Blizzard

The Blizzard Controversy

I’ve been doubting if I wanted to write a post about this, mostly because my opinion on this whole Blizzard controversy feels trivial and maybe unecessary but since I wanted to write something and no other inspiration struck me I may aswell write about this.

I’m not going to do a neat breakdown post like Belghast did. Nor am I going to announce my immediate breaking away from everything that’s Blizzard related so if you’re looking for that you can stop reading this post right here. Instead I want to talk a bit about my personal views on the subject and how this may impact Blizzard as a company (or not).

First off I want to say I think Blizzard made a huge mistake in how they handled this entire thing. The banning the player and taking his prize money, the firing of the casters, the immediate Chinese back-up. But I do understand why they did it. Blizzard, like a lot of other companies, unfortunately has quite a big stake in the Chinese market. As much as we would love it if they made a statement to support Hong Kong or any anti-China sentiment at all it would be financial suicide. They’re not alone in that, plenty of other companies are in the same situation. They may not condone what China is doing on a political plane but they are dependent on them from a market perspective.  In the end Blizzard is a company that needs to make a profit if they want to survive and keep churning out new content and paying their employees. As much as we want Blizzard to be on the moral high ground, reality is just not working that way. Their employees may be sympathetic to the Hong Kong protestors, but above that they want to keep their jobs. It’s just the way the world works and I think a lot of people have this rose tinted vision of game developers like Blizzard and get irrationally angry when stuff like this happens. Again I want to reiterate that I don’t agree with how Blizzard handled this and I absolutely know that China is run by a horrible regime that is violating human rights everywhere they look. I’m not ignorant to what is happening on the other side of the world and I can only count my blessings when I realize that I live in one of the safest, most free countries in the World. I don’t have to riot for my freedom nor do I have to fear for my live because I have different beliefs than the people who are in charge. I also know that I as a single individual can’t change anything. It’s the government of the Western world that has decided to turn a blind eye to Chinese practices because money. And I don’t think anything is going to change there anytime soon.

So where does this leave me when it comes to Blizzard games? I guess I’m still playing them. I’m still logging into WoW (Retail and Classic) and my sub is still going for three months. Do I feel the need to boycott Blizzard? No. I know that the employees who work on these games don’t make these decisions. It’s corporate greed and that’s not going to change anytime soon. If I was going to boycott Blizzard over this I could boycott half the companies I buy stuff from for the same reasons. Most of the stuff we buy is manufactured in China, where we know human rights are tossed to the side.
Do I think this has damaged Blizzards’ already tarnished reputation? Absolutely. It was ridiculous to do this so close to Blizzcon aswell. But I know that collective memory is short and something else will soon happen to make people forget this, as sad as that may be. But for now Blizzard find themselves to be in the center of the outrage and in gaming circles hatred can hang around a little longer than normal. I’m curious to see how Blizzcon will turn out this year and how they are going to try to save face.

Anyway that was my little stream of conciousness about the whole Blizzard controversy. Hopefully I will have better material for my next blog post.

The Familiar Itch

With Legion fast approaching (only 11 more days!) I’ve been getting the familiar WoW itch again. I’ve mostly neglected WoW, except logging for my Garrison gold stuff. On occassion when I wanted to play a game that didn’t require me to think too much I would log into Azeroth, kill some bosses for mounts, do some Archeology or just dailies for even more mounts, pets, toys.
This all changed with the start of the Legion pre-patch. I’ve been enjoying the invasions thoroughly on multiple characters. My warrior has gotten some awesome transmog weapons, my Shaman is gaining loads of XP as I use the invasions to level her up and I’ve been grinding out gear on my Hunter. All in all a very positive experience. It also helps that with this event the servers everywhere have more or less come back to life again. It’s nice to see a lot of people participating and just being around.

Today is also the day I caved and bought the Digital Collectors edition of Legion. I want the crossgame goodies and I desperately wanted to try out Demon Hunter, now that the big wave of them has mostly died down. Honestly I was so consumed with the Demon Hunter starter experience, the lore tied to it and the gameplay of the class itself that I completely forgot to take screenshots along the way. I’m pretty sure I’ll be making another Demon Hunter later on in the expansion though (an Alliance one this time) so I will probably take it a bit more slow and screenshot the amazing starter experience Blizzard made for Demon Hunters.
So far I do feel like the class has this huge potential to be absolutely overpowered. I love the gameplay and mobility. I love the looks. I love the lore. And yet I probably won’t abandon my Warrior for one. I’m attached to my little Night Elf berserker way too much to give her up, but I might replace my Hunter with the Demon Hunter as character to roll with on the Horde side. I’ve always loved to play Melee classes and the Demon Hunter itself is a class I’ve been looking forward to for a very long time. Ever since I saw them up on the Black Temple wielding their glaives, instructing their pupils and generally looking badass I’d always hoped they would become a playable class. Lo and behold, Blizzard made my long “player fantasy” come through. And not only with the Illidari, but also with having Illidan play another role in an expansion again. I absolutely love the character to bits and pieces and I hope we get to see more of him as Legion unfolds.

Writing
Like more bloggers I’ve been failing my Blaugust schedule. Although I really really wanted to be able to write a blogpost every single day, I just didn’t have the inspiration to do so. There’s only so much I can talk about and when you’re staring at a blank screen for over half an hour it’s time to do something else instead. I’m still struggling to find my way on this blog. I want to include some more pictures of what I’m up to in games and I want to make it a bit more informative, but I’m just not sure how. For now though I’ll stick to posting as much as I possibly can.

The Sky is Burning!

With Legion coming up and the pre-expansion madness being fully underway I decided to stick my nose back into WoW again for a bit to see what all the fuss is about. I think Blizzard did a really good job with how they are handling the special invasions, although the server lag is seriously dumb. I mostly just want to share some screenies I took as I was slaughtering demons in various zones.

The whole event looks impressive and gives me serious Starcraft vibes. Well done Blizzard. The only thing I’m kind of sour about is the fact you can only get the special looking weapons as you do the invasions and they are very rare to boot. I got myself a pair of 2H Warmaces on my Warrior, but that’s it. I really hope it’s not tied to what you can and cannot wield otherwise I’ll have to take out more characters to “collect them all”. I did already splurged my Nethershards on the Leather set appearance and the pet. Since I’m doing the invasions on both my Warrior and Hunter I’m hoping I don’t have to buy those appearances since I’ll be collecting the actual gear

Seeing all the Demon Hunters run around has been great aswell! Unfortunately since I don’t have my game pre-ordered with Blizzard I will have to wait for that experience untill the actual launch of the game. Oh well. It’s not that big of a deal. Atleast Blizzard has managed to pull me back into atleast two of their games for now. With the new Kharazan Adventure releasing aswell I might even try to open up a wing or two of that. Enough to do anyway!

As for all the other games… I finished up the Moonfire Faire on both my characters in FFXIV. I got all the stuff I wanted except for the Firefly Lamp since I don’t have my own estate anyway and I’m not huge on the furniture collecting. The armor, poses and the orchestion scrolls were a must have though. Luckily for me since the event has been going for a few days it has gotten quiet, which means I could easily get gold rating in the fates tied to the event. Thus “finishing” it on both my characters in <1 hour. Now I just need to get back to farming Yo-Kai weapons…

The Summer Is Magic

After a more personal post yesterday I want to return to games and gaming today, I mean that’s the whole reason I’ve started this blog in the first place anyway right?
Today’s topic covers a magical summer filled with all sorts of lovely events taking place in many of our favourite games. I’ll start off with FFXIV and the second big event that’s taking place in Eorzea next to the craziness that is Yo-Kai medal farming.

I present to you the official art for the Moonfire Faire of 2016! This time Square is preying on our nostalgia and introducing the Power Rangers into our Eorzean lives. I’ve personally not started the quests yet, but I know you can obtain armor, emotes, furniture and an orchestion scroll. I’m absolutely planning on completing this event on both Sandrian and Sarella but reading about a lot of bugs going on right now I think I’ll just wait a few days before throwing myself into the fray. Atleast there will be enough to do next to Yo-Kai farming, my weekly Crystal Tower raids and trying to cap Lore. I already did Weeping City and Void Ark for this week luckily, so I don’t have to worry about those.
Next to that I’m slowly levelling up my alts with all the FATES that I run for the Yo-Kai medals and doing Crystal Tower on my level 50ish characters. So far it’s netted me one level on my MCH, one on my AST and one on my MNK. So I’m slowly heading to 60 on everything!

Next to events in Eorza there’s also a lot of things happening/about to happen in the Blizzard universe. The Legion invasions will start somewhere this coming week so I’ll be on WoW a bit more, soaking it up and experiencing all of it. I have the game pre-ordered, but not via Blizzard so I can’t dive into the Demon Hunter experience yet, and that’s fine with me.
Next to WoW shenanigans a new season has kicked off in Diablo 3 aswell. To be quite honest, I’ve not touched D3 in a very long time and I don’t think I will spend any time playing this current season. I’ve fallen out of love with that game a while ago, mostly because the people I normally play with have all quit… And the constant grinding of the same stuff over and over is starting to get really, really boring. Even the seasonal rewards don’t have me coming back to the game. So unless Blizzard is going to make a major announcement at Blizzcon about Diablo, I think for me that’s a closed chapter for now and I won’t be returning to Sanctuary for a long time.

An event that has caught my attention is the summer games event in Overwatch.
I’ve not played Overwatch that much since launch, but I can never pass up goodies in a game, especially since I can earn them for free! So I’ve strapped on my Overwatch boots again and have about five games under my belt today, and opened a few loot boxes that made me very happy. I got one of the valkyrie skins for Mercy, who is by far my favourite champion, and one of the Summer Games highlight clips, more specifically the one for Tracer. I’m really enjoying myself playing Overwatch for now. Although I end up mostly playing supportive characters like Mercy and Lúcio, I also know my way around on Soldier 76 and Tracer. I hope I can play enough to unlock lots of lootboxes and earn lots of the Summer Games stuff before the event ends on August 22nd.

The last big thing going on is the new Adventure for Hearthstone. Apparently we are getting a partied up version of Kharazan to dawdle around in and I’ve been slowly saving up gold so I can start unlocking the wings as they come out. Blizzard made a tiny prologue to the adventure that is free to play for everyone, so I’m curious to see how that turns out. aswell.

All in all August is going to be a busy month with plenty events, releases and other stuff going on. And I haven’t even mentioned No Man’s Sky or the actual Legion launch yet!

June Recap

A bit late, but I want to look back at June, my gaming goals, and what I’ve achieved from them.
I didn’t set that many goals for myself since I really wanted to take my vacation time to relax and I knew once I had to go back to work there was a big chance I’d be working for 40 hours a week… And I was right. That seriously cut down my gaming time, but well.
Let’s see what I’ve done!

MMO Goals

  • Level Machinist to 50 on FFXIV
  • Unlock all 3.3 content on FFXIV
  • Do the Golden Saucer event on both my Moogle and Cactuar character
  • Get 100k gold on WoW Alliance side (currently sitting on 83k)
  • Start working on the 300 toys achievement in WoW (currently sitting on 102)

Blizzard Games

  • Reach rank 20 in Hearthstone
  • Reach level 15 in Overwatch
  • Finish Chapter 4 of the Diablo Season
  • Play HotS and unlock another Hero (Lunara or Chromie)

Consoles and Handhelds

  • Defeat the second gym in Pokémon X
  • Defeat the 4th gym in Pokémon Blue
  • Play through chapter 8 and some side missions in Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright
  • Play through the House of Gales in Legend of Zelda: A Link between Worlds
  • Ratchet and Clank: PLAY IT!

In FFXIV I’ve made some decent progress. I’ve gotten my MCH to 50 and my WVR to 60! The introduction of the Moogle daily quests have boosted my crafter a lot and it’s the first one to 60 for me so I’m super proud of myself. I’ve also been working on my relic upgrade and am only 20 items off now! Just the final push left to finally being able to upgrade my daggers.

In other games, well I’ve done my rank 20 in Hearthstone and I have played some Overwatch, just not to level 15. I’m way over 100k gold in WoW and I have gotten some toys… Most notably from the Midsummer Festival.
Although I only defeated the second gym in Pokémon X from the list I’ve also finally managed to finish New Super Mario Bros 2 on my 3DS, one of the games I wanted to kill the endboss of this year! So I’m really happy about that and I’m also happily fighting my way through DKC: Returns on my 3DS aswell.

All in all I’ve gotten some stuff done and other stuff not so much. In FFXIV I’ll probably be mostly focussing on finishing my relic next month and as for the rest… I’ll have to think.

Gaming Goals: June

Today my vacation starts which means about 2.5 weeks of not having to even remotely think about work. I can finally turn my attention to a lot of games but also to cleaning the attic and other stuff in my room aswell as getting rid of a lot of stuff in the garden and shed. We have so much junk and it’s been annoying me since forever and now that my dad and his GF are on vacation for 5 weeks I really want to take the time to get things sorted.
I think one of the reasons I didn’t finish many things in May is because I just set goals that I wasn’t really believing in. Eventually I want to level everything in FFXIV yes, but trying to get so much stuff levelled up in a short time is just undoable. So for June I’m going to change things and focus on stuff I really WANT to complete, and not stuff I feel like I should complete.
So here is the list:

MMO Goals
Taking it a bit broader so going to share FFXIV and WoW under one category: MMO’s.

  • Level Machinist to 50 on FFXIV
  • Unlock all 3.3 content on FFXIV
  • Do the Golden Saucer event on both my Moogle and Cactuar character
  • Get 100k gold on WoW Alliance side (currently sitting on 83k)
  • Start working on the 300 toys achievement in WoW (currently sitting on 102)

Blizzard Games

  • Reach rank 20 in Hearthstone
  • Reach level 15 in Overwatch
  • Finish Chapter 4 of the Diablo Season
  • Play HotS and unlock another Hero (Lunara or Chromie)

Consoles and Handhelds

  • Defeat the second gym in Pokémon X
  • Defeat the 4th gym in Pokémon Blue
  • Play through chapter 8 and some side missions in Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright
  • Play through the House of Gales in Legend of Zelda: A Link between Worlds
  • Ratchet and Clank: PLAY IT!

This is about it. A lot less goals than in May even though I have a lot more time to play. I just really want to focus on the stuff that I enjoy right now and anything extra is a bonus. So yeah, let’s get started with June!

May Recap.

The month of May is over today and it’s time to take a look back at what I’ve actually achieved this month.

Goals for FFXIV

  • Level Monk to 50
  • Level Machinist to 50
  • Level Alchemist to 30
  • Level Armorer to 30
  • Level Blacksmith to 30
  • Level Culinarian to 30
  • Level Goldsmith to 30
  • Level Leatherworker to 30
  • Level Fisher to 30
  • Level Miner to 30
  • Finish Scholar 2.0 Relic Zenith
  • Finish Monk 2.0 Relic Zenith

Unfortunately I spent a lot less time playing FFXIV than I would have thought. With work being seriously overwhelming, me starting a new training regime and picking up a few new and very addicting games I actually only completed one goal this month, and that is level Goldsmith to level 30. I have barely touched any other crafters unfortunately, but I did level my Monk and Machinist. My Monk is currently sitting at level 40, where my Machinist has dinged 46 yesterday. All in all I made some progress and actually am not that far off level 50 on atleast the Machinist. Seeing as I have a nice vacation coming up I think I’ll be spending a bit more time in FFXIV so I’ll keep the goals I set for May and just push them over to June.

Goals for Blizzard Games

  • Get rank 20 in Hearthstone
  • Finish second wing of League of Explorers
  • Unlock third wing of League of Explorers
  • Finish Diablo 3 chapter 4 for the season
  • Play Overwatch! (I got early acces to open beta)

Other Goals

  • Finish reading Illidan
  • Finish watching Gotham season 1
  • Defeat second and third Gyms in Pokémon Blue
  • Play through two additional worlds/mission clusters in Ratchet and Clank
  • Wrap up some personal stuff related to University.

I got rank 20 in Hearthstone pretty fast with the release of the Old Gods expansion and also took the time to play through the second wing of LoE so that’s done. I’m still trying to unlock the third wing, but all in good time. I played less Overwatch than I thought, mostly due to being seriously tired. I did get some time in and am played about 5-6 games since launch. I’m still trying out a lot of the roster available and am mostly playing one or two games inbetween other activities as a sort of distraction.
I started out strong in Diablo last month, but unfortunately fell into the “I’m bored of grinding” after only a day or two. I do want to complete chapter 4 for the goodies, so I’ll try to focus on that next month.
As far as my other goals go. I read through Illidan pretty fast and really enjoyed the book. I’m way past the Third Gym in Pokémon Blue now (yay for playing on the train) and I’m over halfway with watching Gotham so I have been doing a lot outside of games. Unfortunately I was just too tired to do much of anything else so a lot of these goals will probably get dragged over to June aswell. I’ll see. I’m looking at what games I’m currently playing and enjoying and probably frame my June goals around that.
I’m a bit disappointed by the fact that I couldn’t do nearly as much as I’d hoped, but well, feeling tired a lot kind of takes away from gaming.

Hype?

With the announcement of the new Battlefield game it feels like the internet has exploded once again. Set in World War 1 it seems Dice is catering to a call coming from a big part of the FPS community that they want games going back to the past instead of games that look to the future.

Personally I wonder if it’s good to “hype up” games like this. I feel like the gaming community is hopping from one game to another. Creating massive expectations only to be disappointed in the long run. I’ve seen it happen to so many games and expansions now that I don’t even bat an eyelash anymore when another game get’s marked as “the next big thing”. We’ve all seen what happened to Destiny, The Division, Warlords of Draenor, ArcheAge. They were all games who promised to do something different, something new. Something worth spending your money on. In the end they were all disappointments in one way or another. Destiny didn’t deliver what they had promised at launch, basically being a ghost of the previews of the game given earlier. The Division had an amazing launch but fell off after people started to reach max level. Their first real added content was a major disappointment, not to mention the countless and countless of cheaters and hackers and bots in the Dark Zone. It really makes the game unfun to play.
Warlords of Draenor had a great launch but turned out to be Blizzard’s most disappointing expansion yet, next to Mists of Pandaria. I hope and pray that Legion won’t suffer the same fate, but I’m fairly skeptical. It’s why I can’t get really excited for the expansion and I actually shy away from all the information that’s being spread by people playing the Alpha. I’m happier if I just go into the game completely blank and then experience everything for the first time, like I used to do.
And now we have Battlefield. I’m personally not a fan of the genre, although I did play Battlefield 3. Shooters in general make me nervous and especially ones that are more PvP oriented. One of the few reasons I can stomach Divison and Destiny is because PvE is such a big part of the game, that I can just avoid PvP entirely and still enjoy my experience. So I’m not hyped up for this game at all, which might be good for my wallet in the end.

What is hype?
I want to take things a step further and say that I’ve honestly not been really hyped for any game release for a very long time. There’s a few games I really want to have, Ratchet and Clank was one of them, but I’ve not been scouring the internet for every breadcrumb of information about X game, intensifying my expectations and excitement about it releasing. Maybe it’s because I didn’t really grow up as a gamer, maybe because it’s just not in my nature to get excited about stuff like this. It’s not just games where I don’t have this. I’ve never been super excited to see X movie coming out either or X show. The only thing I can be excited about are books. I can’t wait untill the 6th installment of a Song of Ice and Fire comes out, like I couldn’t wait to get my  hands on the new Harry Potter book all those years ago.
But hyping up games? It’s not in my nature. I will look forward to a new installation in the Pokémon universe, I will look forward to a new World of Warcraft or FFXIV expansion coming out. I look forward to a new Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy game. But that’s about it.
Instead I get excited when I know I’m going on vacation. Or when I know I’m going to see a concert, or visit a special event, or meet up with a friend I haven’t seen in a while.
But games and their hype? I will never really understand.

The Backlog part 2: PC games and MMO’s

Welcome to part two of my backlog series!
In the previous part I talked about the catalog of games I own for my Playstation 4, WiiU and Nintendo 3DS.  With a list of about 40 games to complete there you’d think I would have my work cut out for me. Well guess what! Next to my consoles I’m also an avid PC gamer with a (not that big) catalog of games going on there aswell.
Like most people who play on PC I have a Steam account. Even though I never really got into Steam in the first place, I was forced to make an account so I could play Tomb Raider. Ever since then I’ve been selectively buying the games I would like to play. Steam sales are therefore never really an attack on my wallet because I’m not the type of person to buy a game just because it’s on sale. There’s plenty of games I will never enjoy and thus will never buy, even if they are 80% off on Steam sales and thus “worth” buying.
Because it’s easier to just post a screenshot of my Steam Library than to type up the games I have manually I’ll do just that… And then comment on the games that are listed.

As you can see I don’t really have that huge of a collection of games, resulting in me actually having played atleast an hour or more on most of them. There are a few there which I haven’t touched at all yet which are Child of Light, Rayman Origins, Jet Set Radio and Sega Genesis & Mega Drive Classics. The latter two I got for free with a SEGA/Steam special collaboration. Child of Light was one of those games I was always attracted to but never purchased untill it was on a very big sale. Rayman Origins ties in with refusing to install the damn Uplay client.
As I said, I have put some time in almost all the games that are listed. Usually making my way through atleast the first level or the introductions or whatever. The two games I have played most are DuckTales Remastered, where I am actually close to finished and Civ 5, which I have played on a few weekend nights with my ex. We would start at 22.00 and play untill 04.00 and still not be finished with our playthrough. I have very fond memories of these gaming sessions and although I haven’t really touched the game in a while, I think it was more than worth the money I spent on it.
As you can also see most of the games on there are platformers, my favourite genre. I do really want to start working through these games and I think I’ll pick up where I left off on Ducktales first. It’s the game where I’m closest to actually finishing so that should not be a real issue.
As far as other games on the list go, I am doing a Trine 2 playthrough with a friend and I really want to get into Stardew Valley. Although I have started a playthrough I feel like I messed it up already and I’m a bit lost as to where I was so I think I’ll start anew and stick to it for now.

Non Steam Games
I have a few games that are not tied to steam hanging out on my shelf. I haven’t played much of these at all. Not more than playing past the tutorial anyway. Which is kind of a shame since they are all good games! The (tiny) list consists of:

  • Assassin’s Creed III
  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
  • Warcraft III + Expansions

I never played any of the Warcraft games and the third was the only one still readily available so I picked it up a few years ago to see how it plays. I played through a bit of the initial campaign but due to being busy with my studies and other stuff I didn’t really have the time to dig too deep into it. Same goes for my Assassin’s Creed games.

MMO’s and other “neverending” games
Here is the section with my favourite game genre: MMO’s. Although many games try to fit into this category for me it just means the MMORPG’s like WoW, Wildstar, FFXIV and the like. I have gamehopped quite a bit throughout my MMO career and still have about 4 big MMO’s lying around, of which three are waiting to be picked up and played again. With other neverending games I mostly mean games with ladder systems like MOBA’s and Hearthstone for example. Games that keep you busy and reset themselves often so you’re never actually done with them. Here’s the list of games of that type that I have installed, own and/or play.

  • World of Warcraft. Although currently being on hiatus untill Legion I don’t want to look at my /played time. I think I’ve sunk most of my time into this game out of all the ones out there.
  • FFXIV. My current MMO.
  • Wildstar. Bought it at release, never got past level 20 though, sadly.
  • Guild Wars 2. Same story as Wildstar. Liked the game a lot, but never got past level 25.
  • Diablo III. Still actively playing. Season 6 just started and I have a level 70 character! I just really want to get the rewards so I should start working on finishing up Chapter 4.
  • Hearthstone. Somewhat active play. I make sure I get rank 20 atleast in every season for the card backs and slowly work my way through the adventures. I don’t do serious ladder play.
  • League of Legends. Dormant at the moment. Ever now and then I fire it up for a game. I don’t seriously rank.
  • Heroes of the Storm. See League of Legends
  • Overwatch. See this game isn’t technically out yet, but I know I’ll be playing a lot. A LOT of my friends pre-ordered it and from the beta stuff I’ve seen it’s an awesome game so I’m really looking forward to putting time into this. Not sure if I will ladder, but you never know!
  • I’ve also dabbled around in Blade & Soul, Lord of the Rings Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic but never really enjoyed those games so uninstalled them and never looked back.

This really concludes my PC “collection”. Most of the games I own are in my Steam library and I have a lot of games that I play that I can’t really finish. I’ve tried playing multiple MMO’s at once, but just couldn’t make it work. I really hope I can keep up playing both FFXIV and WoW when Legion launches, but I’m sure my other games will suffer for it. Especially with me being in the working force I just have much less time to play games than I used to have. And now I regret not using the free time I had before to go through atleast a part of my games catalog.

For part three I will have to dig around and dig up my old games collection. Although I have gotten rid of a lot of my old games (we used to borrow stuff from family and copy it with CD-key, yes I was a pirate of the digital times from very early on!) I do have a lot of original copies of stuff lying around. I also still own all my old SEGA games plus the console, all my old various Gameboy games and old Nintendo DS AND a Playstation 2 with a nice catalog of games. Not sure when part three will be arriving, but I’ll do my best to not keep you guys waiting for too long!

Setting Examples

Blizzard made a very good move with the release of their new Hearthstone expansion: Whispers of the Old Gods.  Next to introducing another new set of cards (134 in total to be precise) they have launched a new mode of play: Standard. Standard mode will only use cards from the last two years of the game, meaning that older expansion and adventure cards will not be used in this format anymore. It will also be the new official tournament format, something I actually quite cheer on. For someone like me having a format where I don’t actually have to catch up on hundreds of cards is a huge deal. For new players it’s also very nice since it’s easier to create “good” decks due to limited use of cards plus there are some mandatory cards that are rendered more or less useless now (I’m looking at you Dr. Boom) giving people much more freedom in deckbuilding. It will also allow for a more shifting meta, all to keep the game fresh.
Ofcourse for the people who are disappointed and have a really big collection of cards there is a game mode called “Wild” where all old cards are still usable. And there will be some Wild mode tournaments going on as well, meaning all the money people may have put in their collection will not feel like a “waste”.

What makes the launch of this expansion so good, in my opinion, is that Blizzard compensated the reduced usage of cards with “free” Old Gods packs. Some earned simply by logging into the game now that the expansion has launched, others earned by winning a grand total of 9 games in the new Standard mode. All in all this earns you 13 WotoG card packs, giving you a nice boost in deckbuilding with the new meta in mind.
Unfortunately the cards from my free packs haven’t been that amazing, but I managed to gather enough Dust from disenchanting old unused cards that I run a decent Shaman deck for Standard mode now and I am enjoying myself very much doing so. It feels much easier to make a decent deck this way and the Old Gods cards themselves are interesting. Add up the fact that next to the 13 free card packs you also get a free Legendary card, C’Thun, and two basic cards to use so you can buff C’Thun. The how and why of this I won’t explain in this post, but it helps new, returning and old players build new decks easily, something the game desperately needed.
As added bonus, it also makes it easier to decide what Adventure one wants to unlock first. Since Adventure cards are rotated out aswell, it’s wisest to always go for the newest one. The downside to this is that not only are the Adventure cards rotated out, old “unused” Adventures are no longer available to be played to new players. Only the players who have unlocked atleast one wing of Naxxramas are able to unlock and play through the rest. Anyone who starts playing now will not see the Adventure at all, and that kind of makes me sad.

All things considered this expansion  caused me to promote the game among my friends, telling them that NOW is the time to get playing because the game technically got a soft reset. It also made me want to play more again and be more serious about climbing the ladder (and consequently get better rewards at the end of the month).
And when a game company achieves that with me, they have made a very good move.

Now, will YOU be inspired to play with the Old Gods?