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.

Vivendi has sold its stock in Ubisoft, giving up on its hostile takeover

Winners never quit, we’re told. So what does that mean in light of Vivendi divesting itself of Ubisoft shares? The investment in Ubisoft (well-known for The Crew, The Division, and other titles we don’t really cover here) was long seen as the start of a hostile takeover attempt, which means that selling the 27 percent that Vivdeni (well-known for formerly owning Blizzard) owned represents the company, well, giving up on that plan.

It’s not entirely clear why Vivendi abandoned the hostile takeover attempt, but as part of the sales agreement Vivendi cannot buy any stock in Ubisoft for the next five years, which means that it appears to be well and truly ended. So, good news if you don’t want Vivendi to be in charge of Ubisoft, bad news if… you did want that? Corporate antics are always a thrill a minute.

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Brigitte smashes into Overwatch

She’s buff, she’s beautiful, and she’s bringing her modern-day squire style into the realm of Overwatch.

She’s Brigitte, the goddaughter of Reinhardt Wilhelm who fancies herself a squire. She’s a heavily armored fighter who uses a rocket flail and barrier shield as a support hero. Brigitte can smash several enemies in an arc, knock opponents back, and shield bash her way to victory. She can also throw out repair packs for health and rally allies to generate more armor, making her an invaluable teammate.

Brigitte went live in the game yesterday as Overwatch’s seventh support hero. Check her out and get playing!

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Heroes of the Storm puts Fenix up for testing

If you’ve been waiting for the day when you could have a Dragoon storming the battlefield in Heroes of the Storm, the time has finally arrived with the addition of Fenix to the game’s roster. He’s available on the game’s test server now as a ranged assassin, offering shield-based durability, teleportation, and some nasty abilities to punish overconfident targets. Best of all, you know that his death really is just a minor setback; it wasn’t a big one the first time, either.

There’s more coming to the game to celebrate 20 years of StarCraft, though, including new sprays, discounts on skins for existing heroes, and even a nice big bundle to award you with a bunch of thematic goodness all at once. Jump on below to see Fenix in action if you can’t hop on the test server right now, and don’t let yourself be distracted by instincts about how much vespene gas you require.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 162: The Morninglight wants you

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin infiltrate Secret World Legends’ Morninglight, dig into yet another progression server, wonder how many allied races World of Warcraft is going to introduce, and get all nostalgic over the original Guild Wars.

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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GDC 2018: Game developers push for unionization in Game Workers Unite

Back in 2016, we covered the voice actors guild strike against multiple game companies in its an attempt to secure better compensation and working conditions. The drawn-out saga renewed calls among game developers themselves to unionize. As we wrote about last fall, such a trade union would ideally protect developers from discrimination as well as game industry “crunch” and its concomitant 100-hour weeks and poor compensation – the kind that has literally caused game developers to drop dead (never mind makes them burn out or abandon the industry).

Apparently, such an organization is finally in the works. As Kotaku reports, Game Workers Unite is using this year’s GDC to raise awareness and collect accounts of labor exploitation.

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GDC 2018: Hearthstone’s Witchwood goes monster hunting

Massively OP is at GDC 2018 this year, and like Hearthstone, we’re kicking things off with a bang: with monster hunting! No, not the dino-esque kind Matt and I have been doing, but the kind Gilneas are doing in HS‘s upcoming expansion, The Witchwood. I got to sit down and talk with Lead Mission Designer Dave Kosak and Associate Designer Dean Ayala about the new expansion, RNG, and more.

What the Witchwood brings

First, the best part: Just logging in after Witchwood launches grants you not only three free packs, but a random legendary card as well. In fact, we’ve seen a few new cards and card mechanics in the past week or so. The Rush mechanic, essentially Charge without letting creatures attack players on their first turn, isn’t exactly new, and I was told it wouldn’t be retroactively added to any cards, including the warrior move “Charge,” which essentially just adds Rush to a creature. Echo is kind of cool, allowing the player to cast an Echo card as many times as they can afford that turn. And then there are the Worgen cards, which switch their attack and HP each turn add some flexibility to your decks depending on what you need. The latter two feel more interesting for an old CCG fan like yours truly since those are the kinds of things that are hard to do in a physical CCG.

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Leaderboard: Do you speculate on WoW Tokens or other legal MMO RMT currency?

Is Call of Duty the next Activision franchise to migrate to Battlenet? Very likely. As Eurogamer broke earlier this month, players are now able to link their Call of Duty accounts to – no doubt in anticipation for Black Ops 4.

I bring this up to MMO players because of the potential impact on World of Warcraft – specifically, token prices – as WoW players buy and sell their tokens to spend down their Blizzard balance to buy up the new CoD title (or cash in on the flurry). Redditors are current speculating about the incoming speculation, arguing that tokens prices have been relatively stable over the past few months, spiking for the Battle for Azeroth hoopla but ultimately settling back down. In fact, just covering the potential for a spike can cause a spike, one poster points out. Gamers will recall a similar situation last year when Destiny 2 landed on Battlenet, sending the token to record heights.

And that leads us to some Leaderboard fun. Do you speculate on WoW Tokens or other legal MMO RMT currency (like PLEX, C.R.E.D.D, etc.), or do you stay the heck away from that noise? Multiple responses are allowed!

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The MOP Up: Enter the Phantom Halls — if you dare! (March 18, 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 Mu IgnitionLineage 2 RevolutionRevelation OnlineEarthfallLegacy of AtlantisDC UnchainedSoul ArkBattle CarnivalWorld of WarcraftOld School RuneScapeAionWar ThunderArtifactPokemon GoThe Black DeathAstroneerEVE OnlinePhantom HallsMU Online, and Heroes of Newerth, all waiting for you after the break!

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One Shots: Don’t you forget about me

I think that we can all agree that Hirku seems like he’d be a pretty fun-loving dude to hang out with in World of Warcraft. We would all get cooler just by association, and he would take us on these crazy adventures where we’d log in the next day, find ourselves naked in some unfinished expansion, and have no recollection of what happened the night before.

I mean, look at this picture! “Ordinary” does not suit this party pirate’s life at all.

As a side note, I am completely jealous of players who have the ability to take great screenshots using fun emotes. Trying that usually results in me taking a picture of my character’s left ear from an extreme close-up view.

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The Game Archaeologist: World of Warcraft’s Corrupted Blood pandemic

It began with an exploitable glitch. It exploded into an uncontained nightmare of death. It established a meme as strong as Leeroy Jenkins. It even saved lives.

One of the most notorious events in World of Warcraft’s history didn’t emerge from the design of Blizzard’s controlling developers, but rather from players looking to grief the community. In a prank that briefly grew out of control, a pandemic was set loose upon the game’s world that decimated the population and changed the landscape overnight.

This was the Corrupted Plague incident, and it would go on to leave a mark upon World of Warcraft that remains to this day.

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Blizzard teases decks in Hearthstone and characters in Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm

It’s time for a whole lot of new characters to smash into the fray in Blizzard’s various multiplayer offerings. Hearthstone doesn’t have characters, per se, but it does have deck types, and the game’s next expansion is delivering a whole new deck type with Odds & Evens. Yes, that’s where you have an entire deck consisting of cards with odd costs or even costs; you can check out the video below for more elaboration.

Overwatch, of course, does have new characters. Specifically, it has Brigitte, who as it turns out will be arriving in the game on March 20th. If you’ve been looking forward to playing the smashy warrior-healer on the live game, you’ll have your chance very soon.

Last but not least, the Heroes of the Storm team is promising another new hero in the form of Fenix, a character from StarCraft who got killed in the first few missions. Later, he came back in a giant spider robot carrying his dead body. (He was a Dragoon. It makes sense in context.) So that’s also fun, although we warn you that teams might not appreciate you saying “I return to serve” every time you respawn.

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World of Warcraft confirms that Mag’har Orcs and Kul Tiran Humans are joining the allied races

The rumors and speculation are true, according to the most recent World of Warcraft live Q&A. Ion Hazzikostas revealed that both Mag’har and Kul Tiran Humans are on the list of allied races planned for Battle for Azeroth, in addition to Dark Iron Dwarves and Zandalari Trolls. If you feel like your old non-allied race is being left out in the cold, not to worry; while older races won’t be getting heritage armor per se, the developers do want to do something cool for veterans of the core races.

The discussion also ranged to Artifact weapons, which will still be usable at the beginning of the expansion; you won’t have all of the traits associated with it, but it will still be a good and usable weapon. It will sting to not have access to the old traits, but the design position is that it’s necessary for the longer term in the game. There’s also confirmation that crafting will now be split up by expansion rather than in an ever-ascending number, so you’ll have classic Blacksmithing, Northrend Blacksmithing, Outland Blacksmithing, and so forth. While it’s short on hard details at the moment, it’s enough of a nod to spur speculation as the expansion continues on in testing.

Source: Wowhead


Massively Overthinking: The war on MMO chat toxicity

This week, The Ancient Gaming Noob posted up an image of RIFT Prime, where Trion asks people to… play nice. “Just a neighborly reminder that 1-29 chat is for RIFT chat, ideally things relevant to level 1-29 gameplay,” the UI HUD reads. “Please be good to each other. We’ve muted some and shall mute again. Have a great evening!”

Meanwhile, over in Trion’s Trove, I’ve had to report-and-block dozens of fellow players just in the last few days for disgusting slurs in multiple languages, stuff the filter doesn’t catch. For a free-to-play game that’s also on console, yeah, I guess I expect no better from the playerbase. But but but RIFT Prime is subscription-based. Surely that means a strong community, where such polite warnings from developers aren’t necessary? Yeah, not so much, as anyone who played old-school MMORPGs can tell you. This is a problem even in games whose devs prioritize community and care a whole lot.

So this week, let’s talk about in-game chat. Do you use it? Do you watch it? Do you turn it off? Is it really terrible everywhere, or just in some games? Which one is the worst and the best, and what should developers do about chat specifically?

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