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Free BattleTag Update
Everyone and everything is in buzz for the upcoming release of Overwatch on May 23 for the Americas and May 24 for all other regions. For the launch of Overwatch, Blizzard is giving a free BattleTag update!
As we reported yesterday in an Overwatch article, there were indications that this would happen and Blizzard confirmed it early on Friday. Everyone is getting a free BattleTag update - even people who have already used it. Time to fix some bad decisions and/or some questionable account name choices!
As we prepare for the launch of Overwatch next week, we have refreshed the free BattleTag update for all Battle.net accounts! We often see feedback with requests to update your BattleTag, and as we move into a new universe filled with soldiers, scientists, adventurers and oddities it’s important that you have a nickname that represents you!
Like your current moniker? No problem! You will continue to keep and use your existing BattleTag without needing to take any action. Want to change it up? Visit your Account Management Dashboard, and click the Change link under your Account Details to the right of your existing BattleTag! Players on your Battle.net Friends List, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, and Overwatch will see the update soon after the change.
In addition to the above update, requests for an option to update BattleTags more frequently is something we hear often from players. We’re exploring the possibilities, and will be sure to let you know of any updates! Keep an eye on our game sites and forums for announcements.
It won’t be long before the agents of Overwatch are recalled to active duty, and we hope that this update helps you get ready!
Battle.net Seeking to Offer Native Voice Chat for Blizzard Games
Integrated voice chat is coming to the Battle.net client.
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there was a voice chat feature baked into World of Warcraft. The feature was one that many users had desired for, but they mustn't have been careful when making their wishes. The feature came, and was almost instantly reviled and panned by all who came to try it. Quietly left to die, it has since seen little love. Most simply assumed that the attempt was a loss, and that would be the end for the MMO's attempt to service the need. After all, 3rd party apps were plentiful and established.
This turns out to be a story with a potentially better ending, as the Alpha participants in World of Warcraft: Legion are now seeing a Battle.net Alpha build avaiable. The build features a totally revamped and service-wide VoIP functionality. It is not just a beacon of hope for those hoping to see the feature in WoW, but seemingly it will be something that will be available to most, if not all, of Blizzard's games.
This is hugely exciting, I for one do not enjoy having to rely on third party options for my VoIP during gaming. The inclusion into games natively is preferable for many, as it not only is free, but usually is the most seamless to set up. If a user is playing the game, then they have all of the software required to use the feature, instead of having to tinker with outside programs.
Images of the Alpha have popped up on @MysticalOS on Twitter. MysticalOS is the creator of several popular WoW mods, including Deadly Boss Mods. These are the images that he has published:
Let us know what you think of this pretty large upcoming addition to the Battle.net list of services. Hit the comment box below!
Battle.net Friend Limit Increased to 200
A soft launched increase to the size of the Battle.net friend list cap (previously 100 friends) was discovered late last night. We have gotten official confirmation today of the intentional increase to a new limit of 200.
The following tweet was just issued from the BlizzCon account:
Have you taken advantage of the increased friend list size?
Should The Battle.Net Friend Limit Be Increased?
The discussion around increasing the Battle.net friend limit (from its current cap of 100) is as old as the Battle.net launcher itself. There are a few main points that get tossed around whenever the conversation comes up, and I wanted to take a moment to address them.
So - should the Battle.net friend limit be increased? Can it be increased? I think so, but the objections raised are typically:
1. I don't need a bigger friends list.
This is the first and most common thing I hear when this gets raised in the community at large. As with many (most?) changes in the Blizzard world, this is an empty point - not every change affects every user. People who only play the single player StarCraft campaign aren't worried about updates to multiplayer balance, but those balance changes are the absolute life of the multiplayer and eSport scene.
If you only have 12 friends, an increase to the 100 friend limit doesn't affect you in any way. There is absolutely nothing to be worried about as a typical user. We'll come back to that, though.
2. Larger friends lists would cause server strain.
This possibility exists, but it also more or less directly contradicts the above argument. It also presupposes that increasing the size of the friends list - say, doubling it to 200 - would be the source of that strain, and not the already millions of people interacting with their smaller friends list. For sake of argument though, this could be a consideration, and is worth addressing.
3. The friend list limit exists for user interface reasons.
Nope, don't buy it. There isn't a single game client that actually shows all 100 friends simultaneously anyway, so that data's presentation has always involved scrolling. If Blizzard wanted to give people ways to categorize their friends into collapsible groups (the default system only allows you to flag 'Favourites' in Battle.net itself, and the in-game system only distinguishes between Battle.net friends and game-specific friends), that would be a great way to polish up the navigation of the friend list, but sheer number isn't the issue there.
4. A 100 friend cap prevents bots from spamming friend requests.
Maybe, but there are a lot of vastly more effective ways of preventing that (request frequency controls, etc.). This can also be addressed with a friend limit system, though.
Doesn't look like Ghostcrawler had any friends...
Given all of the above - and many positions or contentions I'm sure remain unaddressed - I still believe there is a solution that would meet players' needs, while preventing unnecessary difficulty for Blizzard:
Allow verified accounts of a minimum age to increase the size of their friend list at the player's discretion.
- A 'verified' account could be any account that has a real money purchase history, credit card attached, or other metric of Blizzard's choosing. This generally ensures that only real accounts will receive this option, and not free-to-play, bot, or spam accounts.
- A minimum account age helps ensure that the system isn't abused by spammers, bots, etc., and new users are unlikely to need a substantially larger friend list than the current 100 user limit anyway. It would also allow Blizzard to phase this in at a controlled pace, if server strain or issues with in-game interface interactions were serious concerns.
- Allowing players to choose whether they want this enabled or not is a courtesy and solves the issue of players who may not want a larger friend list.
Blizzard could even choose to make this a one-time account upgrade, possibly with other features, that could even be purchasable if they were concerned about volume.
With caveats such as these, I don't see any reason - social, mechanical, abuse prevention, or otherwise - that a larger friends list couldn't be made available for those users who would be able to take advantage of it.
Just add a checkbox that says, "Allow increased number of RealID friends."
What are your thoughts? Would you use an increased number of friend slots if you had the option? Do you see any reason not to allow it for people who would?
BlizzCon 2013 Tournament Decks
Blizzard has released the decks used by players during the Hearthstone tournament at BlizzCon 2013 and we added them to our Hearthstone menu.
The Innkeeper’s Invitational at BlizzCon was a huge success! Many Hearthstone fans watched the action at home via Twitch.tv and BlizzCon.com, and a full venue of excited attendees viewed every carefully calculated move in the Invitational live as the action unfolded on stage. The inn-vitees dueled it out over two days of card-slinging until there was a single player left standing that was crowned Grandmaster of the Hearth!
Today, we feature all of the Inn-vitees’ decks featured in the Invitational in detail, along with a spoiler of the winner of the Invitational at the bottom of this blog. If you’re waiting to find out the winner for yourself and to watch videos of the first matches that were not featured via Twitch.tv/wow or BlizzCon.com, we are planning on having them up and available to the public for viewing soon.
Onto the Inn-vitees decklists!
Hunter - Beastkrieg (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Warlock - Hot Stuff (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Warrior - chARRRRRRRge (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Kripparrian’s Decklists
Mage - Turn Eight (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Priest - Control The Drakes (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Paladin - Cixah's Miniatures (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Hafu’s Decklists
Mage - To The Fire (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Shaman - The Insomniac's Last Resort (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Paladin - Bubble Hearth or Bust (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Artosis’ Decklists
Paladin - I Let the Dark In (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Warrior - ek0p Warrior (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Priest - The Artosis Curse (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Noxious’ Decklists
Mage - Refrigerator (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Paladin - Son of Athene (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Shaman - Thrallalawl (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Trump’s Decklists
Mage - Add Fuel (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Druid - Hipster Mage (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Priest - What's Yours Is Mine (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Reckful’s Decklists
Priest - The Indecisive Priest (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Paladin - No Tirion (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Mage - Realz the Mastermind (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Day’s Decklists
Paladin - DIVINE FEELS (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Druid - GLACIERPAW (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Shaman - POWER OVERLOADING (HearthHead - HearthPwn) Results
Congratulations to our Grandmaster of the Hearth, Artosis, on winning the Innkeeper’s Invitational at BlizzCon! If you missed out on any of the action in the semi-finals and finals, those matches are available for your viewing pleasure free at Twitch.tv/wow or BlizzCon.com.