Posts Tagged ‘Blizzard’

Overwatch: New Maps, Mode When Closed Beta Returns

The Overwatch [official site] closed beta returns tomorrow (9 Feb) for its next round of playtesting in Europe and the Americas. This news will be of interest to anyone with closed beta access to Overwatch or who gets granted access as a result of the new round of admissions. I’m not sure how the rest of you feel. Maybe a bit sad that you can’t enjoy me killing you repeatedly or something? That sounds about right.

Changes are also afoot:

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Hearthstone: Big Changes And Bonus Deck Slots

Hearthstone [official site] is getting some major changes thanks to a new format which restricts the cards you can use in your deck. The idea is the make for a more varied and interesting metagame as well as making competitive play more approachable for newcomers. More on that after the jump but one of the side-effects is you’ll also be able to unlock double the number of deck slots so you can have up to 18 pre-made decks on hand for battle.

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StarCraft: Building A Brilliant Brood War Bot

The Student StarCraft AI Tournament is an AI vs AI tournament which pits bots programmed to play StarCraft: Brood War against one another. SSCAIT started in 2011 and is one of three major Brood War AI tournaments. Last year’s student division title went to Martin Rooijackers and his creation, LetaBot. They also won the 2014 student and mixed division. This year Martin and LetaBot made it through to the quarter-finals.

While the bots continue to battle I’ve been asking Martin to tell me more about how they work. Are some of Starcraft’s races easier to build bots for than others? What’s the hardest thing to get bots to do? And is LetaBot built to dominate a bot meta or could it take on humans too?

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Heroes Of The Storm: Li-Ming, Rebellious Wizard

I’ve not checked in with Heroes of the Storm [official site] in a while so the appearance of a spotlight video for upcoming hero, Li-Ming seems like a good excuse. She’s just been added to the test realm so she should be added to the regular HotS roster soon. We know she was being set up as a glass cannon (fragile but capable of inflicting massive burst damage) but let’s see how that’s been translated into skills.

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Heroes Of The Storm: How Spring Esports Is Shaping Up

Blizzard has announced the full details of its Heroes of the Storm [official site] Spring Global Championship with eight regional shindigs culminating in a Global Championship event in April. The various prize pools for all of this top $1m and the company will be rinsing and repeating for a Summer and Fall season as well.

I’ll put their more detailed breakdown below with prizes and regional partners and dates and things. I suspect that when the full details for the Spring Global Championship are announced it’ll explain more about how this all feeds into the next World Championship.

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SC2: Legacy Of The Void Adds New Co-Op Commander

Blizzard plan to sell extra characters for the co-op missions in StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, different commanders with their own abilities and unit lineup, but they’ve started with a freebie to whet your appetite. (Note: don’t confuse your idioms and whet your whistle, or you’ll have an awful time at your next rave.) A patch this week added the engineer Karax, who’s big on mechanical units and orbital bombardment.

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World of Warcraft: Legion: A Demon Hunter’s Tale

Demon Hunters do not mess around. Demon Hunters do not play fair. They’re one of the biggest new features in World of Warcraft: Legion [official site], and even in alpha, they’re a force to be reckoned with. They’re not finished, but they are Prepared. I’ve been taking one for a spin, and here’s how they’re going to kick all of the arse.

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Wot I Think – StarCraft II: Legacy Of The Void Singleplayer

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void [official site] is the second expansion for StarCraft II, this time focused on mystical, mouthless, paladin-like alien race the Protoss. I’m not much of a one for StarCraft II multiplayer, but I wanted to see the singleplayer tale through to its conclusion and, heck, I do miss traditional real-time-strategy, so I took a belated look at the campaign mode.

When your entire cast consists of people who don’t have mouths or pupils, you need to do your damnedest to ensure their words carry the emotion their faces cannot. Legacy of the Void does not do that. In fact, it does the exact opposite of that.
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Overwatch Maps And Characters Will Be Free, Not DLC

I’m still a little surprised that Blizzard’s class-based FPS Overwatch [official site] will be sold as a thing in a box you pay for with money up-front (£30/$40), rather than be free-to-play as I suppose I’d assumed. But hey, don’t worry: it won’t pull the usual Activision FPS post-launch monetisation antics. Blizzard have confirmed that they plan to add new heroes and maps for free, not in reams of paid DLC.

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Overwatch Opens To “A Lot More Players” This Weekend

I know, I know: you’re eager to try Overwatch [official site] for yourself, but you’re barely able to keep up with all the (actually finished) games that came out in November. Woe is you. But dry those tears.

On Friday Blizzard will launch Overwatch into its first Beta Test Weekend, opening the game to “a lot more players” in the process.

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