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Hearthstone

Blizzard mass-bans Hearthstone cheaters

Betas, Fantasy, Events (Real-World), PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Hearthstone

Last night, Blizzard announced that it's brought the banhammer down on cheaters in its MMOTCG, Hearthstone. "Several thousand" botter accounts have been banned for the next two months, though the studio warns it won't be so lenient next time:
We've recently banned several thousand Hearthstone accounts that were associated with the use of third-party programs that automate gameplay, otherwise known as "bots" or "botting." These accounts will be banned until 2015. As we've stated, fair play is at the core of the Hearthstone experience, and cheating and botting will not be tolerated.

We're committed to creating a fun and rewarding environment for our players, and we will continue to closely monitor activities within Hearthstone and take appropriate action against cheating in any form, as outlined in our Terms of Use. From this point on, accounts found to be cheating will be permanently closed without warning.
Blizzard encourages players who encounter exploits to contact the hacks team; those who believe they've been wrongly banned can appeal their ban through the customer service department. [We've corrected our original story, which directed folks to the hacks team for all issues.]

Not So Massively: LoL's billion, SOTA's Steam debut, and Hearthstone's smartphone plans

Betas, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Classes, Culture, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes, Consoles, Casual, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Crowdfunding, Path of Exile, Hearthstone, E-sports, OARPG

NSM - Infinite Crisis
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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Not So Massively: Star Citizen's Guinness record, Dota 2's mega patch, and GTAO's last team standing

Betas, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Crime, World of Tanks, Not So Massively, MOBA, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Shroud of the Avatar, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Hearthstone, E-sports, OARPG

NSM - Dota 2
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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Hearthstone set for an expansion with over 100 new cards

Fantasy, Expansions, Patches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Hearthstone

Like Magic, only in slow motion.
Hearthstone's little trip to Naxxramas went pretty well, but the game is headed for something bigger. An expansion has been confirmed to be in the works for the game, as we first reported during PAX Prime this year. Production Director Jason Chayes has now revealed that the expansion will add over 100 new cards with a central theme tying all of the additions together, far more than the 30-odd cards added to the game during the Curse of Naxxramas adventure series.

Chayes told Polygon that one of the big concerns for the team is making sure that the pace of new content for the game neither bores veteran players nor overwhelms new arrivals, making an expansion something of a challenging prospect. If the expansion goes well, the plan will be to mix up full expansions and single-player challenges over the course of a year, giving players more things to look forward to. No hard and fast details have been announced yet, but expected them in the near future.

Perfect Ten: What Titan's death means for the industry and you

World of Warcraft, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, Opinion, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Diablo III, Hearthstone

titan
Blizzard's fans are in mourning this weekend and its competition is no doubt rejoicing after the World of Warcraft developer finally cancelled its seven-years-in-the-making Titan MMO. Word on the street is that Titan was a little too similar to what Bungie came up with in Destiny, although all the studio itself will say is that it ultimately wasn't fun.

So Titan joins Starcraft Ghost and Warcraft Adventures in the Blizzard graveyard. It's a loss for those who were hoping to see what Blizz could do outside of World of Warcraft in the MMO space. But what does this cancellation mean for Blizzard, the industry, and us as MMO gamers? I have a few thoughts, although I'll pre-empt them by predicting that your life will most likely go on just the same it did before this momentous announcement.

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Not So Massively: Hellgate's return, HEX's beta, and Elite's pricing

Betas, Trailers, Video, Business Models, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Mobile, Consoles, MMOFPS, Not So Massively, MOBA, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play, HEX, Hearthstone

NSM
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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Hearthstone boasts 20 million registered players

Culture, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Casual, Miscellaneous, Hearthstone

Ironically, this would be far better than Warcraft is doing lately.
Does it ever seem like there's an endless flow of players in Hearthstone? There's not. But there are quite a lot of players, with Blizzard Entertainment announcing today that the game has broken 20 million registered accounts. If those were all people with real cards, that would be... a lot of cards. Like, at least a dozen.

The game launched on the iPad in April and is aiming at an Android tablet release in the near future, as well as expanding to iOS/Android phones. Hearthstone will also have its first world championship at Blizzcon this year, with contestants fighting for a $250,000 prize pool.

[Source: Blizzard Entertainment press release]

Not So Massively: LoL's lore reboot, Destiny's launch, and Firefly Online's beta

Betas, Video, Business Models, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Buy-to-Play, Hearthstone

NSM - Destiny
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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BlizzCon offers up virtual tickets

World of Warcraft, Culture, Events (Real-World), News Items, Miscellaneous, Diablo III, Hearthstone

Hear in exciting details all of the way that our games will make you angry for another year!
If you really want to check out BlizzCon but can't quite manage a flight out to California, a solution is available. Virtual tickets are now available from Blizzard for $39.99, allowing you to watch the panels, the competitions, and the events live from the comfort of your own home. Sure, you won't get to actually be packed in the convention hall, but this way no one cares whether you're wearing pants or not, so you even come out ahead.

Purchasing a virtual ticket will give you access to bonus in-game goods for World of Warcraft, Diablo III, StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm, and Hearthstone, although the details are not yet available. All of the streams are also available in high definition and can be re-watched, so you needn't worry about missing something. If you've already purchased a physical ticket, you still have access to a virtual ticket as well, so you can still take advantage of the streaming. Everyone who wants to attend can at least get something like that experience.

Hearthstone announces its sixth season and a new card back

Fantasy, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Miscellaneous, Hearthstone

Boy, I'm super glad that pirates are still a shared point of pop culture obsession.
Are you ready for the sixth season of competitive Hearthstone play? Because it's live right now, complete with a new card back for players to show off. This season offers a nautical look with the Pirate back available through September. Players who have hit at least Rank 20 or higher in ranked play mode will be awarded the card back at the end of the month.

As in previous months, success in ranked play will earn you bonuses toward the next season, but even if you start at or above Rank 20 this season you'll need to play at least one ranked match to earn the new card back. Fortunately, you have plenty of time to do just that if you want your deck to tell opponents that they'd better buckle their swashes.

Not So Massively: The MOBAs and pseudo-MMOs of PAX Prime 2014

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Classes, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, Diablo III, Destiny, Star Citizen, Shroud of the Avatar, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play, Hearthstone

Moonrise
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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PAX Prime 2014: Hearthstone eyes an expansion

Fantasy, Expansions, Interviews, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Events (Massively's Coverage), Hearthstone

hearthstone
The PAX Prime Blizzard booth was one of the larger and more populated venues on the show floor this year. A slow-moving line wrapped around it as players waited eagerly to try out Warlords of Draenor or to see Heroes of the Storm for the first time. Yet it was Hearthstone -- a free-to-play game available to anyone at anytime -- that was winning gamers over.

I talked with Game Director Eric Dodds about how this small project at Blizzard blew up into a great success story. He said that when the team noticed that Twitch livestreams of Hearthstone were drawing in thousands and tens of thousands of viewers is when the studio knew that it had a hit on its hands.

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Not So Massively: Hellgate's resurrection, Path of Exile's expansion, and Destiny's launch trailer

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, Hellgate: London, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Trading Card Games, Consoles, Crime, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warplanes, MOBA, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Buy-to-Play, Hearthstone

Hellgate
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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World of Warcraft's Chinese partner sees increase in profit and revenue

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Economy, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Diablo III, Hearthstone

wow
Earlier this month, Blizzard claimed that a "disproportionate" amount of its 800,000 lost World of Warcraft subscribers were from the east. While that may be, China is doing quite well with the studio's games.

Gamasutra reports that Blizzard's partner in the region, NetEase, posted a "modest rise" in both profit and revenue during the second quarter. The company reported revenue of $376.6M, a rise of 13% from last year. This financial summary includes NetEase's own titles along with World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Hearthstone. Hearthstone was singled out as a "strong earner" due to its recent launch in the region.

Both Blizzard and NetEase are working to bring Diablo III and Heroes of the Storm to the country in the future.

Check out Warlords of Draenor's collector's edition

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Diablo III, Subscription, Hearthstone

wow
With yesterday's announcement of World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor's launch date fresh on fans' minds, Blizzard has followed up on the hype with details concerning the contents of the expansion's collector's edition.

The CE, which is priced at $89.99 on Amazon, includes the full game, a behind-the-scenes DVD/Blu-ray set, the soundtrack, a 160-page art book, and a mouse pad. Of course, if digital goodies are more your style, then you'll be happy to know that you'll get a Dread Raven mount and Dread Hatchling pet for World of Warcraft, two StarCraft II portraits, a pennant for Diablo III, and a custom card back for Hearthstone.

Blizzard said that supplies of the collector's edition are limited.

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