Posts Tagged ‘Blizzard Entertainment’

Brigitte smashes into Overwatch next week

The shameless nepotism of Overwatch will continue next week with the addition of Brigitte, its 27th character, who just so happens to be Torbjörn’s daughter. Oh, what a coincidence! The tanky medic does seem to have some skill on the battlefield, having hit the class-based FPS’s test servers at the end of February, but it is suspicious that yet more jobs are going to existing employees’ friends and family. Well, she’ll get the opportunity to prove herself next week, as Blizzard today announced that they will add Brigitte to the game properly in an update on Tuesday the 20th of March. Read the rest of this entry »

Hearthstone’s next expansion is off to The Witchwood


If you go down to the woods tonight, you’re sure of a big surprise. Spoilers: the surprise is the announcement of Hearthstone‘s Witchwood expansion, which will add 135 new cards and a new singleplayer adventure mode with a similar format to Dungeon Run from Kobolds and Catacombs. Monster Hunt mode will have you hunting monsters in the titular Witchwood, choosing new cards as you go along.

More details await below, along with a video of the devs romping around a real life spooky forest.

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1337: Overwatch’s D.Va tops most-played charts

Pr0 gam3r D.Va is the most-played Overwatch character at almost all levels of play, according to data released yesterday by game director Jeff Kaplan. To aid arguments about which characters are or aren’t balanced or popular at different skill levels, he dumped a big list of the most-played across all matchmaking tiers. Atop all but one bracket sits the Dorito-munching gremlin, with Mercy, Genji, and Roadhog well-represented at all levels of play too. My faker’s guide to being an Overwatch pr0 would say: play Winston, who’s only really common at the highest levels. Read the rest of this entry »

Blizzard are handing out freebies to celebrate StarCraft turning 20


If you’ve ever looked at your pet in Diablo III and thought “it’s a shame that’s not a miniature version of a high-tech flying battleship”, then I’ve got some good news. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of StarCraft‘s release, Blizzard are giving out some free bits and bobs for StarCraft: Remastered, StarCraft II, Diablo, Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone. You play at least one of those games, right?

I find something undeniably icky about the phrase “cross-franchise celebration”, despite having no real objections to what it entails. Maybe it’s just that in whatever context it crops up, I can’t help but recoil at the f-word.

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Hearthstone’s Ranked play is back, but here are some better CCGs


A bug with Hearthstone‘s ranked play recently brought the mode crashing to its CC-knees, but it’s now back on its feet again thanks to a hotfix from Blizzard. When the new competitive season rolled round on March 1st, something awry with the tweaks to the progression system meant that players rank stopped updating altogether. Blizzard disabled the mode while they worked on the problem, and they didn’t get everything back up and running until 12pm today.

So, the joys of the Hearthstone ladder are once again available to all. Before you log back in though, why not keep reading for a minute or two more. I’m not saying you should stop playing Hearthstone. I’m just saying your life might be better if you tried one of these superior CCGs instead.

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Hearthstone preparing for the Year of the Raven

So long, Year of the Mammoth! Blizzard are flipping the Hearthstone calendar over to a new year, and this time we’re going goth for the Year of the Raven. Blizzard laid out their free-to-play card game’s plans for the next year on their DeadJournal, which include launching another three expansions while rotating others out of the Standard format, freshening Standard up further by shifting several powerful Classic cards (including Ice Block) to the Wild Format, making Quests quicker, and adding in-game support for running your own tournaments. Read the rest of this entry »

Overwatch’s 27th hero is Torbjörn’s daughter, Brigitte


We’ve had it teased on and off for the past few days, but it’s officially confirmed now: Brigitte Lindholm, Torbjörn’s eldest daughter, is going to be taking up flail and shield and wading out onto the increasingly crowded Overwatch front lines.

Within, we’ve got her official origin story, giving us a look at exactly who Brigitte is as a person, followed up by a developer update featuring director Jeff Kaplan detailing what exactly, she’ll be doing in the field.

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Overwatch teases new hero who might be this woman


Overwatch, the hero shooter and popular ‘ship-em-up, has a habit of teasing its new characters ahead of their reveal. The whispering winds of Blizzard Entertainment are rising once again to give small, vague clues about the game’s next playable character. A tweet last week referred to a botched operation featuring Reinhart, the Germanic hero made of shoulders, and Torbjorn, the turret-building engineer who I think is Danish. There wasn’t much to this. But later, a post on the Overwatch website featured a letter from Torbjorn to his wife. The subject: their daughter. Thus, the internet has made up its mind. She’s the next hero. Read the rest of this entry »

Warcraft 3 gets a major new update for public testing

Warcraft 3

There’s been rumors circulating for some time that after the success of their Starcraft remaster, Blizzard were looking at giving a similar treatment to Warcraft 3, their massively popular and immensely modded RTS, birth-place of the MOBA genre as we know it.

Whether or not it’s part of remastering plans, we’ve certainly reason to celebrate: Blizzard rolled out a new public test build of Warcraft 3 yesterday, featuring native widescreen support, 24-player servers and a lifting of restrictions from the scenario editor on top of a slew of balance changes – the first of many, say Blizzard.

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Heroes of The Storm’s latest patch adds voice comms


It has been said that if you ever want to learn to swear in every language known to man (especially Russian), you merely have to play a few rounds of Dota 2 without disabling voice chat. Knowing this, Blizzard’s decision to include this as the latest standard feature of their softer, milder take on the MOBA genre comes as a bit of a surprise.

As of today’s patch, Heroes of The Storm now allows your team to share their exact and unfiltered thoughts on your performance without having to go through the trouble of typing them.

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Overwatch’s adorable Puppy Rumble kicks off soon


It’s been a long day. The 24 hour hellscape that is our current news cycle, industry strikes, the sudden return of Tekwar, it all takes its psychological toll. It’s time for some easygoing self care, and I cannot think of anything I would rather watch tonight than the Overwatch Puppy Rumble, a Blizzard-run live charity event featuring wriggly little baby dogs in Overwatch cosplay, and it’s starting just about… now.

The stream will begin (at the time of writing) shortly, at 5pm EST/11pm GMT. Tune in via the official Overwatch Twitch channel and start charging up your Ultimate D’aww’s.

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Overwatch has a free weekend and the new CTF mode is worth checking out


Overwatch, the multiplayer shooter all the cool kids (and their pets) are playing, is having another free weekend. That means you can play for free from 7pm GMT on Friday through to 8pm on Monday. Weekends have a very liberal definition nowadays – what’s the world coming to, eh?

Well, this is awkward. We’re four lines in and I’ve already told you all the news. Luckily, I’ve got some thoughts on the revised capture the flag (CTF) mode that landed with the Lunar New Year event.

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Overwatch is now celebrating Lunar New Year

To celebrate the Lunar New Year next week (or you might know it as Chinese New Year), Overwatch today launches festivities including a new competitive capture the flag mode with a new map, new cosmetic items, and other shinies. Some of the new outfits are p. swish all right. The event will run until March 5th. Here, look at some of the fanciness in this trailer: Read the rest of this entry »

Hearthstone update 10.2 is out, plus Tavern Brawls are about to get Wild


Strap on your sturdiest pair of Hearthstone boots, because things are about to get Wild. That ‘Wild’ refers to Hearthstone’s format that includes all the cards that have since been struck from the standard set, not to any form of crazy debauchery. I mean come on, there’s an upper bound on how wild a digital card game can get.

To celebrate their annual shuffling of cards out of Standard play and into the anything-goes Wild format, Blizzard are putting on a few events. As part of “Wildfest“, from February 19 to March 11 the Arena draft will feature cards exclusive to Wild, and two Wild Tavern Brawls are on their way too.

If you prefer your CCG’s to be a little more tame (i.e. balanced), then I’ve also got some details on the changes that landed with yesterday’s 10.2 update.

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World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth out this summer

You can tell Blizzard are based in California because they see summer as something to escape from, a cruel and terrible season where people need something big to occupy themselves in the air-conditioned indoors. We can tell this because Blizzard have announced plans to release the next World of Warcraft expansion, Battle for Azeroth, sometime this summer. O dreaded summer, when temperatures in Irvine, California can reach temperatures of 29C and it does not rain a t a l l. A perilous season to avoid however possible. Best to retreat to cyberspace and wage virtuawar. Read the rest of this entry »

Overwatch director discusses toxicity & balance changes

There are certain games that breed toxicity like a cowpat breeds flies. That’s not to say Overwatch isn’t a fantastic shooter, it’s just that placing strangers in a competitive environment where one person’s (often very visible) mistake can result in a loss for the whole team is a recipe for unpleasant behaviour. That said, the blame still lies with the offending individuals: the game brings out the worst IN people, but it’s the worst OF people that are the real problem.

Fortunately, it’s a problem that the Overwatch devs have become keenly aware of, and game director Jeff Kaplan’s latest update video highlights some of the ways they’re improving the situation. My main takeaway is that they’ve managed to reduce instances of toxic communication by 17% in competitive games, but you might also be interested in Kaplan’s discussion of upcoming balance changes. I’ve got bad news, Mercy mains.

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Overwatch enters Blizzard World, grabs souvenirs

Ah, Blizzard World! Take the family, shove the kids in front of someone in a plush orc costume, get hammered on spacegrog and ride the coasters until you hurl, then visit the gift shop on the way out. Overwatch‘s new theme park level has finally arrived in the main version of the game, following a stretch on the test servers, and a whole load of new costumes and other cosmetic bits have arrived alongside it. Some characters’ new skins are getting into the Blizzard World spirit by dressing as characters from other Blizzard games while others, like D.Va ↑ up there, just like being fancy. Read the rest of this entry »

Hearthstone’s new Tavern Brawl features World Championship-winning decks

The latest week-long Tavern Brawl event mode in Hearthstone is an interesting one, letting players use decks that have won previous Hearthstone World Championships – in their original, unnerfed forms. Some of the cards in these decks have been rebalanced, see, but here they’re fighting at full strength. Say hallo again to Knife Juggler, Azure Drake, Undertaker, Leper Gnome, and their overpowered pals. The decks span the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Championships so it’s a neat chance to pit different eras of Hearthstone against each other too. Read the rest of this entry »

Overwatch is off to Blizzard World next week

The next Overwatch map will launch on January 23rd, Blizzard World have confirmed. It’s taking the gang to the magical kingdom of Blizzard World, a theme park based on Blizzard’s other games, from the StarCraft rollercoaster ‘Journey to Aiur’ to the ‘Snaxxramas’ restaurant. Us, nah we’re not having fun, we’re going there to shove a payload around. After a stretch on the test servers, Blizzard are now confident that they’ve jacked the saltiness of fries high enough that people will become parched and need to buy a drink but not high enough to vomit, so they’ll set the map live on the main servers next Tuesday. New costumes based on characters from other Blizzard games are coming too. Read the rest of this entry »

Overwatch launches $5 Overwatch League team kits

Blizzard’s swanky Overwatch League kicks off on Wednesday, with 12 teams representing cities across the globe, and what sport would be complete without flogging expensive merch? Blizzard today launch “jersey” skins, letting Overwatch characters wear your favourite team’s clobber for $5 each. Five dollars! If you just like pretty skins, hey, Blizzard are letting all players buy one outfit for free so pick yourself something nice. Just remember: no team colours allowed in pubs on match day. Read the rest of this entry »