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Posts tagged “Blizzard Entertainment”

Feature: Once a Dragon, always a Dragon

Know It OWL: Playoff places and some long-awaited Justice

Without the Shanghai Dragons playing this week, I thought it might finally be the week I didn’t cry at the Overwatch League. But I forgot that there was an ex-Dragon, still yet to win, continuing his losing streak on struggling expansion team Washington Justice. And thanks to Chon “Ado” Gihyeon, despite it being the final week before playoffs, it once again became one in which…

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Overwatch patches in Baptiste to patch you up

Blizzard today add Overwatch's thirtieth character, a combat medic by the name of Baptiste. He has the power to thwomp out healing grenades, create an "immortality field" that stops nearby pals from dying, throw down barriers that amplify friendly damage and healing passing through it... he's a medic, in combat. Baptiste has been on the public test servers for three weeks now, where he's seemed…

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Hearthstone’s new deck builder makes the most of incomplete card collections

One of the updates for Hearthstone’s Year Of The Dragon has hatched early, bringing a new and improved deck builder to Blizzard’s collectable card game. Previously, the auto-complete feature technically could slot cards into an incomplete deck, or even make one from scratch, but it seemed to take little into account besides mana cost, often making nonsensical or simply weak suggestions. Now, though, it uses…

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Hearthstone: Rise Of Shadows deals the bad guys in this April

Moustache-twirling cartoon supervillainy is the theme of Hearthstone's next expansion, Rise Of Shadows. Five big bads from previous expansions have formed an alliance, and rather unimaginatively called themselves the League of E.V.I.L. Schemes, lackeys and callbacks to previous expansions abound, plus a few new heroic types to counter their monster-of-the-week plans. Below, an announcement info-dump trailer, plus the obligatory musical sing-along intro to the new…

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DirectX 12 comes (partially) to Windows 7 for World Of Warcraft

Microsoft have brought some of DirectX 12's performance-improving parts to Windows 7, ending years of DX12 being exclusive to Windows 10. World Of Warcraft is the first game to benefit from DX12 features including multithreading on Windows 7, and Microsoft say they're working with several other developers to juice their games up on Windows 7 too. This isn't the full DirectX 12 package and doesn't…

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Feature: There's always next stage, Valiant

Know It OWL: big stories, small moments

We're just a few matches away from the end of the Overwatch League’s first stage, and we're finally beginning to see which teams will make playoffs and which are truly struggling. But in between the high-level stories are the smaller moments, many of which took place outside the game itself: a kindly text from a player's mum, a motivational speech by Symmetra's voice actress Anjali…

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World Of Warcraft Classic to space ‘new’ content out more

Blizzard have stretched out their plans for World Of Warcraft Classic, now intending to roll out new raids and dungeons and other content updates for the vintage version of their MMORPG over six phases instead of four. They want it to better reflect the pace of original content updates, where additions slowly prepared players for the next to come rather than loads blasting out at…

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Diablo summoned onto GOG

Blizzard's seminal 1997 action-RPG Diablo has risen again, this time with a re-release on GOG. Diablo had so far only been sold in boxes, coming as actual physical items you need to touch rather than pure electricity coursing through your taps, and Blizzard stopped manufacturing it long ago so finding the game has been difficult/expensive/of dubious legality. Now here it is, up on GOG, in…

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Feature: This post is sponsored by the gold objective time medal

Know It OWL: One weird tip for winning your Overwatch League games

Spare a thought for the Overwatch League players this week. Bamboozled and led astray by last week’s upsets, they are wandering around the maps with no regard for the fact that, and I cannot stress this enough, you have to stand on the point in Overwatch to win the game. It doesn’t matter what map type we’re talking about, they are all about objectives and…

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Hearthstone’s Year of the Dragon is coming in hot

The Year of the Dragon is sweeping into Blizzard’s collectable card game Hearthstone, burning up the previous Year of the Raven and bringing with it a whole lot of changes. Here’s creative director Ben Thomson and new executive producer Chris Sigaty giving the bullet points: a story running across all three expansions; new solo content; and hints towards a whole bunch of meta changing card…

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Feature: I told you this week was Shanghai's week

Know It OWL: Confusion and celebrations in the Overwatch League

This week a lot of people have been asking me which teams are shaking out as the ones to watch in this season of the Overwatch League, or how their favourites are doing. The answer to these questions is always: no one knows, every single team has either caused or suffered an upset (or both!), and everything is chaos. Except for the New York Excelsior,…

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Overwatch’s Baptiste is now chucking immortality fields around the PTR

Caring not for the sanctity of a normal news cycle, Blizzard released Baptiste on the Overwatch test servers a few hours after announcing him. He's a combat medic who, we know now, has an ability that renders him and nearby teammates immune to damage. Like, all types of damage. People are running around in the death-zones underneath cliffs. They're jumping about in traffic. It's carnage.…

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New Overwatch hero threatens you with bullets or bandages

Quick, hurry to the special bell: a new Overwatch hero has been announced. Baptiste is his name, and healing people is his game. Also killing people, because this is an FPS and of course everyone does that. He's a combat medic with a tragic past, as you're about to learn in his origin video. There are no hard details on his abilities just yet. Only…

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The Shanghai Dragons finally secure their first Overwatch League victory

It finally happened. The Overwatch League’s Shanghai Dragons, who lost every one of their 40 matches in the inaugural season, finally won one. Not only that, they took three straight maps with apparent ease from the Boston Uprising, former team of main tank player Noh “Gamsu” Youngjin, allowing him to show them what a mistake it was to trade him away to the Dragons with…

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Feature: Next week, Shanghai

Know It OWL: The Overwatch League Awakens

Week one of the Overwatch League is over – though teams did their best to make it last as long as possible. With control maps going down to the wire, extra rounds being tacked onto what felt like every capture point map, and many matches needing a tie-breaker fifth game, there was a whole lot of competition, both in terms of raw minutes and in…

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Overwatch is off to gay Paris in latest map, now live

The Overwatch gang are off on their hols to Paris in the newest map, added last night. Now everyone's just scrapping for funsies, the 'watch' part of their name is more about sightseeing than surveilling and their global tour has now reached the City of Lights. The map's been on the test servers for three weeks, and now it's in the main client for all…

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The Overwatch League is back tonight, but missing many of the staff who made last season so excellent

The Overwatch League is back tonight for its second season, seeing 20 teams face off in an attempt to be crowned the ultimate champions. Will the London Spitfire manage to repeat their successes? Can anyone stop the powerhouse that is the New York Excelsior? Will the Shanghai Dragons finally net their first win? It all kicks off at 4pm PST/12am GMT, and you can watch…

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Activision Blizzard prioritise profit over people, laying off around 800 employees

Not content with what Activision CEO Bobby Kotick referred to as “record results” in an earnings call yesterday, the World of Warcraft and Call of Duty publisher has begun plans to layoff 8% of its total employees. That’s around 800 people out of work, many of them speculated to be “among the company’s lowest earners”.

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Feature: Goats will eat anything, you know

Know It OWL: Goat herding in the Overwatch League

The Overwatch League is finally back tomorrow*! Before that, though, we've got plenty to cover: a turbulent preseason showing, last minute player issues, and a look at the most exciting upcoming games. First, though, we’ve got to talk about Goats.

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Feature: From Atlanta to Washington

Know It OWL: Previously on the Overwatch League

The Overwatch League is a complicated thing. Who could be expected to keep track of 20 teams with nearly 200 players, playing 16 games per week using 29 heroes? Well, this freelance lifestyle has to be good for something, and that something is going to be synthesising the whole thing down into weekly bite-sized pieces for you, dear reader. So hi! Welcome! We’ve got some…

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