Train2Game News World of Warcraft Legion

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The sixth expansion of World of Warcraft has been announced at gamescom.

Doom comes for the Alliance and the Horde as a great burning shadow falls over Azeroth. During an event streamed live around the world from gamescom 2015, Blizzard Entertainment today unveiled World of Warcraft®: Legion™, the sixth expansion to its acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

In this dire new chapter of the Warcraft® saga, the demonic Burning Legion has returned, seeking to call forth their fallen leader—the dark titan Sargeras, Ravager of Worlds. As destruction rains across Azeroth, its heroes must seek salvation among the ruins of the Broken Isles, doomed center of ancient night elf civilization and birthplace of myths dating back to the world’s creation. In the face of hopeless odds, they must learn to master mighty Artifacts—legendary weapons that hold the potential to bring down the corrupted armies of the Legion—and strike an infernal pact with the dread Demon Hunters of the Illidari . . . accursed followers of the infamous Illidan the Betrayer.

World of Warcraft: Legion ushers in an era of unprecedented conflict for the Alliance and the Horde as the Burning Legion’s crusade against creation enters a terrifying new stage. The expansion is loaded with features and content that will transform players into Azeroth’s elite vanguard against the shadow, including:

    New Hero Class: Demon Hunter— Unleash the demon within as an all-new melee hero class gifted with preternatural mobility—and the ability to metamorphose into hellish new forms.

    New Feature: Artifact Weapons— Smite the Legion with legendary weapons of lore. Earn Artifact power to unlock abilities and traits, and customize your weapon to suit your needs.

    New Continent: The Broken Isles— Discover the fate of a lost night elf civilization, confront twisted fragments of the Emerald Nightmare, and hunt agents of the Legion in all-new zones.

    New Feature: Order Hall— Whether you’re paladin or warlock, unite fellow NPC members of your class’s order to carry out missions at your command.

    New PvP Honor System— Fight for fame, glory, and a range of new PvP-specific powers as you face the opposing faction in Arenas and Battlegrounds.

    Boost to Level 100— Come fully prepared to battle the Legion with a level-100 character boost, and fight alongside your friends in this epic new chapter of World of Warcraft.

“In World of Warcraft: Legion, the stakes for the Alliance and the Horde are higher than ever, so we’re putting some of Azeroth’s deadliest forces directly in players’ hands,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “Whether they’re wreaking havoc as a Demon Hunter or unlocking awesome new abilities for their Artifact, players will develop their characters’ power in ways they never have before.”

Stalk Your Prey as a Demon Hunter

Dexterous and deadly, World of Warcraft: Legion’s new Demon Hunter hero class turns the twisted power of the Burning Legion against them. Drawing on fel forces to fuel their attacks, Demon Hunters pursue their prey with uncanny agility, dodging away from danger and closing on enemies in the blink of an eye. Demon Hunters sacrifice their natural vision for Spectral Sight—preternatural perception that allows them to detect targets that regular mortals could not normally see. Whether avatars of Havoc (damage-dealing) or Vengeance (tank), these melee-focused assassins unleash pent-up fury in the form of devastating attacks—even metamorphosing into terrifying demonic forms in moments of great need.

As a World of Warcraft hero class, Demon Hunters have honed their skills over millennia—and much like Wrath of the Lich King®’s Death Knight, Demon Hunters appropriately begin their journey prepared to battle the Legion at a higher level than most other World of Warcraft classes. Demon Hunters also have a unique starting experience that reflects their background and the terrible source of their power.

Wield Legendary Artifacts Against the Legion

To face the seemingly unstoppable might of the Legion, the heroes of Azeroth will need a legendary arsenal worthy of the task. World of Warcraft: Legion equips every champion with their own Artifact—a class-specific, highly customizable weapon forged in the fires of Warcraft mythology. Each character’s Artifact grows in power with its owner, and players can personalize their Artifact with perks, abilities, and appearance-altering characteristics that reflect the hero wielding it, transforming the Artifact into an instrument of order . . . or twisting it into an implement of devastation.

The Broken Isles and Beyond

World of Warcraft: Legion sends players on a forbidden journey to the ruins of the Broken Isles in search of the mythic Pillars of Creation—powerful titan relics said to have shaped Azeroth, and last hope for the world’s salvation. Once the magnificent seat of an ancient night elf civilization, the Broken Isles are now haunted by twisted elven aberrations, horrors from the Emerald Nightmare, and other grim remnants of legends long forgotten. Among the Isles, players will face the armies of the Legion and other dark forces across an array of all-new zones, dungeons, raids, and more on the way to the new level cap of 110.

With the Horde and the Alliance in disarray, players must seek out and bring together other like-minded champions to stand against the demonic hordes. In Legion, each player will take charge of an Order Hall—a site of great power linked closely to a character’s class and cause. The Order Hall will serve as each hero’s base of operations—and a bastion of hope—during their journey to the Broken Isles. From there, players will send NPC followers on missions to help defend Azeroth from the demonic incursion . . . and forge their Artifact into a Legion-felling force to be reckoned with.

For those seeking glory in Arenas and Battlegrounds, Legion also features a new Honor system that provides an entirely new PvP progression path. As players dominate the enemy faction, they’ll unlock PvP-specific spells and abilities that open up a range of new tactical possibilities, and earn prestigious new titles and rewards.

To help the heroes of Azeroth prepare for the coming invasion, World of Warcraft: Legion will allow players to boost one character to level 100, including a newly created character, quickly getting them primed and ready to battle the Burning Legion alongside their friends.

For more information about World of Warcraft: Legion or to sign up for the beta test scheduled to begin later this year, visit www.worldofwarcraft.com/legion .

Train2Game News Hearthstone available on iOS and Android

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Calling all mobile duelists, it’s time to take your decks on the go—Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is now playable on iOS and Android mobile phones.

This version features an all-new interface specially crafted for smaller screens, making it easier than ever to keep the fun of Hearthstone at your fingertips.

“We’re excited to welcome mobile gamers to the Hearthstone community,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “Hearthstone’ s quick, super-accessible gameplay is perfect for gaming on the go , and with the mobile versions it’s incredibly easy to jump into a match and have some fun.”

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a fast-paced, easy-to-learn digital card game for players of every skill level. Hearthstone offers a wide variety of ways to play, whether you want to prove your prowess in ranked matches, test your chops as a deck-builder in the Arena, battle crafty A.I. opponents to win new cards in the Solo Adventures, or challenge your friends to a duel.

The mobile version of Hearthstone brings all of the exciting features and content available in the Windows, Mac, and tablet versions of the game, including Goblins vs Gnomes, Curse of Naxxramas, and the newly released Blackrock Mountain. As with the other versions of the game, players will have full access to their existing card collection when they log in to the game on their mobile phones.

In celebration of Hearthstone now being more portable than ever, anyone who completes one game in any mode on their mobile phone will receive one free Classic card pack from the original Hearthstone set. (Players who download Hearthstone on their iPad or Android tablet and finish a game for the first time also receive a free Classic card pack.) Win or lose, that free card pack is yours just by playing a game in Play, Arena, or Practice mode.

Visit playhearthstone.com to learn more about Hearthstone, then head to the Google Play store or Amazon Appstore for Android, or Apple App Store for iOS, to download the game for free and start dueling!

Train2Game News UK Top 20 Games – 17.11.14

Call of Duty Advanced WarfighterA wave of new big name games has just been released but none were enough to knock Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare from the top spot. Assassin’s Creed Unity sneaks in to number two and Halo: The Master Chief Collection fights its way to third. The new LEGO Batman game has swooped in to fifth with the other Assassin’s Creed game, Assassin’s Creed: Rogue in sixth. Finally Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 heads to eighth in the table with the new World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor, battling its way to number nine.

All formats

Week ending 15 November 2014

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE ACTIVISION 1
2 ASSASSIN’S CREED: UNITY UBISOFT
3 HALO: THE MASTER CHIEF COLLECTION MICROSOFT
4 FIFA 15 EA SPORTS 2
5 LEGO BATMAN 3: BEYOND GOTHAM WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE
6 ASSASSIN’S CREED: ROGUE UBISOFT
7 MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION EDITION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 6
8 PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2015 KONAMI
9 WORLD OF WARCRAFT: WARLORDS OF DRAENOR BLIZZARD
10 DESTINY ACTIVISION 5
11 SKYLANDERS TRAP TEAM SKYLANDERS 7
12 MINECRAFT: XBOX EDITION MICROSOFT 10
13 DISNEY INFINITY 2.0 DISNEY INFINITY 12
14 FOOTBALL MANAGER 2015 SEGA 3
15 ALIEN: ISOLATION SEGA 4
16 ASSASSIN’S CREED IV: BLACK FLAG UBISOFT 16
17 FORZA HORIZON 2 MICROSOFT 11
18 SUNSET OVERDRIVE MICROSOFT 8
19 TOMODACHI LIFE NINTENDO 19
20 WWE 2K15 2K SPORTS 13
< previous week
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2014 UKIE Ltd

These charts cannot be reproduced either in print or online without obtaining permission from Ukie. If you wish to reproduce the charts in print or online, please contact david.smith@ukie.org.uk for the appropriate license.

Train2Game News BlizzCon from home

BlizzconGrab your most comfortable chair and invite a few friends over to join Blizzard Entertainment’s epic gaming convention from home with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, now available to order at www.blizzcon.com.

The BlizzCon Virtual Ticket provides comprehensive live online HD coverage of Blizzard’s Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo community celebration, taking place November 7 and 8 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Available for £ 24.99, the Virtual Ticket grants access to two exclusive channels of BlizzCon content on both days of the show, making it the next best thing to being there live. The BlizzCon 2014 Virtual Ticket includes:

Developer Panels & Exclusive Interviews Get the latest World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm news straight from the developers, and witness all of the epic moments as they happen live from the Main and Panel stages. In between, dig deeper into your favorite games in exclusive one-on-one interviews with Blizzard Entertainment designers, artists, and producers.

Community Contests—Hosted by Chris Hardwick Witness the spectacle of the legendary BlizzCon Costume Contest and Talent Contest on Friday night. This year’s festivities will be emceed by stand-up comedian and podcaster Chris Hardwick, host of Comedy Central’s late night Internet-spelunking game show @midnight and creative head of geek-minded media network Nerdist Industries.

Closing Ceremony—Behold the closing festivities on Saturday night, capping off two full days of Blizzard gaming and eSports action—more details to be announced later.

On-Demand Replays—Rewatch epic moments with the Virtual Ticket’s DVR functionality, and catch content you might have missed for up to two weeks after the show’s over.

Epic Bonus Loot Unlock this year’s commemorative BlizzCon in-game goodies for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm (details coming soon). The Virtual Ticket also grants early access to this year’s online BlizzCon merchandise sale, which will run from October 17 through November 11 and feature a selection of commemorative items that will be available for purchase at the show.

Even if you don’t purchase a Virtual Ticket, you’ll still be able to catch plenty of BlizzCon action online. Coverage of the opening ceremony and this year’s eSports tournaments—including the StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals, World of Warcraft Arena World Championship, Hearthstone World Championship, and Heroes of the Storm exhibition matches—will be streamed for free in HD at www.blizzcon.com.

More information on BlizzCon 2014 and the Virtual Ticket can be found at www.blizzcon.com.

Train2Game News Blizzard hire Hearthstone player

HearthstoneA professional gamer has been hired by Blizzard to work on updates for the massively popular Hearthstone.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is the card game based on the MMO World of Warcraft. Announced at the Penny Arcade Expo in March 2013, the game entered open beta in January 2014, and was released in March 2014. Hearthstone is available on the Microsoft Windows and OS X operating systems and on iPad and Windows 8 Touch devices. iPhone and Android tablet platform releases are planned for the second half of 2014. As of March 2014, Hearthstone has more than 10 million player accounts registered worldwide.

One of those players, Ryan Materson, has now been employed by Blizzard as an associate designer and is expected to help with balancing the game for the new updates.

Materson, who is known as Realz, was the team leader of professional Hearthstone team, Mana Grind, before they disbanded. He is one of the most respected and talented professional players and this is what caught the eye of Blizzard.

On Reddit Materson said “This is a truly exciting opportunity for me, and (to rephrase from the words of someone I have long admired, who once entered a similar position) I hope my association with the continuing development of Hearthstone will serve to comfort fellow ladder grinders, competitors and players at large that ‘one of us’ is behind the scenes looking out for the interests of the play. I really can’t wait to get started”.

Train2Game News: New World of Warcraft expansion announced

wow_wod_logo_hires_m03At Blizzcon this past weekend, Blizzard announced the next expansion for World of Warcraft, Warlords of Draenor.

The fifth expansion to Blizzard Entertainment’s acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game, sends players to the world of Draenor at a pivotal moment in history to fight against and alongside legends from Warcraft’s brutal past.

Across Draenor’s savage jungles and battle-scarred plains, Azeroth’s heroes will engage in a mythic conflict involving mystical draenei champions and mighty orc clans, and cross axes with the likes of Grommash Hellscream, Blackhand, and Ner’zhul at the height of their primal power. Players will need to scour this unwelcoming land in search of allies to help build a desperate defense against the old Horde’s formidable engine of conquest—or else watch their own world’s bloody, war-torn history repeat itself.

“Warlords of Draenor gives players a chance to take a commanding role in one of the Warcraft series’ most crucial conflicts,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “This expansion also includes features that make it easy for anyone to jump right into the action, whether they’ve played WoW at some point in the past or are just setting foot in Azeroth for the first time.”

To help new and returning players answer the call to arms on Draenor, the expansion will enable anyone to instantly boost one character to level 90, including a newly created character, quickly getting them up to speed and ready to enjoy the latest content with their friends.

To establish a foothold on Draenor once they’ve arrived, the displaced champions of the Horde and Alliance will be able to construct their own Garrison, an expandable, customizable stronghold that will serve as each player’s personal base of operations throughout the course of the expansion. As the Garrison grows, players will be able to recruit NPC allies and followers to take up residence, gathering resources and embarking on missions on the player’s orders.

Warlords of Draenor will also introduce fully revamped player character models and animations for many of World of Warcraft’s existing playable races, bringing the orcs, humans, and several other longtime residents of Azeroth up to the visual standards of newer races while still maintaining their iconic style and identity.

Along with these new features, World of Warcraft players will enjoy a wide array of new content on their way to the new level cap of 100, including new Zones, Dungeons, Raids, Scenarios, Battlegrounds, and more. Warlords of Draenor will also introduce questing improvements designed to encourage exploration and add unpredictability to players’ ongoing adventures.

Train2Game News: Mid-week round up – 24.10.12

Steams Workshop, which is used to create content for games such as Team Fortress 2 and Skyrim, has turned one. The user created content has subsequently earned “millions of dollars” for their creators and Steam themselves.

The Greatest Video Game Music 2, the follow-up to the best-selling video game album of all time, will be released worldwide on Nov 6 and has been performed by The London Philharmonic Orchestra. The digital soundtrack album will include 17 new orchestral renditions of video game theme songs like Halo, Batman: Arkham City, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and the ever-so classic Final Fantasy VII.

Following the success of Borderlands 2, an iOS spin-off has been confirmed with a release date of October 31. The game sees you play as the original 4 vault hunters from the first Borderlands in a wave-based survival game. Additionally, in true Borderlands style you can earn experience and level up your characters, unlocking new skills and abilities with each character having their own set of unique skills and abilities.

The first reviews of Hitman: Absolution have surface in Official Playstation Magazine UK and Official Xbox Magazine. Both magazines gave the game 9 out of 10. OPM said “This is the peak of the series so far” and OXM said “it a triumph of stealth and sandbox design that retains everything that fans have ever loved about the series”.

Wish Studios, a newly formed studio in Brighton, is working with Sony to develop a new IP. While other details about the partnership remain shrouded in secrecy, the status of Wish’s new client will likely serve as a significant help to the recently founded start-up’s presence in the industry.

A report by Google has said that over 50% of people use their tablet for gaming. The only activity performed more than gaming on a tablet is checking emails. The study, which was commissioned and published by Google, found that 51.5 per cent of its participants used their tablet for gaming in a two-week period.

The new dashboard for the Xbox was launched yesterday. It includes an internet explorer app giving the console a browser and the newly launched Xbox music which is similar to that of Spotify. The update also saw the removal of the Twitter and Facebook apps.

In an interesting collaboration, a new mod was made for the MMO World of Warcraft which sees the newly introduced pet battles become Pokemon battles. The aptly name WOWkemon sees a short tutorial by Professor Birch describing the Pokémon-ified battle screens and ability menus with the familiar sounds, screen effects, and even the font closely resembling the style of the handheld game legend.

Train2Game News: Mid-week round up

Blizzard Entertainment released Mists Of Pandaria yesterday. The latest expansion for World Of Warcraft. Blizzard have also said that they have no fear of Windows 8 and will release games for any platform their players are on.

Avenged Sevenfold have released a new track that will feature on Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2. The song, Carry On, is the second song the band have released for a Call Of Duty game. They previously released Not Ready To Die with one of the Call Of Duty: Black Ops DLC packs.

Telltale’s five Walking Dead episodic games will be put on disc in December for Xbox360 and PS3. The game is based on the graphic novel turned TV show and through playing them myself I can say, if you are a fan of the series, play this game. You won’t be disappointed.

Nvidia’s head of cloud gaming, Phil Eisler, believes that cloud gaming could take over from consoles. He believes that consoles have one final generation in them before they die out, leaving the world of gaming in the hands of the cloud.

Ubisoft have announced that Assassins Creed 3 will not play on Windows XP. The company has released the specifications needed to play the game. There is a version for Windows 8 in the pipeline though.

Bethesda have released an animated prequel to its upcoming Dishonored. The webseries is called Tales of Dunwall and the gorgeous animated shorts are being released in three parts. The videos can be found on YouTube and they show the downfall of the in game city.

Sony Xdev are giving a small studio the opportunity to win £25,000. This new initiative, called Playstation Pioneers, will reward developers for a PlayStation Mobile game concept and will also offer successful candidates the opportunity to work alongside XDev. Further details can be found here.

An extra four titles have been added to the Humble Bundle 6. The titles are: Bit.Trip Runner, Gratuitous Space Battles, Jamestown, and Wizorb. If you have already purchased the bundle, you will get the new games added at no extra cost.

If you are attending Eurogamer this weekend you can get a special surprise when you play Company Of Heroes 2. Everyone that plays the game or attends the developer session at the event will get a code to access a future beta for the game.

Finally Train2Game will be at Eurogamer this weekend. If you are attending go and say hello, it is always nice to meet these people. I will be attending on the Saturday so if you see me feel free to talk to me. I hope everyone that attends has a brilliant time.

Train2Game news: Ultima creator Richard Garriott on game design

Ultima series creator Richard Garriott  believes game design need to be more creative if the medium is going to continue to advance.

“There are tons of free-to-play, beautiful looking MMOs that are feature-complete and challengers in theory to World of Warcraft, they come across from Asia every day.” said Garriott, also known as ‘Lord British,’ in an in-depth interview with Industry Gamers.

“They’re all beautiful, they’re all full-featured – if you try to go why is this game not as good as World of Warcraft, you’d have a hard time picking individual features as to why, but with all of them you go, “look, it’s free to play, free to download, I’ll try it!”

But the man behind Ultima Online believes that rather than trying to introduce new features, many developers are just trying to recreate game design elements of their competitions titles.

“You go, “OK, kind of looks the same, here’s my town, here’s my shop, here’s my level one monsters I have to fight,” he said. “And you spend an hour or two going through the play cycle and finishing a quest and levelling up, and you go… well “OK, it works, but why do I care?”

“The vast majority of people are making these me-too games, they’re quality, there’s nothing wrong with them, there’s just nothing compelling about them.”

Garriott added that he hopes to be able to look at his own work, including Ultima and Ultima online and be satisfied with what he did to change games.

“And I’m hoping that if I look back on my career down through the years, I’m very proud of the fact that with some periodicity, I have truly advanced the art form in some meaningful way.”

The full interview with Richard Garriott, an interesting read for Train2Game students, can be seen on Industry Gamers.

So Train2Game, what do you make about his comments on game design? Does more need to be done in order to make games innovative?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Industry Gamers]

Train2Game news: Life experience great for game design ideas – Blizzard

Train2Game Game Designers will appreciate this, it’s advice from Blizzard on how to keep your stories and ideas fresh, and it’s to base concepts on your own life experience, even if it’s only loosely.

Train2Game students will know that Blizzard know a bit about successful game design, with 12 million still playing World of Warcraft.

“I’ve been in this racket about 17 years, and you tire out. How do you keep your ideas fresh? Well, the one thing that never stops is living.”  Blizzard Vice President of Creative Development Chris Metzen told PC Gamer.

“We have experiences. We grow as people. And really letting those experiences come forward – kind of being naked with them – that’s the kind of thing people can’t compete against. Everyone can come up with a new Trilithium Crystal Warp Drive, but what you can’t argue with is a person’s experience and the truth of it.”

And Metzen says Blizzard encourages their Game Designers to use their own experiences to create in-game content.

“So the trick from a leadership standpoint at Blizzard is to make it OK for these writers to really bring themselves out to affect these quests and characters. Ultimately, that’s what sings forward.”

“The clever shit will get trounced in no time. It’s like gameplay mechanics. You can put out an RTS with the best mission ever. Well, another company will put out something even better, because we’re all learning from each other.” he added.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Metzen’s comments? Could you use your own experiences to create characters and scenarios?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: PC Gamer]