2P Hearthstone Streamer Invitational Tournament Today!

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

2P is hosting a Hearthstone tournament today, which is already underway. The rounds are a best of three elimination, with the grand final as a best of five. 2P’s official page is here. It provides links to their official Twitch stream and the Twitch streams of the players.

The decks are all constructed beforehand and have been absolutely monstrous. This is an excellent opportunity to watch some great plays and learn what some of the best can do. Good luck to all the contenders!

How many minions again?

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Activision Blizzard, Blizzard Entertainment, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Hearthstone provides a useful graph of information when constructing an Arena deck: the mana curve. It’s an invaluable chart that can help smooth out the transition from early to mid to late game, fix problems as you construct a deck (too many high costs cards, or no beefy minions at all). Certain deck strategies can subvert the curve or ignore it entirely, but most decks and their players watch it carefully. I’d like the mana curve added when making custom decks in Play mode because of how useful it is. I consider its absence an oversight and it hopefully appears later.

I’d like to see another graph added to Hearthstone’s deck construction: a minion versus spell chart. While not as vital as the mana curve, displaying a bit of info about the number of minions in your deck as well as the number of spells would be helpful. A mana curve taken at face value can be deceptive because it doesn’t distinguish between card types. Lots of cost spells may keep your curve smooth but a lack of early minions may leave you vulnerable. It’s not too troublesome to count the totals or track them externally but implementing such a feature seems like a natural addition to an already robust and informative UI.

As long as I’m talking about things I’d like added to a free game, how about showing cards by type? Neutrals and class cards, basics and experts, commons, rares, epics, and legendaries. The growing list of charts could be situated across from the deck list, or a button could be added next to the deck list to flip it over and display the information. Swap, swap.

These are minor suggestions from an immensely satisfied customer, however. The game is kinetic and fun, the cards well illustrated and expansive. I’d still really like banter from the heroes to each other. There are potentially more boards in the works, which is great, but I hate waiting for them. Personally I’d love to see an Undercity board with rats scurrying across the play area, maybe dodging cards. And anything from Northrend.

What about you? Any locales you’re waiting for? Any information you’d like Hearthstone to display?

Update: I am a fool. The mana curve is available in constructed: hover over a hero’s image and you can see your current curve.

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Ben Brode Doesn’t Flip Coins

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Activision Blizzard, Blizzard Entertainment, Blizzard Games News, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Well, he probably does. Who doesn’t? But he’s careful and doesn’t leave the construction of Hearthstone to chance and whimsy. In a previous column I discussed the issues with the coin that most players are stirred up about. It’s a hot button issue – the coin has proponents and detractors. Hearthstone’s forums are brimming with threads discussing, at length, the impact of that little card.

But none carry as much weight as the words of Mr. Brode. In a post on the Hearthstone forums Brode details the history behind its inception, the logic for its purpose, and the hard numbers of the coin’s actual significance in games. With Hearthstone’s systems closely monitored by developers the figures aren’t amorphous, specific samples from a handful of games but rather a complete and exhaustive data set. And they provide some incredible insight into the coin’s impact.

Across all leagues, 52.2% of wins are for the player who goes first. In master league, where the giants fight, that imbalance shrinks to 50.4%. The advantage of going first isn’t insurmountable and the coin seems to be fulfilling its role as a field leveler. The passionate responses it stirs may be more related to its potential for momentum shifting: dropping a heavy minion a turn before it’s expected or delivering a powerful combo attack (as has been done to me with frustrating regularity).

Arena statistics aren’t provided, but further in the thread a player asks and Mr. Brode answers. The results are similar to standard mode, a slight advantage to going first but it isn’t significant. The coin is here to stay. I’m happy the developers provided numbers about the coin’s use and impact during a game rather than simply stating a position and expecting the players to live with it. The statistics and comments may not convince everyone but it convinces me. It’s not a game breaker, just a light touch on the scale.

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Bring BlizzCon to You with the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket – DirecTV

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2013, Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Next-Gen MMO, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

Blizzard Entertainment has announced the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket is now on sale. The Virtual Ticket allows you to watch live the different panels either on DirecTV or online.

Fans do not need to purchase anything to watch the WCS and Warcraft eSports Tournament Streams. Which is real nice.

What does this virtual ticket offers?

  • BlizzCon-exclusive in-game goodies for World of Warcraft®, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™ (details coming soon).
  • access to an exclusive, limited-time online pre-BlizzCon merchandise sale featuring a selection of commemorative items that will be available for purchase at the show for 5 days.

Read the press release below:

Bring BlizzCon(R) to You with the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket

Experience Blizzard Entertainment’s epic Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® community celebration online this November 8 and 9—live and in HD Order NOW at www.blizzcon.com

IRVINE, Calif. –(BUSINESS WIRE)– BlizzCon® 2013 is just two months away—and while tickets to attend the show sold out in seconds, you can still get a virtual front-row seat at Blizzard Entertainment’s epic gaming convention with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, now available to order at www.blizzcon.com.

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The BlizzCon Virtual Ticket provides comprehensive live online HD coverage of Blizzard’s Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® community celebration, taking place November 8 and 9 at the Anaheim Convention Center . Available for $39.99 USD , the Virtual Ticket grants viewers access to both days of the show with two exclusive channels featuring unmatched BlizzCon content, including:

  • Developer Panels: Get the latest news and behind-the-scenes insight into your favorite Blizzard games—straight from the people who make them.
  • Exclusive Interviews: Dig deeper into the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo universes through exclusive interviews with Blizzard developers.
  • Community Contests: Witness the spectacle of the legendary BlizzCon Costume Contest and the new-for-2013 Talent Contest, both hosted by comedian and BlizzCon veteran Jay Mohr .
  • Closing Ceremony: Be a part of the closing festivities on Saturday night, capping off two full days of Blizzard gaming and eSports action (more details to be announced later).
  • On-Demand Replays: Rewatch epic moments with the Virtual Ticket’s DVR functionality, and catch content you might have missed for up to two weeks after the show’s over.

Bonus Loot! Anyone who orders a Virtual Ticket will also receive this year’s BlizzCon-exclusive in-game goodies for World of Warcraft®, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™ (details coming soon). The Virtual Ticket also grants access to an exclusive, limited-time online pre-BlizzCon merchandise sale featuring a selection of commemorative items that will be available for purchase at the show.† This special pre-BlizzCon sale is scheduled to take place over a 5-day period in the weeks leading up to the show, and will be followed by a public sale offering a more limited selection of items. More details will be announced at www.blizzcon.com in the weeks ahead.

ATTN: DIRECTV® Viewers! DIRECTV customers in the United States will once again be able to join the excitement by ordering the DIRECTV BlizzCon 2013 Pay Per View event, priced at $49.99 USD , which includes the Virtual Ticket online stream and in-game goodies mentioned above as part of the purchase. More information on the DIRECTV Pay Per View event, including how to order, will be announced at a later date.

Free eSports Streams! Even if you don’t purchase a Virtual Ticket, you’ll still be able to catch plenty of BlizzCon action online. Coverage of the BlizzCon opening ceremony and this year’s BlizzCon eSports tournaments—including the StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals and the World of Warcraft Arena Global Invitational—will be streamed for free in HD at www.blizzcon.com and the official WCS website (www.starcraft2.com/wcs).

BlizzCon 2013 would not be possible without the passion and enthusiasm of Blizzard Entertainment gamers around the world and the generosity of the event’s partners—Intel, NVIDIA, Sony Computer Entertainment , DIRECTV, SteelSeries, GIGABYTE, Rosewill, and EVGA—who provide demo-station hardware, peripherals, and more, and whose support helps make the broadcast possible.

More information on the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket can be found at www.blizzcon.com/virtual-ticket/. Further updates on BlizzCon 2013 will be available at www.blizzcon.com as the show draws nearer.

With multiple games in development, Blizzard Entertainment has numerous positions currently available—visit http://jobs.blizzard.com for more information and to learn how to apply.

†While supplies last. All orders placed in the online pre-BlizzCon merchandise sale will be shipped from the United States ; international shipping rates may apply.

 

EU Closed Beta

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Blizzard Entertainment, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

After a few long weeks of waiting Hearthstone followers in the EU can start playing today, provided an invite finds its way to an inbox. The full details are available here. A high number language availability, no NDA, and a gold equivalency for money spent during the beta.

Check your inboxes, I hope to find some fresh players to duel.

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Hearthstone Closed Beta Begins in Europe

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Blizzard Entertainment announced today Hearthstone closed beta has begun in Europe. A new wave of beta key giveaways will start very soon. Stay tuned to Blizzplanet and if you haven’t yet followed us on Facebook and Twitter, now it’s a good timing to do so.

Here’s a card we’ve been dying to play: the closed beta test for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has begun in the European region!

During the closed beta test, we’ll be inviting a range of duelers from our opt-in pool (along with folks from press and fansites) to try their hand at Hearthstone and let us know what they think. There’s no NDA during the beta, and we’d love to hear all about your epic victories, watch your live streamed matches, and see screenshots and videos sharing your experiences with the game. Please note that Hearthstone is still in development, and what you see and play in the beta test isn’t necessarily representative of what to expect in the final game.

Want to participate in beta testing Hearthstone? Read on!

How do I opt in to the closed beta test?

Once you’ve set up a Battle.net account, you can choose to opt in to our beta test from the Beta Profile page. You’ll need to download and run the System Check tool to attach your computer’s specifications to your beta profile. Once that’s complete it’s simply a matter of waiting for an invite.

You can also opt in through our website here.

How do I know if I’m selected?

We’ll send you an email letting you know if you’re selected. The email will contain a beta key – just follow the instructions inside to get started.

As always, please be aware of phishing attempts – falsified emails sent by unscrupulous individuals purporting to be from Blizzard, but their real goal is to steal your login credentials. For more information on how to identify these emails, please refer to our Battle.net Security site.

One easy way to ensure your invite is legit is to avoid clicking on links in any invite emails you receive. Instead, just log in to your Battle.net account and add the beta key from your invite email to your account.

How many players do you plan on inviting to the beta test?

The number of players we invite to the Hearthstone beta will be based on our testing needs. During the course of testing we’ll be inviting additional opt-ins as necessary in waves.

Is there an NDA?

There is no NDA for the Hearthstone beta test. Take screenshots, live-stream matches, record movies – whatever your heart desires! Please keep in mind that the game is still a work in progress, and we appreciate your understanding when you encounter bugs, graphical errors, or other issues. Help us create a better game for everyone to enjoy by reporting them here!

How long will the beta test last?

We have not determined an exact date for the end of the beta test. We’ll post a notice when the beta test is nearing completion.

Do I get to keep all my beta cards?

We are planning to wipe all player collections partway through the closed beta. We anticipate needing to rebalance some cards based on the feedback we get in the closed beta, and recognize that players may have made decisions on which cards to disenchant or craft based on information that’s changing. After we’ve completed that wave of balance testing and wiped cards, we do not anticipate needing to reset collections again.

Players who purchased card packs or Arena entry with real money prior to the collection wipe will be credited back with an equivalent amount of gold following the wipe, which can be used to re-purchase packs and/or Arena entry to re-establish their collection. These packs will not contain the same configuration of cards as the packs acquired previous to the collection reset.

What languages are available in the beta?

The Hearthstone beta test is available in all our supported EU languages, which are English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Polish and Brazilian Portuguese.

How do I switch the language of the game?

To change the language of the Hearthstone beta, you’ll need to first uninstall the Hearthstone client. Then simply reinstall the Hearthstone beta from Battle.net, making sure to select the right language on the download page.

 

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Hero Banter and ditching daily quests

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Blizzard Entertainment, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

I like the chat wheel. I like the options. I don’t think it needs anything added to it, except maybe a laugh emote. It could still be abused but only one hero would have a sarcastic, condescending laugh (and he’s going to be dead soon) – the rest would be sincere laughs for a play or minion that worked well. I don’t think custom options, “Hurry Up,” “Lucky” or similar emotes will add much, if anything. Luck is part of a card game no matter how well you craft your deck but good players and good deck construction can counter it.

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garrosh-heroWhat I would like to see would is chatting between the heroes, with and without player direction. Many of them have relationships with each other or at least know of each other enough to have a strong opinion. Rexxar and Thrall are friends, or at least respect each other immensely. The “Greetings” emote could change when they meet each other in a fight.

After a particularly brutal attack, when the audience is oohing,  the two trade friendly jabs about each other’s lives. Thrall and Jaina could have uncomfortable, even awkward moments, because of their history. Anduin could be humbled by Uther, despite never meeting the most famous paladin in the history of the Knights; Thrall would probably have few pleasant things to say to Gul’dan, and vice versa.

The rivalries and alliances would just strengthen the game’s already impressive atmosphere. Warcraft is smothered in lore so why not really take advantage of it? The beta is early, of course, and balance issues are more pressing matters than what angry words Thrall and Garrosh would trade. But the little things tend to give projects that extra shine.

But for something more mechanical, why can’t we abandon daily quests? You can only have three in your log at any time and suppose you don’t want to do one of them – playing Malfurion’s druid is as much fun as trimming your nails – so why not abandon  the quest to get five wins with the deck. You don’t get another daily quest in place of it, you just don’t have that one anymore.

It’s a simple thing to add. With the trickle rate at which you acquire gold, anything that makes the grind more bearable is appreciated. It may slow it down but it makes it more fun, which is what seems to be driving the game anyway.

I’d also like some variety in the quests that make them less about grinds and more about tactics or clever playing. Maybe a quest to have a single minion deal 10 points of damage in one game? Or defeat three heroes with charge minions? The daily quests available now aren’t always hard, though I don’t enjoy playing the warrior, but they’re rarely anything interesting. There’s a lot that can be done with them to add variety to the objectives and I hope Blizzard decides to expand the options.

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Hearthstone – an addictive game even for non-TCG Players

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

I have never played a single TCG or CCG in my whole life — and I am age 40. Not that this point of reference means much considering Magic: The Gathering debuted in 1993 — when I was in my early twenty’s. Back in the day, in the 80s people used to collect Baseball cards — I didn’t even collect those. So, you can’t have me more noobish than that.

When Blizzard Entertainment announced Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft at PAX East 2013, I was sincerely disappointed. A card game? For real? I wanted a StarCraft game announcement (cough, StarCraft: Ghost) or something “StarCraft-ish” considering all that Project Blackstone hype (which I loved broadly).

A card game. I’ll be honest. I never played a card game before and I was not very interested. However, it is a Blizzard game. I’d not be a true fan if I don’t give it at least a try (I thought to myself). I am going to be blunt here. I’m TOTALLY addicted to Hearthstone. I haven’t played World of Warcraft in nigh two weeks. I haven’t even played the PTR 5.4 (I’m really sorry for not showing some videos and updates on that). I have to blame Hearthstone — err, and of course, like a mature man I have to also admit a tiny bit of blame for not prioritizing responsibilities.

The very first day I got access to Hearthstone beta, I just couldn’t drop the game. I played twelve ours straight. I lost so many times because I didn’t know how to build my deck, and still don’t. Make no mistake — I won a few by sheer luck and how easy this game is to learn. It is a math game at the core. Some spells and minions have special abilities. There comes your RTS core knowledge: Strategy. So it’s a math + strategy gameplay. Wait … add LOADS of fun in that equation, too.

The graphical, animation and voice over elements provide another layer of fun and learning curve in some cases. The game tells you when you can’t attack a unit because either you need to attack the tank, or because that unit has stealth.

Every time you play a card, it will trigger a unique voice over.

I do have a short list of rants. The game still needs some refinement in terms of automated responses — like “you can’t buff that unit”. You would be surprised how many times I have applied a buff on a unit that can’t attack the enemy in the current round. A buff gone to waste. Or spells (on the weapon slot) going off when I release the button, when I meant to instead use another card.

It is beta, anyway. Things may change, and get better through several iterative phases.

I am not sure how I am going to manage my daily time with World of Warcraft, and Blizzplanet’s news once Hearthstone comes out. I was hoping to play some Diablo III to catch up. So far, I have won 80 games and I don’t even want to know how many times I lost. If I lost in a 1:1 ratio, that’s 160 games. But reality is it may be much more than that. I have to admit — I need to visit the Hearthstone-a-olic Anon. I do have a problem. I just can’t take off my mind that One Star Gold Medal luring me to level it up to eventually reach Master League.

Note: I hope you are one of the loyal visitors of Blizzplanet who pays a visit everyday — because [very soon] you might be kicking my Gelbin Mekkatorque’s behind in beta. Hint-hint!

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At least, when beta ends I will take with me one special memento that will hopefully lay siege to a few noobs and veterans out there.

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Hearthstone – Chicken Dinner Achievement – Win 100 Games in any Mode

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Hearthstone has proven to be very addictive even for someone like me who has never played any TCG or CCG ever. As I won a match, I was greeted with the Chicken Dinner achievement which says: “Win 100 games in any mode”. That includes all the characters you leveled in the Practice Mode — which gives experience up to level 10. I had leveled about 5 characters to level 10. Won some, lost some.

The shocker really was the reward for the Chicken Dinner achievement — a whooping 300 Gold!!! One of the things this gold can be used is to buy 3 packs of cards at the Hearthstone in-game store, or two buy two entries into the Arena Mode.

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In-Game Store

With 300 Gold, you can click the In-Game Store icon to purchase 1 Pack with 100 Gold. If you wish, you can buy three packs with that amount of gold. In each pack you get 5 Expert Cards and at least one card is guaranteed to be either a rare or better.

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Arena Mode

With 300 Gold, you can have access to two Arena Mode entries. Each entry into the Arena will give you access to new card rewards. You can win as many times as you are able, but you can only lose 3 matches then your ride on the Arena is finished. The more matches you win, once you lose three times the better the card rewards and quality chances.

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Hearthstone Beta Patch 1.0.0.3749 – European Hearthstone Beta Soon

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Early this morning the Battle.net Launcher was updated, and hours later downloaded and installed a new Hearthstone patch version 1.0.0.3749 — and this one is big: 981MB approximately. That’s nigh twice the size of what the original Hearthstone installer was. The newest patch contained bug fixes, but it is also paving the way to enable Hearthstone beta in Europe.

Get ready for some exciting gameplay European fans. Beta is coming your way soon. It’s a very addicting game.

AratilThere were some minor bug fixes in this patch, but most of this patch was to prepare for the European Hearthstone environment. — source

 

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Blizzard Entertainment 1000 Hearthstone Beta Key Sweepstakes – August 27 – Sept 3

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Zeriyah is giving away one thousand Hearthstone beta keys starting August 27 until September 3rd. There will be more opportunities in the near future. Make sure to visit Blizzplanet and the new social accounts. To participate in Blizzard’s beta key giveaway fill their form.

Want to be one of the first to customize a deck of powerful character, spell and ability cards, and lead your Warcraft heroes into epic battles? Then begin creating your card collection and strategizing your victories by entering the Hearthstone Beta Key Sweepstakes!

On August 27th and September 3rd, we’ll randomly select 500 winners each drawing to receive a key to our exclusive Hearthstone beta test. Therefore, a total of 1,000 winners will be selected among the two drawings.

Interested? Of course you are! Signing up is easy. Simply follow Hearthstone on Facebook and complete our official entry form between now and September 2nd for your chance to win. For more information about eligibility, please check out the official rules. Good luck!

 

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That Contentious Coin

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Activision Blizzard, Blizzard Merchandise, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

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Hearthstone games are quick. With steady mana, limited defenses, and a heavy slant on offensive power Hearthstone’s contests of cards are about early advantages and constant presses. Laying minions often and early is a great way to stress your opponent – even big guys can only attack once. There are ways to clear the board, like flamestrike and lightning storm, but they’re more common for some heroes than others. This isn’t necessarily an issue; the heroes are designed around the classes of WoW (perhaps vice versa) and their spells are drawn from well known class abilities.

The issue, at least a common point of controversy, is the Coin. On its face the card doesn’t appear to give a significant advantage. The player going second is given a zero cost spell that grants one mana for one turn. It doesn’t sound like huge boon. At best, the second player can put down a minion or cast a spell a turn before the mana actually accrues or play a combination of cards for great effect. The bonus mana isn’t really a problem. Smart players, or players fortunate enough to have a good hand of cards, can take advantage of it and turn the tide or press a advantage further toward victory. The problem is that the Coin currently counts as a spell.

That makes sense. It is a spell. It has a spell effect and it certainly isn’t a minion. But the zero cost spell for the second player provides a secondary, and arguably more powerful, bonus. Cards that take advantage of spells cast that turn are boosted because of an arbitrary turn order, not because clever deck construction. The Coin’s advantage is supposed to be a one time mana bonus. The mechanical advantages for player turn order are already present: player one is one mana ahead, player two is one card ahead. The Coin is a nice bit of gravy; going first is quite an advantage and the bonus mana can switch the momentum. Any other advantage it provides is superfluous. It’s effect as the 31st card is too potent.

The Coin shouldn’t be a spell, it should just be the Coin. A card all of its own.

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Hearthstone Beta – Opening 40 Booster Packs

Written by Andy Go on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

We recently tested out the in-game store which is available to all Hearthstone Beta Players.

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If you can’t see properly, Click on the picture. If not Click Here

Players can purchase the packs of cards for real money. The prices range from 1 Pack (100 gold), 2 packs for $2.99, 7 packs for $9.99, 15 packs for $19.99, up to 40 packs for $49.99.

Each pack contains:

  • 5 Expert Hearthstone Cards
  • At least 1 card will be Rare or better

Thus, the 40 packs contain 200 Expert hearthstone Cards and at least 40 Rare or better cards.
So how do you open booster packs?  we uploaded a video for you to watch.

Hearthstone Beta – Crazy Game

Written by Andy Go on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, BlizzPlanet Articles, General News, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

I had some free time in the afternoon, so I did a quick match in Hearthstone Beta… and whoa.. I didn’t expect things to get this crazy.

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If you can’t see properly, Click on the picture. If not:  Here

Yes that’s 23 Attack / 15 Defense on a creature. I still won though, he had only 3 health left and his creature couldn’t attack my hero. Had one taunt creature, he had to force himself to attack it, then on my turn just used Arcane Shot & Steady Shot to get the win!

 

Pandygo crashes on Blizzplanet

Written by Andy Go on . Posted in BlizzPlanet Articles, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Starcraft 2, Uncategorized, World of Warcraft News

Greetings everyone, my name is Andy “Pandy” Go, I am very happy and thrilled that I am now part of the Blizzplanet Team. I have always been a loyal fan to Blizzplanet ever since the website started back in 2003. I have always been a huge Blizzard fan from Starcraft to Diablo to Warcaft and now Hearthstone.

I hope to provide you all the in-depth information and latest news of all Blizzard Games, and mainly Hearthstone.

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What it means to be a true blizzard fan..

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Blizzplanet – Hearthstone Beta Key Giveaway

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

UPDATE: Entries are now closed. The form has been removed, and winners will be chosen. Thanks for participating. I’ll inform on the front page and social accounts if new beta keys are provided in the near future.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft finally went into closed beta for both veteran TCG/CCG players and new players. We thank Blizzard Entertainment for developing this game and for providing us beta keys for the staff and our visitors.

Just to show you how addicting this game can be — I have unlocked all class characters, reached level 23 on my Jaina (mage) character, three level 10 characters, and one level 5.

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So how will these Hearthstone beta keys be given away to fans? Simply fill the form below. I’ll pick random winners. Please, follow us on Twitter and Facebook to follow our breaking news, future betas, etc.

Update: Added a form to submit entries. Please one entry per player.
Note: Below the form is a list of fellow Hearthstone fansites also giving away beta keys.

Our comments system allows you to post using your facebook, twitter, google+, linkedin and Open ID login username and password.

Other Fansites Giveaways

As a thank you, there are even more ways to win a beta key. Visit GamersBook which is running their own giveaway. Note: below the form is a list of fansites giving away beta keys too.

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Eamon: Hearthstone – First Impressions

Written by Eamon Geary on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Intro

Join Eamon as he discusses the introductory features of Hearthstone, deck building, hero system, and card mechanics. As an active gamer, he is currently heroic raiding Throne of Thunder while still finding time for weekly Magic: The Gathering tournaments. He can be found live-streaming matches here: http://www.twitch.tv/eamon2tweet or feel free to listen to his blabbering on Twitter @eamon2tweet

Hearthstone, an elegant game from a more civilized time.

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If you are a fan of Warcraft or card games in general, chances are you are dying to get your hands on Blizzard’s latest release, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. While many people are used to the crash & smash nature of Warcraft, Diablo & Starcraft – Hearthstone is a more elegant game harking back to Blizzard’s early development style.

While still in Closed Beta, Hearthstone is a free-to-play digital strategy card game that is expected to be released as free-to-play. Players choose one of nine epic Warcraft heroes to control, and then take turns playing cards from customizable decks to cast spells, use weapons or abilities, or summon powerful characters to crush their opponent.
Hearthstone is designed to be easy to understand and teaches you how to play through simplified card matches and an integrated quest system (think dailies). Upon logging in, you are thrown right into a pre-made match pitting your hero (Jaina) against a computer-controlled opponent. The fight is very simple and is designed to teach you controls, resource management, and card mechanics.

After working your way through the first set of pre-made encounters you are freed into the wilds of Hearthstone with a couple paths available to you. If you are feeling brave, you can immediately jump in to player-vs-player matches and start earning badges and leveling up. I decided to focus on the player-vs-computer practice match-ups which let you unlock additional heroes, cards, and further increase your level.

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As a new player, you will need to unlock every hero you wish to play with via battle. For example, if you wanted to play the always-healing Priest or the shape-shifting Druid, you would need to first defeat them in battle. The more you play with your selected hero in either practice or ranked matches, the more they will level and unlock additional cards for you to play with. By the time I had unlocked most heroes, I found myself at level 10 on my Shaman hero with each level providing Shaman-specific cards. Each hero has its own level, completely independent of your other heroes.

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After you get a couple of wins in practice mode you will be guided to the deck creation interface to customize your favorite deck with your newly won cards. When it comes to deck building, there is a set of class-specific cards which is accentuated with a massive pool of neutral cards which can be used by any hero once unlocked. For example, a Shaman can add totem-enhancing abilities to his deck while also pulling from the pool of neutral creatures.

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Deck building is a bit of an art form and your deck should combine both your play style and strengths. My best advice is to pick a specific focus and maximize it. For example, there are a multitude of Murloc cards which either summon additional Murlocs or buff existing ones. The same can be said for the charge mechanic, allowing you to attack as soon as your character enters the battlefield. Once you figure out what mechanic tickles your fancy, grab every related card that emphasizes it. Some mechanics are stronger than others but you will quickly figure out what strategies work best against your deck and how to counter them.

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And so ends our first peek at Hearthstone and its game mechanics. In the coming week, I am comparing and contrasting Hearthstone to Magic, the Gathering. Additionally, we will explore the player-vs-player aspect of the game and discuss Arena play. As mentioned in the preface, I am actively streaming Hearthstone in the evenings on Twitch. If you can’t get enough Hearthstone, feel free to join and ask questions. Additionally, Blizzplanet.com will be hosting the latest and greatest articles and gameplay footage of Hearthstone and I encourage everyone to check it out.

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Hearthstone Beta – The Fatigue Card

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

As everyone knows from past Hearthstone interviews, and Q&As decks contain 30 cards which you can play throughout each match. Ever wondered what happens when a player runs out of cards during a match?

I learned the hard way! I played against the AI when suddenly I heard my Jaina emote that I was running out of cards. I had about 2-3 cards left on the right side of the gameboard. I reached my last card, and after the enemy’s turn was over, instead of drawing a card automatically, for lack of cards materialized before me a card with a skeleton skull wearing a black hood.

Across the center of the card is read “Fatigue” with the text “Out of cards! Take 1 damage.” For each round, or for each “Draw x card” your character will take damage.

The first round after I ran out of cards, my character suffered 1 damage. Next time 2 damage. Next time 3 damage. Then I lost the match with a +9 hit from a Core Hound.

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I thought it was just a random thing that rarely happened, but lo and behold — it happened a second time. This time, however, my Jaina fought against Thrall. I defended myself like cat on its back pawing out its eyes like no tomorrow. The hilarious part is … he couldn’t kill my character. The Fatigue card killed my character.

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Hearthstone Beta – Blizzplanet Livestream # 2

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Here is the second livestream on my second day of Hearthstone beta gameplay. This morning I reached level 16 on my mage deck. I lost so many times it’s embarrassing but at least I hope I let those not-yet-in-beta enjoy the mechanics and all the great strategies some people used against me.

Hope upcoming livestreams come from Travis and Eamon. Eamon (draiken) informed me he wanted to join Blizzplanet again. This time not as the hosting server admin (back in 2004) but as a Hearthstone writer. He is a veteran Magic: The Gathering card player. That way you have livestreams from the point of view of a noob, and from the point of view of veteran players.

Watch live video from medievaldragon on www.twitch.tv

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Hearthstone Beta – The In-Game Store

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

The in-game store is available in Hearthstone Beta. Players can purchase the packs of cards for real money. The prices range from 1 Pack (100 gold), 2 packs for $2.99, 7 packs for $9.99, 15 packs for $19.99, up to 40 packs for $49.99.

Each pack contains:

  • 5 Expert Hearthstone Cards
  • At least 1 card will be Rare or better

Thus, the 40 packs contain 200 Expert hearthstone Cards and at least 40 Rare or better cards.

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Hearthstone Beta – My First Gameplay Video

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

After installing Hearthstone Beta, I went right away into action facing my first five wins in a row, followed by a loss. The video will show you some of the first five card encounters.

It’s fun to play. You don’t need to be an expert. Hearthstone is my first [ever] Collectible Card Game (CCG). I have never played any TCGs in my entire 40 years of life. What rock was I living beneath I have no clue, but there you go. This game is designed so that noobs like myself can play, have fun and start to learn.

I have yet to learn any strategies and deeping tinkering, but so far so good. Only two losses after a series of wins against the AI. Unlocked the Druid and Priest classes, and reached level 5 with Jaina.

The game tells you often when you are making a mistake, and highlights the cards that you can actually use with the mana you currently have. If you don’t have mana to use a spell or card, it won’t be highlighted for use. I can’t believe how many hours have passed already playing. I can now see why the developers said this game is addictive.

In an upcoming video I plan to add, you will see the in-game store where you can buy packs of cards for real money. There are different prices.

More videos coming soon.

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Hearthstone Closed Beta Starts Today!

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Activision Blizzard, Blizzard Products News, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Travis: It began with a teaser from Zeriyah’s twitter: a mysterious video of a cake, frosted with a Warcraft Hearthstone, and the word “Beta” scrawled on the side. The excitement was almost palpable. Hype Train coming.

And then suddenly, the Americas closed beta started. The forums appeared and expanded, invites began, and new players outside of Blizzard offices began to duel each other. As it is a closed beta, invites are being sent only to those who opt in. Opting in is easy and done from a potential player’s Battle.net account.

By far the highlight from the Beta announcement, aside from the announcement itself, is the lack of an NDA. Players can, and are encouraged to, do livestreams of their games and record videos, post screenshots and write long, winding articles about the mechanics.

Check those inboxes – invites are coming. Lok’tar ogar!

Medievaldragon: The Blizzplanet staff is slowly getting into Hearthstone closed beta. I am going to share with you the installation process. As soon as I downloaded the beta installer client, something that totally got me off-guard is that upon launching the client, the Battle.net launcher automatically kicked in to take over the download process. The beta file is around 500MB by the way.

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Blizzplanet Busca Escritores en Español

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

Aunque he escrito en inglés estos pasados diez años, hablo español en mi casa todos los días. Por muchos años he deseado poder lanzar un sitio en español sobre los juegos de StarCraft, Diablo, y Warcraft. Se acerca una nueva etapa de Blizzplanet pronto, y espero poder recibir fanáticos que han visitado Blizzplanet por varios años como escritores para que puedan informar a fans como ustedes, y que puedan formar parte de una gran comunidad hispana de video juegos de Blizzard.

Esta es una posición voluntaria para aquellos que deseen la experiencia de escribir para un fansite líder de diez años, y tener acceso a juegos beta y otras oportunidades relacionadas a los juegos de Blizzard.

Si estas interesado en unirte a nuestra comunidad come escritor en el idioma español, envíame un mensaje electrónico a medievaldragon@blizzplanet(punto)com

Latinos viviendo en Europa, America Latina, Canada, Asia, Oceania o Estados Unidos son bienvenidos.

Déjame saber que juegos de Blizzard juegas y por el cual te gustaría dedicarte a escribir noticias.

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Golden Gelbin and other news

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Blizzard Entertainment, Blizzard Merchandise, Blizzard Products News, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

hearthstone-golden-mekkatorqueZeriyah provided a lengthy update on Hearthstone today, commenting on some changes to the game as it progresses closer and closer to beta. Among the items discussed was a restatement that the Hearthstone team is working vigorously to launch beta before summer ends. Zeriyah phrased the timeline for beta as “not days away from launching the beta, but [...] not months away either.” Progress is being made but patience is required.

The beta will allow players to spend real money on card packs and Arena entry. However, because of the changing nature of beta testing Hearthstone’s developers have decided to reward players who put down cash with something special – a golden version of Gelbin Mekkatorque. When you purchase cards or Arena entry, you’re granted a copy of the Gnome King. His golden version is only available this way: no crafting or lucky drops from card packs. A regular version can be crafted once the game is released.

Hearthstone has also been tested on the iPad with cross-platform play. Zeriyah called it an awesome milestone in development for Hearthstone. Any means of expanding the player pool for the game has to be considered an incredible success; cross-platform potential is a phenomenal one.

The update ends with Zeriyah telling the community to continue to engage with the Hearthstone team. The community helps guide how the game evolves and the developers want to know what’s working and what isn’t.

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Hearthstone – Silence and Aura Buff Mechanics

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Zeriyah (Christina Sims) discusses the Silence and Aura buffs mechanics in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. She actually answered a lot of questions not covered below. It’s worth clicking the blizzard icon at the Hearthstone forum to browse through all the entries posted by Zeriyah. Follow the links, and join the discussion at the official forums.


Thon: If a minion has Divine Shield, and gets Polymorphed…does the Sheep have divine shield? Or does divine shield go away because it’s no longer in the card text?

Zeriyah: When a minion is affected by a transform effect such as Polymorph or Hex, everything about the minion is changed and all effects are removed. For example if a minion has Divine Shield, Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Might and +1/+1, when they are polymorphed they lose everything and become a basic 1/1 sheep.

Based one of your posts, I know that you can target Lord Jaraxxus, EREDAR LORD OF THE BURNING LEGION!!! with Sacrificial Pact (formerly Grimoire of Sacrifice), whether he is acting as a minion or a hero.

However, I am unclear as to what happens after he is targeted if he is in the Hero position. It is my assumption that either:
1) Jaraxxus is destroyed, and the player, no longer having a Hero, loses;
2) Jaraxxus is destroyed, and Gul’dan comes back with the same HP he had before summoning Jaraxxus; OR
3) Jaraxxus is destroyed, and Gul’dan comes back with the same HP Jaraxxus had before being destroyed.

Zeriyah: Even as a Hero, Jaraxxus is still a demon. If he is the target of Sacrificial Pact, he will be destroyed and the Jaraxxus player will lose the game.

Zeriyah: First off, let me address some questions people still have regarding Silence and Aura buffs.

Health in Hearthstone works much like it works in World of Warcraft. Imagine a Priest running through Warsong Gulch with 1 Health remaining, only protected by the power of his Power Word: Fortitude.

If a Shaman purges away the PW: Fortitude, the Priest’s maximum Health decreases, but his current Health isn’t affected. He lives to carry the flag another day. This is also true in Hearthstone. Silence effects remove buffs but doesn’t affect current Health, unless the new Max Health is lower than the current Health.

Silence effects are technically not heals but it can remove instances of damage. Let’s look at some in-game examples:

A 3/3 minion is buffed by Blessing of Kings, making it a 7/7. 5 damage is dealt to the minion, then Silence is cast on it. The minion goes from a 7/2 to a 3/2. Four of the instances of damage was removed along with the Blessing of Kings, and one carried over to the minion.

A 3/3 minion is buffed by Blessing of Kings, making it a 7/7. 1 damage is dealt to the minion, then Silence is cast on it. The minion goes from a 7/6 to a 3/3 with no damage on it. The one instance of damage was removed along with the Blessing of Kings.

This 3/3 minion we are picking on is buffed by a +1/+1 non-Aura effect (like Shattered Sun Cleric), turning it into a 4/4. 2 damage is dealt to the minion, then Silence is cast on it. The minion becomes a 3/2 with 1 damage on it. One instance of damage was removed along with the +1/+1 buff, and one remains on the minion.

Aura effects do not remove instances of damage when they are removed, because Aura effects will still persist through Silence unless the origin of the Aura buff is Silenced.

My opponent’s Stormwind Champion is buffing his Murloc Raider, making the Raider a 3/2. I try to Silence the Murloc Raider (ahh why would I ever do that??). The Murloc Raider is still a 3/2 – the Aura is coming from the Champion, and Silencing the Raider won’t accomplish much.

After my terrible misplay, I do one damage to the Murloc Raider, bringing him to a 3/1. Then, I kill the Stormwind Champion, eliminating the +1/+1 buff on the Murloc. That instance of damage is not removed with the Aura and remains on the Murloc, who goes back to being a 2/1 (with one damage on him) and dies. — source

Zeriyah: I can give you the way it currently works, but the way buffs, damage and Silence resolve is something we’re currently working on to make sure it’s concise and intuitive. Since the way it currently works may change, I’d like to come back to this question at a later time. Sorry for the confusion! That’s what we’re trying to avoid. — source

Zeriyah: They are not explicitly called Aura buffs, but they are buffs that affect multiple minions simultaneously. Stormwind Champion, Blood Imp, or other minions that have effects such as “your other minions have…” are considered Aura buffs. — source

Kargaen: Not sure if this has been asked before, but is Animal Companion like the Shaman’s hero power in that it cannot summon something that is already on the board (e.g. I have Misha in play, so is Misha no longer able to be summoned by Animal Companion)?

Zeriyah: Each minion brought into play with Animal Companion has the same chance to be summoned regardless if one has been summoned previously or is currently in play. Is it entirely possible to have two Misha in play. (Mishae? Mishas?)

 

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