Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Olivia Grace

-

Heroes of the Storm dev Q&A

The latest Heroes of the Storm dev Q&A is here, and you can watch it above when it goes live at 11am Pacific. This week, as the Tech Alpha runs on, the developers are talking about the talent system. Joining Kevin Johnson this time, we will have Dustin Browder, Game Director, Richard Khoo, Senior Game Designer, and Matt Cooper, Game Designer.

As the talent system is a key part of the game that separates it from the Item Shop methodology of other MOBAs, it will be interesting to see the insights and design challenges that the developers have faced. You can send in your questions to the developers on Twitter at @BlizzHeroes by using the hashtag #HeroesQA.

Following the dev Q&A, there'll be a live match, shoutcasted by Dustin Browder and Kevin Knocke.

Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Poll: RNG gearing or points-based gearing?

There seems to have been something of a shift of late in Blizzard's gearing philosophy. We've moved from a heavily points-based system, where players had to earn currency -- specifically valor -- to buy items. They also had to earn reputation, which was another thing we can compare to points, although they're not a currency you can spend. Now, we've got Valor only used as an upgrade system, players are reliant on drops for the initial item to upgrade. The Timeless Isle does award currency, but you're more likely to rely on RNG-based drops to get gear from there. Not to mention the RNG nature of Warforged gear.

And it looks like this is only going to move more towards RNG with Warlords' removal of currencies, removal of reforging, and the addition of sockets and tertiaries as RNG elements on top of the Warforged system. PvP gear remains mercifully points-based, and in a play system where gear equality is so important, we can only hope it remains the case. But in PvE, what's the good and bad of each?

Well, points-based gearing is predictable. It gives you certainty and goals to work towards. Just so long as you keep grinding points, you know categorically that you will get that piece of gear. You can see your points build up, and it's satisfying. On the downside that predictability makes it less exciting. In PvP, that's no bad thing -- you certainly don't want the opposition to get their weapon and 4-set first while you get 2 rings, a neck and some bracers!

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: The Real Money Auction House is gone forever, will you miss it?

If you haven't been marking out the hours, it's March 18. That means that today's the day that the Real Money Auction House in Diablo III closes its doors forever. It's been an interesting feature, for sure, and arguably one that did more harm than good. It's been controversial from the out, causing a rating hike in South Korea. Then there were the days of gold devaluing by the second, of duping bugs running rampage, shutdowns and resets.

It seems pretty clear that the RMAH wasn't much of a success. And the community reaction to its then-impending removal, and to loot 2.0 has been overwhelmingly positive. So, will you miss it? I know I won't. In a game like Diablo where there's so much emphasis on loot, being able to fork out real dollars to get your hands on the best bits seemed to cheapen the experience, to use a rather ill-fitting turn of phrase. Now that it's gone, and indeed in the months leading up to its departure, I've felt a sort of freedom with my loot. I'm no longer thinking in terms of trade, instead in terms of fun. And that's a good thing.

What's your take on the RMAH experiment? Will you miss it?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Blizzard unveils its PAX East plans

Blizzard has revealed their PAX East schedule, and for attendees of the Boston-based convention, it's going to be quite a weekend. There's something for almost every game the company makes, all to be found at booth #848 from 10am to 6pm Friday through Sunday. On offer at the booth will be:
There's also developers standing by to talk to fans, a Heroes of the Storm presentation at the Albatross theatre on Friday, April 11 at 10:30 a.m. EDT, as well as giveaways, prizes and more! We wouldn't be surprised to see some new merchandise debuting, as has previously been the case for PAX conventions. It promises to be an exciting weekend all round!

Filed under: Blizzard

PvP-Live Armageddon Tournament

Followers of official Blizzard Twitter accounts will certainly have heard about the well-publicized WoW arena "Armageddon" tournament, hosted by PVP Live, that took place this weekend just passed. It was great to see Blizzard get behind a WoW PvP tournament in such a big way, after years of other, less recognized tournaments.

After some early issues with audio, which were mostly repaired by the Sunday, the tournament kicked off in style on the Friday night with a face-off to see which of the newer teams would claim the eighth "seed", by which they meant place in the tournament. Following that, the tournament continued, in a bracketed structure, commentated by the ever-outstanding Isaac "Azael" Cummings-Bentley and Jared "vhell" Coulston. They were joined by PvP-Live's "Mackaw" on a beautifully-crafted set to lead viewers through the tournament.

Read more →

Filed under: PvP

What needs to change in the 90 boost process

We're all starting to get used to the level 90 boost process. Information is flying around the web and people are wrapping their heads around the quirks and tricks in the system. We've spoken already about a few issues, as well as some gearing tips, but let's think forward. In a few (or several) months, the target market for these boosts will not be the currently-subscribed seasoned WoW player. Instead, they'll be looking toward players who are returning after long breaks, players who might be interested in re-subbing to get a free 90 and level to 100 with their friends. So, the question is, what needs to change between now and then?

Something missing

We talked previously about the problems with boosting a level 60 or above character, getting the professions leveled, but then having to spend 1300+ gold on all the recipes. While this is not a huge deal for a practiced, current player, 1300 gold was a small fortune back in the Burning Crusade. While boosted 90s get a 150 gold stipend, if you have more than that in your bag you seem not to get that small chunk of gold. And the assumption would be, surely, that if you boost professions you'll actually be able to use them without having to pay a large amount of gold.

Read more →

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Creative Director Alex Afrasiabi's weekly look into Warcraft's past

Twitter Throwback Thursdays are one idea that World of Warcraft Creative Director Alex Afrasiabi has grabbed onto with both hands, and today was no exception. We saw the very first Naaru in the game, before they had a naming convention, and apparently before they stopped being boxing champions.

Alex followed this with an image showing his design for the DK starting area, a colorful but almost illegible flow chart that split the starting experience into chapters, and, from what I can read at least, had several recognizable quests and characters spelled out.

Next up was a screenshot of a very orderly queue in the DK start area on beta, apparently a bug was causing a bottleneck, which the beta players decided to overcome with an orderly queue, and stern admonishment for anyone who tried to skip their place in line.

Lastly, an image of the testing of the Battle for Undercity. While not much detail was provided on this now-removed feature, the image shows an Alliance group, with a couple of Horde flags, and a whole lot of deep freezes. It's great fun seeing old shots and remembering the days when that was a totally normal screen resolution!

Filed under: News items, Interviews

Heroes of the Storm tech alpha walkthrough

The tech alpha must be close to starting, as we've seen talk of emails being received, and now a new video has appeared on the Heroes of the Storm YouTube channel. The video shows Senior Community Manager Kevin "Cloaken" Johnson running the would-be player through the various elements of the game. While a lot of what we're seeing is replicated in the article created by Vaeflare, but there is some new information.

For starters, we can see the Try Me mode in action. It looks great, as buying a hero without ever getting to give it a go is not something you want to do, and waiting for your hero to appear in the free rotation could be really tiresome. Another interesting thing to note is the real-money cost of some items. While they say it may well change, there's a $7.49 or 5,500 gold price tag on Diablo, which seems alright for a hero, although more expensive than a lower-end League of Legends hero bought for RP. However, $14.99 seems a bit pricey for a Tassadar skin. There's also huge differences in the gold costs of the heroes, varying from 2,000 to 10,000 gold. Again, they do clarify that these prices may change.

We also see the talents tab, the leveling systems, and more explanation of the tints, quests, and much more! We can't wait for the Tech Alpha to get started.

Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm: Heroes, gold, skins, mounts and more

Blizzard Community Manager Vaeflare has posted an excellent and highly informative blog over on the Heroes of the Storm official site, covering various aspects of the game from the player's angle. As ever, you can see the full blog after the break, but we're going to sum up a few of the key points here:
  • Leveling up your account will give you access to new rewards, such as game modes, additional talents, hero quests, and more
  • There will be a Free-to-play hero rotation of five heroes per week, updated every tuesday, increased to six when you hit level seven
  • You can also try any hero at any time before buying it in a private map "try me" mode which allows you to fight minions, forts, and generally have a go with talents and abilities.
  • Heroes will be purchased using gold, which you can earn in-game, starting from level five, or with real money.
  • Levels are gained from XP, which is earned by playing and achieving things in-game, winning, playing with battle.net friends, completing daily and hero quests, and later, epic hero quests.
  • You can also buy various skins. All skins come with two further tint slots. A hero's original tint is immediately available, and each of the two additional tints can be unlocked for individual heroes through Hero Quests.
  • Every player will start with a basic Horse mount, all mounts but that one have the same tint system as with skins
  • Skins and mounts are not purchasable with gold earned in-game, only with real money or via other means.
Hit the break for the full post.

Read more →

Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm's newest Hero: Tychus Findlay

Blizzard's upcoming Hero Brawler, Heroes of the Storm, has revealed its newest addition via Facebook -- Starcraft II's Terran tough guy, Tychus Findlay.

While, to the casual observer, this guy may look very similar to the existing hero, Jim Raynor, he's a slightly different kettle of fish. If you've played the Wings of Liberty campaign, Tychus first appears in the very early missions, you see him being released from prison in his old armor, with his cigar miraculously remaining intact. It was part of a deal in which he would assassinate Kerrigan. Not to throw too many spoilers around for people who haven't played the campaign, but Tychus is likely not to have too many friends among the other Starcraft heroes.

Nonetheless, he's a prominent character in the SCII universe, and as he's renowned for saying, "Hell, it's about time..."

Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events


Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

Death Knight Tier 13 and Retrospective
BlizzCon 2011 Floor Show
BlizzCon 2011 Costumes
BlizzCon 2011: Dungeons and Raids Panel
BlizzCon 2011 Class Talents Gallery
BlizzCon 2011 Reader Meetup
BlizzCon Bingo 2011
Firelands DPS by spec
Patch 4.3 PTR: Season 11 PvP sets

 

Categories