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Overwatch: Origins Edition Cross-Game Digital Goodies Now Available
With the addition of Baby Winston for WoW players and Mercy's Wings for Diablo III PC players, all Overwatch: Origins cross-game promotional items are now available!
While the Overwatch card back has been around for a while in Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm got its very own Tracer, World of Warcraft and Diablo III just received their Overwatch: Origins digital bonuses. These items are only available if you purchase the digital version of Overwatch: Origins.
World of Warcraft players can now proudly show off their adorable Baby Winston pet. For those of you who don't know anything about Winston's story, you can watch the Recall animated short to find out more about the gorilla with glasses.
Meanwhile, Diablo III PC players are finally getting Mercy's Wings. Earlier in the year, there was some controversy on this item, since console players got it both earlier and for free. There is a separate blog post dedicated to Mercy's Wings in the Diablo III official site.
You can check out all the cross-game promotional items in the blue post below. These items will still be available after the launch of the game, as long as you purchase the digital version of Overwatch: Origins.
The fight for the future is expanding to several other Blizzard universes!
Deployment of our Overwatch: Origins Edition in-game goodies has begun. Digital bonuses for World of Warcraft, Diablo III, StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm, and Hearthstone are now available to anyone who pre-purchases the digital version of Origins Edition for Windows PC through the Battle.net Shop.
What's included? See below!
World of Warcraft: Baby Winston Pet
Adorably cuddly and highly intellectual, the Baby Winston pet will be at your side as you fight to extinguish the Burning Legion. As with other World of Warcraft pets, Baby Winston will be automatically added to your characters' inventories and, once claimed, will be available on all World of Warcraft accounts on your Battle.net account.
Diablo III: Mercy's Gaze
Slay demonic forces throughout the High Heavens and Burning Hells wearing Mercy’s wings, and all of Sanctuary will know of your allegiance to Overwatch! Click here for details on how to claim this item on PC and Mac, or click here to learn how to claim it on console.
StarCraft II: Player Portraits
Brand-new portraits of Tracer, Reaper, Pharah, Winston, Bastion, and Soldier: 76 give new meaning to the phrase "Hero of the Koprulu Sector." These portraits will be automatically unlocked in your player profile.
Heroes Of The Storm: Tracer Hero
The cavalry's here! Jump into the Nexus with Tracer and surprise your enemies in the blink of an eye. This hero will be automatically unlocked in your roster—click here to learn more about Tracer in Heroes of the Storm.
Hearthstone: Overwatch Card Back
If you happen to find yourself in a Tavern Brawl, show your opponent you’ve got backup with an Overwatch-themed card back. Available since patch 4.2.0, this card back will be automatically added to your collection.
And don't forget: In addition to receiving these digital bonuses, when you pre-purchase or preorder any version of Overwatch, you'll also get the Noire Widowmaker skin at launch! Visit www.buyoverwatch.com for more details.
Q. Do I need to pre-purchase or preorder Overwatch to unlock these digital bonuses?
A. Nope! To be eligible for these in-game goodies starting May 24, you just need to purchase Overwatch: Origins Edition on any platform.
Q. I pre-purchased/preordered Origins Edition, but not through the Battle.net Shop. When will I receive my digital bonuses?
A. Players who pre-purchase or preorder a physical copy Origins Edition will receive their in-game goodies when they pick up their copy of the game starting on May 24. For PC, the game code included in the physical box will also unlock all digital bonuses when redeemed through Battle.net Account Management. For console, there will be an additional code included in the physical box that can be redeemed through Battle.net Account Management. This code will unlock all digital bonuses. Q. What if I digitally pre-purchase Origins Edition from the PlayStation Store or Xbox Games Store?
A. Players who digitally pre-purchase Origins Edition from the PlayStation Store or Xbox Games Store will be eligible to receive their in-game goodies starting on May 24.
In order to claim the Origins Editions digital bonuses, though, players will need to first link their Battle.net account with their PlayStation Network account or their Xbox Live account. Once linked, a notification will appear upon launching Overwatch allowing players to unlock all bonuses on their designed Battle.net account.
Q. If I contact Customer Support and provide proof of purchase, will they be able to grant me the digital bonuses earlier?
A. No. Customer Support will not be providing digital bonus codes prior to the game's launch to players who preordered physical copies of Origins Edition or pre-purchased digital copies through the PlayStation or Xbox online stores.
Q. When I will receive my Origins Edition skins in Overwatch?
A. Players receive their Origins Editions skins starting May 24. These skins will be automatically unlocked in the Hero Gallery the first time you log in.
Once More unto the Breach: Kevin Kanai Griffith's Impact on Blizzard
Celebrating the life of a Blizzard employee through the games he helped craft.
Well this is not news, in fact we had reported about the sudden appearance of
Kanai's Stomping Grounds the day it occurred, Blizzard has released an official acknowledgement of this previously unknown level.
The post on Battle.net addresses the appearance of the level, confirms that this will annually be a part of the game, and summarises who Kevin was to Blizzard.
Blizzard has done an exceptional job of honoring one of their fallen with this tribute, and I just wanted to highlight it so that more people can understand the man behind the reason.
Normally, I urge readers to drop their comments below, but this time I urge you to take any nice things you have to say over to the actual post.
Thanks for reading guys, and stay tuned.
Micky Neilson is Leaving Blizzard!
After spending over 22 years at the company, Micky Neilson has become a pillar of the Blizzard team. On this sad day, it looks like Neilson has announced his plans to move on from the company this month. Check out some of his work and what he contributed to Blizzard!
For those of you that don't know him by name, it's more than likely that you have come across his work at some point in your time of playing Blizzard games. Working as the Lead Writer in Publishing for Blizzard and the Story Lead for Hearthstone in the past, Neilson has helped to expand upon the universes of the games that we love. He has worked on almost every title the company has released, with his expertise touching some of the oldest games, such as The Lost Vikings and Blackthorne.
For World of Warcraft, Neilson has published, or co-published, a number of short stories surrounding the lore of the game. Those written by him include:
The War of the Shifting Sands (2005) - A story surrounding the war in Silithus. Unbroken (2007) - The valiant tale of the Vindicator turned Farseer, Nobundo. This is my personal favourite, I recommend it to anyone hoping to sample Neilson's work. Ashbringer (2008) - A 4-part comic series that told the story of the Ashbringer and its former master, Alexandros Morgraine. Curse of the Worgen (2010) - A 5-part comic series that looks into the history of Gilneas and the curse that took hold. Pearl of Pandaria (2012) - A graphic novel that looks at the beauty and hardships of Pandaria prior to the mists clearing. Blood of the Highborne (2013) - A novella that focuses on the creation of the Blood Knights, a set of Paladins sworn to follow Lady Liadrin. Gul'dan and the Stranger (2014) - A comic that follows the story of Garrosh meeting with Gul'dan, prior to the moment Mannoroth's blood is drunk by the orcs. In light of the recent information, Terran Gregory also came forward to say that Neilson wrote the script for the Black Temple trailer over on Twitter.
His most recent work will be released later this year, in which he looks at the story behind the early days of Overwatch. A graphic novel will be released written by Neilson, showcasing the stories of heroes such as Reinhardt, Reaper, Soldier: 76 and many more!
In his goodbye post, Neilson alluded to the fact that he will still be working with Blizzard on certain freelance projects, so hopefully we will see more of his fantastic work. Take a look below at what he had to say:
Extract from Newsletter
After 22 years, I’m leaving Blizzard. The time has come for me to pursue personal projects that I love. I’ll be moving from California to Washington State. My last day at Blizzard will be March 25th. I look forward to working with Blizzard on freelance projects, one of which will be announced shortly. Aside from that, my upcoming works might include more game-related writing, script writing, consultation…and most certainly, novels. All of which will be announced and discussed right here in this newsletter, once a month I spent some of the best years of my life at Blizzard. It’s a bittersweet departure to say the least. But I’m excited for all the opportunities that lie ahead! So…there you have it, the big news. Thank you all for your continued support!! If you'd like to keep up with his work in the future, you can always check out his website or Twitter. He has a monthly newsletter, as well as a number of side projects, including a supernatural-horror book that you can check out on WattPad. We can only wish Micky the best of luck and pray that he finds success in whatever he does in the future. I know that I will be praying that we can see more of his work in the Blizzard universes!
Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls Anniversary Contest!
Blizzard have decided to create a contest to celebrate the Two Year anniversary of the Diablo 3 Expansion, Reaper of Souls.
For those who care not what the contest is, and simply want to enter, you may do so here.
For the rest of us who are interested in the what, and why, there is a full blog post from Diablo Community Manager Nevalistis which outlines the rules and prizes.
While anniversaries for games are usually celebrated in the game, it is always great to see a company like Blizzard utilize real world celebration of their products. It certainly gives you the impression that they are proud of their products, and in this case they really should be.
Diablo 3 had a rocky start for many, but the game always had a strongly beating heart. The combat was fluid and fun from day 1 (ok, after error 37) and visiting Sanctuary again had many excited. However, there were many complaints surrounding certain aspects of the game, and sadly the stigma of Diablo 3 was not a good one for some time.
Fast forward to March 25, 2014.
Malthael descended into madness, and downloaded onto our hard drives. While the former Aspect of Wisdom lost his mind, many of us did too. The difference? We were losing our minds at the sweeping changes and improvement which came to Diablo 3 with the expansion, and it was a positive thing. The Real Money Auction house was shut down. The largest two features, Adventure Mode and Loot 2.0 addressed some of the largest complaints leveled at the game, and successfully re-invigorated a dampened community.
To this day, and still moving forward, Reaper of Souls is doing great things for the Diablo franchise. Consider all the features we have since had included into this expansion without any further purchase:
Greater Rifts (including Legendary Gems)
Tons of New Goblins
Complete Item and Set Reworks
Farmable Cosmetics (Upcoming in 2.4.1)
Just to name a few off the top of my head. Looking at that list and thinking that none of those things were even part of the expansion, and simply content that was delivered after-the-fact is quite astounding.
Now that is something to celebrate Blizzard!
Blizzard at IEM Katowice 2016
Get ready for an action-packed weekend with StarCraft 2, Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone tournaments during IEM Katowice 2016!
Katowice, Poland is the last stop of the Intel Extreme Masters esports tournaments, organised by Electronic Sports League (ESL). IEM Katowice 2016 is taking place this weekend (March 4-6) and will host some of the biggest European tournaments. There will be major tournaments for three Blizzard titles: the WCS Winter Championship in StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void; the European Spring Regional in Heroes of the Storm; and the ESL Legendary Series finals in Hearthstone. You can check Blizzard's official post here.
The Heroes of the Storm EU Spring Regional is definitely the event to watch: Europe’s best teams will fight for two precious spots in the Spring Global Championship (click here for our report on the NA Spring Regional). Our fellow Heroes of the Storm guide writer, Kendric Swissh, will be part of the casting team as an analyst.
In the ESL Hearthstone Legendary Series finals, 8 players will battle it out for the first place which awards the victor with $5,000 and 15 HCT points. Almost all of the players that qualified for the finals are not really well-known; they are: AKA Wonder, DoKy, Elscouta, espumito, Impact, Lucky Shadow, Silver Name and Zhivo. On the contrary, there will be an all-star crew of casters and analysts, which includes Aquablad, Elky, Ek0p, Gnimsh, Lothar and our very own Sottle.
We are excitedly waiting for the weekend and obviously we will keep you informed on all things IEM Katowice 2016. Good luck & have fun to everyone!