hots

See: Heroes of the Storm

The Soapbox: Do MMOs still fall victim to the copycat curse?

When Radical Heights launched, I was inspired to put together a whole Perfect Ten about why trend-chasing doesn’t work for online games. Obviously, my chief focus was on games that wind up being developed at a rushed pace to cash in on trends and then run face-first into problems with chasing momentary trends, which… you know, you can just read the article; it’s linked right there. But it also prompted a follow-up question by longtime reader Sally Bowls asking why, with all of these issues, why the same rules don’t apply to MMOs.

The answer? Well, there isn’t one answer. There are three answers, all of which are part of the same set of considerations. For one thing, there’s the difference of development time and depth. For another, there’s the time before grinding. And last but not least, well… they do apply, really. But let’s take this piece by piece to talk about why trend-chasing for MMOs doesn’t quite provoke the same immediate reactions as it does for, say, MOBAs.

Read more

Heroes of the Storm brings players into the Alterac Pass battleground, bans miscreants

There is a lot of stuff in Heroes of the Storm that’s meant as an homage to classic bits of Blizzard games, but the new Alterac Pass battleground is… well, an homage to Alterac Valley. Which is an actual battleground. So it’s like playing something that’s a more direct patch over from the original, although it seems unlikely that Alterac Pass will devolve into both teams ignoring one another and racing for the faction leaders at top speed.

Also, Alterac Valley features very few British lesbians who can teleport or armored space mercenaries with flamethrowers, so that’s a bit different.

True to the inspiration, players will no longer be rushing the enemy core but will deal with the enemy generals as they capture graveyards, take out forts, and generally weaken the other team’s defenses. Check out the preview trailer for the new map just below, and remember: if you want to take part in a battle in HotS, you are expected to actually take part in that battle. Blizzard has just banned a number of people for the crime of joining matches and then either going AFK, refusing to participate, or intentionally dying. So be fairly warned that joinging without intent to play will, well, stop you from playing.

Read more

Blizzard roundup: World of Warcraft lore, Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm balance, and Overwatch LEGO sets

Who’s ready for some news about Blizzard? Because boy, there’s a lot of it! Want some new World of Warcraft lore about Jaina? There’s a new comic out to explain why she is the way she is (this expansion, anyhow, because how the writers want her to act changes with the weather). Those of you who would like a more magic-happy version of Jaina, though, should just hop on over to Hearthstone… after checking out the newest balance changes incoming to the game.

Meanwhile, Heroes of the Storm has a new patch out which brings with it a brand-new event, Nexomania! (It’s a luchadore reference, for those unclear.) And Overwatch is going further in the toy field than we even considered, with upcoming LEGO sets featuring minifigures of several well-known characters. So you can play with them all the time!

Oh, and Diablo III is about ready to end its thirteenth season. Yes, that’s the Diablo life these days.

Read more

The MOP Up: Diablo levels up in Heroes of the Storm (May 13, 2018)

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 Heroes of the StormElder Scrolls Online, DayZEVE Online, Pokemon Go, Dota 2City of HeroesFinal Fantasy XIVPortal KnightsLineage 2 RevolutionWizard101Ingress, and Reign of Guilds, all waiting for you after the break!

Read more

ActiBlizz Q1 2018 financial report: WoW is actually outperforming expectations – time for a fourth yacht or no?

Reporting on Activision-Blizzard’s endless piles of money is about as much fun as reporting on how fifty-bajillion-zillion people are playing fork knife. No, I said that wrong; it’s about as much fun as taking a fork and a knife to my own eyeballs. But hey, it’s tradition, so here goes: Bobby Kotick and the gang have announced new records, measured in said piles of money; the company acknowledges it was a quarter “without large content releases” that nevertheless produced enough piles of money to surpass its own guidance, leading it to raise its outlook for more piles of money for the year.

“For the quarter ended March 31, 2018, Activision Blizzard’s net revenues presented in accordance with GAAP were a Q1 record $1.97 billion, as compared with $1.73 billion for the first quarter of 2017. GAAP net revenues from digital channels were an all-time quarterly record $1.46 billion. GAAP operating margin was 30%. GAAP earnings per share were an all-time quarterly record $0.65, as compared with $0.56 for the first quarter of 2017. […] Activision Blizzard’s operating margin was 39% and earnings per diluted share were an all-time quarterly record $0.78, as compared with $0.72 for the first quarter of 2017. […] Operating cash flow was a Q1 record $529 million, up 29% year-over-year.”

Read more

You can gift people Blizzard Balance now, but not your own Blizzard Balance

If you have a ton of money sitting in your Blizzard account and nothing to spend it on, you have probably eagerly awaited the ability to gift that to people. The good news is that balance gifting is now possible, so if you want to give someone $30 in money to use on something within the various Blizzard games from World of Warcraft to Heroes of the Storm, you can do that now. The bad news is… you can’t do that from your actual balance. You have to buy it separately.

Yes, it’s just a little bit absurd, but that’s the route they’ve chosen. There are two different checkout options to add the funds to your own account or gift them to another account, and you have to choose the latter to give it to someone else. You also cannot buy a token in WoW and hand it to someone else, so that workaround won’t work out either. But, hey, at least the gifting option is there!

Comment

Heroes of the Storm updates players on balance and competitive rankings

If you feel as if the Heroes of the Storm team has been worse than it should be about communicating with the playerbase and explaining how issues are being handled, the good news is that the development team agrees with you. The latest letter from the team notes that communication has been worse than it should be, and it outlines a number of steps being taken to improve match balance, like the addition of a new ban pick during the mid-ban phase.

Other areas are still being discussed; intentionally dying during a match is a form of toxic behavior, for example, and the team is still working on the best method of sussing out when someone is intentionally dying rather than just not staying alive. The team is also looking into the right balance to strike for time in the queue vs. match quality, something that comes up especially on the highest skill levels. Check out the full rundown for an idea of where the game is going from here.

Comment

BlizzCon 2018 has a date: The weekend of November 2nd

Blizzard fans, this year’s BlizzCon has a date, and that day is November 2nd and 3rd, almost three months after the launch of World of Warcraft’s Battle for Azeroth, meaning you won’t even be missing much grinding time to attend, and you can count on lots of post-mortemy-type panels rather than endless teasers. On the other hand? E-sports, e-sports, e-sports.

“This year’s event will again commence with the esports action of BlizzCon Opening Week, taking place at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles from October 25 to 29, where the initial rounds of the StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals, the Heroes of the Storm Global Championship Finals, and World of Warcraft Arena World Championship Finals will unfold. The competitions will culminate in Anaheim on November 2 and 3, where the champions of these tournaments along with those of the Overwatch World Cup and Hearthstone Global Games will be crowned.”

Last year’s event was sold out, so if you’re aiming to go, jot down these even more important dates: May 9th and 12th, when tickets will go on sale.

Read more

Diablo’s Deckard Cain joins the cast of Heroes of the Storm

Don’t skip this article — stay a while and listen!

The big news for Heroes of the Storm this week is that Blizzard is bringing over one of its most iconic characters from the Diablo franchise to fight for players. That’s right, Deckard Cain is back (even though he didn’t quite make it out of Diablo III alive) and coming to the MOBA this month.

Cain is a setup healer who assists allies and keeps foes out of range with his various spells, potions, and boring stories. Seriously. And if the Diablo geek factor wasn’t high enough, Cain even hauls out the Horadric Cube as a weapon. Check out his hero spotlight after the break!

Read more

Heroes of the Storm introduces Fenix and StarCraft anniversary content

The anniversary of the original StarCraft is getting celebrated in multiple games, and Heroes of the Storm is outright bringing one of its major characters to the field. Fenix is now available in the live game, alongside a balance pass aimed to bring his numbers down slightly from where they had been on the test realm. Don’t worry, he’s still just as flexible a Dragoon as he’s ever been, and his shields will still be hard to cut through while he barrages the enemy team. Just as always.

Balance changes also arrive for Tracer and Varian Wrynn in this build, with Tracer getting slightly retuned to lose some mobility while needing to stay closer to enemies for longer while Wrynn has his Heroic abilities moved lower. There are also the usual bug fixes and quality-of-life changes in the patch, so even if you have no interest in anniversaries or the heroes with balance changes, it’s still a worthwhile patch.

Comment

The MOP Up: Final Fantasy XIV gets primal (March 25, 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 Destiny 2ScumPokemon Go, OrbusVRDauntlessHeroes of the Storm, SkyforgeElswordOld School RuneScapeMapleStory BlitzDestiny 2The Elder Scrolls LegendsProsperous UniverseFinal Fantasy XIVMU LegendWakfu, and Dark and Light, all waiting for you after the break!

Read more

Heroes of the Storm puts Fenix up for testing

If you’ve been waiting for the day when you could have a Dragoon storming the battlefield in Heroes of the Storm, the time has finally arrived with the addition of Fenix to the game’s roster. He’s available on the game’s test server now as a ranged assassin, offering shield-based durability, teleportation, and some nasty abilities to punish overconfident targets. Best of all, you know that his death really is just a minor setback; it wasn’t a big one the first time, either.

There’s more coming to the game to celebrate 20 years of StarCraft, though, including new sprays, discounts on skins for existing heroes, and even a nice big bundle to award you with a bunch of thematic goodness all at once. Jump on below to see Fenix in action if you can’t hop on the test server right now, and don’t let yourself be distracted by instincts about how much vespene gas you require.

Read more

Blizzard teases decks in Hearthstone and characters in Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm

It’s time for a whole lot of new characters to smash into the fray in Blizzard’s various multiplayer offerings. Hearthstone doesn’t have characters, per se, but it does have deck types, and the game’s next expansion is delivering a whole new deck type with Odds & Evens. Yes, that’s where you have an entire deck consisting of cards with odd costs or even costs; you can check out the video below for more elaboration.

Overwatch, of course, does have new characters. Specifically, it has Brigitte, who as it turns out will be arriving in the game on March 20th. If you’ve been looking forward to playing the smashy warrior-healer on the live game, you’ll have your chance very soon.

Last but not least, the Heroes of the Storm team is promising another new hero in the form of Fenix, a character from StarCraft who got killed in the first few missions. Later, he came back in a giant spider robot carrying his dead body. (He was a Dragoon. It makes sense in context.) So that’s also fun, although we warn you that teams might not appreciate you saying “I return to serve” every time you respawn.

Read more

1 2 3 19