Sixteen Hearthstone: Champions of Warcraft will be competing in the World Championships for their share of a one million dollar prize pool and the "esteemed title of World Champion". The tournament will be preceded by several months' worth of Ranked Play sessions, online and on-site tournaments to narrow the tournament competitors, each of whom will take home one-hundred thousand dollars.
Based on feedback from last year’s tournaments, we’ve made the following changes for 2016:
- More local champions. Four tournaments (three Season Championships and one Last Call Invitational per region) across the year will help determine the Hearthstone World Championship invitees.
- No instant byes in Hearthstone Majors. Invited players may have their spots reserved, but they will start in the same round as all open players to ensure a more even playing field.
- More money! We’ve increased the prize pool of the Hearthstone World Championship to a cool $1 million, with a $100,000 prize pool for the each of the nine Season Championships in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
- More onsite events. With multiple Fireside Gatherings serving as the setting for the Season Preliminaries that lead into the Season Championships, there are more opportunities for you to attend a local event to either compete or cheer on your favorite players.
- Points matter more than ever. With the points decaying after each Championship Season, and the Last Call Invitational qualification relying on total accumulated points, collecting points will give you more opportunities to join the competition at any time.
- Point distribution has been rebalanced. The top placing players in a given event will receive fewer points, and the lower placing players will receive more points. For Ranked Play, this also includes providing points to every player that achieves the Legend Rank in an eligible season.
- More flexible match and tournament formats. We will take the opportunity with this year’s new structure to iterate and improve on the match format from each Championship Season to the next, and encourage other event organizers to be creative with their match and tournament formats as long as they encourage fair competition.
Read more on the Hearthstone: Champions of Warcraft site.
In more Black Friday news, Wild Terra is featuring a set of specials that give some nice in-game items and more for anywhere from 40-70% off the normal price. You can find out more by visiting the official Wild Terra site.
Necromancer Packs are now available for Skyforge players who are interested in participating in what has become a worldwide phenomenon, Black Friday sales events. Necromancer Packs give access to a pair of costumes, a new dance and more. In addition, savvy buyers can grab a Gravicycle that will be given free to all first-time buyers. Check out the video below for more information.
Ubisoft has announced that Might & Magic Heroes Online is now available via the Steam gaming platform. Players can take advantage of special Steam-specific achievements and badges.
Join a faction, chose your hero and select your favorite path: become an impregnable bulwark or a powerful mage with access to very old and destructive spells. But it is a long way to go and you have to deserve your hero reputation first before facing the wreckful evil in the final battle. During your journey through that handcrafted universe, you will solve a huge amount of exciting quests; you will fight dozens of fantastic creatures, you will raise and upgrade your personal army and you will command and run your own towns. Enjoy the deep and fascinating turn-based battle system, alone or with the brand-new cooperative mode – any battle in MMHO is playable with a friend! But there is much more to explore: find and complete powerful artefacts, enter with a group of people special raid provinces or compare your power and skill in duels with other players. One of the biggest, deepest and most colorful games ever made in the Might & Magic universe.
You can find out more on the Might & Magic Heroes Online Steam site.
The last few On the Table articles have focused on Wizards of the Coast products. In this edition Rob takes a look at a newer RPG series from Fantasy Flight Games. The End of the World: Zombie Apocalypse.
Read more of Rob Lashley's On the Table - The End of the World: Zombie Apocalypse.
Recently, I’ve been diving back into Elder Scrolls Online with renewed fervor. It’s been a while since I really played the game regularly, and while a great DLC the Imperial City along didn’t bring me back. I didn’t have a truly active group of PVP friends to play with. Conversely, Hrothgar and the swell of content that is Orsinium has me logging in daily once more. Here are a few things I think make Orsinium one of ESO’s best content updates.
Read more of Bill Murphy's Elder Scrolls Online: The Best Things About Orsinium.
Throughout the weekend, ArenaNet will be giving thanks to its Guild Wars 2 player community by offering one item per day for free from the Gem Store. A new item will be revealed each day via Twitter that can then be claimed in-game.
You can follow @GuildWars2 on Twitter to see which gifts are available beginning Friday, November 27th.
In a new interview with Polygon, League of Legends social systems developer Jeffery Lin revealed that toxic players will be losing at least a pair of opportunities in the game once the massive number of 2016 updates begin to hit. Most notably, repeatedly participating in toxic behavior will see reported players losing the opportunity for loot rewards in game that can include free skins, limited time mounts and more.
While Lin said the developer is still ironing out details on the point at which a player's account will be cut off, he confirmed that players who are consistently tagged for negative behavior will not get any drops. Likewise, they will not be able to use crafting, where undesired drops can be traded in for something else.
There is not yet any ETA on when looting and crafting will enter the game, but both are "high priorities" and will go live in 2016.
Find out more about League of Legends.
Nikita Online has announced that the worldwide launch of Sphere 3: Enchanted World will be occurring on December 2nd. Players will be able to take part in the PvP MMO that features non-target combat, massive battles, castle sieges, a rich story and much more.
Having a strong emphasis on mass PvP, developers of "Sphere 3" paid special attention to performance: the "engine" of the game is optimized in such a way as to provide users with the most comfortable gameplay even the most action-packed game situations, even if computing power and internet connection speed leave much to be desired.
Find out more on the Sphere 3: Enchanted World site.
Now in closed beta after months of alpha testing and gathering feedback, we caught up with Sandbox Interactive to chat about what they've learned, where the game goes from here, and how they're working to make Albion the best sandbox MMO it can be.
Read more of Bill Murphy's Albion Online: Checking in with Sandbox Interactive.
Fedeen Games has announced that the latest update to Forsaken World Mobile has officially launched. Called "Babel Ascending", the new content brings a one-hundred floor tower into the game, each level filled with tons of loot, packs of monsters and fearsome bosses.
In addition to the tower, players can also now partake in the marriage system to earn exclusive missions, grab unique items and more.
Find out more on the Forsaken World Mobile site.
Nintendo has released a brand new battle trailer to show off some of the B-I-G monsters that players will face off against in Xenoblade Chronicles: X. See what you think!
Xenoblade Chronicles: X will launch for Wii U on December 4th.
The Blizzard corporate web site has been updated with three key positions on the World of Warcraft team: Art Director, Assistant Art Director and Lead Producer. Currently, Chris Robinson is the Art Director and John Lagrave is listed as the Lead Producer for WoW. Whether these two are moving internally to other Blizzard projects will remain to be seen.
Heroes of the Storm players have a new battleground to explore thanks to today's release of the Towers of Doom. Blizzard describes it as a "tug-of-war" style fight. From today through December 1st, Quick Match, Ranked and Vs AI are limited to six maps, one of which is Towers of Doom. After December 1st, all regular maps will return to the rotation.
To give players an overview of the fight and some strategic tips, devs have released a new video. Check it out and then head to the Heroes of the Storm site for more information.
On a semi-related side note, the Black Friday Sale has started with some great deals on HotS items.
Build and customize your house and other buildings using Chronicles of Elyria’s player-created blueprints and modular housing. Also, learn how houses help store your extra inventory, make survival easier, and support CoE’s unique family system.
Read more of Jeromy Walsh's developer diary, Chronicles of Elyria: Player Housing Part 1 – Architecture & Construction.
MMORPG.com has been given some very special gift keys for Wizard101 to share with our community. These gift keys will grant you a Jewel Pack for free! These packs include Circle and Triangle Jewels specific to the school of the pack (plus Shadow if you are Level 90+) as well as Square and Tear Jewels from any school. They also include a chance at exclusive new mounts!! Get your key while supplies last!
The codes will give the redeemer a chance at winning one of several jewels with a rare chance at winning one of the school-themed jewel packs.
For more information about these new Jewel Packs check out this link: https://www.wizard101.com/game/school-jewel-packs
Trion Worlds has sent word about the forthcoming plans for Devilian. The open beta is now announced as ready to go on December 2nd beginning at 10:00 am Pacific followed by Founders' Head Start on December 8th and final retail launch on December 10th.
Devillian combines the frantic nature of an action RPG with all the depth and social aspects of an MMO. Gamers play the role of the last guardians of Aelkeina – unique half-devil heroes battling to save their world from a fallen god – and experience fast-paced, visceral action combat paired with MMO features like crafting, quests, trading, cities, mounts, pets, guilds, alliances, wars, and dungeons.
Read more on the Devilian site.
During the heady days of post-Azeroth consumer boom and investor interest, the MMORPG was booming. So many new games… and so many that didn’t meet expectations of consumers or investors. Now, 11 years after the launch of World of Warcraft, it’s clearer now than ever before: we need a hero to save us from extinction.
Read more of Bill Murphy's We Need a Hero.
Bioware's Michael Backus has written an extensive post on the Star Wars: The Old Republic site to let players know that their voices have been heard with regard to recent changes to the way companions were buffed when Knights of the Fallen Empire launched last month. In it, Backus details why changes were made, but acknowledges that "we didn't realize how with Knights of the Fallen Empire gameplay had evolved."
Going forward, the team has several alterations to the current way companions are working in SWTOR:
All of the above are, however, dependent on influence level and character level to determine the precise amount.
Read the rest of the post that also details forthcoming changes to Star Fortresses on the Star Wars: The Old Republic site.
Star Trek Online players have raised $35,000 for an anti-bullying organization founded by former Deep Space Nine actor Chase Masterson (Leeta)called Pop Culture Hero Coalition. The funds were raised through the sale of a a limited quantity of T1 ships and shuttles and T6 ships that were released on Groupees.com on November 12th.
The contribution to Pop Culture Hero Coalition will be used to promote the organization at pop culture events and fund anti-bullying campaigns in inner-city schools that aren’t able to afford programming. The organization’s mission is to take a stand against bullying, racism, misogyny, cyber-bullying, LBGT-bullying and other forms of hate through the popularity of media. It was founded in 2013 by Chase Masterson (Star Trek Online, “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”) and co-founded by Carrie Goldman and Matt Langdon.