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Cryptozoic smashes funding goal for new Hex TCG

You've no doubt heard about Cryptozoic, who makes the World of Warcraft trading card game. But these days, Blizzard is focusing on its home-brewed digital TCG Hearthstone and Cryptozoic is working on a new project: Hex, which they call an MMO trading card game. Hex takes advantage of its all-digital nature to add some MMO elements like characters, gear, and guilds to a traditional TCG game. And, while it's not out yet -- Cryptozoic expects the beta to start this September -- the Kickstarter campaign to fund the game is happening now. With 21 days to go, Cryptozoic has already blown past their $300,000 funding goal with $567,000 raised at the time of this writing. Now they're working on stretch goals which will add new gameplay features for everyone -- and new bonuses for backers -- as they're reached.

If you're interested in a different kind of TCG -- or a change of pace from World of Warcraft -- you might want to check out Cryptozoic's Kickstarter. Contributing $10 will get you into the beta this fall and $20 and up gets you beta access and cards once the game launches -- including some special cards you'll only ever be able to get through this Kickstarter campaign.

Filed under: News items, WoW TCG

How to sign up for the Hearthstone beta

How to sign up for the Hearthstone beta
So you've heard a lot about Blizzard's latest game, the free, digital CCG Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and you can't wait to get into the beta. But how do you get in on that sweet, beta testing action? Signing up to beta Hearthstone is pretty simple, but involves a few steps that may not be entirely obvious -- we'll walk you through them so you can have a chance to be one of the first to check out Hearthstone for yourself.

Whether you get into the beta or not, you can get a feel for Hearthstone by checking out the two match videos they've released so far -- one showing Jaina battling Thrall and the other showing Garrosh battling Uther. But for now there's nothing to do but sign up and be patient until the beta gets started. Read on for instructions!

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone gameplay video pits Jaina against Thrall


If you're hyped about Hearthstone -- or even if you're just curious as to what Blizzard's latest is all about -- you'll want to check out this gameplay video. The video shows a complete match between Jaina (a mage) and Thrall (a shaman), giving us a good look at how the game plays as well as the abilities of these two heroes. And, just so we aren't lost in the newness of it all, the video features a narrated play-by-play to walk us through the action. We've got to say, it looks promising: featuring familiar characters, skills, and abilities, brightly-colored Blizzard art, and fast gameplay.

Psst, Blizzard, our beta keys are in the mail, right?

Well, even if they aren't, we hope this is only the first of many such videos on PlayHearthstone's YouTube channel, because it really just makes us curious as to what other classes and heroes can do.

[via Massively]

Filed under: Blizzard, Hearthstone Insider

Upper Deck finalizes Gen Con plans

Anybody else going to Gen Con this coming weekend? I'll be there on Saturday (and we might even be having a mini-meetup on Saturday night -- Twitter is probably the best place to listen for that), and I'll be sure to take pictures and/or movies of anything WoW that I see on display. Upper Deck has finalized their plans for the event, and it appears they'll be out in force. In addition to what's been announced previously, there'll be a North American Continental Championship for the WoW TCG, with the winner walking away with $10,000 in prizes, including a brand new MacBook Pro, $1000 in Amazon gift cards, and a 30" monitor. But if, like me, you're far from a pro player, you'll still be able to get in on the fun: they'll be demoing the game all weekend, and giving away special promo cards with every demo. WoW Minis will also be there, and they'll be selling a special limited edition Fleet Master Seahorn figure for $9.99, which introduces the questing mechanic to the minis game (we'll expect to see those at BlizzCon as well, I'm sure).

Plus, who knows what else we'll see there -- in the past, we've seen some great displays from Blizzard partners, and even a real-life server protest a few years back. Gen Con is one of the biggest gatherings of gamers in the country, and wherever there are gamers, odds are we'll find World of Warcraft. It'll be my first time seeing the convention this weekend, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, News items, Quests, WoW TCG

WoW TCG Champion announced in Paris


The WoW TCG World Championships wrapped up this weekend, and an American player named Jim Fleckenstein emerged the winner. The World Champs took place in Paris, and there was a fun twist -- apparently last year, a French player won on American soil, and next year, the tournament is going to take place in Austin, Texas, so there's a rivalry building.

The WoW TCG site has lots more, including play-by-plays of all the matches if you're interested in how the top players play the game (Jim won with a Shaman -- SHAMAN POWER!), and they've even got video of all the folks throwing down to win the crazy prizes. Looks like lots of fun in Paris for players of the TCG.

The 2009 season kicks off with the end of these world champs -- the next event will be a Darkmoon Faire event in Anaheim, CA on November 9th (right before the Wrath release), and of course the Drums of War expansion is due out soon, with those loot cards we've been drooling over.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, WoW Social Conventions, Contests, WoW TCG

WoW TCG hosts World Champs in Paris this weekend


The World of Warcraft Trading Card Game World Championships have started up this weekend in Paris, France -- there's some excellent coverage on the official site about all of the CCG gaming going on over there. They've got everything from a roundup of the swag bag to play-by-play on the featured matches and some good commentary on what kinds of decks players are bringing to the tables. All told, the players are fighting for a prize pool of $250,000 -- some serious cash for playing cards.

They're in the middle of Day 2 right now, so there's lots more tournament coverage to come from Paris. If you're a fan of the TCG, this weekend's your chance to check out what some of the top players are up to as they battle for the big prize.

Filed under: Items, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Making money, WoW TCG

New fan art, wallpaper, and a call for screenshots


Blizzard has been updating the artwork on the official website again, and that means new wallpapers and shiny new fan art!

The wallpaper features artwork from the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, so if you play, or are simply a fan of WoW-themed depictions, it might be time to update your desktop background.

As for the fan art, much of it is holiday and Winter's Veil-themed, which often makes for some humorous images. Aside from being ever on the lookout for new fan artwork, Blizzard is also asking for some top-notch screenshots of Auchindoun: Auchenai Crypts.

They would like to see depictions of the architecture and the scenery, in addition to combat. If your screenshots are selected, as always, they will appear in the World of Warcraft Guide, along with your character's name. For a list of banned subject matter, screenshot-taking tips, and a drop-down menu featuring every area of which Blizz is needing screenshots, visit the Screenshot Submission Form.

While you're in the mood to snap some great shots, don't forget to take some holiday-themed ones, and enter Blizzard's latest holiday contest, to win some decent prizes!

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, Instances, Contests, Screenshots, The Burning Crusade, Fan art

"Feast of Winter Veil" collector's set available now

The holiday-themed collector's edition TCG set that we've been anticipating since our August meeting with some folks from Upper Deck is now available for purchase, and will be shipped as early as November 14th.

Modeled after the in-game holiday of Winter's Veil, each set will include the following exclusive content:
  • Ten cards, usable in any deck, all featuring new content.
  • Two pet mini-cards for further customization.
  • A holiday deck box featuring Feast of Winter Veil artwork.
  • Three booster packs! One Heroes of Azeroth, one Dark Portal, and one Fires of Outland pack.
Although there are no online loot cards to be had, this collector's set will still make an excellent Christmas gift, even if you're buying it for yourself! If you're still not convinced, head on over and check out a preview of some of the cards, as well as the original artwork.

Filed under: News items, WoW TCG

Winter's Veil CCG cards previewed

A little while back, we heard from Upper Deck that there would be a new set of holiday cards coming out for the Feast of Winter Veil ingame holiday, and now reader Dave C has spotted a preview for the cards in the aptly named Previews magazine. If I recall correctly from my comic collecting days, Previews is a magazine for retailers published by a distributor so they can know what's coming in the next few months and how many of each product to order.

At any rate, what's important is that they have a short preview of the upcoming holiday set, and while specifics are still unclear, we're told that each set will have ten exclusive game cards, two Pet mini-cards, three booster packs, and a special "Feast of Winter's Veil" box in it. Unfortunately for the MMO players, none of these cards will be ingame loot cards, but as we said when we first heard about this set, it might be a nice gift for someone who plays the card game itself.

Dave also says the Previews issue has a three page preview of the WoW comic book, and obviously WoW shows up on the cover as well. So expect a lot of WoW-related goodies hitting your local comic book store this holiday season.

Filed under: Items, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Expansions

Three new loot cards for the WoW TCG


We actually heard from Upper Deck last month that there would be new loot cards coming in the "Fires of Outland" booster release from the WoW collectible card game, but now PHD Games has announced exactly what they'll be. Strangely enough, PHD is a distributor, and there's no word on Upper Deck's site about this, so this may actually be an unapproved leak-- wonder if PHD might face consequences for apparently telling us all of this early.

At any rate, here's the random cards that will be showing up in Fires of Outland:
  • Goblin Gumbo, which will make you "burp outlandish gas"
  • A Fishing Chair, for relaxing while angling
  • And the best one: A Spectral Tiger mount (!). MMO Champion has actual pics, which you can see above. Pretty!
Also, all the loot cards will now be foil cards (which is a first for the WoW TCG), and they'll have a different design as well. Fires of Outland, says PHD, is coming in late August.

Update: Commenter boulee points out there were foil cards in the Onyxia raid deck. Thanks!

Filed under: Items, Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Mounts

More items for cards from TCG expansion

One of the most interesting aspects of the WoW TCG (trading card game) has been the in-game tie-ins. The best-known example is probably the ever-popular turtle mount, which is only attainable via a scratch-off-to-reveal code that can be found on rare cards. There is also apparently a hippogryph pet and a couple of tabards (flame, frost), though I haven't personally seen either. So it comes as no surprise that the expansion to the TCG, Through the Dark Portal, will feature more of these loot-for-cards promotions. As announced on Upper Deck's page, here's what you can get:
  • Picnic Blanket. When used, summons a nice picnic setup, complete with umbrella and grill. Anyone around can right-click the grill to get "Grilled Picnic Treat," a BoP food that gives a buff reading "Does nothing. Tastes great!" Hopefully this blanket is reusable, since it looks pretty neat when used (see pic).
  • A pet monkey named Bananas. Come on, it's a pet monkey! Like Upper Deck says, who doesn't want a pet monkey? Very cute.
  • Finally, there will be a "fortune-telling device." Click it and an imp appears and whispers an answer to you (allegedly to the entire party, in a future patch, though I think that would get old fast). Upperdeck says it's similar to "a certain toy you may have had as a child." This would definitely help make some decisions a bit easier.
Neat stuff. Do any of you play the TCG? How is it? Like everyone else I know, I played a lot of Magic: the Gathering when I was younger, but I haven't really touched those kinds of games in a while.

[thanks, Dave!]

Filed under: Items, Expansions

CMs Caught at GenCon


Behold, Blizzard CMs Tseric and Drysc! (left and right) Linsha from Muradin (looking happy in the middle-- the one without the pink hair) caught the two at GenCon showing off the new WoW CCG (she also caught Eyonix and Caydiem last year). Drysc looks like he'd be a fun guy to hang out with on an MC run, but Tseric, as many players point out, looks like he's a little too twitchy on the "BANNED!" button. Unfortunately Linsha didn't get a shot of Nethaera-- apparently he she* got left back at Blizzard HQ to fend off greedy requests for loot.

As far as I know, we don't have any internal operatives currently at GenCon playing the game, but if you're there and checking it out, feel free to send a few tips our way on what you thought of it (use the "Send us news tips" link over on the sidebar). I am working on contacting one source who's there right now, but I'm not sure I can get this darned gnomish communicator working right-- it keeps connecting me to something that sounds like a robot chicken..

*Update: Whoops. Sorry Neth. That's what happens when we don't get pics of you!

Filed under: Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Odds and ends, Blizzard

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