In the months ahead, the game launchers for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Diablo III will be automatically updated to Blizzard’s new desktop app for Battle.net. This update is designed to improve the launcher experience and streamline Blizzard gameplay. But you don’t have to wait until then to check out the new launcher, the open beta test is underway and you can download and install the app now – I would highly recommend doing this, I love the app is absolutely brilliant: http://www.battle.net/en/app/
So, what does this app give you?
Log in once to access all your games and stay logged in for up to 30 days, easy.
Install and Auto-Update Games
Install games directly through the app and, you can leave the app running on your desktop and keep them up-to-date automatically even while you’re away from your computer.
Get the Latest News
No need to check elsewhere for the latest news and update information, the app is a central hub for this information. You can filter news based on the games you play.
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.
March has been a super busy month, I’ve dedicated much of my free time to levelling my Worgen Priest, Lursaduras, through the available WoW dungeons and practicing healing on my 5-man group. Our group is pretty laid back when it comes to running dungeons but we must be doing something that works because wipes are pretty rare. This week has been great and I’ve only been finding totally amazing gamers on my WoW server, I’m just drinking it the good vibes and help instead of the abuse and it’s been great to share the good experiences with you all on Twitter, if you want to check out our streams you can find me @cat792k and all our blog posts @gamersblogbytes!
In addition to playing WoW, I’ve now become a total Warcraft fiction addict. I’ve recently posted about Richard A. Knaak’s most recent series on the blog, Dawn of the Aspects (http://www.thegamersblog.com/mmorpg-update-dawn-of-the-aspects) and the good news is that the second part of the series is now available for download. In the first part we saw how the former dragon aspects are on the brink of going their separate ways to find new destinies since their original purpose as the protectors of Azeroth seem to be no more. Kalecgos has uncovered a mysterious artifact that allows him to see through the eyes of his late predecessor, Malygos, and he has been sucked into the past, literally sharing Malygos’ body, where dragons must fight for survival and he encounters the terrifying alpha dragon, Galakrond. We left Kalecgos in the clinches of Galakrond at the end of the first part – will he and Malygos share the same fate? The answer is, of course not, but what he finds next leaves him more troubled, enter the undead. Alongside this new discovery a stranger from the past begins to appear in the present and Kalecgos fears for his own sanity. Part 3 of the series will be available for download on the 22nd April 2013. At the moment you can discuss this series and also The War of the Ancients series with @WowWellRead on Good Reads at http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/88038-warcraft-well-read.
Also on my radar since it was announced at PAX East is Hearthstone, the new Blizzard digital strategy card game (http://www.thegamersblog.com/hearthstone-heroes-of-warcraft). Fans of the amazing podcast, The Instance, will be excited to know that they’ve got an interview lined up for next with with the Hearthstone team, you can keep up-to-date with what’s going on with the game and the team @PlayHearthstone. Although the initial beta testing will only be available on the US servers according to the current plans, it’s possible this might change so stay tuned. If you do want to get signed up for the beta test just visit www.playhearthstone.com to opt-in with your Battle.net account.
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/.
Blizzard Entertainment has announced the the upcoming release of a new free-to-play strategy card game for PC, Mac and iPad which will be called Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. There will be a hands-on demo at PAX East this weekend, but beta testing is coming soon. To make sure you are ready for the beta just make sure that you sign up for this in your beta profile settings on battle.net.
In the game, players build card decks baed around one of nine WoW character classes (we don’t know what the nine will be as yet out of the available classes here: warrior, paladin, hunter, rogue, priest, death knight, shaman, mage, warlock, monk or druid) and play each other for the chance to win new cards… oh, and for the win, we can’t forget about that! The game is designed so that all players, even if they have never played WoW before, will be able to pick it up and start playing straight away. You will be able to play against the computer in practice matches, pitting your wits against some of the great strategists of Azeroth, and take on your friends via your battle.net friends list. You will also be able to play in two competitive game modes:
A typical head-to-head with a chance to increase your ranking and earn new cards.
Players start with a new deck of cards and use that to play other Forge challengers. Players will not only be able to win new cards but add to their collections by buying new card packs or disenchanting existing cards to craft ones that they might be missing.
There will be hundreds of different cards to choose from featuring all your favourite characters from WoW, their spells and weapons, but it will be up to you to build your deck and create winning strategies.