Archive for the ‘General’ Category

BlizzCon: All You Need to Know About Legacy of the Void (Interview)

18 November 2014 | 1 Comment » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

SCII Legacy of the Void Dark Templar Shakuras Art 02The opening ceremony of BlizzCon 2014 had plenty of surprises. What with the new intellectual property and two expansions. One of those is the culmination of the Starcraft II trilogy, Legacy of the Void. Focused on the powerful Protoss, Legacy of the Void’s part of the opening ceremony had its own surprises, including a two-person PvP mode known as Archon mode after merging Dark Templars. Lead Producer Tim Morten detailed how the mode came to fruition. Apparently, it had nothing to do with the World of Warcraft April Fools joke from a few years back.

That’s the tip of the iceberg of unexpected StarCraft II announcements. Sure, no one would discuss the four other multiplayer units past the return of the Brood Wars Lurker. And there wasn’t a fixed released date to speak of. Morten was happy to discuss the decision behind making Legacy of the Void a standalone, how new players are going to slip into the lore, and the other new mode I learned about from Morten himself, Allied Commanders.

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void culminates the epic story of the Zerg, Terran and Protoss as they all struggle to find a place in the known and unknown universe. Focused on Artanis, Void will wrap up the stories of all our favorite characters no matter their race over the course of 20 or so missions. More than the previous titles. Oh, and it’ll remain at the expansion price set by Heart of the Swarm before it. Continue Reading

SMITE World Championship Digital Ticket

17 November 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern
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Please describe how badass this is in the comments.

Following in the footsteps of BlizzCon, Hi-Rez Studios announced that the upcoming SMITE World Championship in Atlanta, Georgia will be fully available online. If you can’t find your way to Atlanta in mid-January a light $24.99 will get you as close to the event as possible. And fret not, that Jefferson plus will earn you some additional perks, including an ad-free stream (courtesy of the official SMITE Twitch channel), access to subscriber only chat (less trolls! maybe?), the Tyr 2015 Convention skin and SWC Ares and Ward skins.

The SMITE World Championship pool continues to climb thanks to the novel progression system devised by Hi-Rez Studios. The base pool for the January 9-11 event has climbed to over $1.3 million from a start of $500,000. The Odyssey promotion is the driving force of the increase, awarding players with access to new items for the mythological MOBA while simultaneously making the 8-team World Championship that much more exciting.

The final Odyssey item, as voted on by the community, was announced to cap off today’s update of the World Championship details. A super epic Thantos skin that changes during play is the final prize. Featuring four different evolving models, the ‘angelic’ theme to the Greek Hand of Death will be a highly valued skin for any player.

IRL tickets for the event are available now and running out fast! Digital tickets will be made available in December. Don’t forget to put your peepers on our SMITE streams for your chance to win god and skin codes. You’re already too late on today’s giveaway!

MOBA Monday: Let’s SMOTE Some Heroes (Giveaways)

17 November 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

lh_moba_monday_smite_heroes_storm_AoKuangMOBA Monday is a weekly showcase of how to perform, eh, let’s go with adequately – we hope – in a massive online battle arena. The streaming squad features the hottest, upcoming or most interesting titles of their and the communities fancy for a few rounds of PvP shenanigans in our weekly Twitch channel staple.

How could we not follow up BlizzCon with a little taste of Heroes of the Storm. It’s not everyday that you receive an early taste of what’s to come in a MOBA guided by the art director for the company. Only to have that followed up by an in-depth interview on the overarching philosophy for the multiplayer online battle arena that’s been in development and changed names more than Blizzard likely cares to count. It hasn’t been nearly six weeks – the normal patch iteration for HotS – so Jaina, The Lost Vikings and Thrall aren’t possible. Nor is a romp on Sky Temple. But hey, Muradin is playable this week and that’s more than we can guarantee for World of Warcraft.

The back half of today’s stream will return us to the god-filled world of SMITE. Just as BlizzCon is being followed by its MOBA so is the SMITE Regional Championships being led to by the very game that is the reason for Hi-Rez Studios to organize a large tournament atmosphere in (hopefully sunny) Atlanta, Georgia this weekend. Lore Hound will be there with bells on, but before we show up there’s a definite need to get at least my head back in the game, some wins under my belt and Worshipers in my corner.

MOBA Monday will kick off around 1:00 PM EST. Hit the jump or head directly to the channel page to watch live. Don’t forget to follow for all the updates and giveaway opportunities, including this week’s SMITE god and skin codes! Continue Reading

BlizzCon: A Random Goblins vs. Gnomes Discussion (Interview)

15 November 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

Goblins_vs_Gnomes_LogoEric Dodds is back within shouting distance of iTZKooPA, which can only mean one thing, interrogation time! The shelled one had his time with Eric when Curse of Naxxramas was announced at PAX East, including a little play time on the iPad. Now it’s time for the first expansion for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, a massive 120+ card addition to the digital card game.

Dodds isn’t shy about meeting the first impressions of Goblins vs. Gnomes head on. Blizzard understands, even appreciates the conversation surrounding the randomness that the expansion will bring to the game. Coming this December, the design team has already spent countless hours refining the offerings of GvG. Dodds even tipped us off to a major change late in development. Mechs, the new minion type introduced as part of the expansion, were made more desirable by allowing synergistic cards to gain bonus whenever a mech was played, not just a Battlecry.

Numerous players commented on the upcoming Goblins and Gnomes inspired board. Unfinished during BlizzCon Dodds promises that the art team has some very unique ideas coming to fruition. We’re going to go out on a limb here and say explosions, random happenings and hilarity are incoming. That’s just a tip of the iceberg of our latest Hearthstone interview. Check it after the cut. If you’re looking for all 28 of the revealed cards, check out our first impression slideshow. Continue Reading

BlizzCon: Samwise on Metallica, Heroes of the Storm (Interview)

15 November 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

Blizzcon14_Heroes_SkyTemple_JainaVikingsThere are few things more badass than opening for Metallica. Being the Art Director for Blizzard Entertainment, the man responsible for the direction of so many million dollar franchises, may very well be one of them. Samwise Didier manages to juggle both of those feats with grace and pose. Actually, that’s a lie. He was more concerned for Metallica’s state of mind given that they were closing for Elite Tauren Chieftain at BlizzCon 2014!

Once Samwise wrapped up his humblebrag he moved on to discussing Heroes of the Storm. Hair flying in every direction the art director got a bit teary reminiscing that the Lost Vikings, one of three freshly announced heroes, was his first assignment at then Silicon & Synapse. Samwise discusses all things Heroes of the Storm with iTZKooPA, from map design to hero design, and even coaxes some release date chatter.

If you’re not in Heroes of the Storm yet, fear not as beta testing begins January 2015. Until then, check out our MOBA Monday stream for early coverage of Heroes of the Storm. And don’t forget to check out our HotS first impression from BlizzCon 2014. Continue Reading

BlizzCon: The Best BlizzCon Ever

14 November 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

Zenyatta_Overwatch_001BlizzCon 2014 by all early expectations was not that big a deal. My normal freelance employer that sends me out went so far as to drastically cut back on staff for the event. It was as simple decision in their minds. Without a weighty announcement and Warlords of Draenor coming out a week later the show was to be a dud. I expressed my reservation, explaining that I’ve heard inklings from the community, Blizzard employees and other industry heads that it wasn’t to be missed. That something interesting was coming. It fell on deaf ears.

Now a week after the event, we’re swamped in work. Details to the final chapter of the StarCraft II saga didn’t headline the show. A request to stop the Internet hate was merely a footnote. New heroes and maps for Heroes of the Storm awoken the crowd. The randomness of Goblins vs. Gnomes got people’s heads scratching. Wild eSports results, including the first Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft champion, had competitive gaming junkies on the edge of their seats. Cosplay peaked our…interests. The Warcraft feel is now physically real. Everything was second fiddle to the reveal of Overwatch. The first original property from Blizzard since StarCraft, Overwatch raised a ton of questions. Continue Reading

BlizzCon: Overwatch First Impression

13 November 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

Winston_Overwatch_007Many a people felt that BlizzCon 2014 was going to be boring. The reveal of Blizzard Entertainment’s first original intellectual property in 17 years (that dates back to StarCraft), put the kibosh to any such talk. If you’re just catching up to what this whole Overwatch thing is about then be sure to check out our Top 10 Burning Overwatch Questions before moving on to gameplay discussion.

Spawning from the ashes of Project Titan, a mammoth project that was to be a successor to the throne long held by World of Warcraft, Overwatch is a first-person team-based shooter set in a futuristic Earth. Sixty years from now the world had been ravaged by evil robots. Saved by the Overwatch, an institution of powerful beings from all over that was formed to combat the devastating invasion, the planet returned to prosperity. The once heroic institution of Overwatch fell into futility. Like nuclear weapons after the Cold War the heroes of yesteryear were no longer needed. Five years before the start of the game these powerful beings, be they human, dwarf, robot or animal, struck out on their own. Continue Reading

BlizzCon: The Future of Heroes of the Storm

12 November 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

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Heroes of the Storm has been progressing well. Blizzard Entertainment remains steadfast that the company’s entry into the bursting multiplayer online battle arena is so not ready for prime time that the Alpha Development label is still prominently featured. Sure, Blizzard announced during BlizzCon 2014 that HotS is heading to beta testing in January, but that’s two months away!

This wasn’t the only exciting news that fans of the fledgling MOBA were given during the opening ceremony of BlizzCon 2014. In addition to a rare release date from Blizzard, the company teased three upcoming heroes and two all-new maps set in the same, unique universe. These maps, which, if you’ve watched the MOBA Monday livestream, act as nearly-new game modes, aren’t tied to any existing Blizzard universe. Jaina Proudmoore and Thrall (as opposed to Go’el) are your more typical MOBA characters. At the front lines launching devastating attacks at opponents. The Lost Vikings, like Abathur before them, will once again shake up the expectations of MOBA players.

The full first impression, tons of screenshots and the trailer after the cut. Continue Reading