“When past and present collide, the fate of all worlds hangs in the balance.” The Prophet Valen, Blizzard.
Day one reveals the fifth World of Warcraft expansion ‘Warlords of Draenor’ and with this comes some big changes to the game, not to mention the ability to explore Warcraft history by going to Draenor and living that time of the Draenei and the Orcs that up to now has only been possible through the Warcraft lore. There we find that a merciless new Iron Horde has been forged from the historic orc clans and heroes from Azeroth will be called to save their own world from impending invasion. There is so much on offer from this expansion, aside from the opportunity to go back in time, Blizzard has taken onboard feedback from the community and implemented a whole host of upgrades to the game (upgraded character models, better organisation of bags, no quest items held in bags to save space, new in-game guide based on your character, etc) the following was announced at BlizzCon 2013 for Warlords of Draenor:
New level cap of 100
New level 100 talents
The ability to construct your own garrison
The ability to customise your garrison
The ability to recruit followers and base them at your garrison
Your followers can be sent on missions and use their skill to assist your cause
Instantly boost one character to level 90 to join the battle for Draenor
New dungeons and raids
Flexible scaling for raids
Upgrades to existing dungeons
The expansion is available to play on the floor at BlizzCon 2013, but there is no release date as yet.
When I’m not stuck to the live feed via my Virtual Ticket I’ll post updates on what’s going on as it happens, please do follow us on Twitter @gamersblogbytes. And to everyone at BlizzCon 2013 – enjoy it!
We are now on the final leg in the run up to Blizzcon 2013, 8-9 November at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. It’s a great time to be Blizzard fan with so much being offered up this year whether you are into WoW, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone or Heroes of the Storm. Whether you’re joining Blizzard at the Anaheim Convention Center or taking advantage of the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, you can find the schedule of events here: http://eu.battle.net/blizzcon/en/event-info/schedule/friday-schedule and ensure that you don’t miss a thing.
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
“Malthael, the Angel of Death, grows restless. Having sieged the historic city of Westmarch, he now sets his sights on a new metropolis: Anaheim, California — the great gamer haven of the West” Blizzard.com. There will be 300 stations set-up to demo Reaper of Souls where all five original Diablo III classes will be playable, as well as the new Crusader class, a fierce mid-range melee warrior. It has also been confirmed that there will be a playable version of Reaper of Souls on the PS4 at Blizzcon this year, players will also be some of the first in the world to get their hands on a DUALSHOCK®4 controller to enhance their monster slaying rampage through the Nephalem Rifts.
Heroes of the Storm
Blizzard All-Stars, formerly Blizzard DOTA is notably absent from Blizzcon 2013, the reason being because it’s changed it’s name to Heroes of the Storm. If you remember, about a year ago Blizzard and Valve engaged in a legal battle over the DotA name after Valve revealed that it was going to title its sequel to DotA, DotA II. That battle was eventually won by Valve and led to Blizzard naming its DotA sequel Blizzard All-Stars. And in true Blizzard style they have produced a trailer for Heroes of the Storm which can mean only one thing – we are bound to be seeing more about this one at BlizzCon.
Hearthstone Innkeeper’s Invitational
“The idea behind the Invitational is simple: Take some of Hearthstone’s most passionate players and pit them against each other in a no-holds-barred deathmatch” Blizzard.com. Blizzard have lined up Day Vs. Reckful and Hafu Vs. Kripparrian in the top bracket and Trump Vs. Husky and Noxious Vs. Artosis in the bottom bracket, each player brings three decks with three different classes and play each other in a set of best-of-five matches – but if one of their decks loses then they will be eliminated, only one player will survive to be named ‘Grandmaster of the Hearth’, all live on stage at Blizzcon.
If you’ve never been to Gamescom you are missing out, with the latest in the hardware and software sector it’s one of the years most prominent events. At Gamescom you can immerse yourself in the multi-faceted world of gaming and technology, have fun and experience all the latest game premiers. If you can’t be there, here are a few of the highlights that you might want to check out, as we get more information be sure that we’ll bring it to you here at The Gamers Blog. Here are a few of the announcements so far that I’m particularly excited about.
Firaxis prepare to upgrade XCOM with their Enemy Within expansion
Enemy Within will be available on PC and Mac, while Xbox 360 and PS3 will get the “Commander Edition” that includes a copy of Enemy Unknown and the Slingshot and Elite Soldier content packs. Set in the confines of Enemy Unknown, it’s the same game just with more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4KdSli869U
Diablo 3 unleashes new terrors, in the new expansion, Reaper of Souls
Named after its new lord of darkness, Maltheal, the fallen angel of wisdom who has now become the angel of death. The expansion will add new zones to fight through, a new class called the Crusader and raise the level cap to 70 for all of Diablo 3′s current classes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cb7QJwQ58T0
Crytek’s new CryEngine
Now just called ‘CryEngine’ features revolutionary PuddleTech. Crytek’s Carl Jones explains “We have revolutionised many parts of the engine: we have overhauled our entire lighting system, built movie quality character rendering and animation solutions, vastly improved the speed and effectiveness of our Sandbox editor, and even our rendering has changed with tessellation, pixel accurate displacement mapping and now physical based rendering; all of this while maintaining our first principal: that making games should be real-time, all the time.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF1zjDSqPoo
“Prove your skills in combat with the 2013 World of Warcraft Arena Pass! Compete with the best players in 3v3 Arena matches for rewards, glory and a place at the top of the leaderboard.”
The 2013 World of Warcraft Arena Pass gives players a dedicated competitive environment based on the World of Warcraft Arena system. Players will be able create up to 11 level 90 characters per registered World of Warcraft account, each character will be based on one of a set of template characters with the ability to choose from some of the best items available in the game. You can set up your Arena team just like you would a normal PvP group in World of Warcraft, once created, you can compete with your fellow teammates in the special Arena Pass Battlegroup.
What you can earn for your in-game characters:
Participating in at least 50 rated Arena Pass games on one character and with the same team will be eligible to receive the Armored Murloc pet.
If you are a member of one of the top 1000 teams at the end of the rated phase and have participated in at least 100 rated Arena Pass games on a character on a qualifying team, you will receive the “Vanquisher” title for live characters level 71 and over.
To sign-up for the Arena pass you must:
Have an active subscription to World of Warcraft with an account in good standing, e.g., not flagged or banned for any reason.
Have a World of Warcraft account that has been upgraded to Mists of Pandaria.
Have a valid credit card to pay the registration fee for the Arena Pass, which is $20 in North America and €15/£12 in Europe.
Reside in a country or territory that allows participation (you will see the full list when registering).
Complete the required information on the registration page to register for the Arena Pass.
Ever wondered which games people have been downloading to their mobile devices via the App stores? Well, wonder no more, here are the top 4 best selling game apps across iPhone/iPad, Android and Blackberry. Generally the apple versions of these games are all in the region of 69p/$1, android versions are usually free, while the Blackberry versions work out much more expensive running into the pounds/dollars (sorry Blackberry users).
“We love having the opportunity to hang out with our players at BlizzCon, and it’s always awesome to see the greatest gaming community on earth swarm Anaheim. We look forward to delivering two full days of gaming, activities, and other entertainment, and we can’t wait to show some of the exciting projects we’ve been working on.” Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment.
Are you planning on attending this year’s BlizzCon? If the answer is yes then you need to know that BlizzCon 2013 tickets will be going on sale in two batches this year:
First Batch: Wednesday 24th April at 7pm PT Second Batch: Saturday 27th April at 10am PT
Tickets will be priced at $175.00 and are available from www.blizzcon.com. In addition there will also be a small number of tickets to the pre-BlizzCon dinner in aid of the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, which not only allows you to rub shoulders with the Blizzard Staff but also gives you full access to the main two-day event – these tickets will be on sale from Wednesday 1st May at 7pm PT, also available from www.blizzcon.com. The event will be held this year at the Anaheim Convention Center on the 8th and 9th of November.
If like me you’re not fortunate enough to be able to attend in person, Blizzard haven’t forgotten you, there is also going to be the option to purchase a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket which will give you full live coverage of the event. Details of this virtual ticket have not yet been announced, but we’ll be posting more information as it becomes available.
Local Area Network (LAN) parties are where like-minded people get together to play games in the same location. The largest LAN is in the UK is the Insomnia Gaming Festival, or Iseries as it’s known. Fundamentally Insomnia is a gaming event for all ages, where gamers and industry leaders alike come together to celebrate games in all their forms. “Insomnia LAN Guide“
There are just 144 days left to go until the biggest UK gaming event this Summer, i49, hosted by Multiplay. I’ll be there along with some of the guys from computer club where we’ll be kicking back at the International Centre, located in Telford, Shropshire. The event hosts some of the biggest eSports tournaments in Europe and each year hosts the UK qualifiers for the World Cyber Games (WCG). As well as all that, you can team up for MMO or co-op gaming and generally play what you want when you want. I’m planning on positioning myself in the MMO area – I’ll be perfectly at home there! Alongside the gaming areas and competative tournaments, there are also exhibitions from industry specialists as well and Multiplay have put together a really good LAN guide to help you know what to expect when you arrive: http://static.multiplayuk.com/images/content/LAN_guide.pdf. You can also look forward to the Opening Ceremony and the famous Insomnia Pub Quiz. When you need to crash you have three options for hotels; two on-site (The Holiday Inn and The International) and one which is a five minute walk away (Grays Hotel), all of which are offering discounts for attendees. Alternatively you can camp – there is plenty of space available.
The event officially starts on Friday 23rd August and runs until Monday 26th August 2013, but for an additional £15.00 on your ticket price you can get early access to the venue so that you can get set-up in advance. This is what most people choose to do and so it’s quite busy on the Thursday when doors open at about 6pm, so you might consider leaving your arrival till a bit later to miss the initial rush. There are a number of different ticket types you can get to take part in the action depending on what you are after:
BYOC (Bring your own computer)
Tickets cost £64.40 for the entire weekend, game how you want when you want.
TUP (Turn up and play)
Tickets cost £55.00. This gets you entry for the entire weekend, just turn up, get ready for the tournaments and jump into your matches on one of the event machines.
Group BYOC or Group TUP tickets
If you’re booking for a community or a team.
Weekend, day entry and press passes
Super versatile to fit anyone’s needs.
You should check the website to see in detail what each of the passes confers to the holder, especially when it comes to the weekend and day passes. You may also want to note that if you want to play with your friends, but don’t have a rig of your own, you can purchase a BYOC ticket and then opt to hire one of the hire rigs available for the event – a standard rig will set you back £65.00 on top of the ticket price for the weekend, while a pro gamer package will cost you £75.00. You can also opt to hire a monitor, if you don’t fancy lugging your’s all the way to the event!
Multiplay have an amazing website that is dedicated to their gaming events and it literally has everything you need to know, check out the site at: http://iseries.multiplay.co.uk/i49. If you are planning to be there let us know, it would be great to meet up. Why not keep up-to-date with the latest news on this event via our Twitter feed @gamersblogbytes.
Last weekend saw the spectacle that is PAX East 2013 in Boston. If you were lucky enough to go we hope you had a fantastic time, if like me you watched from afar, perhaps not as far as the UK though, I thought I’d do a quick update on the MMO side of things at this years event. Blizzard Entertainment promised us something new would be announced and they didn’t disappoint, there was plenty of speculation before hand about them perhaps revealing more information about Titan or some new content relating to Diablo III, but instead they gave us Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft which is billed to be a new digital card game where players build card decks based around one of nine WoW character classes. With all the excitement it definitely warranted a bigger piece on the blog and you can find the full story about Hearthstone here: http://www.thegamersblog.com/hearthstone-heroes-of-warcraft/. If you were at PAX East you would have been able to try out the game now and reports coming back are positive from gamers – although they don’t see anything particularly groundbreaking it’s perfect for your ‘off-wow time’. For the rest of us the beta should be coming soon – there is currently no set date at present.
On the MMO expansions side a few interesting ones were announced: CCP Games announced EVE Online’s next expansion, Odyssey, due for release on June 4th 2013; and Cryptic announced the first expansion for Star Trek Online, Legacy of Romulus, due for release on May 21st, this gives players the ability to play as a Romulan and captain a Warbird-class vessel. On the flip side ArenaNet confirmed that we won’t be getting an expansion for Guild Wars 2 anytime soon, the game’s developers are focusing instead on more immediate content releases to make the game as good as it can be.
We recently also had a piece on the blog about Runescape and Jagex announced Runescape 3 at PAX East 2013 which improves on the last 12 years of the original game’s development. You can check out why you might want to play Runescape in our MMORPG Update piece titled ‘Discovering Runescape’: http://www.thegamersblog.com/mmorpg-update-discovering-runescape/. The release takes advantage of a new game engine and will run faster and look better, although you will still be able to use the old Java client if you want.
Newcomer to my world of MMOs was F2P MMO City of Steam from Mechanist Games, described as an “industrial age fantasy in a fallen world” the game mixes fantasy with industrialism. Good reports are coming out from the PAX East weekend about this game and it will be going into beta sometime soon, the developers tell us that they are hoping to launch sometime in the next few months.
Blizzard were also showcasing their Diablo III’s console edition and hinted that it might not stop at just the PlayStation 3 and 4. Check out the trailer shown to gamers at the Blizzard booth here:
There was of course tons more information available over the weekend and if you are interested in what else happened or other PAX events a good starting point is the website here at: http://east.paxsite.com/.