Gamescom 2016: ‘Overwatch’ Has Some Major Changes Inbound

Unfortunately I couldn’t go to Gamescom this year, but it is still definitely one I have been watching at home for all the Esports and the news. All the Overwatch content made me very excited, so make a cuppa and get comfortable!

Eichenwalde

(c) Blizzard Entertainment 2016 

Now if you’ve been playing Overwatch since launch like me, some of the maps are beginning to get a bit old. Especially Watchpoint: Gibraltar. I hate that map. So the time really feels right for Blizzard to give us a new battleground to play in.Eichenwalde is the first new map to be announced, and it looks beautiful. In true Overwatch style, the map is full of little details to make it less like a video game location and more a real place.

The bricks of the buildings look like you could touch them; the moss on the walls look fuzzy, with all the named buildings. And it really looks like a little abandoned town complete with a castle! I mean come on! A castle! Assistant Game Director Aaron Keller in his interview with Soe commented that the map is set in an abandoned town outside the Black Forest in Germany. With all the abandoned houses, it makes an insane amount of different routes to get to where you are going. So many nooks and crannies to hide in or on top of and to definitely box in the opponents.

The new map is not quite a payload and not quite a control point objective. In fact, it is both. You start by attacking the control point and once your team has it, you then defend the payload. The payload is a giant battering ram for the castle gates. When you have got the payload to the castle gates and captured the checkpoint there, the ram batters down the door to get into the castle.

The game finishes at the body/armour of someone who looks suspiciously like Reinhardt. It has been confirmed since the announcement that this guy at the end is Reinhardt’s old master, Balderich. To get a good look at the map, below is a video from popular streamer Unit Lost Gaming. He talks in depth as he plays on the map at Gamescom!

 

How cool right? I’m really looking forward to playing this map myself on console in September, but for those of you on PC, you can find it live now on the PTR. In the words of Tracer, “what are you waiting for”? Let me know your thoughts if you have PC PTR access or were at Gamescom and tried the map!

2: Competitive Changes!

This was not technically announced at Gamescom but just before, so lots of interviews made comments on it. And it is a major thing, which is why I have included it here. Everyone knows that the first season of competitive mode was a little bit of a sensitive issue. What with coin flips to decide who wins, supports not getting enough points and the loss of levels when you have a defeat. Blizzard has announced a brand new system for ranking. This seems to be based in a similar fashion to StarCraft II’s leagues.

You will be in a skill rating from 1-5000 and this number will be put in tier brackets of Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master and Grandmaster. Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch’s director posted a video on YouTube explaining the changes, which you can find below.

Also, in even better news, you will not be able to drop tiers (unless in the top two – Master and Grandmaster), just skill rating. This is fantastic. This makes much more sense. And sudden death is no more! Check out the video below from the man himself to see more information.

3: New Animated Short!

Gamescon was given the world premiere of the new short for Bastion. Whether you love or hate the little robot (Omnic is the official phrase here), this short gave you big feels! And now that Origin’s skin for him makes sense, finally. Check out the short below!

4: Overwatch Esports

There were matches aplenty at Gamescom for the Overwatch Atlantic Showdown tournament. These are currently being re-streamed on Twitch repeatedly which you can find here.

Unfortunately there was no mention of Sombra, that fabled hero that has been teased through the game. But, to be honest, I’m sure most people are happier with a brand new map and the new changes to competitive. I do have a feeling that Blizzcon 2016 will have a tonne of new content for us to drool over though.

Were you at Gamescom? What do you think of the new content and upcoming changes? Is there anything (other than Sombra!) you wished had been announced? Let me know in the comments. Don’t forget to follow me here and all social media, the links are below!

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Streamers of the Week

Welcome to this first post of Streamers of the Week!

This series will once a week contain my favourite streamers of the moment. I watch a lot on Twitch and have done for a while, and nothing is better than finding new streamers that are fun to watch and listen to, but perhaps have a small following!

First up is Spamfish.

Spamfish playing WoW on Twitch

Spamfish playing WoW on Twitch

A fellow Brit who I found via another streamer. A variety streamer who has returned to World of Warcraft (how I found him, watching WoW streams haha!). He hasn’t played WoW for a while and the game has changed a lot. Even since I first started, the game has massively changed and to be honest it’s a bit overwhelming! Anyway, Spamfish really is a variety streamer, has a nice soothing voice to listen to. (I say this because I’ve noped right out of streams with grating voices!) I really think he’s one to keep an eye on! You can find him here.

Next: Pixe1ina

Pixe1ina playing DarkSouls

Pixe1ina playing DarkSouls

A female streamer, part of the Types of Dudes team on Twitch, she also has a good singing voice! She streams a variety of different games and boosts her music soundtrack with singing. She is currently trying to also get partnered on Twitch. She is also one to watch, Check her out here.

Last but by no means least is : AnthonyAcc.

AnthonyAcc playing WoW

AnthonyAcc playing WoW

I’ve gone back to this guy’s stream several times in the evening. Because he’s awesome. A variety streamer that just loves what he does, he engages with the chat, says hi to people and his  stream is just a pleasure to watch. (I think it helps he sang to me too, maybe I’m biased!) Honestly you should really check him out. He is a proper entertainer. Go say hi and that Witchysparkle sent you  here.

I hope you do check these guys out and see for yourself what great people they are. Do you have any recommedations? Comment below or Tweet me!

World of Warcraft: Legion!

Blizzard Entertainment announced a brand new expansion! Streamed live from GamesCon (not Blizzcon!)

World of Warcraft: Legion!

World of Warcraft: Legion.

Oh my goodness. I watched the stream with Hubby & Miss (who eventually went to Peppa Pig on the PS4) and my Hubby screamed. Maybe I did too. Okay so I totally did.

At the first cinematic, the lead in from WoD, both of us cringed. Neither of us want to see another Orc expansion. Just no. It was a nice cinematic and I am proud to say it was me, not the Veteran of WoW, who spotted Illidan! I may be overly chuffed at that.

There was talking, then the announcement trailer. This is what we were all waiting for. Here is the run down with screenshots of the slides taken from MMO Champion as I was watching on Hubby’s PC (he has the speakers!)

New Hero Class –  The Demon Hunter! 

Demon Hunter!!

Demon Hunter!!

So excited for this! When the teaser on Twitter suggested that there may be a new class that was already in Heroes of the Storm, I suggested a link to Illidan but both myself and Hubby poo pooed it. We didn’t think it’d happen at all! And a hero class like the Death Knight means no levelling from 1! I hope it also means we can miss out on levelling in Draenor again..

New Continent – The Broken Isles

The Broken Isles

The Broken Isles

New continent pictures of zones looks amazing. So pretty and interesting! And the fact Dalaran is coming too? Yes please!!! Dalaran is amaze balls ! Please make it like the current Dalaran though where we could mix with each faction!

Artifact Weapons

Doomhammer ArtifactDoomhammer & Ashbringer!!

Doomhammer & Ashbringer!!

The new type of legendary/no more class talents while levelling sounds brilliant! This is totally taken from FFXIV and I don’t understand why people are complaining about this, I think this is brilliant, plus the ability to get different transmog from different things through the game/expansion.

Class Order Halls

A glimpse of a class hall

A glimpse of a class hall

The new and improved garrison. Not instanced. With a class storyline? This sounds great! I still need to read up more and keep an eye out about these though. Could we all get class mounts too? Don’t make it cost a raid tier though….

Adventure to Level 110
Ten levels not five is the way to go!

New Dungeons and Raids

With eight others too!

Hall of Valor! with eight other dungeons too

So Blizzard want to make Dungeons more of a thing! Brilliant! The list so far is nine dungeons! That is correct, nine! Some for levelling and some for after the story! And the two raids also look amazing! I say amazing too much… but they do! I’m really looking forward to the Emerald Nightmare!

New Honor System

I love the idea of prestige ranks. Everyone has the same advantage, PVP gear also no longer being something to carry in your bag! Wohoo!

Beta begins later this year.

Yahoo!

Just, so happy. If they include everything announced it will be the largest and fullest expansion to date. And Blizzard please read my previous post HERE so you do not make any further mistakes and make this one what you have so far promised. Do not let your players down Blizzard, your subscribers and threatening to break Blizzard. If this expansion does not succeed, Warcraft will be over.

My guess is that beta will be launched at Blizzcon in November with the release making WoD an 18 month expansion which would funnily enough coincide with the Warcraft movie in May next year!

I will do more posts on the expansion as time goes on and more information comes out.

What do you think? Tweet me or comment below! Did you watch the stream and are you on the hype train or sitting in a jar of salt?

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Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavenward

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavenward

With all the excitement of E3, I almost forgot about early access for FFXIV Heavensward expansion! Well that and the nasty cold flu virus thing Miss brought home. Due to the illness, I couldn’t progress as much as I would have liked but I am loving this expansion, though there are a few exceptions. I am taking time to write this so there are no spoilers!
So the story follows on from the end of 2.5. We are headed to Ishgard, and once through the gate, oh my goodness. Square Enix has created a beautiful city with tall buildings, kids throwing snowballs at you (they actually hit too!), absolutely amazing architecture and much more. There are plenty of aetherites to attune with so you can make your way round the city easily too. And it’s here the story begins.

Absolutely beautiful

Absolutely beautiful

The zones are beautifully designed, and we get to fly! It is just as well because you will find flying so much more useful than running from one end of the map to another for side quests (more on those later). They are huge. In fact I would say most of my time in the expansion is getting the aether currents (you need all these in an area so you can fly) and going from point A to B.

Flying!

Flying! Not the best pic, but no spoilers 😉

The Au Ra is a brand new race and they are so detailed. Hubby wants me to race change and I may after I’ve finished the story, but I’m very attached to my kitty (Miqo’te)! He’s race changed and the detail on the faces and scales is purely stunning. What I am finding is a huge amount of Au Ra characters! I’m sure as time goes on we’ll see variety again.
Currently I am level 59 and slowly running out of quests. How could that be happening? I hear you ask. Square Enix has made levelling ten more levels very difficult. Main Story quests give you the most experience but you’ll soon find the story locking out until the next level. In order to carry on, you need to hit those side quests (“go here and find this thing I left somewhere over the other side of the map!”). When you have flying in a zone, it makes it faster but often side quests are granting you aethers so off over the other side of the map with you for at least an hour! This makes levelling slow, and tedious. People did manage it within 24 hours but I’ve no idea how. A week on and I’m still not nearly close, Hubby who played more during day time than me finally hit sixty two days ago and he plays fast. It’ll be so easy to burn out trying to get to sixty, and I’m turning music on in the background and only turning it off for the story because otherwise I’m getting bored and unfocused. There is a chart made by a user on Reddit who has shown how steep this experience levelling curve is. It is ridiculous.

My Bard, she's awesome!

My Bard, she’s awesome!

My main class is a Bard, and at 50 I loved it! I was ranged, no cast times, I was helpful and yet could still kill things solo. Then Wanderers Minuet. Oh dear. Square Enix what did you do to my specialist! I feel like a Mage on World of Warcraft wet noodling all over the place! (Note: I can say this because my main is a Mage! See THIS post) Even now there is not enough Theorycraft (parsers are still not tracking DoTs and technically still against Terms of Service). I just feel broken. And with one of the new classes (Machinist) becoming essentially the new Bard, I really hope Square Enix has a think about how Bards have been screwed over. I don’t read Japanese but even on the Japanese forums fellow Bards are voicing their concerns so it’s not a “western” problem as some suggested. Note: I use the term “western” in no derogatory terms for players here in the west and those in Japan. I will have to explore more of end game to see how I feel about it.

I will be levelling another class as Bards are in a weird place right now. As to what I’m not sure. I do really want to try the new classes but there is so many of them! We’ll see.
If anyone is reading this and would like to be recruited in FfXIV for free stuff, please comment or tweet me! I’d be very happy to help you!

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E3 2015 – Hype Train choo choo!

E3 2015 Week hype!

E3 2015 Week hype!

So it’s here! The conferences are done, and wow what an expo! So many games, so much excitement I can barely contain myself.

Firstly if you want a full list of games at E3 this year, Aussieallroundgaming has made a great list for you which can be found here.

So Microsoft made Hubby want to buy one (especially now it’s cheaper), so that’s obviously a good sign. 

Sony. Oh my goodness, gracious me! Sony blew everyone away, then promptly did it again. Below are some games I had to mention, but you should really watch the replay of the Sony Conference on YouTube. There were so many and it was a proper games conference.

The Last Guardian

The Last Guardian

(c)VideoGamer.com

Now I had no idea why Hubby squealed and nearly fell off his chair (I’m not exaggerating!), but this looks amazing and definitely my type of game! The pup thing creature.. I want one to cuddle with!! Cannot wait for this!

Dreams

   (C)Media Molecule

Imagine if there was a way to explore safely anything you wanted. Perhaps a dinosaur wearing a top hat that happens to be a magician? Or a shark on land? What Media Molecule suggested was that anything you imagine can be made reality within Dreams. I absolutely adore this idea! I could use this to make Miss interactive stories together or anything! I really hope it is what it seems.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

  

(C)Guerilla Games

This was the one where my jaw hit the floor. It was gameplay, it was beautiful, and robot dinosaurs! Apparently this game by Guerilla Games is completely open world goodness and I can’t wait to hear more about it! Even now I watch the trailer just to see if I spot anything that I missed because it really is that breathtaking. Just, wow.

There were so many games that this blog post would be far too long if I went into detail. 

What were your favourites? Tweet or comment below as to what you thought!

Heroes of the Storm: Nexus Calling

Heroes of the Storm

Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm (c)Blizzard Entertainment

A little over a week ago now on June 2nd 2015, Blizzard Entertainment launched Heroes of the Storm (Heroes or HotS for short). After being in closed testing for over a year, finally the general populace could try out this interesting game.

Blizzard calls it an “arena brawler” and slightly under the umbrella of a MOBA, a Multiplayer online battle arena. There are five “heroes” on each team and one team is vs the other. In order to win, your team must be better at doing the objectives on the map. There are currently seven battleground maps with one more coming very soon. Do the objectives, get in the best position and destroy the enemy’s core.

Now I love it, I really do. Especially the fact you can buy heroes with ingame gold instead of real money. I may not be great at it, but I’m getting better! But since launch (I got invited during closed beta), there is a few massive problems.

  1. The EU servers are full of a lot of people who will talk among themselves interior native language and ignore requests that you do not speak Russian, Spanish or German. Now I am not racist. I have friends all over the world, my family isn’t exactly pure English either. I’ve met some great people through the quick match from other countries. Of course, this also means there can be issues with random disconnects too which can lose a match as people are effectively all over the world with varying speeds and reliability of Internet.

But this isn’t a solo game which leads me to the biggest problem-

  1. Communication is key & this is a team game. I don’t know if it’s people not understanding the game or just plain spoilsports, but if you do not communicate (even by pings, I mean come on?) how is everyone else supposed to know you’re in trouble? Or to pull together in the team fight that wiped out most of the team because one person was attacking minions in late game for no real reason? Then call the team rubbish and expletives because s/he didn’t help. I mean, really? If I’m in a quick match with a team that does not communicate, I’m pretty certain it’s a loss though I have been pleasantly surprised, but it’s rare.

So because of these issues even though I’m rank 30 and I could do Hero League, I’m not. I would rather wait until Hubby and I find a group of people (or even one!) so that we have the best chance because we can communicate. Plus it gives me longer to find s few more Heroes I’m good at!

If you’re in the Nexus and you want to chat over Battle.net or want to party up, feel free to send me a comment or a tweet and let’s get ourselves a winning streak!