Posts Tagged ‘Hearthstone’

The 10 most intriguing PC gaming trends of 2016

As December approaches like a runaway sled and we prepare to say our goodbyes to 2016, it’s natural to reflect on the year as a whole. Those reflections could easily take the form of laments but we’re keeping our focus firmly on the world of PC games, where we’ve identified ten trends that may not have defined 2016, but have certainly helped to shape it. We delve into Sorcery and synthwave, DOOM and Danganronpa, and much more besides.

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Mean Streets Of Gadgetzan Announced For Hearthstone

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft [official site] is in a bit of an interesting spot right now. It feels like a lot of its regular players are starting to, dare I say it, get bored of this arm of Blizzard’s money-printing machine. But today, as part Blizzard’s tenth annual Californian BlizzCon convention, the game saw Mean Streets of Gadgetzan – its fourth expansion – officially unveiled.

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The RPG Scrollbars: A Round Of Gwent

These days it seems like you’re not a true RPG unless you’ve got a card-game spin-off. Hearthstone. The Elder Scrolls Legends. Dark Souls Strip Poker. (Coming soon! And the rules are painfully simple. First, strip. Then comes the poker! Repeat! Again!)

The reason is of course entirely down to the opportunity to expand the world and find a new take on the characters, and nothing whatsoever to do with Blizzard proving that a successful attempt is a license to print money, to the point that the most ridiculous of games are giving it a try. Still, the two genres have had a longer history than you might think, from the original World of Warcraft trading card game, to Final Fantasy’s Triple Triad, to Might and Magic’s Arcomage. Much like Gwent, it began as something to kill time with in its game’s taverns before being spun off into its own thing. Unlike Gwent, nobody cared. Even in Closed Beta, I can see lots of people caring about Gwent.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Nine Years In Karazhan

Can a tower be a star? If you’ve been paying any attention to Blizzard’s wacky worlds recently, you’ll have spotted that it’s giving it a pretty good shot. Karazhan, home of Medivh, the Last Guardian of Tirisfal, whose corruption by the Burning Legion led to the orc invasions of Azeroth. A central location in the movie, as well as the mythos. A whole Hearthstone expansion dedicated to its wacky inhabitants.

This week, a new World of Warcraft patch called, yes, Return To Karazhan. But what is this place, for those who weren’t around the first time? What makes it so important?

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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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