Hearthstone in The Guardian

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

The British daily newspaper has a solid write up of Hearthstone. It doesn’t describe much beta-players and close watchers won’t already know but it’s a good read regardless. The author, Rich Stanton, has some good quotes from Eric Dodds and Jason Chaynes about Hearthstone’s simple game mechanics as compared to other CCGs and the difficulties of playing those games online.

Dodds also mentions that the kinect feedback for Hearthstone was very important. “…when we started working on the online game we wanted to keep the soul of [physical cards] which is why we made the box, and the cards in the way they sway as you’re moving them through the environment, and the buttons that feel and respond like physical buttons.”

Staton also comments on the paradoxical fun of the Arena. He, like many, enjoys the Arena the most but finds the gold flow too slow for regular runs. Blizzard is walking a tight rope to find the proper balance between earning money from Hearthstone and opening up all the play modes easily.

The other major highlights? There’s one more patch coming before the game is launched, which is still slated for this year. The beta-less shouldn’t fret too terribly – everyday brings the game’s official launch closer and closer.

Staton’s article is available here.

Hearthstone – How to get 1600 Arcane Dust for your Uber Card

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

As someone who has played Hearthstone beta quite a lot, I can tell you right off the bat it is not so easy to get 1600 Arcane Dust the old-fashion way.

Old-Fashion Way

As you win games, you obtain gold either by winning three games (10 gold reward) or by completing quests (usually 40-60 gold). With the 100 gold you can buy individual card packs; or with 150 gold you can buy a pass to the Arena Mode gameplay; and if you already have some card duplicates the Crafting Mode button will pop an Arcane Dust Jar to alert you there are duplicate cards that need to be disenchanted.

In Arena, you get rewarded Arcane Dust, gold and cards, so it is recommended to play Arena Mode to collect as much Arcane Dust as possible.

Better Arcane Dust for your Buck

I did never play a TCG/CCG game ever, and don’t know the rules. I’ll mention it as often as I am able. When I first started playing Hearthstone a few months ago, I went with buying single packs of cards for 100 gold each. The results weren’t so great, but I did get a few nice cards.

After the character wipe patch, I have focused my gold spending on Arena-mode gameplay to get my new cards. Alright, an Arena Mode costs 150 gold, and you might not win many games; but this is the way to go to get better cards, and to collect your way to the 1600 Arcane Dust you need to craft the uber card you want. So this is a time investment that will eventually pay off.

Just a few minutes ago, I played Arena Mode two times. Won only 2 games each run. On my third Arena Mode run I won 4 times.

hearthstone-4-wins-in-arena

In this attempt, I got one rare, one epic and ta-da! … one Legendary golden card: King Mukla.

hearthstone-king-mukla

King Mukla costs 3 mana to play in a match and he has 5 damage and 5 health. His Battlecry is to give your opponent two bananas. However, the opponent can use each banana to add +1/1 to a selected minion. I don’t like King Mukla much. So I disenchanted it to obtain Arcane Dust toward the card I do want to craft.

When you obtain a Legendary Card that doesn’t have much appeal to you, go to the Crafting Mode browse through the card book and locate the Legendary Card. Right-click it and the Disenchant UI pops up. Click the Disenchant button and you will get 400 Arcane Dust for a Legendary Card. A rare Golden Legendary card provides 1600 Arcane Dust. According to Colorhammer and Eswift in the comments it is extremely rare to find a Golden Legendary card, so you might have to disenchant about 4 Legendary Cards to obtain 1600 Arcane Dust (400 Arcane Dust x 4 Legendary cards). Thanks for the correction.

In my case, I entered Crafting Mode again, clicked the (7+ mana) icon at the bottom to locate Ragnaros, the Firelord. Personally, I like this card a lot. It was used against me so many times, I tested its effectiveness.

It requires 8 mana. Usually by this eighth round most Hex/Sheep/Kill Command/Assassinate (etc.) have been used. If you are lucky, this card will put your opponent in serious trouble. The card itself can’t melee attack. However, at the end of your turn it will hurl an 8-damage fireball at a random enemy minion or at the enemy hero.

If the opponent throws a silence on your Ragnaros, the “Can’t Attack” rule is dismissed. In that eventuality, Ragnaros can melee attack and still kick some booty.

If you aren’t into buying cards for real money, then I recommend spending your gold efficiently in running the Arena Mode. Increase your chances to acquire Legendary cards this way, or other rarity cards and amass those 1600 Arcane Dust. It’s your best shot at crafting your desired card.

If you haven’t seen how Crafting and Disenchanting works, check out my recent article to view the UI screenshots.

Activision Blizzard to Release Third Quarter 2013 Financial Results on November 6, 2013

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

Activision Blizzard announced they will broadcast the Third Quarter 2013 Financial Results after the close of the market on Wednesday, November 6, 2013. Coincidence? BlizzCon 2013 takes place on November 8-9. Will Mike Morhaime have a few spoilers to share?

Personally, that would be a great move considering some people might want to watch the BlizzCon DirecTV or Livestream. Not all these conferences yield juicy announcements, but some have proven to provide approximate launch dates for beta testing.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
1:30 p.m. Pacific Time ( 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time )

activision-blizzard-mike-morhaime-1920x1920

Because Everyone Needs Weapons!

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

Five of the nine Heroes have weapons, and several. It makes sense that they’d swing swords or axes or shoot arrows and the casting classes wouldn’t. A melee mage isn’t a viable build in Hearthstone’s progenitor. But mages, priests, warlocks, and druids still use weapons. A warlock without a weapon is half a warlock. I’ve taken the liberty of creating some epic quality weapons for the Heroes currently unarmed. To keep things balanced I’ve also added some epics for the already equipped.

Mage
Staff of the Shadowflame
6, 1/5 – +2 Spell Damage. Each time you cast a spell, lose 1 durability.

Priest
Anathema and Benediction
5, 1/1 – Your hero power now heals friendly targets and damages enemy targets.

Warlock
Healthstone
4, 0/3 – Lose 1 durability, restore 3 health to a friendly target your Hero.

Druid
Fist of Cenarius
6, 2/3 – Draw a card each time you attack.

And for the weapon ready:

Rogue
Evasion
6 – You are immune until your next turn.

Paladin
Silver Hand Champion
7, 4/5 – Battlecry: Give all other friendly minions Divine Shield.

Shaman
Lightning Shield
5 – Deal 3 4 damage to your next 3 attackers.

Warrior
Thunder Clap
5 – Deal 1 damage to all enemy minions and reduce their attack 1 until your next turn.

Hunter
Scattershot
6 – Your opponent cannot cast any spells any cards next turn.

They’re almost certainly not balanced so why not offer some suggestions in comments?

Hearthstone – Ranked Mode Medals to Reset Weekly

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

I was playing Hearthstone last night when around 3:00am New York Time I got the message onscreen: “Congratulations (2-star Gold) Medal earned last week.” When I won my next game, I was greeted with a Copper Medal. This didn’t bode well, and I double checked the Ranked Mode UI. Indeed, I had been ranked with a Copper medal. The server reset the Ranked Mode Medal.

hearthstone-medal-earned-last-week-congratulations

At first I thought this was a bug and reported it so. After discussing the matter with Narull (Australia/New Zealand Diablo III MVP) it was obvious that the Congratulations message stating “earned last week” means the reset was intended. Blizzard Entertainment is planning as of the current Hearthstone beta build 3890 to reset the Ranked Mode Medal on a weekly basis.

hearthstone-copper-medal-after-server-reset-congratulations-message

Of course, this is beta. Things can change overnight as Blizzard continues to test and iterate beta and listens to fan feedback.

What does it mean for players to reset Ranked Mode Medals on a weekly basis? At the moment that is unknown. Blizzard did not mention this reset in the patch notes nor on the official forums or via Twitter. A response will likely be revealed in the next few hours. Stay tuned for an update to this post.

The first thing to come to mind is that Blizzard might be planning some juicy Hearthstone rewards if the reset is weekly. Those medals have a very short lifespan and resetting weekly might burn out players’ interest unless the rewards are so awesome they keep coming week after week to reach the highest possible medal.

Rewards might be different rarity of cards, extra Arcane Dust to create new cards, or something beyond my imagination. Arena Mode works this same way, but requires 150 gold to enter.

Update

There was a blue response from Community Manager Aratil at the official Hearthstone forums

The ranked ladder was reset yesterday. This was done in order to help us to test the ladder reset functionality as we continue to work on and develop how ladder systems will be implemented for Hearthstone. We appreciate your continued testing efforts through the Hearthstone closed beta to make this game the best it can possibly be for everyone on release!

 

Hearthstone Support for MacBook Pro Retina Display?

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

Quality Assurance Rolkyr posted the forum thread: “Hearthstone Closed Beta Known Issues” on October 3rd.

I found curious the choice of words: “Mac retina resolutions are not yet supported.” The “not yet” part gives away there are plans to support .

Blizzard Entertainment has supported Mac users for over a decade, so it is no surprise they might be planning to support Retina users. However, MacBooks are not the only Apple product using the Retina display. The Apple iPad with Retina Display is a good example.

The Retina display on iPad makes everything look crisp and lifelike. Text is razor sharp. Colors are vibrant. Photos and videos are rich with detail. All thanks to its 3.1 million pixels — a million more pixels than an HDTV.

Blizzard plans to launch Hearthstone on iPad later in 2014. The internal iPad alpha testing apparently began a few days ago, as Rob Pardo implied via Twitter.


Known Issues:

Gameplay

  • Setting a custom deck name can cause issues when trying to edit the contents of the deck. Restarting the client will allow you to edit the deck again.
  • The first custom deck you create on the account can cause the client to halt. This only occurs with a mage custom deck and a client restart is needed.
  • Sometimes daily quests are not granted immediately.
  • Sometimes minions will shift positions on the board.
  • The AI can make incorrect choices.
  • The End Turn button can appear at the incorrect angle.
  • An already opened chat history window overlaps any pop ups for friendly challenges.
  • The Credits do not roll properly when viewed from the lobby of Play Mode, Practice Mode or The Arena.

UI

  • Opening multiple packs in a row using ‘Spacebar’ can cause the client to become unresponsive. A client restart is needed to work around the issue. This is only a visual bug and the cards are added to your collection properly.
  • Alt+tabbing while on a loading screen can cause graphical issues.
  • Alt+tabbing on a Mac can cause the Dock to remain visible.

Client

  • The client can become unresponsive when quitting from the menu.
  • The sound effects from pack opening can loop.
  • Mac retina resolutions are not yet supported.
  • Alt+tabbing can cause audio to be heard when the client is not in focus or to not be heard in-game.
  • OSX specific keyboard commands do not function consistently with other Blizzard title.
  • The Warcraft 2 music is incorrectly controlled with the SFX slider as opposed to the music slider.

Cards

  • Returning a card to a player’s hand can cause the card to remain facedown on the board.

 

Hearthstone – Detailed Card History

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

Before the patch that wiped characters I can only remember when hovering your mouse over a card in the “card history” tab — on the left side of the Hearthstone board, you only saw the card name, type and flavor description text.

Now the card history contains a bit more information such as what cards it destroyed, or what card or hero it healed.

hearthstone-detailed-card-history

This new feature actually makes me wonder if Blizzard is planning to introduce some sort of Replay feature as seen in StarCraft/StarCraft: Brood War, StarCraft II and Warcraft III. There isn’t really much time to play your cards, and check out the history and checkout what happened last round or several rounds before the current round.

Maybe some sort of lobby where one can only browse through the detailed history outside Play Mode, where the player can actually see the name of that hateful card that annihilated your gameplay, to later plan to craft that card. A way to learn from other players’ strategies outside of a Play Mode game.

The new “Card History” feature is useful and interesting, but will Hearthstone have a Replay feature? Does it need a Replay feature? Share your thoughts.

Hearthstone – Crafting and Disenchanting

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

Disenchanting and Crafting in Hearthstone got a few UI changes in the latest beta patch build 3890. I can see people who buy many cards with real-money and those who play Arena-mode might benefit more than those who buy single packs with gold in terms of the amount and speed rate in which you obtain Arcane Dust to spend in crafting new cards.

You will see now a few screenshots of the Disenchanting and Crafting UI to give you an idea how it works. It’s very straightforward and intuitive. (More after the break)

Hearthstone – Murlocalypsed

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

Fear the Murlocalypse, brothers! I was so convinced I had this game. Every time he came up with units I would have a counter and at the end of my turn he didn’t have any units. I had a few, and more coming.

I grew overconfident, and let him slip a couple of murlocs, while I used all of my units to hit his hero. Out of the blue things got really, really ugly for me when his Murloc Tidecaller began to grow in health and damage as he summoned murloc after murloc. Then the cherry on top for his Murlocalypse sundae … Old Murk-eye.

If you see a single murloc out — my suggestion is to squash it right away. Otherwise you will get ambushed by a legion of murlocs with their battlecry in unison: “RwlRwlRwlRwl” which will leave you screaming in agony: “Nooooo!!!! I want my mommy =(”

hearthstone-murlocalypsed-2

Hearthstone Beta Opt-in Email Sent to US and EU Players

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

All United States and Europe players with a Battle.net account who enabled the Hearthstone Opt-in option have a good chance to be among those Blizzard Entertainment just invited to test Hearthstone Beta. Check out your email in the next 24-48 hours and double-check if you got one.

Yong Woo tweeted both US and EU Opt-in players were invited to test Hearthstone, and more waves of invites are coming in the near future. Additionally, there was a record of concurrency of players flooding the servers.

Yong Woo clarified that by US (United States servers) — he means players from South East Asia (SEA), Oceania: Australia/New Zealand (ANZ), North America, Latin America were invited yesterday, and many more will be invited more often in waves. This is the largest batches of invites ever going in Hearthstone.

I know you are very excited, but always precaution first and foremost. Beware of scams. Do not click on links blindly before checking the URL destination carefully.

Don’t forget to visit your Battle.net account page in case the Hearthstone beta has been enabled on your game list. Good luck everyone! See you at an Inn near you, matey!

hearthstone-patch-wipe-new-wave-of-beta-on-us-and-eu-twitter

hearthstone-beta-logo-patch-3749

Hearthstone Beta on iPad Soon?

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

Rob Pardo tweeted he is testing Hearthstone beta on his iPad. The way he phrases it, it seems the iPad team just gave the green light to begin internal testing of the iPad version:

Rob Pardo: “Feels like an early Xmas – I get to start “testing” in the Hearthstone beta from my iPad”

 

The question is: Will players have the chance to beta test the iPad version in an upcoming Patch? Would you love to?

rob-pardo-hearthstone-beta-on-ipad-tease

hearthstone-beta-logo-patch-3749

VanCleef trips!

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

And no longer has stealth.

The patch notes for the upcoming Hearthstone patch have been released and they’re lengthy. Lots of balance changes (the ringleader has less health now) and piles of bug fixes. Secret and fatigue animations have been sped up and there’s some clarity as to why you get a coin when going second.

The full notes are available here.

Hearthstone Closed Beta Patch Notes

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

wipeout

Today is the day for our Hearthstone Closed Beta patch! This patch also includes the account wipe, so when the servers are available for play once more, you’ll be starting again as if you were a new player. For more information on the wipe itself, please revisit our Account Wipe Incoming blog post, found here. Now, onto the patch notes!

General

  • The maximum level is now 60, and you can earn XP in any game mode up to max level.
  • Chat has been rejiggered.
  • Gold gained in Play mode has changed from 5 gold per 5 wins to 10 gold per 3 wins.
  • You can now acquire Golden Basic minions at higher experience levels.
  • Arena rewards now give less dust and more cards.
  • More gold is guaranteed at 5 & 6 Arena wins.
  • At 9 Arena wins, you are now guaranteed an extra pack or a Golden card.
  • The animations for Secrets and Fatigue have been sped up dramatically.
  • All cards now have flavor text when you view them in your collection.
  • “Spell Power +1” has been renamed “Spell Damage +1”.
  • Heroes can be unlocked in any mode (Play/Arena/Practice)
  • Play, Practice and Friendly Play modes will now default to the custom deck selection UI if you’ve previously created a deck
  • You can now click on chat bubbles to respond
  • Social – When your friends complete an Arena run or get a Legendary card in a pack, you’ll be notified so you can tell them, “Grats!”
  • Quests that required you to win with a class now give you a choice between 2 classes.

Closed Beta Patch – Featured Updates

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

A lengthy preview of the upcoming Hearthstone patch hit today. While it doesn’t contain the patch notes themselves (those will come when the patch hits), it does describe some of the incoming changes for the game and provide some hope for those of us sick if being pummeled by Valeera.

My favorite announcement is a simple one:

After the patch, daily quests that require you to win with a specific class will now give you a choice between two classes, allowing you some additional flexibility.

 

Thank you. Thank you so much. There are some hero balancing acts coming as well which should make Anduin more fun to play but the variety is greatly appreciated. He’s not a bad hero, I just like Thrall so much more.

Some golden cards are getting new animations, there’s means to craft specific golden cards, and the wins for the Arena are being retooled to be more valuable. Nine wins now guarantees another card pack or a golden card.

The trickle rate for gold income is also getting a desperately needed buff. Rather than 5 wins for 5 gold, it’s 3 wins for 10 gold. It now takes 30 wins for a card pack, not 100.

I’m waiting eagerly for the patch. The full preview is available here, with a link for beta opt-ins at the bottom.

Favorite Arena Picks

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

More than flair, Hearthstone’s Arena is about solid cards that carry themselves. Synergy is something to spot as the deck is drafted but each pick is more about the best card at face value and not its potential when combined with a complex strategy. Constructed decks are where theme and flair can manifest with real power and presence.

But what cards have the best potential in a draft? Exact favorites vary from drafter to drafter, from deck to deck, but four out of five times I pick these cards over anything else presented. I wish I could swap most of these for a rare or even an epic when my choices are things like Angry Chicken, Coldlight Seer, or Hungry Crab.

Venture Co. Mercenary

Venture_Co._Mercenary

Its effect isn’t great, but he’s a nasty threat. It also puts your opponent in an uncomfortable position – they have to deal with him or risk him running over a weaker taunt minion or chopping the health pool down in big swings. But dealing with him removes the minion inflation cost, usually meaning you’ve baited out a polymorph, hex, or a heavy hitter of the enemy’s. Not bad for a five cost.

Heroes of the Storm Trademark in USA — Next World of Warcraft Expansion?

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

Well, this is a surprising thing. First it appeared in New Zealand — as reported by MMO-Champion yesterday. Now the trademark has appeared on the United States Patent & Trademark website too.

I have been skeptic after “The Dark Below” one seemed as if it was a hoax, but now Heroes of the Storm has appeared on two different countries. Mind you — on United States a hoax would cost about $275 to trademark.

I visited the US Trademark website and indeed it is under Blizzard Entertainment, filed on September 24, 2013.

heroes-of-the-storm-trademark-in-us

Now I am not acknowledging this to be a legit trademark. Let’s keep it as a rumor for now. BlizzCon is barely 39 days from now. This is a usual timeframe for Trademark sites and Game Rating sites (PEGI,ESRB) to accidentally leak game titles not yet announced officially.

I remember when “Wrath of the Lich King” and “Cataclysm” appeared as a trademark a few days before BlizzCon. Forums and social media were speculating for days on end what “Cataclysm” meant.

“Heroes of the Storm” could be a real Blizzard trademark or it could be an expensive hoax.

What could “Heroes of the Storm” be, however, if it was a real trademark of an upcoming unannounced Blizzard game?

Hearthstone: Heroes of the Storm

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has a similar ring to it. Could it be Hearthstone: Heroes of the Storm?

Maybe. Since Ben Brode announced Hearthstone at PAX East 2013 this past February, it is widely known that Hearhtstone is targeted to be released at the end of 2013. Of course, there could be delays if they decided to reset, or further iterate. Let’s have Project Titan as an example which got the reset button to work on a new core programming and other aspects. If Hearthstone is released as a free game by December, it would make sense if Blizzard Entertainment announced the next Hearthstone expansion at BlizzCon in November 8th.

This is a smaller team of developers aiming to ship a new game yearly-ish, after all. Hearthstone was announced on February, and beta started in about 5-6 months after it was announced.

Diablo III: Heroes of the St—huh?

We know it is not a Diablo title. Obviously. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is the next Diablo expansion. This game was announced at GamesCom 2013 — check out our Developers Panel videos & the interview with Josh Mosqueira.

StarCraft II: Heroes of the St–nah!

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void is the next StarCraft II expansion and the finale of the series(?). So, nope. That’s not it either.

Blizzard All-Stars: Heroes of the Storm

Ok … this one sounds interesting. Why would Blizzard name Blizzard All-Stars with a secondary title? Interesting in that this trend would mean the DOTA-style game would have expansions rather than a stand-alone game. One would think the next installment would be — I don’t know … Blizzard All-Stars 2. However, it is hard to see Blizzard not launching an expansion to one of its leading franchise titles.

What makes it very unlikely for this trademark to be a Blizzard All-Stars expansion is that — WE HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN THE BETA OF THE FIRST GAME YET.

So, could it at least be the title for the first Blizzard All-Stars game? It is plausible. Why not? I mean … hello? Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness (instead of plain Warcraft II). Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (instead of plain Warcraft III). This could be argued because for some odd reason Diablo III was titled simply … Diablo III (sans-any-sort-of-secondary-title). And the original StarCraft was simply “StarCraft”.

Blizzard All-Stars: Heroes of the Storm … it has a nice ring to it. Me likes.

Update: Blizzard All-Stars was formerly known as Blizzard DOTA. The name was changed to what we known today. Warlock (“Scrolls of Lore” Admin) and another fan point out the most likely scenario is that Blizzard All-Stars is no longer to be known as “Blizzard All-Stars”. It is possible that “Heroes of the Storm” might be the name of the upcoming DOTA-style game from now on.

World of Warcraft: Heroes of the Storm

Now the most logical name trend seems to fit Hearthstone: Heroes of the Storm — but it could also be World of Warcraft: Heroes of the Storm.

I am not very convinced though. I an open to both sides of the coin here.

1. It can’t be a World of Warcraft expansion, because it breaks the trend. The Burning Crusade. Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria. All of these titles spun around the concept of either an entire legion, a bad guy or a culture. Heroes of the Storm? I mean, that would be sort of fun naming it after the players. If the trademark was for the next World of Warcraft expansion then we are the central figure of the expansion. Heroes … of … the Storm.

On one end, Alexstrasza clearly stated the Dragon Aspects were no more and from that day forward this was The Age of Mortals. Heroes like you and me are the new guardians and defenders of Azeroth.

The name scheme has a nice ring to it. Makes you wonder what Blizzard creative team might be cooking around the player becoming the protagonist of a WoW expansion.

Think about it. Throughout Patch 5.1 to 5.4, Wrathion has been preparing his champion (YOU) and any of both factions to take their rightful place as the line of defense of Azeroth.

Wrathion was a mere uncorrupted black dragon egg during the level 30-ish quests in The Badlands during The Cataclysm expansion. A red dragon sought the help of a gnome to help with the process. It was during one of those quests that we uncovered a Titan chamber with one of those Norgannon library Databanks.

The gnome used the databank on the egg. In Mists of Pandaria we learned that this databank actually did something to Wrathion — who was in that egg. It infused him with Titan knowledge and maybe even magic. It caused him to have visions of the future — where he saw an incoming “Storm”. The Burning Legion is returning to Azeroth. If you haven’t checked it out yet — I have almost all the Legendary Wrathion Questline quests archived with a transcript and videos.

Wrathion: Very good. Let’s talk. Tong! Drinks, please. My father, Deathwing, tried to destroy the whole of Azeroth.

He was misguided, of course, but he was right about one thing: Our world is… so fragile. We are a point of light in a universe of shadow. A candle in a tempest. Sometimes I think it was the very precariousness of our world that drove my father to madness.

Ah, thank you Tong.

Now, to my point. I believe we are headed towards a reckoning. And no, I am not talking about the current conflict between the Alliance and Horde. Believe me – what Garrosh Hellscream achieved in Theramore is nothing compared to the horrors that are even now bearing down on our fragile home.

But the war deeply troubles me. Do you see my concern? A divided Azeroth cannot possibly stand against the darkness. The war has to end. Soon. Before it consumes our strength!

You can rest assured that my loyalties lie with your Horde. How do we bring a swift and decisive end to the conflict? I believe the answer lies with heroes like you. We must ensure that you are up to the task… and then equip you accordingly.

 

As those words were spoken, Wrathion shows a sort of holographic projection of the world of Azeroth bombarded by fel fire or Infernals falling through the sky into Azeroth. The Heroes of the Storm trademark might be a reference to the upcoming storm — the return of the Burning Legion.

During the Sunwell Plateau raid dungeon in The Burning Crusade, the draenei Prophet Velen foretold about agents of the Light battling the Burning Legion in a near future. M’uru the naaru knew this too and willingly energized the Sunwell to be the new source of magic of the Blood Elves. Velen knew the Blood Elves had a role to play in the upcoming storm: The return of the Burning Legion.

On the other hand, it is possible that Blizzard might want to set Queen Azshara as the next expansion’s center villain as a trampoline to introduce the Burning Legion expansion.

It has been hinted before in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. During the quest The Return of the Resting, we find four Kvaldir spirits. These are similar to the Vrykul, but these Kvaldir are a underwater civilization.

Fengir the Disgraced says: Your offering has come too late, little one. Can you feel the mist closing in upon you? The Kvaldir return…
Rodin the Reckless says: From the mist and fog the Kvaldir approach. Flee while you still breathe the air of the living…
Isuldof Iceheart says: Look to the seas, as your doom comes with the swell of tides.
Windan of the Kvaldir says: My brothers have awoken. Your efforts are wasted…

 

That kinda sounded pretty stormish. The Kvaldir actually gave pause to the naga later in the Cataclysm expansion during the Vash’jir quests. The naga are planning something wicked. In the Cataclysm expansion they were seeking an artifact off the coast of Desolace to level entire continents. In Vash’jir the naga allied with the underwater Faceless Ones to take the power of Neptulon in the name of Azshara.

Recently, when asking about the Timeless Isle’s underwater content — a Blizzard developer — Cory Stockton told to Blizzplanet: “There are definitely some stuff in the water; but we know that water doesn’t always provides the best gameplay experience for WoW.”

Doesn’t seem like Blizzard was too satisfied with Vash’jir’s underwater gameplay after all. What if the naga somehow managed to rise the bottom of the sea to the surface though? There is actually one item of power capable of such a fit. It has been used already as a weapon in World of Warcraft. The Focusing Iris. In the Christie Golden novel — World of Warcraft: Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War, Jaina is the last person to take possession of the Focusing Iris at the end of the novel — even masked its presence from Kalec the blue dragon, keeping its location a secret.

Conclusion

“This trademark could be the real deal or it could be an expensive hoax by someone who has the cash to place fake trademarks.” — you might think.

However, if you look it up in the US Patent & Trademark website — The Dark Below was never seen as a finalized trademark, and it was never in the Blizzard Entertainment trademark list. “Heroes of the Storm”, however, can be seen on the Blizzard Entertainment trademark list, registered by the Blizzard lawyer. Now that’s something to ponder.

The World of Warcraft: Heroes of the Storm is less likely to be it. I am going with Warlock’s gut guru-”ing” here. It does sound like Blizzard All-Stars might have been renamed for good.

BlizzCon is in 39 days. Not long before we can sate our curiosity and hunger. What is “Heroes of the Storm”? Grab one of those BlizzCon Virtual Tickets to watch the entire Blizzard panels on DirecTV or to watch the livestream on your internet browser to find out what it is.

UPDATE

This post was originally published on September 30, 2013. It’s been 17 days since posted. On October 17th, Blizzard Entertainment launched the official Heroes of the Storm website with a Carbot Animations video to debut the news that Blizzard All-Stars is now known as “Heroes of the Storm”.

Hearthstone Beta Characters Wipe and Beta Opt-ins incoming

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

Zeriyah revealed plans to initiate a Hearthstone closed beta wipe. This means all your data including characters and card decks will be deleted in Hearthstone beta.

Blizzard is transitioning to better hardware to test the latest Hearthstone build in a bigger scale. This means a new wave of Hearthstone beta opt-ins will begin, and more waves afterwards. This won’t all happen overnight. Keep your attention on social media and fansites for new info as it becomes available.

The wipe in closed beta is very important to us, and marks a pretty big milestone that we hope a lot of you can be excited about.

First off, wipes aren’t super fun. In fact, they are negative fun. We chose to wipe in the closed beta at this point so we can impact as few people as possible. We understand that wiping data in Hearthstone may cause some frustration for people, but we anticipated having to do this since day one. Wiping will allow us to balance classes and carefully monitor that balance with a bigger player pool.

A bigger player pool? What? Well, after the wipe and patch that goes with it, we’ll be on different hardware than we were before. I’ll spare you the boring behind-the-scenes details, but we were limited in the amount of people we could invite to the first part of closed beta just due to these hardware limitations. With this patch and wipe, we’ll be making some serious transitions into hardware that can accommodate a larger pool of players. TLDR: Brace yourselves, the opt-ins are coming.

It’ll be a process—the gates won’t swing wide open right away, since we still need to make sure this hardware can hold up to the punishment we’re about to inflict upon it. However, as we invite more players to the closed beta test, the feeling of “hey, he’s in closed beta now and I’m not so he has a big advantage!” will diminish greatly since those players that have that small amount of play time “benefit” will soon be in the vast minority.

 

Hello Hearthstone players (and members of our gracious community still trying to get into the beta)!

Thank you for stopping by to read this important closed beta test update. At the start of the beta, we mentioned that we would reset information at some point, wiping all progress and cards in the process. We built this into our plan as we knew going into the beta that a number of cards were likely to emerge as overpowered and we also knew that we‘d make significant adjustments to the reward system and overall game progression. So, as part of the effort to level the playing field and also prepare our players’ accounts for the release version of our progression system, we made the decision to schedule a one-time wipe of all beta participant accounts. We have just about reached the point in closed beta where we’ll be doing this wipe, and thus wanted to share what that will mean for you, what to expect on the day of the wipe, and what will happen immediately afterwards.

A wipe? What’s a wipe?

If you are participating in the Hearthstone closed beta test, your progress will be reset. This includes your gold, experience and class levels gained through play, arcane dust quantities, cards unlocked through progression, and your medal ranking in Ranked Play mode. When you load up the game afterwards, it will be as if you were starting in Hearthstone as a new player. You’ll have to play the introductory missions once more and show Illidan just how prepared he is! (Spoilers: He’s not.)

When is the wipe happening?

We’re getting ready to release a pretty major beta patch to Hearthstone, and the wipe will coincide with that patch so we can closely monitor testing with the implemented updates.

A patch! What’s in the patch!?

We’ll announce details of the patch in a separate blog, so stay tuned!

I spent real money in Hearthstone! Is that going away!?

No way! As we mentioned in the earlier blog, any money you spent in Hearthstone will be reimbursed as gold, so you will be able to repurchase the same number of packs and Arena tickets you bought previously without additional investment. For each card pack purchased with real money, you’ll get back 100 gold. Each Arena entry will get you back 150 gold. Please note that any packs you purchase after the wipe will be different than the ones you had previously, so it is unlikely that you will receive the same cards again.

A couple examples:

  • Tim bought the $2.99 bundle for 2 packs during the beta. After the wipe, he will receive 200 gold (100 gold per pack x 2 packs.)
  • Janet bought the $49.99 bundle for 40 packs during the beta. She also bought 3 Arena entries. Janet will receive 4450 gold (100 gold x 40 packs + 150 gold X 3 Arena runs) after the wipe has been completed.

Like all gold, the reimbursed gold credit can be spent on either packs or Arena tickets. So if you bought a pack bundle previously, and would prefer to use your gold credit towards Arena entry, that’s available as an option.

Did you know: Getting back a lot of gold and need to buy a lot of packs at the same time? You can buy mass quantities of packs with gold by double-clicking on the brown “1 Pack” button in the store!

I helped test the store and got a Golden Gelbin Mekkatorque card! Is he wiped too?

Your good friend Gelbin will be waiting for you as soon as you complete the Illidan introductory mission. As soon as you’ve completed that mission you will receive the “Beta Hero” quest reward which will grant you Gelbin, as well as the gold credit for any purchases made prior to the wipe.

Will there be any wipes in the future?

We don’t anticipate any further wipes. This goes for both the Hearthstone beta and after the game’s official release. Any progress made during the beta after the wipe will be retained through the release of Hearthstone, such as new cards you obtain, levels that you gain and ranks you achieve. Basically, you’ll now be able to keep your stuff.

Wait, how will this work for Korea, Taiwan, and China? Closed beta hasn’t even started there yet!

Korea, Taiwan, and China will not be wiped. The wipe only applies to the beta participants currently playing in the North American and European beta tests. — source

 

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!