Blizzcon 2018 Review

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Diablo Immortal

I usually start these reviews with World of Warcraft but its hard to do that this time around with the spectacle we got this year with Diablo Immortal. There has been a lot of talk over the last few years about how Blizzard has lost touch as a company with the fans of their games but this year was the first time I agree to a point. That was just not a good idea or a good way to announce this game. Not to this crowd. I was amazed it got through to that point and no one at any point of the presentation asked if it was a good idea to go about it like this. Me watching from home and the audience in attendance where stunned that this is what they were going to close the opening ceremony on. Even the presenter could tell on stage that it did not go over well from the dead eye expressions looking back at him.

A truly legendary moment in Blizzard history. Even as we speak the backlash of the announcement of a mobile Diablo game with still no real word on a Diablo 4 is going strong. All this being said the nerds rioting on the internet now will play Diablo Immortal first chance they get. Personally speaking I don’t mind it. I can’t say I’m a huge Diablo fan. I like the lore and the style of the game but I cant say II’m and avid fan. Diablo for sure isn’t my World of Warcraft. I just play the story and enjoy hardcore mode and coop. So Diablo Immortal is something I am looking forward too. But to the fans of Diablo this was the equivalent of a kick to the balls and spit on your face. I cant even imagine how upset I would be if something similar would happen to World of Warcraft. Just the thought gives me a sinking feeling in my chest.

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World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth

Naturally there wasn’t too much to be said about WoW this year. We are in the middle of an expansion so there was just talk about the new content and some zones. Some balancing and mounts coming to time walking. Probably the most exciting thing for me being the Zandalari Trolls coming out with the next big content patch. Its also cool they can be Paladins. I mainly want to make a Zandalari Druid because their Druid forms looks amazing. Kulturen Humans also seem to be really cool. Also big surprise their mounts a horse. Alliance really gets the short end of the stick with this stuff. There wasn’t much else said here overall. We seem to be going down the roadmap smoothly.

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World of Warcraft Classic

I said it before and i’ll say it again I don’t think Classic is the answer. Make the current game more old school don’t remake an “old” version of the game. As a Virtual Ticket holder I get to try the game out and it is not Classic it is straight up old. People really need to take the nostalgia glasses off and smell the roses here. I would be surprised if this game does well in this day and age. Most of the people who asked for this game were the annoying private server trash or people who barely played the game in the first place and stopped playing years ago. Like you are literally pirating a mediocre version of the game and complaining and demanding things from Blizzard. Crazy thing is it worked. Thats like going to the guy who pirated all the Marvel movies and being like what do you want to see in the next Marvel movie?

The other annoying crowd thats been asking for Classic is all the people who stopped playing altogether way back when. Why are we listening to these people too? People who are playing World of Warcraft want World of Warcraft to be better. We don’t want to go back to a time when choices mattered. We want Blizzard to make choices matter again in World of Warcraft right now. I don’t know people, I’ll keep an eye on this. Form what I played there were for sure things I missed and would like to see worked into the current game and there was a lot more I’m glad is long gone.

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Warcraft 3: Reforged

Easily the biggest well received announcement of the convention Warcraft 3: Reforged. I cant say I’m the biggest original Warcraft fan but this does look like a cool game. I wish we got Warcraft 4 instead but it really looks like they are testing the field with this to see if the fans will take the bait. If it works they will probably jump on announcing Warcraft 4 the year following the release of Reforged or the year after that. Overall very cool and long asked for.

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Overwatch

Very lackluster compared to last year. Just a new hero announcement really. Ashe does look cool and the fans of Overwatch do seem to be happy with this. But Overwatch fans are like loyal dogs. Whatever their master Blizzard gives them they will eat it up and say thank you. If Overwatch Immortal where to happen you would see these guys going on about how it’s a revolutionary idea and mobile is the future and such. The funny thing is Overwatch would translate well to mobile. The gameplay is simple enough and it already has loot boxes. Something for Blizzard to think about. Overall I don’t care here and the fans seem happy.

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Starcraft 2

If Diablo didn’t exist I would say Starcraft 2 is the game Blizzard hates the most lol. There wasn’t much to talk about here. They announced a new commander and mostly tuning changes. As someone who’s not a Starcraft player it was as lackluster as the Overwatch coverage maybe even more. From what I saw of the tournament though it was fairly interesting. I cant say if the fans were happy or indifferent here. Wouldn’t say they seemed to be upset in anyway which is a good sign. But if Blizzard is looking to piss them off I recommend Starcraft Immortal.

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Hearthstone: Rastakhan’s Rumble

This was extremely weird. I don’t now what the Hearthstone player demographic is but all the coverage of this game this year felt like it was made for a kindergarten class. Like the same kids who are into Fortnite would have loved this coverage. I couldn’t watch it with the sound on and even found myself looking away due to how cringey it was. It was like they thought I was an idiot and but they were the dumb ones. I really don’t know. Im kind of worried and cant say I’m excited or care for Rastakhan’s Rumble. Before it seemed light hearted and chill like hanging out in a cabin and talking about Hearthstone and now its like Twitch TVs most annoying cringe streamers present Rastakhan’s Rumble. I can see why most of the people I know who were really into Hearthstone are jumping off into Yugioh and Magic The Gathering.

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Heroes of the Storm

We got a really cool new hero Orphea announced. Our first Nexus Heroes of the Storm exclusive hero. I really like her look and play style. Looking forward to play her in the future. Other than that they mostly talked about balancing and tuning and for the most part I like the direction they are going with the game. The idea of making mercenary camps a bigger deal is something I’m interested in. I can see it leading to more in jungle fights over camps. Overall similar to Overwatch here I just care about this and don’t care about Overwatch.

Closing Thoughts

Overall it was a legendary Blizzcon and a very mediocre one at the same time. Im just happy to have been apart of it all as it happened. I wonder how things will turn out in the long run. I think most of these games will have their ups and downs and people will accept Diablo Immortal eventually. I mean even back when Hearthstone got announced as a World of Warcraft fan at the time I was openly disappointed in the game. But really enjoyed it for the following years. I mean not anymore but it was good during the time Blizzard still had ideas for the game. I would say Diablo Immortal will probably go through a similar process in the future.

P.S. Im posting this as the closing ceramony is happening and I never herd of this band (Train) but damn they rock. Im going to downlod all their albums.

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Overwatch : The Game I Hate To Love

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Let me start off by saying I don’t like Overwatch.

At least I didn’t at first when I tried it during beta and early release. I felt it was lacking in content, game types, maps, and substance. On top of all that I feel it cost too much for what is offered. A few well made cinematic’s don’t hide the fact that all the maps in the game are basically hallways designed to force high combat situations. You can call it the Call of Duty effect. Forced encounters with high combat interactions in short to medium bursts over a short match time. New/bad players don’t ever feel useless or bad thus making them have less chance of getting frustrated and quitting the game. Also allowing good players to still do well but still get caught here and there due to just bad luck and counter picking. This is in a nutshell what kept Call of Duty on top of the shooter market for so long while games like Battlefield and Halo have taken secondary niche markets.

I find the popularity of Overwatch to be surprising since gamers are constantly asking for more difficult games but the most popular games on the market are usually for much more casual audiences. Regardless of the philosophy of gaming, is Overwatch fun? As of writing this review and basing it on only the game itself I find it to be an amazingly fun toy. Yes, you have read right. If Battlefield 1 was tactical training with high-pressure BB guns and Halo 5 was paintball than Overwatch would be a bunch of kids in the park with nerf guns. Does that mean it’s not fun? Hell no. It’s a blast. I’m just saying don’t take it so seriously. I have friends on PC talking about team builds, strategy and going up and down in ranks but still doing poorly. On the other hand, I have friends in the top 500 who have prestiged multiple times telling me it’s not that big a deal.

Overwatch has become my “main game” now. When I want to play something seriously or just mess around for a bit, Overwatch is where I go. It plays to a lot of different play styles due to the multiple hero setups and the quick action packed matches. If I don’t feel like focusing and just want to hang out with friends I’ll play something like Mercy or Lucio, maybe Bastion and just sit in a corner and crack jokes. If I really feel like playing I’ll play Reinhardt, Tracer or Soldier. Regardless of how well I’m doing and how I’m feeling at the time, I feel I just like joking around and yelling on mic with friends.

Who you play with will make a big difference. I’m not talking about winning, I’m talking about enjoying. A big part of the reason I didn’t enjoy Overwatch at first is due to the friends I was playing with. They were very try hard and took a very casual game too seriously. They would go on about team composition and timing certain abilities but still consistently lost or had trouble moving up in rank. Having played far more complex and competitive shooters through the years I noticed our losses were more due to bad fundamental skills rather than game knowledge. A lack of communication, not knowing when to push off the advantage, not knowing when to back off the disadvantages and simple things like don’t just funnel in one at a time when their whole teams up. Even when it comes to team composition, just because a composition is strong in the meta doesn’t mean it’s always going to work or be used to its full potential based on who’s playing what. Play around the person, not the hero.

I felt the game was too casual for my taste to play alone and I was only ever getting frustrated playing with friends. I’m not saying I’m the next MLG champ at Overwatch but I know my fundamental with shooters. Regardless of how simple the game and what the meta might be the fundamentals are the most important thing in any shooting game. This is made even more clear when another group of my friends bought me Overwatch as a joke on PS4 for Christmas. All of them that didn’t have PS4s at this point got PS4s for Christmas and Overwatch was the game they decided on over Call of Duty, Battlefield and Titanfall simply because they knew I didn’t like it. A bunch of them already had Overwatch and have now prestiged multiple times. But I and the new PS4 owners went in fresh. They insisted that I would enjoy the game more with them. They were right.

Not only do I have a great time playing with them but I’ve met other friends through playing as well. On top of that, we’re winning more. Why is this? Because they have a strong understanding of the fundamentals of shooting games. We barely have to say when to push and when to back since they are aware of what’s going on. In the moment’s someone does say anything everyone reacts on reflex to what’s said and act accordingly. Sure we still lose our share of games but it’s pretty good for pissing in the wind with half your team drunk off the minds or eating while playing.

Now, this isn’t a PS4 vs Xbox One vs PC thing. This is a don’t take a fun toy too seriously thing. Overwatch is a blast but a lot of people need to accept it’s a very simple casual game at its foundation. Unless you really believe you will be the next MLG pro just have fun and enjoy the game. This kind of extends to all games actually. Overall I really like Overwatch now. I still don’t agree with a lot of what it offers and I do think it cost too much for what they are offering. But if that means we don’t have to pay for future DLC then I’ll live with it. As a game, it’s fun regardless of play style and drunkness. If you have been on the fence regardless of what platform you are on I recommend Overwatch. Even more so if you have chill friends to play with. I won’t be giving Overwatch a rating out of 5 as I would normally do since if I were to break the game down as I do with other games it would end up having a pretty low rating. I feel that would be a bit counter-productive to Overwatch’s overall philosophy. So instead I’ll give it 2 thumbs up and a glass of rum and coke.

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Battlerite Review (Early Access)

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Battlerite is a MOBA/ARTS game similar to games like League of Legends and Dota 2 but is very much it’s own beast entirely. Unlike most MOBAs Battlerite has no lanes or minions. There’s no throne or nexus to capture or destroy. It’s a straight arena brawler. Your team vs the other team and last team standing wins. It takes place over 3 rounds and best out of 3 wins the match. The match ups are between either 2v2 or 3v3 and don’t take much longer than 10 mins to finish a 3 round match. You play as one of a handful but growing number of heroes per match with distinct plays styles, looks and synergies. Like every game that comes out now there are skins for your weapons, armor, mounts and all that you can earn from chests. The chests are completely random but some chests give you better chances but cost more. Stop me if you herd all this before. I honestly hate this system but it’s clearly here to stay so might as well get use to it. Oh and before we move on you can get icons and poses from these chests as well and all of these things are strictly cosmetic. So they say but we all know if you paint it red and put flames on it , it will go faster. So you be the judge.

For the most part the game seems to be balanced. There are sure some heroes you see more often that seem to do better than others. I think that has a lot to do with the newness of the game and people still figuring out how to play it. From what I’ve seen everything has some kind of counter and skill is a big component as well. The game doesn’t hold your hand and make you feel like your helping out and doing a lot when all your doing is shooting down a hallway over and over again. I’m looking at you Overwatch. If you suck the game makes it clear. I have been on the receiving end of these beat downs many times now on Battlerite and on a few occasions handed them out myself. The thing is I don’t feel regret or that I wasted my time when I lose. I feel I deserved it. I feel like I learned from it and I’ll do better next time. Maybe this is because the game is still new in general and new to me as well but I feel it has a lot to do with the games design and enjoyment. That being said when I win it’s all skill all day #gg #mlglyfe #protwitchstream #dothedew #doritosxpcode.

It will take some getting use to even for people who are use to playing games like Dota 2, it may look similar but it plays much faster. I would even say its very arcade like in that sense and the controls are different. Actually after me and my friend played Battlerite some other friends wanted to play Heros of the Storm and the controls felt alien. I would say Im more use to the MOBA style controls but playing Battlerite and then jumping back over felt like everything was flipped. It also felt very slow. Battlerite is a much more fast paced game with more skills to use than Dota style games. So when I got back on Heros of the Storm I felt like I was just sitting there waiting for stuff to get off cool down.

If you are going to play this I recommend playing it with friends. It’s really a completely different experience to play with some one else you know. I had this game for a while now and the first time I played it I played alone and didn’t really care for it. It was cool but I wasn’t able to reach the “wow” moment you get when you play a great game for the first time. It had all the trappings but it couldn’t hook me. That is until my friend got access to it during their free weekend and talked me into playing. That’s when the “wow” moment hit both of us and I saw how great the game is. If you don’t have friends I recommend you find some first otherwise skip it or look for a guild of some sort. The Dark Hearts Gang is my personal gaming guild that’s open to all. I’ll throw a link at the bottom of this article if you’re interested in joining.

The game costs about $20 give or take but I feel I see it on sale often. During the free weekend event my friend got me to play with him they discounted it down to about $15. Regardless of the price I feel it is worth getting if you are into PVP games of this style.

Overall I think this games a hit and can be a huge hit with the right recognition. It’s worth the price if you ask me and will only continue to grow and gain more content over time. It’s all PVP though so if that’s not your thing than this isn’t going to change your mind. But if PVP is your thing there isn’t really anything else like this on the market except the game Battlerite is based off of, Bloodline Champions. (Made by the same company actually if you were wondering why they seemed so similar.) If you have read my other reviews you will know I usually give the game a rating out of 5 around this point. I don’t feel right giving a rating to a game that’s still this early on development. So instead I’ll give it a strong recommendation. Battlerite is awesome and it just might be the best PVP I played this year.

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