July 23, 2016

OverWatch Is Out


After its announcement in BlizzCon 2014, and a year wait full of anticipation, Blizzard launched its new game 'OverWatch' May 2016. Their latest game is a shooter, a new format in its gerne, and brings us many maps, heroes and diverse game play to choose from.



Team Work


The games are played in two teams of 6 players. Because you get bonus experience for qeueing up in a group, it's advisable to bring a friend.

There are casual games, player vs A.I., competative and you can create games with your own rules. This could be an interesting game to both the competative gaming industry, but also for casual gamers who want to goof off with friends.


Heroes


You have a choice between 21 different characters, which differ in their tasks as tanks, healers, offense and defense. Additionally some can fly, some have self heals, some can place turrets, teleports and even can get out of their robot and blow it up, destroy an enemy team in one explotion.



All heroes have their own backstories, and combined with their origional abilities, they feel like complete characters which each bring their own strengths and weaknesses.

Blizzard promised to bring new characters to OverWatch as time goes on, to add new ways to play and add different combos. The first to be announced is Ana, which appears to be a type of sniper, who can also stun and heal.



Ultimates


Another way the different characters bring something different are their ultimate abilities, which can be useful in different times. Use a res of 4 team players at the right time, or launch your exploding robot into the enemy group, and you're one step closer to victory.

The ultimates charge up as you use your abilities, and this takes a few minutes. So on long games you're able to use it several times, in quick games maybe once or twice.

Ultimates can really change the lead in a game, and if timed together, can destroy the opponents team in seconds. For example Symmetra's teleporter allows for quick recovery after death, and Mei's freeze allows for a great combo with any big damage ultimate such as Pharah's.




Capture the Flag


Blizzard created several types of maps involving 2 types of games in which winners are decided. There are capture the flag maps, in which 2 games decide a winner, 3 games if the first two are tied.


Attack vs Defend


And there are attack vs defend maps, in both teams play def and attack, this could sometimes mean to escort a payload.


Heroes Never Die


You do die, however you get a chance to rejoin your team in the battle field after a quick downtime of a few seconds, in which you can play back how you died, or watch your team mates progress on the map.

Maps are designed in a certain way in which you either have an advantage of a near grave yard, or disadvantage of a distant one. This is heavily used in tactics people use. And as a map progresses, you may end up closer or further away from a graveyard as time goes on. Continuesly changing the dinamtic in the battle.




Play of the Game


After completing 2-3 matches versus a team, the groups get randomized and you always face different people, or maybe play against people you previously played with. But before the game ends everyone gets to see a selection of the game which the AI determined the 'Play of the Game'. These are four different types of plays which possibly made a huge difference in the game.

These can be in which players deal a huge amount of damage, possibly blocked an ultimate from going off, ressing or preventing the deaths of team mates and cases in which players did something out of the ordinary for the character.

Sometimes there's selections are expected, when Bastion or Roadhog deal huge amount of damage and kill many, but can also be unexpected, or not visible in the video playback what happened. For example when a Symmetra kills many players with her turrets, but at the time this happened she was away from combat opening a teleporter.



But don't be frustrated with them, it's still an AI trying to interpret the game, sometimes it's win, sometimes it's a miss, but it can also be a great moment of glory when something awesome you just did, is displayed to everyone you just played with.


Weekly Brawl


Alongside being able to build custom games, in which you set the rules, there's also what they call 'Weekly Brawl' in which you can only select specific characters, for example only Mercy and Pharah, so everyone in the game is flying, and most combat happens in the air.

These can be really fun, and force people not only to play characters outside of their comfort zone, it can also be fun to see dinamic on the map change due to the characters on it and who play them.



Let me know in the comments below, which heroes you think I should definately check out. For more Overwatch information check out the official Blizzard Overwatch website or this Reddit.

Origional from my portfolio LauraLjungqvist.se

July 18, 2016

Silence!

You may be familiar with whispers from people pretending to be Blizzard Game Masters, asking for your login name and password, to 'unlock' your account', tho real Blizzard employees would never ask you for private information, they have a database. Or spam calendar invites directing you to gold selling websites.




As Blizzard has recently strengthened their defence against bots, rolling out many ban waves, and permanently banning gold sellers, it looks as they are now working even harder to also combat spam from scammers, and other inappropriate ingame behavior. And it doesn't stop there, this will include players who harras others in several different ways, such as spam duals, ingame mails, language, etc.

What they will introduce is a silence penalty. This will mean that while people who obtain the penalty will be able to, for example, wisper and talk in group/instance chats, they will not be able to create groups, calendar invites, start duals or send in game mail. You can read the complete list here.

The restrictions will last 24 hours at first, but will increase if the reports against the player keep coming. It sounds reasonable and a just penalty for people who attempt to make life for other players harder than it has to be. Hopefully if people continue reporting harrassing and scamming, this behavior will go down over time.

Before I sign off, remember that the pre patch is going live this wednesday, the 20th of July. This is your last chance to prepare, and say goodbye to the old and wait in anticipation of Legion. Until next time!

July 13, 2016

Legion Pre-Patch



Only seven days to go until the pre patch goes live. Last week the background downloader started, and a day later it was confirmed, the pre patch goes live July 20th, about 6 weeks before Legion itself goes live.

Not all content will be released with the pre patch, but your abilities for example will change. This means you'll have to wait until you can level to 110 to have access to every skill, such as the pvp skills, but you will have able to play around with a new play style, and prepare your spellbars and addons accordingly.




Another great thing which will go live is the new wardrobe. As you may know the void storage as it is today will go away and will be replaced with a wardrobe. This feature will be account bound, and give you access to all items you have obtained in the game. This means no more worries about where to keep items for transmog. They go as far as to give you back the old quest rewards you could have obtained in the past, so you don't have mourn the loss of an item you could've gotten 8 years ago but didn't because of the horrible stats.

I'm currently still testing Overwatch until the pre patch goes live, but I hope to tell you more about my experiences soon. Ciao for now.

June 19, 2016

Warcraft is in the Cinemas *Grabs Popcorn*

The movie is out, so I feel I can freely share a few of my experiences without spoiling too much, tho stop reading if you haven't seen it and want to experience it fresh. For me Lord of the Rings showed how far technology had come, and if Blizzard teamed up with the right people, they really had the chance of making the movie project not only successful, but something that could connect with more than your average Warcraft fan.



If my memory serves me right, they fired a director before teaming up with Duncan Jones. The movie needed a director which understood the balance of making both Horde and Alliance look good, and make both appear as heroes as the same time. The movie had been in the works for about threee years, but for years people had been speculating and fantasizing about the possibilities, so anticipation was high, however I think Blizzard and Duncan did well and delivered.

I often had wondered how they would work out the scaling, obviously the world in a movie would have to be more densely populated than in game, but I think it worked out very well. The scenes over Stormwind, seeing the massive city, and all the detailed houses. When the camera goes over the stormwind gates, and you can see the detail and see them work on a bigger scale, was breathtaking. The scenes in Karazhan especially hit home for me, for about two years I had farmed the dungeon, and fantasized about this magical place, to see it in its full glory was not disappointing.

The comedy was a something hinted at in the trailers, and I was glad with the level throughout the movie. Blizzard has been known to add a few gags and easter eggs in their games, and continueing that level in the movie, without it being disturbing or taking away from the story was great. The performances of Travis Fimmel and Paula Patton, and the chemistry between them felt just right, and showed an natural way in which horde and alliance have interacted together within the game years before.

One of the moments that caught me off guard was the great use of the mounts, I don't think mounts should fight for you ingame, but to see the furicious gryphons and wolves attack felt so natural, and so intense. One of my favorite things I took from the movie.

And by far, my favorite thing about Warcraft are the orcs. As horde you may think I have my favorites, however the way orcs were being portrayed so respectable really touched me. Both the moment Korona explains 'Orcs don't lie, there is no honor in lying' and how the orcs honor Mak'gora, was not only functioning very well for the movie, but showed the true good nature of orcs.

If you haven't seen the movie already, feel free to bring a friend who hasn't played the game. According to the reviews, both fans of the game and people who have never heard the story, give it raving reviews. And the story is easy to follow by those who are new to it. Thanks Blizzard, I cannot wait until number two!

May 28, 2016

Legion Quests, Leveling and Dungeons



LEGION SPOILERS. Here is a short list of information regarding quests, leveling and dungeons in the Legion expansion. A compilation with dungeon and raid videos is also in the works, and the quest lines for Discipline and Holy.

Additionally I'm writing a little story about Sylvanas, and I have decided to revamp my old UI for Legion and have decided to write a little post about it, listing all addons and where to find them, but you will have to wait a little for that. In the meanwhile enjoy this info from the devs about Legion.




World Quests

  • At max level, there is a World Quest system with a fixed state for everyone in your region so that you can quest together.
  • World quests are almost like Garrison Missions for players, giving you a choice of things to go and do rather than a list of things for your followers to do.
  • World quests are not daily quests, they can be available for a few hours up to a few days depending on the reward.
  • The most rewarding World Quests will be around for a few days, so players will have time to complete them.
  • There is a daily Emissary that allows you to earn some reputation and a reward chest if you complete four of their quests.
  • In Mists of Pandaria, there were lots of daily quests that gave you a reason to go out into the world, but the reward structure and daily requirement wasn't great. If you missed a day of quests, you would be behind everyone else.
  • There was also lots of repetition in the Mists of Pandaria daily quests, with players rescuing Lao Softfoot from his cage constantly.
  • World quests provide lots of variety with the hundreds of world quests have been created, so you shouldn't see the same quests constantly.
  • The game shouldn't feel like a daily chore. The Emissary system lets you stack up three days of quests so that you don't fall behind if you miss a day.
  • The Legion reputation rewards are also structured better, nothing like Mists of Pandaria.
  • The outdoor questing areas in Warlords ended up having no real context to why you were there doing things.
  • In Legion, all of the World Quests have a little bit of lore and story that go with them, giving you some context as to why you are there and why you are doing what you are doing.

Leveling

  • The level up experience in class zones is pretty broken right now. It is too easy and not paced well.
  • Leveling has been a little bit neglected over the years, becoming worse in part due to balance changes made to the max level game.
  • If you are doing a Level 3 quest right now, you are one or two shotting things, killing them before they can engage with you. This means you are spending more time running around between objectives than you are actually fighting.
  • The team wants to fix the leveling experience and they have done some via hotfixes already.
  • In Vanilla at lower levels combat times were a little bit too long.
  • The team aims for a 12-15 second combat time against a single enemy, which makes sense at max levels.
  • At lower levels when you literally have one skill, 12 - 15 seconds is too long, but the current few second combat time is too short.
  • The team wants to keep the barrier to entry for new and returning players that want to play with their friends reasonably low. This led to them making leveling through previous expansions faster and faster so that you could catch up to friends quickly.
  • Today the barrier to entry is solved by the Character Boost system. If someone buys the latest expansion, they can boost past all of the older expansions and finish leveling.
  • There isn't a need to rush players through leveling anymore. If you are leveling from 1 to 100 it should be a satisfying and well paced experience.
  • The goal isn't to go back to 13 days played or hundreds of hours of leveling, but you shouldn't be outleveling zones before you finish their story. You shouldn't go and do one dungeon and find that the zone you were leveling in before is no longer relevant to you at all.
  • There is a chance that the flexible zone scaling tech might help solve the leveling problem, expanding the level range of zones, giving you a chance to finish the zone before outleveling it.
  • The game should be a fun and epic experience at every level, but it isn't always that kind of an experience right now.

Dungeons

  • Previously, dungeons were exciting and rewarding at the start of an expansion for a month or so, but after that the loot wasn't as good as what you could get from Raid Finder.
  • If you beat a Mythic Dungeon, you get a Keystone that allows you to run the Mythic Dungeon at a higher level.
  • The difficulty and rewards scale up with the level of the Mythic dungeon.
  • The team wanted players to be able to run dungeons for the entire expansion, which means dungeons needed some variation in the gameplay beyond health and damage increases to keep them interesting.
  • Affix modifiers for the keystones change up your experience in the dungeon from week to week.
  • There are 8-10 different Affixes that do things to change the dungeon gameplay, like massively reducing tank threat generation (wait for 3 stacks of Sunder!).
  • Another Affix causes non-boss NPCs to explode and empower nearby enemies when they die.
  • Affixes are fixed for the entire world each week, so there won't be any need to find people with "easier" keystones.
  • The higher level your keystone, the more affixes will be on your keystone and the better your loot will be.
  • This will keep dungeons rewarding for the entire expansion.
  • Mythic+ Dungeons are also an alternative progression path to raiding or even a complement to raiding.
  • Right now in Warlords, there isn't much you can do to progress your character on nights when you aren't raiding, but in Legion you can do Mythic+ dungeons on non-raid nights.
  • There isn't any reachable limit for the keystone level.
  • Keystones are leveled by clearing the dungeon within a time limit. The limit is looser than Challenge Mode dungeons, as the point isn't to race through the dungeons, just complete it at a reasonable rate.
  • Each week you will have a chest in your Order Hall with a reward based on the highest level you cleared last week.
  • This chest also contains a new keystone that is around 70% of the level of your previous best, allowing you to get started at a reasonable level rather than starting from Level 1 again every week.



Find all of this, and more on MMO-Champion.com