starcraft

See: The StarCraft series on Wikipedia and StarCraft II

MassivelyOP’s 2017 gift guide for the Blizzard fanatic

With the new expansion, official vanilla servers, and all of the other news from BlizzCon this year, it’s a great time to be a World of Warcraft fan. But Blizzard has other games too!

This year, our sales team has once again put together a couple of gift guides pertinent to our MMO readers. Please note that Amazon links are affiliate links and may grant a small commission to us, which is very much appreciated. Read to see some of the fun stuff you can get for the Blizzard-lover in your life!

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World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth sets a world record for its diorama

Turns out that World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is already setting records well before it releases. How? Well, it had a very nice diorama at BlizzCon. A very nice, very big diorama, one that featured a huge number of attendee characters individually printed in 3-D and arranged on the sprawling battleground between the Horde and the Alliance. And said “very big diorama” apparently qualified as the largest video game diorama ever at 1,300 square feet. That is a lot of individual characters in a single diorama.

No, your characters were not in the mix if you were not at BlizzCon. We’re sorry.

Meanwhile, StarCraft II has gone more or less completely free-to-play, and the team behind it has decided to take the opportunity to rather thoroughly troll the people behind Star Wars: Battlefront II’s notably less-than-free business model. This segues nicely into the game’s newest commercial, which couldn’t possibly have been made just to joke about that… but is still pretty funny all the same.

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StarCraft 2 unlocks free-to-play options, but it’s not completely free

First announced at BlizzCon earlier this month, StarCraft 2 is now free-to-play for anyone who would like to engage in Blizzard’s hit real-time strategy title.

This is free* with an asterisk, however; only the Wings of Liberty single-player campaign, all of its multiplayer content, and co-op commanders are included in this statement. The other three single-player campaigns have to be purchased separately**, although this comes with a double-asterisk to indicate that those who previously purchased Wings of Liberty can get Heart of the Swarm for free through December 8th.

Some players have noted that this isn’t technically the first time that StarCraft 2 offered a free-to-play option. The StarCraft 2 Arcade, which includes a fan-made MMO mod of the game, has cost nothing to use for quite some time now.

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Massively Overthinking: The best and worst of BlizzCon 2017

Last weekend, even Massively OP was obsessing over BlizzCon, and we thought it would be fun to poll the writers, including those who watched from the sideliness rather than diving into the liveblogging, on their assessments of the event, particularly as they pertain to the MMORPG industry. What were the highlights and lowpoints? Where do we stand on World of Warcraft’s new expansion and classic servers? Let’s dig in!

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BlizzCon 2016: Where’s the love for Diablo II and Warcraft III?

We were all prepared for the lack of Diablo III news from BlizzCon, in spite of the franchise’s huge following. But what we we didn’t anticipate was the demand for Diablo II and Warcraft III, especially in light of the announcement of World of Warcraft Classic and the free-to-play conversion of StarCraft II.

Turns out that Blizzard does have its eye on remastering both games, but it’s not ready yet. As Blizzard Senior Producer Peter Stilwell told PCGN, Warcraft III in particular needs a whole lot of balancing and a new map pool to satisfy tourney players.

And as for Diablo II? Hackers are the real threat.

“With Diablo [II] the big one is the botters and the spamming is out of control, [people asking] could we please fix that,” Stilwell admits. “Keep rolling seasons but maybe eventually be good enough at combating them that you see real names at the top of the leaderboard again.”

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Massively Overthinking: Hopes and fears for BlizzCon 2017

Tomorrowday, BlizzCon will be upon us, and this year we’re expecting a full reveal of the new expansion for World of Warcraft, still the most lucrative MMORPG in the world. It’s always a fun angle for our team to cover WoW, since to us, it’s just another MMO among hundreds, albeit an outsized one. Indeed, we have writers who strongly dislike everything about it and consider it directly or indirectly responsible many of the genre’s woes. Even so, there’s no denying that whatever WoW does next is a big deal for the MMO genre, even if you’re not a fan.

For this edition of Massively Overthinking – a bit of a special one for the site, as today marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of Massively-that-was – I’ve asked the staff to outline their hopes and fears for BlizzCon, for WoW and the studio’s other games, and especially what they want to see in the expansion itself!

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SuperData: ‘The esports market has finally hit the mainstream’

In promotional materials associated with its new paid “Esports Scoreboard,” gaming anaylsis firm SuperData – known best to our audience for its monthly revenue charts – has declared that “the esports market has finally hit the mainstream.” Though the associated marketing report is paywalled, some of the public statistics in the reveal are actually of interest.

For example, the company runs down the top 10 e-sports games by viewership, with League of Legends coming in at the top as of August. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which recently blasted past 2M concurrent players and 15M sales, clocked in at #2, but expect that to rise in future editions as the game’s exploded even more since then. The firm argues that PUBG, unlike many of the MOBAs and shooters dominating the rankings, “stands out from competitors because players spend most of their time in stealth mode instead of intense shootuts, giving streamers time to interact with their viewers.”

Blizzard’s had a strong showing, too, with Hearthstone, Overwatch, and StarCraft II all in the top ten; SuperData notes that Overwatch in particular will benefit from the offseason of Dota 2 and LoL.

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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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The MOP Up: Warframe battles cancer (September 3, 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 SWTORWarframeRappelzPlayerUnknown’s BattlegroundsStardew ValleyWorld of TanksStarcraft RemasteredArmored WarfareGuild Wars 2NeverwinterRuneScapePokemon GoDota 2Wakfu, and Skyforge, all waiting for you after the break!

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The MOP Up: State of Decay 2’s multiplayer mayhem (August 27, 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 Paladins StrikeWarfaceMonster Hunter WorldHeroes and Generals, Pirate101TroveSkyforgeThe Black DeathStar Trek OnlineEverClickerNeverwinterJust SurviveDauntlessBattlejackDungeon Fighter OnlineLeague of LegendsHyper UniverseDark Age of CamelotMU Origin, MU LegendEVE OnlineAge of WushuState of Decay 2Dota 2Splatoon, and Starcraft Remastered, all waiting for you after the break!

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Wild Buster is a new MMO made by Mad Libs, apparently

If you can’t create anything new, just slap together a lot of other things until you get something that sounds and feels vaguely fresh. Hey, we’re not knocking that approach; there have been a lot of wonderful games made that way.

So that’s why we’re trying to keep an open mind about Wild Buster, a newly announced title that incorporates mechanics and style from MMORPGs, MOBAs, action RPGs, and what looks to be a thinly veiled adoration of StarCraft. Developed by Nuri Works and published by Insel Games (Guardians of Ember), Wild Buster allows gamers to choose a specific hero to fight through waves of enemy mobs and enemy players, depending on one’s preference.

The game’s already been out for a while in Korea, but now Insel is working on bringing it to the west at an unspecified date. Early access for Wild Buster will begin next month, and fans should expect an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign this week to help with the localization and gameplay adjustments.

Check out the teaser trailer after the break!

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Korea’s FTC to investigate Blizzard’s StarCraft: Remastered hourly fees

The Korean StarCraft community is up in arms this week over Blizzard’s rerelease of the game — more specifically, its plan to effectively double-dip into the pockets of the very internet cafe culture that’s kept StarCraft a household name into 2017.

The Korean Herald reports that South Korea’s PC bang association has petitioned Korea’s Fair Trade Commission to intervene, arguing that Blizzard is improperly double-charging an hourly fee for StarCraft: Remastered when they’ve already long since paid a flat fee for the StarCraft license.

The bangs point out that they’ve been forced to install the upgraded version because of stability issues; but for that, they say, the upgraded version contains no new content and isn’t worthy of new fees, alleging that Blizzard is “misappropriating its superior market status to push unfair measures to PC bang owners, most of which are small-sized business owners.”

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