Heroes of the Storm: Diablo Heroes Revealed!

Blizzard Entertainment has spotlighted the first round of heroes that will be available from the Diablo Universe in Heroes of the Storm:

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You can see all the details on their official blog post: http://www.heroesofthestorm.com/en-us/news/13120787/diablo-hero-feature-preview

 

Which character are you most excited to play as?

Diablo?

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Tyrael?

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The Barbarian?

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The Witch Doctor?

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The Demon Hunter?

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Let us know in the comments below!

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State of the Game: Diablo 3

 

May 15, 2012 was a day that will long be remembered as the day Diablo III was released and was on fire.The Diablo III Battle.net servers went live and people who downloaded the game could begin playing. Initially the launches were hindered by the server load with many users getting errors, including the error 37 which reads; “The servers are busy at this time. Please try again later”. These issues made the game unplayable, while some others experienced in-game bugs.

Error 37 became one of the well known launch game bugs in PC gaming history, as illustrated by this meme gallery:

 

Over time, the errors were patched and the game began to be evaluated on more than just these errors. At the start, Blizzard designed the game to include both an in-game currency, and real money auction house. This was in reaction to the large third-party business of selling in-game items to players. What was designed to be a fix to a concern, led to another problem entirely: Blizzard had built a loot based game that did not reward its players enough. It became apparent for many players that to beat the game, they would have to take part in the auction house.

This soured players on the game rather quickly. With the quantity of their loot being downgraded and the consistency of seeing legendary/set items dropping, Diablo players got frustrated. After playing Diablo II for about a decade, fans were used to one style of play. Any change was going to felt and the Diablo III drop rate was met with some significant fervor. It didn’t take players long to blame the real money auction house. They saw it as a micro-transactification of their beloved loot drop system. Blizzard has since decided to get rid of the real money auction house, rework the loot system and add it to the game via the 2.0.1 patch on the PC, and make Loot 2.0 the new system for its console version of the game.

Today, players can begin to enjoy the fruits of Blizzard’s labor. Patch 2.0.1 is now live. Many of the changes are also going to appear in the Reaper of Souls expansion but fans can enjoy a new, fresh experience then the one they had at Diablo’s launch.

In an age where so many games launch with issues, it is a pleasant surprise to see companies like Blizzard make such significant changes to their game to improve the player experience. Here are just some of the changes that have been made with the latest patch:

Loot 2.0

 Loot 2.0 brings the player more rare and legendary items that are geared towards the class they are playing at the time of the loot dropping. Loot 2.0 was the loot system in place for th console version of Diablo III which released on PS3 and Xbox 360 last summer.

Paragon 2.0

The Paragon level has always felt like an add on to expand the end game, but now with 2.0, the system finally feels like a reward for coming back to the game. Now, the Paragon levels are account bound. The bonuses will work for each character on your account so feel free to stick with your favorite character for as long as you’d like and it will pay dividends for your future recruits.

Clans and Communities

The friends list certainly makes it easy to stay in touch with your pals, but now you can travel together with pride as clan members. This is an opportunity for you to connect with other online friends. Whether you read the same site, chat in the same forums or simply enjoy the same character class, clans and communities are going to help you find people to play with and help Blizzard reinvigorate the Diablo community.

 

It has taken quite a bit of time for Diablo III to reach this point, but it seems Blizzard has finally got a grasp on what makes Diablo great. There is still more to do, what with the long awaited PvP mode still missing, but Diablo III is a great game as it stands today. Her’es hoping the alliances and hordes of Blizzard players return to this enjoyable click-fest.

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Pokemon Twitch Stream has 70,000 Viewers

Ever wanted to play a game with 50,000 other people?

If it sounds crazy, it is, but that hasn’t stopped people for taking part in one of the most ridiculous cooperative streams ever. How about playing a retro game that you can control by simply typing a command in the chat room?

(Picture courtesy of Huffington Post)

(Picture courtesy of Huffington Post)

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Stay Awhile with David Craddock

Here at Open World Gaming, we don’t hide our fandom, but we embrace it. So, when we had the opportunity to talk shop with a fellow gaming professional, we will not pass it up. I have had the pleasure to talk a fellow Diablo nut, author of “Stay Awhile and Listen”, David Craddock.  David’s new eBook, available now, takes a look at the road that led to the creation of the click-fest Action RPG, Diablo.

Q: When did “Stay Awhile and Listen” become a story for you to write?

I moved to the Bay Area in the summer of 2007. After getting settled, I pounded pavement in search of outlets interested in contracting articles. I pitched and sold an editorial on 3D stereoscopic graphics to Official Xbox Magazine and began looking for artists who might have insight into the impact stereoscopic graphics may (or may not) have on games. This was several years before Nintendo launched the 3DS, of course.

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The PS4: Do You Need it?

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When a new console is released, the most common question I receive is: “Do I need to upgrade?”

Each individual has very different uses for their consoles, so what I’ll go over the feature set, ease of use, and the games so that you can make a decision on your own.

The Console

The system will look very nice in your entertainment system, with its sleek design and compact size. Though large in comparison to its current generation counterparts, the 500GB hard drive will  fill up, as digital games, video recordings and game updates begin to balloon in size. It is a completely acceptable size, but don’t expect to fit all of your games on the system for the life of the system. The user interface is much cleaner, and the ease of use should allow for any gamer to get going quickly. Games download in the background and automatically update, and multitasking is possible, though your can’t run more than one game at a time. The apps make the gaming console work well as an entertainment hub as well, with blu-ray capability, and with Netflix, Amazon Prime, and of course Sony’s own music and video offerings.

The Features

Party Chat has been added to the PS4 but is also connected to the PS Vita Party Chat system. Now you can talk to your friends while playing any game, on either system. 360 owners should be familiar with this feature, but it is new to gamers that only played on the PS3.

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Remote Play is the real star, allowing you to play your PS4 games on your PS Vita. It has added considerable value to the under-performing portable system, and the PS4 experience. Finally, making the ability to share a button press away has made it possible to show those memorable moments of each and every game easily with your friends.

The Games

With platformers, shooters, sports games, indie games and some action/adventure mixed in as well, the PS4 launch is a quality launch line-up. I have been an early adopter to a number of modern consoles (360, Wii, WiiU, Vita, 3DS) and am impressed with the diverse launch line-up.

Thinking back to the launch titles for the 360, which also included some unique options like Kameo and Viva Pinata, as well as a sports option in Madden 06. But, none of these titles were system sellers.

I have had a number of experiences already on the PS4 with their launch line-up that really sold me on the system. Here is an example:

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  • NBA 2K14

Though I do not follow the sport, or root for a specific team, I have enjoyed quality basketball video games such as NBA Jam, NBA Street and NBA2K11. This installment is beautiful. It does in fact sell you on the quality of the graphics on the console. Not only that, but the feature set in the game was not stripped for the next gen version. You are getting a fully featured title here. I’m currently playing through the career mode, which has some laughable voice acting choices, but is one of the most entertaining career modes I’ve experience since WWE Smackdown: Know Your Role. I appreciate a sports game that allows for some path choices in its career mode.

The Verdict

It is up to every household, and every gamer to know what they are looking for in a console and ultimately if they need to upgrade. I would say that what the PS4 is offering, in my opinion, is worth buying right now. Playing games on the PS4 with the Dual Shock 4 is the best PlayStation experience available right now. I would not recommend giving up your PS3 though. There are still quality games coming that you may not want to miss, plus the library of PS3 games can keep you bus when there is a lull in the next generation releases.

Vita owners have the bonus of being able to play their PS4 games via Remote Play on the Vita and that feature alone makes the Vita a worthwhile purchase when partnered with a PS4.

Understand that at this time the best games of 2013 are not exclusively on the PS4, but some of the best 2013 console experiences are. I hope I have helped you make your decision on going next gen or not. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to post them in the comments.

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Heroes of the Storm Beta Coming “As Soon as Possible”

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Blizzard Entertainment hosted a developer Q and A on their Twitch channel (http://www.twitch.tv/blizzheroes) today to share information on what’s been going on in Heroes of the Storm’s development process since BlizzCon.

They shed some light on the tight schedule they were on in completing the build in time for BlizzCon. The team was excited to show off what else they’ve been working on as the build was only a fraction of what they’ve been working on.

They also focused on the amount of time it takes to complete a match of the game. They are honing in on 20 minutes as the goal gameplay length. With that they can offer an experience that can feel important, but not heartbreaking during a loss.

Fans already know that skins will be available for their favorite characters. The newest announcement is that fun emotes like /dance will be in the game as well for the epic characters they know and love.

Finally, the Heroes of the Storm team confirmed that there are tons of characters they are still in development, including classic characters from Blizzard’s The Lost Vikings. They stressed they were not confirming these characters would appear in the game, but that they are in development. Here’s hoping we see some Rock ‘n’ Roll Racing characters in the Nexus.

Finally, the conversation about the Beta came up and the Hearts of the Storm developers explained that the beta would be coming “as soon as possible”. They also confirmed that Heroes of the Storm will be Free to Play.

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