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Trading Card Games

HEX releases Shattered Destiny card set

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, HEX

Hearthstone isn't the only online card game that's getting an expansion this week; HEX launched its Shattered Destiny set today, vastly expanding the MMOTCG's play potential.

Shattered Destiny, HEX's second set, comes with 200 new cards, five additional heroes, dual-shard cards, dual-socketing, and fun abilities such as tunneling, lethal damage, and skyguard defense. To celebrate the release, HEX is awarding two exclusive alternate-art cards to players who partake in Shattered Destiny-only tournaments this weekend.

Whether you're playing or merely interested in what's been added, you can read both the patch notes and the card list for this update.

Hearthstone players struggle to buy expansion packs

Fantasy, Bugs, Expansions, Previews, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Hearthstone

hearthstone
While a new expansion to the hit card game Hearthstone is cause for much celebration, in some corners it's also been cause for consternation as players have struggled to buy the right packs from the in-game store. This and other expansion issues got so bad, in fact, that getting these CS requests sorted out forced Blizzard to slightly delay Goblins vs. Gnomes' European launch (although it is now live in that region).

The problem, as dismayed players and streamers discovered, is that the default pack purchase option in Hearthstone's store was for the base game's cards, not the expansions. Gung-ho players would then accidentally mass-purchase a whole lot of packs thinking that they were from Goblins vs. Gnomes, only to discover that they just wasted hundreds of dollars on cards they already had. Touch Arcade has come to the rescue by pointing to a handy guide how to buy the right packs for the expansion.

Hearthstone launches Goblins vs. Gnomes on December 8th

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

Yes, this is a thing that's happening.
It seems as if it was only a month ago that Hearthstone players learned the title of the game's first expansion, Goblins vs. Gnomes. Probably because it was a month ago. That expansion is launching on December 8th, adding 120 new cards into the card pool and displaying an alacrity that other Blizzard titles could only dream of achieving. The new expansion cards can be crafted, purchased, or earned via the Arena, just like the existing packs except with new cards.

If you're interested in having a launch party, Blizzard is also interested in your launch party. If you plan your event, have it registered as a proper gathering by notifying the community team, and then submit pictures and stories about the event by December 22nd, you could win a little Hearthstone care package. Or you could just kick back and enjoy the new expansion by playing. Your call.

Blizzard issues thousands (more) Hearthstone bot bans

Fantasy, Culture, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Trading Card Games, Casual, Miscellaneous, Hearthstone

Not just for using bots.  The first expansion is all about goblins and gnomes.  Come on.
Good news, Hearthstone players. If you've been using a bot to automate your gameplay, you'll log in today to find a shiny new prize! Specifically, that shiny new prize is not being able to log in because you've been banned. Your prize was being banned. Blizzard has awarded this prize to "several thousand" Hearthstone accounts using third-party tools to automate gameplay; the bans are permanent, so no need to worry about losing them at the end of the season.

Players who have not been botting and violating the game's TOS will also log in to find a shiny new prize, which is a play environment with far fewer bots. Isn't that nice? The official post reminds players to report suspicious behavior by emailing the development team so that in the future another group of cheaters can wake up to find a brand-new lifetime ban locking them out of the game.

Those of you who can still log in may also want to take the opportunity to vote on the next teaser for the Goblins vs. Gnomes expansion.

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip!]

Blizzard wins lawsuit and shuts down Hearthstone clone

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Legal, Hearthstone

hearthstone
Back in January we reported that Blizzard levied a lawsuit against Unico Interactive for its game, Legend of Crouching Dragon, which Blizzard claimed was a reskinned clone of Hearthstone.

It looks as though the courts agreed, awarding Blizzard and its Chinese partner NetEase $1.6 million due to copyright infringement. Legend of Crouching Dragon has been removed from app stores, and Unico said that it will be reimbursing players for money spent on it to date.

Even with the ruling, Unico remains defiant against "false stories" in the press and claims that it hasn't seen any official order to pay compensation to Blizzard.

Not So Massively: Overwatch's reveal, Hearthstone's expansion, and Dawngate's sunset

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Lore, New Titles, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Trading Card Games, Consoles, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, HEX, Hearthstone, The Division, OARPG, Overwatch

NSM - Overwatch
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.
  • Blizzard announced online team-shooter Overwatch at BlizzCon. Chris Metzen says Blizzard is trying to build a more representative game with less hypersexualization.
  • Hearthstone is launching in December and getting a new expansion: Goblins vs. Gnomes.
  • EA's MOBA Dawngate is shutting down in three months.
  • League of Legends introduced Kalista, the Spear of Vengeance.
  • MMOTCG HEX dropped its beta key requirement but denied that it is in open beta.
  • Heroes of the Storm's closed beta starts January 13th. It's also getting a sweet Diablo III-themed map.
  • Diablo III previewed its upcoming season. According to content designer Kevin Martens, Diablo was once considered for an MMO, but no longer.
  • David Braben says Elite: Dangerous' December 16th launch date is "sensible."
  • Star Citizen passed $60 million in fundraising.
  • Quirky indie MMOFPS Hunternet boasts 700-player battles.
  • World of Tanks' 9.4 patch added Stalingrad map and tweaked strongholds.
  • The Crew hinted at a new "PvP mode" and season passes.
  • MechWarrior Online's latest dev vlog covered inner sphere quirks and faction switching.
  • Ubisoft said that The Division's PC experience won't suffer because of consoles.
  • Some jerk swatted a Bungie/Destiny exec; the internet demands prison time for said jerk.
  • The latest World of Speed vid features nearly four minutes of gameplay.
  • Bigpoint's Shards of War introduced a new sentinel, Vox.
  • Undead Labs discussed balance in Moonrise.
  • Dota is now the subject of a course at Chongqing Energy College in China.

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BlizzCon 2014: Hearthstone: Goblins vs. Gnomes expansion announced

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Hearthstone

hearthstone
It's about to get all funky and explosive up in Hearthstone. At BlizzCon today, the team announced that the upcoming expansion is called Gobins vs. Gnomes and will be releasing next month.

Hearthstone: Goblins vs. Gnomes will contain over 120 new cards that draw upon the innovations of these clever and mad inventors. Two of the cards mentioned were the Explosive Sheep and the Annoy-O-Tron. Currently, the expansion is "in a final balance pass" prior to its December launch.

Hearthstone will also be coming out on Android devices next month.

Liveblogging the opening ceremonies of BlizzCon 2014

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Events (Massively's Coverage), Miscellaneous, Diablo III, Subscription, Hearthstone, E-sports

You call it snark, I call it a healthy dose of world-weary cynicism.
Dear readers, I am going to be wholly honest with you. When I was asked if I could do this liveblog for BlizzCon, I thought I was being asked if I was capable. Like asking "can you ride your bike with no handlebars" or "can you sing to a cat until it leaves the room in disgust." But here I am now, so apparently the question was significantly less rhetorical than I had originally assumed and now I need to actually do this.

You can watch the standard definition feed of the convention's opening ceremonies on the official site for free. I'll be liveblogging the important announcements in the comments if you're in a place where you can't watch along (at work, misplaced your headphones, hiding in an Amish barn and fearing discovery should your phone give away even the slightest beep); highlights will be collected past the break. There will probably be announcements about Blizzard games! Like World of Warcraft and Hearthstone and maybe, if it's very lucky, StarCraft II.

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HEX drops beta key requirement but denies status of open beta

Betas, Fantasy, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, HEX

hex
A major announcement has been sounded on the HEX forums: No longer will potential players need a beta key to test the game, as that requirement has been dropped as of last week.

Cryptozoic claims that this move doesn't signify that the game is in open beta, but merely a way to draw in even more people than ever before. "I bet you're asking yourself why not just call it open beta?," the team posted. "Well, we're not ready to call it open beta. However, we've reached a point in our testing where we needed to increase the volume of players on our servers to provide us with additional information and logs."

Splitting hairs over semantics aside, now everyone can check out this unique trading card MMO if so desired. There doesn't appear to be any NDA restriction either, as the devs have encouraged players to stream the game.

Turns out Blizzard found more Hearthstone cheaters to ban

Fantasy, Bugs, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, News Items, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Hearthstone

Hearthstone
Earlier this week, Blizzard banned "several thousand" botter accounts in MMOTCG Hearthstone for the crime of botting. But the bans were only temporary, and the problem players will be back in the game by the turn of the year.

The subjects of a new wave of bans, says Blizzard, won't be let off so easily. Community Manager Whirthun told forumgoers last night that win traders have and will continue to be banned -- permanently:
We've recently banned Hearthstone accounts that were found to be participating in win trading. Win trading at any rank is something that we do not take lightly, and is in violation of our Terms of Use. As we mentioned in our previous statement regarding fair play in Hearthstone, instances of cheating will not be tolerated. Accounts that were discovered participating in win trading have received permanent account closure and disqualification from events where ranking is used as a method of qualification.
Win trading is an exploit of the matchmaking system to position accounts for easy ladder climbing. PC Gamer reports that several big-name Hearthstone players have already fallen to the ban, including a grey hat player who went public with the exploit nearly a year ago in the hopes of provoking Blizzard to fix it.

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.]

Hearthstone due out on smartphones early next year

Fantasy, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Trading Card Games

Technology used on your portable technology to make something that is already portable and replicates another portable game... our sci-fi future is weird.
The one thing that Hearthstone currently lacks in comparison to traditional card games is the simple portability of a deck of cards, but that deficiency will soon be rectified. A new update on the official site shares an infographic with players and talks turkey on the upcoming clients for iPhones and Android phones.

The client for Android tablets is nearly finished and should be ready before the end of the year; the iPad version softlaunched last spring. But the iPhone client is taking just a little longer to polish up. As a result, the clients for these devices will not be ready until early next year. So you won't be able to bring the game with you on your phone to winter holiday gatherings in 2014, but before long, you'll be carrying an entire deck of cards in a device that is smaller than an actual deck of cards.

We've included the game's playerbase infographic below.

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Not So Massively: RuneScape's TCG, Destiny's playerbase, and Firefly Online's engine

Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, New Titles, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Consoles, MMOFPS, World of Tanks, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warships, MOBA, Diablo III, Destiny, Infinite Crisis, Path of Exile, E-sports, OARPG

NSM - Chronicle
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.

Continue Reading

RuneScape announces Hearthstone-like card game

Betas, Fantasy, New Titles, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser, Mobile, Trading Card Games

runescape
Hearthstone's success is hard to ignore in the industry, and it doesn't take much effort to connect the dots between that title's growth and Jagex's decision to develop an in-game card battler for RuneScape. The UK-based studio announced that it's making Chronicle: RuneScape Legends to be played inside of its popular MMO.

Chronicle takes place inside a "magical book" that challenges players to use deck-building to create quests that can be completed through PvE and PvP card battles. "Your opponent will be creating quests in parallel with you, but watch out as they might try to steal your weapons or gold," the website states. "At the end of your quests you do battle, with the last person standing the victor!"

According to Eurogamer, Jagex has been working on Chronicle since the beginning of the year to be released sometime in 2015 for the PC, Mac, and mobile devices. Chronicle is currently accepting beta sign-ups.

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.

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Make My MMO: December 14 - 20, 2014

Posted on Dec 20th 2014 7:00PM

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