heroes of the storm

Official Site: Heroes of the Storm
Studio: Blizzard Entertainment
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: Fantasy MOBA
Business Model: F2P (Cash Shop)
Platform: PC, Mac

Junkrat is exploding into Heroes of the Storm

The parade of Overwatch characters porting straight over to Heroes of the Storm continues with the latest addition to the game, Junkrat. How does he play? Like Junkrat, that’s how. He throws around lots of bombs and makes things blow up and laughs at inappropriate times. That’s his whole deal, guys, it’s not like Overwatch has a rich narrative history to draw upon.

Oh, you were curious about mechanics? In that case you can hop down below and check out the preview video, that might be more straightforward.

Junkrat’s ability include the huge knockback of Concussion Mine (it can even fling people over terrain) and the bouncing explosive fun of Frag Grenades. If you’re familiar with the character in Overwatch, you’ll have a pretty clear picture of the general tone of his abilities if not the specifics; check out the preview before to see him blowing things up with style.

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Here’s the in-game swag you’re getting with a BlizzCon virtual ticket (including WoW mounts!)

How many of you buy the BlizzCon virtual ticket as much for the in-game swag as for the actual streams? Even if not, you’re still getting the loot, and Blizz has just dished out just what it is.

  • In World of Warcraft, you’re getting mounts, one for each faction. Hey, these are actually sweet. Better than the traditional minipet!
  • Diablo III fans will be whipping out the Murkomancer minipet.
  • In Overwatch? It’s a special Winston skin.
  • StarCraft II players are getting three cute SCV, probe, and drone skins.
  • Heroes of the Storm fans are also getting a mount.
  • And for Hearthstone, who even knows. You’re just being teased with a “mystery goodie.” “The Innkeeper’s not quite ready to show his hand quite yet,” quips Blizz.

So those are the in-game items you’ll score for your $40, which also gets you access to all the live video. The WoW, StarCraft II, and Overwatch items are already live, while the other games have yet to debut theirs. Will you be watching the festivities along with us?

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The BlizzCon schedule is out, and it sure has some World of Warcraft panels

Again, we caution our readers, as we did yesterday, that there is not any official announcement of an announcement regarding the next World of Warcraft expansion, except that you can expect one next month. But boy, there is a lot of World of Warcraft stuff on this year’s BlizzCon schedule. It’s up now, and while you’ll have to page through to November 3rd to see the actual schedule, you can see several WoW-themed panels that are also helpfully vague enough to not officially say there’s an expansion while also pretty strongly hinting at it.

Of course, those of you more concerned with Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, or Hearthstone still have some panels to look forward to. Those of you more concerned with StarCraft II or Diablo III should just feel sad. Check out the full schedule if you want to get an idea of what’s coming; it’s a little too early to formally announce that we’ll be doing our usual liveblogs, but that does seem likely.

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Rumor: Blizzard is buffing Battlenet with chat channels, offline mode

The dataminers at MMO-Champion may have just figured out one of the big reveals Blizzard has cooking for BlizzCon next month. It revolves around Battlenet: They’ve found a cavalcade of strings relating to grouping, plus icons and avatars, references to online/offline modes, and chat channel features, all pointing to a batch of new social features for the heretofore relatively featureless launcher.

Players are already calling it “guilds 2.0” and a “Discord clone,” which may not be bad things given that Battlenet is basically a lump taking up resources in your system tray as it stands, and there was certainly room for improvement of the friends lists that span multiple games. And the offline mode will certainly cheer up anybody who’s tired of that one guildie who still plays Heroes of the Storm bugging you every time you log into Diablo, am I right? Plus, if it’s keeping the name Battlenet (and it is), it deserves a bit of sprucing up.

Safe money’s on more info at BlizzCon in early November.

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Blizzard releases a proper Battle.net mobile app for Android and iOS

What is going on with Battle.net these days — if it is still being called that this week, that is? (It is.) It turns out that Blizzard’s game platform is growing legs and strutting out into the world.

The studio released a new Battle.net mobile app that ties into players’ accounts. While it won’t let you actually play any of the titles (for obvious reasons), you can use the app to access your friends list and bug them while they’re in-game. Blizzard also promoted the fact that you can “see what your friends are playing,” which smacks of stalker-talk, am I right?

“The Blizzard Battle.net Mobile App lets you stay connected with your friends wherever you are. Chat with friends, see what game they’re playing, and add new ones — right from your mobile device,” the studio said.

The free app is available on both iOS and Android.

Source: Wowhead

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The MOP Up: Monster Hunter World’s Tokyo reveals (September 24, 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!

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 LawbreakersHyper UniversePlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Pokemon GoWorld of TanksDC Universe OnlineCrossoutMonster Hunter WorldRunes of MagicAtlantica OnlineRevelation OnlineLeague of LegendsCrossfireHeroes of the Storm, OverwatchPath of Exile, and Dungeon Fighter Online, all waiting for you after the break!

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The MOP Up: PlayerUnknown’s Battleground and the fog of war (September 17, 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!

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 The Black DeathAstroneerOverwatch, Heroes of the StormTree of Life, War ThunderElder Scrolls OnlineHearthstoneWorlds AdriftArena of ValorPlayerUnknown’s BattlegroundsNeverwinterRagnarok MobileRappelzMaster X MasterSplatoon 2SkyforgeTravian, and Final Fantasy XI, all waiting for you after the break!

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Heroes of the Storm wants to keep its AI smart and adaptive

It’s quite possible you don’t think that AI is a big part of gameplay in Heroes of the Storm, but a lot of the game’s matches are played against AI opponents, and AI takes over when a player unexpectedly disconnects from the game. So it’s important for the game to have AI that is fast, responsive, and satisfying to play against or alongside. The latest development dispatch explains changes made to the AI and gives a broad overview of the way that the game keeps AI heroes engaging.

Rather than scripts, the game’s emerging new AI is controlled instead by coding conditions and scenarios, leading to a more organic experience that keeps the AI heroes putting the emphasis on player-controlled characters. AI opponents should be reactive and dynamic, calculating the safety and range of a given position and moving to better positions as they become available; the same basic process is used for accomplishing each goal on a given map. Check out the full article for more details about how the developers are making sure that AI opponents and allies still feel interesting to play against.

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Heroes of the Storm goes overboard with Kel’Thuzad video docs

Watch out if you are wandering into Heroes of the Storm territory this month, as a super-nerdcano is erupting thanks to the debut of Kel’Thuzad to the game. It wasn’t enough to merely toss this iconic villain into Blizzard’s MOBA, oh no; the studio felt that this occasion was on par with the Olympics or Eurovision and had to be documented. Thoroughly. And extensively.

So bear witness to the five-part saga of “Resurrecting Kel’Thuzad,” a video series that walks you through this momentous and historical event. Eh, we’ll cut Blizzard a little slack here — there have been a hundred or so devs that have worked on the Kel’Thuzad character, and poor Heroes needs to feel connected to its more popular siblings.

We’ve got the lineup for you after the break. If you watch all five — honor system here! — then boast about your mighty achievement in the comments.

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Heroes of the Storm bows before the force of Kel’Thuzad

He might be dead (several times over), but don’t count Kel’Thuzad out. The iconic World of Warcraft villain has been resurrected to become the latest champion for Heroes of the Storm.

This latest character will be a ranged burst mage that locks down enemies and rips them apart with all sorts of spells. He can root enemies, bind them with chains, fire off a bolt of death and decay, and blast enemies with frost nova.

Blizzard obviously sees this as a Big Deal, because it’s giving the Archlich of Naxxramas an immense amount of attention as due a character that’s been lurking about in the franchise for 20 years now. In fact, Kel’Thuzad even got an animated short and will be the focus of a five-part (!) series detailing his history and resurrection. Check out the beginning of all of this after the break.

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Drink in 20 glorious minutes of Blizzard Gamescom previews

While it’s no BlizzCon, Gamescom has become an increasingly important platform for Blizzard to share exciting news about its roster of games. And we’re guessing that since you’re sitting at home instead of strutting about in Germany, you aren’t going to be getting this information first-hand.

No matter; the studio put up a helpful 20-minute preview of its Gamescom news and offerings. This includes a look a Kel’Thuzad coming to Heroes of the Storm, excitement over Patch 7.3 in World of Warcraft, hype over the Junkertown map in Overwatch, and a new head-to-head mode for Hearthstone called Fireside Brawl.

It doesn’t look like there will be any show-stopping surprises, but it’s still good to see Blizzard out in full force for this show. Check it out after the break!

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WoW’s Garrosh Hellscream joins Heroes of the Storm

Orc faithful, one of your own has descended upon Heroes of the Storm: Garrosh Hellscream. Rawr. Everybody else, you can just have fun killing the peeps who roll him up.

Yep, Blizzard’s released World of Warcraft’s Garrosh as a playable hero this week. He’ll be bashing around with AoE melee damage, zerker-style healing, a wrecking ball attack, an irritating AoE slow, and even a nasty silence-plus-taunt ultimate.

He’s part of this week’s larger patch, which also tweaks the UI and chat, pulls the Hanamura map temporarily for reworks, flips the rest of the map rotation, and cops to stealth buffs to the Dragon Shire map. Check out Garrosh’s feature vid below!

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RuneScape is a massive hit on Twitch

Time and again, we here at Massively OP have noted how RuneScape seems to be incredibly underestimated by the larger MMO community. For how popular it is, it never seems to get the respect and attention from the core MMORPG community that its online contemporaries do.

That is, until you head over to Twitch. According to the June viewing charts over on NewZoo, the fantasy MMORPG drew in an astounding 6.7 million hours of viewership over that month alone. This is enough to put it in 11th place, well ahead of titles like Destiny, Minecraft, Black Desert, and H1Z1: King of the Kill. It’s RuneScape’s world — we only watch it from afar.

The top 10 of the viewership chart is filled with the usual suspects, including much of Blizzard’s roster (World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and Heroes of the Storm) and the dominant MOBAs of our time (League of Legends and Dota 2).

Source: NewZoo. Thanks Sally!

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