Warlords of Draenor, World of Warcraft’s time travelling expansion, is currently boiling away in alpha, so Blizzard has some knowledge bombs to drop to get you up to speed on the big changes.
In the latest episode of WoW Source, Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas, Lead Class Designer Kris Zierhut and Senior Game Designer Brian Holinka go over PvP changes, like fiddling around with CC abilities, making armour from PvE increase in level and become PvP gear when struck by another player and the PvP island of Ashran.
The citizens of Azeroth sure like to celebrate, in between going to war and travelling across time and space, that is. For the next week, World of Warcraft will be infested with sweets, eggs and people dressed up as rabbits. A traditional Noblegarden celebration, then.
As always, there are a plethora of activities offering respite from the never-ending quest to slaughter just about everything.
Playing Heroes of the Storm at PAX, it doesn’t feel like any other MOBA I’ve ever played. For one thing, I’m actually winning.
For another, it just feels less like something derived from an RTS and more like something I’d expect to play on an arcade cabinet somewhere back in the 1980s, or on a console in a friend’s basement in the late 90s. It’s Blizzard’s Smash Brothers, their Gauntlet and it’s a fresh take on the MOBA that steps out Dota’s long, long shadow.
It’s a fantasy collectible card game that feels simple and yet, when you dig into the mechanics, feels extraordinarily deep. It uses characters and artwork from World of Warcraft and transmogrifies them into little cards, making them fight with fizzles, crackles and pops.
I adore this game. It’s simple, fun and addictive: a truly astonishing feat considering the size of the development team. Thanks to an extended and open beta, there’s a good chance you’re already playing it. If not, allow me the pleasure of telling you why you should.
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It can’t be real, but it is. Azeroth Choppers is a bizarre reality web show that pits two teams, one led by Blizzard wordsmith Chris Metzen, the other led by art director Sam Didier, against each other as they build custom choppers.
That shouty man from American Choppers will be helping them. What chopper is the best chopper is up to fans, as they’ll vote on which bike ends up in World of Warcraft.
To say that I’m hooked on Hearthstone would be an understatement of titanic proportions. It has consumed me, and now to feed it I feel compelled to turn more people onto it, like a horrible pusher.
I’m yet to tire of the simple formula, and so I’ve never pondered what the game would be like were it larger, if it featured dungeons and single-player content. Blizzard has been, though. And this has lead to the Curse of Naxxramas - Hearthstone’s first single-player campaign.
Numbers, eh? Can’t live with ‘em - the angular limbs of ‘4’ and ‘7’ in particular would make bedtime a nightmare. But they can be absolutely fascinating. Take, for instance, the average revenue per user in the PC’s top free-to-play games. Can you guess how much people tend to spend in Dota 2, compared to LoL? Or in TF2 compared to Planetside?
The extensive surgery on the population of World of Warcraft continues, as the march to Warlords of Draenor progresses.
Blizzard’s thrown up an extensive look at the changes to the fun-loving cows, the tauren. The studio’s animators chimed in, breaking down how they updated the male tauren’s animations, emotes, facial expressions and overall look. He’s shaping up to be a handsome fellow.
Where Mists of Pandaria was a step forward into a previously uncharted territory inhabited by furry priests, Warlords of Draenor is a step back in time. Not just in its plotting, which involves a dose of interstellar time travel, but in its RTS-style garrisons that recalls ‘90s Blizzard.
If these preliminary patch notes are anything to go by, the change has meant a pruning of some decade-old systems, and a simplication of some of those big numbers. Here's what we've gleaned so far.
Blizzard call Heroes of the Storm a hero brawler. Others call it a MOBA. We call it a triumph. It is Blizzard’s version of what Dota and League of Legends do so well: a compulsive mix of strategy gaming, timing, 5v5 teamplay and ridiculous shoulderpads. Even now, in it’s early alpha stage, it feels a complete blast.
Somewhere in the world of Azeroth is a lone warrior with no allegiance. Doubleagent, a Pandaren Shaman, is on his own quest to reach the games max level without allying with either the Horde or the Alliance. This introduces some pretty harsh limitations to his leveling ability, as he’s never allowed to leave the starting zone. His only way of gaining the gargantuan amounts of experience he now needs to level up is solely by gathering.
Hearthstone launched yesterday, but you probably already know that. To celebrate the launch of its free-to-play digital crack, Blizzard is offering an equally free gift to all players in the form of a shiny new flying mount for World of Warcraft.
The Hearthsteed and its astral wings can be yours very easily. All you need to do is earn the “Mount Up!" achievement in Hearthstone by winning three rounds, and it’s all yours.
Hearthstone, Blizzard’s terrifyingly addictive online game of card battles, just launched. It’s been a bit of a fixture around the digital PCGN office since closed beta, worming its way into our lives and making it rather hard to work. It’s not our fault, I say; we’re just weak.
If you weren’t fiddling around with it during the beta phase, you can hop on in now pretty easily. You can sign up and download Hearthstone for free here.
World of Warcraft’s boost to level 90 trailer wasn’t the only thing to come out of Azeroth today. Warlords of Draenor is now available for pre-purchase. It’ll set you back £34.99/$49.99 for the standard edition and £49.99/$69.99 for the Digital Deluxe edition.
There’s also a tentative release window of autumn this year, while the product details section states that it will release on or before 20/12/2014.
Hollywood type and Best History Boy Dominic Cooper is fresh off the Need for Speed flick, which early accounts suggest has worked out rather nicely. Need for Speed, though, doesn’t have lore. It doesn’t have a decade of continuous fiction behind it, nor a playerbase with long-held ideas about the way its world looks and its characters talk.
That’s why Cooper’s pooing himself a bit about the upcoming Warcraft movie.
Hearthstone is one of those games that can be quite deceiving when it comes to its depth. Built with the pride of being easily accessible, only a fool would think that same pride makes for a shallow game. Instead Hearthstone provides a great arena in a battle of intellect, skill and the occasional luck. The saying “a day to learn, a lifetime to master" could very well have some merit here.
Not long ago Blizzard released a revamped ranked matchmaking system. Now players climb the ladder to attain fame, glory and legendary status. Understanding the mechanics and having knowledge of the cards isn’t enough: you need to have a great deck. With an ever changing meta, we’re here to lend you a helping hand. In this guide we’ll give you two exceptional decks for each class: one for a beginner requiring little dust, and one more for the advanced and costly.
How are your fellow Hearthstone players to know if you’ve got countless victories under your belt? When you boast about all of your fallen foes, do your chums scoff? No more, says Blizzard. Because if there’s one tried and tested method of showcasing your talents; it’s with a spot of bling.
With the next patch, when you reach 500 ranked wins with a particular hero, they’ll become gilded in gold. These golden heroes will have unique animations added to their portrait and hero power, and all the world will know that you beat up a lot of people in a card game.