blizzard watch

Our friends from WoW Insider now cover Blizzard’s games on Blizzard Watch.

Rumors swirl about a Warcraft 3 announcement… like a remaster

If you’re looking for the source of the story behind World of Warcraft, you can look no further than Warcraft 3. Most of the conflicts that have kept the game going through its many expansions got their start there, and so it’s kind of a lodestone for the game’s overarching story and plot. So it’s worth paying attention when there are rumors that the game will be getting some sort of major update, based on a new installer and a secret event that had several top players flown out for a meeting.

So what’s happening next? We don’t know yet, although a remaster along the lines of the recent StarCraft remaster seems like the most likely reason. We don’t know yet, though, so people can feel free to speculate endlessly about what might be next for the venerable RTS game. A remaster would certainly help a lot of fans get new familiarity with a very big part of the Warcraft universe lore, after all.

Source: Blizzard Watch, Icy Veins; thanks to Sally for the tip!

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MMO Week in Review: Elder Scrolls Online’s cash shop controversy (February 18, 2018)

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

Elder Scrolls Online’s first DLC of the year, Dragon Bones, launched this week along with update 17. While the patch is loaded with content, including a new cosmetic system and new dungeons, the rollout suffered from an experience exploit that caused server downtime in addition to angst from the community, which objected to the pricing scheme attached to the new outfit system.

Meanwhile, Camelot Unchained picked July 4th for its beta, we got the scoop on Bless Online, SWTOR delivered its spring roadmap, Trove announced a new expansion, Star Citizen launched a new ship sale, and LOTRO began testing a new region.

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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World of Warcraft is selling a divine puppy for the Year of the Dog

Such dog, very mount, many lunar new year, WoW. Yes, World of Warcraft has introduced a new mount for the Year of the Dog, and it is… a dog. It’s just a big old dog. Why is Shu-zen, the Divine Sentinel available for purchase? Because you can get him over in the Chinese version of the game for buying a large amount of game time, and the rest of us want to be able to fly around on a good dog too.

Obviously, the dog in question can fly, because of course it can. It also features all of the usual elements of a cash shop mount, unlocking on all of your characters for one purchase price of $25. If this addresses a pressing need in your life to have a flying dog in the game, it’s available now; if you can’t understand why someone would drop $25 on a flying dog mount, feel free to mutter “heck” and move on.

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MMO Week in Review: MMO money month (February 11, 2018)

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

If I had to sum up this week in MMOs, and I do because that’s what this column is all about, I’d say it’s about money. Multiple MMO companies released their quarterly and annual deets this week, including Blizzard (another record quarter) and Square-Enix (which claims an increase in Final Fantasy XIV subs. Trion rightly boasted of Trove’s 15M playerbase as well. But the most interesting bit was surely NCsoft’s report, which shows Guild Wars 2 getting a welcome bump from Path of Fire while Blade & Soul (which just released its Call of the Deep update) pulls in excellent numbers too.

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth jacks up its system requirements from Legion

The old joke that World of Warcraft can run on just about anything including your toaster is no longer true. Let’s just say that if your toaster is planning to install Battle for Azeroth later this year, it had best be one of those super-advanced internet toasters with wifi and bagel convection technology.

This is a long-winded way of saying that the system requirements for the upcoming expansion are a significant step up from Legion, so you might want to check your machine to make sure you’re good to run it when it arrives.

The biggest changes is the requirement of a 64-bit OS, 4GB minimum for RAM, 70GB of hard drive space, and a step or two up in graphics cards. Blizzard Watch makes the good suggestion of running Dxdiag on your system to make sure that you meet at least the minimum requirements for the future.

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World of Warcraft starts Battle for Azeroth alpha testing

Blizzard is getting prepared.

Blizzard Watch reported that the studio has started World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth alpha testing this week. The test is smaller in scope, both in population (friends, family, media, and content creators) and in content scope.

Right now, the studio is focusing the alpha test on the zones of Drustvar (Alliance) and Nazmir (Horde), and the dungeons of Atal’Dazar and Freehold. Even if you’re not a part of this test, you can still check it out, as Blizzard has no NDA on the alpha and in fact encouraged testers to share their adventures with the community.

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MMO Week in Review: Battle for Azeroth this summer (February 4, 2018)

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

World of Warcraft’s Battle for Azeroth expansion preorders went live this week, with a summer launch date that could be as late as September 21st – still a pinch earlier than most predictions.

Meanwhile, this week saw the end of MOBA Master X Master and MMORPG Linkrealms, as well as the announcement that Gigantic is closing up shop, Anthem and RD2D are delayed, and Alganon is offline.

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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World of Warcraft hasn’t told us how it’s going to handle Battle for Azeroth retail CE upgrades

This past week has been a flurry of activity among World of Warcraft fans as they raced to pre-order the Battle for Azeroth expansion and unlock all of those new allied races. But one pressing question has been left dangling by Blizzard in this whole pre-order frenzy: How will the studio handle any player who wants to upgrade a digital pre-order to a physical collector’s edition?

So far, Blizzard isn’t saying other than that information on this will come out. You know. Eventually. This has worried some players who are getting flashbacks to the mess that was Legion’s pre-order. Back then, there were some who had to buy the pre-order for the bonuses, then make a separate purchase for the physical CE, and then petition Blizzard for a refund. Blizzard wouldn’t grant straight-up refunds but instead allowed these players to gift their second copy to a friend.

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MMO Week in Review: The fate of SWTOR (January 28, 2018)

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

Is Star Wars The Old Republic in trouble? BioWare rumors say it might have been, but longtime watchers point to ongoing content updates – not to mention the developer livestream promising a freshened roadmap next week – that suggest just the opposite.

Meanwhile, this week saw the rollouts of two not-quite-MMOs that a lot of MMO players have their eye on: Monster Hunter World, which we’ve covered with impressions and a guide, and Sea of Thieves, whose closed beta has gotten off to a rocky start. Darkfall New Dawn officially launched too!

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth collectors editions, game datamining

When can we start playing allied races in World of Warcraft? Probably as soon as we can pre-purchase Battle for Azeroth, based on current expectation. And when will that be? We just don’t know. What we do know is what the collector’s edition appears to be packing. Yes, it’s mounts and a pet, that’s always what we get, but it looks like it’s going to be two mounts based on faction and the previously spied Tortollan pet!

It looks like Alliance players will be getting an armored Seabraid Stallion (there seem to be new horse models out there) while Horde players get an armored raptor (representing the Zandalari Trolls). Obviously, nothing has been confirmed yet, but that’s what everything is pointing toward… and if that’s showing up in datamining, it might not be that far off.

As far as the actual game rather than the box for the game? Yep, WoWhead is datamining the heck out of that too – check out the mounts and beasties, music, pets, maps, and talents for just a taste of what’s available. Or don’t spoil yourself. You choose.

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World of Warcraft lays out its class adjustment paradigm for Battle for Azeroth

When Legion was on the way, World of Warcraft had a whole series of explanations about the broad and varied changes coming to every single class and spec. Some of them were relatively minor (Frost Mage), some of them made big changes to the spec (Enhancement Shaman), and some of them were huge reworks (Survival Hunter). The good news is that Battle for Azeroth isn’t making changes that large according to the latest development watercooler on the upcoming class changes. Instead, the expansion will be focusing more on diversifying specs in more meaningful way, including utility.

One of the big elements that is being tweaked for Battle for Azeroth is that all classes are getting more utility (either adding abilities or returning old abilities) to make groups have some advantage for each individual class; there’s more emphasis on making the various character options feel a bit more diverse again. There’s also a push to make talent choices less reliant on major match or specific types of content, but instead letting you play a character the way you want to play. Check out the whole thing for a top-level overview of the philosophy going into tweaks and adjustments with the game’s next expansion.

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Fulfill your postal fantasies in World of Warcraft’s secret quest chain

Blizzard has a habit of sneaking in semi-secret content into its patches for the community to discover, and this time around, it’s all about mail. Snail mail, that is. In a video game.

World of Warcraft’s Patch 7.3.5 contained a world-spanning hidden quest chain that involves the postal service, and it has players buzzing over it. By picking up a piece of lost mail in Dalaran (or buying it on the auction house if you’re lazy), players are called into service under the town’s postmaster to help sort and deliver mail all over the place. The quest uses a sorting minigame and the actual in-game mail to proceed, so there’s a meta element involved as well.

With the return of Johnny Awesome and special rewards like titles, a summonable mail carrier, a pet, and an heirloom upgrade, it’s a fairly worthwhile quest chain to complete. Plus, it’s something to take your mind off of the endless Legion invasions and world quest grind, so why not?

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Blizzard Korea helps Seoul cyber crime police arrest 13 Overwatch hackers and cheaters

The MOP comment crew was understandably creeped out by last week’s news that Tencent was going after PlayerUnknown’s Battleground cheaters by working with the Chinese police, leading to the arrest of 120 people in 30 cases. But Tencent isn’t alone; Blizzard is also getting in on the law enforcement fun, most recently in Korea, where its Korean wing has referred 13 people to Seoul’s National Policy Agency cyber crime unit for arrest in Overwatch hacking and cheating crimes.

As Dot Esports and Blizzard Watch report, this isn’t a first for South Korea; at least one teen has already been charged under the so-called “Game Industry Promotion Law,” which permits two years of prison time and up to $18,000 in fines for those convicted.

Here’s Blizzard Korea’s message to its players, as translated by Unikrn:

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