For some time, there have been rumors of a Warcraft mobile game being in the works. It got leaked a few years back but any details beyond its existence have been unknown. That is until now. On the official Hearthstone Twitter account, an announcement was posted that it will be revealed very soon.
Unfortunately, not much else was revealed. The Tweet features a picture of a cog with a blue lightning bolt inside of it. As far as we know that could be essential to the game’s story or a random image that was chosen because it looked nice. Blizzard is making a very conscious effort to not give anything away.
If you’re interested in seeing what Warcraft mobile is about then you’ll want to check out the reveal stream. It is taking place on Blizzard’s website on May 3 at 10 am Pacific Time. That’s 1 pm Eastern Time, 6 pm British Standard Time, and 2 am Japan Standard Time.
As for what we’ll see in the reveal I can only speculate. I’d imagine it will either be a gameplay showcase of sorts or a cinematic trailer to hype up its release. Blizzard is well known for its spectacular cinematics with Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Overwatch all benefiting from them over the years.
Blizzard’s redemption arc
As a company, Blizzard Entertainment has made a lot of unpopular decisions in recent years. Be it the Hong Kong scandal of 2019 or the sexual assault allegations of 2021, it hasn’t been popular as of late. Even on the games front, it released Warcraft III: Reforged which was panned by critics for being a lazy remaster released solely to milk fans.
But with Overwatch 2’s popularity, the porting of Diablo Immortal to PC, and now Warcraft mobile things are looking up. It still has a lot of work to do if it wants the trust of its fans back but with Bobby Kotick on his way out once Microsoft takes over a comeback looks possible.
828 days. That’s how long it has been since Blizzard first unveiled Overwatch 2. For whatever reason, it has been in development for longer than expected and fans have been growing increasingly agitated. But finally, we have a sign that a playable version of the Overwatch 2 beta looks to be on the way.
Some eagle-eyed gamers recently noticed a significant update to Blizzard’s game launcher, Battle.net. In the patch notes for the Overwatch section, two new developer versions of Overwatch were added to the client. Titled “Overwatch 2.00.70.93195,” and “Demo 2,” both additions seem to hint at the long-awaited sequel making its debut.
For context, that long string of numbers is more relevant than it might look. When Blizzard releases Warcraft expansions they are usually first submitted in a format not too dissimilar to this. Assuming that it’s standard Blizzard procedure then this being the addition of an Overwatch 2 beta isn’t that farfetched.
The only negative to this is that there is one other possible outcome. A while back Blizzard confirmed that Overwatch League pro teams would have access to the sequel before the public. If this is still true then this upload could be a client designed specifically for esports. This doesn’t mean a public release isn’t planned but it might not be as close as fans are hoping.
The fate of Overwatch
Right now, Overwatch is not in a good spot. After years of neglect, the once hit hero shooter has fallen into mediocrity. It is performing particularly badly on streaming websites where it only peaks at around 15,000 viewers. For comparison, League of Legends regularly pulls in over 200,000 viewers on Twitch.
An Overwatch 2 beta may be necessary just to make people care about this franchise once again. The potential is still there with its iconic characters and art style but a player base devoid of passion is difficult to recover from. Hopefully, a sequel can reignite the hopes of fans and Overwatch isn’t left out to dry.
Following Microsoft’s incredible $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, some Sony fans have been concerned about the fate of Activision’s biggest titles. Amongst these arguably none are as big as Call of Duty. Thankfully, head of Xbox Phil Spencer has confirmed on Twitter that Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation consoles.
Spencer posted: “Had good calls this week with leaders at Sony. I confirmed our intent to honor all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard and our desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation.”
This is huge news for Sony fans who were concerned over the future of Activision’s hit first-person shooter. Microsoft previously claimed that Bethesda titles would launch first on Xbox but an equivalent doesn’t seem to be planned this time around. It’s early days but PlayStation owners can probably relax knowing that Call of Duty isn’t going anywhere.
In saying that Call of Duty has had several Sony exclusive bonuses that are almost certain to be discontinued. The bonus experience and additional battle pass tier skips are unlikely to remain a thing. If Xbox and PC owners end up with those benefits instead is still to be seen.
Xbox is growing
With Bethesda acquired in 2021 and now Activision Blizzard following the same fate the Xbox brand is growing. The motive behind this takeover can be divided into two halves. One, Microsoft likely wants to expand into the mobile market and Activision studio King has plenty of experience in that department. After all, its responsible for Candy Crush which is arguably the most successful mobile game ever made.
The second reason for this takeover is to expand the Game Pass. Both PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass can now benefit from the hundreds of unique titles and IPs owned by Activision Blizzard. That includes staple franchises like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, and Overwatch.
Overwatch isn’t receiving too many updates currently with Blizzard focused on its sequel. However, it has continued to release the annual events. The next event for Overwatch is the Anniversary Event, celebrating five years since the hero shooter first launched.
Ahead of its launch Blizzard has been unveiling various skins that will be coming with the event. The tweets started with Baptiste’s ‘Funky’ skin, a throwback to 80’s Disco culture. After this Moira’s ‘Venus’ plant skin was revealed. Finally, Sombra’s ‘Black Cat’ skin is the last we know as of writing this. If previous events are anything to go by, a further four skins should be announced before the event goes live.
What’s in the Anniversary Event?
Outside of skins, the Overwatch Anniversary Event usually features the return of old game modes. This includes the Archives story missions, holiday specific modes like Lucio Ball, and a one-off competitive game mode. In 2018, Blizzard released competitive 6v6 Elimination as a temporary mode whilst the event was live.
Throughout the event you can expect various game modes to rotate in and out. Newer players should watch out for these as playing certain modes for the first-time rewards free loot boxes. They are usually quick to play through and are a great way of unlocking skins and cosmetics.
Unfortunately, outside of the new skins, no new content should be expected for this event. Blizzard is focused on the development of Overwatch 2. The side effect of that is that the original has not received any substantial new content since the release of Echo in April 2020.
Although this Anniversary Event won’t change that, a recent announcement does at least reassure us that Overwatch 2 is coming. A full showcase of its multiplayer PvP gameplay is planned for May 20. Be sure to tune into the official Overwatch Youtube or Twitch accounts for further details.
In a breaking announcement posted earlier today, Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan is leaving Blizzard. The veteran developer has been responsible for the development of Blizzard’s hero shooter ever since it was first pitched in 2013. Before that, he had worked on World of Warcraft and the canceled Titan.
In the announcement, Kaplan does not provide a specific reason as to why he is stepping down. Simply, he calls his time at Blizzard “an honor,” and thanks to everyone for supporting him. With Kaplan leaving current assistant game director Aaron Keller will be taking his role. Before joining Blizzard, Keller was best known for his contributions to Realm Royale.
End of an era, Jeff Kaplan
It’s no secret that Jeff Kaplan is widely considered one of the industry’s most talented individuals. He has had years of success at Blizzard with almost everything he worked out turning out a success. However, it’s his creation of Overwatch that most know him for. The hero shooter has gone on to become one of Blizzard’s premier brands.
Overwatch isn’t just a video game franchise. Jeff Kaplan came up with an idea and Blizzard expanded it into so much more. We now have Overwatch novels, comic books, and several cinematic shorts.
Kaplan stepping down may have some fans concerned about the fate of Overwatch 2. The long-awaited sequel was first announced at Blizzcon 2019 with further details being revealed at Blizzcon 2021. However, according to Keller, you don’t need to be worried.
In his own statement, Keller reassures fans that Overwatch 2 is “continuing at a good pace.” Equally, fans can expect “more frequent updates,” on Overwatch 2 going forward. It will be interesting to see how Blizzard proceeds without Jeff Kaplan. He has been a key figure in designing some of its flagship franchises. It’s never easy to lose such a talent but I’m sure everyone involved at Blizzard is ever thankful for Kaplan’s contributions.
After some questionable experimentation with Moira’s kit as of late, Blizzard have come under fire from some fans. There are concerns about how the developer is mis-judging the state of the game and not understanding what players want. And if recent news about Orisa is anything to by, this might be true.
In a recent Reddit Q&A lead hero designer Geoff Goodman responded to some interesting questions. One of which was inquiring about how many unused hero concepts Blizzard have lying around. Whilst also explaining the general process his team goes through in designing a hero, it’s his comments on Orisa that have caught the attention of many.
Orisa was almost even scarier
It turns out that Orisa’s first concept featured a teleportation ultimate ability. When used it would allow her to teleport anywhere on the map in a drop pod of sorts. Coupled with her halt ability this could have made for some crazy flank plays in the right hands.
To be fair to Blizzard, this was in the very early stages of her development. Goodman himself even goes on to say that his team “didn’t have a character yet,” but was rather just trying out ideas. Also, it’s not exactly worth getting up in arms over. Blizzard try wild ideas all of the time and many don’t see the light of day.
Case in point, Bastion’s original ultimate was a remote mine that, when detonated, would spray explosive in all directions. Given Overwatch’s shift toward mobility and away from builders, this wouldn’t have aged well.
Thankfully, neither Bastion nor Orisa received either of these wild changes. Overwatch may have its problems but at least Blizzard usually knows where to draw the line. That is as long as a certain Swedish knight isn’t involved. But that’s a topic for another day.
There are only 10 days left of Overwatch Season 18 Competitive Play. In other words, time is running out for you to make that last push for SR. From getting out of Bronze to reaching Top 500, everyone has their own goals. It’s no secret that playing specific heroes can benefit your rank depending on the meta. So here are the top tier heroes you should be playing right now in Overwatch Season 18. Let’s get to know them.
Orisa In Overwatch Season 18
Despite numerous nerfs since role queue’s introduction, Orisa is still the best tank in Overwatch Season 18. The basis of her strength comes down to a few things. Firstly, she can do so much whilst still providing a shield for her team. In contrast, Reinhardt is limited to either dealing damage or protecting his team. Orisa’s biggest advantage in that match up is that she can simultaneously provide a shield and apply pressure with her primary fire.
In times gone by, Orisa’s largest weakness was how easy she was to push. However, in Season 18 that is no longer the case. Of course, both her cooldowns help out to an extent. Fortify provides her an unmatched level of sustain and Halt can pull pesky opponents out of the way. The real crux is how strong her barrier is.
Orisa’s barrier has 900 HP and can be redeployed every ten seconds. Interestingly, it used to be as little as eight seconds before the nerfs. On paper, you’d think this means that 90 damage per second is enough to break her shield. However, it isn’t that simple. Overwatch’s best tank can use fortify to stall for a few seconds after her shield breaks. Equally, she can pre-deploy shield by throwing it into the air to cut down her cooldown timer significantly.
Finally, the main reason you should be playing Orisa in ranked. Her chemistry with both Sigma and Roadhog is unmatched. The classic pulled pork combination can punish out of position opponents at will. Orisa pulls a ledge, Roadhog hooks into it and your team has an easy pick. Equally strong, Season 18 introduced Sigma. Even if it wasn’t Blizzard’s intention, Sigma is Orisa’s best off-tank partner.
Sigma One of Overwatch Season 18 Heroe
It’s clear that Blizzard designed Sigma to function as the main tank in a team. Unfortunately, role queue only dictates that a team plays two tanks, two DPS and two supports. It does not ensure teams have to play a main and an off tank. Previously, this wasn’t a concern. The chemistry between a main and off-tank outweighed any potential two main tanks could get together.
That all changed with the introduction of Sigma. Much like Orisa, Sigma is a tank that can do a lot of things whilst shielding his team. Also, Sigma is kitted out with several cooldowns that make him difficult to push. Actually, I’ll further and say Sigma is unpushable.
Sigma has a 1500 HP deployable barrier. Before the previous patch, this barrier could be moved around without any restrictions too. Mercifully, Blizzard added a one-second cooldown between separate shield deployments. On top of that, both his abilities help to punish any over-zealous opponents who are pushing their luck.
Accretion is a hard stun that knocks heroes to the ground. The further away you hit someone, the longer they are stunned. This can be particularly fun if you manage to snipe a Pharah out of the sky. Meanwhile, his Kinetic Grasp functions as a sort of make-shift D.Va Defense Matrix. Whilst shorter in range, Grasp eats up any incoming damage and converts it into temporary shields. You’d be amazed at how much survivability these abilities provide.
Perhaps Sigma’s largest selling point is his carry potential. Unlike any other tank, Sigma can mechanically carry. He doesn’t rely on communication to pop off like Reinhardt, Winston or Orisa. Season 18 has introduced us to a main tank with a very reliable one-shot combo. Just shoot, Accretion, Melee for a brutal 230 damage.
Doomfist’s introduction to Overwatch Season 18 can be considered one of Blizzard’s biggest mistakes. It’s arguable but I believe he kickstarted the crowd control craze and the shift away from Overwatch’s core FPS values. Throughout his various seasons, Doomfist has been everything from a must pick to a throw pick. However, it’s now in Season 18 that he is at his all-time strongest.
The Double Shield meta has caused a major headache for all ranged hitscan heroes. Popular FPS-centric characters like Widowmaker, Soldier 76 and McCree struggle to function with so many shields around. Unlike all those, Doomfist is not deterred by barriers. In fact, the presence of so many barriers has made him extremely strong.
Big Akande’s punches pass through all shields. Similarly, his uppercut can send enemies flying into the air, shielded or not. This isn’t his only advantage though. Doomfist has the second-best mobility in the game. A skilled Doom player can fly over rooftops, one-shot combo the backline and punch out back to safety. No number of barriers is going to stop that.
To be fair, on his own Doomfist is actually surprisingly easy to counter. All forms of mobility make his life far more difficult and hard stuns like McCree’s flashbang can punish mistakes. However, if the enemy team chooses to play McCree whilst you’re running the Season 18 Double Shield special, they’ve probably already lost. Outside of Reaper and maybe Sombra, Doomfist’s worse matchups are too difficult to play in this meta. If you learn his rollouts and combos there’s little that can stop you from getting value.
Theoretically, you would think shield break could work in this meta. However, as I’ve touched upon already, these two tanks rarely have a pushable opportunity. That means that when you finally get through you need to deal as much damage as possible in as little time. And thus, Reaper finds himself in the meta for the first time since Beyblade.
It’s simple. There is no other character this good at dealing close range burst damage. Couple that with his incredible 40% life-steal providing him insane levels of sustain and you’re left with a deadly DPS. Why bother breaking shields when you can just walk right through them? In fact, why even bother dealing with shields at all? Many of the pros just teleport behind the enemy team and get to work on their backline.
However, there is a catch. In some games, people may not play the meta at all. This is especially common in ranks below masters. Reaper might be excellent against most tank combinations, but he struggles against a lot of DPS. If you’re playing Havana and the other team is running Widowmaker and Hanzo, don’t play Reaper. Seriously, his hardest counter is double sniper, not stuns. You can play smart and bait out stuns. However, there’s very little counter play to two snipers aiming at your head.
Lucio is the kind of hero that most players won’t complain about. He’s not overly oppressive and if boops you off the map it was probably a positioning mistake. His crowd control is strong but doesn’t remove much control from the recipient. However, make no mistake, Season 18 Lucio is surprisingly overtuned.
Think about it this way. In the simplest sense, heroes are broken down into four areas. Mobility, damage, healing and utility. Obviously, Lucio has the best mobility in Overwatch. Some of his rollouts are incredible. Equally, he is one of only two characters to have a dedicated defensive ultimate. Considering the other belongs to the almost unplayable Zenyatta, that’s another plus one for Lucio.
His healing isn’t spectacular, but a skilled Lucio player can do more than you’d think. Some well-timed amps can provide some clutch burst healing to keep up both tanks and squishies alike. It’s difficult to question his utility too. Outside of his ultimate, his primary utility is his Speed Aura. When activated, this provides himself and all nearby allies with a 25% movement buff. If speed is amplified, this increases to 60%.
The value of speed cannot be understated. Especially in the Season 18 meta. Giving a Reaper or your main tanks speed to push into the enemy team is very powerful. It can be the difference between taking advantage of a mistake or missing out on the opportunity.
You would think then that Lucio’s weakness would be his effective damage. In the wrong hands, this is true. However, a skilled Lucio can dominate even the best DPS players. Don’t believe me? Check out a FunnyAstro stream when you get the chance. It’s crazy how consistently he wins even the most uphill of duels.
It’s strange to me that heroes like Moira can even become meta in the first place. By design, she is supposed to be the simple, low mechanics, main healer. That’s not to say she doesn’t still have a lot to manage but the general consensus is she’s far easier to play than Ana, Mercy or Baptiste. Regardless of her difficulty, there’s no doubting her current strength in the Season 18 meta.
You know with Moira regardless of composition you’re getting two valuable things. One, a lot of healing. Two, a lot of damage. Top that off with her decent ultimate and she’s got a lot going for her. Previously, her biggest problem was her lack of utility. However, in Season 18 this doesn’t matter near as much. The fact she can heal efficiently even with barriers placed everywhere is more than enough. Not to mention that her Fade ability is great against both Reaper and Doomfist.
Moira also has great carry potential for those looking to play an aggressive support style. Combining her damage orb into Coalescence with some decent tracking can wipe out any squishy on the game. If you’re feeling really confident, it can even take out both halves of a Pharmercy.
So which of the heroes are you be in Overwatch Season 18? Please leave your comment in the comments box below.
Video games may be thriving in recent weeks (or years) as a “booming” new industry, but that wasn’t always the case. Back then, people believed that video games were addicting sources of entertainment. That these video games were pointless and that they, uhm…rot your brain. Well, experts believe the contrary. A lot of researches had been conducted in order to prove otherwise and the scientists and researchers actually found a lot of benefits in playing video games. Here are the top benefits that video games might give you along with a few sample of games that might help you in that specific area.
But, it is important to note that this might be because the participants of the research were doing the same thing for thousands of times during the whole duration of the experiment which might be the reason why they were so good at it. It may be wonderful, fascinating even, to be able to do multiple things at once, but still you’ll be more efficient if you try to focus on just one task at a time.
Games: Quake, Doom, Call of Duty, Overwatch, basically any action-packed games
The game is basically just like a hide-and-seek game where a ladybug and a spider are covered with leaves and were moved around. Then, after a few seconds, the movements stop and the player can then choose which leaf hides the ladybug. This way, the ladybug acts as the target and the spiders act as distractions. The results of the experiment were astonishing, the children still perform well despite the levels becoming more difficult.
Games: Tell-tale games, simulation games, and well…action games
One might look at gamers as if they are just ‘playing’ a game and not much is happening in their heads, but this is not the case. Each and every bit of a gaming session involves a lot of small and big decisions to be made; and some requires a reaction in a snap of a finger. This was further discussed by a team of researchers from New York. Oh and get this, the gender of a person doesn’t really matter.
What they did is that they assigned 14 people (half men, half women who haven’t played video games) to play two action games for no more than two hours a day up to a total of 50 hours. Then a second set of four men and seven women joined in but they played a Sims-like game where they direct the lives of the characters. Both of the groups improved greatly with the test game the researchers prepared but, action gamers responded faster. I can hear you cheering from here.
Do you think video games?
That’s all I got for now. There are still a lot of benefits that video games may offer us, but just like what my momma used to say, “Too much of everything is not good”. How about you? What are the benefits that video games have to offer us? And, have you experienced the benefits of games first-hand? Comment them down below and let’s have a chat.
Blizzard’s hit first-person shooter, Overwatch, has garnered plenty of praise for its world-building despite lacking a single-player campaign that fully explores said world. As such, many fans have been eagerly anticipating the release of Overwatch: First Strike, a graphic novel published by Dark Horse Comics that would have explored the origins of the original Overwatch strike team and the beginning of the game’s universe. It turns out that fans will have to wait a lot longer to see how it all began as the First Strike comic has officially been cancelled.
Michael Chu, the lead writer for the game, recently announced on the official Overwatch forums that graphic novel was cancelled just before the digital version of it was scheduled to release. Chu stated that the reason for the comic’s cancellation comes down to it being planned out during the early days of the game’s development and that the plans for the game’s story has changed since then. Essentially, it comes down to wanting to keep the narrative consistent and avoid potential plotholes that the now outdated graphic novel could create. Blizzard still plans to release free animations and comic shorts as they have in the past to further explore the world of Overwatch, including the origins of Reaper, Soldier:76, Ana, Torbjörn, and Reinhardt as the First Strike novel would have.
If you’re curious about the lore of Overwatch, be sure to check out our beginner’s guide with all the information you need to know. What are your thoughts on the cancellation of First Strike? Do you regret the loss of this storyline? Did Blizzard make the right call on this? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.
A founding member of the original Overwatch strike team and mother to Fareeha “Pharah” Amari, Ana Amari has been revealed as the first new hero to be added to Blizzard’s hit first-person shooter Overwatch following its release. Once the top sniper in the Egyptian military, Ana was believed dead after an encounter with Talon operative Widowmaker. Despite losing her right eye in the fight, she is prepared to step back into active duty at 60 years young.
Ana is a support sniper whose rifle can heal teammates or deal poison damage to enemies depending on who her shots land on. She’s also armed with a sleep dart that can knock a single opponent unconscious, but any damage dealt to them will immediately wake them. It can certainly be useful in conjunction with a high-damage ally to assassinate enemies, but it can also be handy for cancelling certain ultimate abilities, such as McCree’s and Reaper’s. Next is a biotic grenade that supplements healing for teammates and completely blocks healing for enemies. Finally, her ultimate ability is Nano Boost which temporarily buffs the attack, defense, and movement speed of a single ally. You can see all of her abilities in action in the official gameplay reveal trailer.
Ana is available play now in the newly-launched, PC-only Public Test Region, which is the beta-testing segment, and is planned to be added to the full game very soon. The PTR is also experimenting with various balance changes, such as making self-healing abilities charge ultimates and adjusting the ultimate charging rate for all heroes that will apply to. The new patch will also buff D.Va, Zenyatta, and McCree. You can read the full patch notes here.
The new story trailer (featured above) also hints at two more early members of the strike team on the far left and right that could potentially join the playable cast in the future. We have no solid leads on who either of these characters might be, but it’s possible that they are Liao and Sombra who have been hinted at multiple times in the past. Given that Blizzard has gone out of their way to include these characters in the group shot, it’s a safe bet that they have some plans for these characters.
What are your thoughts on Ana’s inclusion to the roster? What types of heroes do you still want to see added to Overwatch? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.