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Overwatch Legendary Edition coming to Nintendo Switch on October 15th

Posted on September 4, 2019 by Jason Nason

Overwatch Legendary Edition was announced for Nintendo Switch today. Tracer, Mei, Hanzo and all the other colorful characters from massively popular online game Overwatch are coming to Nintendo Switch. The fast-paced multiplayer game is scheduled to hit Nintendo Switch on October 15th.

Pre-purchase in Nintendo eShop starts today.

Join the fight for the future in the world of Overwatch and choose your hero from a diverse cast of soldiers, scientists, adventurers, and oddities. Bend time, defy physics, and unleash a dizzying array of extraordinary powers and weapons. Engage your enemies in iconic locations from around the globe in the ultimate team-based shooter.

The game will also be available in retail stores, however the package doesn’t actually include a game card and has a full game download code instead. The game is a hefty 12.1 GB. It also includes a redeemable code for Nintendo Switch Online Individual Membership 3-month subscription, 5 Legendary Hero Skins, 5 Epic Hero Skins, and 5 Origin Hero Skins.


Report: Blizzard Cancels Starcraft Shooter To Focus On Overwatch Sequel

Posted on June 8, 2019 by Rae Michelle Richards

Blizzard Entertainment is notoriously secretive when it comes to their in-development projects but that didn’t stop gaming journalist sleuth Jason Schreier of Kotaku unearthing that the Anaheim based developer halted work on the yet another Starcraft shooter (RIP Ghost) to move developers onto either a continuation or spin-off title set in the Overwatch Universe currently called “Overwatch 2”.

Project Ares was the code name given to this potential Starcraft third person shooter helmed by veteran developer Dustin Browder. A playable build of the game reportedly cast the player as a Terran Marine who could “gun down Zerg monsters” but future plans for the title included the ability to potentially play as the Zerg, but development was slow and it’s not known if this milestone was ever reached. Project Ares has been in active development for at least two years and it’s sudden cancellation only occurred a couple of weeks ago.

With developers moved onto what is essentially “the next Overwatch title” – what does that game look like? It’s been compared to Valve’s Left for Dead Games By Schreier’s sources, meaning that it has is most likely not a single player game but something closer to the smaller scale P.V.E modes released every spring for the game’s anniversary event. Imagine a scenario where teams of 4 Overwatch members have to defeat waves of Talon Robots – a likely event were Blizzard to show us more of the non PVP aspects of Overwatch. Reportedly Overwatch 2, the still unannounced Diablo 4 and the cancelled Starcraft project all run on the same engine – a change for Blizzard which with the exclusion of Starcraft II and Heroes of the Storm generally have different engines for each major franchise.

The public didn’t hear about the former Project Titan (which would be later reworked into Overwatch) very much at all while it was in active development. Aside from the odd omission of the projects existence during investor calls (and to be honest none of us listen to those) – Titan was spoken about mostly by fans as speculation and nothing more.

Blizzard actually did issue a vague statement to Kotaku which read in part:

“We always have people working on different ideas behind the scenes – including on multiple projects right now – but the reason we tend not to discuss them publicly is because anything can happen over the course of development.”



Blizzard’s Action RPG Series Comes To Mobile With Diablo Immortal

Posted on November 2, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

What Is It?

Diablo Immortal is the first entry in Blizzard’s two decades old ARPG franchise to be developed specifically for mobile phones. Revealed during the Blizzcon 2018 opening ceremonies, Diablo Immortal is promising to be the full dungeon crawling experience that players are used too but optimized for mobile devices and touch-centric interfaces. Development duties aren’t being handled by Blizzard directly but rather by Chinese publisher Net Ease who have published Minecraft in China, as well as the popular mobile Battle Royale, games Knives Out and Rules of Survival.

Is Your Favorite Class In Diablo Immortal?

At launch Diablo Immortal will support six classes:

  • Monk
  • Wizard
  • Crusader
  • Demon Hunter
  • Necromancer

No additional classes have been announced but during their “Diablo What’s Next” panel, developers did say that they will be listening to community feedback about what classes to bring to Immortal in the future.

What Do We Know About The World of Diablo Immortal?

  • Lore-wise Diablo Immortal is set between Diablo II and Diablo III and will explain questions like “what happened once Tyrel left heaven?” and “what was Deckard Cain up to between the two games?”.
  • Skarn, the Herald of Terror will be featured prominently alongside select baddies from Diablo II and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction.
  • 8 public zones will be in Diablo Immortal at launch with the first zone to be revealed called “Bilefen”, another zone called “Frozen Throne” (and no – not Arthas’ Frozen Throne) will also be available. Adventurers will also explore a library belonging to Zoltun Kulle that is different from the one that appeared in Diablo III.
  • Westmarch is a large thriving capital city during the events of Immortal.
  • Shared multiplayer open world zones will have respawning monsters while instanced dungeons will not have NPC respawns.

When Will It Be Out?

We don’t know when Diablo Immortal will release on either Google Play or iOS App Store just yet. It is also unknown how monetization will work in Diablo Immortal, if the game will be free-to-play or if it will be a premium priced mobile game.  By pre-registering on the game’s official website, future players can unlock rewards.

Source: WoWhead


Blizzard has Big Plans for World of Warcraft Patch 8.1

Posted on October 23, 2018 by Sponsored Content

The latest expansion in the world’s longest running MMORPG— World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth—has been nothing short of controversial. Fan reactions have been divided with the new changes brought on by the BfA xpac. Bugs and technical issues plagued the expansion in the beginning and contributed to much of the negative reaction it received.

Blizzard would soon release the first patch to the expansion: the Tides of Vengeance. No release date has been set but the company has publicized some details regarding gameplay and lore.
Players expect the upcoming patch to fix some of the issues that keep garnering complaints. Some fans were not happy with certain changes Blizzard made to core gameplay following the previous expansion, Legion. Quite infamously, the legendaries of Legion were replaced with a new gearing system based on Azerite, a fantasy element mined from the “blood” of Azeroth, the world the game is set in. With the new patch, Blizzard might make up for those mistakes.

Without further ado, here is a list of features most likely to be available in patch 8.1:

Game Gamer Gaming Pc Player Computer Hands

Multithreading Optimization

Perhaps the most intriguing improvement rumored to come to 8.1 are the new optimizations for the game. Unlike most recent previous expansions, Blizzard will introduce multithreading optimizations to make the game run smoother on newer gaming computers.
The optimization would only affect people with gaming computers that run DirectX 12. Your computer would also require a Windows 10 operating system. This would further require a top-notch processor. World of Warcraft is a CPU-bound game, which means that its performance is highly dependent on how speedy the CPU is. You can technically run the game on even an older processor like a dual-core Intel Pentium, but for the optimal experience, upgrade to a new gaming computer with the latest processors and GPUs.


Fans of the game have not been particularly pleased with the direction the story has been taking, to put it mildly. In BfA, Blizzard controversially set the torch to Teldrassil, the starting zone for the night elf players and one of the most important landmarks for the race. The Legion expansion ended with the faction war between the Horde and the Alliance once more coming into focus. With Tides of Vengeance, Blizzard is determined to continue making the faction war central to the premise of the expansion.
Patch 8.1 will pick up on a number of unresolved story threads. And there are quite a number of these. Harking back to the cinematics and cutscenes from the previous expansions, players will go on a quest to discover why the Horde’s former warchief, Vol’jin, appointed Sylvanas Windrunner as his successor. In a previous cutscene, players learn that spirits whispered her name to Vol’jin as he lay dying. Given that Sylvanas goes on to ignite the faction war and burn down Teldrassil with thousands of innocent night elves inside, players may learn what kind of spirit was behind this incident.

Rigorously data mined texts from 8.1 also shows a questline with another important Horde character, Varok Saurfang, and the brand new character Zekhan, whom fans have lovingly nicknamed “zappy boi.” Saurfang was captured by the Alliance at the end of BfA. In the new patch, players learn that he has escaped, albeit under suspicious circumstances. Warchief Sylvanas wants players to join one of her dark rangers to bring Saurfang back into the fold, or so she claims.

Along with the faction war is the looming threat of N’zoth, an old god, and his “queen,” Azshara, the fallen elf queen of Azeroth’s not-so-distant past. The two have lurked in the shadows for several previous expansions and will most likely make a comeback in 8.1.

New Raids, Warfronts, and Incursions

Patch 8.1 will introduce brand new boss raids and other gameplay elements that form the essential backbone of BfA. Tides of Vengeance will feature the Alliance going on the offensive against the Horde’s destruction of night elf lands. The high priestess of the night elves, Tyrande Whisperwind, undergoes a dangerous ritual that transforms her from a priestess into the Night Warrior, ready to wreak vengeance against the Horde, hence the title of the new patch.

The Alliance offensive would include the highly anticipated raid on Zuldazar, an ancient empire of the Zandalari trolls. There are cool new looks and skins players can use for this segment. The Kul Tiran Admiral Jaina Proudmoore will lead a naval assault that will be met by the navies of the Zandalari trolls lead by Princess Talanji.
Horde and Alliance players would have different experiences when it comes to the raids presented in this patch. For example, the Siege of Zuldazar, a major 9-boss raid, would have the players of the two factions fighting on different sides of the same city.

There’s a plan for a smaller 2-boss raid called Crucible of Storms. Though small, this has an important lore connection to another raid in Stormsong Valley. This raid would supposedly connect N’zoth and Azshara to the larger storyline.

Patch 8.1 would add new war fronts, as well So far, data mined texts show a new battle for Darkshore, where the night elves push back against the Horde, particularly Sylvanas and her Forsaken. Ion Hazzikostas, the game director for World of Warcraft, has said that Alliance would be the aggressors in this scenario.
There’s another confirmed war front in the Arathi Highlands, said to feature “unique” bosses and drops for cool new armor for night elves and the Forsaken.
The upcoming patch would also introduce Incursions, heavily based on the invasions featured in legion that fans particularly loved. Not much is known yet about Incursions in BfA, but developers have promised to deliver new gear and experiences with these.

There will be shiny new World Quests to complete, not to mention World Quests in Zandalar and Kul Tiras. It’s not known yet whether Blizzard would introduce more quests in other zones as well.
Blizzard is still mum on what exactly will come to patch 8.1. The above details are what we gathered from announcements and data mined information. So far though, everything looks very promising.

The above post has been a sponsored post from Computer-Realm.net. Broken Joysticks does not receive any commission from sales made through embedded links on our site but we were paid a small fee for hosting this article.


Diablo III Eternal Collection brings the acclaimed action RPG to Nintendo Switch

Posted on August 19, 2018 by Jason Nason

Later this year, the definitive version of Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo III will come to the Nintendo Switch, including all the features and content from every expansion and update as well as exclusive bonus items.

The Eternal Collection is the definitive edition of the action RPG, and includes the original Diablo III, the Reaper of Souls expansion, and the Rise of the Necromancer pack. With seven powerful character classes, a five-act campaign that spans the lore-rich and demon-infested world of Sanctuary, and an endlessly replayable Adventure Mode, the Eternal Collection is the perfect all-in-one package to introduce newcomers to a lifetime of adventure.

Up to four players can also band together to engage in grand multiplayer crusades, whether they’re sharing a screen on a single Nintendo Switch, linking their consoles together wirelessly, or teaming up through the Nintendo Switch Online service.

Exclusive content for the Nintendo Switch system includes bonus items like The Legend of Ganondorf cosmetic armor set, inspired by the iconic villain from The Legend of Zelda series.


Blizzard Celebrates Starcraft 20th Anniversary With Cross Game Promotional Event

Posted on March 6, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

Blizzard has rolled out a whole wave of unlockable goodies across Diablo III, Starcraft 2, Overwatch, Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original Starcraft on PC. Each game has a different reward to claim ranging from small profile portraits to exclusive skins featuring Sarah Kerrigan (yay!).

Here’s a breakdown of what players of each tittle will receive should they login between today and March 31st:

  • Starcraft Remastered (full version) – Starcraft 20th Anniversary UI Skin.
  • Starcraftr II – A set of three user interface skins (one per race), a portrait and a decal.
  • World of Warcraft – /salute a Starcraft mini-pet and receive the “Salute to Starcraft” limited time achievement.
  • Overwatch – Sarah Kerrigan Ghost Skin for Widowmaker.
  • Hearthstone – Play the Starcraft themed Tavern Brawl between March 21st and 25th and receive 3 free Kobolds & Catacombs packs.
  • Heroes of the Storm – 20th anniversary Protoss, Terran and Zerg display pictures featuring artwork from the original game.
  • Diablo III – Dominion’s Revenge pet.

I’m a little disappointed in the Heroes of the Storm reward in particular. Considering the amount of Starcraft Heroes – like Raynor, Kerrigan, Tychus etc – you’d think they’d have something a little more substantial than three display pictures. Both SCII and Heroes of the Storm even share the same engine! Rumor has it the next revealed hero will be from the Starcraft Universe but the dev team could have done so muchg better here.

For more details check out the official Starcraft II site.

[Image via SubControllers on Flickr]


Heroes of the Storm Volskyia Foundry Event Now Live

Posted on September 27, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Heroes of the Nexus shall assemble within the foundries of Volskyia Industries with the latest in-game event for Blizzard’s MOBA. Bringing a brand new Overwatch themed Map (Volskyia Foundry), the elder sniper Anna from OW, a brand new A.I system and an in-game Pachimari limited time quest this event is a substantial amount of content for a game that has such a frequent release cycle. 

New Hero – Ana 

Seasoned sniper Ana enters the nexus with her trust biotic rifle and grenades on hand to lend support to her team. Her basic abilities allow players to shoot syringes full of healing serum at friendly targets or inflict poisonousness wounds that deal damage over time to enemy units. Biotic Grenade can either heal friendly units for a large amount or stop enemy heroes from receiving healing for a limited time. Her passive trait is pretty interesting, it is almost like Lunara’s poison, in that it applies DOT (damage over time) to those hit. Unlike Lunara’s basic attack trait, Ana’s can stack up to five times on a single target.  

Here is a breakdown of all of her basic moves, trait and ultimate abilities: 

Healing Dart – First dart to hit a friendly hero heals for 250. 
Biotic Grenade – Heal Heroes in range for 175 + they gain an additional 25% healing for next 4 seconds. Enemies hit with Biotic Grenade cannot receive healing for 2 seconds and take 60 DMG.
Sleep Dart – Put an enemy hero to sleep for 3 seconds, Attacking the same hero with a basic attack from any source causes them to wake up.
Nano Boost (Ultimate)  – Ana recovers 200 mana, friendly hero affected by Nano Boost 30% spell power and their basic ability cooldowns have a refresh % of 150%.
Eye of Horus (Ultimate) – Fire up to 8 specialized rounds. Enemies hit with rounds from Eye of Horus take 175 DMG, friendlies hit by Eye of Horus take additional 300 points healing. Ana is not able to move while using this ultimate.  

New Map  Volskyia Foundry 

Travel to the futuristic tundra of a Russian foundry in this brand new Overwatch map for Heroes of the Storm.  Unlike the currently pulled from rotation Hanamura map, Foundry has only one objective active at a time. With a small King of the Hill style objective point – each team must strategize effectively to control the objective or risk losing it to their opponents. Just like in Overwatch a contested point can go into a nail-biting overtime. Your team’s reward for holding the control point? The ability for two players at once to control a giant mech and march it straight to the enemy base. 

Pachimari Collection Quest 

For the next little while, a personal favorite of mine – Overwatch’s little Pachimari plush – will be collectible in Heroes of the Storm. At the start of a match, dozens of loot boxes will spawn on the field and the team that collects the highest number of Pachimari during those opening seconds are rewarded with progress towards the event quest. Not only do these event boxes contain “legendary” gold Pachimari but a “Pachimari MVP” is crowned before the gates come down to begin the match! 


What do you think of this HOTS event? Let me know in the comments section!


Overwatch Getting FFA Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch In Next Patch

Posted on August 11, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Heroes will clash against each other with no payload to escort in Overwatch’s upcoming Deathmatch mode which will be introduced in a new patch after the Summer Games conclude on August 28th. Unlike the death match-like Skrimish Mode, the official DM modes will come with their own special scoreboard and some modifications to player abilities.

Gamer Director Jeff Kaplan surprised the community with the two new modes – Free for All Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch in a brand new developer update via the official Overwatch YouTube channel. Certain Heroes will not have access to all of their abilities during a Free For All match – Mercy for example only has her blaster and since she cannot resurrect herself, her ultimate ability is turned off alongside her escape ability.  When playing Mercy on TDM all of her abilities are unlocked with some small tweaks – when using resurrect your opponents kill count will be reduced!

Players need not worry about being the top player on the scoreboard to get credit towards their Arcade loot boxes. As long as a player is within the top 4 (on their team in TDM or overall in FFA) they’ll receive credit towards the weekly boxes. When the two modes launch they’ll have win conditions set to first to 20 kills for FFA and 30 kills for TDM. The selection of maps will differ between modes – split between existing maps used for objective mode, the elimination maps added during the Orisa patch and a brand new map focusing on the backstory for Talon member Widowmaker.

If you’re sick of playing Lucioball or trying to unlock that time limited McCree and Soldier 76 skins you can tryout these new modes on the PTR. They are expected to be rolled out  around September 5th, which is the first Tuesday after the Summer Games end.

[Header Image Via Youtube]


Doomfist Arrives On Live Servers With New Overwatch Patch!

Posted on July 27, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Overwatch’s 25th hero, Doomfist, has finished his testing phase on the PTR and is now live on the PC and console versions of the game. Alongside the release of Doomfist – who has been adjusted considerably since his initial reveal – this latest patch brings a number of changes to player mobility across a number of heroes and voice lines for both D.VA and Genji.


I’ve covered Doomfist in the past two weeks a couple of times. So to get a quick impression of what he is capable of, here is a summary of his abilities that I posted a few weeks back. Primarily his adjustments on the PTR involved how far his rocket punch and uppercut abilities launched opponents and moved. The actual functionality of the moves hasn’t really changed.

Doomfist Abilities:

Hand Cannon – Fires short ranged projectile from the knuckles of his smaller hand. Ammunition is automatically regenerated over time.
Seismic Slam – Doomfist leaps forward into the air and smashes down to the ground affecting any foes below him.
Rising Uppercut – Launches enemies that are in front of Doomfist into the air.
Rocket Punch – A powerful charge forward that completes with a massive blow from Doomfist’s mechanical arm.
Meteor Strike (Ultimate) – Leap into the sky and then come crashing down to deal damage and stun opponents.
The Best Defense (Passive – Gain a temporary shield when dealing ability damage to opponents.

Movement Changes

Mcree’s flash bang now slows targets considerably faster than before. This means that a swift striking Genji can’t dodge the slowing effect of the Flash Bang’s stung.

Graviton Surge, Zarya’s ultimate ability, now stops all hero movement for those in the affected area. This means that using Genji’s Swift Strike or spending all of Tracer’s blink charges are no longer viable strategies to escape the Gravity well. Ditto for Mercy’s shift ability which allows her to fly towards a friendly target.

Highlight System

Remember that highlight system that Jeff Kaplan talked about during a recent developer update? It is now live on PC! Overwatch will now curate your top 5 daily clips and store them for a full 24 hours. Players are also now able to generate 12-second clips by using a new bindable record button. One thing to remember about these highlights is that they are only valid until the next patch – regardless if it is a major or minor addition to the game. Make sure to export your highlights often!

Here is how Blizzard described the new system:

“The game will continue to automatically generate highlights for you based on your recent gameplay. These auto-generated highlights—now categorized as “Today’s Top 5”—will be surfaced on a daily basis and persist for a full 24 hours (or until the game client is patched, whichever happens first).

Players can now generate their own highlights! The ability to capture 12 seconds of your own gameplay has been added to the game, and can be bound to a single button of your choice (or a button per highlight slot) in the Options menu under “Request Highlight.” These player-generated highlights will be saved under a new section called “Recently Captured” and will persist until the game client is patched. Players can have up to 36 recently-captured highlights stored at one time.

With the above, players can now record any of their “Top 5” or “Recently Captured” highlights, exporting them as a video file to their gaming platform’s designated media library (on console) or directory (on PC). On PC, players will also have the option to select the quality at which these highlights are exported, supporting up to 4K for Windows 8 or higher operating systems, and up to 1080p on Windows 7.”

Get A Video Rundown

Want to know more about the latest Overwatch Patch? Check out the handy video recap in the player below or read the official notes on Blizzard’s site.


Starcraft Remastered Out This August

Posted on June 30, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Prepare to construct additional pilons and make sure your mineral harvesting skills are at peak performance as Blizzard is prepared to re-release 1998’s Starcraft and the Broodwar Expansion for the HD generation on August 14th through the Blizzard App.

StarCraft: Remastered features not only revamped visuals & widescreen support but also the ability to play this real time strategy classic in 4K for the first time. While unit balance and build orders will remain unchanged from the original versions, Blizzard has made an effort to clean up the mission briefing artwork and remaster the in-game audio as well. New features that where not possible in ’98 also include cloud saving through the Blizzard App, matchmaking and brand new leaderboards.

StarCraft: Remastered will be priced at $14.99 USD ($19.49 CDN) and includes three special building skins for those who pre-order before the games’ release.


Last Week of Nexus Challenge 2.0 Rewards 10 Overwatch & HOTS Lootboxes

Posted on May 17, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Fans of Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch on PC can snag 10 loot boxes for each game if they’re willing to play 5 HOTS 2.0 friends between now and May 22nd. Complete some matches with your pals and cross your fingers that last hero in your collection or epic skin drops from of these gratis loot piñatas.

Nexus Challenge 2.0 is part of a larger marketing push for Blizzard Entertainment’s MOBA which saw a major reworking of its cash shop, hero purchasing, item unlocking and the inclusion of Overwatch style Loot Chests. For a more in-depth look at the major changes that came with the HOTS 2.0 rollout including new heroes, Genji & D.VA read our previous coverage.

All four weeks worth of Nexus Challenge 2.0 quests will be available until May 21st and must be completed in order to earn that week’s rewards. Console players of Overwatch are also able to link their console Overwatch account to their Battle.net launcher in order to earn the week four loot boxes on their platform of choice.

Here is a brief rundown of the Nexus 2.0 unlocks:

Week 1

  • Orochi Hovercycle HOTS Mount
  • Oni Genji Banner
  • Oni Genji Spray
  • Oni Genji Portrait
  • Oni Genji Skin / Spray and Icon in Overwatch

Week 2

  • Busan Police Hovercycle mount in HOTS
  • Police D.VA Skin in Overwatch

Week 3

  • Overwatch HOTS Hexagon mount
  • Officer D.VA Banner, Spray and Player icon in HOTS 2.0
  • Officer D.VA Spray and Icon in Overwatch

Week 4

  • 10 Loot Chests in HOTS 2.0 (one Rare)
  • 10 Loot Boxes in Overwatch

In my previous coverage of the recent Quake Champions Beta I’ve touched upon some of the huge pitfalls with in-game random loot boxes and how they prey upon the same psychological techniques & exploits as slot machines and other forms of gambling. Other authors have done far more exhaustive research into the topic such as IGN’s Nathan Lawrence who spoke to experts in behavioral psychology at the Video Game Addiction Treatment Centre about the implications and mechanics of in-game RNG loot boxes. This is a topic I’m planning on covering in a series of future articles on our site but Lawrence’s article is an in-depth and fascinating look at how exactly these boxes trick our brains into hoping for that rare drop when the numbers tell us there is less than a 1 in 100 chance we could see it.

Speaking about how receiving that 1% or less rare drop just once reinforces the impulse to purchase more drops in the hopes of duplicating previous success Emil Hodzic from the Videogames Addiction Treatment Centre told Lawerence that:

“Then that dynamic of the gambling – the poker machine motivation system comes in – whereby, you get one really good skin or emote one time and it wants you to [get] more. Over time, the interest and the attachment and the drive for what you get from that loot drop can definitely increase, especially when they’ve got the seasons thing, like [a] Halloween [event].”

[Image Source]

I hope everyone who completes the Nexus 2.0 challenge enjoys their spoils for the amount of time that they’ve put into the game. Opening Lootboxes can be a fun experience but remember that all of the numbers behind the flashy lights and sounds have been calculated so that you’ll part with just another dollar or two in hopes of getting that epic drop.

Images provided from Blizzard’s official Nexus 2.0 website. Quote from IGN.com



Heroes of the Storm 2.0 Launches With $200 of Free Content

Posted on April 27, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Blizzard has unleashed the largest update for Heroes of the Storm since their Multiplayer Online Battle Arena launched in the summer of 2015. After 22 months since the initial release,  HOTS’ loot system gets a complete rework, the in-game shop has been completely redesigned, changes to skins, dozens of brand new collectibles and two new heroes. To cap things off both returning players and newbies can score 20 free heroes and $10 of in-game currency for simply logging in.

Loot Boxes & Overall Progression

Overwatch’s popular loot box system makes its way to Heroes of the Storm with the recently release 2.0 update. To accomplish this brand new feature the development team have made changes to how items are purchased / earned in game, how player progression & heroes levels work and a discontinuation of real world currency pricing for skins & other cosmetic items.

Individual hero levels remain in-tact with HOTS 2.0 but now all of your combined previous hero levels are totaled into a new account “Player Level” which also features a level cap much higher than the previous limit of 40. Player Level is directly tied to the reward of receiving a loot box, every time your player level increased by one you are rewarded with one “common loot box”. Meeting specific progression objectives (example: level Valla to 15) will also reward you a loot box that contains a specific set of items for that hero. Lastly, there is rare and epic level loot boxes that are guaranteed to contain a high quality item – these are usually tied to certain player level progressions every 25 levels or so.

Discontinuation of Real World Pricing & New Currencies 

In the last version of Heroes of the Storm currencies were very easy to manage because there were only two: gold & real world prices on heroes/skins. With HOTS 2.0 things get a lot more complicated with the addition of two new currencies – Gems & Shards and the removal of the real world prices.

Here is a quick rundown of what the new currencies are used for and how to obtain them:

Gems – Purchased with real world currency in predefined blocks (minimum $5 purchase), can also be rewarded as a progression unlock. These are used for exchanging real world cash for heroes or loot boxes only, skins are no longer purchasable.

Gold –  Earned at the end of every match, can be exchanged for heroes or to “reroll” loot boxes, regenerating the content inside.

Shards – A brand new currency that allows players to craft unlockable that can only otherwise be obtained through random loot boxes. Shards are earned by unlocking duplicate items from loot boxes and prices on items begin at as little as 50 shards (you get around 20 shards per duplicate) or as high as 1600 shards for the most coveted items.

Free Stuff For Every Player – 20 Hero Packs!

Between now and May 22nd any player who logs into Heroes of the Storm will be able to select one of four themed free hero packs from the in-game store.  Each of these packs are based around specific roles that you’ll find in the game – Assassins, Supports / Specialists, Tanks / Bruisers or a “Flex” bundle which includes a little bit of everything.

Here is a rundown of all of the available bundles:


  • Alarak
  • Chromie
  • Falstad
  • Greymane
  • Gul’dan
  • Kael’thas
  • Kerrigan
  • Li-Ming
  • Lunara
  • Nazeebo
  • Nova
  • Raynor
  • Sylvanas
  • Butcher
  • Tracer
  • Tychus
  • Valeera
  • Valla
  • Zeratul
  • Zul Jin

Support / Specialist

  • Abathur
  • Auriel
  • Brightwing
  • Chen
  • Dehaka
  • T.C
  • Johanna
  • Kharazim
  • Li Li
  • Morales
  • Lucio
  • Malfurion
  • Medivh
  • Muradin
  • Rehgar
  • Stitches
  • Tassadar
  • Tyrael
  • Uther
  • Zarya

Tanks / Bruisers

  • Alarak
  • Anub arak
  • Artanis
  • Arthas
  • Chen
  • Diablo
  • Dehaka
  • Illidan
  • Kharazim
  • Leoric
  • Muradin
  • Ragnaros
  • Rexxar
  • Samuro
  • Sonya
  • Stitches
  • Thrall
  • Varian

Flex Bundle

  • Abathur
  • Arthas
  • Azmodan
  • Brightwing
  • Diablo
  • ETC
  • Greymane
  • Johanna
  • Kerrigan
  • Li Li
  • Li Ming
  • Morales
  • Nazeebo
  • Rehgar
  • Rexxar
  • Sylvanas
  • The Lost Vikings
  • Tychus
  • Varian
  • Zul Jin

Two New Heroes and So Much More

If you’ve stuck it out this far into the article and aren’t totally lost – this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the changes that Heroes of the Storm 2.0 brings to Blizzard’s MOBA. If your eyes wandered off the screen after $200 of free in-game items and immediately started downloading the game, I don’t blame you.

If you’re still with me – HOTS 2.0 adds Overwatch’s Genji to the roster. This cybernetic Ninja has similar abilities to the ones that he uses in Overwatch, the dev team have done their best to adapt these characters as faithfully as they can. Genji can throw three shurikens at once, traverse over terrain and unleash his ultimate ability – the dragon blade! Next week D.VA from Overwatch will also be joining the multiplayer battle fun and the second week of the cross over Nexus 2.0 challenge continues as well.

For all of the changes to HOTS make sure to check out their official website and let us know what you think of Blizzard’s improvements in the comments section as well.


Overwatch Custom Game Browser Now Available On PTR

Posted on February 11, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Overwatch’s game director Jeff Kaplan took to YouTube this week to announce that custom games are getting an overhaul along with the launch of the first version of a custom server browser, allowing players to search custom games for the first time.

Custom game hosts can configure a number of options with this latest update. Here is just a small sample of the options available for players to play around with.

  • Enable / disable individual heroes
  • Change the rate of health regeneration from health packs and abilities
  • Disable abilities and ultimate’s entirely
  • Change movement speeds
  • Limit team sizes
  • Limit map rotation

This can lead to a lot of interesting custom game variations, some of which have already hit YouTube. Here are some of these inventive modes include “Juggernaut” – a single team of one super health / damage boosted Roadhog or “tower defense” offensive attack heroes against a team of six Torb / Symetra defenders on a payload map.

Check out some of these modes in these embedded videos:

Here is Jeff Kaplan’s original video message, which almost a million people have watched. The Custom Game Browser is now available on the PTR, and is expected to drop in the first post Lunar Festival update next week.


Overwatch Lunar Festival Trailer Shows Off New Skins & Capture The Flag Mode

Posted on January 24, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

A leaked trailer for the upcoming Overwatch Lunar Festival event showcases not only quite a few new skins for Tracer, Bastion, Mei, D.VA and others but also a brand new mode Capture The Flag. It looks like a version of the trailer was posted on YouTube a bit early – the event is scheduled to start later today sometime after 9 AM PST. Thanks to the leaked trailer we also know that the event will run until Tuesday Feb 14th and since we won’t be getting a Valentine’s Day event, perhaps the end of the Lunar Festival is designed to break some hearts?

Here is an embed of the leaked trailer (if it hasn’t been taken down):

Here are some interesting screen-grabs from the trailer:

Tracer Being a Goof:

A New Epic Skin For Mercy (??)

Festival Skinned Lijiang Tower:


Thanks to NEOGAF here is the complete list of new skins & emotes we see in the trailer:
“New Skins and Emotes –


Edit: Oh my god that Tracer lion emote WANTTTTTTTTTTTTT”


Blizzard launches book-publishing label

Posted on December 8, 2016 by Jason Nason

Blizzard Entertainment today announced the creation of a book-publishing label, Blizzard Publishing, dedicated to developing and releasing new Blizzard publications and reissuing out-of-print titles in the company’s Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo settings. These releases will either come directly and through ongoing global partnerships.

Blizzard has plans to make several of their publishing arm’s upcoming releases available in multiple formats, including print, audiobook, and e-book.

The first books published under the Blizzard Publishing label include two sets of previously released novels and manga. The books include titles under the Blizzard Legends banner, including Warcraft: The Last Guardian by Jeff Grubb, Warcraft: Lord of the Clans by Christie Golden, and World of Warcraft: Rise of the Horde by Christie Golden.

Titles included in the Blizzard Manga banner include Warcraft Legends: Volume One, with stories by Richard A. Knaak, Dan Jolley, and Jae-Hwan Kim as well as Warcraft Legends: Volume Two, with stories by Richard A. Knaak, Dan Jolley, and Aaron Sparrow.

Future releases in the Blizzard Legends and Blizzard Manga series will include titles across multiple Blizzard franchises.

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