Tag Archives: Blizzard Dota

#375 What items would I buy from a F2P store

I might have mentioned on this blog before that I have a personal policy against buying anything for myself in Free to Play games. A stingy policy I know, but that policy stops me from paying through the nose for every cosmetic items and every new champion the company constantly pumps out. That being said I do not have a policy of putting money in the F2P market, over the past few years my brothers and I have bought and traded Riot’s League of Legends IP cards for our Birthdays and Holiday because we have all reached that point where my brothers and I no longer want to be gifted stuff, but rather items that we can use.
But because Birthdays and Holidays only come once a year and on top of my purchasing policy of mine makes I do realize that this make it difficult for game designers and the people behind new games like Infinite Crisis and Heroes of the Storm to gather information about my purchasing patterns.

Even though I do not often vote with my wallet that does not mean I should not have a say on what items should be sold in the game. So for today’s blog post, to give the people at Infinite Crisis, Heroes of the Storm, and every other ARTS/MOBA, and F2P game a break I am going to give a quick recap on the few item I have bought in the past when I was at F2P checkout line.

First WoW, now this? I should start charging for my marketing insight and data....nah Im just going to blog about it for free.

First WoW, now this? I should start charging for my marketing insight and data….nah I’m just going to blog about it for free.

Just like yesterday lets cover the types of items that I have sworn to never going to buy from the F2P game:

My first rule is to never pay for in-game boosts/advances that unbalanced the game, this policy is easy because do not play those games where you can gain the upperhand by outspending the opponent.

The next rule I have is never to buy anything that I can earn.

This extends from the champions themselves, extra skill pages in League of Legends, Stolen powers in Infinite Crisis and EXP boosts in the game. Paying for all of those items are for the lazy and it is foolishness to spend money on those items compared to all the other things that could be bought from the online store. On top of that buying shortcuts in the game to the rewards you want seems to be counterproductive to what a game is supposed to be.

After being scorned I will never buy a pallet swapped skin of a champion ever again. This comes after buying the Phantom skin for my favorite League Champion, Karthus when I first got my hands on some microtransaction credits. If buying EXP boosts and champions are lazy on behalf of the player, this is laziness on the game developers to add these slightly changed models into the game. Granted this was a relic of Riot’s older policy on skins, like Nightmare Cho’gath where they just change the colors around and placed it on the store shelves. Now it looks like Riot and good game developers are moving away from this practice and are putting more effort into the skins they create now. In my defence I only bought the Karthus skin because it was a part of the first category of reasons I would buy a skin because it was a holiday skin or a limited edition skin.

Last christmas my brother game a few Riot IP gift cards and as a result I brought a Snow Day Ziggs, a skin that has the bomb enthusiast champion be decked out in snow gear and Riot switched out his normal bombs with snowballs and icicles. Those snowballs and icicles are actually serves a nice segway into the next, final, and greatest reason when it comes to buying a cosmetic skin because there is something special added than the original champion

I am a sucker for once a lifetime deals. Shhh keep it a secret through

I am a sucker for once a lifetime deals. Shhh keep it a secret through

Whether it be added and cool particle effects or a part of history I want to see that the skins that was creative, unique, and most importantly of all see that the game developers actually put some time and effort into it. Two perfect examples of that are the TPA or SKT skins that Riot created after each team won their Worlds championships and the Clark Kent Superman from Infinite Crisis. Something that I can resonate with and that I can show off and something that justifies my choice of giving the free to play gaming company my money.

Also do not tell anyone in videogame marketing team but I will go to the ends of the Earth for a free skins, weather it be waiting hours at PAX Expo hall for convention handouts, Facebook events, surveys, or authenticating my account. You name it I have done it, within reason, for the sake of getting a cosmetic skin for free.

Also do not tell anyone in videogame marketing team but I will go to the ends of the Earth for a free skins, whether it be waiting hours at PAX Expo hall for convention handouts, Facebook events, surveys, or authenticating my account. You name it I have done it, within reason, for the sake of getting a cosmetic skin for free.

 

Be Careful, dear reader, with this information that I have shared with you today on this public blog. I wrote this post with the intention of providing my thought process during the few times of the year when I have the money to purchase microtransactions so that videogame developers can take this data and make skins and cosmetic items that are not more appeal more towards me but to make skins that are more worthy to buy to everyone.

 


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#366 The ARTS era of Gaming

This week I am still going trough all of my PAX East loot , going through all the pins and giveaways and entering any and all codes I was handed on the expo floor.

Between everything I noticed that a common theme of the free beta tests and games were for existing or start-up MOBA games or as I call them, Action Real Time Strategy games (or A.R.T.S for short) It seems that the ARTS genera will be the go to PC game for any company in the 201Xs.

Currently we have; League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, Dota 2, SMITE, Heroes of Newerth, Infinite Crisis, Dawngate, Magicka: Wizard Wars, Orcs Must Die: Unchained, and all the others that I forgot.

 

Too many launchers....and I intend to play all of them

Too many launchers….and I intend to play all of them

 

It reminds me of the last decade, where we saw every gaming company and their dog create a Massively Multiplayer Online game like; World of Warcraft, Rift, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, DC Universe Online, ESO and all the others I forgot to name.

With the end of the last decade we saw that most -if not all- of the MMO companies caved from the popping of the MMO bubble, forcing most of them to go Free-to-play.

The question is will this A.R.T.S bubble pop the same way? Because these games are not are based on a monthly payment plan, so people like me can be subscribed to multiple titles of the same genera. With the introduction and how these games are built around microtransactions these games can easily be supported by the 1 or 2% of gamers that spends a ridiculous amount of money at the online store page.

The problem these A.R.T.S games now have to face -at least my guest is- would be competing with each other on how to woo the MOBA/ARTS base to spend their free time and eventually money on their game rather than their competitors. The multimillion dollar question is how? Heroes of the Storm will have Blizzard marketing advertising power, with the appeal of free palette swapped skins. Dota 2 had more complexity and all the champions are free to play from right out of the gate. Infinite Crisis has the allure of having every DC comics Super Hero you or I have ever heard about become a playable character And League of Legends is getting ahead by just being popular.

I know there is marketing term for when a company doesn't need to advertise it's product because it is so popular....It is like the Apple/Iphone effect.

I know there is marketing term for when a company doesn’t need to advertise its product because it is so popular….It is like the Apple/Iphone effect or something.

 

On top of the question. ‘How to get the ARTS players to play their preferred game’ the other question is ‘How to make a new ARTS game that is different enough in-game play or giveaways to comfortably compete with the other, established ARTS companies.’

The first company that can come up with solid answer to those two question can dethrone LoL, HotS, and everyone else in the market.

 


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#365 Thoughts on the PAX East Heroes of the Storm Panel

One of the Pax East Panels I got to sit on Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm dev talk panel. Last year I missed Blizzard’s PAX panel, where they officially announced the launching of their new title, Hearthstone so this year I made sure not to miss a minute of this year’s announcements.

As a bonus treat to the few people who attended the panel you were able to hear what I sound like in real life, I was the person who asked which heroes the devs would add if balancing was not an issue.

As a bonus treat to the few people who attended the panel you were able to hear what I sound like in real life, I was the person who asked which heroes the devs would add if balancing was not an issue.

 

The panel went over a few things; first, there is no official release date on Heroes of the Storm and that there are no beta keys for the Heroes of the Storm. Two facts that everyone at the Heroes panel and booth were adamant about getting that point across to everyone at the convention. While Blizzard said that they are adding more people into the program each week, the only way to get in is opt in through their website and keep checking your Battlenet launcher to see if your gaming library has been updated.

I'm still not the beta but this new method of how Blizzard goes around handing out betas has guaranteed that at least one more person downloads and uses Blizzard's new cross-promotion gaming launcher.

I’m still not the beta but this new method of how Blizzard goes around handing out betas has guaranteed that at least one more person downloads and uses Blizzard’s new cross-promotion gaming launcher.

 

After Blizzard’s PSA about not trusting any emails that claims to have Heroes of the Storm beta key, the Developers then moved on to reveal some of the new heroes and mechanics to soon be added to the game.

While we have some heroes like Zagara and LiLi the one that stood out to me was Murky, the baby murloc. When the devs started talking about the inspiration for this hero, they said they wanted a hero that was incredibly weak, but the mechanic is that Murky lays an egg somewhere on the map and while he will be dying a lot he’s purpose is do little waves of damage to the enemy’s health over a continue waves of recently hatched Murkys. Chipping away the enemy team until they either cave from exhaustion or another teammate comes in for the assistance for the kill or the capture of the map objective.

A hero based around dying over and over again. Sounds like a perfect fit for me.

A hero based around dying over and over again. Sounds like a perfect fit for me.

 

Between that and everything else I have heard and seen about this new game I can say it looks fun. I do not take that word lightly, remember I wrote an entire blog post about why the recent Mario game was fun (Be MOP #349).

What also caught my eye was Heroes of the Storm’s approach to heroes skins. While it is a free to play game and it will have cosmetic skins of the champions and mounts for sale on the online shop Heroes will also be providing free in-game cosmetic palette swapped skins for the champions as a reward for playing with that one hero for a set amount of time and there will also be an ultimate skin that you can unlock once you max out that hero.

While Blizzard has the iconic PC gaming characters at its disposal, I think the free unlockable skins and designs will provides as the more important tool for the Heroes of the Storm marketing team when trying to advertise and the game above the other competitors that are currently on the market.

Heroes reminds me a bit of Pokemon, the creative team goes to town making monsters and creations with unique gameplay and then the Pokemon Company threw the entire project at the player base and the fans are the ones who create the competitive gaming leagues and separate the heroes into various tiers of usefulness. Which is something that Blizzard have said from the beginning.

 

My only PAX East regret is I was not able to get into the League of Legends gamplay design panel to see the different approach Blizzard and Riot have designing the character’s roles and move-sets  for their games.

 


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#351 Why I am the Perfect Heroes of the Storm Player

Some stirrings around the internet has revealed that an early build of Heroes of the Storm has made it into the hands of some people on the internet and that means that a beta version of the game is on the horizon. With that I believe now is the best time to write the third installment of one of my oldest blogging series, explaining why I am the perfect player to play the Beta of Heroes of the Storm.

The storm is coming

The storm is coming

This series started way back in the early single digits when I explained how I was the perfect Diablo 3 player because I knew nothing about the previous Diablo games so I could offer the purest feedback without any bias from the old games. (Be MOP #25)

Fun fact I wrote that blog post because I one of my college professors was a proud Greek man and I knew he would be flabbergasted if he ever learned that I used a famous Socrates quote to justify getting playing a videogame

Fun fact I wrote that blog post because I one of my college professors was a proud Greek man and I knew he would be flabbergasted if he ever learned that I used a famous Socrates quote to make my case for me to play a videogame

I made my case about Hearthstone because with my past experience with Pokemon TCG and  Magic the Gathering would help Blizzard with giving feedback when it came to balancing some of the odder and unconventional deck builds. (Be MOP #240)

Now I get to make my case for Heroes of the Storm. First off I got the experience of playing Blizzard games for years and I have been writing about them for years so I know the ropes when it comes to their participating in Blizzard’s betas.

But more importantly I have been following this game’s development cycle ever since I first mentioned when I compared Blizzard to the Pokemon company with their choices to expanding into different genre of games (Be MOP #68) to when I was predicting Blizzard’s major announcement in last year’s PAX East (Be MOP #191). I was there to write about the official acknowledgement that the game is still in production in the Activision-Blizzard financial results (Be MOP#219) after months of no updates on the game and all the way through their third final name change (Be MOP #288).

If comedy have taught me anything it is that a good running gag needs a killer ending to finish off the series and I like of no better ending than letting me into the beta.

So Blizzard, Please?

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#288 An ARTS by any other name

Good news everyone! In preparation for next  month’s BlizzCON 2013, Blizzard has officially -and finally- announced their own Action Real Time Strategy game to compete with the likes of League of Legends, DOTA 2, Heroes of Newerth, and DC Comics’ Infinite Crisis.

It's about time, even when factoring in Blizzard-time

It’s about time the company acknowledged this game, even when factoring in Blizzard-time

 

This game has been on my radar for quite a years ever since Blizzard first announced three years ago in the 2010 BlizzCon, up to when they causally mentioned it in the Activision-Blizzard’s Q1 Financial Report (Be MOP #219). Since then the project when through a bit of an identity crisis, initially the game was called Blizzard Dota then last year it was renamed as Blizzard All-Stars and now finally settling on the title “Heroes of the Storm” and the official announced it with a humorous little self-referencing video titled “The Game Formerly Known as ‘Blizzard All-Stars'”

Curse them for using that Prince joke, I was going to use that for this post. I guess they know their audience.

Curse them for using that Prince joke, I was going to use that for this post. I guess they know their audience.

 

As the title of this post suggest the name of the game is not what we should focus on but instead on the game play and the uniqueness it brings to the table. For this game to be successful it needs to have something built into the game that makes it stand out from the other A.R.T.S like League of Legends and Dota 2.

As of right now there is no video of the game play of the Storms of the Heroes, either from back 2010 or from the current build, but I would not be surprise if Blizzard releases a ton of content, including the starting champion pool, the maps designs and that one thing that makes them stand out from the other games on the market.

To any Blizzard employees that might be reading this, I would gladly volunteer to be a beta tester.

To any Blizzard employees that might be reading this: First, hey how’s it going? Secondly, I would gladly volunteer to be a beta tester if you are looking for players.

 

But I want to know what you think, what do you think of Blizzard’s ARTS game? and more importantly what do you think of the ARTS/MOBA genre?

I ask the second question because to me, it looks like the ARTS genre is on route to be the defining go-to genre for 201X  for the PC similar to how the MMO was big thing for the PC gaming world back in the 200Xs.

 


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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