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Trading Card Games

The Stream Team: Custom decks with HEX: Shards of Fate

Betas, Fantasy, Video, PvP, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Trading Card Games, Livestream, The Stream Team, Crowdfunding, HEX

HEX: Shards of Fate
In last week's stream of Cryptozoic's HEX: Shards of Fate, Massively's Mike Foster opened 20-ish booster packs and used the cards he discovered to build a haphazard custom deck. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time left in the stream to actually hop into a live match with another player. In tonight's stream, Mike will take his probably terrible deck into the wild and see how it fares against a real-life HEX opponent.

Card-slinging begins at 7:00 p.m. EDT.

Game: HEX: Shards of Fate
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Friday, September 19th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Stream Team: Getting decked in HEX: Shards of Fate

Betas, Fantasy, Video, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Trading Card Games, Livestream, The Stream Team, Crowdfunding, HEX

HEX: Shards of Fate
HEX: Shards of Fate is an all-new (well, maybe) online trading card game that raised over $2 million on Kickstarter in 2013 and just recently entered closed beta. Tonight, Massively's Mike Foster will leap into HEX to see how it feels compared to its most high-profile competitor, and to take a thorough lashing from players who are much better at playing card games than he.

Join Mike at 7:00 p.m. EDT to catch a glimpse of HEX in action.

Game: HEX: Shards of Fate
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Friday, September 12th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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HEX is not Hearthstone: A look at HEX's closed beta

Betas, Economy, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, Opinion, Hands-On, Trading Card Games, First Impressions, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, HEX

It's been a while, HEX. Last time I saw you was E3 2013. I hadn't yet started to play Hearthstone, and truthfully, I doubted it could hold a candle to you. In a lot of ways, I was right. It's so much simpler, it's less complex, and at the time, it felt less imaginative. But my card game days are behind me. I don't have the kind of time I used to, so Hearthstone's faster games and accessible drafts (called "arenas" in HS) reminded me of the things I love about the genre while allowing me to keep my grown-up schedule intact and being easy on my wallet.

Just the same, HEX, when I got the closed beta invite to see you again, my heart skipped a beat. I was ready to drop some big money on you, but I've been burned a few times. While I've been in betas and alphas for other games, there's been a trend of letting people pay to play unfinished products. I've been burned, and while I don't regret the experience, I do regret the purchases at the moment. I mean, when a game suddenly disappears from the market, it does make you question your decisions, so I decided we should go out a few times first before I really invest in you.

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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

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

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.

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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.

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