the first expansion to the free-to-play, difficult-to-quit card game and went live last night, with the first of five “wings” free to all who step foot in it before September.

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How Much Hearthstone’s Expansion Will (Or Won’t) Cost You

By Nathan Grayson on July 9th, 2014.

Sometimes I don’t think I’ll ever be able to escape how much Blizzard shaped young me as a gamer and a person. Case in point: while I haven’t really invested much time (or any money) into Hearthstone, I saw that the first section in Blizzard’s outline of expansion Curse of Naxxramas‘ pricing structure is titled “All Naxx-cess Pass” and thought, “Damn it, now I can’t use my pun.” I guess I should  dig into Hearthstone soon. Now seems to be a fairly opportune time given that the Naxx expansion will offer the improbably popular card game’s first real single-player campaign, unlockable or purchasable bit-by-bit or all at once.

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The Devil Cries: Rob Pardo Pardos Ways With Blizzard

By Nathan Grayson on July 4th, 2014.

That headline might be confusing for some of you, so allow me to elaborate: Rob Pardo’s been one of Blizzard’s top designers for 17 years, making him – among many other things – one of Diablo‘s many daddies. So when I say the devil cries, I’m mostly referring to that. I’m sure he’s blowing his 666 nostrils into a +44 WIS Hanky Of Wretched Despondency as we speak, the poor primeval force.

That, however, is only the beginning of Pardo’s legendary ledger, which spans everything from the original StarCraft to Warcraft III to World of Warcraft to Diablo III. He’s been everywhere (as lead designer or chief creative officer for a lot of it), worked on projects great and not-so-great. And now he’s leaving.

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World Of Warcraft Player Reaches 90 Without Picking A Side

By Nathan Grayson on June 24th, 2014.

NO TIME FOR CROWDS MUST PICK MORE HERBS DON'T REMEMBER HOW TO DO ANYTHING ELSE

In case you’d forgotten, MMO players are crazy. I know: I used to be one. This, though, is a whole new level of dedication to a mind-numbingly repetitive task. A World of Warcraft player named “Doubleagent” (get it?) rolled a Pandaren character and never left the neutral starting zone. Somehow, though, they found a way to hit WoW’s current level cap of 90. And by somehow, I mean they picked a lot of herbs and mined Azeroth hollow. This is not a task congruent with keeping one’s sanity, but when somebody voluntarily sets out to do this, it makes you wonder if they were ever truly sane to begin with.

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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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Blizzard, How About Allowing “Trans*” Diablo III Clan Names

By John Walker on April 7th, 2014.

Diablo III has recently made some major updates, including closing the much-loathed auction house. Another of the new features was the addition of clans, essentially guilds for the online ARPG. Limited to 120 members, their intention was to create something smaller than the game’s “communities”, and also something private – invite only. However, for some reason the game’s filters are preventing anyone from creating a clan with variants of the word “trans” in their name.

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The Hammer Falls: Diablo III Auction House Closes

By Adam Smith on March 19th, 2014.

Kumquat-complexioned entrepreneur David Dickinson shoulders you aside as he storms the corridors of the Diablo III Auction House. “How can they shut it all down?” He barks, beads of butter springing from his forehead where only sweat would be visible on a lesser man. “Where will I be able to offload this Wicker Chair of +7 Discomfort and Old Tin Soldier of +2 Melancholy Reflections About The Interwar Years?” The items in question are firmly secured in his gargantuan trouser pocket.

“Well, Sir Dickinson.” You begin, struggling to keep pace with his powerful stride. Dickinson hasn’t been formally knighted by the monarch but the ‘Sir’ is fitting – the silver gavel of a higher power still has often caressed the lint from his shoulders behind the carved doors of certain secret chambers. “Nothing will be lost, at least not yet.”

He turns to you, actual bolts of lightning sparking across the damp crevices of his brow. “Explain. And then show me a very noisy trailer for Reaper of Souls.”

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Revealed: Duelyst, Turn-Based Strategy From Diablo Devs

By Nathan Grayson on March 10th, 2014.

For eons now, humanity’s greatest philosophers, scientists, and Internet commenters have debated over the correct usage and spelling of the word “duel.” When you use that version? When is it “dual”? Despite being an incredibly simple binary, the true answer is still shrouded in mystery. And now, more confusion. A third entrant to the dual duel of due(a)ling-ness: Duelyst. It’s a gorgeous-looking turn-based strategy RPG from developers who headed up the likes of Diablo III, Ratchet and Clank, and Rogue Legacy, but it’s focused on rapid-fire Hearthstone-style competition instead of a winding Banner-Saga-esque, er, saga. Don’t let that frighten you off, though. There’s a lot of promise in this one. Also, it’s not free-to-play. One purchase, one even playing field. Reveal video/interview below.

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Space Marines On Horses: 17 Mins Of Heroes Of The Storm

By Nathan Grayson on March 5th, 2014.

That poor, poor pony.

Heroes of the Storm‘s developers might have made some major missteps (that they apologized for), but that doesn’t mean the game itself isn’t looking extremely promising. I played a fair amount of Blizzard’s MOB- excuse me, “hero brawler” during BlizzCon, and I found it to be a streamlined approach to an often unwieldy genre that could provide a nice alternative when lengthy LoL or DOTA 2 matches sound unappetizing. But man, it’s still really weird to see Jim Raynor – decked out in full space marine garb, no less – riding a pony whose spine probably looks like a rusted-over sawblade at this point. 17 mins of informatively shoutcasted footage below.

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Reap For The Picking: Diablo III’s Huge Loot 2.0 Patch Live

By Nathan Grayson on February 26th, 2014.

Diablo III‘s first expansion, Reaper of Souls, won’t explode forth from the Internet’s gleaming loot cavities for another month, but the free patch that includes a healthy chunk of its content is already here right now. Well, if you live in America. It’s not out in other regions yet, but it will be soon. It’s quite a behemoth, with loot of the 2.0 variety flowing from both its wazoos. Rebalanced classes and a new customizable difficulty system are also in, as are revamped bosses and a fully overhauled Paragon leveling system. Basically, this patch is Reaper of Souls’ blanched white backbone. More details below.

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