Tag Archives: Blizzard

Heroes of the Storm Open Beta announced

22 Apr , 2015,
Crimson
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If you’ve followed our work, then you know that we’re huge Blizzard fans. That’s why we’re super excited that Heroes of the Storm is finally going into OBT, and that’s news we wanna share.

Recently, Blizzard announced that the OBT is set for 20.05.15, with the official launch on June 3. We’ve also caught wind that AsiaSoft, the official HotS publisher for South East Asia has plenty of exciting activities planned to usher in this kick-ass team brawler.

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So in this throwback to Uldum, you’ve got to capture temples that shoot lasers at the enemy base.

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One thing we’ve enjoyed about the maps is how flavorful they are. Collecting skulls in the Haunted Mines gives you a pretty kickass NPC helper, for example.

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The meaner and uglier they look, the more fun they are to play. Azmodan’s a great pusher, for example.

Of course, we’ve been playing this game in between building costumes and running cons, and the most awesome thing about OBT is that there will be no further wipes. Any current progress or hero unlocks in the CBT will carry over to the OBT and post launch, which means no more grinding from 1 to 40 again or unlocking heroes and talents, folks.

We’ve had a ton of fun in the Alpha and CBT, and if you’d like to try your hand at a team brawler that’s fairly easy to get into and revisit some old friends from Blizzard’s kickass titles (there’s even The Lost Vikings, come on!), then Heroes of the Storm’s for you.

If you’d like to get an early start on Heroes before it goes into OBT, be sure to click on over to AsiaSoft’s Heroes portal to grab yourselves some Beta keys (note that this redemption is open to users in Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore only, with limited keys available daily).

We’ll see you folks in the Nexus!

Interview with Kaeo Milker

16 Mar , 2013,
Edric
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On Monday, we sat down with Kaeo Milker, Senior Producer at Blizzard Entertainment, at Alienware Arena – Lucky Chinatown during Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm launch party. Kaeo Milker has been with Blizzard for 12 years and we ask him about the Starcraft franchise and what we can expect from Blizzard in the future.

Q. One question we usually hear is whether there be another expansion for Starcraft 2 after Heart of the Swarm and what can we expect?

There is Legacy of the Void. That is the Protoss expansion. So we actually broke it into three chapters. Wings of Liberty is the Terran end of the story of the story. Heart of the Swarm is the Zerg side and Legacy of the Void is the Protoss side.

Q. Will we see more races in the future?

There are no plans right now for that right now. We are pretty focused on making the 3 races in Starcraft 2 as awesome as they  can be. That is where our emphasis is.

Q. In Wings of Liberty, players are able to play around with old Terran technologies that produces different playstyles. In the future, will we see that option available for multiplayer?

Basically, we have intentionally separated the campaign from the multiplayer so that we can do crazy things in campaign. Basically things we can never do in multiplayer. We want the campaign to be really unique, really fun and abilities that felt crazy, fun, cool and powerful. But most things do not translate well in multiplayer.

In multiplayer, balance is so delicate that being introducing that kind of stuff, things just break everything we have worked so hard to accomplish. Yeah, there is not a lot of carry over from between all those crazy things in the campaign to the multiplayer. For Heart of the Swarm, we actually took some of the customisation we used in Wings of Liberty and went way further. Like Kerrigan herself levels up and unlocks abilities and she is fully customisable. The Zerg race is also customisable. Every unit you unlock and you get the choices of special abilities. Crazy things like Zerglings that can leap up cliffs and Zerglings that spawn instantly when you built them. Things that (again) you can never do in multiplayer. It is super fun in the campaign. You shall see lots of cool stuff in there. I guess that it’s never totally out of the question we wouldn’t find something from the campaign that we do like that and we carry over. But that is never our intention. We try to separate them as much as we can. The only things that we have introduced that is new is to allow you to unlock some skins for units so they look different; they function exactly the same. Purely like a model change.

Q. Hackers and cheaters are rare on Starcraft as compared to other games. What is Blizzard’s success against hackers and cheaters?

We worked really hard with our hacks team and technologies that helps us combat hacks. Hackers work 24hrs a day, 365 days a year so our best efforts there are usually combated quickly by hackers. We actually rely a lot on the community. People can report players inside the game and we get a lot of really good information about players that way. There is a combination of technologies and tools that we have and really players reporting people. I would encourage people, if they see someone who is straight up as hacking – report them. People like to turn in their replays, its like total proof that something happened. We always investigate those kind of things and take them seriously. We don’t want hackers in the game. We do everything we can to prevent them.

Q. Will there be a Starcraft MMO?

There is definitely not anything that we are not working on. My team itself, the Starcraft II team we did Warcraft III, we are doing Blizzard All-Stars, but we are an RTS team primarily. That is where our focus is. If you’re talking about Starcraft MMOs, it is something not on our radar. It’s not in the cards right now. Thats for sure.

Q. Will you be able to speak about Titan?

No there is nothing to say at all about Titan. They are hiring for Titan, you can see jobs openings for Titan. That is all I can say about Titan. I have no idea what announcement they have scheduled for it but I am sure they will make a pretty good announcement at some point. We definitely like to take our time and we usually do not announce things until it is time.

Q. Will Blizzard be creating games for the console?

We have just announced that Diablo 3 will be coming out on the Playstation 3 and Playstation 4. That is probably the closest thing of us returning to console. That was just announced at the big Sony event just a few weeks ago. Diablo 3 will be coming to consoles.

We have no plans like that right now for Starcraft II. Realistically, Starcraft II is not a game that translates well onto consoles as it seems right now. Original Starcraft got ported onto the Nintendo 64 back in the day so it has been done before.

Q. Is there a chance of a major Blizzard event in Singapore on the scale similar to that of Blizzcon?

Each of our regional teams we have dedicated Blizzard employees in South East Asia, Singapore in particular. Those are groups who organize something like that. I’m not aware of any plans of it right now but we are always looking for ways to make each of our regions to get some attention. There is no plans right now. Blizzcon especially, we historically only held Blizzcon in Anaheim. Our entire staff is required to put on Blizzcon and there is no way to move all those people somewhere else, we are talking about thousands of people. It will be very hard to put on anything remotely on the scale of Blizzcon out here.

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

13 Mar , 2013,
Conjurer CJ
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We’ve got the hots for HotS in the office. Our resident RTS guru/creative director Conjurer tells you why.

Fans around the world cheered as servers for the highly-anticipated StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm went online Monday (yes, we got it a day early!), and with good reason.

The latest expansion for Blizzard‘s  iconic sci-fi RTS franchise is an impressive continuation of its legacy, penning yet another chapter in the epic tale of Sarah Kerrigan, the self-styled Queen of Blades, and her quest for revenge.

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Old friends and enemies reunite in HotS.

Yes, the story picks up where Wings of Liberty left up, but unlike most games of the moment, which simply rehash old content with visual upgrades and cosmetic DLCs, Blizzard delivers more than just eye candy in Heart of the Swarm. Fresh objectives, kickass storytelling, and brand new twists to the Campaign are just some of the things that make playing it fun.

While Wings of Liberty changed the user interface and menus, Heart of the Swarm cranks it up a notch. Just like before, you get to interact with various characters, modify your troops, and choose your destination.

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hots03hots04Nothing like doing it Zerg-style.

Kerrigan’s the star this time ’round, and playing with her’s a joy. She’s the linchpin of your army, and completing bonus mission objectives helps you gain levels and a variety of hero skills usable in Campaign missions. Her skill set is fully customizable, and you can change it every mission to suit your play style.

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Screenshot2013-03-12 11_32_17Screenshot2013-03-13 02_06_40Blow ’em up with your mind, or swarm them with minions? It’s all up to you!

Unlike Wings of Liberty, you can now test both strains of Zerg units in Evolution Missions before choosing one of the two.

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Our little zergling’s growing up!

On top of  evolution strains, combat unit also have interchangeable Mutations which, just like Kerrigan’s skills, can be changed before or after missions.

Everyone loves a good mutation.

Everyone loves a good mutation.

Heart of the Swarm cleverly blurs the line between RTS and RPG with spectacular mission design.

Other than typical build-and-overwhelm, escort or infiltration missions, you can now get up close and personal with the enemy’s elites in some really challenging boss fights.

Each of these fights require careful tactics,  troop placement and movements, and that’s where Kerrigan’s interchangeable skill sets and mutations come into play. There are numerous side quests too, which means the game’s never boring. 

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Screenshot2013-03-13 01_50_40Screenshot2013-03-13 02_04_00Gotta love boss battles, especially this one. Doesn’t it remind you of Belial from D3?

Multiplayer gameplay isn’t as significant for casual players, apart from the addition of new units for each playable race. Though this may not sound like much, each addition opens the door to a multitude of tactics when combined with the existing units (we really love the Viper’s ability to Abduct people, for one).

There are some significant unit tweaks too, which will spell a revamp of strategies for competitive play.

In a nutshell, Heart of the Swarm is a stellar expansion. It’s an incredibly polished offering that will keep StarCraft fans occupied for hours (and ladder players likely glued for years).

If the second part of the SC2 trilogy is already this good, then we can’t wait for the finale.

Score: 9/10


Bring Kerrigan home! We know you wanna!

Bring Kerrigan home! We know you wanna!

We’ve got a copy of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm signed by Blizzard game producer Kaeo Milker and some Heart of the Swarm posters up for grabs.

‘Like’ our Facebook page and check out this post for more details!