Posts Tagged ‘Blizzard’

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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This Means War: WoW’s Level 90 Boost To Cost $60

By Nathan Grayson on February 20th, 2014.

At what point does a microtransaction cease to be a microtransaction? It’s a question that’s plagued my more contemplative brain tubules for years now, twisting the follicles of my whiskey soaked beard until they snap. But finally, I think I have an answer: when it’s the price of a full goddamn game. We already knew that World of Warcraft‘s Warlords of Draenor expansion would bring with it the option to boost one of your characters straight to level 90, but what if you don’t want the expansion or need another boost (come on, man – just one more that’s it I promise)? Well, do you have $60 you’re prepared to fling into Blizzard’s abyssal bank account? Are… are you sure?

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World of Warcraft Still Pulls A Crowd

By Alec Meer on February 7th, 2014.

Received wisdom tends to be that World of Warcraft is a game in slow decline, still very much a going concern but nonetheless the last great dinosaur of the subscription MMO. Turns out that’s not quite the case – while its 12 million+ subscriber glory days might be behind it, its global population is ever so slightly on the rise. That didn’t stop owner Activision losing a wee bit of money over the last year, though.
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StarCraft 2 Custom Maps Now Free For Anyone To Play

By Graham Smith on January 22nd, 2014.

The mutalisks represent mods.

This is bold. The part I already knew: you can now play any of StarCraft 2‘s three races in multiplayer for free. The part I didn’t expect: you can also play any of the user-created custom maps and modes available in StarCraft Arcade for free, too. That’s a huge amount of free game, and a huge boon for the mod community.
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Burning Down The House: Hearthstone Enters Open Beta

By Graham Smith on January 22nd, 2014.

A straight flush!

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a tremendously dull name for a game, but let’s unpick this. The game is the hearthstone, the bottom of a fireplace. The players are the kindling, being rapidly consumed in that fiery furnace. The closed beta is the flames, locked in place so only those lucky enough to have a key can enter.

Only now the fire is spreading. North America has already been consumed, and the rest of the world will fall in “the next few days.” Run. Run! Hearthstone has entered open beta.
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Riot In The Street: Lead WoW Dev Becomes Lead LoL Dev

By Nathan Grayson on January 15th, 2014.

And so it all comes full circle. Blizzard’s games may have been the MOBA genre’s none-too-pretty spawning pit, but League of Legends, DOTA 2, and the like took the torch – whether Blizzard wanted to pass it or not. So it’s not entirely surprising to see people like Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street, former lead systems designer on World of Warcraft, at Riot. Sure, Heroes of the Storm is a thing, but it’s still nascent, larval. For better or worse, LoL is an empire, and now, it seems, a destination. Street enters as lead game designer on LoL, so he will likely be calling quite a few shots as time goes on.

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Crafting A Better War: Hearthstone Open Beta Delayed

By Nathan Grayson on December 23rd, 2013.

I'm glad that I'm winning this card game and also that evolution was cruel enough to only make you the size of my hand.

Are all of your friends in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft‘s closed beta? Have they replaced the you-shaped hole in their lives with shiny virtual trading cards? Well, for one, you should probably get new friends. Yours sound a bit, um, terrible. But, if you reeeeally want to join them in their quest for gold and glory and more trading cards, I’m afraid I have a bit of bad news for you: the open beta’s been delayed. The already nicely polished card battler was supposed to open its floodgates to every Tom, Dick, and Yu-Gi-Oh around this month, but now that won’t be happening until January-ish.

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Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls Sets Scythes On Release

By Nathan Grayson on December 20th, 2013.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls‘ closed beta is now in full swing, and that colloquialism makes it sound like everyone’s singing and dancing along to big band music instead of hacking and slashing. If only that were the case. If only. But the clickity clacking Second Coming Of Loot is inching ever closer to completion, so Blizzard’s seen fit to issue a release date. That’s how game development works, doncha know. So then, got plans for March? Well, CANCEL THEM. Or don’t, because letting videogames dictate the pace and structure of your life probably isn’t very healthy.

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A Starcraft 2 Gym: Snute’s Click Game

By Adam Smith on December 19th, 2013.

It's basically this but dots

Once upon a Thursday dreary, I was browsing weak and weary,
Searching many a long and angry reddit rant or forum boast,
While I shuddered, nearly weeping, suddenly there came a tweeting,
As of some one gently linking, linking to Team Liquid’s post.

I am posting Snute’s Click Game not because I expect everyone who reads this to play it but because I was startled to discover it earlier today. It’s a training tool, for Starcraft 2 players, and it involves clicking on tiny little dots as quickly as possible. I’ve since learned that it’s not the only trainer of its type, which makes sense. This is one of the tools for a complete Starcraft gym and trying it has helped my old man’s brain better understand how e-sports folk break a game down into discrete skills and tasks. You will find my score below.

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Wot I Read: Blizzard Biography ‘Stay Awhile And Listen’

By Alec Meer on December 18th, 2013.

Stay Awhile And Listen: How Two Blizzards Unleashed Diablo And Forged A Videogame Empire is David L. Craddock’s ebook unofficial biography of… well, it’s in the title, isn’t it? Consisting of reminisces from Blizzard staff, design insight and a document of how the then-games industry worked, it’s the tale of how plucky start-up Condor Inc became Blizzard North and created the grandaddy of action RPGs.
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YouTube Blocks Game Videos, Industry Offers Help

By Graham Smith on December 11th, 2013.

:/

It’s a bad day to be the producer of game videos on YouTube. Dozens of YouTubers are reporting that they’ve received copyright claims against tens or sometimes hundreds of their videos.

The copyright claims seem to be coming not from game publishers, but as a result of tightening of restrictions to how you’re allowed to monetize videos. In fact, numerous game publishers – including Ubisoft, Blizzard, Deep Silver and Capcom – have reached out to offer help against the claims.

This gets complicated quickly and is the tip of the iceberg as far as the potential problems of distributing game videos on YouTube goes. If you play games, there’s a good chance you spend a portion of your time watching other people play games, as a source of advice, criticism, journalism and entertainment. It’s probably worth being aware of some of the issues surrounding the scene, then.
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