PAX East 2014 Exclusive: The Game Design Behind Li Li, Brightwing, Murky, Zagara & HotS

Posted by on April 18, 2014 - No Comments »

If you’ve followed Blizzard Entertainment, oh, for the last twenty years or so, you know that the company tends to keep everything close to its chest. Not so with its latest crop of games. Starting with Diablo III: Reaper of the Souls, the company has been very open about its development ideas, unleashing open betas and early access to the masses before quick launches. Hearthstone’s rampant development and openness appears to have set a new precedent as we move further into alpha development of Heroes of the Storm.

Still in the early technical alpha stage, a three person team of Game Director Dustin Browder, Senior Game Producer Kaeo Milker and Art Director Phill Gonzales were more than happy to parlay with iTZKooPA on the game design philosophy, skin direction and what sets Heroes of the Storm apart from other MOBAs. That last one came with some stock answers, but the rest was eye opening in a the casual conversation with the trio of Blizzard folk adventurous enough to come somewhere that sees actual blizzards.

Hit the jump to watch Dustin get giddy over Murky, Kaeo describe Li Li’s support capabilities and general shenanigans. Read more…

Don’t Get Sleepy with SMITE Patch 1.02091.1: Kumbakharna Awakes

Posted by on April 17, 2014 - No Comments »

I’ll admit, this new Hindu god sure makes me sleepy just trying to figure out how to pronounce his name. Is it KHUM-bah-karn-ah or KOOM-bha-karn-ah? I don’t know – and I think he barely knows as well considering he’s barely awake even for the team fights!

This patch also brings Isis a new skin; which is something she’s been begging for since she was first released.

Things of note this patch:

  • Updated tech for the client – it runs super smooth now (I doubled my framerate at maximum settings)
  • Qin’s Sais is back (finally); returning to its original passive of extra damage based on the target’s max health.
  • Bastet & Zhong Kui received a small nerf
  • Chaac is no longer immune to damage during his ult & Vamana no longer receives cooldown reduction on his ultimate
  • Odin, Thor, and Nemesis received sizable nerfs
  • Thor was given a slight buff

After the cut, watch the God Reveal video for Kumbakharna. Then check out the rest of the details in this patch.

Read more…

PAX East 2014 Exclusive: Hearthstone Dives into Naxxramas, iPad (Video)

Posted by on April 17, 2014 - No Comments »

Hey, east coasters, you’re on notice from here on out. Blizzard Entertainment, a company rarely seen outside its home coast largely comprised of its home state of California, made the cross continental trek to Boston, MA this past weekend. Those dedicated developers and marketers brought with them all the big properties, from World of Warcraft to Heroes of the Storm, Diablo III and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. And that’s exactly what we have for you today.

Sneaking into the private upstairs room like any talented rogue – or his namesake Hearthstone card Kieron the Loaner – iTZKooPA scored a demo session of the just-released iPad version – go play, you get a free deck of cards! – and, more importantly, a full rundown of the Curse of Naxxramas.

Seriously, that raid just won’t freaking die already! All this and more after the cut. Read more…

Neverwinter: Curse of Icewind Dale Release Date Announced!

Posted by on April 17, 2014 - No Comments »

I’ve been playing Dungeons and Dragons … well, for a really long time now. First with the pen and paper basic red box, throwing around some dice with my buddies, then I picked up video games when they started coming out, starting with Pools of Radiance, and moving on down. I played Neverwinter Nights – the original one on AOL as well as BioWare’s version – one might say that I’m as familiar with Faerûn and Toril as I am with North America and Earth.

And next month, on May 13th, I’ll be able to wander into Icewind Dale once again! Read more…

PAX East 2014 Exclusive: Star Trek Timelines Revives “Who’s your favorite Captain?” Debate

Posted by on April 17, 2014 - No Comments »

That’s right, just mere minutes into his interview with Disruptor Beam CEO Jon Radoff, iTZKooPA hit the genius behind Game of Thrones: Ascent with the divisive question. You’ll have to watch to catch that reaction and so much more juicy information on the just-announced multiplatform title.

However, as the astute Star Trek fans will notice, the pair are on the bridge of the Enterprise as it was seen in The Next Generation, yet the two largest stars from the original Star Trek are on the bridge. What gives? Well, that’d be where the Timelines subtitle comes in. Disruptor Beam has at its disposal the entire Star Trek intellectual property, from alternate dimensions to worlds beyond worlds at its disposal.

Gameplay details are light, but Radoff bounces off the success of Game of Thrones: Ascent to coyly detail how he’s designing the multiplatform Star Trek Timelines. The whole interview is beyond the cut. Read more…

PAX East 2014 Exclusive: Infinite Crisis Competing in the Cramped MOBA Genre & Launch Date

Posted by on April 16, 2014 - 1 Comment »

Creative Director Cardell Kerr and iTZKooPA kick off their latest interview discussing the rise of Infinite Crisis and how it has begun to attract eSports attention well before its release. Need evidence? Simply listen carefully to the background noise featuring an on-going match on the other side of a wall!

With thousands of gamers rediscovering Infinite Crisis after numerous patches, polish and balance changes, it couldn’t be more important for Kerr to reestablish what sets IC apart, aside from the use of the DC universe, including the multiverse storyline. You see, Kerr believes a single word can describe its differentiation, aggression. Players are prompted to be aggressive. Laning is a means to an end, but not necessarily the best way to get there.

The pair also discuss much more in the fact-filled interview, including how heroes and villains are sourced and teases a release date for the first time! Seriously, you can infer when Turbine Entertainment expects to release the game!

Check it after the cut. Read more…

World of Darkness Goes Dark

Posted by on April 14, 2014 - No Comments »

Another one bites the dust… this time before it’s even live. CCP announced this morning that it is halting all development on the World of Darkness MMO, and focusing its studio entirely upon the EVE franchise.  The 56 employees at the Atlanta studio that had been working on the MMO have lost their jobs due to the decision to cease development. Some have been offered positions elsewhere in the company, but for most, it’s time to put on the job-hunting hat.
CEO Hilmar Veigar Petursson stated that it was a hard decision, but one that had to be made as they were falling regrettably short of their goal of making an engaging sandbox experience that transported the player fully into the World of Darkness.

Read more…

Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade – The Great Devourer

Posted by on April 14, 2014 - No Comments »

The new Warhammer 40k newsletter is chock full of cool stuff! New level designers have joined the team, some details on the founder’s program have been given, and the Tyranids have made their appearance, complete with WIP screenshots. I loves me some Tyr-hunting, and WIPs are always fun to look at, so this is a pretty cool update so far as I’m concerned!


Read more…