Blizzcon 2018 Snark

Admittedly, I have a strange relationship with Blizzard. On the one hand, they make amazingly polished and fun experiences. On the other hand, they have dumbed down some of my favorite genres or made entries into said genres that were forgettable. In the 1990’s, Blizzard could do no wrong. From Diablo I-II to Warcraft I-III to Starcraft, I loved their games and thought I would always be a fan of the studio. Years can change perspectives, and people. I am no longer much of a fan. There are games that they make that I still enjoy but I’m not currently playing any of their titles.

Blizzcon is happening, and I don’t normally pay much attention, but as Diablo III is aging quite rapidly, I was thinking there might be some news about the next installment, or perhaps some talk about Warcraft IV. Spoiler alert, neither of those things have happened. An article on Polygon breaks down the “5 Biggest Announcements from Blizzcon 2018” and I have some feedback for each.

Destiny 2 free for PC until November 18th.

Though not actually a Blizzard product, Destiny is a franchise with quite a following. I played the original on PS4, and received the sequel for free via Playstation Plus a couple of months ago. I’m still playing it here and there. I’m tempted by the PC version though, mainly because I play on the PS4 with my friend so progress has been slow going. Perhaps playing on the PC solo will be the way to progress at a faster clip. There was also mention that the latest DLC will actually include the prior DLCs so you won’t have the issue I was having where I had to buy DLC 1+2 to even be able to purchase Forsaken. A dumb business model for sure, but not really Blizzard’s doing.

Warcraft III Remaster

So this is not Warcraft IV. This is however still a great game. What I’m wondering here is if it’s going to be like the Starcraft remaster which was basically just changing the resolution of the old game, or if they are going to do something more. I would love to play Warcraft III again if it has updated graphics. I mean I’d probably play it again anyway, but that thought is less appealing. I suppose we shall see. Edit @8:47pm: Apparently this is a remake, not just an up-res remaster. I am more interested now.

A new Overwatch Character

This game was called Overhype by myself for a reason. It’s not doing anything we have seen done elsewhere. It’s not interesting or unique. I’m surprised we aren’t seeing a Blizzard developed Battle Royale game yet, it’s the new hip thing. No one cares about this.

Diablo Immortal

This is not Diablo IV. Who asked for this? I assume when Activision Blizzard acquired King, they were bound to make some new mobile versions of existing IPs but this isn’t something I imagined. I love Diablo, but playing it on my phone seems unintuitive. I’m betting it isn’t free either, and I’m hesitant to spend money on mobile titles. If it’s free I’ll still probably try it, but I’m not really impressed.

Hearthstone Troll Expansion

I loved Hearthstone when I played it back in Beta. I played through the first couple of expansions too, and was following the meta and enjoying myself. Another expansion came out and the game became too reliant on RNG, I became disillusioned and haven’t played since. Having returned to paper MTG, I don’t see myself ever playing again.

WoW Classic out Summer ’19

Another progression server with a different name. Everquest has done this for years, Everquest 2 got on board, and more recently Rift and Lord of the Rings Online have too. I’m surprised it took this long for Blizzard to do it. Whatever the case I don’t really care. I haven’t played much WoW and I have no real desire to do so now. I’m sure the blogosphere will be alive with posts about it when the time comes but I don’t see myself buying into this unless it’s free with an active sub, and even then I probably won’t bother. I don’t see it living up to people’s expectations.

So another year passes without much to be excited for coming out of Blizzard. That’s my two cents, at least.

We Don’t Talk About Video Games Around Here

Have you ever made a political statement on Twitter?

It’s likely that if you did, you would immediately experience vitriol from holders of opposing view points. Ever make a religious, or worse still – anti-religious statement on <insert social media of your choice>? I’m willing to wager you experienced some sort of negativity in this scenario as well. In case you were wondering, there is indeed wisdom in that widely held idea that you don’t talk about politics or religion during social engagements. It seems that gaming as a topic is beginning to hold similar weight, in that you cannot have an opinion about something without immediately experiencing feedback – for better or worse.

Those of us who are part of the gaming sphere of social media, be it by blogging, streaming, vlogging or otherwise interacting with complete strangers via whatever-app-happens-to-be-the-flavor-of-the-month will be no strangers to this phenomenon. It was primarily amplified during the whole Gamer Gate scandal from a couple of years ago, but it persists from the dank, dark corners of official forums, to the bright white pages of Twitter. If you have an opinion it will be scrutinized, dissected and though sometimes objective conversations can be had with the denizens of the Internet, it’s likely to devolve into name calling and subtweeting. This is particularly true if you happen to shit on something that is generally loved – and that’s going to be the case no matter what form of media you might be criticizing — though I think people get more defensive over video games, and it’s a curious situation.

Admittedly, I’ve been shitting on Blizzard for a long time. Despite loving their original output, I haven’t cared too much for their more recent catalog additions. I also find them responsible for single-handedly ruining a great genre that I once loved, which tends to color my lenses a bit when it comes to them encroaching on other genres — ones I have loved even longer than MMOs. If you’ve been listening to my podcast lately, or have been a reader of my blog for a couple of years, you’ll probably recall some of my positive and negative commentary about Blizzard and its IPs. I stand behind my opinions and critiques – I have a distinct taste and it has little to nothing to do with trying to piss anyone else off, though putting your opinion out there tends to get these sorts of responses. What started off as a troll post quickly turned into something that I didn’t intend for it to, but my stubborn and opinionated self was unable to just let the further commentary go without making my own further commentary and soon the train had left the station. Here’s the post for posterity:

So clearly, I’m being a dick. Overwatch, which I have lovingly called “Overhype” for a while now, has been all the rage while in open beta. I played it back in Closed Alpha or Beta.. something. I didn’t find it entertaining, rewarding or even innovative. It’s been compared to TF2 and a bunch of other things already, so I don’t need to reiterate this stuff. I’ve explained my position on the game itself already in prior posts/episodes. My concern now, is similar to my concern when Heroes of the Storm was all the rage not that long ago. Thankfully I was right when I said:

“It was no secret that I had been anticipating this day as a MOBA enthusiast, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that this game is not going to dethrone either of the other “big ones,” but will probably be popular with people who haven’t touched other MOBAs. The main reason for this separation into “camps,” comes down to one word: Depth.” 

It’s true, HotS took a little sliver of what we could consider the MOBA market, and likely only persists because of people who play it and no other MOBA (LoL/DOTA2 quitters, or MOBA virgins). Unlike it’s new-genre predecessors (Hearthstone and WoW) it didn’t capitalize at the right time and wasn’t the whirlwind success I’m sure Blizzard was hoping for. You can’t always take existing ideas and dumb them down and then expect to become filthy rich; they hit their lotto numbers once already. Sounding bitter aside, Overwatch ends up being the same sort of situation, where an existing idea was “polished” and is now ready for public consumption, resulting in a hype train of ridiculous proportions that doesn’t feel warranted to this humble writer. No, I think Overhype is just that… and I think it will be forgotten soon enough. At least, I hope I’m right about this one just like I was right about HotS.

My concern isn’t that people are enjoying a new game in a sort-of new genre that is emerging (competitors such as Battleborn, Paladins and Paragon come to mind). My concern is that “perfect storm” effect that happened with World of Warcraft. Where a game that I (and I absolutely know I’m not alone) felt was inferior to many of its competitors yet Joe Public ate it up like it was the finest cut of meat. If Overwatch (or had HotS performed better) ends up being the next coming, and ends up being the model by which all new FPS or MOBA -like games are copied for the next ten years, then two of my favorite genres won’t see better iteration. It happened with WoW, and people who feel like I do had to suffer (yes Roger, SUFFER) through ten years of mediocre MMOs. I don’t want to see that again, and I think most reasonable people would agree that stagnation is what has caused the evolution of the MMO genre we have seen as of late.

Should you feel bad for buying and enjoying Overwatch? Absolutely not. You have your opinions, and you should stick to them. Should you attack this argument with tooth and nail? Sure, if you feel so inclined, there’s the comments section below; I don’t really moderate them. But there’s a valid argument here, despite the fact that it’s difficult to articulate the way I’d like. Do I think that the games industry would benefit from more original ideas rather than polished iterations? Yes. Do I hate you for buying something that isn’t anything but? No, but I’d also like for you to think a little, rather than just jumping on the next hype train. We’re throwing our money at things just because a company name is attached to them, and not offering any sort of critique. Everything has its flaws, including this argument. Nonetheless, both still exist, and will persist despite my pointing them out. My opinion isn’t any better than yours, but it’s my feeling that an expressed opinion is better than a silenced one.

King + Blizzard: A Perfect Match

The news is pretty fresh, so you may not have heard: Activision just bought King, the company responsible for that whole Candy Crush thing. Admittedly I haven’t played any of King’s offerings, much like I ignored Zynga before them. Facebook/browser games are mostly throwaway experiences. From the variety of games I’ve experienced on mobile devices, the same can be said. Timewasters, and nothing more aside from a few rare gems.

I have however, spent plenty of time with Blizzard (and Activision) games. Call of Duty aside though, this is a post focusing on Blizzard and King, and how they are a perfect match for each other.

Unable to claim the title of “the first person to say that,” it’s pretty clear that Blizzard titles are basically accessible and polished experiences you’ve already had elsewhere. Their newest games released in the past few years are easily comparable to other titles in the genre who already had a foothold in the market. As a matter of fact, all of their titles are accessible and polished versions of established genres, but let’s start from the newest offerings:

Overwatch – FPS Arena Shooter, similar to Team Fortress 2.
Heroes of the Storm – MOBA, similar to League of Legends/DOTA2
Hearthstone – CCG, similar to Magic: The Gathering

Those titles alone are painting a picture that goes back to Blizzard’s humble beginnings. I’m sure you can see the correlation between Dune II and Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Even The Lost Vikings is similar to other platformers of the era. The big gorilla in the room though, World of Warcraft, is similar enough in its approach to prior MMOs, but added that blizzard level of polish and accessibility.

That isn’t to say that Blizzard doesn’t make good games. I absolutely adored Diablo and still do. It still does it better than most Action-RPGs out there, and it established the “formula” despite taking elements from various action and adventure games that preceded it. We also can’t say that it isn’t innovative to build on what came before, because that’s been the formula for our entire existence. But in this era of all-you-can-eat gaming, standing apart from the pack means doing something different, and copying what is already successful and getting the perfect storm effect once doesn’t mean it will happen regularly or ever again. I think Blizzard needs to start thinking outside of the box, and this purchase could be part of that.

As I said earlier, I haven’t touched any of King’s titles, but I’ve played enough Bejeweled to know what Candy Crush Saga is all about. In doing some reading and formulating this post, I came across this article that sparked my train of thought in the first place. Go ahead and read it. If nothing else, scroll down and look at the pictures. I’ll wait.

Back? So you’ll have seen how King has been taking the Blizzard method of polishing an existing idea to a whole other level. They don’t make a genre more accessible, they straight copy games, change a few assets and call it their own. Then they monetize the shit out of it and call it a day. Their existing catalog of games are all copies of another game, or sequels to that copy. How they haven’t been sued more I don’t know. It’s as bad as the rest of the mobile games market though, in that anything that becomes popular sees a billion straight copies on the market within days. But I digress.

Does anyone else see the correlation I’m getting at thought? It seems these two companies made their fortunes off of copying others’ ideas and putting their own spin on it. It’s only fitting that they are basically the same company now.

I’m just curious to see if this makes the mobile marketplace better, or if the Kingly influence makes Blizzard a worse company in the long run.

Some further commentary from round the blogosphere:

Keen and Graev
The Ancient Gaming Noob
Syncaine

State of the Game: Betas are In

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It’s been a while since I did a round-up post, and despite having semi-regular posts on various games I’ve been playing, there’s still a big chunk of time I’ve spent in other titles that I haven’t really discussed. First up, let’s recap what I’ve already written about:

  • Early in the month I took part in the Star Wars Battlefront beta, on both PS4 and PC and posted my impressions.
  • Later, I took part in the Warhammer End Times Vermintide beta week prior to launch, and have played a bunch of it since. More impressions.
  • We talk about Vermintide in-depth on the latest Couch Podtatoes.
  • I also completed the final chapter, and thereby the game, of Tales from the Borderlands. My choices are over here.
  • Finally, I played a whole game of Civilization V, finishing in ~700 turns. Entry one. Entry two. Entry three.

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I also talked about some other games I’ve been playing on that last episode of Couch Podtatoes — ones that were on the console and not my PC. I hung out with a friend of mine who owns both PS4 and XBOne consoles, and tends to get games right as they come out. As a result, I was able to play through several games I wouldn’t normally have access to. Months ago the two of us started playing split screen co-op for multiple games. We began with the Halo Master Chief Edition, and beat the first game. We beat the Gears of War remaster. Just this week we finished Halo 2, and half of Halo 3, along with playing some Halo 5, though that was only multiplayer and split screen is no longer an option (which is stupid). I also finished the original Uncharted, which I had started a while back when he picked up the Nathan Drake Collection. We plan to finish Halo 3 and 4, though we won’t be able to do 5. I also plan to eventually play through Uncharted 2 and 3 again, so that I can be ready and have the story fresh in my mind once Uncharted 4 releases. Overall, Uncharted holds up really well. I can’t say the same for Halo, and I have to say I don’t really see a reason to buy an XB1 ever. Most of the titles that I’d even care about become available on PC, or I can play at my friend’s house. Knowing the release window for No Man’s Sky means I have a deadline to get a PS4 finally, which is mid next year. I did play the PSPlus titles for this month as well, but the only real gem there was Chariot, and it’s not even that fantastic. PSPlus is starting to feel unnecessary until I get a PS4, but I have a year so I’m not going to cancel. I’ll still be accumulating PS4 games for when I finally get the console, so it’s not a complete wash. That’s about all for consoles.

On PC, I’ve spent most of my time playing the games I mentioned earlier, particularly Vermintide. I’ve been playing with Eri quite a bit, and the two of us work well together. I can’t say the same for the random people though, as sometimes they are great and sometimes a liability. I have heard some chatter around the blogosphere about it though, so perhaps once more people we know are playing we can get some full on team work going. I’ve finally earned a trinket so I now know they are just randomly earned, and I have confirmed that there aren’t any new hats for the characters in the game, it just seems that you can get one for each character if you bought the collector’s edition. Apparently there are plans for expansions already in the works, so perhaps some fluff gear will make its way in. I have a video in the works, that will be coming from hours of recording I’ve done of me and Eri playing Vermintide, but I have to cut out all the good bits to make the compilation. More on that soon.

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Unmentioned til now, I have been invited to a couple of betas over the weekend, and I have another title that you might not have heard of that I’d like to talk about. First, I was invited to the Battleborn Closed Technical Beta, but there is an NDA so I can’t talk about it, but I will say that I do enjoy the concept thus far. I was hoping to get into the Overwatch beta so I could report about this anticipated title, but I have yet to get in. This weekend was also a closed beta test for Devilian, the new-ish isometric MMO being imported by Trion. Knowing Trion’s reputation after ArcheAge, I don’t have high hopes for the game. But I love Diablo and isometric RPGs, so I wanted to give it a chance anyway. It mixes up concepts from both Diablo and traditional themepark MMOs pretty flawlessly. The gameplay and animations were smooth and enjoyable. I don’t really care for the anime aesthetic for the characters, but their designs were still well done. The kill ten rats quests are ever present, but for some reason it’s easier to accept when the combat is so damn enjoyable. I don’t really see much of a challenge from the game though, but I imagine it ramps up in later levels. It was pretty cool to see other players running around though, as typically you’re limited to a small group in Action-RPGs. I started up a Shadow Hunter which stylistically reminds me of Dante from Devil May Cry. He’s got a chain whip and shurikens, and various trees to spec different ways. I leveled him to 10 and then rolled a Berserker but haven’t gone beyond that. Basically, if you like Diablo, I think you’d like this game. It’s got that simplistic nature that’s easy to get hooked into. A quick google search should bring you to where you can sign up to beta test as well.

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Another game that I stumbled upon while following #InternetRabbitHoles (yes, I’m making this a thing) is called Indivisible. It’s from the creators of Skullgirls, which was a 2-D fighting game with awesome hand-drawn art. That’s about the only similarity between Skullgirls and Indivisible, their striking hand-drawn art style. Otherwise, Indivisible is a game that successfully mixes the metroidvania style with turn-based JRPG combat that also makes use of fighting game mechanics. As you explore the world, you only see your character, and not the other members of your party. When you come across enemies, you can attack them to get in extra damage (or kill them outright with sufficient power) and then when you do enter the battle screen (pictured above) your other party members come out and it uses an active time battle system. This is where the fighting moves come in. Holding different directions while pressing the button for the appropriate character changes their basic attacks to do different things. The gauge at the top is much like fighting game rage meters, where it can be used for super moves when it’s filled. It’s a great concept and they’re allowing anyone to download and play the prototype for free. They’re asking for 1.5 million on Indiegogo, but the game looks to be fantastic, so I’d recommend supporting it!

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Last but not least, I was gifted a copy of Shadow of Mordor as the GOTY edition was on sale this past week on Steam. Thanks Dad! I haven’t played too much but I have to say I like what I see so far. It mixes elements of the recent Arkham Batman games, Assassin’s Creed or similar open world games, and of course, LOTR. The nemesis system looks intriguing and I haven’t gotten far enough to really know how to comment just yet, but I have to say the controls are wonky as fuck if you don’t use a controller on PC. Outside of that criticism, it looks to be a great game I’m looking forward to spending more time with.

That’s all for this round-up. What have you been playing?

Blizzard and Me

Blizzard and I have a strange relationship. I was about the biggest fanboy you could be when it came to their early years in the 1990’s. I remember playing Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness back when you still had to run them through DOS. The games were easy to learn but more difficult to master. The original Diablo was also a staple back then, but it wasn’t until Starcraft was installed on my machine that I became a fan for life. Hailed as one of if not the best RTS game of all time, Starcraft was truly a perfect storm. Competitors such as Command & Conquer held their own, but Starcraft set the bar for all RTS games to come. I fell in love with the game, eschewing nearly all other games I was playing to devote my life to it. I beat the campaigns, I beat the expansion, I played regularly on Battle.net, though I never got involved in the ladder. I used the map editor to create new maps, attempted to create a Starcraft RPG within it, and even had a webpage dedicated to it, that won an award back in the days when GeoCities were a thing. Clearly, I was obsessed.

That obsession came back when Diablo II released in 2000. I was in my senior year of high school, and thankfully was at a point where I could pretty much ignore school so my grades didn’t suffer, despite the fact that I was constantly playing it. I lamented when the computer I was using fried and I was unable to play the game after the Lord of Destruction expansion hit. I was able to play it periodically at friend’s houses, but I lost out on part of the game’s evolution for the most part.

When Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos hit stores a couple of years later, I was still computer-less, though I had a good friend who would allow me to play it when I was visiting. Eventually, I had a new computer and I purchased the Battle Chest for the game, that was packed with The Frozen Throne expansion, and ended up playing through both, along with playing the game itself and multiple mods created by the community. Never DotA though, and for that I am sad. Nevertheless, my obsession with Blizzard’s fantastic games continued.

Upon hearing of the upcoming MMO World of Warcraft, I was very excited and wanted to be one of the first to play it. At the time though, I was unemployed and was unable to afford a copy of the game let alone a subscription fee. There were also stories of huge queues and Blizzard pulling the game from store shelves, so I made a decision to stick with the original Everquest, which I had been playing off and on for years (though never very seriously).

A couple of years later, I had basically forgotten about Blizzard altogether. I was busy playing single player games, shooters like Counter-Strike and Day of Defeat, Call of Duty, or whatever was in my Playstation 2 library. Sure, WoW was a success and hard to ignore, but I wasn’t at that point of being obsessed with MMOs like I would be in the future. Eventually my Dad (who had introduced me to EQ) was telling me that he had picked up Everquest 2, and I followed suit. I convinced my roommate at the time to join us, and soon I had a mixture of friends and family that were all playing the game together. It could have just as easily been WoW, because honestly they are very similar games when it comes down to it, but we had found our home in Norrath and my obsession with MMOs had nothing to do with Blizzard. It even came to a point that from what I had read, what I had seen and what I had talked about with friends, that WoW felt like the inferior game in many ways, despite being vastly more popular with most of the world. We felt like we had made the right choice regardless, and since Blizzard hadn’t done anything with any of their IPs outside of WoW for years, I basically wrote them off altogether.

From circa 2003 to circa 2010, I didn’t play any Blizzard games. There were times I would dabble with Starcraft or Diablo II, but I didn’t feel the love for the company that I once had. It was a sad state of affairs, but it was what it was. It wasn’t until I had a falling out with the MMO genre altogether that I opened up the possibility of playing and enjoying World of Warcraft. I had spent very little time in these virtual worlds for a couple of years and had a new job where my direct co-worker wouldn’t stop yammering about the game. I finally succumbed to his pandering and bought the Battle Chest that included Vanilla and The Burning Crusade. I also picked up Wrath of Lich King shortly thereafter.

I was pleasantly surprised how much I could enjoy the game I had spent so much time trashing. So much time arguing over with friends who loved it and I was still wondering why. None of them would even give my games of choice the time of day because they felt like they already had so much invested in WoW. I don’t blame them, looking back. They were right. I was wrong. However, it seems that somewhere along the line Blizzard put all of their eggs in one basket, and forgot about people like me. People who helped them become the behemoth. Who paid their way towards making WoW which would then in turn make them the king of the gaming world.

Sure, I played WoW for about six months and enjoyed myself well enough, but the time investment I had put into Everquest 2 continuously pulled me back to that game instead. Had I started with WoW, I probably would be like most of you who are reading this post. WoW would be my game, and I’d either play it steadily or leave for a couple of months only to return when the next expansion hit. Either way, I had that relationship with EQ2, so it was easy to leave WoW to go back to that game. WoW never hooked me the way other Blizzard games did, and I don’t think it ever will.

It wasn’t until 2013-14 that I really got back into Blizzard games, and this wasn’t due to World of Warcraft. I managed to get into the Beta for Hearthstone and was rather impressed with it, and played it for quite a while. I purchased Diablo III and its expansion, and as it sits now that is currently my favorite Blizzard game, though Starcraft II has been fun as well (though no where near as addictive as its predecessor was for me). I also picked WoW up again, pre-Warlords of Draenor, but only played for a month and wasn’t hooked this time either.

Hearthstone was unique in that it was a free to play title, which Blizzard hadn’t released before. I loved the fact that it was a CCG because of my history with Magic: The Gathering, and though it was simple and still based on Warcraft lore, I was hooked for a time. I played through beta into full release, earned enough gold to buy all of the Naxxramas adventures and even continued playing after Goblins and Gnomes released. It was around this time though that I started to feel disenchanted with the game. The random effects began to get to ridiculous levels where it felt like you had very little control over what happened in a given match, and if I wanted to play a dice game I’d just go play craps. Still, it has become a steady revenue stream for Blizz, and they’ve added more solo adventures and are teasing a new set of cards coming out sometime soon in The Grand Tournament. Good on them, but it’s no longer a game that gets my regular attention.

Diablo III launched and had its issues (namely the Auction House) and I avoided playing it until after they fixed the problem with the patch 2.0. Shortly thereafter Reaper of Souls released, and along with it one of the best ideas the company had in a while: Adventure Mode. The level of replayability and the fact that patches are still released fairly regularly leads me to believe that Blizzard learned their lesson from the past. Diablo II didn’t have much added to it after LoD. Diablo III looks to have new content added regularly, and that’s good for the franchise overall. Even now, patch 2.3 is in testing and they’re adding a whole new zone, a powerful artifact, and changes to Adventure Mode.

Starcraft II was different from its predecessor in that it released only one single player campaign at a time, but has made changes through Battle.net to the multiplayer portion of the game. Mods are better supported through the Arcade as well. The third campaign Legacy of the Void, centering around the Protoss is in development now and the game has definitely lived a long life, sitting at the five year old mark already.

Clearly, Blizzard is starting to remember those of us who weren’t that taken with WoW but still love their other offerings. They’ve also started to branch out a bit by adding new IPs, such as Heroes of the Storm. Granted, this game still draws from their other IPs so it’s not entirely new, but it is their first foray into the MOBA scene and seems to be doing fairly well, though it’s not as popular as the kings of the genre League of Legends and DOTA 2. Personally this game appealed to me because I figured Blizzard would make a great MOBA, but it fell short of my expectations and I haven’t touched it since it was in Beta. Still, it’s good to see the company do something else besides make content for their MMO.

Lastly, a completely new IP called Overwatch has been in development for some time now. It’s actually showing up in the Battle.net launcher now too, though I haven’t heard of anyone getting any in-game time just yet. It’s a team-based lobby shooter, and though this isn’t a new genre in itself it’s something Blizzard have yet to do and it looks good. Hype got the best of me with HotS though, so I’m not super excited but I will try it when I get a chance. Perhaps it will exceed my expectations if I keep them low. Video of the game does look fantastic though.

Most people are in the middle of writing (or have written) posts about their predictions for the next WoW expansion which will be announced later today. The other big news is that WoW is down to 5.6 million subscribers, a low not seen since 2005 or so, yet still the biggest amount of subscribers in any western MMO at this point, with FFXIV coming in a close second. I really wanted to make some commentary but as you can see, my history with WoW is limited, though my history with the company might exceed some of yours. I’m thankful that they have done well and can potentially make more games that I’m interested in sometime in the future. But I have nothing overly positive to say about their MMO and I don’t suspect that will ever change. I’m in agreement with some members of the blogosphere that WoW is slowly being sunset and focus within the company is shifting to other projects. Honestly, I think diversification is good not only for Blizzard but for gamers like me as well.

WoW is dead. Long live Blizzard.

#blizzard #history