blizzard

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Via pcgamesn
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The Nostalrius debate reached its head a while ago when a sh*toload of Vanilla server martyrs banded together in a wild mob to throw themselves off a cliff in a staged outcry of unrest over Blizzard's decision to shut down Nostalrius. See video:



Well, Blizzard, expectedly so, is busy making final preparations with Legion; but that didn't stop them from putting aside some time to play through a dungeon on Nostalrius. Here's what the WoW team of execs had to say about their experience:

“We got to play on the server for a little while,” he divulges. “It's really cool, they did an incredible job of building an experience that feels classic and authentic and that's incredibly hard to do. The painstaking effort it takes to research old videos to try and figure out what the data was because it doesn't exist anymore so you have to pull it out of the nether to put that experience together.

“The leadership team got together and we did a Stratholme run. John Hight [production director on WoW] was a Hunter and had a level eight pet and pulled half the instance, wiped us a few times. It was like, ‘why is the whole instance pulling? Oh it's your level eight pet!’ J [Allen Brack, VP and executive producer] was our priest, he’s like [casting buffs] and then sit and drink for 45 seconds, cast again, sit and drink,” he chuckles. “It's funny, we laugh at all that but it was a very moving experience because it's nostalgic and we all have very fond memories of playing that, that's when we were hardcore and all that stuff.”

Game director Tom Chilton also went on to offer up his take on Legacy servers:

“I think it's something that interests Blizzard and we've always had the thought that it would cool to do a classic server or a Burning Crusade server or a Lich King server or whatever. 

“It's difficult to pull off and the real cost in terms of our ability to do stuff for the existing game or our ability to do other new projects would be meaningfully affected if we decided to put our resources behind that. Unfortunately, it's not just the push of a button.”

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On Thursday when the Overwatch beta dropped, the Overwatch searches back over on Pornhub instantaneously surged by 817%. People were stoked, needed to blow off some steam, I guess. 


Via: venturebeat

The company went on to find that 'Tracer' was the most popular search term, amidst the beta release frenzy. Here are some of the other widely searched terms:


Via: venturebeat

Via Oeddelino
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For hours hundreds, if not thousands of players formed lines and congregated across all of Azeroth before the server ended. Nostalrius had 800,000 registered users, and 150,000 active players. RIP.

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This game's been on one hell of a ride -- we're talking hurdling numerous obstacles like Blizzard's army of lawyers, causing controversy left and right, relaunching with a new name, finally getting Blizzard's approval, and then at last raisin' $84, 918 on Kickstarter.

Take note, this Starcraft II Mod is a completely new game -- gathering influence from WoW, Diablo, and surprisingly enough, FTL. It's currently in open beta, and is set for its final release next month. And here's the mod in action!

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From the press release:

The action of Overwatch takes place in a technologically advanced, highly stylized future earth. In a time of global crisis, an international task force of soldiers, scientists, adventurers, and oddities known as Overwatch had come together to restore peace to a war-torn world. After many years, the group's influence waned, and it was eventually disbanded. Overwatch might be gone now . . . but the world still needs heroes.

With an emphasis on accessibility and pure fun, Overwatch brings Blizzard's signature easy-to-learn, hard-to-master gameplay to the FPS genre. Harnessing the power of their hero of choice, players will join forces in teams of six and battle each other across a range of futuristic global locations, from the hologram-lit streets of London to a bazaar in the shadows of a high-tech Egyptian pyramid. Every battlefield is iconic and built to highlight each character's unique abilities, and fights can shift from streets to rooftops to open skies within the span of a breath.

"Overwatch is our take on a vibrant, near-future universe with amped-up characters and action-packed team-based gameplay," saidMike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "With every new Blizzard game, we look at our favorite aspects of a genre and put our own spin on things. Our goal with Overwatch is to create an awesome FPS experience that's more accessible to a much wider audience while delivering the action and depth that shooter fans love."

The heroes of Overwatch each bring their own distinct weapons and superabilities to bear. Here's just a glimpse of the numerous heroes that will ultimately fill Overwatch's rosters:

Tracer, a former British test pilot who shrugs at danger, can execute impossible acrobatic assaults thanks to her ability to teleport, drop energy bombs, and even reverse time.
Reinhardt, a hulking German soldier in battle armor, can charge great distances and pin his enemies to a wall or slam the ground with his rocket hammer to knock them off their feet.
Hanzo, a bow-wielding Japanese mercenary, has the ability to scale walls with his bare hands, fire off a tracking device that illuminates nearby enemies for his team, and unleash a huge spirit dragon that does grievous damage to all enemies in its path.
Symmetra, an Indian architech, manipulates light and energy to shield her allies and damage her enemies—and she can turn the tide of any battle by building a device that instantly transports her teammates to the front lines.

Expect a beta some time next year.

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Without Metzen games like Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft, and Overwatch simply wouldn't be what they are today. The man played an indispensable role in molding the lore, the vision for massively enjoyed video game worlds, and he no doubt inspired so many of both the aspiring, and the established professionals of the video game industry today. Read up on his post he left us with after announcing his retirement, below:

I had just turned twenty years old when I started working at Blizzard. Seems like a lifetime ago. Guess it was. Those first few years were the start of a very grand adventure for me, one that would take me around the world, introduce me to thousands of wonderful geeks just like me—and ultimately shape the course of my adult life.Of course when I started, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I had no idea how to make games or build entertainment products.…But I had an insatiable passion for ideas. For stories. For heroes.My only real training before joining Blizzard was the long-running D&D campaign I had with my closest friends—Sam, Mike P., Daniel, and Mikey C. (you know who you are, boys…HAMRO!). Building ideas—vast worldscapes, characters, and plotlines with my friends was my first great love. I lived for it. It was a safe space amid the tension and change of some rough teenage years. The grand refuge of D&D was a glorious meeting of minds and imaginations where I felt I truly belonged. It was a space where friendship and imagination were inextricably linked. The sharing of ideas on the fly, the crazy, unexpected turns other players would take—it stretched our imaginations in ways we’d never have dreamt of on our own. I loved how roleplaying through adventures taught us so much about each other—and, more often than not, ourselves. Imagining together helped us make sense of the crazy world we were growing up in. It made us stronger together. I wouldn’t really understand the depth of it for many years, but I had learned an important truth from my friends back then: Creativity is relational. Looking back at my years at Blizzard, I see now how profoundly this idea has shaped my career. I see how profoundly my friends and coworkers at Blizzard have shaped me as a person. For nearly twenty-three years I’ve had the very distinct privilege of shaping worlds and building games with the brightest creative minds in entertainment. I’ve walked with giants (and stood on some giants’ shoulders, too). In short, I’ve had the time of my life. I pretty much had the coolest job ever—but the truth is, sometimes it was really hard. Building games with dozens of brilliant, passionate alpha-geeks with their own red-hot instincts and perspectives can be pretty tricky. Coming to consensus about certain design decisions, story motifs, or courses of art direction takes a lot of communication, patience, and “give and take.” It stretches you. Sometimes it wasn’t all that pretty. But engaging with your teammates and collaborating through the potential quagmire of all that creative tension is where the real magic happens. It’s not just the decisions you come to—or even the final shape of the product you craft.… It’s bigger than that—and infinitely more important. True collaboration builds trust—and trust is the basis of all lasting relationships. With trust you build more than just a great product. You build a TRIBE…that can build anything. A family of craftsmen.That’s what Blizzard has been for me. My second family, through all of life’s ups and downs, it’s always been there. The great, geeky backdrop of my life. I don’t just mean “the job” or even the creative mission—but the people. The people who over and over lifted me up, believed in me—and pushed me to find my potential as both an artist and as

Via Seba
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At long last, one of Overwatch's most cherished fan creations is canon thanks to a new emote on game's test server. You better believe she's got her Doritos, Mountain Dew, and that custom stream overlay. Thanks to Seba for the video!

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Overwatch's ranked mode debuts sometime later this summer, and these are some of the highlights we can expect to be different from the beta:

  • The season length is increasing, and will now be around 3 months. More specifically, it’ll technically last about 2 and a half months, with a couple of weeks of downtime in-between different seasons.
  • They’re tweaking overtime, so that it happens less often. The idea is to make it more exciting when it does happen.
  • The “Assault” format has been changed in certain maps, like Hanamura and Temple of Anubis. Specifically, they want to make sure there is more back and forth between the teams, rather than having these maps flip quickly.
  • There will be no more tiers. Instead, players will get something known as “MMR” (which you’re probably familiar with if you play MOBAs.) Players will also get a skill rating that is between 1-100, and when you finish your placement matches, the game will show you your specific skill rating relative to other players.
  • Everyone can see your skill rating when you go into a match. Matches will also inform you of team’s overall skill rating. Sometimes, you’ll be in matches with people who are not at your exact skill rating. Underdogs in these matches stand to gain more and lose less under this system.
  • You’ll be able to tell at a glance if people came into the match partied up.
  • There will be rewards for players who do well, and these rewards will be cosmetic. Sprays and player icons for people who participate in the season, and a “golden gun” system as well, which will make your weapons cooler. Kaplan also said that top players will get unique exclusive rewards too.

Now all we need is an update on whether or not we can hope for an increase in 'tick rate'...

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By Unknown
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You already get one level 90 boost if you buy the Warlords of Draenor expansion, but in order to allow players to level more than one character without buying multiple copies of the expansion, Blizzard is selling the boost separately at the same $60 price tag. Why $60? According to designer Ion Hazzikostas:

If our goal here was to sell as many boosts as possible, we could halve the price or more than that - make it $10 or something. And then hardly anyone would ever level a character again.

But levelling is something that takes dozens if not over 100 hours in many cases and people have put serious time and effort into that, and we don't want to diminish that.