Monthly Archives: March 2013

Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft Announced!

Today, Blizzard Entertainment announced Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft.  Blizzard has also set up a YouTube channel with some videos giving you a glimpse into this new game.

Hearthstone: Trailer

In the next video from Blizzard, you’ll see the game being played.  I’d like to point out that it appears that the game may be available for multiple platforms.  With two views of the video I’ve noticed it being played on a PC via an Intuos and what appears to be an Apple iPad.  The tablet could, of course, be an Android tablet.  The gaming communities hope would be that it’s available everywhere; PC/Mac and iOS/Android devices.

Hearthstone: Gameplay and Behind-The-Scenes

Hearthstone is a fast paced online collectible card game.  It’s geared for the beginner as well as the advanced card player.  Chris Metzen explains the impact that other such games, like Magic: The Gathering, had on the early development of Blizzard’s company culture.  For the development of this game, Blizzard took a more low key approach.  Bringing together a 15 man team of do-it-all experts, they worked to create something Epic in play, but not size.  Hearthstone’s mechanics will be familiar to players of TCGs and CCGs and spells, items, and monsters will be familiar to previous Blizzard gamers.

Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft

The artwork for the game is a major selling point.  With a card game being such a visual sport, it’s nice to have a huge library of fantasy art to pull from.  On a personal note, I’ve been wanting to get into the World of Warcraft TCG for years, but haven’t had the time or space to do so.  I think Hearthstone looks very promising and I’ll be patiently awaiting a Beta invite.

If you have played Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft, then leave a comment or send a message!

Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft

StarCraft 2 Heart of the Swarm Collector’s Edition Unboxed

Blizzard’s Collector Edition games have become a staple of the Blizzard fanboy’s library.  StarCraft 2 Heart of the Swarm should be no exception.  With last year’s release of Diablo 3, the digital goodies have gotten more plentiful.  In-game character aesthetics, banner sigils, and banner accents are added to the exclusive in-game World of Warcraft pets and mounts and StarCraft 2 portraits and decals.  With different items appealing to different people based on preference or collecting habits, WoW pets are to me as Beanie Babies are to little girls, some prefer the physical items included in the Collector’s Edition.  To date, every Collector’s Edition has included an art book showcasing the amazing talent of the design team.  These art books sell for a premium by themselves, due in part to most collectors not willing to part with them.  Most editions include another special item made especially for the collector’s edition, such as a cloth map, mousepad, or custom USB drive.

StarCraft 2 Heart of the Swarm Collector’s Edition

The construction of the box alone helps me appreciate spending the extra money for the collector’s edition.

starcraft 2 heart of the swarm

Everything is very carefully arranged and packaged inside to keep things together during shipping.

My personal de facto standard on a Collector’s Edition, the art book.

starcraft 2 heart of the swarm

Some of the illustrations are breathtaking.  Maybe a little scary, but breathtaking all the same.

starcraft 2 heart of the swarm

The behind-the-scenes DVD / BluRay.  These usually have some pretty interesting segments in them.  I usually only watch them once or twice though.  I tried to sell my Wings of Liberty DVD on eBay and wound up meeting Neil Kaplan.

starcraft 2 heart of the swarm

Honestly, I’m a little better with the soundtracks, but not much.  These do sell after the fact pretty quickly.  I suppose it’s because Blizzard doesn’t sell a physical version in major retailers.

starcraft 2 heart of the swarm

The StarCraft 2 Heart of the Swarm Game DVD.  The game itself is the same disc as a standard edition.  It’s the activation code that makes it special and gives you the digital goodies.

starcraft 2 heart of the swarm

The Zerg Rush Mousepad.  I like the Blizzard mouse pads fine, but I don’t usually use them.  However, today I think I will since I’ll be doing most of the campaign at the kitchen table on the laptop with headphones on.

starcraft 2 heart of the swarm

Video

If you want to see the unboxing unfold via video, here’s a link to the short video I shot of the actual unboxing:

YouTube

The Call of Koprulu

Now that this thing is fully unboxed, it’s time to get it installed on my Gaming PC and laptop.  I plan on tacking as much of the campaign as I can in the next 24 hours.  Hopefully I get the game conquered before the weekend.  Sign up by email, using the box to the right, to be updated when I post the spoiler-rich, in-depth review of Heart of the Swarm.

StarCraft 2 Heart of the Swarm

StarCraft 2 Heart of the Swarm, Blizzard’s follow up to StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty, will be released around the world tomorrow.  Last weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting Neil Kaplan, the voice of Tychus Findlay from Wings of Liberty.  Which is a humorous story all by itself.  But first, here’s a video discussing the upcoming release:

Neil Kaplan, the voice of Tychus

I occasionally sell some things on eBay.  Things just sitting around the house collecting dust, things for friends, things I pick up at secondhand stores, or things that might be under-appreciated by the locals but would be a treasure to someone somewhere.  For the last month or two I had the behind-the-scenes DVD from StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty sitting out there waiting for someone to bid or buy.  Last weekend, I receive an email from a buyer asking if I would bring the item to the local comic book / anime convention going on.  That buyer happened to be Neil Kaplan.  The family had plans already so I initially declined.  Along came some snow, and those plans changed, so I hopped in my truck and made the short trip to Oak Grove, KY.

Mr. Kaplan explained to me that he likes to buy a few copies of the behind-the-scenes DVD to sign for fans.  Not a bad idea at all.  So, I traded an item I was trying to sell for a one of a kind experience.

starcraft 2 heart of the swarm

I talked with Mr. Kaplan for quite a while.  When asked about the upcoming expansion, StarCraft 2 Heart of the Swarm, he didn’t give me the usual “Sorry, I can’t say”, instead he explained why he won’t say.  Before personalizing the picture above, he made sure I had completed the campaign mode of Wings of Liberty.  Neil Kaplan hates spoiling things.  He told me that when he was a teenager, he had the opportunity to go see The Empire Strikes Back.  Upon his return home from seeing one of the most popular sequels in movie history, his mother asked how it was.  Of course we all know now that at the end of the film it’s revealed that Darth Vader is Luke’s father.  We take that for granted now, but that was a huge reveal at the time.  Neil wouldn’t give up the goods other than to tell her that she had to go see it.  Even with the threat of being grounded, he wouldn’t spoil the movie.

StarCraft 2 Heart of the Swarm ?

Needless to say, he would not confirm or deny ift Tychus makes an appearance in StarCraft 2 Heart of the Swarm.  I’m ok with that, because what he did say was much more interesting.  He has been discussing the future of the character with Chris Metzen, Senior VP of Story and Franchise Development at Blizzard.  They would like to do more with the character.  Perhaps working on some of the early story of Tychus and Raynor or maybe bringing the character back from the dead.  It is a sci-fi universe after all.  The Protoss character Fenix had a similar treatment within the scope of the original StarCraft, with only a few missions between his fall and return.

With the game releasing and launching tomorrow, March 12, across the globe, I’m pretty excited.  Be looking for more video and articles about StarCraft 2 Heart of the Swarm in the coming days, including tomorrow mornings unboxing of the Collector’s Edition!

starcraft 2 wings of libertystarcraft 2 wings of liberty