Posts Tagged ‘Hearthstone’

Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne announced

Blizzard’s Hearthstone [official site] is off to the icy land of Northrend to duff up zombies in the free-to-play card game’s next expansion, Knights of the Frozen Throne. It’ll add Death Knight variants of the Hearthstone heroes, giving players powerful new abilities like stitching corpses together to make megamonsters. Neat! Eight new singleplayer missions are coming too. The expansion is due to launch in “early August.” Read the rest of this entry »

Hearthstone making ‘Wild’ sets purchasable again

Older card sets retired to the ‘Wild’ format in Hearthstone [official site] will soon become purchasable again, Blizzard have announced. Wild is format where all cards from every set are allowed, the one Blizzard created in 2016 to create a rolling metagame in the ‘Standard’ format with limited sets – and to make Hearthstone friendlier to new players. Blizzard had stopped selling cards for expansions only in Wild, but that made getting into Wild a faff for newer players who wanted to get into it. That’ll change “in the coming weeks”, when they all return to sale. Read the rest of this entry »

Hearthstone’s Journey to Un’Goro now out

Way down deep in the middle of a Hearthstone, Blizzard took a Ravasaur, Razorpetals, and a Tar Lord. They stuck ’em in a crater and they danced a dainty tango.
Mike Morhaime said, “I know, we’ll call it Un’Goro!”

Un’Goro, Un’Goro,
A primeval jungle.

Ben Brode built a beatdown deck, Didier drew a Devilsaur.
Bob Fitch flung the packets that the whole caboodle networked in.

So when it comes to sun and fun and goodness in the jungle,
They all prefer the sunny funny one they call Un’Goro!

The Journey to Un’Goro expansion for Hearthstone [official site] is out now, y’see. Read the rest of this entry »

Blizzard due $8.5 million in legal battle with botmakers

A company who make and sell cheats for Blizzard games including Overwatch, Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft must pay Blizzard over $8.5 million, a US court has ruled. This is the latest development in Blizzard’s battle with cheaty botters Bossland, which has so far spanned five years, the courts of several countries, and even more cases. This latest ruling says that, along with paying up, Bossland are ordered to stop selling their software in the US as it “circumvents technological measures that control access to Blizzard’s games”. Other cases are still ongoing, mind. Read the rest of this entry »

Hearthstone journeying to Un’Goro on Thursday

Blizzard have announced that the next Hearthstone [official site] is due on Thursday, April 6th. Journey to Un’Goro will venture into the primeval Un’Goro Crater to play with dinosaurs, battle monstrous plantlife, and embark on Quests with a new card type. Here, have a peek at what awaits in the free-to-play card game: Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Faeria

We’re currently spoiled for choice when it comes to collectible card games. If you’re not into the traditional nature of the efficient Hearthstone, you might dip your toes into the monster chess of Duelyst, and if you don’t fancy that maybe you’ll swan off with the Gods of Smite Tactics (although I wouldn’t currently recommend it). Into this arena comes Faeria [official site] a board-game-card-game hybrid that moves slowly and methodically but soon reveals itself to be quietly clever. Read the rest of this entry »

Hearthstone’s next expansion coming April (with dinos)

A new expansion for card-thirsty players of Hearthstone [official site] has been announced, bringing with it splurging volcanoes that deal random damage, elemental fire birds that resurrect themselves stronger than before, and dinosaurs that can adapt as a game goes on. There’s going to be 135 new cards but most interesting for Hearthstoners (I’m guessing!) is the new Quest card type, which let’s you setup a goal during the match and rewards you with a powerful card if you manage to complete it.
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Blizzard phasing out Windows XP & Vista this year

World of Warcraft, StarCraft 2, Diablo 3, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm are all to stop working on Windows XP and Windows Vista as Blizzard start phasing out support for ye olde operatinge systemes later this year. Other, older games will still work fine, but folks will need to upgrade to keep playing those newer ones. Windows XP is now fifteen years old and Vista ten, Microsoft have long since stopped updating either, and Blizzard say “the vast majority” of players have upgraded, so they’re knocking old Windows out and smashing ’em in a big skip. Read the rest of this entry »

Hearthstone boots Ragnaros from Standard play

Year of the Mammoth

I am here to talk to you about Hearthstone [official site] changing over to a new year and which cards have thus been retired from Standard play (Azure Drake, Sylvanas and Ragnaros are all being put out to pasture). But first a confession/complaint.

I had entirely forgotten that Blizzard were trying to make their own animal-based year calendar a Thing and thus missed out on an entire twelve months of banter. We could have spoken of the Fiscal Year of the Kraken! The Academic Year of the Kraken! Kraken Q1! Whether sales were up or down compared with the Fiscal Year of Luigi! I wanted Blizzard employees to be issued with diaries running from August, Kraken to July, Mammoth. SO MANY JOKES JUST LOST TO TIME! I solemnly swear to make up for it as we begin this: the Year of the Mammoth. Read the rest of this entry »

Hearthstone trimming Spirit Claws, squishing Small-Time Buccaneer

Two powerful cards in Hearthstone [official site] will be toned down in an update later this month, Blizzard have announced. Small-Time Buccaneer and Spirit Claws are good enough that they appear in too many decks, Blizzard say, so they’re getting the ole nerfaroo. Having played years of cardboard CCGs, I’m still fascinated by digital card ’em ups being able to respond quickly and tweak things. I’m used to powerful cards being banned or restricted, and interesting-but-weak cards reappearing redesigned under new names in expansions years later. How magical this digital future is! Read the rest of this entry »

WoW Tokens can now be used to buy Overwatch items

WoW® Token

As the song goes, “WoW® Tokens make the world go around, the world go around, the world go around…” but obviously by “world” they mean “Blizzard-iverse” because you can now convert the WoW® Tokens you buy with gold in World of Warcraft to a digital currency called Battle.net Balance which you can use to purchase Blizzard games as well as in-game items for Hearthstone, Overwatch and the like. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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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Impressions: The Elder Scrolls – Legends

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the team behind The Elder Scrolls: Legends [official site] must be great fans of Hearthstone. Much of this new collectible card game will be instantly familiar to those who’ve played Blizzard’s Warcraft-based equivalent. There’s a gradually increasing pool of magic points with which to play cards. The same attack value and health stats, with most creatures being unable to strike on the turn they’re summoned. A slew of common special abilities that break the base rules, such as allowing for an attack immediately after being played, or having a one-hit shield to protect them from damage. Sure, everything has a different name, like “Guard” instead of “Taunt”, but the initial sense of deja vu is overwhelming. Thankfully, that fades.

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