If you weren’t convinced that Blizzard defeated Bossland in its string of lawsuits already, you will be today. As The Nosy Gamer noticed, Bossland announced today that it’s ending sales for multiple hack, bot, and cheat programs that affected Blizzard games, including Honorbuddy (for World of Warcraft) and Hearthbuddy (for Hearthstone), though it looks as if Demonbuddy (Diablo III) will remain intact. Support for the discontinued cheats ends on December 31st.
The Bossland announcement is super classy, and by super classy, I mean not at all classy, as you might expect. The developers insist their paid cheat programs “provide no edge” and were intended to help time-starved players. They also claim Blizzard is winning only because of its supposed “decision to compromise the privacy of their players” by using checks that any studio that cares about cheating uses.
Last weekend, even Massively OP was obsessing over BlizzCon, and we thought it would be fun to poll the writers, including those who watched from the sideliness rather than diving into the liveblogging, on their assessments of the event, particularly as they pertain to the MMORPG industry. What were the highlights and lowpoints? Where do we stand on World of Warcraft’s new expansion and classic servers? Let’s dig in!
Good news for you, Diablo III fans! You’re now able to – wait, what? No, the good news is not a major patch. Or a minor patch. No, it’s not another new class. It’s not another expansion. Or, uh… lots of things. It’s not really any news for the game that’s been in the same state since the first (and probably only) expansion launched, and…
Let’s try this again. News for you, Diablo III fans! If you enjoy the game on console and are looking forward to making the game that much prettier on your Xbox One X, you can do that now! Yes, the upgraded console is out, it’s expensive, and the question becomes how good the game looks on the new console compared to the old one.
If that’s exactly the sort of good news you were hoping for, we are so glad. You can check out a video comparison of the game running on the new console (as well as the PlayStation 4 Pro) just below, too, in case you’re still up in the air about which console to get and need some comparison shots. We’ve also got a rundown of all our stories about enhanced graphics on the Xbox One X down there, too.
We were all prepared for the lack of Diablo III news from BlizzCon, in spite of the franchise’s huge following. But what we we didn’t anticipate was the demand for Diablo II and Warcraft III, especially in light of the announcement of World of Warcraft Classic and the free-to-play conversion of StarCraft II.
Turns out that Blizzard does have its eye on remastering both games, but it’s not ready yet. As Blizzard Senior Producer Peter Stilwell told PCGN, Warcraft III in particular needs a whole lot of balancing and a new map pool to satisfy tourney players.
And as for Diablo II? Hackers are the real threat.
“With Diablo [II] the big one is the botters and the spamming is out of control, [people asking] could we please fix that,” Stilwell admits. “Keep rolling seasons but maybe eventually be good enough at combating them that you see real names at the top of the leaderboard again.”
Ah, here we go again. It’s time for our final liveblog of BlizzCon 2017, and it’s the World of Warcraft Q&A. And they’re live questions, which means that there are going to be several questions about the new expansion (that will not be answered because all of the information that can be shared right now has been shared), several questions about lore (that will be laughed at), and several questions about when we’ll get Jaina’s hair (it does look nice).
At this point, who knows what could happen? They announced World of Warcraft: Classic. They could do anything. Blizzard badger don’t care, apparently. Of course, if you don’t want to watch all of that, why not just watch our liveblog down below? It’s still speeding along at a fair clip, and it’s what we’re doing here. You can catch up past the break if you missed the start.
Remember how last year, we got an enormous amount of art discussion during a panel that really should have been about systems? Or was it the year before? These things blur together sometimes. If you spend a whole lot of time liveblogging about World of Warcraft at each installment of BlizzCon, at some point you just start letting it all push together into a melange. What stands out most are the hunted, harried looks during the Warlords of Draenor era.
Still, all of the liveblogging beats an actual west coast trip. And reading it is probably even more fun, especially when the art panel is actually labeled as the art panel! Let’s learn all about the art in the comments below, or by catching up with the recap just below. Fun for the art-focused family!
The gameplay and systems panel is always very important to World of Warcraft. You found out long ago (well, a few hours ago) about the existence of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, and now you have to find out how long it is down that leveling road. And, for that matter, what will be along the way. Dungeons and quests, sure, but how many? What sort of mechanics will they include? How will classes play? Do Rogues get swirly balls back?
Yeah, that one’s just trolling. You’re never getting swirly balls again.
Fortunately, all of these questions are going to be addressed, at least in passing, by this BlizzCon 2017 panel. So let’s find out more about the mechanics that we’ve got now, what’s coming around the bend, and what will be here in the future as we sit through another liveblogging session. As always, catch up past the break!
Blizzard made several major announcements for World of Warcraft today that you probably need to know about if you’re a current or even a former player who’s been trying to decide whether or not to go back. Let’s recap the highlights!
- The expansion is called Battle for Azeroth. We don’t know when it’s launching or when it’ll go into beta. You can, however, opt-in to the beta through Battlenet as always. We’re guessing it’s a ways off as there’s no preorder yet.
- The level cap is lifting to 120. The official site boasts a level 110 booster as a catch-up mechanic.
- Allied races (not sub-races) are happening. We’ll start with six: Void Elves, Dark Iron Dwarves, and Lightforged Draenei for Alliance and Nightborne, Highmountain Tauren, and Zandalari Trolls for Horde. We can quest to make them allies, then we can roll them ourselves from level 20 (or race-change into them), though there are extra gear rewards for those who level the hard way.
So let’s be honest with you, folks: We are writing this before we actually know what happened in the BlizzCon 2017 opening ceremony. We know that in all likelihood, this panel is going to be all about World of Warcraft: Expansion Titles Go After The Colon, but we don’t actually know what title goes after that colon. All we know is that it’s probably not National Lampoon’s Vacation.
True confession time: The original version of this post was just the lyrics to Lindsey Buckingham’s “Holiday Road” with a poor phonetic transcription of the song’s guitar riffs. But apparently this post should actually talk about BlizzCon 2017, just because that’s what we’re actually here for. And it’s true! We are totally here for our annual liveblog of the convention’s opening ceremonies and all the associated revelations.
Check out all of our coverage of this year’s BlizzCon, before, during, and after! We’ll be liveblogging five of the larger World of Warcraft-related panels: On Friday, we’ll be liveblogging the opening ceremony at 2 p.m. EDT, the “what’s next” WoW panel at 3:30 p.m. EDT, and the WoW gameplay panel at 7 p.m. EDT. On Saturday, we’ll be liveblogging the WoW art panel at 3:45 p.m. EDT and the WoW live Q&A at 7 p.m. EDT. Check back here as each post goes live!
One of the few features Path of Exile
has traditionally lacked is an “easy” trading feature like an auction house, and that was by design
: Grinding Gear Games feared bot farming, lowered drop rates, and high gear disparities between players, to say nothing of the lesson taught by Diablo III’s
original launch. But players always find a way around the design, and as in many auctionless MMOs, players resorted to forum sales and whole websites devoted to facilitating the buying and selling of in-game gear.
“That’s where we are today,” GGG writes this week. “It’s easy to list items for trade, easy to search for items, and is often quite frustrating to complete a trade. This remaining frustration is the only thing standing in the way of trades being basically instant. While we understand that this sounds like a positive thing, we are very concerned regarding what will happen if that does eventuate. We have to prioritise the long-term health of Path of Exile.”
Consequently, the studio has now created its own version of the trade sites already run by players, though of course GGG’s is safer. It isn’t a full-fledged auction hall, however.
Tomorrowday, BlizzCon will be upon us, and this year we’re expecting a full reveal of the new expansion for World of Warcraft, still the most lucrative MMORPG in the world. It’s always a fun angle for our team to cover WoW, since to us, it’s just another MMO among hundreds, albeit an outsized one. Indeed, we have writers who strongly dislike everything about it and consider it directly or indirectly responsible many of the genre’s woes. Even so, there’s no denying that whatever WoW does next is a big deal for the MMO genre, even if you’re not a fan.
For this edition of Massively Overthinking – a bit of a special one for the site, as today marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of Massively-that-was – I’ve asked the staff to outline their hopes and fears for BlizzCon, for WoW and the studio’s other games, and especially what they want to see in the expansion itself!