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As promised by way of the official forums a few days ago, an update to the Patch 2.4.3 PTR (Patch Test Realm) would be arriving for adjustments to some of the new Legendary powers previewed at BlizzCon 2016. That update is here today and live for testing on the PTR right now. However, the update doesn’t stop there, as each class has also received changes to one of their sets! This comes as a bit of a shocker, as it didn’t seem that sets were going to be getting too much tweaking for 2.4.3. It may now be fair to say that this patch is turning into a bigger behemoth than we originally thought we were getting. This latest updated also brings Greater Rift finagling, with smaller monster experience/progression receiving a bump. This should continue to push GRs towards a more consistent experience on average. Continue forward for all of the new ...

 

Legion December Developer Q&A Liveblog

by Crow on

EDIT: 11:00AM PST Stream is complete! Edits are in progress. 🙂 Welcome to BlizzPro’s coverage of the December 7th Live Developer Q&A, where Community Manager Josh “Lore” Allen and Game Director Ion “Watcher” Hazzikostas take community questions and dispense answers that are sure to infuriate r/wow. Follow along (or, if you’re coming in after the show, watch the rebroadcast) at https://www.twitch.tv/warcraft. Responses are being typed live, but we’ll clean up with a more complete transcript after the initial broadcast is over. Watcher offered this note regarding class- or spec-specific questions before they got into actual questions: Crow’s TL;DR: “We’re going to talk about classes a lot, but I am not an expert on classes. I did my homework as best as I could, but please be gentle.” Is the secondary stat “squish” not going to hurt specs that rely heavily on Crit (Fire Mage) or Mastery (Arms Warr) etc? Crow’s TL;DR: ...

 

Paladin in Gadgetzan - A Blast to Play!

by OtakuMZ on

Introduction Paladin, despite not being popular at the moment, received some very interesting and flexible card in the ‘Mean Streets of Gadgetzan’ expansion. It is also the most versatile class regarding the ‘buff your hand’ mechanic of the Grimy Goons. I did play-test the below lists to a good success. The strategy and planning involved feel rewarding. Do I have to dump my minions immediately or can I wait a turn longer to expand the value of buffing all minions in hand even further. This is only one of the decisions that you will have to make. Following you will find new cards wit explanations why they are important for Paladin right now. The article will conclude by providing deck list for you to try out. Noteworthy Card Additions in MSG All Decks: Generally (Ab-)Usable These cards are amazing! If you take a look at the below deck lists, they are ...

Heroes Powerhour 84: Too soon PTR! TOO SOON! The crew goes over the latest changes coming to the Nexus on the PTR, the Balance Changes, and a look into the North America Heroes scene in the HGC qualifiers! http://patreon.com/heroespowerhour Intro Music Provided by NoCopyrightSounds (http://twitch.tv/NoCopyrightSounds) Jim Yosef – Firefly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_OwcYTNbHs Jim Yosef: https://soundcloud.com/jim-yosef...

 

Overwatch Holiday Event: December 13

by JR Cook on

The Overwatch twitter account has put out a little teaser that they want you to join them for some holiday cheer on December 13th. If you plan on RSVPing they wish you to retweet (although honestly, you’re going to get it anyway if you play). You're invited! pic.twitter.com/MQZPZOW4Y1 — Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) December 6, 2016 This event will likely be in the same style as the previous Summer Games 2016 and Halloween events. It will likely last 3 weeks (ending Jan 3, 2017) and will involve new loot boxes with new cosmetic items for a Christmas holiday theme. As the above gif shows, we will likely get a snowy King’s Row and I would expect a special event/brawl much in the way we got the Frankenstein adventure and Lucio Ball previously. What else do you think we’ll get? Let us know in the comments....

Season 3 of Ranked Play is fast approaching and there are some big changes coming with this new season. For starters, Hero League will now be solo queue only. No more duo queuing your way up the ladder. As a result, Team League is being changed to accommodate parties of 2, 3, and 5 players. At this point these changes are only being implemented on a trial basis for Season 3. They may or may not remain in effect for future seasons based on how they affect ranked play as a whole. They will also be making some changes to how players are disbursed throughout the different leagues in order to even out the Bell Curve a bit. At Blizzcon they mentioned that they felt too many players were ending up in Silver and they would like to see some of these players moved into Gold. They also play to reduce to ...

A lot of turnover is happening in the Blizzard world these last few months. Just a few months ago it was announced that Diablo Game Director Josh Mosquiera had left Blizzard. World of Warcraft Game Director Tom Chilton moved on to an unannounced project leaving Ion Hazzikostas in his wake. Now it appears Hearthstone has a new Game Director in Ben Brode (and has been for a few weeks now). Ben Brode has been with the team since the very beginning, helping now former Game Director Eric Dodds in creating Hearthstone. He will be moving from his role as Senior Game Designer to Game Director. Eric Dodds has been fairly absent from the public eye. His last appearance during a reveal of new content was during BlizzCon 2015 with League of Explorers, and as far as I can tell was really the last time he was involved in an interview ...

Heroes Powerhour 83: HGC 2017, new changes, and more! The crew talks everything happening in the Heroes world this week! http://patreon.com/heroespowerhour Intro Music Provided by NoCopyrightSounds (http://twitch.tv/NoCopyrightSounds) Jim Yosef – Firefly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_OwcYTNbHs Jim Yosef: https://soundcloud.com/jim-yosef...

 

Balance Update For December 6th, 2016

by Alebeard on

All of the news this week doesn’t just center on the PTR, we are also receiving a fairly sizable Balance Update on December 6th. Here are some of the highlights: Falstad and Brightwing are receiving nerfs to their global presence thanks to increased cooldowns on their (Z) abilities Li-Ming’s wave clear is being nerfed as her Calamity Talent (E) will now only damage Heroic targets Samuro continues to be tuned down with an increase to Wind Walk (E) cooldown and adjustments to several of his over performing talents Varian is seeing several changes aimed at evening out the power level of his various builds and reducing the frequency of Warbringer stuns Damage Kharazim, which has quickly become a thing, is being tuned down as a result of several changes This is by no means a comprehensive list of all of the changes. Continue to scroll down to see which Heroes ...

As many of you know, Patch 2.4.3 has been available for testing on the PTR (Patch Test Realm) since the week after BlizzCon 2016. Many excellent changes are already slated for this patch along with some things that are still finding their footing. Several items that were pre-existing with no Legendary powers have received one in this patch. These powers were showcased at BlizzCon 2016 and the hope is that they will open up some new builds/playstyles once the patch goes live. As such, the community is rather concerned with how well they perform throughout the PTR. Currently, some are doing better than others. If you need a refresher, here are the items and the new powers they’ve gained: Barbarian Saffron Wrap The damage of your next Overpower is increased by 40-50% for each enemy hit, up to a maximum of 20 enemies Crusader Faithful Memory Each enemy hit by Falling Sword ...

 

Blizzard’s newest addition to the in-game shop announced at Blizzcon, Mischief the fel kitten, has finally been added to the in-game shop and is available for purchase. As they have done with other pets, 100% the proceeds from the sale of this pet from now until the end of 2016 will benefit the Make-A-Wish foundation. Along with the in-game pet Blizzard has also added a glow-in-the-dark plush version to the Gear Store, the proceeds of which will also benefit the foundation. For every plush version sold, $14 of the $25 purchase price will be donated. We’ve got the full details below or they’re also available on the World of Warcraft Community Site....

You know what they say: The world could always use more heroes! On The Payload, your hosts John, Rosh, Jimmy, and Kevin will look at all things Overwatch: News, Esports, gameplay, and more. Join the crew every Thursday for the live stream, or download our audio episodes Fridays! This week, on The Payload: Season 3 commences and The Payload crew discusses the most important hero changes. The Oasis, a new Control map, is on the PTR. Symmetra has received a major redesign. Overwatch Apex Season 1 is nearing it’s finale. Misfits overtakes Fnatic 3-2 at Dreamhack Winter Also please take some time to support Jake who made our awesome music over at: jakebutineau.ca We’re on Patreon! If you like the show an want to support, head on over to patreon.com/payloadpodcast to learn more! This week we would like to thank our MVP’s, Adam B., Jay A., Correl, and Tomi H. We stream ourselves ...

Episode 105 – Aren’t You Thankful… Again?! Neinball and Leviathan celebrate all of things to be thankful for in Diablo. We cover the last few tidbits from BlizzCon and the newest updates to the PTR. We also take a few moments to address a lot of the negativity going on within the Diablo community and focus on the more positive aspects. As always, we read through your comments and showcase your epic loot! We love hearing from our fans so drop us an email with your feedback and items at westmarchworkshop@blizzpro.com...

 

Heroes Powerhour 82: A Warrior Rises!

by djtyrant on

Heroes Powerhour 82: A Warrior Rises! The crew discusses everything in the new patch including Varian, hero changes, the new Brawl, and so much more! http://patreon.com/heroespowerhour Intro Music Provided by NoCopyrightSounds (http://twitch.tv/NoCopyrightSounds) Jim Yosef – Firefly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_OwcYTNbHs Jim Yosef: https://soundcloud.com/jim-yosef...

 

Heroes Powerhour 81: By Fire Be Purged!

by djtyrant on

Heroes Powerhour 81: By Fire Be Purged! The crew talks about their thoughts on BlizzCon, our thought on the Fall Championship and much much more! http://patreon.com/heroespowerhour Intro Music Provided by NoCopyrightSounds (http://twitch.tv/NoCopyrightSounds) Jim Yosef – Firefly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_OwcYTNbHs Jim Yosef: https://soundcloud.com/jim-yosef...

Episode 104 – Back From BlizzCon, Baby! Neinball and Leviathan are back from BlizzCon and they’ve got some stories to tell! Our hosts go through all the announcements and revelations from the convention as well as some other insights gleaned from talks with the dev team. They also have details on a giveaway for a chance to win one of the Diablo 20th Anniversary challenge coins....

 

BlizzCon 2016: Day 2 Recap

by Magistrate on

Right on the heels of yesterday’s announcement of the Necromancer and the Darkening of Tristram, the Diablo dev talk went into updates for Greater Rifts, new Challenge Rifts, the two new zones, and numerous big UI updates. Also, don’t miss Westmarch Workshop’s review of all the day one excitement! After all the crazy developments from day one, day two took a chill pill. We looked at the Overwatch Q&A session with players, and the Overwatch sound panel, where we saw how sound effects, voices, and other audio tricks helped create the experiences we love. Overwatch – Play by Sound Panel Overwatch Q&A Panel If you missed it from day one, the Payload reviewed all the exciting announcements from the first day in a quick video! Day two was slim on Heroes developments, but @balrogfanbp kept us updated with every heart-pounding twist of the fall championship, and we looked back at the craziness that ...

 

Inside Blizzard Publishing

by Magistrate on

Blizzard is well-known and loved for its games, but its franchises include much more than that. Today, we look at the books, comics, and writers that have taken the stories outside of the games and to whole new levels, hosted by Blizzard Publishing senior editor Cate Gary. Timothy Zahn, author of upcoming book Starcraft: Evolution Greg Weisman, author of upcoming Warcraft book, Traveler, for kids and players of all ages Micky Neilson, author of upcoming Starcraft comic, Nova: The Keep Christie Golden, author of numerous Blizzard franchise books; most recently, War Crimes, but speaks on re-release of Lord of the Clans and Rise of the Horde Robert Brooks and Robert Burns, co-authors of the Warcraft Chronicle series and the upcoming second volume These authors also write or have written for other companies and franchises, like Star Wars, Star Trek, and others, and won the honors of being New York Times best-selling authors. All that aside, they talked about working with Blizzard, the craft of writing, ...

 

A Look Back at 25 Years of Blizzard

by Magistrate on

As Blizzard looks back on its last 25 years as a company, several of its most senior members took the stage to share its history, and the many hats they’ve worn over the decades. Mike Morhaime, co-founder and current president, started with programming, purchasing, operations, and other responsibilities Frank Pearce, chief development officer, started with coding, occasionally working the reception desk in the old days, and now oversees current works in project Allen Adham, co-founder and senior vice president of new projects, first company president, and recently returned to company after 10 year “retirement;” before he left, he was lead developer on World of Warcraft Bob Fitch, engineering director, has done engineer work on almost every game (including Starcraft and Broodwar AI, early World of Warcraft balance, vanilla loot system, and combat system); most recently tech director of Hearthstone Samwise Didier, senior art director, has worked on almost every Blizzard title Early Years Blizzard wasn’t always ...

 

Deep Mind Presentation

by zexerous on

Artificial intelligence has always been an important part of Blizzard’s games. All of the monsters, space marines, demons, and murlocs we’ve slain have required AI to give us something to play against. Today, Blizzard and some of the clever engineers at Google discussed DeepMind, AI that might change the future of Starcraft. The panel opened discussing how they built an AI with DeepMind. Their mission is to “solve intelligence, and use it to solve everything else.” Intelligence is, according to their standards, “the ability to learn to perform well over a wide range of environments.” They aimed for a General-Purpose Learning Machine, which learns automatically from raw inputs, and generally can operate across a wide range of tasks. Additionally, their intelligence needs to learn progressively, improving on everything it does. They call this their Reinforcement Learning Framework, where there an AI has a certain goal (accruing the most points), is placed an environment ...

 

BlizzCon 2016: Day 1 Recap

by Magistrate on

Today, Blizzard announced Diablo III’s latest hero class, the Necromancer, the “Darkening of Tristram” anniversary patch, and the Armory. Tomorrow, we look forward to more on all of this, as well as discussion of the 2 new maps. Necromancer Hero Class, 2 New Maps Coming 2017, Anniversary Patch Soon! Diablo Anniversary: Darkening of Tristram Patch Live January Gear and Skill Swapping Made Easy with the Armory, Coming 2017 All About the Necromancer Recap Diablo from BlizzCon 2016 Day 1 with Westmarch Workshop (Video) Overwatch‘s upcoming content is well on its way. Players can look forward to playing Sombra, the new map Eco Point Antarctica, new arcade modes (1v1 and 3v3), and the Overwatch League. Blizzcon Opening Ceremony: Overwatch Hype Overwatch League Coming Soon Overwatch: Sombra Animated Short Infiltration Overwatch: What’s New Panel Overwatch Animated Shorts Panel Dive in to Day One Overwatch Developments with Payload (Video) Two new heroes, Varian ...

Starcraft‘s first panel was dense with new developments for the franchise going forward. To keep things fresh, a new commander, mission pack 3, a new arcade map, comic, and story to explore will all arrive in the coming year. Players will also be able to purchase a new War Chest to unlock gradually released skins, emoticons, decals, and much more. New Commander: Alexei Stukov Stukov is a mix of Terran and Zerg, and should be familiar to players from Brood War. An old ally of Kerrigan, he focuses on a “zombie theme.” His buildings spawn infested civilians and hatch grotesque units His siege tank eats civilians and shoots them out as ammo, using tentacles to “poke” enemies Infested Army Bunker spawns infested marines, and get up and move around the field, and can infect other structures War Chests War Chests are content packs opted in via purchase. They unlock some content ...

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