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  1. 15 points
    Fortified Bunker (R) Health increased from 1300 to 1305
  2. 11 points
    As I have said on another thread and will continue to say on these threads - enough. Stop the bickering, get on topic. This is not the place to resolve your issues between one another. Actions will be taken against those deserving of it. Oxygen has, as always, worked incredibly hard to ensure that a great deal of work was put into the creation of this Tier List and to have his dedication soiled by the above discussion is, with lack of a better word, unfair. Discussion about the list and the comments is always encouraged, but the needless back and forth stops now. Any further comments below mine on it will be removed and the user will be banned.
  3. 11 points
    Oxygen discusses loot boxes and their moral implication. Hearthstone and Overwatch's overwhelming financial success have pushed Heroes of the Storm to adopt a similar monetization model by introducing its own loot box system back in May 2017. How have loot boxes changed the landscape of gaming? What are some of their moral implication? Table of contents A brief history of randomized microtransactions Back in November, Star Wars Battlefront 2 players denounced Electronic Arts' unscrupulous business practices that required players to spend an exorbitant number of in-game hours to be on an equal footing with players who could instead opt to spent large amounts of money on randomly generated in-game items... in a game they had already purchased for some $60. To most, EA had gone too far with so-called play-to-win which, to add insult to injury, was highly randomized. This controversy served to put randomized microtransactions under the global spotlight, prompting comments and actions from lawmakers and political figures globally. Such microtransactions are far from new, however. Back in 2007, Zhengtu Network was looking to monetize its homonymous game in Asian countries. To understand the move, it should be said that Asian markets were quite different from their American and European counterparts: players generally didn't purchase full titles and instead relied chiefly on internet cafés and copying games to play. Instead of relying on base sales to generate a profit, Zhengtu turned to loot boxes, which made sense for a young population of gamers that were much more receptive to a nickel-and-dime approach. The experiment proved so successful that it bred an entire genre of "free-to-pay" games, particularly on mobile platforms, that would come to solely exploit microtransactions to thrive. Western regions were first exposed to microtransactions in 2009 through those Zynga compulsion loop-driven Facebook social "games" we've all been involuntarily exposed to. Team Fortress 2 would soon come up with its twist on microtransactions, in 2011, by introducing the loot box system we are so familiar with. Valve's logic was that by making their game mostly available for free, gamers would flock to the popular title in such numbers that even if only a small fraction of those players ended up spending, they would generate a profit. Valve won their bid, Team Fortress 2's population grew by a staggering factor of 12, and many mainstream games, including games from the FIFA, Counter-Strike, and Battlefield franchises, League of Legends, and, of course Overwatch, would follow suit. The Star Wars controversy I discussed earlier happened to explode because of the franchise's humongous cultural significance that allowed the controversy to reach way beyond the social circles of those who would normally be concerned. In other words, non-gamers were, for the first time, exposed to the concept of loot boxes. To top it off, Star Wars Battlefront 2's loot box system was a particularly insidious blend of ludicrous costs, a highly pay-to-win scheme, and a high base game cost for what was essentially the re-release of a decade-old game. One of the most important conversations that would stem from the controversy is about the very nature of loot boxes and whether or not they should be considered a form of gambling, and thus regulated. Why microtransactions? And how? From a business standpoint, making a product free to then rely solely on post-consumption microtransactions may come off as an odd decision; why run risk of not seeing a return on your investment by not charging consumers right away? The context of games, and specifically, multiplayer games, is quite different from what I might call traditional consumerism: players are also part of the product, as without functional matchmaking, multiplayer games obviously stop working. Social bonds also tend to keep players more invested, and more players simply means more opportunities for bonds to develop. The real prize, however, lies in a specific player profile known as a whale. Whales are essentially players who spend a ludicrous amount of money on otherwise free products. In its 2016 report on monetization, Swrve demonstrated that a mere 0.19% (!) of players contributed to some 48% of freemium games' revenue. Doesn't it make sense, then, to try and cater to said whales? How do you do it? Besides the importance of creating an appealing game, I believe that there are four main components to what we might colloquially call whale hunting. I) Anemic time-to-reward ratios and "unreachable" goals One of the most typical aspects of competitive free-to-play games is that they almost ubiquitously require players to spend a steady amount of money to stay in the loop. One of the most egregious examples of this might be Hearthstone, for which it is technically possible for a given player to build a competitive deck through sheer playtime. However, doing so would be extremely time-consuming and would require of this player that they focus on a single deck, leaving them extremely vulnerable to metagame shifts (which forcibly occur every time an expansion is released) and unable to experiment. The key to creating a dependence on microtransaction lies in making in-game currency gains so anemic that players feel forced to make steady real money purchases. Going back to our Hearthstone example, and assuming a steady rate of 8 matches per hour, your average player (50% win/loss ratio) might be able to purchase a pack after some 7.5 hours of playtime, daily quests notwithstanding. Since individual packs cost $1.50 USD, this time could be valued at about $0.20 an hour, making a minimum wage job rather appealing by comparison. Although you are hopefully enjoying yourself playing Hearthstone during this time, any player looking to be a serious contender will absolutely have to invest into the game. Daniel Friedman from Polygon did the legwork for me and produced a fair estimation for the yearly cost of sustaining a reasonable Hearthstone collection: $400, including in-game currency gains. For a whale, this isn't a lot. By comparison, $170 USD a year will keep you completely competitive in Heroes of the Storm, though in reality, you could get away with spending much less by regularly completing daily quests and skipping weak heroes. Again, for a whale, this isn't a lot. As a developer, you then run into this problem of needing to balance the needs of freeloaders, casual players, and whales. On one hand, purchases that have a direct effect on game play (cards in card games, characters in MOBAs, weapons in FPSs, etc.) must remain relatively accessible to all. On the other hand, you need to have content for whales to spend on. And this is exactly why most free-to-play games feature a large amount of expensive cosmetic items. At the time of writing, building a full non-golden Hearthstone card collection would set you back nearly $2,000 USD. For a full golden collection, I've seen estimates ranging between $10,000 and $20,000 USD. This number would increase by approximately $3,000 with every new expansion. For the majority of us, this sounds insane. To a whale, this is a goal. II) Artificial rarity Scarcity breeds desire. De Beers exploited this back in the 1930s to artificially inflate the price of its diamonds. Blizzard too does this across its microtransaction games; inherently, high rarity items in Hearthstone, Overwatch, and Heroes of the Storm aren't more powerful (less so for Hearthstone) or attractive (this is subjective, of course) than other items. By assigning rare, epic, and legendary qualities to their items – which is rather clever, by the way, as we have been groomed by years upon years of World of Warcraft to respect these rarities and associated colours – Blizzard is justifying steeper crafting costs and lower pulling chances when there would otherwise be no objective reason to make certain items harder to acquire. Item rarity becomes particularly easy for players to hate, and justifiably so, when it is directly tied to in-game power levels. But for big spenders, high rarity simply becomes synonymous with quality, regardless of the item's intrinsic value, not unlike luxury brands. Item rarity isn't the only way Blizzard (and other companies; I'm not trying to specifically criticise Blizzard here, but I just happen to know their products well enough) are creating artificial rarity. Although card games such as Hearthstone naturally conjure events whenever a new expansion comes out, Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm very carefully plan time-limited in-game events with event-exclusive and sometimes limited (in the sense that this is your one chance of acquiring them) cosmetic items to imbue players with a hollow sense of urgency. These events often have specific loot boxes, and the items they contain are invariably more expensive than year-round items for players to craft to further incentivise purchases. III) Obfuscation of costs Let's have a short quiz. a) How much is a legendary Hearthstone card worth? Surprised? So am I. b) How much is a legendary Heroes of the Storm item worth? ...surprised again? So was I. And I'm actually slightly embarrassed to admit that it took me a few minutes to math this one out. Why? I had to convert my local Canadian currency into a number of "Gems" before looking into making a loot chest purchase. The insidious bit is that whenever I tried to purchase a specific number of chests, I'd always either have some leftover gems or have to go for a less appealing package. At this rate, this point is just writing itself out. Gold, gems, dust, credits, "not-money". Whatever you call them, they're much easier to spend than actual cash, not unlike real life credit, and particularly for impulse purchases. You'll notice that such currencies are often purchased by the thousand, which only serves to further disconnect consumers from their money. You look like candy. I don't mind spending you at all. The random nature of loot boxes and card packs only serves to further obfuscate how much players are actually spending for what they're getting. If you've ever wondered why players weren't just allowed to pick whatever card (or cosmetic, in the case of loot boxes) they needed from packs since cards have no resale value and cannot be traded with other players, this is it. And if you've ever wondered why obvious filler such as Sewer Crawler or Worgen Greaser gets printed with every expansion, there's your answer again. IV) Steady compulsion looping No random microtransaction system can be successful without providing its target market with a highly controlled but steady stream of merchandise. Games such as Heroes of the Storm offer a frontloaded number of loot chests to hook its players in, then cleverly use the "progression" system to regularly feed them with bits of dopamine. The player profile has a section dedicated to indicating how close players are to acquiring their next reward as a constant reminder. The tiered loot chest system even acts as a small knob to control exactly how much players should be getting, and when. Items such as Stimpacks have the dual effect of doubling the rate of the compulsion looping schedule and instilling players with a false sense of faster progression to become particularly addictive. Positive reinforcement variable ratio schedules are also found under the form of a mechanic known by players as a "pity timer" which ensures that at least one legendary item will be collected every 35th loot chest (every 39th card pack in Hearthstone) to ensure a certain level of randomized microtransaction loyalty. The visuals and sounds that accompany the opening of loot boxes is specifically designed to heighten excitement, with higher rarity items being generally accompanied by flashier animations and more exciting sound effects. Ultimately, the goal of the system is to create a form of extrinsic motivation that encourages players to remain active and incentivises them to make purchases. Daily quests fulfill a similar purpose, though they obviously cannot be purchased. Are loot boxes and card packs a form of gambling? With randomized microtransactions under the proverbial spotlight, I believe this question is going to be a big one in the near future. As of right now however, the answer varies broadly depending on who you ask; many American and European countries are in the process of studying the question, whereas most Asian countries have already legislated. Given the different gaming culture, as was explained in the second paragraph of this article, this makes sense: Asian countries have been way more exposed to microtransactions – and their effects – than western countries have. In an unexpectedly liberal move, China dropped a bomb in December 2016 when it announced that game publishers dealing in the country would have to reveal the draw chances of randomized virtual items and services. Furthermore, this new law outright banned loot box-like systems. Blizzard complied with the new legislation in a particularly crass way by instead selling meaningless amounts of in-game currency (dust for Hearthstone, credits for Overwatch, etc.) and giving out an equal amount of packs or loot boxes as a "gift" for purchasing said currency. I'm not joking. Of course, this is just one step towards regulation (or not) in one country, and, as stated earlier, distinct countries are tackling the issue at different speeds. However, I suspect the battle to have far-reaching consequences. In the US, lawsuits against analogous systems, notably, Pokémon cards, was ultimately dismissed back in 1999. Why? Simply put, booster packs were deemed to "not be harmful enough" despite passing the gambling test, which serves to identify what constitutes gambling in the US. How do you perform this test? Look for the three following elements: Consideration; basically, a cost or "risk" Chance; an unpredictable outcome (what will I win, or; will I win something at all?) Prize; what you will gain if you do win (for binary gambling), or; what you will gain (i.e. cards, for non-binary gambling) Notice anything? Loot boxes and card packs – though only those purchased with real currency – fit the bill. I've seen individuals argue that loot boxes could not be considered gambling because they always had a yield, but the test cares little about the nature of the yield as long as it is directly tied to consideration and chance. Jurisprudence has set a rather strange factor – harm, which, I have no idea how the judge evaluated – as one of the main component for future lawsuits. And so, we must then ask whether loot boxes and analogous systems are in fact harmful. Some have hypothesized that they can contribute to video game addiction, but the very existence of this disorder is still being debated. Perhaps we should instead look at gambling addiction to make a case, though we are headed deep into political and moral territories. Who should be in control of their own fate? Let's not go there just yet. Moral and design concerns It is with much noise and celebrating that Heroes of the Storm moved away from its standard microtransaction system to embrace loot chests fully back in May 2017. Most of the changes brought in by Heroes 2.0 would ultimately serve to support the introduction of randomized microtransactions. Indeed, if economic research showed that loot boxes were not more lucrative than typical microtransactions (such as buying exactly what you want, such as a given Hearthstone card or Heroes of the Storm skin for a set price), they simply wouldn't exist. They are predatory in the sense that they exploit basic behavioural traits to make more money than a typical, non-random system would. The success of loot boxes becomes particularly terrifying when certain fundamental games design principles have to be twisted to promote the appeal of purchasing loot boxes. Games such as Overwatch are hardly affected. Other games, such as Hearthstone, are incentivised to make more powerful cards rarer to increase potential profits, though ultimately, this is a thing we have come to accept – unjustifiably, perhaps? – from card games. Other much more reprehensible game examples literally tie player power to randomly finding certain items. Loot boxes and their content need to be advertised, too, which distracts from the game. Hey MVP! Don't mind my skin and banner, by the way. Cough. But they do look nice. If only you had them, you could be just as good as I am... The human demand for gambling is undeniable. Unlike video game addiction, however, gambling addiction is recognized as a mental disorder. Whether certain whales are affected by the disorder is difficult to tell, but vices ultimately tend to affect the most vulnerable of us. Controlling certain behaviour is excessively difficult, if not impossible, but knowing that my favourite games may be subsidised by people whose lives are compromised by gambling problems is always a sad thought. And although I generally try and avoid making unfounded assertions, I can't help but to question the effects of exposing children and adolescents to gambling, regardless of the form. This is particularly worrisome as younger gamers are being groomed by popular mobile games to see such microtransactions as completely normal. TL;DR Electronic Arts' massive blunder with Star Wars Battlefront 2's loot crate system caused a global awareness of randomized microtransactions, prompting reactions from several political figured around the world. Random microtransactions would be considered a form of gambling by US law, but existing jurisprudence tells us that they are unlikely to be controlled unless objective harm can be proved, just as with physical collectible cards. Random microtransactions exploit human behavioural weaknesses to generate significantly more profit than traditional transactions.
  4. 6 points
    I think the level scaling was a HUGE undertaking and took a massive amount of resources so the other stuff just kinda fell through the cracks.
  5. 5 points
    Hey man, honestly. There is no need for such toxicity. People have opinions, and it is important to respect them. If you don't agree, you have the right to disagree and discuss, which is what we're trying to do here. But respect in the first place. If they say something wrong, just correct them without insulting their intelligence. This isn't the Battle.Net forums, thankfully, where people spit venom in your face and downvote in mass anything they don't agree with. This placed isn't called "Icy Veins" for no reason. We're all chillin' here, ya know?
  6. 5 points
    Thirteen years ago...I started World of Warcraft as an Orc Warrior finding his place in the world. I chose this race because I believed in the principles of the Horde, which seemed like a strong progressive lot of like minds. The Horde which was reshaped and redefined by Go'el of the Frostwolf Clan. With determination, he was able to unite races and forge relationships with elements of the Alliance. The Horde was fine settling in Durotar, knowing that the Alliance would less likely want to maintain strongholds in a desolate land. For every issue in the story, the Horde has taken in races due to extreme prejudice from the leaders and the people of the Alliance i.e. Blood Elves, Undead (some being true citizens of Lordaeron). However, since the fall of the Lich King and the Cataclysm, the Horde has been written as an negative force within the World of Azeroth. I am gravely disappointed that Blizzard and their writers continue to narrowly forge the Horde into an antagonistic force. We suffered hard with Garrosh and that was a blow to all factions...but now to have Sylvanas follow suit and to cause the same distrust between faction leaders? This isn't great story writing this is just using recycled themes to continue a shoddy story. I think they set it up fairly well for Alliance to finally show some negativity in the story...It would maintain the balance that each faction believes differently and that there is no real good or real bad entity besides the forces in the environment.
  7. 5 points
    Well... Every single deck in this website is created over a synergy, and tried by different mods. HOWEVER, this doesn't guarantee that, this will butcher whatever you see on ladder. Why? 1) Ladder is full of either aggro decks which beats anything that tries to go on curve. If your opponent plays 6 minions in one turn and you try to answer it with 1 big one, you lose the game. And the other decks are either warlocks, which feeds on this, thanks to its insane DK, or priests, about which I can't comment. This is about the power level of the deck. 2) You guys make mistakes, this deck (and many others) are very complicated to pilot and requires different approach in different matchups. You might make a mistake or two there. 3) Try to check what's powerful on different tier lists, try HSReplay (by far the best), VS, Toast, and Tempostorm (less viable than the rest), and use your dust wisely maybe. You'll see that, only mage deck which might have a chance of consistently winning a game is secret mage. Maybe refer to those websites before you leap.
  8. 5 points
    That's actually really cruel to people trying KT out.
  9. 5 points
    The release date of Patch 7.3.5 draws close and our content hub contains all necessary information to guide you through it. The latest information about Legion's final content patch. Patch 7.3.5 is Legion's last content patch. The most prominent features are world scaling, Ulduar Timewalking and the Seething Shore battleground. Update: (January 18) We have a round of new dev tweets with information about bugs in Patch 7.3.5 that continue to pop up on live realms. An extended eight hour maintenance is planned for all regions. You can find more details here. Update: (January 17) Hotfixes for January 17 are out! Patch 7.3.5 is now live in all regions and the first bugs started to emerge. World scaling crippled soloing old content and Blizzard is currently working to fix the issue. We also reported about Orb of Deception transforming Pandaren into Allied Races characters. At this time we don't know if that's intended, but expect a round of hotfixes soon! We also compiled a list of undocumented changes in 7.3.5 that can be found below. Black Qiraji Battle Tank Model Update Scarab Lords rejoice! The Black Qiraji Resonating Crystal mount received a new model. Legion Epilogue Cinematics Two new cinematics are available to all players that start the new quest line in Silithus. Undocumented Changes A list of undocumented changes that were omitted from the official 7.3.5 patch notes. Uuna Secret Scenario Hunt WoW Secrets Community Finding Discord is currently solving a mystery involving Uuna. Her drop rate has been significantly increased and Blizzard added a scenario for her in Patch 7.3.5. Update: (January 15) Patch 7.3.5 goes live this week. Here are the official patch notes. Patch 7.3.5 Release Date Speculation Ruby Qiraji Resonating Crystal and Sapphire Qiraji Resonating Crystal are new Qiraji mounts that have been added to the game in Patch 7.3.5. They will be available only during Call of the Scarab micro-holiday. Call of the Scarab is scheduled for January 21, 2018, so Patch 7.3.5 should go live before the event. Possible Release Dates Extended maintenance is scheduled for this week. We'll update this hub with additional information as they become available (official patch notes, background download, etc.) January 2 January 9 January 16 New Qiraji Mounts (Call of the Scarab Micro-Holiday) Allied Races Patch 7.3.5 contains files for Allied Races, giving Blizzard the opportunity to enable them at any time after the patch goes live. During PTR testing, we looked at unlock requirements, special Heritage Armor, racials, tabards, and unlock scenarios. Four Allied Races will be available before Battle for Azeroth launches. Dark Iron Dwarves and Zandalari Trolls are gated behind the new expansion's campaign. We still have no information about their class options, but in a Q/A, Blizzard mentioned they are exploring the option to allow Dark Iron Dwarves to be Death Knights and Zandalari Trolls will be able to roll Druids. Unlock Requirements You must purchase Battle for Azeroth and have an existing character of at least level 110 on the destination realm of your Allied Race character. Allied Races are also gated behind reputation and various achievements. All requirements are account-wide. Heritage Armor Level up an Allied Race character from 20 to 110 and unlock special account-wide armor that's not restricted by type. Highmountain Tauren Druid Forms Highmountain Tauren have unique Druid forms. In our preview, we looked at their travel, cat, bear and flight forms! Mounts Four new racial mounts have been added for Allied Races. Check them out! Racials Explore new Racial abilities and passives available to Allied Races! Tabards We datamined four tabards for Allied Races and a new tabard from Pet Battles (Master Trainer's Tabard). Alleria & Turalyon Reunion After a bittersweet victory on Argus, Alleria & Turalyon return back to Azeroth. Dalaran Mailroom Quest Guide for Patch 7.3.5 A new quest line is available in Patch 7.3.5. Pet collectors will be interested in the Mailemental pet and a portable mailbox (Katy's Stampwhistle) always comes in handy! Flying Changes in Patch 7.3.5 You can now fly in Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor, Pandaria, Northrend and Deepholm just by purchasing Expert Riding. Legendary Items in Patch 7.3.5 While there are no new Legendaries in Patch 7.3.5, you can now purchase an item for 175 Wakening Essences that allows spec-based Legendary item targeting. The devs also posted additional clarifications for the Purified Titan Essence token. New Companion Pets A new Pet Battle meta-achievement and two new companions can be earned in 7.3.5. New Hunter Pet Tames Hunters can tame new pets in Patch 7.3.5. Find out more by visiting the link below! New Zones Blizzard added new Allied Races Scenarios, faction embassies and there's even a scenario for Uuna! Please note that these Scenarios haven't been tested on PTR. Allied Races & Uuna Scenarios A preview of Fate's Veil, Forge of Aeons and other zones added in Patch 7.3.5. Faction Embassies Faction embassies have been added to Orgrimmar and Stormwind. They serve for recruiting Allied Races; almost all faction leaders can be found there. Additionally, Baine Bloodhoof, Saurfang, Trade Prince Gallywix and Nathanos all received new models. Faction Embassies Preview #2 Our second preview focuses on changes to embassies throughout 7.3.5 testing. Nightborne Hub (Uninstanced Nighthold) The uninstanced version of the Nighthold has been updated with new NPCs and portals. Pandaren are teaching the Nightborne the way of the Monk and more! Legion Epilogue Both factions have established base camps in Silithus. Will the price of victory be the very lifeblood of Azeroth? Ogmot the Mad Foreshadowing Riddles Ogmot the Mad is a new rare mob that can be found in Silithus. He drops Journal of Ogmot the Mad, where we learn how eager he is to become the vessel of the Old Gods. The journal has ten pages and covers interesting events. Seething Shore Battleground The new battleground is located off the coast of Silithus. It's a resource battle and both factions need to collect Azerite nodes to claim victory. Trial of Style Season 2 Rewards A couple of new items and rewards have been added to the Trial of Style micro-holiday. New sets cost Trial of Style Tokens. Ulduar Timewalking Ulduar is the second Timewalking raid, available during Wrath Timewalking. Defeating Algalon now rewards both titles (Observed) and completing the Ulduar raid achievements both mounts (Glory of the Ulduar Raider). There are probably no plans to introduce a transmoggable Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings and the raid now has a single difficulty. Vicious War Fox Mount The PvP mount datamined back in Patch 7.3 is finally available for 1 Vicious Saddle. Zone Scaling A highly anticipated feature of 7.3.5 is the introduction of zone scaling. Zones have level caps, difficulty and quest rewards scale with your level. At level 58, you can choose between Outland or Northrend, at level 80 it becomes a choice between Cataclysm zones & Pandaria. Find out more about zone scaling below! Zone Chapters In addition to zone scaling, all zones now have chapters and completing a fixed number of quests is no longer required for Loremaster achievements.
  10. 5 points
  11. 5 points
    Alexstrasza is magically viable. *Thinking* Last month she was trash tier. No comment. Hanzo -can solo mercs fast -counters heroes that depends on shields even Johannas shields get wrecked by him in 1 storm bow hit -a lot of time people cant even dodge his skillshots because his range is out of their vision -both siege/hero dmg can compare to Lunara -great at defending against bosses/monsters and objectives with monsters/bosses -hes actually a pretty good finisher -bonus: can unmount a whole team (if you like being a pain in the ***) How is he niche. *Thinking* Only thing that is niche about him is his Dragonstrike. That ulti doesnt feel impactful at all. I do agree that changes to Serrated Arrows or Never Outmatched would hurt him a lot. Nova is pretty much the same as ever, shes just safer because of the new clone AI and the fact that she can now have 2 clones. Nowhere near core tier. You can just pick Lunara, Malfurion, Raynor, Tassadar. Anything that can easily reveal her and shes back to trash tier. ^ This is a pretty obvious weakness lol Shes pretty much the same as ever. Just harder to kill. No offense, I like Nova, shes a lot of fun but shes nowhere near prime tier. Valeera, its funny that her dmg was actually nerfed but her utility got a buff. The Silence is really strong on all heroes indeed but she has blinds now too. She basically turned into a hero that can counter almost anything. Shes actually decent at taking siege giants with Garrote build btw. Everyone expected this. Blizzard makes stealths visible so they can buff them. People start crying: "Now theyre even more OP!" Raise your hand if you knew this was gonna happen. lol
  12. 4 points
  13. 4 points
    Unreal Engine 4 is a suite of integrated tools for game developers to design and build games and visualizations. The talented Daniel L recreated a couple of Warcraft zones using the engine and the results are stunning! Durotar Duskwood Elwynn Forest Grizzly Hills Westfall For anyone interested, here's a development video of Goldshire. Notice the attention to detail and how long it must take do just one zone!
  14. 4 points
    It's Maintenance out of the ordinary and a pretty big one, people might not see it if it's just in the launcher (yes, some do...), making news about it on the usual sites is a good way to prevent those certain individuals from flooding the forums even more
  15. 4 points
    Basically, if Blizzard deems it worth mentioning, then IV does as well. Nothing new here.
  16. 4 points
    I will never understand why people think that leveling should be difficult. I think fun is something else than playing a caster and having to sit down for 30 seconds after each mob because it consumes all your mana to kill it... Leveling should be a smooth and fluid experience where you get to explore the world, learn something about the story and further your character's skills. So a little bit of tweaking with your foe's life pool etc. is perfectly fine but reverting everything back to the days where you were drinking or eating more than actually killing stuff would be the absolute worst thing to do. The Vanilla experience will come back with the classic servers. I like the new amenities that were implemented and would never exchange those for a tedious grind with no logical quest order and drop rates that were beyond ridiculous :-)
  17. 4 points
    With zone scaling coming in 7.3.5, zones no longer have a fixed amount of quests that need to be completed in order to get credit toward achievements like Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms, Loremaster of Kalimdor & Loremaster of Outland. A small, but noticeable change for anyone working toward The Loremaster achievement. All zones now have story chapters. Instead of having to complete 120 quests in Netherstorm (Into the Nether) to get credit toward Loremaster of Outland, you must now complete individual story chapters (Into the Nether), just like in Legion and previous expansions. Achievement credit is obviously account-wide and those who completed the achievements prior to the release of 7.3.5 won't need to complete them again.
  18. 4 points
    The very first clip of Sentinel + Dragon's Arrow was the highlight of the video for me. Although that Zeratul pushing the catapult minion was priceless.
  19. 4 points
    That's actually a really nice thing! Since the introduction of this feature I found questing to be more trackable and you could better understand in which way the "story" progressed
  20. 4 points
    There must be a lot of Alarak mains among Blizzard devs. Because this is pure sadism.
  21. 4 points
  22. 4 points
    Thijs finds a brilliant way to regain board control with his Dragon Priest deck against Xixo's Big Spell Hunter at Seatstory Cup 8. Welcome back to another episode of What's the Move! Today we'll be looking at a brilliant play made by Thijs at Seatstory Cup 8, where he found a creative way to regain board control with his Dragon Priest deck against Xixo's Big Spell Hunter: Special thanks go out to reddit user /u/noowai, who brought this play to my attention in the comment thread for last week's episode. If you have a suggestion of your own for a future episode, please feel free to reach out to me here on Icy Veins or shoot me a message on Twitter @Aleco_P.
  23. 4 points
    They are not wrong. It is actually a really smart marketing strategy, and as you stated through your article, it is a way to "toy" with the human nature. Just like South Park showed us, people LOVE free stuff. "Wow, so I can play this awesome game without spending a dime? FUCK YEAH!" From Valve's perspective, it's a win-win situation. With free games more people will play their stuff, spread popularity, so more people will play. And with their constant updates do TF2 they won the playerbase trust and loyalty; therefore the most loving fans will spend money at good will to support Valve. Which is not wrong. It's, all in all, a healthy relationship. But everything changed when the Fire Nation EA attacked. Yes, this is where things get fucked up. Hearthstone actually has a logic behind this because it tries its best to simulate a real-life card game experience, where one has to buy Boosters and Packs to find their desired cards. I'm not defending them, but sadly that is how it works. Predating on human basic instincts is something that is done since the dawn of humanity. Even the religion shows this with the Adam and Eve. At least in Heroes of the Storm it's mainly cosmetics, which I'm perfectly fine with. Sure, I really REALLY want those Bucaneer Falstad and Maraudin Muradin skins, but that won't ruin my experience playing the game nor give me disadvantages. Much like I said above, humans exploit their own basic instincts since the forever. If there are two things we can be certain about humanity is that we are ruled by boobs and gambling; it is an undeniable fact. Why do you think Bender's most famous quote is about "blackjack and hookers"? __________________________________________________ Great article, by the way, as expected from our former Ducklord. I actually enjoy lootboxes by the fact that it doesn't force me to actually spend real money. As long they're not using cheap pay-to-win strategies as EA. Cosmetics are fine as lootbox contents. Personal story below. I don't (usually) really get obssessed and frustrated that I don't get one of those Legendary Skins I've been wanting for a long time, so when I finally get them without expecting anything, it is a pleasant surprise. The only time I've spent money in Heroes of the Storm was to buy The Butcherlisk skin, and after doing so I felt very bad, using my hard earned cash to buy a virtual cosmetic in a game, specially since in Brazil the taxing on dolars really hurts, so skins' values were 3x as expensive. Like, "I could be using this money for something more useful".
  24. 4 points
    As an interesting note. I stopped playing HoTS almost completely; largely due to the heroes 2.0 change. But as a long time MTG player, I have had no problem with hearthstone, despite it being largely the same. I mean, it is completely understandable since I have been. . . indoctrinated into the randomness of collectable cards (and hey I can trade in 4 of these for one of the same rarity, can't do that in magic!). Which I think just shows the potential dangers of this sort of system. Once it becomes common place, we just sort of accept it for the norm and don't really question it.
  25. 4 points
    Not salvageable Bunker? This isn't true Terran fashion!
  26. 4 points
    Draenei? Eh, just add Lightforged to it. Draenei pet? Eh, just add Lightforged to it.
  27. 4 points
  28. 4 points
  29. 4 points
    I wouldn't really say that is trolling. I have been "forced" to solo lane as a Main Tank many times because the rest of the team simply gives no fucks to waveclear. When the Tank is forced to waveclear because the Specialists are not paying attention, we have a serious problem. I also have a few suggestions of what I wanna see: Mouse-over glow in low resolution settings: that green/red highlight is something I've always found very handy, as it makes targetting a lot easier. The problem is, it is disabled if you run on low settings, which is my case (I play on a shitty 7 year old Macbook). Show health percentage on the character's healthbar: another thing that would be very handy.
  30. 4 points
    Sonya is strong but this tier list has to take into account play at a level where team mates don't sit on her while she Whirlwinds and, heaven forbid, actually interrupt her when she does, not to mention that she has a certain unforgiving skill cap. Miss your Spear in laning or early in the game? May as well skip that fight. Core / viable depending on how good a Sonya player you are. This is ignoring that Oxygen himself is an Assassin / Spec player, heroes like Zagara just shred Sonya down and bully her out of lane before then set the terms for the rest of the game if they get a talent advantage in this current meta. Alex CAN be a strong healer support, but this is exactly what would stop any support from being Prime tier. In a team fight, literally all you have to do to effectively cripple her talents if selected is get her below 75%. No other healer heals less the lower hp they have. Her trait is powerful but is actually NERFED along with her most popular ult, and her secondary ult is like a less reliable Ancestral. Viable, strong even, but certainly not the best. All Supports have their place atm.
  31. 4 points
    Sonya can still do damage with W (1s cd) and E (5s cd) when she's blinded, while Varian can't even sustain himself. Sonya doesn't care about blind at all. Seriously, do you even play Sonya at all? Ancient Spear is Sonya's main initiation tool because it provides both gap-closer and burst damage. With Wrath she is a serious threat because: 1) she deals high damage with the 40% damage buff (both AA and spell damage); 2) she is hard to kill with Whirlwind's damage-related sustain; 3) she has 50% CC duration reduction with Wrath active. Leap is a good initiation tool, but you already have Ancient Spear for that. If you can't land Ancient Spear reliably, you should git gud instead of relying on Leap. Hitting multiple people or not doesn't really matter much, as long as you're able to get in melee range. I have pro plays and statistics to prove my point. Justs let you know before you want to rebute.
  32. 4 points
  33. 3 points
    During the weekly quest to clear 4 mythic dungeons it does. During timewalking week the loot cache drops Normal loot.
  34. 3 points
    This post is false since everyone knows Rexxar and Misha are best laners
  35. 3 points
    It amuse me that they keep talking about Hanamura like if someone miss it.
  36. 3 points
    Why not start making Diablo 4 instead of making a paid DLC for a game that no one plays? Not to mention that announcements like this should be a part of a new expansion, not some pay-to-play bullshit. And are we just going to ignore how the story hasn't advanced in any meaningful way in years (and no, small patches that add a new zones don't count at all). To say that this is insulting to the consumer is an understatement.
  37. 3 points
    Since you can't get duplicate legendaries anymore I would suggest to keep it, unless you desperately need the dust, or your next classic legend might be hogger again :D
  38. 3 points
    Gallywix looks like that chick Laura Clery who does those Snapchat / Vines of being the perfect gf
  39. 3 points
    Ohhh yeah. I forgot about this one. Too bad I never really digged Archeology, though. Pun intended.
  40. 3 points
  41. 3 points
    Oh, hey, sorry for the late answer, just noticed the thread now. We are working on the issue and it should hopefully be resolved soon. Until then, sorry for the inconvenience, and thank you for your patience!
  42. 3 points
    Oxygen revisits one of his old articles with added insight for HotS's continued development. BlizzCon 2017 has been Heroes of the Storm's 4th showing at our favourite yearly event. Those who, like me, were poised for sweeping changes and improvements to the game were left quite surprised by some of the announced changes. About two months ago, I produced a lengthy article about what I perceived Heroes of the Storm's main weaknesses to be. The article – named Six Aspects of HotS That Need Improvement – was generally met with positive reviews and generated much, much discussion, racking up some 400 reddit comments over a 48-hour period. If you haven't read the piece yet, I suggest you do, as I'll be referring to it quite a bit. Here's a quick recap: Although it would be rather pompous for me to assume that my vision of the game lines up perfectly with Blizzard's, I was left rather shocked to see that none of the aforementioned issues were actually publicly announced. I specifically say publicly here because some more upcoming changes were in fact discussed during interviews, but were either judged unimportant or not quite ready in time for BlizzCon. The changes that were instead officially announced are as follows: Structure ammunition removal. Regeneration globes rework. Map objectives reorganization and standardization. Stealth mechanic and related heroes rework. Performance-based matchmaking. Camera distance improvements. These changes – most of which seem to be aimed at improving new player gameplay experience – are good for the most part, if not a bit unexpected. My BlizzCon 2017 experience would then become one of hunting down developers and engineers alike to try and figure out what exactly was going on behind the scenes to ultimately see whether or not something was going to be done about the issues I discussed (or if something could be done at all). Without further ado, here's what I learned. I) The Class System The class system will be expanded to include 7 roles instead of 4. Specifically, warriors will be split into bruisers and tanks, and supports will be split into healers and "true" supports (Tassadar, Tyrande...). The 7th category was not discussed, but I expect it to split assassins into two more categories which would include ability-based damage dealers and those who tend to rely on basic attacks. I think the goal of these changes is to give players a better sense of what their role is going to be. However, this information is not going to be particularly useful to anyone if no information about how to play said roles is available. Right now, they're just a label. This just adds more labels. For Quick Match, the introductory PvP game mode, I'd argue that whether or not players have a better name for their role is irrelevant. Match quality and learning how to play Heroes of the Storm depends on key playmaking pieces such as initiation and healing. These playmaking pieces are often missing from team compositions because tanks and healers being less popular than assassins, and the matchmaker has to deal with whatever it has available or have players wait longer for games. For Draft and Ranked modes, players don't really care about role information because team compositions aren't generally built around the game's class system anyway; they're simply a coincidence because, for the most part, resilient initiators happen to be tanks, and healers are often support heroes. Other MOBAs have never embraced a hard class system to instead list what individual heroes are capable of, and ultimately simply let players build their compositions from there. If Heroes of the Storm were to ever embrace such a system, heroic abilities would probably have to be changed to no longer dramatically shuffle what individual heroes are capable of. But I digress. I feel like I need to reiterate here: If Heroes of the Storm is hell bent on having and being designed around a class system, it needs to not throw this system away in its most popular game mode. Words like "tank" and "bruisers" are meaningless without a context. II) Transparency In an interview with Travis McGeathy, Lead systems designer, it was stated that Blizzard were afraid of showing player MMR because they feel like like players are going to see it as a thing to chase. I must admit that I'm not too sure how this is a problem; if a player's MMR is going up, it must mean that they're winning... and if they're winning, their MMR needs to go up to account for this. If having one's MMR displayed incentivizes players to play better, I'm all for it. Besides, third party websites already give players something to chase, with the obvious downside of running the risk of being inaccurate. What we currently have is basically the worst of both worlds; we might as well just give players the information and make it clear that it isn't related to their rank. III) and IV) The reconnection and replay systems These two systems are artifacts of the Starcraft 2 engine salvaged to build Heroes of the Storm. In a nutshell, this engine keeps track of every action made by players. Upon attempting to reconnect, each of these actions are checked in order to "catch you up" to where you should be. This presents several advantages such as being lightweight and making cheating extremely difficult. The main downside is the loading time experienced by players. In general, and as frustrating it is, the upsides outweigh the downsides. Changing this system would mean rebuilding an entire engine from the ground up, which would be completely unrealistic time- and money-wise. We always need remember that Heroes of the Storm was a passion project turned actual game for Blizzard to ride the MOBA wave. I assume that this came with pretty harsh constraints financially and that reusing the Starcraft 2 engine was just one of many concessions that had to be made to see the project come alive. Everything else Most of the other topics I discussed back in October fall under the "quality of life change" and the "on the radar" categories. Things such as shop features or interface options are always in the works but never a priority. Other topics, such as any improvements to drafting (third ban, hero trading, etc.), have their own sets of challenges; how do you clearly communicate these changes, and how do they impact overall game balance are the kind of questions that need be asked. Deeper still, anything that involves microtransactions is kept tightly under control even if it makes little sense to us laymen. Questions such as "why can't I use my Stimpacks whenever I want?" or "why can't I purchase skins directly" all find answers somewhere in the grand Loot Chest scheme which was found to be so successful through Hearthstone and Overwatch that Heroes had to get in on the action. I wish I had a bit more information to share with everyone, but lips tend to seal up when you mention anything about writing (which, I have to because I generally try and stay out of trouble). And although I did not get to interview anyone this year, fellow Icy Veins writer Kendric did, so I recommend you check that out.
  43. 3 points
    Really hoping they address that whole stable slot issue that "they're totally working on we swear"
  44. 3 points
    Blood RushMolting creates a corpse which you can use with Corpse Lance to open the doors.
  45. 3 points
    That's exactly why I picked it. You'll notice that my article about performance-based matchmaking uses Tyrael, who represents justice...
  46. 3 points
    I wouldn't say she doesn't have Hard Counters. Anything that can kite can effectively destroy her. Tracer and Lunara are two examples; if you miss Ancient Spear against those kind of opponents, Sonya is pretty much a sitting duck. Also, teams with heavy CC can interrupt Sonya's formidable sustain through Whirlwind, therefore any stun or silence completely ruins her day. Malthael is placed higher than Sonya because his sustain is ridiculously high. And with the Nano Boost + Tormented Souls combo he can become pretty much unkillable. Wrath of the Berserker is indeed her best pick IF there are no hard CCs to fuck up the engage and Whirlwinding. Brightwing alone can frustrate any attempt of Sonya to burst down because of Polymorph and Emerald Wind. Leap is fantastic IF your team has ways to follow up. Entomb is one of my favorites, for instance. But I do agree that she is one of the best Bruisers right now. However, my issue with Sonya is the lack of flexibility in some of her talent tiers, and how some stuff should be baseline for her (such as Shot of Fury and/or Ferocious Healing). Maybe a soft rework similar to Jaina's could do fine. I'd love to see the Seismic Slam becoming viable in the competitive setting, seriously.
  47. 3 points
    How is Sonya still not Prime Tier? Seriously? - strong solo laner - high jungling efficiency: with Lightning Bond removed and the buffs to the camps, this is a valuable asset - good pick on ANY maps in ANY situation - IMO, meta defining which makes an early Arthas pick risky since he has no interrupt; the fact that you NEED to have an interrupt for a 5s cd ability is so insane - strong team fight presence: best bruiser in the game right now - no hard counters I can't see in any way that Sonya is placed lower than Malthael.
  48. 3 points
    that's pretty cool. grats and thanks to SilverSix311 for the effort and gift.
  49. 3 points
    Can't say I am overly happy with reputation requirements for races that are being paid for. If I buy the expansion (especially if I pre-order it) I should get access to everything. If it was a free expansion, then rewards tied to reputation or accomplishments make sense. But a paid service shouldn't have requirements.
  50. 3 points
    Great! Just in time to burn down christmas trees after they've served their purpose.