Now that I've spent more than enough time in Diablo Immortal to find a purpose in it and also render an opinion on it, I wanted to share some thoughts on how others can join in on a similar journey and get to the fun stuff in the game a little faster.
When I started playing the game, I was flying completely blind and found myself getting bored mostly because I wasn't advancing as quickly as I wanted to and was unclear on how to even figure out what I was supposed to do or what I was even chasing. With that in mind, I've laid out a progression guide here that is focused on helping other hapless players find their way a little easier.
This week, we finally got our hands on Diablo: Immortal. While it's still in a closed alpha state, the game feels quite a bit like a fully-fledged Diablo experience, though obviously with some free-to-play hooks thrown in. Check out some footage of the game just as those hooks kick in to get a sense of what Blizzard and NetEase seem to be planning for Diablo's eventual emergence onto the App Store.
I wouldn’t say any of these updates have made Hearthstone any friendlier or more accessible as The Dalaran Heist did, but they have given players different ways to engage with the game’s cards in new and neat ways. Keeping all of this in mind, I was pretty excited to hear that another single-player expansion was coming to Hearthstone. But—now that it’s finally here—Hearthstone’s latest update, entitled Galakrond’s Awakening, feels like a return to basics for Blizzard in a way that feels a bit disappointing.
I am someone who wrote Hearthstone off a while ago. It was hard not to try and stick with it. The game has incredible production values and a core of really great talent working on the game continuously to keep it feeling fresh and fun (full disclosure: I have a friend who actively works on Hearthstone). I can appreciate all of that from a distance, but when it came to actually playing the game, I would always bounce off of it.
It took me a while to realize, but the thing that always stuck in my craw about Hearthstone is how disingenuous it often feels. No matter how approachable it looks or fair toward free players it seems, the game is a hardcore collectible card game (CCG). The more that time went on, the easier it was for me to recognize this. From the separation of cards into the two buckets of Standard and Wild formats to single-player expansions like Rastakhan’s Rumble, the game was preoccupied with keeping multiplayer extremely competitive and single-player content extremely challenging. None of these updates spoke to me, a player that felt like occasionally dipping a toe into the game once every couple weeks.
To be fair, Blizzard has very few reasons to prioritize folks like me over their huge pool of dedicated players. I totally get that. But with each passing day, Hearthstone had started feeling less and less relevant to anyone who wasn’t already all the way bought in. That is, until now.
Obviously that kicked our brains into gear here at 148App's palatial research unit. We got to thinking about how Blizzard's massive franchises could make it onto the App Store. And then we wrote down those thoughts. What you're looking at now is the culmination of that endeavour.
If you've got your own suggestions as to how Blizzard could squish its game down to pocket-sized, then be sure to let us know in the comments at the bottom of the article. First though, let's find out what we thought about the obstacles and challenges that are waiting for Blizzard.
I watched the full trailer for Diablo: Immortal, and I’ve got to say: This reaction is kind of confusing. The game looks… fine? I don’t know. There’s just not a whole lot of information about the game in general, and definitely not enough to feel like I could have strong feelings about it at all, whether they be positive or negative.
With that in mind, I decided to try and investigate all the reasons why people are so down on Diablo: Immortal, and I can’t really find one that makes sense. Below are the reasons I see most often cited for all this Diablo: Immortal hate, along with some thoughts on why these just feel like excuses to get mad about something online.
You might not have heard, but over the weekend at BlizzCon 2018, Blizzard revealed that its classic dungeon-crawling franchise Diablo is set to hit mobile sometime in the not-too-distant future. That's a pretty big reveal, and as you might be able to imagine a lot of people have a lot of opinions about the game coming to iPhone.
There's a lot of information flying about, as you'd expect, so we thought it was important to make sure you had all the facts in one handy place. Thus, we have created this list of the top 6 most important things you need to know about Diablo Immortal.
Diablo celebrates its 20th anniversary on December 31, and Blizzard is planning on going all out to commemorate the occassion with a series of events in a number of Blizzard games. Diablo, over its long lifespan, has cemented itself as one of the most iconic games in industry history. Fans will be treated to special content and limited-time items in Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Starcraft II, World of Warcraft, Diablo II, and, of course, Hearthstone to commemorate the event.
You all still play Hearthstone, right? Of course you do. We all do. And Blizzard has been updating it with more and more content so it's why wouldn't we? They're certainly not helping things by releasing yet another expansion, either.
The wait is finally over - thanks to a recent universal update, you can now play Hearthstone on your iPhone and iPod Touch, along with your iPad. Now you've got an option for just about every platform you could want, really.
You should probably go ahead and get to updating Hearthstone on your iPad, then install it on your iPhone/iPod Touch. Then you can keep the duels going no matter where you are.
Blizzard has just opened the first wing of Blackrock Mountain in Hearthstone. You'll be battling with Dark Iron dwarves, fire elementals, and dragonsfor control of the magma laden mountain. Classic enemies from World of Warcraft, like Ragnaros the Firelord,will be raising their ugly heads to challenge you. If you can bring them down you'll get to loot the bodies for31 brand new cards.
“Adventure Mode challenges players to think outside of the box and come up with creative new strategies,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment, in a press release. “After the new bosses and unique mechanics in Blackrock Mountain put their skills to the test, we can’t wait to see how players use all the new cards in their decks.”
Each week Blizzard will open a new wing for you to ransack, but if you can't wait you canpurchase them separately for 700 gold or $6.99 per wing. There is also a bundle pack that includes all of the wings for$24.99.
Download Hearthstone today for free to check out the new Blackrock Mountainexpansion.
Hearthstone is, well, kind of popular. So it's a bit of a surprise that it took as long as it did for the first expansion to roll out. Still, Goblins vs Gnomes is a welcome sight all the same.
The expansion centers around the titular groups of diminutive tinkerers, and it adds (what else?) a fair number of new cards - including the brand new "Mech" minion type, which can apparently be quite powerful when you use several of them together. These new cards are available to draft in the Arena, or you can buy them in packs from the shop. A new appropriately-themed board is also available, and Spectator Mode is finally up and running for those times when you'd rather study other players' techniques instead of watching your Murlocks get squashed (for a change).
The Goblins vs Gnomes expansion is live now, and you can download Hearthstone for free whenever you feel like checking it out. And we both know you feel like checking it out.
For the first time since its release (which has thankfully been a much shorter window for iPad players than their PC counterparts), Blizzard’s wildly successful Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft CCG is sporting some brand new content: the single player “adventure” mode, Curse of Naxxramas. Based on the World of Warcraft raid dungeon of the same name, Naxxramas is divided up into various themed quarters: the Arachnid, Plague, Military, and Construct Quarters, and ending with the Frostwyrm Lair. Naxxramas’ Arachnid Quarter opened up this week and I brushed back the cobwebs to peek inside.
The three challenges of the Arachnid Quarter come in the forms of the Spider Lord Anub’Rekhan, Grand Widow Faerlina, and the giant spider Maexxna - sure to give anyone with arachnophobia a severe case of the creepy-crawlies. Each boss has their own special 2 mana “class” power, from summoning minions (Anub’Rekhan), to sending random minions back to a player’s hand (Maexxna), to firing randomly assigned magic damage based on how many cards the player is holding (Faerlina). There are also Heroic versions of the same fights, where the dungeon bosses start off with a massive 45 life to the player’s paltry 30 - while also sporting enhanced versions of their powers. Summoning a 4/4 minion for 2 mana? Yeah, that seems incredibly well-balanced. Good luck!
There are also two Class Challenges, where players are pitted against Naxxramas’ bosses with pre-built class-specific decks. Rogue and Druid are the two classes on offer this time, with the Rogue facing Faerlina while the Druid takes on Maexxna. Other Class Challenges will unlock as the weeks roll on, of course. It would be nice to see these with their own Heroic variants too, but in some cases that could get dangerously close to overkill.
All of the battles in this wing of Naxxramas feel fresh and interesting. The new graphics for the playing area feature fun little interactive elements and there's a ton of new voiceover work, including new lines for plenty of existing Hearthstone cards. In particular, the running commentary between matches from Naxxramas’ resident Lich Lord, Kel’Thuzad, is funny - almost at odds with the presumed tone of the new area. Then again, Hearthstone has never been afraid to be light and goofy. A lot of the new cards on display bank heavily on Battlecry and Deathrattle effects (SO many Deathrattles!). Also, with a number of new Beast subtype cards, Beast-themed Hunter decks have just received a huge boost.
The other wings of Curse of Naxxramas begin opening, one by one, starting next week with the Plague Quarter. Each wing costs $6.99 (with bundles available at a discounted price) or 700 in-game gold - but, sadly, no bundles), so you’d better start farming those daily Quests for gold now. However, keep in mind Quests only advance via Play or Arena mode - time spent in the depths of Naxxramas doesn’t count toward their completion. So what are you waiting for, adventurer? Get back out there and sling some cards!
For those of you that are already shamelessly addicted to Blizzard's interactive trading card combat game and Editor's Choice recipient Hearthstone, the siren's call is about to get much stronger. Touch Arcade is reporting that this coming Tuesday, the title will be getting its first of what will undoubtedly be many expansion packs.
Entitled, "Curse of Naxxramas," the new content will be broken up into five chunks that can be purchased piecemeal for a beefy $24.99. If that sounds a bit steep for your liking, there are also options to unlock pieces using the in-game gold, and supplementing whatever is left of the cost with real cash.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is an iPad only app and free from the App Store right now.