Blizzard

Blizzard on World of Warcraft's subscriber count: "we really don't know if it will grow again"

Phil Savage at

While there's no shortage of interest in World of Warcraft's remaining subscriber count, it's important to remember that the game still has a lot of players. Put it this way: if you once had 12 million slices of cake and you now have only 6.8 million, the result is still you in the corner of the room, shivering in a growing pile of vomit. Despite this, Blizzard say they don't necessarily expect their cake player count to grow.


Diablo II can be revisited in Minecraft, finally

Shaun Prescott at

In Minecraft it's never a matter of 'if' but 'when'. One day every conceivable location will be recorded in-game, but you can strike Diablo II off the list because someone has finally applied themselves to the task. No doubt there were whole online communities out there baying for this.


World of Warcraft to get a (slight) subscription hike in the UK

Phil Savage at

UK WoWers: time to schedule an appointment with your bank manager. When Warlords of Draenor releases this November, the game's £9 per month subscription will be sky-rocketing for those not already nestled in its auto-renewing charge. The cost? One whole pound.


World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Collector's Edition will let you run your mouse on Blackhand's face

Andy Chalk at

The Warlords of Draenor Collector's Edition may not be the cheapest way to go about getting the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, but fans with a taste for swag will no doubt want to take a moment to at least consider the option.


World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor trailer previews new areas and battles

Phil Savage at

With last night's Warlords of Draenor release date announcement, World of Warcraft fans know when to use up all their remaining holiday days. But what will they be doing as they shirk off the responsibilities of dumb reality? Blizzard's "In Action" trailer gives us a taste, via a brief look at the expansion's new areas, Garrisons, PvP zones and more.


Diablo 3 patch 2.1.0 opens a portal to the realm of the Treasure Goblins

Andy Chalk at

Where do the Treasure Goblins come from—and where do they go? Their mysterious ways have been a well-kept secret for years, but not for much longer: The Diablo 3 2.1.0 patch will allow players to enter their home, the strange region known as the Vault, where boundless wealth awaits.


World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor coming in November

Andy Chalk at

With some spectacular cinematic sequences, Blizzard has revealed the launch date for World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor.


World of Warcraft petition leads to in-game Robin Williams tribute

Shaun Prescott at

A World of Warcraft petition requesting a new in-game character based on Robin Williams has been successful. That may seem strange at first, but Williams was reportedly an avid World of Warcraft player. According to the petition page, the late Williams used to play on the Mannoroth server, and "was something of a troll in trade on good days or when anonymity [was] allowed."


World of Warcraft anniversary event sends you back to Molten Core, gives you a corgi

Cory Banks at

It's been ten years since World of Warcraft opened the gates of Azeroth to all. A lot has changed: You can buy a level 90 character if you want (though we don't recommend it if you're just coming back), the talent system has been simplified, and the world has been expanded and remade multiple times. This year, Blizzard wants you back. If you remember the good old days of 40-man raids, the developer has some nostalgia-packed events coming your way—including a corgi vanity pet.


Why WoW's level 90 character boost is a shortcut you shouldn't take

Cory Banks at

World of Warcraft launched ten years ago this November. That’s a long time in video game years, and even longer for an MMORPG. The world of Azeroth was already big when the game launched in November 2004, but ten years and four expansions have made WoW utterly massive—and intimidating for new or returning players. That’s one of the reasons why Blizzard has introduced a new in-game service to boost characters to the game’s current max level, 90. For $60, you can take a brand new character, or one you played but didn’t max out, and shortcut them straight to the top-end content for Mists of Pandaria, the game’s most current expansion.

It’s a handy service for both current and returning players, but it’s not perfect. Getting a boost from level 1 to 90 is like learning how to swim by jumping off a diving board, straight into the deep end. And even though Blizzard gives you all of the skills and gear you need to be level 90, it may not be enough to keep your group happy. No one wants to be at the bottom of the damage-per-second charts in an endgame raid.

Here's when Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas' Military Quarter opens tonight

Andy Chalk at

Right on schedule, the Curse of Naxxramas Military Quarter is on the cusp of opening up to all. Blizzard has announced the launch times for the next chunk of Hearthstone content, so we know when each region will get the update.


World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor release date to be announced next week

Shaun Prescott at

Blizzard has announced it will announce the release date for World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor next week. That's the modern world of blockbuster video games for you: announcements for announcements are announced.


Heroes of the Storm 'artifacts' progression system abandoned

Shaun Prescott at

Barely a fortnight after Blizzard outlined plans to introduce a new 'Artifacts' progression system to Heroes of the Storm, the functionality been removed. The controversial system was Heroes of the Storm's answer to League of Legends' Runes system, but thanks to a combination of community handwringing and balancing issues, it is now no more.


Updated: Curse of Naxxramas Plague Quarter bugs persist, but progress being made

Andy Chalk at

Update: Blizzard is making progress on the Plague Quarter issues, but serious problems remain. In an update posted today, the studio said it has fixed the bugs that caused players to be charged twice for Plague Quarter access, that denied access to the Plague Quarter after successfully completing the purchase and that caused an improper appearance of the "Closed" sign on the in-game shop. Unfortunately, the fixes are only good for players who haven't previously run into trouble; if you've already encountered the bugs, their effects will remain on your account and the current fix will do you no good.

Problems with payments giving the "Waiting for authorization" and "Another transaction is still in progress" messages, and players being prompted to purchase access to the Arachnid Quarter for zero currency are still under investigation.

Hearthstone Curse Of Naxxramas interview: "We're keeping an eye on" Zoo

Tim Clark at

Tomorrow sees the second wing of Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas expansion opening its mouldering doors to players around the world. So now felt like the perfect time to talk to Blizzard about the current state of the game and what we can expect from the future. I nervously approached the giant ebony coffins of senior game designer Ben Brode and production director Jason Chayes and asked them about the new cards, how close they came to nerfing Leeroy, what's going to be done about the seemingly unstoppable Zoo onslaught, and whether we'll ever get more deck slots…


Warcraft's story has been condensed into a 40 minute video

Phil Savage at

Here's something for every MMO player who likes to vacuum up quests without reading the mission text: a 40 minute video summarising the bulk of Warcraft's story. It covers the series' main timeline, from events depicted in the old RTS games, to the evolving lore of World of Warcraft. It's the perfect guide if you want to catch up ahead of Warlords of Draenor, or if you just want to know why you beat up a demon guy that one time.


Blizzard reveal WoW: Warlords of Draenor's new Tauren women, could maybe have left their clothes on

Tom Sykes at

There are few things more disturbing than a cow wearing a bra, and Blizzard just made me look at a whole bunch of them in order to write this news post. Upcoming World of Warcraft expansion Warlords of Draenor is giving the MMO a bit of a graphical overhaul - I mean, just look at how slightly different the Draenei will look in a few months' time. Now it's time for the Tauren to go under the knife 3D modelling programs, and it seems Blizzard have made them a bit more human. WoW's resident cow-people will boast a bigger range of facial expressions, more detailed hair and hooves - as it turns out, this makes it extra creepy to see them strolling around in a bra and pants.


The PC Gamer Hearthstone tournament

PC Gamer at

Hearthstone gets its claws into you. Blizzard’s masterstroke is the way the game rewards you for a win—the shower of fireworks that springs from the screen every time you land a killing blow on the enemy hero.

The moment you start craving more of that experience, Hearthstone’s got you—as it got us. Tim is almost entirely lost to it, spending his early hours researching deck compositions. Chris played played 50 hours when he reviewed the game, before bowing out mumbling something about mages. Andy booted it up for the first time when asked to prepare for this tournament, hated it, and then saw the fireworks—and now he’s been sucked in, too.

The inaugural PC Gamer Hearthstone tournament gathers up all of that emotional and psychological investment, and pours it into a crucible of hot, middling competition. We can’t claim to be the best players in the world, but everybody here wants to win: and everybody who gets knocked out is doomed to spend at least 20 minutes sulking in a corner.


Heroes of the Storm will soon introduce customisable 'Artifact' slots

Shaun Prescott at

Wondering where you're going to spend all that Heroes of the Storm gold? Blizzard has announced it will introduce a whole new progression system in the next Technical Alpha patch. In a nutshell, it's basically HotS's equivalent to League of Legends' Runes: there are three Artifact slots all up, with the first available free once the player has reached Level 15. After that, players will need to pay gold in order to unlock the second two.


Hearthstone's Curse Of Naxxramas - Arachnid Quarter verdict

Tim Clark at

The first wing of Hearthstone's single-player expansion has swung its doors open, and despite some connectivity issues we've cleared it pretty fast.