hearthstone

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Official Site: Hearthstone
Studio: Blizzard Entertainment
Launch Date: March 11, 2014
Genre: MMOTCG
Business Model: F2P (Cash Shop)
Platform: PC, Mac, Mobile

Hearthstone’s Ice Cream Citadel is chilling at SDCC

Proving once again there’s no end to the Hearthstone gimmicks and pranks it will pull, Blizzard has announced Ice Cream Citadel, a pop-up ice cream stand at San Dieco Comic-Con this week, all in honor of Knights of the Frozen Throne.

“Located in the PetCo parking lot just a short walk from the San Diego Convention Center, Ice Cream Citadel will provide visitors with free ice cream in two flavors: ‘Villain-illa’ and ‘Scourgeberry Sorbet.’ In partnership with Yelp, Blizzard has also created a Yelp business page for the pop-up, titled ‘The Lich King’s Ice Cream Citadel,’ where users can rate, review, and post photos of their experience. Starting July 18, those brave enough to call the business (1-855-LIC-HKNG) will be greeted by the Lich King’s chilling voice.”

Of course there’s a live-action trailer to go with it. Maybe fallen Arthas will be better as a soda jerk than as a game dev? And you guys thought our puns were terrible!

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Multiple countries will boycott the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games over e-sports concerns

Back in April, we wrote about how the Olympic Council of Asia and Alisports of China was aiming to bring e-sports to the Asian Games, reportedly the second-largest sporting event in the world, right behind The Olympics itself. In support of the move, the council cited the addition of e-sports to the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in September as a “demonstration” sport featuring multiple games, including Dota 2, Starcraft II, and Hearthstone.

That may be in jeopardy now, however. SuperData reported this week that multiple countries have now backed out of the e-sports section of the AIMAG competitions. South Korea’s e-sports division quit the event in May, followed by Australia in June and Thailand earlier in July. Thailand, we should note, blocked participation in part over health concerns and “fears related to gaming addiction,” but South Korea and Australia raised objections over the exit of the well-recognized International Esport Federation and the formation of a relatively unregulated Asian Esports Federation in its place, as well as objections over the recruitment process for teams, which appears to blur national lines.

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Hearthstone’s Lich King is the game designer we deserve

One gets the feeling Blizzard isn’t taking promotion of Hearthstone’s Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion too seriously, what with its latest video in which Arthas-turned-Lich-King interviews for a job at Blizzard and insults the studio as a “sweltering bastion of flannel.” Your jokes about qualifications to work on Blizzard’s games go right… here.

Blizzard has been tweaking the OTCG ahead of the expansion, however, with tweaks to some older cards (including Caverns Below) to keep them competitive once everyone’s busy whipping out the KOTFT card packs already up for pre-purchase. The video is below.

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Could Blizzard be working on offline modes for its games?

Imagine one day sitting down at your computer, firing up the Blizzard launcher, and choosing to play World of Warcraft or Diablo III… offline. Yeah, it’ll probably never happen, but how weird would that be?

The Blizzard community is scratching its head this week off of some datamined commands in Hearthstone that allow the player to set his or her account to “appear offline” to friends. While this may indeed merely be a privacy toggle, it’s gotten some musing whether this indicates that Hearthstone — and any other Blizzard titles — might include an actual offline mode in the future.

While we ponder that, there is one thing we know for certain: You can use the Blizzard launcher today to link up with the Destiny 2 community prior to the game’s release this fall. By linking a Blizzard account with a Bungie one, Activision players can be eligible for giveaways and hook up with clans.

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Hearthstone’s next expansion is Knights of the Frozen Throne

Will Hearthstone have as much success in the frozen northlands as World of Warcraft did with Wrath? We’re about to find out, as last night Blizzard announced Knights of the Frozen Throne is the name of the card battler’s next big expansion.

“In Knights of the Frozen Throne™, Azeroth’s greatest heroes are called to Northrend once again to battle the Lich King . . . in the tavern! Blizzard Entertainment’s newest Hearthstone® expansion brings players to the Icecrown Citadel, where they will encounter terrifying bear sharks, ridiculous geists, indigenous Tuskarr ice fishermen, and the mysterious influence of runic magic. With 135 icy new cards, the tavern is about to get a whole lot cooler!”

Among the highlights of the expansion are new legendary hero cards, the Lifesteal keyword, and free Northrend-themed missions (“including a prologue, two wings of three bosses, and a final epic showdown against The Lich King himself”). The whole shebang launches in August, alongside a prepurchase 50-card bundle that by itself costs $49.99. The new pics and trailer are down below!

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Warframe posts drop rates for all its loot, hoping to ‘start a trend’

Warframe’s Digital Extremes is joining the very small list of online game developers being transparent about just what’s in their lockboxes, lootboxes, gambleboxes, lootcrates, or whatever you want to call them. In fact, the data dump it’s produced actually covers all loot drops rates in the game, something researchers have been calling for.

Warframe is free! Which means our drop system is designed to maintain a balance,” DE writes. “Our free players can earn the game’s content, and our paying players who support us with purchases usually get first dibs on the content by using Platinum (which can be traded to free players)! As far as we can tell… we are the first developers to post something quite like this – correct us if we’re wrong! Let’s hope it works out for us and we may start a trend.”

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The MOP Up: Warframe’s Chains of Harrow (July 2, 2017)

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!

This week we have stories and videos from Dota 2Destiny 2Battleground EuropeArcheAgeOrbus VRFinal Fantasy XIHearthstoneTERATibiaElsword OnlineOsiris New DawnLeague of LegendsAstroneerSMITEWarframeThe Black Death, and Gloria Victis, all waiting for you after the break!

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Hearthstone nerfs bothersome Quest Rogue deck, skirts around Chinese lockbox regulations

Following Hearthstone’s most recent expansion, Journey to Un’Goro, one deck has come to dominate pretty much all others — and Blizzard now says that it is high time it left the meta.

The studio announced that it would be nerfing the key card behind the “Quest Rogue” deck to stop this runaway train: “The Caverns Below is uniquely powerful versus several slower, control-oriented decks and played often enough that it’s pushing those decks out of play. This change should help expand the deck options available to players both now and after the release of the next expansion.”

Meanwhile, over in China Blizzard has had to employ a… creative solution to get around a law that forces video game companies to state the odds obtaining desired items in lockboxes (of which Hearthstone’s card packs are considered). Instead of allowing players to purchase packs directly, Blizzard now encourages players to buy quantities of arcane dust, after which they will be gifted “free” packs that require no such revelations.

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Hearthstone changes up card packs to make it easier to collect new cards

There’s nothing quite like opening up a new card pack in Hearthstone only to find multiples of the same rare you already have and didn’t want the first time. That’s why the game is changing how card packs work to make collecting a set easier. First and foremost, players will no longer have to worry about getting duplicate Legendary cards until they already have all of the Legendary cards collected; if you get a Legendary, it’ll be new. Second, you’re assured a Legendary within the first 10 card packs you open for each given set.

Thirdly, players will no longer get more copies of a card in a given pack than can be used in a single deck, so you won’t find yourself flooded with copies of cards you do not and will not ever need. There’s also a limited-time promotion on card packs, offering more packs for the same price, which seems like a perfect motivator if you’re still trying to get one or two elusive options.

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E3 2017: Hands-on with Dauntless shows it’s more than a Monster Hunter clone

Phoenix Labs’ not-Monster Hunter monster-hunting game Dauntless is obviously standing in a big shadow after E3 2017. I wasn’t yet fully aware of what Monster Hunter World was doing, but I’ve seen solid games lose to their larger rivals who are slower to innovate in the past. Capcom, while constantly disappointing Mega Man fans, is generally quite good with its co-op hunting series. RaiderZ, a Perfect World published not-MH game that also tackled the monster hunter genre, made minor changes to the formula and came as an actual MMO but still shut down. Though the Phoenix Labs guys weren’t aware of RaiderZ‘s failure, they seemed barely fazed by Capcom’s announcement, and maybe they’re right. Surprisingly, they’ve innovated a few things Capcom itself is doing while also adding a few things Capcom isn’t.

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Blizzard partners with Twitch for tourney coverage, gives away free Overwatch loot boxes

Two of gaming’s forces are partnering up, at least for the next year or so, and players might come out on top of the whole deal. Twitch announced that it has signed a deal to be “the exclusive third-party streaming platform for more than 20 Blizzard tournaments.” In return, Blizzard is going to be giving out some goodies through the platform and probably using the word “Twitch” in every fifth sentence of press releases.

To start things off on a good foot, Overwatch players who have access to Twitch Prime can enjoy a free golden loot box that contains a guaranteed legendary item. You do have to own Overwatch to redeem this loot box (which should be obvious, but hey, there’s always that one guy who doesn’t get it).

Twitch said that this is just the beginning of the Blizzard parade: “Over the coming months, Twitch Prime members will receive 10 more loot boxes containing more in-game content. Similar promotions for Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone players are coming later this year.”

Source: Twitch #1, #2. Thanks to everyone who tipped this!

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Hearthstone patches in decklist importing and quests with friends

If you’ve ever found yourself wishing that it wer easier to just import a decklist and go to town with a new deck in Hearthstone, good news! The latest patch adds in support for importing and copying decklists, so you can try out the cool deck someone else showed off or let others try out the deck you’re running. You can even do so in a more comfortable environment, as the game allows you to complete most of the game’s quests with the Friendly Challenge feature accessed via your friend list.

The patch also adds in a new card back for placing at rank 20 or higher during June’s ranked play, and it adds a variety of quality-of-life features like gold cards stacking with normal cards and gold hero borders for alternate heroes. It might not be a new batch of cards, but it’s a patch to make it that much easier to sling virtual cards with friends and others, which is a good thing in the long run.

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The Witcher card game Gwent enters open beta

There seems to be a very rabid, very enthusiastic community that’s developed around CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher (particularly its third installment), to the point where it might be making BioWare a little nervous. And if you have a hit IP franchise with its own TV series on the way, why not make a few extra bucks by developing a spin-off? Perhaps a digital card game, hm?

Possibly taking a cue from how Hearthstone drew off of World of Warcraft, Gwent is a card game set in the world of The Witcher. The card game just went into public beta on PC and console earlier this week, offering players a chance to see what makes this game different from its competition.

One interesting upcoming feature is that Gwent will feature a rich story mode: “Brought to you by the creators of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the single player campaign of Gwent thrusts players into an event-rich world they can roam freely. To be released in episodes, the story unfolding in the campaign will feature the choice and consequence mechanic the Witcher games are known for.”

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