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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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 Lawbreakers, Hyper Universe, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Pokemon Go, World of Tanks, DC Universe Online, Crossout, Monster Hunter World, Runes of Magic, Atlantica Online, Revelation Online, League of Legends, Crossfire, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, Path of Exile, and Dungeon Fighter Online, all waiting for you after the break!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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).
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
. Thanks to everyone who tipped this!