Posts Tagged ‘Blizzard Entertainment’

Logging Off: Blizzard Dropping The Battle.net Name

After twenty years, Blizzard plan to step away from the name Battle.net for their online platform and services. The Diablords and Warcrafteers today announced that they’ll be “transitioning away” from the name Battle.net, which they’ve been using since the first Diablo way back in 1996. No, Blizzard now want to name elements boring things like Blizzard Streaming and Blizzard Voice. Ah, the end of an era. Another icon falls.

Look, let’s be honest: names which are also domain names had become daggy by ooh we’ll generously say 1999. But don’t you see, Blizzard? A ’90s revival is going on – for the first time in yonks, the name Battle.net currently sounds cool.

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Blizzard: You Can Now Buy Battletag Name Changes

There’s this idea that every in-game name chosen in youthful exuberance is an embarrassment you’ll eventually want to be rid of. I actually still like and use the one I picked back then, although I occasionally switch it up nowadays because “Notorious P.I.P.” is too good a pun to pass up. BUT if you picked a horror of a name as your Battletag, Blizzard are now offering paid-for name changes.

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He Was The Lore: Blizzard’s Chris Metzen Retires

Blizzard lorelord Chris Metzen (‘senior vice president of story and franchise development’, if you want to be technical) has handed in his badge and his loregiver (his keyboard, obvs) and taken The Long Walk into The Cursed Earth (idk, Reddit?). After nearly 23 years of laying down the lore and voicing characters from Thrall to the good ol’ Terran Battlecruiser, Metzen last night announced his retirement. He’s off to spend time with his family, see.

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Hearthstone’s Removing A Bunch Of Cards From Arena

Designing a game is a fine balancing act, and Blizzard is working to make sure that Hearthstone [official site] is perfectly even and fine-tuned on all counts. There have been some concerns that certain classes are significantly overpowered in the game’s Arena mode. Associate game designer Dean Ayala says:

“Variety among all game modes is important to us, but an equally important goal is to have a wide range of experiences within each game mode . . . When you first enter Arena and are offered the choice of three different classes, our goal is that you can look at those choices and choose any class without feeling disadvantaged because of their difference in power level.”

It certainly makes things less exciting when you only have two or three viable classes to choose from if you want to have any sway in the competition. So how do we fix it?

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Zoomo! Overwatch Rolls Out 63Hz High Bandwidth Mode

Blizzard are rolling out upgraded netcode for Overwatch [official site] across the world, and you’ll likely find it’s live for you now. The update has most Overwatch servers now running in the “high bandwidth” mode, which previously was limited to an option in custom games. This increases the frequency with which players tell the server what they’re doing and receive updates on what other players are doing, in theory meaning less frustration with things like being shot after escaping round corners.

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World Of Warcraft: Legion Sold 3.3 Million At Launch

It’s interesting to follow the fate of World of Warcraft [official site]. It’s the MMORPG which made MMORPGs mainstream, the MMO which accidentally stunted ’em by inspiring so many homogenising imitators, and one of the few which has managed to hold onto a subscription model (heck, even EVE Online is getting a free option). So how’s WoW doing? Pretty well! In their traditional post-expansion boast, Blizzard say Legion has sold over 3.3 million copies (or so they think) and seen player numbers (by one measure) at their highest since the launch of 2010’s expansion Catalysm.

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WoW: Legion Launches App, Teases 7.1 Content Update

World of Warcraft: Legion [official site] launched last week and oh! here comes the expansion’s little pal, chasing behind wagging its cybertail. Blizzard last night launched Legion’s companion app for pocket telephones, which mostly lets you fiddle with the ‘Order Hall’ class clubhouse stuff. Like AbyssRium but with burly soldiers instead of coral and jellyfish, I imagine? Blizzard have also shown off a little of what’ll be coming to Legion in patch 7.1, with a little video showing off content like a return to Karazhan. Have a gander:

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