A Tribute to Varian Wrynn

The Son of Stormwind lies here. Broken in two by his weakness, he lived by the sword. Forged together again, the greatest king the Kingdoms of Lordearon have ever seen. He led the might of the Alliance with pride. He lives forever in our very hearts.

Oh, son of Stormwind

Original blog post with rune translation can be found here

Episode 113 – Storm the Castle

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Updates, updates, updates. They are everywhere! Seems like there was a little something for everyone who attended Gamescom this year. Not that we have time once Legion hits. Sorry, didn’t mean to mention World of Warcraft…


Introduction

  • Blizzard sneak an update into the Overwatch public test realm which edits your text if you say a certain phrase.

Gamescom 2016 Round-up

Overwatch

  • We’re getting a new map in called Eichenwalde, set on the outskirts of Stuttgart, Germany.
  • New Legendary Reinhardt skins.
  • New Overwatch short was released: “The Last Bastion”
  • Competitive Mode Season 2 will begin September 6 with the adjustments to the matchmaking.

Heroes of the Storm

Starcraft 2


Last Orders

  • Just another reminder that we will be live on the WoW Challenges podcast this Saturday (27th) at 7pm Eastern time (US) aka Sunday 28th 1am CEST (EU) on twitch.tv

Episode 112 – Highway to Fel

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The Alliance and Horde have retreated from the Broken Shore, The Demon Hunters have been freed from their prisoners in the Vault of the Warden but Illidan is missing. All while The Legion invasion’s intensify on Azeroth. Let’s go to The Blue Recluse, have a pint and wait for this to blow over….


This week’s episode is a special World of Warcraft: Legion Edition! Are you prepared?


Bar Snacks (Introduction)

  • Pre-patch thoughts so far.
  • Zone Invasions
  • Demon Hunter starting experience
  • Varian’s Memorial

Gamescom Updates

  • Gamescom 2016 has just concluded and we got even more World of Warcraft information. We discuss a few of the topics raised during this event including; Raiding, Raid Addon Changes, Dungeons and Game Development.

Last Orders

  • We will be live on the WoW Challenges podcast this Saturday (27th) at 7pm Eastern time (US) aka Sunday 28th 1am CEST (EU) on twitch.tv – Better get that coffee on!

Episode 111 – Demonic Arrivals

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The party is finally underway in One Night in Karazhan. In Overwatch you’ll soon be finding out more about your favourite Hero ‘Bastion’ and in Azeroth the world reels from the events of The Broken Shore.


 Bar Snacks (Introduction)

  • We give our thoughts on the Broken Shore scenario in World of Warcraft.

Overwatch

  • Bastion digital short announced.
  • High Bandwidth option implemented into Quick Play and Competitive Mode.

Hearthstone

  • The Prologue and Parlor have been released in One Night in Karazhan. We discuss the first round of encounters briefly and chat about some of the cards acquired. Two of our main focuses were ‘Cloaked Huntress’ and ‘Silverware Golem.

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Last Orders

On this episodes we are joined by John Woolley. John is a Custom Hearthstone concept designer and shares with us his latest Tavern Brawl creation “Titans vs Old Gods“.

If you enjoyed this piece of work, why not check some of his previous encounters?

Well Met S’wit! A Comparative Look at Hearthstone and The Elder Scrolls: Legends

When Hearthstone released in it’s closed beta back in August 2013 (I know, it’s been that long already!) nobody could have predicted just how big the game was going to get, probably not even Blizzard themselves to some degree. The game was warmly received and quickly became one of the most streamed games on Twitch. By the time it released in March 2014 it was sitting with around 10 million players, so it was little wonder other companies looked at this and had a light-bulb moment.

Of course, Hearthstone wasn’t the first of its kind. Despite Blizzard being revolutionary in the games’ industry, one of their best attributes is taking a game format and making it accessible for everyone; something that the extremely well known Magic the Gathering couldn’t achieve due to it’s high barriers of entry.

Since then we’ve seen many companies attempt to take a slice of this delightful pie. Mojang released ‘Scrolls’ in June 2013 but it failed to make an impact and unfortunately the servers closed down in July 2016. Supercell, who made the popular mobile game Clash of Clans, also added to the pile with their take on a Trading Card Game: Clash Royale. When we take a look at the competitive gaming scene (which seems to be a great way to gauge popularity these days, like it or not) there’s only one real player and that’s Hearthstone.

Enter the latest name to take to the card table, Elder Scrolls: Legends. First teased back at E3 in 2015, ESL went through quite a quiet patch until April 2016 when closed beta began. It’s only really now that people have started to talk about the game due to the lifting of the NDA and the beginning of the Open Beta.

As an avid Hearthstone player and quite a big Elder Scrolls fan, it was a no brainer for me to get into this game as soon as possible. I was lucky enough to try the game out many moons ago in the closed beta and have started once again to put a bit of time into it.

The first thing you’ll probably notice about Elder Scroll Legends compared to Hearthstone is that it’s not quite as visually delightful. However, take nothing away from this,  the less flashy setting actually works really well.

Like in Hearthstone, you’ll begin ESL with a tutorial that is incorporated into the Story Mode of the game. Each early encounter introduces you to the basics of the game which operate almost identically to Hearthstone.

The one big difference you’ll eventually get around to is the aspect of the game known as lanes. The board is divided into two vertical lanes and you get given a choice of minion card placement. This offers a whole new layer of strategy which is made even more interesting by the fact that these lanes can process their own certain rules. For example, in the standard ‘VS’ format of the game, the right hand land is known as a ‘Shadow Lane’ and this allows minions to be untargetable by other minions for one turn, enabling you to build up a board presence and perhaps more freedom and opportunity to set up a potential combo.

shadowlane

As you play through the Story Mode and level up your account overall, you’ll unlock cards and many of these will have mechanics which will be extremely familiar if you are a Hearthstone player.

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There’s several more mechanics you will recognize, including ‘Last Gasp’ (Deathrattle), ‘Lethal’ (acts like a deathtouch which is seen on minions like Emperor Combra and Maexxna), as well as obvious ones such as ‘Charge’.

One mechanic you won’t see in Hearthstone though is the ‘Prophecy’ keyword. Heroes in ESL start at 30 HP (just like Hearthstone) and at every loss of 5 health they will lose a rune around their portrait. This rune will draw a card; if the card is a prophecy card it may be played during your opponents turn for free! This does result in a slower style of play so far as you weigh up the risk and reward to damaging your opponent but allowing them to draw cards.

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In my brief time playing The Elder Scrolls: Legends I’ve found many differences (including it’s deck limit of 50-70 cards!) but it’s the similarities I found most comforting. Being able to pick up a play a new TCG without having to work out what exactly is going on has given me a beginners edge to this game and that is all thanks to Hearthstone.

Will The Elder Scrolls: Legends be a Hearthstone killer? No. I do however think there is room for both games to thrive and succeed. Having a competitive gaming market is always great for us as a consumer and it pushes companies to strive even harder. For now Elder Scrolls Legends remains in closed beta and on PC, but it will be moving to a mobile platform, which I think will undoubtedly increase its reach and popularity.

Until then, Hearthstone will still be getting the majority of my time while on the go, but it has started to give me a TCG dilemma when I sit down on my computer. My parting thought would be I hope each game continues to go from strength to strength because in the end, everyone will be a winner and like the good innkeeper in the Tavern says Busy night, but there’s always room for another!

 

Episode 110 – Having a Ball!

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The tables are set and the drinks have been poured as all the cards for the new Hearthstone adventure have been announced, In Overwatch it’s all kicking off in the latest brawl and in Azeroth.. “The Burning Legion have returned!”


Bar Snacks (Introduction)

  • We give our thoughts on the new audio drama by Blizzard – “Tomb of Sargeras”
  • The Legion pre-events will scale from Level 10 to 100.
  • New Season in Diablo 3.
  • Could Starcraft 1 be getting a HD remake?
  • We briefly discuss the Q2 2016 earnings call from Blizzard.

Hearthstone

  • All the cards have now been revealed for the upcoming adventure “One Night in Karazhan” – We mention a few of the highlights.

Overwatch

  • Season One is drawing to a close. How have you fared?
  • Oh it’s on! The Summer Games are here and so is LucioBall!
  • You can now earn new cosmetics in game via the loot boxes, but not everyone is happy about this.

Episode 109 – Raving with the Raven

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In Overwatch we have speculation about another new hero hiding in New Earth while in Starcraft, Nova re-emerges for her 2nd covert op mission, and in Hearthstone, One Night in Karazhan adventure has been announced, We can’t wait for that hangover!


Bar Snacks (Introduction)

  • There has been some phasing issues in World of Warcraft.
  • Appearance Unlocks also confirmed.
  • Deckard Cain in Heroes of the Storm confirmed?

Overwatch

  • A funny bug has been discovered.
  • Who is Sombra? Potentially a new stealth hero.

World of Warcraft

  • Demon Hunter and Invasion date has been announced. We also had another Developer Q&A about the class.

Hearthstone