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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

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

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.

Hearthstone unlocks the doors to the Plague Quarter

Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Hearthstone

The second wing of Heartstone: Curse of Naxxramas is now open for players to explore and plunder, as the weekly rollout of this online card game expansion continues.

The Plague Quarter has unlocked for players, but unlike the free taste of the Arachnid Quarter, this one will require gold to purchase. Inside the quarter, you will find Noth the Plaguebringer, Heigan the Unclean, and the big boss Loatheb.

Players that master the Plague Quarter not only will be treated to new cards for their collection but can also go on to tackle two class challenges with additional card rewards.

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip!]

Hearthstone's Naxxramas will cost $24.99 to fully unlock

Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Promotions, Hearthstone

While the first taste of Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas will be free for all players, the rest will cost a good chunk of money. Blizzard announced its pricing for the solo adventure pack today, stating that players will have several options to purchase Naxxramas including a $24.99 package that includes the full deal.

The first of five wings of Naxxramas will be offered for free, with the remaining four wings available to purchase separately at $6.99 apiece or together in bundles of various size. The only option to buy the wings using in-game gold (and the only potentially free path) is to buy the wings at 700 gold each.

Once Hearthstone opens the doors to Naxxramas, the devs will unlock a new wing at the rate of one per week. Blizzard also announced that it will offer heroic versions of these wings -- and new card backs -- once they're beaten in normal mode.

Hearthstone catches players up on Naxxramas lore

Fantasy, Lore, Previews, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Hearthstone

Hearthstone players will soon have the opportunity to revisit the iconic fortress of Naxxramas in an upcoming adventure pack, which means that it's time to get up to date on the backstory of what this citadel is all about.

In a new lore post, Blizzard walks players through the necropolis' history, layout, and key residents. The place is run by the lich Kel'Thuzad and encompasses four sections: the Arachnid Quarter, the Plague Quarter, the Military Quarter, and the Construct Quarter. Each of these quarters lists the bosses that players will be facing off against in the single-player adventure, as well as the penultimate Frostwyrm Lair and its protector, Sapphiron.

There may be no overt strategy secrets revealed in this article, but sharp-eyed players may deduce the themes and styles of the bosses that they will be encountering when the update goes live.

DreamHack Hearthstone tournament plagued by cheating allegations

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

Did he or didn't he cheat? That's the controversial question surrounding a Hearthstone tournament winner this week.

At the DreamHack Hearthstone tournament, Radu Dima won 3-0 in the final round and was rewarded with a $10,000 check. However, during the second game Dima received a message on Battle.net revealing the details of his opponent's hand. Dima reported the message after the match, and the officials declared that the information would not have helped him and said that he could keep playing. But this prompted viewers to go back to look at earlier Battle.net messages that some are saying contain coded hints about opponents' cards.

The organizers of the tournament have yet to comment on the situation. Dima declared on Reddit this morning that he won fair and square.

HEX developers reject copyright infringement allegations

Business Models, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Trading Card Games, Legal, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, HEX

Last week, Wizards of the Coast filed a lawsuit accusing Cryptozoic, the studio behind upcoming MMOTCG HEX, of "willful infringement of intellectual property rights," among other patent and trademark infringement claims. Cryptozoic has responded this week with a statement rejecting what it's calling "frivolous" complaints:
Although we take all pending litigation seriously, we do not find any merit to the allegations in the complaint. We do not expect this frivolous legal action to impact our efforts to deliver a compelling and entertaining game experience to our customers.

HEX: Shards of Fate is a digital only MMO-TCG that attempts to innovate what a digital trading card game can be. Its digital only nature allows it to push the boundaries in ways a traditional paper TCG never could. As a small company, the daunting task of defending ourselves from the bullying of a much larger corporation is difficult, but we are committed to HEX: Shards of Fate and ultimately we will prevail.

We respect intellectual property rights, but the right to make a TCG is not exclusive to WOTC. Many TCGs can, and do, coexist consistent with any IP rights WOTC might have. While IP rights are important, so is fair competition. WOTC cannot snuff out fair competition with frivolous infringement assertions.
The original complaint is viewable online.

Not So Massively: The Division's delay, Atari's MOBA Minimum, and HEX's lawsuit

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Trading Card Games, Consoles, MMOFPS, MMORTS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, Sandbox, MOBA, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, HEX, Hearthstone

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

Wizards of the Coast accuses MMOTCG HEX of copyright infringement

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Trading Card Games, Legal, Miscellaneous, HEX

In a press release issued today, Wizards of the Coast announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Cryptozoic, the studio behind MMOTCG HEX, which is currently in closed beta. WotC alleges "willful infringement of intellectual property rights":
May 14, 2014 (Renton, WA) – Today Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS), filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington against Cryptozoic Entertainment, LLC and its alter ego, Hex Entertainment, LLC (collectively, "Cryptozoic"), for willful infringement of intellectual property rights.

Cryptozoic develops and publishes the digital trading card game, Hex: Shards of Fate, a clone of the world famous tabletop collectable trading card game, Magic: The Gathering®, and its digital expressions, Magic Online® and the Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers® franchise.

"Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast vigorously protect our intellectual property. This infringement suit against Cryptozoic demonstrates that while we appreciate a robust and thriving trading card game industry, we will not permit the misappropriation of our intellectual property" said Barbara Finigan, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Hasbro. "We attempted to resolve this issue, but Cryptozoic was unwilling to settle the matter."

The suit includes claims for copyright, patent and trade dress infringement.
[Developing. With thanks to dddd for the tip!]

Hearthstone is not coming to consoles any time soon

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Patches, Trading Card Games, Hearthstone

Despite player interest, Blizzard has now officially said that a console version of the popular Hearthstone strategy card game is not in the works at the moment as the development team is focusing on the upcoming expansion and the game's Android version.

"It's not something we're actually looking at right now," production director Jason Chayes told Eurogamer in a recent interview. "We feel like we have our hands full in the short term with getting onto Android as soon as we can, which is kind of one of the big priorities we're looking at right now."

A spectator mode is also a possibility for a future patch after the game's wild popularity livestreaming on Twitch.tv. "Twitch has been great, all the streamer support has been awesome, and it's something that's really kind of surprised us a little bit," Chayes added.

Hearthstone is currently available for the PC, Mac, and iPad with an Android version coming soon.

Not So Massively: Hearthstone's iPad launch, HEX's closed beta, and HOTS' Brightwing reveal

Betas, Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, Mobile, Trading Card Games, MMOFPS, Community Q&A, Not So Massively, MOBA, Infinite Crisis, HEX, Hearthstone, Virtual Reality

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

Hands-on with Hearthstone for iPad

Fantasy, Launches, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Trading Card Games, Hearthstone

While I was part of the early beta crowd for Hearthstone last year, I haven't played it in quite some time. It wasn't because I became disenfranchised with the game but rather because I felt it truly belonged on a tablet -- and playing it on a PC just felt wrong somehow. So I've been waiting for Hearthstone to finally make the leap to the iPad, and when that happened yesterday, I was all over it like a murloc swarm on a noobie.

In many ways, Hearthstone is absolutely tailor-fit for mobile gaming. It requires minimal manipulation; poking, holding, and the occasional swipe is about as complex as the physical mechanics get. It's a turn-based thinker's game that gives you ample time to plot your strategy and get a few other things done between moves. On an iPad, that's pretty easy; I would read a book while my opponent took his/her/its turn.

The game actually kept me up past my bedtime because of the "just one more match" temptation, which tells me that the magic that fueled my interest in this game in beta is roaring more now than ever. But how does it actually handle on Apple's devices?

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Hearthstone comes to iPad

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Launches, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Hearthstone

After a soft launch in a few countries, Hearthstone is now available to iPad owners worldwide.

Blizzard announced today that Hearthstone is on the app store as an alternative to the PC version. The title is available on iPads 2 and newer as well as the iPad minis. New and returning players will be treated to a free card pack as part of this release.

Hearthstone has a funny trailer for the Apple release, which you can watch after the jump.

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Jukebox Heroes: Talking to HEX Composer Michael Shapiro

Fantasy, Interviews, Trading Card Games, Jukebox Heroes, Music, HEX

Massively: On today's column we have the composer of the upcoming TCG MMO, HEX. Now that's a lot of capital letters all in a row, so take a deep breath, get over it, and please welcome composer Michael Gordon Shapiro. Mike, can you give us a bit of your background in music?

Michael Gordon Shapiro: When I started my career I was only interested in film music. Game audio was just starting to emerge from the low-tech era, and there was a kind of stigma associated with it, much as there used to be with television music. As fate would have it, I was offered an in-house composer position at a game studio and was pleasantly surprised to find myself recording the same kind of live orchestral music that I loved doing for film. I also came to appreciate the high artistic effort going into both console and PC game scores.

So from that point, the stigma dissolved in my mind and my artistic palette widened. Today I love doing both film and game music, for both overlapping and complementary reasons.

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PAX East 2014: Hearthstone reveals Naxxramas single-player adventure

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

Hearthstone is planning to revisit one of Azeroth's most notorious locations in the card game's first single-player adventure: Curse of Naxxramas.

Blizzard announced at PAX East that a new single-player mode for the game will be coming "soon" starting with a romp through the necropolis of Naxxramas. In it, players will journey through five wings of a dungeon, accumulate new cards, and fight bosses with their own unique abilities. Thirty new cards and nine class challenges will come with the adventure as well as a Naxxramas-themed game board.

Once it's released, Curse of Naxxramas will slowly unlock its wings over the course of five weeks. The first wing will be free, with the remaining four requiring purchase. It will release on all platforms simultaneously.

Massively's on the ground in Boston during the weekend of April 11th to 13th, bringing you all the best news from PAX East 2014. Whether you're dying to know more about WildStar, Landmark, or any MMO in between, we aim to have it covered!

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