wildfest

Hearthstone’s First Event of 2018 is Wildfest

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Wildfest is Hearthstone’s first event in 2018, running February 19 – March 11. It focuses on the Wild format (as opposed to Standard), changing the Arena and adding new Tavern Brawls.

Beginning Feb. 19 the Arena mode will include cards that are exclusive to the Wild format. Wild includes cards from all expansions and card sets, whereas Standard only includes the most recent card sets (as well as the basic/Classic cards). Note that if you have an ongoing Arena run you’ll want to complete it before Feb. 19, as all Arena games will be automatically retired when Wildfest begins.

Wildfest will also add two new Tavern Brawls, also focusing on Wild.

Venture Into the Wild gives you a hidden, pre-constructed deck from the vast pool of cards in Wild. You can select the class, but not the cards. The decks will change each week that Wildfest is running, and allow you to play with a large variety of cards you may have never seen.

The Wild Brawliseum adds another Arena mode, requiring an entry fee of Gold or real money to enter. Players build their decks using Wild cards. Otherwise it’s the same as a standard Arena battle as you try to hit 12 wins before losing three times. The rewards are the same as a standard Arena run. The first time you play in The Wild Braliseum the entry fee is waived.

Hearthstone will be receiving some Ranked Play changes starting March 1. Read the full details here, and the biggest changes below.

  • Your reset will not be based on the stars you earned over the season. Instead, you’ll reset to four ranks below the highest rank you achieved during the season.
  • Players at Legend reset to rank 4, 0 stars.
  • All ranks will have 5 stars.
  • Starting in March, you will no longer earn the monthly card back by reaching Rank 20. Instead, you can earn each season’s card back by winning 5 games in Ranked Standard or Wild at any rank.

Hearthstone originally released in 2014 and sees several major expansions, updates, and patches each year. It’s available on PC as well as mobile devices.

overwatch league

First Ever Week of Overwatch League Boasted 10 Million Viewers

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Anyone who’s still rolling their eyes at esports hasn’t been paying attention to the numbers, and numbers don’t lie. The Overwatch League kicked off its season last week at the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles, California. The week of competition lasted four days between the 12 global teams, resulting in sold-out physical tickets as well as more than 10 million viewers between Twitch, Major League Gaming, and Chinese streaming services.

“Since we announced Overwatch League at BlizzCon 2016, we’ve been eagerly awaiting the day when the global competitive Overwatch community could come together under one banner,” said Nate Nanzer, Overwatch League commissioner. “Opening week was that coming-out party for the fans, both in-person at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles and tuned in by the millions all over the world, and for the players, whose love for the game came through crystal clear.”

Opening day alone drew an average audience-per-minute ratio of 408,000, with the highly anticipated matchup between the Dallas Fuel and the Seoul Dynasty. Viewership averaged to 280,000 throughout the weekend.

The Overwatch League recently announced an exclusive two-year deal with Twitch as its broadcasting partner. “We had high expectations for the inaugural broadcast of the Overwatch League on Twitch, given our platform’s passionate fanbase for Overwatch,” said Kevin Lin, COO of Twitch. “They really put on an amazing show and fans showed up en masse to support and celebrate Overwatch. Based on the response from the community, Overwatch League is off to a great start and we look forward to watching how the season progresses. This league demonstrates the power and potential of esports, and we’re thrilled to continue expanding our partnership with Blizzard.”

The first season of the Overwatch League will continue through June, with playoffs starting in July. Games are typically played from Wednesday to Saturday. You can see the full schedule here. Note for this first season all games will be played at the Blizzard Arena in Lost Angeles while the other teams build their home venues.

StarCraft: Remastered

StarCraft: Remastered Review: Space Wars Nostalgia

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Available On: PC (Windows, Mac)

Blizzard’s online service Battle.net wasn’t quite my first foray into online gaming, but it did solidify my love of computer gaming throughout the late 90s and early 2000s. Many a Friday evening in the early days of high school were spent constructing marines and mowing down Zerg with friends. To say I have deeply ingrained nostalgia for StarCraft is an understatement.

StarCraft: Remastered is a very faithful HD update to one of the best strategy games ever created. It suffers a bit from forgoing any gameplay or UI updates that strategy games from the last two decades have evolved (such as StarCraft 2). But make no mistake, StarCraft Remastered makes a great game better.
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