Blizzard and Me

Blizzard and I have a strange relationship. I was about the biggest fanboy you could be when it came to their early years in the 1990’s. I remember playing Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness back when you still had to run them through DOS. The games were easy to learn but more difficult to master. The original Diablo was also a staple back then, but it wasn’t until Starcraft was installed on my machine that I became a fan for life. Hailed as one of if not the best RTS game of all time, Starcraft was truly a perfect storm. Competitors such as Command & Conquer held their own, but Starcraft set the bar for all RTS games to come. I fell in love with the game, eschewing nearly all other games I was playing to devote my life to it. I beat the campaigns, I beat the expansion, I played regularly on Battle.net, though I never got involved in the ladder. I used the map editor to create new maps, attempted to create a Starcraft RPG within it, and even had a webpage dedicated to it, that won an award back in the days when GeoCities were a thing. Clearly, I was obsessed.

That obsession came back when Diablo II released in 2000. I was in my senior year of high school, and thankfully was at a point where I could pretty much ignore school so my grades didn’t suffer, despite the fact that I was constantly playing it. I lamented when the computer I was using fried and I was unable to play the game after the Lord of Destruction expansion hit. I was able to play it periodically at friend’s houses, but I lost out on part of the game’s evolution for the most part.

When Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos hit stores a couple of years later, I was still computer-less, though I had a good friend who would allow me to play it when I was visiting. Eventually, I had a new computer and I purchased the Battle Chest for the game, that was packed with The Frozen Throne expansion, and ended up playing through both, along with playing the game itself and multiple mods created by the community. Never DotA though, and for that I am sad. Nevertheless, my obsession with Blizzard’s fantastic games continued.

Upon hearing of the upcoming MMO World of Warcraft, I was very excited and wanted to be one of the first to play it. At the time though, I was unemployed and was unable to afford a copy of the game let alone a subscription fee. There were also stories of huge queues and Blizzard pulling the game from store shelves, so I made a decision to stick with the original Everquest, which I had been playing off and on for years (though never very seriously).

A couple of years later, I had basically forgotten about Blizzard altogether. I was busy playing single player games, shooters like Counter-Strike and Day of Defeat, Call of Duty, or whatever was in my Playstation 2 library. Sure, WoW was a success and hard to ignore, but I wasn’t at that point of being obsessed with MMOs like I would be in the future. Eventually my Dad (who had introduced me to EQ) was telling me that he had picked up Everquest 2, and I followed suit. I convinced my roommate at the time to join us, and soon I had a mixture of friends and family that were all playing the game together. It could have just as easily been WoW, because honestly they are very similar games when it comes down to it, but we had found our home in Norrath and my obsession with MMOs had nothing to do with Blizzard. It even came to a point that from what I had read, what I had seen and what I had talked about with friends, that WoW felt like the inferior game in many ways, despite being vastly more popular with most of the world. We felt like we had made the right choice regardless, and since Blizzard hadn’t done anything with any of their IPs outside of WoW for years, I basically wrote them off altogether.

From circa 2003 to circa 2010, I didn’t play any Blizzard games. There were times I would dabble with Starcraft or Diablo II, but I didn’t feel the love for the company that I once had. It was a sad state of affairs, but it was what it was. It wasn’t until I had a falling out with the MMO genre altogether that I opened up the possibility of playing and enjoying World of Warcraft. I had spent very little time in these virtual worlds for a couple of years and had a new job where my direct co-worker wouldn’t stop yammering about the game. I finally succumbed to his pandering and bought the Battle Chest that included Vanilla and The Burning Crusade. I also picked up Wrath of Lich King shortly thereafter.

I was pleasantly surprised how much I could enjoy the game I had spent so much time trashing. So much time arguing over with friends who loved it and I was still wondering why. None of them would even give my games of choice the time of day because they felt like they already had so much invested in WoW. I don’t blame them, looking back. They were right. I was wrong. However, it seems that somewhere along the line Blizzard put all of their eggs in one basket, and forgot about people like me. People who helped them become the behemoth. Who paid their way towards making WoW which would then in turn make them the king of the gaming world.

Sure, I played WoW for about six months and enjoyed myself well enough, but the time investment I had put into Everquest 2 continuously pulled me back to that game instead. Had I started with WoW, I probably would be like most of you who are reading this post. WoW would be my game, and I’d either play it steadily or leave for a couple of months only to return when the next expansion hit. Either way, I had that relationship with EQ2, so it was easy to leave WoW to go back to that game. WoW never hooked me the way other Blizzard games did, and I don’t think it ever will.

It wasn’t until 2013-14 that I really got back into Blizzard games, and this wasn’t due to World of Warcraft. I managed to get into the Beta for Hearthstone and was rather impressed with it, and played it for quite a while. I purchased Diablo III and its expansion, and as it sits now that is currently my favorite Blizzard game, though Starcraft II has been fun as well (though no where near as addictive as its predecessor was for me). I also picked WoW up again, pre-Warlords of Draenor, but only played for a month and wasn’t hooked this time either.

Hearthstone was unique in that it was a free to play title, which Blizzard hadn’t released before. I loved the fact that it was a CCG because of my history with Magic: The Gathering, and though it was simple and still based on Warcraft lore, I was hooked for a time. I played through beta into full release, earned enough gold to buy all of the Naxxramas adventures and even continued playing after Goblins and Gnomes released. It was around this time though that I started to feel disenchanted with the game. The random effects began to get to ridiculous levels where it felt like you had very little control over what happened in a given match, and if I wanted to play a dice game I’d just go play craps. Still, it has become a steady revenue stream for Blizz, and they’ve added more solo adventures and are teasing a new set of cards coming out sometime soon in The Grand Tournament. Good on them, but it’s no longer a game that gets my regular attention.

Diablo III launched and had its issues (namely the Auction House) and I avoided playing it until after they fixed the problem with the patch 2.0. Shortly thereafter Reaper of Souls released, and along with it one of the best ideas the company had in a while: Adventure Mode. The level of replayability and the fact that patches are still released fairly regularly leads me to believe that Blizzard learned their lesson from the past. Diablo II didn’t have much added to it after LoD. Diablo III looks to have new content added regularly, and that’s good for the franchise overall. Even now, patch 2.3 is in testing and they’re adding a whole new zone, a powerful artifact, and changes to Adventure Mode.

Starcraft II was different from its predecessor in that it released only one single player campaign at a time, but has made changes through Battle.net to the multiplayer portion of the game. Mods are better supported through the Arcade as well. The third campaign Legacy of the Void, centering around the Protoss is in development now and the game has definitely lived a long life, sitting at the five year old mark already.

Clearly, Blizzard is starting to remember those of us who weren’t that taken with WoW but still love their other offerings. They’ve also started to branch out a bit by adding new IPs, such as Heroes of the Storm. Granted, this game still draws from their other IPs so it’s not entirely new, but it is their first foray into the MOBA scene and seems to be doing fairly well, though it’s not as popular as the kings of the genre League of Legends and DOTA 2. Personally this game appealed to me because I figured Blizzard would make a great MOBA, but it fell short of my expectations and I haven’t touched it since it was in Beta. Still, it’s good to see the company do something else besides make content for their MMO.

Lastly, a completely new IP called Overwatch has been in development for some time now. It’s actually showing up in the Battle.net launcher now too, though I haven’t heard of anyone getting any in-game time just yet. It’s a team-based lobby shooter, and though this isn’t a new genre in itself it’s something Blizzard have yet to do and it looks good. Hype got the best of me with HotS though, so I’m not super excited but I will try it when I get a chance. Perhaps it will exceed my expectations if I keep them low. Video of the game does look fantastic though.

Most people are in the middle of writing (or have written) posts about their predictions for the next WoW expansion which will be announced later today. The other big news is that WoW is down to 5.6 million subscribers, a low not seen since 2005 or so, yet still the biggest amount of subscribers in any western MMO at this point, with FFXIV coming in a close second. I really wanted to make some commentary but as you can see, my history with WoW is limited, though my history with the company might exceed some of yours. I’m thankful that they have done well and can potentially make more games that I’m interested in sometime in the future. But I have nothing overly positive to say about their MMO and I don’t suspect that will ever change. I’m in agreement with some members of the blogosphere that WoW is slowly being sunset and focus within the company is shifting to other projects. Honestly, I think diversification is good not only for Blizzard but for gamers like me as well.

WoW is dead. Long live Blizzard.

#blizzard #history

RE: About League and HotS

Belghast has written a post coinciding with the launch of Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard’s entry into the MOBA market. He doesn’t say as much, but I have a feeling that his post was spurned in part by a comment I made on Twitter the other day, in which he and a handful of others chimed in on the discussion.

I actually called Strife baby’s first moba long before using it in reference to HotS, but I retract that comment, because Strife definitely has more levels of complexity than Blizzard’s game, including item builds and last hitting, though it holds your hand through the process more so than games like League of Legends or Dota 2. I should also notate that my Twitter handle was changed because of a comment made by Liore in said tweet-fest, in case you were wondering.

Last-hitting and item builds seem to be the two areas of contention for Belghast, and are the points he focuses on most in his post (these are also points he made on Twitter prior to his blog). I’m not foolish enough to think that my counter points are going to change his mind or his character; he’s not a PvP-oriented, competitive guy, and that’s fine by me. We have had our differences of opinion on the topic of PvP more than once, but I respect him and his writing enough to say so. This is in no way a personal attack, nor is it an attempt to convert anyone’s way of thinking to match my own. I only aim to point out some fallacies in his post, or at least present a different point of view.

Let’s start off with HotS. I’ve written about it twice before. In the first post I found while digging through the archives, I was anticipating the title but also expressed my strange relationship with Blizzard and its games.

A newly released video detailing some of the features of Blizzard’s upcoming MOBA “Heroes of the Storm” has me really wanting to try it out. I remember when it was first talked about and went by Blizzard All Stars or whatever, I figured it was just another cash grab by the mega company. I have a weird relationship with Blizzard. I loved the Warcraft and Starcraft RTS games, and loved the early Diablos, but then when WoW came out I was entrenched in another camp (Everquest). I remember having negative things to say about Blizzard at the time, none of which were really founded in legitimacy. WoW is a great game, I’ve played it since and I no longer feel the need to be a fanboy to one company or another. I have also recently been playing their newest games – Diablo III, Starcraft II, and Hearthstone. Funny enough, I played Hearthstone only so that I could make negative commentary, and then ended up loving it.

I still play Blizzard’s games and enjoy them. Opposite of the Hearthstone reaction, I went into HotS expecting greatness only to be disappointed (though I should point out that my love of Hearthstone waned quickly due to some of their poor design choices). In the second post I wrote about the game, I had just participated in some Alpha gameplay and found that the distinct lack of depth killed the game for me.

It was no secret that I had been anticipating this day as a MOBA enthusiast, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that this game is not going to dethrone either of the other “big ones,” but will probably be popular with people who haven’t touched other MOBAs. The main reason for this separation into “camps,” comes down to one word: Depth.

One bit that I will give Blizzard credit for is that they have attempted to remove some of the toxicity from the MOBA environment in that they have decided to pool the team’s XP so that no one falls behind, they made the objectives more of a priority than team fighting or last hitting, and removed item builds so that people have less to be confused about. They also made adjustments to things like your KDA so that the scoreboard after a match doesn’t reflect poorly on anyone. However, in doing so they removed some of the key elements that provided depth in gameplay, and that didn’t sit right with me.

I had at least that many kills by myself, but the game doesn’t give you kills and assists in separate categories, it combines them into takedowns. Do towers and other buildings go in there too? I don’t know, but I do know that 25 Takedowns sounds a lot less awesome than 25 kills, 0 deaths, 2 assists. I know that this is a purposeful design choice so that everyone feels like a winner, like they contributed, even though the are providing significant less DPS or support than others. Mouthbreathers get Takedowns. In the words of Jim Jefferies:

You might not be a winner at everything, you might not be a loser at everything, but you won’t find out what the fuck you’re good at if they tell you you’re fuckin’ good at everything.

I’d say that pretty much sums up where I stand on the HotS front. I have been a longtime fan/player of League of Legends though, and as such I recognize mechanics and elements of design that others who haven’t really played the game might not. Belghast points out some portions of League of Legends (but that would also carry over to some extent to most other games in the MOBA genre) that irk him, and then provides reasons. I’m here to point out a few things that I think were overlooked or misrepresented in his post. Let’s start from the top shall we?

The big problem I had with League was the fact that it felt like I was not only competing against the players on the other team, but also competing against my own team mates for resources.  The concept of last hitting feels so divisive that I am shocked it exists in any team based game.  The fact that a team mate can either purposefully or accidentally snipe the last hit on a minion and gain all of the gold just seems like a horribly selfish tactic to introduce into a supposedly “team focused” game.  While I feel like the higher tiers of competitive play more than likely focus on the team effort and winning games, the low tier players tend to focus entirely on making themselves look good.  The best way to that end result is to feed heavily in lane and go on a murder spree, which means the other player in that lane is going to be starved out of resources and won’t be able to help the team later in the game.

I feel like Belghast doesn’t understand the point of last hitting. In LoL, last hitting a minion results in gold for the player making the killing blow. The meta of the game dictates that a single player takes the top lane, another the mid, two take bottom, and one goes to the jungle. This means the only lane where said contention for resources will happen is the bottom, where the carry and support will be spotted. The support’s job is to keep the carry alive, and allow him the last-hit gold (though improvements to support items sometimes encourage last hitting by the support). In all other lanes, the players are by themselves and have no competition for last hits, aside from their lane opponent, who can and should interfere as much as possible (in games like DOTA, you can even deny gold by killing your enemy’s creeps). When you look at the scoreboard, seeing which side of a lane has more cs (creep score, the amount of minions that person killed) is a good indicator of who is winning the lane. Winning your lane is imperative for the rest of your team, as a losing lane puts pressure on other parts of the map. However, this isn’t the only metric for judging skill or the only factor that contributes to winning or losing the game. Having a jungler that will help losing lanes, a mid laner that roams, or a top laner that will teleport to other parts of the map to help out all play their part. So just as HotS encourages team play by removing the extraneous factors, League encourages it by providing options. At the end of the day, any and all of these issues are countered with practice, and it’s hard to expect anyone to get better at playing/understanding without practicing.

The problem is doing the item build system well, requires you to have actually research your champion and what sorts of things they need.  What I want is a more universal path to “this item adds more awesomeness” so I struggle to find items to build that make sense for whoever I am playing.  Now on champions I have played a lot like Garen, WuKong or Darius I have finally figured out how I want to build each of them for my own play style.  The problem being this was something that happened over lots of trial and error.  Quite frankly I don’t want to have to devote the processing cycles to figure that out, I just want a sequence of choices that add some flavor but in which there is no real “wrong” choice.

Again, I’m confused by the conviction of Bel’s words, but lack of overall understanding. The item system in League is very straight forward. If you have never played a champion (with a pool of 120+ it’s easy to see this happening), Riot was nice enough to provide “recommended items” and you cannot fail by using these. It’s that simple. Build what is provided to you, and you will have the stats needed for any situation. Knowledgeable players in the game will also recommend items you might want to pick up based on who you are playing, so listen to them. Also, it’s rather easy to visit sites like MOBAFire or LeagueCraft and quickly search for build advice before you jump in a game, and make personal item sets for specific champions that will replace Riot’s built in recommended items. A small amount of effort, and problem solved. Just remember, Magic based champions require ability power for damage, Physical champions take attack damage, and armor/magic resist and health are great on tanks. These are all RPG basics people.

In conclusion to this, I will say that the levels of depth that I crave/love are ones that turn other people off, and that’s fine. Belghast makes his points, but makes it clear that he’s just not someone who likes competition. Competition drives me to do the research and put in the practice to get better. Competition drives him to a simpler game. I suppose the niche HotS is filling is great for people in the same boat, but I can’t help but feel like it’s an insult to the genre. Now that the game is launched I’m going to give it more of a shot, but I’m not holding my breath expecting my opinion to change.

For some more related reading, check out these posts by Syncaine:

HotS: A New Low For Blizzard
HotS: Shut Up Newbie
Last-Hitting in a MOBA is Like XP in an RPG; Don’t Leave Home Without it

To me someone not liking the actual gameplay of last-hitting is like someone not liking questing in an RPG; at some point it’s not so much the game as it is the player needing to find something that better fits them. Just like an RPG doesn’t need ‘fixing’ by removing quests, the MOBA genre doesn’t move forward by removing last-hitting, at least not without a suitable gameplay replacement.

-Syncaine

#mobas #leagueoflegends #heroesofthestorm

Couch Podtatoes Episode 30: The H1Z1 Controversy

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This week we’re taking a look at the controversy surrounding H1Z1’s launch. I happen to be playing the game as you all well know, and I happen to enjoy it, and don’t see what the big deal is. Eri is respectfully disagreeing with me on more than one issue, so we hash it out for a bit. Coincidentally, we’re also talking about another controversy that popped up during the week, where Heroes of the Storm went into Beta, and Blizzard decided to throw “founder’s packs” into the mix, adding more fuel to the already hateful Early Access fire. Count them for our Idiots on the Internet this week. Lastly we take a look at Aywren’s blog once again, where she wrote an interesting piece on storytelling in MMOs, and how mediocre it is these days. Let the battle begin. Fight!

 

Download this Episode Subscribe via RSS Download on iTunes Listen on Stitcher

Couch Podtatoes Epsiode 30: The H1Z1 Controversy (runtime: 1:01:05)

What are we playing? (starts at 1:25)
Discussion: H1Z1 (starts at 8:11)
Idiots on the Internet: HotS (starts at 44:35)
Community Spotlight: Aywren (starts at 54:10)

Host Contact information:

Izlain
Blog: Me vs. Myself and I
Twitter:@mevsmyselfandi

J3w3l
Blog: Healing The Masses
Twitter: @ausj3w3l

Idiots on the Internet Article:
http://www.polygon.com/2015/1/20/7861633/the-heroes-of-the-storm-founders-pack

Community Spotlight:
Clean Casuals
The Article

Music Credits:
“Level Up” by Cookie Monsta (from the Riot! EP)
“Six Pack” by Black Flag (from the album The First Four Years)
“Traitors” by Misery Index (from the album Traitors)
“Some Kinda Hate” by Misfits (from the box set)
“Enchanted Rose” by Bury Your Dead (from the album Beauty and the Breakdown)

Couch Podtatoes is a podcast about gaming, though we might stray into other forms of media. Sometimes we use strong language, but we try to keep that to a minimum. All opinions expressed by us or our guests are our own and are in no way to be interpreted as official commentary from any companies we discuss. You can visit our official podcast page at http://couchpodtatoes.libsyn.com/. Be sure to follow us on iTunes, and/or Stitcher Radio.

Questions, comments and feedback are welcomed and encouraged!

#couchpodtatoes #podcast #gamesdiscussion #gaming

Hot-mess of the Storm

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I’ve talked about Heroes of the Storm, the new effort by Blizzard to take an existing genre and polish it, more than once in recent months. For the past few months on Twitter, I’ve seen rounds of conversation revolving around getting into the Technical Alpha for the game, and finally that day came for me as well. I was probably getting ready to play Diablo III or a few rounds of Hearthstone, when lo and behold, there was a button for HotS, and I installed it rather quickly. It was no secret that I had been anticipating this day as a MOBA enthusiast, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that this game is not going to dethrone either of the other “big ones,” but will probably be popular with people who haven’t touched other MOBAs. The main reason for this separation into “camps,” comes down to one word: Depth.

Let’s just talk about a basic run down of how the game works, and then I’ll get to my meaning.

The game starts off by asking you your level of comfort with the MOBA genre. This should have been a red flag to begin with, but it is a fair question. I picked one level underneath “Master” because I am confident in my abilities though still wanted to see a tutorial of sorts. The game jumps into said tutorial at this point and tells you the basics of what you’re doing.

Screenshot2014-12-24 23_51_28

Of course the game is also set up as a bot match to get you started, so your AI teammates go through their motions while you fight against other similarly programmed bots. This typically ends in ridiculously lopsided affairs, because one human makes all the difference. Afterwards I was prompted with the option to train more against bots, or go online. I stuck with bots because I hadn’t see enough of the game yet to be prepared for PvP. Turns out, having pre-ordered Reaper of Souls, I received my first hero for free, the Demon Hunter Valla. Of course I needed to try her out, and she ended up being much more entertaining than Raynor was in the tutorial.

Screenshot2014-12-24 23_56_07

At this point I decided it was a good idea to familiarize myself with all of the other heroes, see what the cash shop had to offer, and see what sort of meta game exists. As far as metagame goes, it’s pretty much non-existent. Yes, you do have a background leveling system of sorts, but that just opens up further passives and skill tweaks that you pick in game for each character. You can also buy all of the heroes for either in-game currency or cold-hard cash. That’s about the only positive side to the marketplace, as the rest of the fluff items that I’ve spent money on in other games like League of Legends, is grossly overpriced. Remember the “Sparkle Pony Debacle” from circa 2010? This has that sort of feeling too it. For instance, want to buy a hero for real money? ~$10 please. Want a skin? $10+ thank you. Want to skin your stupid mount that you use once in a while in the game? How about $20? Fuck yeah!

Screenshot2014-12-24 23_58_43

This item in the cash shop didn’t irritate me. It’s resonably priced, it works just like boosts in League, and it’s for people who have more money than patience. This one doesn’t bother me, and I might even have used it, were I more interested in really investing time into the game.

Screenshot2014-12-24 23_51_33

Aesthetically the game irritated me in two ways: one was that the camera feels too zoomed in, the characters are too big (and look hokey next to the towers and buldings), and it cuts down on your field of vision. Second, the combat didn’t feel as fluid as it does in other MOBAs. It didn’t feel as responsive, and didn’t feel like Blizzard’s typical level of polish. This could be chocked up to being an Alpha product at the moment, but I have a feeling they just don’t have the right engine to do what needs to be done. I’m no programmer so I’ll just leave that alone, I’ll finish by saying that it just doesn’t feel right to me.

Where I see a problem with this game, especially for people who play other MOBAs seriously (and besides the fact that the cash shop is ridiculous), is in the depth department. Your character will level up from 1-20 in a given round (provided that it lasts long enough) and will open up their four main abilities progressively (like in any MOBA you’ve played) but at certain points will also give you “upgrades” that will either do something passively or add some effect to your existing abilities. Think of it like the way skill upgrades work in Diablo III: Each skill has runes that you get to pick and choose from each match. That’s where the hero’s metagame comes in, with your earned match xp going towards the hero you used, and you open up new options for them in future matches. This is all in lieu of the 100’s of item combinations that you can choose from in games like League and Dota. That’s great for someone new to the genre, but even “baby’s first MOBA,” Strife, had item builds. And I actually enjoyed that game for a time.

There’s also no vision control. The jungle has a variety of mobs that once killed will do things for you, like running up a lane, or in the case of one map, becoming a controllable monster usable by your team. These are both reminiscent of Strife (the Monkey that pushes a lane for you after killing a jungle mob) and League (the new changes to Smite and the buffs from different camps). Really, it’s the same damn game we’ve all been playing for years, but with a different skin and so much less depth. Another huge pet peeve for me is the scoreboard:

Screenshot2014-12-24 23_55_14

You’ll see in this round, my team won and my 25 “Takedowns” was the top score across the board. I had at least that many kills by myself, but the game doesn’t give you kills and assists in separate categories, it combines them into takedowns. Do towers and other buildings go in there too? I don’t know, but I do know that 25 Takedowns sounds a lot less awesome than 25 kills, 0 deaths, 2 assists. I know that this is a purposeful design choice so that everyone feels like a winner, like they contributed, even though the are providing significant less DPS or support than others. Mouthbreathers get Takedowns. In the words of Jim Jefferies:

You might not be a winner at everything, you might not be a loser at everything, but you won’t find out what the fuck you’re good at if they tell you you’re fuckin’ good at everything.

-Jim Jefferies

Also, what the fuck is Mechanics? How’s that for nondescript? Apparently I have worse mechanics than everyone on my team, despite out performing all of them. Where’s the gold-per-minute metric? This just doesn’t mesh correctly in my mind. More lack of depth.

All in all, I find that the lack of depth and lack of polish on the gameplay itself isn’t conducive to me wasting my time with this title. Knowing it’s free to play and I’ll have access indefinitely from this point, I will try it again in a few months and see if anything has improved, but I don’t see this game being worth my time. It might be worth yours, if you haven’t taken your training wheels off yet.

#heroesofthestorm #moba #alpha

Heroes of the Storm

A newly released video detailing some of the features of Blizzard’s upcoming MOBA “Heroes of the Storm” has me really wanting to try it out. I remember when it was first talked about and went by Blizzard All Stars or whatever, I figured it was just another cash grab by the mega company. I have a weird relationship with Blizzard. I loved the Warcraft and Starcraft RTS games, and loved the early Diablos, but then when WoW came out I was entrenched in another camp (Everquest). I remember having negative things to say about Blizzard at the time, none of which were really founded in legitimacy. WoW is a great game, I’ve played it since and I no longer feel the need to be a fanboy to one company or another. I have also recently been playing their newest games – Diablo III, Starcraft II, and Hearthstone. Funny enough, I played Hearthstone only so that I could make negative commentary, and then ended up loving it. Apparently I still have some emotional issues regarding the company. I’m getting over it though, and trying to work past having been brainwashed 😉

So all of that weirdness aside, this video gets me excited. Blizzard is known for polish, and damn even in an alpha stage this game looks great. Waiting until a fad has been going on for a long time and then making the best version of that fad is also Blizzard’s m.o., and with League of Legends and other MOBAs already having success, here comes Blizz to steal the limelight! Despite the negative connotation there, it’s actually a genius move, and one that has been working for them for over a decade now. Titan will probably be a sandbox MMO at this rate.

Needless to say I opted in to the beta. I assume that will be coming pretty soon, judging by the video.

Anyone else looking forward to this?