starcraft

See: The StarCraft series on Wikipedia and StarCraft II

Analyst Michael Pachter’s Overwatch League skepticism and other business tidbits

Everyone’s favorite gaming industry analyst Michael Pachter announced that his firm Wedbush is “skeptical that the Overwatch League will achieve much success,” noting that Blizzard’s multiplayer online shooter is “difficult to watch,” too expensive to buy, and unapproachable compared to other games. It gets worse: He also argues that “investors are overly optimistic” given the huge expense for running teams in a league like this one, the fact that Amazon got to Twitch first, and the likelihood that Blizzard will eventually collide with antitrust law (and the lack of relevant international law).

“The major sports leagues in the US are allowed to ‘collude’ with one another to some extent in order to limit player salaries; it is not clear that OWL will be subject to such an exemption, suggesting to us that a determined owner with a large pocketbook may be able to capture the world’s best players by guaranteeing large salaries.”

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Multiple countries will boycott the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games over e-sports concerns

Back in April, we wrote about how the Olympic Council of Asia and Alisports of China was aiming to bring e-sports to the Asian Games, reportedly the second-largest sporting event in the world, right behind The Olympics itself. In support of the move, the council cited the addition of e-sports to the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in September as a “demonstration” sport featuring multiple games, including Dota 2, Starcraft II, and Hearthstone.

That may be in jeopardy now, however. SuperData reported this week that multiple countries have now backed out of the e-sports section of the AIMAG competitions. South Korea’s e-sports division quit the event in May, followed by Australia in June and Thailand earlier in July. Thailand, we should note, blocked participation in part over health concerns and “fears related to gaming addiction,” but South Korea and Australia raised objections over the exit of the well-recognized International Esport Federation and the formation of a relatively unregulated Asian Esports Federation in its place, as well as objections over the recruitment process for teams, which appears to blur national lines.

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The MOP Up: SMITE sees a Divine Light (July 9, 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 Pokemon GoSplatoon 2Blade and SoulDragon’s Dogma OnlineClosers OnlineOverwatchVindictusMu OnlineWurm OnlineAstellia OnlineDofus PetsHellionSMITEStarCraftAionFinal Fantasy XI, and League of Legends, all waiting for you after the break!

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Don’t look now, but StarCraft’s HD remake is going to zerg your base

Thanks to job postings this wasn’t a complete surprise, but yesterday Blizzard officially confirmed that it will be releasing a high definition remake of its original and incredibly popular StarCraft.

StarCraft Remastered isn’t just a new coat of paint slathered over an aging frame, so how dare you say that. The team has given a graphical facelift to the original game and its Brood War expansion, provided resolution options up to 4K, improved the sound quality, and included leaderboards, matchmaking, player profiles, and cloud saving. You can also flip between the original and remastered version of the game with a single click.

As StarCraft is still being used in competitive e-sports arenas, this move definitely helps to extend the lifespan of the game. StarCraft Remastered is slated to arrive on August 14th and will cost $15. Players who pre-order will get extras in both the original and sequel.

Source: BusinessWire

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Perfect Ten: What the mainstream games media doesn’t get about MMORPGs

Ever since becoming an MMORPG player and especially since covering these games professionally, I’ve realized one of my greatest pet peeves is the attitude the broader video games media maintain toward our genre. I don’t want to accuse with too broad of a brush or construct a strawman here, but too often I’ve read articles covering MMOs as if the author were either worried about contracting some sort of horrible disease by even mentioning the game or suffering from a superiority complex about how much better other types of games were.

Somehow worse are the sites that employ a “token” MMO player as a writer, as if to foist this terrible genre on some lunkhead so that the rest of the staff can cover the latest groundbreaking edition of Call of Duty, Madden, or Battlefield.

See, I don’t claim that MMOs are better or worse than other video games, yet they do have something special that seems to elude journalists who sneer at grinds or roll their eyes at players foolish enough to care about these games. Sometimes it feels like nerds dumping on other nerds so that the first group can feel superior in some aspect of their life. I don’t know.

Today I’m going to attack my pet peeve head-on by listing 10 things the mainstream games media doesn’t get about why MMORPGs are special, beloved, and captivating.

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Diablo III shows Necromancer pack bonuses while Diablo II fan recreates game using StarCraft 2 engine

Are you thinking about picking up the Necromancer pack for Diablo III when it gets released? Blizzard hopes to sway you into the “yes” column by showing some of the extra goodies you’ll be getting if you buy this bundle.

The Necromancer pack includes the titular class, two more character slots, two additional stash tabs, a portrait frame, wings, a half-formed golem pet, a wings of the crypt guardian, and some banner options.

Meanwhile for those players who prefer the good old days of Diablo II, you might be interested in the new Curse of Tristram player mod that’s recreating the game using the StarCraft 2 engine. Check it out below!

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Overwatch celebrates first birthday with free-play weekend and GOTY edition

Overwatch is turning one year this month, so bust out your hipster camera and baby confections for a cake smash! Just kidding. Actually Blizzard is kicking off a huge promotion next week starting with a free play period over Memorial Day weekend and ending with the conclusion of season 4:

“In addition to Overwatch Anniversary, we will be holding another free-weekend from May 26th-29th. For this free weekend, we’re making Overwatch’s full roster of heroes and maps available for play in a variety of modes, including Quick Play, Custom Games, and the latest Weekly Brawl. Players will also have the ability to level up, earn Loot Boxes, and unlock a variety of different customization options. If players decide to purchase a copy of Overwatch after the free-weekend they will get to keep any progress made during the weekend.”

Wanna buy it after that? Maybe hold out for the GOTY edition, which launches the same day as the promo event for PC, Xbox One, and PS4. In it, you’ll find 10 loot boxes, plus Overwatch skins, Tracer in Heroes of the Storm, Baby Winston in World of Warcraft, Mercy’s Wings in Diablo III, new portraits in StarCraft II, and a special card in Hearthstone. ALL the cross-promotions. The new anniversary trailer’s down below.

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The MOP Up: SMITE’s console mea culpa (May 7, 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 Skyforge, EVE Online, IngressWar ThunderWorld of TanksWakfuLeague of LegendsSMITEGTA OnlineElsword OnlineWurm OnlineDarkfall: Rise of AgonWorlds AdriftCounter-Strike, SEAL Online, and Warspear Online, all waiting for you after the break!

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A new job listing for Blizzard suggests another mobile title is in the works

Is there a Blizzard franchise you want to carry around in your pocket? Obviously, you can already play Hearthstone on your phone, but perhaps you’d like to play a version of Overwatch where you’re tracking down and shooting Omnics in the real world, or perhaps a version of Diablo allowing cross-client progression. Whatever the case may be, we don’t know that another mobile title is on the way, but considering the company is hiring for a new mobile software engineer, it seems likely.

While it’s unlikely to be a completely new title, there have been rumblings for a while that either Overwatch or StarCraft would lend themselves to mobile offerings. That could mean it’s one of those two, or it could be another crossover property like Heroes of the Storm. Or even a mobile port of the original StarCraft (stranger things have happened). It’s all speculative at the moment, but if you enjoy playing on your phone, it’s all positive speculation.

Source: Job listing via PCGamesN

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StarCraft: Brood War is now available for free as a Blizzard Classic

The year was 1998. Bill Clinton was the president of the United States of America. Everyone spent an enormous amount of time and money on watching a movie about a sinking boat. Google is founded. The second Harry Potter book is published. Absolutely no one dances the Charleston. And StarCraft: Brood War is the hip new release by the scrappy underdogs at Blizzard. It also costs money, because every video game costs money at that point. But it doesn’t cost money any more; Blizzard has made the title free as part of its classic games collection.

If you’ve never played the game, you can download it and start playing right now to experience everything therein as it was originally released, minus the CD case (and the remarkably thick instruction book that came with the base game). This comes in advance of the upcoming rerelease and remastering of the classic games, so expect the title to seem just a little bit dated. But it’s also classic StarCraft for free, which means that some people (including this writer) can stop carting around the same game discs from nineteen years ago.

Source: Gamasutra

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Blizzard has opened an e-sports stadium in Taiwan

Blizzard already has an unlicensed amusement park — so why not a licensed stadium?

That’s indeed exactly what the company has built in Taiwan. The so-called Blizzard eStadium (seriously, I thought this was an April Fools’ Day joke at first, but no) apparently seats 250 fans and is stuffed with swag and snacks.

This weekend, Blizzard will use the new venue to kick off the Overwatch Pacific Championship, the regional sub-tourney that ultimately leads to the Overwatch World Cup at BlizzCon this fall.

“The venue will expand to host matches from other games in Blizzard’s competitive retinue, like HearthStone and StarCraft 2,” reports Engadget via its Chinese branch.

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Blizzard is rolling out StarCraft: Remastered for hardcore fans

It’s been a very long time since StarCraft was first released. By this point, the original game is just part of the landscape, and the gameplay itself has aged pretty well. The game has not, however; it was never really designed for modern systems, and the graphics look like a blurry mess between story cutscenes that are literally talking heads on monitors. It’s the sort of game that’s ripe for an upgrade with a delicate touch, something that doesn’t touch the actual game but adjusts the metaphorical wrapper. You know, like what Blizzard announced for StarCraft: Remastered.

No changes will be made to the actual gameplay, game balance, or so forth of StarCraft with this release; however, the developers are promising modern matchmaking and Blizzard app integration along with redone graphics (complete with the ability to zoom in and out), re-recorded audio and music, and new comic book-style scenes between missions to tell the story more organically. If you’ve never really moved on from the game, this is unambiguously good news; you can put your long-in-the-tooth Brood War CD away and still get all of the same actual gameplay.

Source: Blizzard press release

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Heroes of the Storm introduces supercute StarCraft ‘hero’ Probius

Say what you will about Blizzard, but the studio knows how to make wordless bots adorable. Such is the case for Probius, the newly announced next hero for MOBA Heroes of the Storm — and yes, he’s really a Protoss drone from StarCraft. He’ll be warping and buffing and disrupting and making little Artoo noises on the PTR next week starting on March 6th.

I can’t wait to see what sort of funky porn people come up with for this lil dude. No, actually, I can totally wait. On second thought, how about a nice themed plushie?

Check out the video below!

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