Posts Tagged ‘Blizzard Entertainment’

Witchy healer Moira now spooking Overwatch

“Do no harm”, video game healers swear, “unless you want to.” The latest healer arriving in Overwatch exists in this same split state. On one hand, she can blast liferays and loose bouncing healballs. On the other, she can zap deathrays and blorp killballs. Each of her hands has different zapbeams, see. After a stretch on the test server, Moira has now arrived in the main version of Overwatch (though she won’t hit Competitive Play until Thursday).

Overwatch is running a free trial weekend from tonight, if you’re curious. Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s get Raynor to rhumble: StarCraft 2 launches free version

Blizzard have released a big free version of sci-fi real-time strategy game StarCraft II, offering one full singleplayer campaign along with all the multiplayer. This launched overnight, available now if you sign up for Battle.net and download its client doodad. The free version contains the campaign from 2010’s Wings of Liberty–the one focused on humans–plus bot battles and online competitive, casual, and co-op action. That’s a fair chunk of clicking for free. A big ol’ SC2 patch has launched alongside this for all players too. Read the rest of this entry »

SC2: Heart of the Swarm now free for Liberty owners

If you, like me, bought the original StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty then skipped the sequels, good news: you can now get the Zergy one, Heart of the Swarm, for free. This little freebie comes ahead of Blizzard launching a big free version of SC2, including the Wings of Liberty campaign, next week. Yeah, I’ll give this a go now for free. Stomp around as Kerrigan and make some meatfriends, sure, why not? Read the rest of this entry »

Watch Overwatch evolve in a peek at early playtests

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Blizzard have given us a glimpse into the early development stages of Overwatch, and they feature a Tracer who can shoot lasers out of her eyes and a cat with a jetpack. While watching the game evolve is interesting in it’s own right, the video that came out of BlizzCon is also an interesting peek into the Overwatch that could have been. I’ve popped the 13 minutes of game footage below, along with a few panels of neat looking concept art.

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Heroes of the Storm welcoming Hanzo and Alexstrasza

As if the hordes of Hanzo players swanning around Overwatch ignoring objectives like they’re god’s gift to murder were insufficient, the archer is coming to Heroes of the Storm too. Blizzard announced last night during BlizzCon that they’re adding Hanzo to their free-to-play crossover MOBA along with World of Warcraft’s dragonqueen Alexstrasza. He plings arrows, she heals people and blasts fire. A big ol’ update reworking some of HotS’s gameguts is in the works too, with changes including zooming the camera out a little further and improving matchmaking. Read the rest of this entry »

Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs expansion coming in December

Blizzard, this isn’t right. Fighting dinosaurs, liches, crime syndicates, and old gods is fine, but now you’re going too far. Blizzard today announced Kobolds & Catacombs, a new Hearthstone expansion that send merciless card-collectors down to beat up on those lovely little creatures who only want a stub candle and maybe a little gold. Appalling. Coming in December, the expansion will bring 135 new cards and a new singleplayer dungeon crawl mode. But look at these sweethearts and tell me you’d kick ’em for a few measly gems: Read the rest of this entry »

StarCraft 2 launching generous free version this month

A huge chunk of StarCraft II is going free later this month as a sort of big ‘ol demo for the wider trilogy. From November 14th, everyone will be able to play the full Terran story campaign from the original Wings of Liberty, the competitive multiplayer including units from all three chapters, and — with some limitations — the cooperative mode too. If you dig it, you’ll be able to buy the other bits of SC2 separately or in one big lump.

Oh, and people who own Wings of Liberty but skipped Heart of the Swarm will be able to get that Zergy instalment free – if they claim it in time. Read the rest of this entry »

Overwatch’s next character is witchy healer Moira

The next character coming to Overwatch is a witchy pixie named Moira, Blizzard revealed during BlizzCon today. All right, Blizzard say she’s a “geneticist” from Dublin but I know a pix-o-witch when I see one. Moira will wield powers of life and death, zapping beams and blasting balls that can heal allies but harm enemies.

Also coming is a new map set in a theme park based on Blizzard games. Named Blizzard World, it has zones and rides inspired by bits from World of Warcraft, Diablo, StarCraft, and others. That is delightful. Here, come look at all this new stuff. Read the rest of this entry »

World of Warcraft going vanilla with Classic servers

World of Warcraft is getting a new expansion, Blizzard announced today, but also an anti-expansion. For people who want World of Warcraft as it was way back when, before expansions came along with all their bells and whistles, Blizzard will finally launch official ‘Classic’ servers. WoW fans have run bootleg vanilla servers for years, and Blizzard’s lawyers shutting these down without offering an alternative has riled many. This came to a head around the vanilla server Nostalrius in 2016, when upset over its shutdown led to Blizzard meeting with the people behind it. We’ve still a while to wait for official vanilla WoW but it is coming. Read the rest of this entry »

World of Warcraft resumes warring in Battle for Azeroth

Oh sure, World of Warcraft has seen plenty of fights, scraps, rumbles, scuffles, tussles, and barneys over the years, but proper war will return for really real with the MMORPG’s next expansion. Blizzard today announced Battle for Azeroth, which will see the Alliance and Horde gearing up to give each other a right drubbing. This time they really mean it uh huh. Players will adventure to new lands (Zandalar and Kul Tiras) to recruit new allies and play as those races (the Highmountain tauren, Void elves, Dark Iron dwarves, among others), power up to a higher level cap of 120, nab super-fancy new gear, and generally fight a lot. Watch the cinematic announcement trailer: Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Overwatch?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Overwatch is fun just to think about, which is handy because I spend more time thinking about it than I do playing it. Read the rest of this entry »

How (not) to reach platinum ranking as a support in Overwatch

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When I play Overwatch [official site], my first priority is to do harm, abiding by a sort of anti-Hippocratic Oath. In fact, no matter what game I’m playing, I’ll pick the role that revolves around doing as much damage as I can as quickly as I can. I like mobile, assassin type characters, and playing Genji might be the most fun I’ve had in a multiplayer shooter since my halcyon days with the Spy in Team Fortress 2.

I am not, and never have been, a person who plays healers. But, here I am, about to try and reach a platinum ranking in competitive Overwatch using only support heroes.

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Overwatch gets spooky with Halloween Terror event

Ha ha ha hwelcome to Spooky Season on the information superhighway, when the signs are draped in cobwebs and the bytes have renamed themselves bites. Overwatch [official site] joined in the spooky fun last night, launching its Halloween event with two cooperative modes (well, one-and-a-half) and loads of spooOoOoky costumes and other cosmetic bits to collect. This year’s Halloween Terror event brings back Junkenstein’s Revenge, a cooperative Brawl mode where four players defend the castle gates from the dastardly Dr. Junkenstein and his creations, and also adds an endless version with leaderboards. Did I mention the hats? Read the rest of this entry »

Battle.net client beta adds groups with voice chat

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Blizzard have rebranded their online platform twice in the space of a year. First, they killed off Battle.net, making it more Blizzard-y by naming different features things like Blizzard Voice and Blizzard Streaming. But that was silly. So they decided to change it again, this time to Blizzard Battle.net. None of this mattered to anyone, however, since the platform itself remained unchanged. Until now. It’s time for some new social features, including the ability to make groups with their own voice chat channels.

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Overwatch tweaking Mercy’s Resurrection again

Mercy, the angelic medic of Overwatch [official site], will likely soon have her newfound powers of resurrection a little less godlike. Demigodlike, perhaps? Raising the dead will surely always be supernatural at bare minimum. But after turning Mercy’s Resurrection skill from her Ultimate into a regular one, giving her a huge buff, she might be a little too powerful. So Blizzard have fired up the test servers with a crucial tweak to how Resurrection works in combination with her Valkyrie skill. Read the rest of this entry »

Overwatch working on fix for mystery autobans

As a server admin back in the day, I am suspicious when a banned player swears blind they didn’t do anything wrong. But that genuinely has been the case for a number of Overwatch [official site] players, as developers Blizzard Entertainment have confirmed they’ve identified a bug that automatically banned a small number of players from Competitive play. This has hit fewer than 200 players, Blizzard say, so if you find yourself in a room with 201 people swearing blind they didn’t do anything wrong, you’ll know at least two of ’em are wrong’uns. Read the rest of this entry »

Spawn Point: how to get into real-time strategy

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Hello. This is Spawn Point, a new not-quite-regular feature in which we take a genre, series or other facet of gaming culture, and try to convince you to give it a shot. It might be those hero shooters you’ve always wanted to get into, or that terrifying space game played by thousands of jerks. We’ll briefly explain the thing, followed by some ways for you to breach it.

First up, it’s… the real-time strategy. Read the rest of this entry »

Overwatch’s Junkertown map up in time for free weekend

Junkertown, not to be confused with Junckertown, a village in Luxembourg populated entirely by clones of the EU politician Jean-Claude Juncker

Blizzard’s Overwatch [official site], aka The Shooter You Dumped So You Could Play Destiny 2 But Who You Still Text When You Are Drunk Thus Revealing Your True Feelings, is now sporting its new Junkertown map. It’s the dusty map they announced with an animated short about the grenade launching Australian hero Junkrat. It looks neat. But more importantly, some massive changes to angelic healer Mercy and Dew-glugging gremlin Dva have also been crammed into this update. All this has been on the testing server for a while but today the rest of us plebs can enjoy. In fact, I’m going to go and take a look at it now.
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5 things to try in the next Overwatch free weekend

This character is called Doom Man

Overwatch [official site], aka The Shooter You Tell Your Mates You Don’t Fancy Even Though You Really Do, is having another free weekend. It isn’t this weekend, sadly, but starting on Friday September 22. That’s enough time to get you boys and girls in fighting shape. If you haven’t played the colourful hero shooter yet, here’s some important things you definitely must do once you’re on the battlefield.
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Blizzard annoyed flies in a real ghost town to get sounds for Junkertown

Forget it, Winston. It's Junkertown

Overwatch [official site] aka the Shooter You Glance At Furtively, is getting its new Junkertown map next week and Blizzard have been showing it off some more in a trailer. You get some snippets of lore and backstory but it’s far more interesting to see the studio’s sound team, who visited a real ghost town to collect the creaking of a dilapidated cattle gate and the grinding noise from a rusty old crank, among other sound effects. Such as flies landing on the microphone. Watch below.
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