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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It's here! Blizzard this morning started pushing out the Curse of Naxxramas expansion to all Hearthstone players. Opening the Battle.net launcher should start the update process. Are you even still reading this? Or are you already playing?
We really like Hearthstone here at PC Gamer. Like, a lot. So the impending release of Curse of Naxxramas, its upcoming expansion, makes tomorrow feel a bit like Christmas. Blizzard has let us open one of our presents on Christmas Eve by posting images of the last 15 cards to be released in their upcoming expansion. This brings us to the final total of 30, and brings our excitement to a peak.
Good news, friends. Curse of Naxxramas, the single-player expansion for Blizzard’s debilitatingly addictive card battler Hearthstone, will be released on 22 July. As previously revealed, the content—which sees players taking on a string of bespoke boss encounters based on the World of Warcraft raid—is split into five wings, which will be unlocked one by one over the course of five weeks.
Often, before I begin a Hearthstone Ladder session, my stomach starts churning and my heartbeat races. I actually feel the same sort of nerves you might get before an exam. Or a date. Back when I used to do either of those things. And because what, I might lose a couple of ranks in one night? Who cares? Well, dumb though it is, I do care. I’ve got the Ladder yips, and I want to overcome them...
Earlier this month, a blogger who goes by the name of "Starcunning" wrote an open letter to Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime. He criticized the studio's move away from quality storytelling, and more specifically the lack of diversity among the characters in its games. Noting that recent comments from Rob Pardo and Dustin Browder seemed to reject the need for greater inclusiveness outright, he called on Blizzard to "makes the choice and commitment to reflect the diversity of their fans in the worlds and games they create." And in a response posted on the blog with his permission, Morhaime said that's exactly what the studio intends to do.
If you've been holding off on picking up StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (or, for that matter, Wings of Liberty) out of poverty, cheapness or a plain old lack of interest, today may be a good day to reconsider your position.
Are you bored of facing the same endless queue of Handlocks, Miracle Rogues, Charge Druids and (ugh) Zoo? In this piece I pick out three fun new lists which I've enjoyed using on the ladder, and speak to their designers about their creative process.
Hearthstone's first expansion, Curse of Naxxramas, is highly anticipated in the PC Gamer offices. We've watched every new card reveal with obsessive interest, planning changes to our decks and anticipating how to defend against them. So today's news on the new adventure content has us frothing at the mouth. Unfortunately, the structure of the expansion's release, and its tiered costs, left us scratching our heads. Let's break down when we'll get to play in these dungeons, and what our cost of entry will be.
Blizzard's upcoming lane-pusher,
Heart Heroes Hearth of the Storm Swarm Stone doesn't feature an all-hero item shop. Instead, each character has a 'Talent System', designed to let players customise their build as they advance in level. In the new 'Behind The Nexus' video, Blizzard explain how the system works, and how different combinations can produce a more efficient build—depending on the map.
Rob Pardo, the chief creative officer at Blizzard and former lead designer of World of Warcraft, has announced that he is leaving the company.
Hello ‘stoners, as always this is your host Vincent Sarius with another installment of Hearthstone Help. This week I want to tackle a slightly different topic: improving your skills by watching high level players who stream their sessions.
A user on Reddit's Hearthstone community yesterday shared this image—from an announcement page for a Hearthstone qualifier taking place during Finland's Assembly Summer 2014. What made "Karuta's" post notable was a single, highlighted sentence: "The participation is open only to Finnish male players."
That is, to state the obvious, a strange requirement for a Hearthstone tournament; and it makes the qualifier's organisers, the Finnish eSports Federation, seem like childish boys in a treehouse, hanging a "no girls allowed" sign on their front door. Only, the qualifier is for for the IeSF World Championship, and it's this global event that has stipulated the all-male line-up.
Playing games online can be difficult in Australia. Not because we're bad at playing games (though some of us no doubt are), but because we live at the bottom of the world. Servers tend to be located in the Northern Hemisphere, or Japan if we're lucky, but if you're currently playing Heroes of the Storm you may have noticed you're getting a much lower ping than before. That's because Blizzard has launched a dedicated Australian server.
Have you been patiently hoarding gold in anticipation of the imminent release of Hearthstone’s single-player adventure? Or have you been spaffing your coins like a Gadgetzan Auctioneer on shore leave? As someone staring at a balance of 35 gold, I’m already resigned to the fact I’ll be paying IRL currency for Curse Of Naxxramas. But for the majority of players who seem to prefer grinding the game for free, next week you’ll know how much you need to get into the expansion.