blizzard entertainment

Major gaming studio, responsible for World of Warcraft and the Warcraft franchise, Diablo III and the Diablo franchise, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and Overwatch.

The MOP Up: Old School RuneScape puts the finishing touches on Theater of Blood (May 20, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from HellionReign of GuildsSkyforgeOld School RuneScapeWar of RightsLineage MHeroes and GeneralsAurcus OnlineARK ParkDark and LightWild TerraCitadel: Forged With Fire, and Hearthstone, all waiting for you after the break!

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World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth adds 2 more character slots per server, 58 new mounts

Blizzard is doing nothing to stem your rampant altoholic nature these days, but instead the studio is downright encouraging it. With all of the new allied races currently in World of Warcraft and coming with Battle for Azeroth this summer, the pressure is on to roll up a few new alts. But what if you’ve already maxed out your server’s 16 character slots?

The good news is that the studio is increasing the capacity with the expansion to give you two additional slots: “In Battle For Azeroth, the per-realm character limit will be going up from 16 to 18 to make room for the two new Allied Races (Dark Iron Dwarves and Mag’har Orcs).”

And those new characters are going to need a fun way to get from Point A to Point B, naturally! They’ll certainly have a wide selection from which to choose, as Battle for Azeroth is adding around 60 new mounts to chase. Get a preview of all of these in the video after the break!

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The Game Archaeologist: Warhammer Online

When it comes to notable years in the MMORPG genre’s history, 2008 stands out as one of the most significant. World of Warcraft’s debut onto the scene in 2004 caused an upheaval in ways far too numerous to go into detail here. Suffice to say that its overwhelming popularity drew the attention of game designers who looked at the staggering numbers of players and found themselves envious of the potential to grab a slice of that money pie.

Many projects went into high gear following WoW’s launch, with plenty of them trying to copy the formula and structure that Blizzard established in the hopes of making it at least partially as big as that game. So-called WoW clones began to pepper the market and there was a sense that gamers were ready to move on from World of Warcraft to the next generation of MMOs. In many players’ minds, this would be either 2008’s Age of Conan or Warhammer Online, two big-budget MMOs with strong IPs that carried a lot of the weight of expectation.

Little did anyone realize that 2008 represented a bubble that was about to burst on the industry and the WoW clones that followed — including Warhammer Online. Today, we’re going to take a look at “bears, bears, bears,” the high hopes of Mythic Entertainment, and how WAR became a casaulty on its own battlefield.

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World of Warcraft’s 5M gold dinosaur mount is 5M gold worth of awesome

Forget hulking wooly mammoths, swooping dragons, and motorcycle sidecars: The most desirable World of Warcraft mount yet is coming in Battle for Azeroth — and it has a mighty hefty price tag attached.

The Reins of the Mighty Caravan Brutosaur may only be a ground mount, but it’s still going to be the chase item for many players. First of all, it’s a huge dinosaur, and that’s makes the inner five-year-old in all of us happy. But second, the brutosaur mount contains both an auctioneer and a merchant. That’s right: You’ll be able to summon your own auctioneer anywhere in the world.

Such functionality won’t come cheap, however. The mount will cost both Alliance and Horde players 5,000,000 gold to obtain. That cost can be defrayed a bit by maxing out your reputation with certain factions, taking it from 5M to 4M if you play the patience game.

Source: Wowhead. Thanks Sally!

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Overwatch is getting official Nerf guns next year

It may be that your biggest irritation is that there are times in the day when you cannot play Overwatch and thus have no way to shoot people with Overwatch firearms. Fortunately, that shan’t be a problem next year, as Blizzard is partnering with Hasbro to bring a line of Overwatch-themed blasters to the Nerf Rival line. (That’s the “upscale” Nerf assortment so that you can pretend you’re not playing with a toy made for five-year-olds, for people who like toys but are insecure about buying or owning them.)

No word on what the assortment will include, but you’ll be able to officially carry a gun modeled after your favorite characters! Assuming your favorite characters have a traditional gun, anyway. So probably nothing for Doomfist, Genji, Bastion, Hanzo, Junkrat, Mei, Reinhardt, Brigitte, Orisa, Torbjorn, Moira, Zenyatta, or Lucio. But everyone else can get something! (Slap a sticker on one of the few dozen Nerf bows for Hanzo, it’ll work.)

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World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth’s flight requirements listed, Kul Tiran Druid acquatic forms discovered

Enjoy your friendly skies now, flyboys and flygirls, because World of Warcraft is prepared to ground you once again in its next expansion. And while everyone knew that we’d have to hoof it for a while like savages, at least now we know some of what we’ll have to do to regain flight privileges.

The list to gain flight access in Battle for Azeroth looks daunting, but it’s also very similar to the path that players had to undergo in Legion. Basically, you’ll need to go through all of the main storylines, fully explore all of the zones, and max out your reputation with several new factions. It’s important to note that this list is just part one of the requirements and not the whole deal. Again, much like with Legion.

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Hearthstone reveals the next round of nerfs that are on their way

In a game like Hearthstone, the job of balancing cards will never, ever be done. So if you like titles with stability and permanence, don’t play digital card games is what we’re saying. With this in mind, Blizzard revealed the next round of “balance changes” that will be coming in a future patch.

The studio calls it balance, but the reality is that all of these changes are either nerfs to a card’s ability or an increase in the cost of the cards to better match the effect that it causes. Cards like Naga Sea Witch, Spiteful Summoner, Possessed Lackey, and Call to Arms are all going to cost more (a lot more in the case of the Witch), while Dark Pact is going to restore less health and The Caverns Below will create weaker minions.

Adjust your builds and meta outlook accordingly.

Source: Hearthstone

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Perfect Ten: How MMOs can become more accessible

Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I was remarkably reluctant to enter into the field of MMORPGs despite being a perfect candidate (a gaming geek who loved fantasy and sci-fi RPGs). All of the reasons that I had at the time for stalling really could have been boiled down to a single word: accessibility.

MMOs back then looked — and probably were — very inaccessible. They had a payment barrier. They required a lot of setup and hardware. Their interfaces were cluttered and their gameplay interactions were obtuse. Frankly, I got the impression that a lot of them were a mess that was only understandable to those who had put in hundreds of hours to decipher the format.

When MMOs started to become more accessible, particularly with City of Heroes, World of Warcraft, and Guild Wars, I eagerly jumped in. Those three titles in particular made giant leaps forward in opening up these games to the first-time player. But that doesn’t mean that MMORPGs have arrived at universal accessibility just yet. Here are ten areas that studios could be improving in order to make their titles more appealing and understandable to outsiders.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 170: Mild West Online

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin do their darndest to shape the MMO industry by holding up Wild West Online as a cautionary tale and talking about how studios need to think before applying real-world labels to games.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Overwatch plans second anniversary festivities, legendary edition, and freebie weekend

Dang, can you believe Overwatch is almost two years old? Actually, I can – I’ve definitely been listening to my husband gripe about Blizzard’s algorithms while continuing to play, and it definitely feels like longer than two years in that context!

Blizz sent ’round the deets for its anniversary celebration today; beginning on May 22nd and running through June 11th, the festivities will land on all platforms. Expect the studio to drop 50 new items (including eight legendary skins and three epic skins), plus new dance emotes, the new Petra deathmatch map, a new competitive mode, a rez on the old seasonal brawls in the Arcade, and of course, legendary lootboxes. In fact, you get one of those for free just for logging in.

There’s also a freebie weekend – even on PS4 – running May 25th to 28th. If you don’t already own the game, you’ll want to consider the new “Legendary Edition” releasing on the 22nd; it’ll include 15 skins with the game in a bundle.

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Monster Hunter’s film adaptation begins production this fall with Resident Evil pedigree

Monster Hunter World made Capcom gobs of money, and now the franchise is set to make even more as it comes to the big screen. Variety reports that Germany’s Constantin Film will begin production on a Monster Hunter flick this September. The movie stars Milla Jovovich and will be directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, who’s well-known for taking on ultra-violent scripts and video game adaptations. If you saw 2002’s Resident Evil – also a Capcom franchise – you already know what the two of them can do together in this space.

Online games are big business in the TV and movie industry in recent years, even for MMOs; readers will recall the Warcraft movie, of course, as well as the fact that Funcom is reportedly still working on a Secret World TV series with Johnny Depp’s production outfit onboard.

Source: Variety

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World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth updates its beta with new models for dead people

Ladies, gentlemen, and those who fit neither category, Rhonin the mage is dead in World of Warcraft. And there was much rejoicing. But just because he’s dead doesn’t mean he doesn’t get a new model; heck, Uther’s been dead even longer, and he gets a new model in the most recent build of Battle for Azeroth. Dead people change their clothes repeatedly for years after they die, everyone knows that. Considering they always show up semi-translucent, you’d think they’d take the opportunity to put on some clashing colors, but apparently you coordinate your tones beyond the grave.

The latest build also involves more ability tweaks, including several reshuffles for Death Knight talents and adjustments to Demon Hunters. Players can also test out the second part of the war campaign, the storyline involving camps and footholds in the Horde-specific zones of the game by the Alliance. Horde players will just have to watch this part, apparently. (It is still in testing, after all.)

Source: Wowhead (1, 2, 3)

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The MOP Up: Diablo levels up in Heroes of the Storm (May 13, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Heroes of the StormElder Scrolls Online, DayZEVE Online, Pokemon Go, Dota 2City of HeroesFinal Fantasy XIVPortal KnightsLineage 2 RevolutionWizard101Ingress, and Reign of Guilds, all waiting for you after the break!

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