Blizzard Entertainment has released StarCraft: Remastered. It is described as “Blizzard Entertainment’s lovingly crafted upgrade of the real-time strategy classic and its legendary expansion “Brood War”. Blizzard announced StarCraft: Remastered in March, saying the game would be out “later this summer.” You can purchase StarCraft: Remasteredfor $14.99 USD.
Widely regarded as one of the most influential strategy games of all time, StarCraft and Brood War tell the story of the first interstellar war between three distinctive factions: the Earth-born terrans, psi-powered protoss, and hive minded zerg. StarCraft: Remastered lets players reexperience the saga of iconic characters like Jim Raynor, High Templar Tassadar, and Kerrigan, through upgraded 4K visuals, enhanced audio and music, and new illustrated story interludes.
StarCraft: Remastered provides players with an arsenal of new updates and features including:
Full graphical upgrade of the original StarCraft and the StarCraft: Brood War expansion
Widescreen UHD support for up to 4K resolution
Matchmaking and leaderboards
Player profiles that track individual statistics
Cloud saving for campaign progress, hotkeys, and replays
Improved high fidelity music and sound
Ability to switch between Remastered and the original StarCraft with the click of a button
StarCraft: Remastered is available now for Windows and Mac PCs. It is available in English, Brazilian Portuguese, Latin American Spanish, French, German, European Spanish, Italian, Polish, Russian, Korean, Japanese, and simplified and traditional Chinese.
Twitch announced that they are collaborating with Blizzard Entertainment again to bring players a Legendary Loot Chest for Heroes of the Storm. This is not the first time the two companies have collaborated in this way.
In June, the offer was a Golden Loot Box for Overwatch for current and new Twitch Prime members. That offer is valid through August 20, 2017. In addition, there is another offer for Overwatch players who have Twitch Prime.
From August 10th – September 10th, Twitch Prime members will receive five Loot Boxes* for Overwatch. Then, in October, Twitch Prime members will receive five more Loot Boxes containing skins, emotes, highlight intros, and other in-game items to customize your heroes.
The asterisk leads to: Offer valid only in regions where Twitch Prime is available. Must own Overwatch to redeem. Loot Box does not include any seasonal event items. Content of Loot Box is random. Each Blizzard account may only redeem one code per promotional item.
At the time, Twitch stated that similar promotions would be coming in the months ahead for Heroes of the Storm players and for Hearthstone players. The Heroes of the Storm offer is valid right now. From August 17 to October 10, anyone who links their Amazon Prime account to their Twitch account will receive one Legendary Loot Chest that contains at least one Legendary item for Heroes of the Storm.
Players who are not currently a Twitch Prime member can sign up for a free Twitch Prime trial. Those who get Twitch Prime also get the benefits that come from Amazon Prime, including streaming movies and TV shows to ad-free viewing of your favorite Twitch streamers.
All Xbox Live Gold members can enjoy Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – The Ultimate Evil Edition for free as part of Xbox Live Gold Free Play Days. In order to take advantage of this offer, you must be an Xbox Live Gold member.
It’s being called a “Free Weekend”, but the offer actually lasts a total of 5 days. It started on Thursday, July 27, 2017, and will continue through Monday, July 31, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. PST.
Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One markets will get a special opportunity to fight back against the hordes of evil. During this time you can also purchase Diablo III: Eternal Collection, the latest version of Diablo III that includes the new Necromancer class and all content from Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition, from the Xbox Store at 35% off to continue playing after Xbox Live Gold’s Free Play Days concludes.
If you give the game a try, and later decide to come back to it, your saved progress and earned achievements will remain. In other words, you won’t lose the progress you made.
The Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition contains both Diablo III and the Reaper of Souls expansion set, together in one volume. You can choose to play as a Crusader, Barbarian, Witch Doctor, Demon Hunter, Monk or Wizard. You can download Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition by clicking on the Gold Member area on the home dashboard or downloading directly from the Xbox Store.
Blizzard Entertainment has created a giveaway as a way of celebrating the Necromancer’s first Season. Someone will win everything they need to start from scratch with the brand new Necromancer class – and more!
When Diablo III first launched, it came with 5 different classes (each of which could be played as male or female characters). Those classes were: Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, and Wizard. Later, the first (and potentially only) expansion to Diablo III was released. The Diablo III:Reaper of Souls expansion added one more class, the Crusader.
Blizzard introduced the Necromancer class into the game in a way they haven’t done before. If you want to play this new class, you have to purchase the Rise of the Necromancer Pack. It comes with two additional character slots (that you can fill with two brand new Necromancers), and other assorted cosmetic items. The Rise of the Necromancer pack costs $14.99 on the Blizzard Store.
Those who play Diablo III know that the game includes Seasons, where you can start a brand new character (or rebirth an existing one) and race to reach the top of the leaderboard. Season 11 just started, and it is the first Season after the Necromancer was added to the game.
A total of 5 randomly selected qualified entrants will win:
1 Necromancer T-shirt
1 Diablo III Battle Chest
1 Rise of the Necromancer Pack game code
1 Diablo III Book of Cain Sketchbook
1 Signed copy of the Reaper of Souls Collector’s Edition
The deadline for entering this giveaway is July 26, 2017 at 11:59 PM PST.
Blizzard announced that they have updated the World of Warcraft profile site. It now contains a lot of information that wasn’t included in the previous version of the Profile site. The changes make it easier for players to quickly view specific information about each of their World of Warcraft characters.
The main character screen mirrors what players see in game, so the information you see about your character’s gear makes logical sense when switching from in-game to the Profile site. Players can view the enchants, transmog info, gems, enhancements, and stats of their gear at a glance.
The Profile page now shows the Achievements that each of your characters has earned. The Profile page dashboard shows how close you are to earning 100% on any area of Achievements. Those areas include: General, Quests, Exploration, Player vs. Player, Dungeons & Raids, Reputation, World Events, Pet Battles, Collections, Class Hall, Scenarios, Legacy, and Feats of Strength.
It is now possible to see your full pet collection on the Profile page. There is a section at the top of the page that shows the Pets that are currently in your Battle Pet Slots. The rest of the pets are in order by favorites, and then by level. You can also view your Mounts from the Profile page. They are listed in order of rarity.
Blizzard announced something that should evoke plenty of nostalgia for those of us who remember playing StarCraft against our friends at LAN parties back in the day – StarCraft: Remastered. It is an upgrade of the original StarCraft game and its award winning expansion, StarCraft: Brood War. This could inspire those who stopped playing StarCraft to get back into the game.
We’ve remastered our units, buildings, and environments, improved game audio, and broadened our supported resolutions. Illustrated interludes bring the struggles and victories of heroes like Artanix, Fenix, Tassadar, Raynor, and Kerrigan to life like never before. Most importantly, the strategy gameplay that StarCraft perfected years ago remains unchanged.
In StarCraft: Remastered, players will be able to zoom out for a Battlecruiser’s view of the battlefield. They will also be able to zoom in to see fine details – such as “the veins on a Mutalisk’s wings.” The original StarCraft soundtrack and dialogue has been re-recorded and rejuvinated. There are race-themed comic book interludes that tell the original story with a fresh coat of paint.
Players can choose from Terrans, Protoss, or Zerg. Players need to finish the campaign portion of the game first, and then can battle against their friends or team up with other players online.
In the StarCraft Forums, there is a post in which Community Manger Traysent provides some clarification to players about what version of StarCraft will be free. “The original game will be free. The HD version will be an upgrade you can buy.” Kotaku reported that StarCraft: Remastered will be due out later this summer.
Blizzard has enacted the first of a series of measures designed to dissuade Overwatch players from gaining experience (EXP) while they are away from their computer’s keyboard (AFK). This problem is happening in Custom Games, and Blizzard has enacted the first of their escalation plan in order to dissuade players from doing that. If the behavior continues, more of the escalation plan will be put into place.
Game Director Jeff Kaplan explained things in a Forum Post in the Overwatch Forums on Battle.net. He makes it clear that the purpose of introducing the Game Browser and Custom Game features was to enable players to experience Overwatch in unique and different ways. They were aware the features could be exploited, and created an internal escalation plan – just in case players abused the features. From the Forum post:
…It’s very disappointing to us that players abused the system to gain experience while inactive. As some of you have noticed, Skirmish in Custom Game no longer rewards experience. Also, the AFK timer is now in place in Skirmish mode (in Custom Game only). This change is rolling out over a 24 hour period and should be live in all regions by the end of today.
Jeff Kaplan also took the time to make it abundantly clear that there is no moral ambiguity about gaining EXP while AFK in a Custom Game.
I’ve seen some discussion in the community and in the press on this topic and sometimes it gets talked about as if this is a grey area. Is this wrong or is this ok? Well, let me take a grey area and make it starkly black and white for you. Abusing and exploiting Custom Game or any other game mode to earn experience in Overwatch while inactive is NOT ok. The reason I want to be absolutely clear about this is in part because we are going to start to take disciplinary action against people who partake in these activities.
He goes on to clarify behaviors that will get your account banned:
If you create a Custom game that in any way encourages players to gain experience while inactive, you risk having your account banned.
If you join any game mode – including Custom Games – with the intent of gaining experience while being inactive, you risk having your account banned.
Do not name your Custom Game that in any way even implies that gaining experience while inactive is OK – not even as a joke – because doing so puts you at risk of having your account banned.
If this behavior doesn’t stop, more of the internal escalation plan will be enacted – until it reaches the final part that involves turning off the ability to gain experience in a Custom game. Players who don’t want to see the Custom Game feature limited further are asked to help Blizzard by reporting players who get into a game, and then go AFK, for the purpose of gaining EXP.
Blizzard Entertainment announced on a World of Warcraft Forum post that they will be ending support for two operating systems. Those systems are Windows XP and Windows Vista. If you are still using one of those operating systems, you are going to need to upgrade if you want to keep playing Blizzard’s games.
The Forum post was posted by Community Manager Ornyx said:
Starting later this year, we will begin the process of ending support for Windows XP and Windows Vista in World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm. Microsoft ceased mainstream support for these versions of Windows in 2009 and 2012, respectively, but since a decent portion of our audience was still using them at the time, we continued supporting them. However, there have been three major Windows releases since Vista, and at this point, the vast majority of our audience has upgraded to one of the newer versions.
Community Manager Ornyx points out that when Blizzard ends support for Windows XP and Windows Vista, their games will not run on them anymore. Players who are still using either one of those older operating systems should upgrade to a newer version.
Blizzard is going to roll out this change on a staggered schedule, which should give players who are currently using Windows Vista or Windows XP time to upgrade their OS. Additional notices about this change will be posted as Blizzard gets closer to making that change for each of their games.
Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows XP on April 14, 2009 (with extended support ended on April 8, 2014). Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows Vista Service Pack 2, on April 10, 2012. Extended support for Windows Vista Service Pack 2 will end on April 11, 2017.
Blizzard Entertainment announced that the Primal Flamesaber Mount is now available. It is a mount that can only be used in World of Warcraft. In order to get this new mount, a player must play Heroes of the Storm (another one of Blizzard’s games).
Mounts are very useful in World of Warcraft because they can help your character get from one place to another very quickly. It is possible for players to earn several mounts just by playing World of Warcraft. Other mounts can be purchased from the Blizzard Store. Once in a while, Blizzard offers a World of Warcraft mount that players cannot get unless they play a different Blizzard game.
Such is the case with the Primal Flamesaber mount. To get this mount, players need to leave Azeroth and venture into the Nexus. Play 15 Heroes of the Storm matches with a friend from your Battle.net friends list between now and March 13, 2017. Both you, and your friend, have to play Heroes that originated in World of Warcraft.
In addition, players who complete that goal will also get a Judgment Charger mount, and a 10-day Stimpack, that they can use in Heroes of the Storm.
This offer is great for players who already play both of those Blizzard games and who have at least one friend on their Battle.net friends list who plays Heroes of the Storm.
This is not the first time that Blizzard has offered a special mount to World of Warcraft players who spend some time playing one of Blizzard’s other games. In 2014, players who won three games in Hearthstone earned themselves a Hearthsteed to use in World of Warcraft.
Blizzard Entertainment created the WoW Token in 2015. In my opinion, the purpose was to give players a safe and secure way to buy in-game gold directly from Blizzard (and not from a disreputable gold seller). Today, Blizzard Entertainment expanded the potential uses for a WoW Token. Players can now exchange a WoW Token for Battle.net Balance.
Previously, the WoW Token had two purposes. A player who wanted to buy in-game gold could log in to World of Warcraft and spend real world currency on a WoW Token. After buying one, that player would put the WoW Token onto the World of Warcraft in-game Auction House. The player would get a quote that confirmed how much gold they would receive whenever their WoW Token sold.
Another player, who wanted to buy game-time, but did not have the real world currency to spend on it, could use their in-game gold to buy a WoW Token from the World of Warcraft in-game Auction House. That player would spend their in-game gold and use the WoW Token to pay for a month of game-time.
Today, Blizzard Entertainment has added a new option. World of Warcraft players who want to add to their Battle.net account can visit the World of Warcraft in-game Auction House, buy a WoW Token, and choose to redeem it for Battle.net Balance. In short, this gives players a new way to add to their Battle.net Balance without having to use real world currency.
The cool thing is that a player can spend the money in their Battle.net Balance on World of Warcraft Pets and Mounts. Or, they can spend it on items from other Blizzard Entertainment games like Overwatch or Heroes of the Storm. This gives more options to World of Warcraft players who also play other Blizzard Entertainment games.