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

The MOP Up: ARK's console editions get a hair-do (March 26, 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 Destiny, Eternal CrusadeElder Scrolls LegendsHearthstonePokemon GoMU LegendLineage IIARKUltima OnlineSword of ShadowsGhost Recon WildlandsRagnarok OnlineHeroes and GeneralsElsword, and Dota 2, all waiting for you after the break!

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Blizzard is raising prices for World of Warcraft and Hearthstone players in the EU

If you're playing World of Warcraft or Hearthstone overseas, know that a partial fee hike is in your future.

While subs to WoW and the WoW Token will remain as they are, the cost of admittedly already expensive services like faction swaps, name changes, and server transfers will increase in some cases by up to 25%.

A quick look at the math shows that the prices are now more in line with what U.S. players were already paying. Changes take effect on April 5th.

Blizzard told players it was making the "changes based on regional market conditions." PC Gamer calls it "likely a reaction to post-Brexit exchange rates that have gutted the value of the pound" and not helped the low euro. Let's throw in some color too: Reddit is less kind, calling it "profiteering," "absolutely disgusting," and "insanity."

The studio announced EU price increases for Hearthstone packs earlier this month.

Source: Blizzard, PC Gamer, Reddit. Thanks, Cotic!


Hearthstone debuts Un'Goro web series starring Community's Danny Pudi

Hearthstone's next big expansion is coming in April, but Blizzard doesn't want to wait to get the festivities going. The studio released the first episode of a short-form web series this week to promote Journey to Un'Goro.

The series stars Danny Pudi, who might be best known as Abed from TV's Community. Pudi plays Professor George H. Doyle, an explorer who has arrived in Un'Goro in search of extremely rare creatures.

Journey to Un'Goro will add 135 new prehistoric-themed cards to the popular game. Players looking for a deal on a bulk order can prepurchase 50 card packs for $50 (although this is limited to just one purchase per person). Check out the web series below!

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Japan and the US led mobile app sales in 2016

We're number one! No, actually, we're number two. And it's in mobile sales. Dammit.

That's according to AppAnnie, which on Friday released its 2016 rankings of mobile app publishes across the world. Japan and the US led the pack, followed by China, though it's China's Tencent that topped the publisher list itself thanks to its purchase of Clash of Clans dev Supercell last year.

"Year over year we see that Asian-Pacific publishers dominate the Top 52. This year was no exception, with 30 of the top publishers hailing from that region. But when we look at the country breakdown, it’s clear that the United States and Japan are producing some of the most influential and successful publishers."

US-based Activision-Blizzard is the fifth highest-revenue publisher on the list (thanks, Candy Crush and Hearthstone). Niantic, the dev behind last year's breakout Pokemon Go, comes in 10th place, ahead of Square Enix, Electronic Arts, and Sony.

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Hearthstone jacks up prices around the world

If you're deep into Hearthstone and you live outside of North America, you might find yourself more broke than usual. This is due to Blizzard raising the prices of card packs, adventure wings, and tickets in regions around the world.

In a post on the EU forums, Blizzard delivered the bad news: "We regularly look at our pricing around the world, and from time to time we make changes such as these to align with local and regional market conditions. The price of the Un’Goro prelaunch bundle offer will not be affected by this change and will remain the same until launch."

Polygon notes that the prices for affected customers are going up about 30%. The increased prices will affect players in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa starting March 22nd.


World of Warcraft tests dino madness, has its very first Mists of Pandaria timewalking event

Do you believe in coincidences? How about meticulously planned cross-media marketing synergies? Either way, prepare to have your mind oh-so-slightly blown as World of Warcraft tests its Un'Goro Madness event just a week after Blizzard revealed the upcoming Un'Goro-themed expansion for Hearthstone!

The micro-holiday, which isn't scheduled to arrive in WoW until this August, will populate Un'Goro crater with giant elite dinosaurs from all over the game. During the event, players are supposed to hunt down and kill these majestic beasts for their "adaptations." These adaptations give players strange temporary abilities, such as being unstuck in time and secreting toxins.

It should also be noted that today marks the very first run of the brand-new Mists of Pandaria timewalking dungeon events. Players can use the unique timewalking system to level scale to old dungeons and enjoy appropriate rewards.

If you don't mind spoilers, you can get an early preview of the Un'Goro event after the jump!

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Hearthstone dev performs an epic Un'Goro rap

Consider this your weekly public service announcement to remind you that game developers are people too -- weird, strange, and totally geeky people. As living proof, here's Hearthstone Game Director Ben Brode delivering a quirky and goofy rap about April's Journey to Un'Goro expansion.

The rap came about as the result of a fan petition for Blizzard to make some sort of official musical trailer for the expansion, which has become something of a tradition for the Hearthstone team. Brode was game, and wrote his own dorky three-minute rap, which you can watch below. Enjoy!

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Hearthstone confirms April Journey to Un'Goro expansion

Blizzard confirmed this afternoon that Hearthstone's next expansion is indeed Journey to Un'Goro as rumored. Everyone's favorite zone to get knocked off your mount in!

"Journey to Un’Goro will take adventurers to the heart of the Un’Goro crater, a prehistoric region of Azeroth preserved in time. Rumor has it that previous explorers left some unfinished business in Un’Goro—daunting quest cards that, should you complete their requirements, grant rewards of monstrous power. It’s also said that the crater’s dinosaurs can adapt to any threat through a newly discovered form of evolution, and can be quite territorial. Though you’ll be tested at every turn, worry not! Your safety is virtually guaranteed ... just make sure not to touch anything!"

Safety guaranteed! It has only done this once before.

Expect the expansion in April, though $50 pre-order bundles kick off tomorrowday.

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Hearthstone gives a helping hand to arena mode

Hearthstone's arena is getting some much-needed love from the developers in the hopes that players will flock back to this game mode.

The biggest change in store for arena in Update 7.1 is the switch from wild format to standard. This is being done because arena was getting a little too wild, apparently: "Attempting to create decks that utilize these meaningful synergies in a wide and diluted card pool will become more and more difficult as the wild card pool grows larger."

But wait, that's not all! Arena will be tossing in a higher percentage of rare cards, pushing out more spell cards than before, holding back boring neutral classic cards, and including players' own golden card visuals if any are owned.

The update should be coming before the end of the month, so keep your eyes peeled!


World of Warcraft announces the end of support for Windows XP and Vista

Like the dinosaurs and giant shoulderpads in women's suits, World of Warcraft support for two older Windows operating systems is about to become extinct.

Blizzard announced this past weekend that it will be discontinuing support for Windows XP and Vista in all of its titles, including World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and Hearthstone. The studio said that it will begin the process of all this sometime later this year. The studio noted that Microsoft hasn't been supporting these operating systems for many years now.

"After these older operating systems are no longer supported, the games will not run on them, so we encourage any players who are still using one of the older OSes to upgrade to a newer version. We’ll be rolling out this change on a staggered schedule, and will post further notices as we get closer to making the change for each game," Blizzard posted.

Source: Official forums. Thanks, Reht!


The MOP Up: Hearthstone gets ready to banish dozens of cards (February 19, 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 Overwatch, League of LegendsEVE OnlineMabinogi DuelSpace EngineersIngressEternal CrusadeElder Scrolls OnlineFinal BladeHearthstoneGod Eater OnlineDrakensang Online, and EVE Valkyrie, all waiting for you after the break!

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Blizzard launcher beefs up Facebook integration

Blizzard really, really wants its game launcher to be best friends with your Facebook account.

The studio has introduced a new version of the beta launcher that beefs up and adds several features that interface with your Facebook account. The big new one is being able to suggest friends will hook you up with your Facebook friends that also play Blizzard titles, but there are new streaming options and a different way of grouping your pals on your friends list as well.

"Suggested friends will provide users with new and easy ways to make new friends on Battle.net," Blizzard said. "Facebook friend finder will allow users who have linked their Facebook account with their Battle.net account to find and add them as Battle.net friends.


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