Tag Archives: blizzard

Blizzard's Hearthstone coming to Android and iPhone

Blizzard has revealed Hearthstone: #HeroesofWarcraft, its card-based battle game, is in development for iPhone and Android, in addition to #tablet devices and PCs.

The phone development project for Hearthstone was revealed during the opening keynote at this year’s Blizzcon.

Offering an update on the game’s development, Blizzard’s Rob Pardo said the “tablet version is coming along great” and has reached the stage where it is “almost at the same level as the PC”.

“We’re going to go open-beta on PC next month or maybe drag that into January,” he added.

Hearthstone is a collectible card game in which players place cards on a virtual table in a turn-taking style strategy game. However, Blizzard has said it is attempting to create a game that is “far more fluid than other CCGs out there”.

“Designed to be deceptively simple and epically engaging for players of all backgrounds, Hearthstone features quick and lively duels that evoke the spirit of a friendly match played beside a crackling tavern fire,” it says in a press release.

Different variety packs of virtual cards will be available to purchase for use in battle and, according to Pardo, purchased cards will transfer from the PC to other versions of Hearthstone.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has been put together by a new internal team within Blizzard formed of 15 developers.

Reblogged from: computerandvideogames.com

”linux-game-gaming-gamer-news” title=

Expect Blizzard to launch a game for Linux this year

An interesting look at how the gaming community is responding to Blizzard getting into the Linux

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If there’s one thing that 2013 will be remembered for it’s as the year gaming on Linux got serious. This is already pretty much assured due to the launch of Steam for Linux and the dozens, if not hundreds of games that will bring with it to the Linux OS. On top of that you’ve got the launch of Ouya, which puts Android, and therefore Linux, in a console for just $99.

If that wasn’t exciting enough for January, then there’s another bit of news making the rounds this week: Blizzard is set to release a game for Linux before the year is over.

Michael Larabel, the man behind the Phoronix website and who first broke the news about Steam for Linux, has had it confirmed by a source at Blizzard that such a game is in the works. It looks likely to be a port of an existing game from one Blizzard’s very popular series, we just don’t know which one yet. Initially it will be targeting Ubuntu users.

Blizzard hasn’t released games on Linux in the past as the company failed to see a market big enough to warrant the cost of supporting it. It also helped that the Windows version of games like Diablo III run fine on Linux using Wine, even if Blizzard did ban such players last year.

”stormwind”

It also turns out Blizzard already runs a lot of code on Linux, such as the server code used in a growing number of its games that require a connection to the Internet. A Linux client for the MMO World of Warcraft has also been actively developed and maintained as far back as 2011.

The top contenders for a Linux port have to be Diablo IIIStarCraft II, or World of Warcraft. With WoW already having a Linux client working alongside two years of maintenance updates, it seems likely that will be the game Blizzard choose. The only question that remains is why they are doing this now?

If I had to make an educated guess, I’d say Blizzard is embracing Linux so as to ensure it can target more gamers in a fragmenting market. The market for Linux gamers is going to explode this year due to Steam for Linux, Windows 8 isn’t exactly doing great, and until now Windows has always been where Blizzard made its money so it must be a little concerned for the future. You then have to consider the emerging platforms such as Ouya, which already has over 63,000 backers waiting for their console to ship.

Blizzard already has Windows covered, but by embracing Linux it can appeal to the same market as Steam for Linux as well as target new platforms like Ouya. And who wouldn’t want World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft games running on a TV using a $99 console? That’s potentially millions of living room gamers Blizzard could cater to with both game purchases and monthly subscription charges.

Blizzard Admits Linux User Was Wrongly Banned, Offers Refund

Blizzard Admits Linux User Was Wrongly Banned, Offers Refund
There’s probably a lot of pro-corporate advocates sitting in front of a plate of crow right now feeling awfully sheepish about how they defended Blizzard like Johnny Cochran defending OJ Simpson. We all know now that Blizzard was wrong and one Linux user was able to get a dual refund out of the deal.
Over on the WineHQ forums a Linux user who wanted to remain anonymous, save for donning the handle vexorian, was doing extensive testing with Diablo III running on WINE. He knew he was walking into a minefield but he wanted to find out what was really going on with all the massive amounts of Linux bans occurring in Diablo III. He did, in fact, run into a very obvious problem where Warden was crashing due to a bug in Wine 1.5.13 and 1.5.14. Quite naturally, back on October 23rd vexorian was promptly banned and he took to the forums to explain what he had been attempting to do to find out if Warden really was at fault. Turns out, Warden was at fault.After being banned and given the proverbial runarounds from Blizzard’s tech support, he even tried to explain his situation and what he was trying to do for testing purposes.

Nevertheless, the ban was permanent and no refunds were being offered. However, vexorian decided to go on about his business and actually buy a second copy of Diablo III on November 8th and play the game via Windows XP. Shortly thereafter, on November 14th vexorian received the following e-mail from Blizzard’s tech support…

We recently closed the Diablo III license on your Battle.net account listed above. However, we’ve found evidence that the closure may have been a mistake on our part so we will re-open the license for play as soon as possible. We humbly regret the error and hope that you will accept our sincere apologies.

Not only was vexorian given a re-opened license for the banned version of the account he was playing on Linux but he was also refunded for his second purchase of the game on Windows XP ($120 refund in total).

Oh wow, this really is the complete opposite of what Bashiok had mentioned back in July, isn’t it? Remember where everyone was hopping up and down on Blizzard’s sack saying that the Linux bans were in result of cheaters and Warden was infallible and all that jazz? Oh, here let me refresh some memories with Bashiok’s quote…

We’ve extensively tested for false positive situations, including replicating system setups for those who have posted claiming they were banned unfairly. We’ve not found any situations that could produce a false positive, have found that the circumstances for which they were banned were clear and accurate, and we are extremely confident in our findings.

Playing the game on Linux, although not officially supported, will not get you banned – cheating will.

Oh burn, Bashiok….burn! It was a false-positive.

You just got freaking owned, bro. If this was Halo you would be getting tea-bagged on the face right now, eating a lot of Master Chief schlong and drinking your own salty tears.

As I mentioned in the previous article, Blizzard just got caught in a lie. I wish they had bothered to do investigations into these accounts instead of puffing their chests and claiming that if people got banned they must have been cheating.

I’m sure they’ll start offering refunds to Linux users who bring their cases forward to tech support and conducting more investigations because right now Blizzard is under the microscope for faulty security and consumer fraud in a class action lawsuit.

Offering refunds to Linux users will probably help them save face and earn a few extra brownie points in front of the judge. If you play on Linux and have been wrongly banned be sure to keep at it with their tech support. Even if Linux isn’t officially supported they don’t tell you on the box that you’ll be permanently banned and denied a refund if you decide to play Diablo III on Linux. Remember, you have rights as a consumer.

Reblogged from: cinemablend.com

”linux-game-gaming-gamer-news” title="Linux Game Gaming News

Diablo III – lots Of Linux Users Perma-Banned

diablo III - lots of linux users perma banned

Starting to see a pattern here, folks? I know a lot of people don’t like negative news about Diablo III and Blizzard, and most times when we report and investigate matters involving Linux users banned in Diablo III the common response from the outside is that all Linux users who get banned must be cheaters. Well, additional bans have gone out and this time a Linux web portal is getting involved since none of the Linux users are getting help from Blizzard.

We previously reported on the Linux bans when they first occurred back in July, we did follow-ups with some of the Linux users who talked openly and honestly about their accounts and they even offered Blizzard to take a look at their machines, something that happened once again when more Linux users came to us for help after claiming that they had been wrongly banned. We even went as far as talking to a Blizzard rep about the bans, requesting on behalf of the Linux users if they could at least look into the matter, but Blizzard never got back with us or the banned users.

Today, however, PlayOnLinux moderated a new thread to help collect and systematically breakdown some of the bans happening, and as you can see, the thread is growing quite large, quite fast.

Additionally, even more Linux users who were hit with the ban-hammer have taken to the WineHQ forums, where you can see a number of other people coming forward about being perma-banned.

Most of the Linux users haven’t received a response or the response they did receive was an automated message or a purposed misdirection to keep them going in circles. None of them have reported any sort of resolve, just like the previous Linux cases we’ve covered here at Gaming Blend.

I’m sure there will be some Blizzard white knights commenting about how all those Linux users are cheaters and how tech support can’t look into each case. Screw that! You paid $60 for a game that Blizzard forces you to play online, and they admitted that playing on Linux shouldn’t get you banned, tech support better do something about it otherwise Blizzard could be held liable for fraud.

Blizzard’s community manager, Bashiok, specifically stated on the forums…

We’ve extensively tested for false positive situations, including replicating system setups for those who have posted claiming they were banned unfairly. We’ve not found any situations that could produce a false positive, have found that the circumstances for which they were banned were clear and accurate, and we are extremely confident in our findings.

Playing the game on Linux, although not officially supported, will not get you banned – cheating will.

This was later contradicted by another community tech representative, Zalmanarr, who recently told one of the banned Linux players that…

We cannot tell you specifically what is causing you what to get banned. I can give you an idea of why it is banned based on an educated guess. Since you are playing the game on an unsupported Operating system, the way it is communicating to the servers is throwing out “cues” similar to that of a hack program.

If you bought another version of the game and played it on LINUX again, it would likely result in a ban again, since we do not test or support LINUX and would not be able to verify if you were using a bot or not.

After the article was published and the Linux user pressured for answers regarding his ban, Zalmanarr later retracted his statement, claiming that they found a specific bot attached to the user’s account. Like in previous cases of perma-banned Linux accounts, the user actually offered Blizzard to take a look at his hard drive to prove he wasn’t botting. However, Blizzard proceeded to halt all forms of progressive communication. Boy, doesn’t that sound familiar?

This is the same trend that has been happening since the Linux bans originally occurred in July. Most botters who have been banned simply buy new accounts and keep going, as acknowledged by several different botters on different occasions including the infamous “Chinese” gold farmer (who actually isn’t Chinese) and the Diablo III botter who was actually actively botting while the Linux bans were taking place. Irony much?

Some of the Linux users have reported to us that they have gone to the Better Business Bureau in an attempt to at least get a refund.

Thankfully, for Blizzard, since we don’t have a real consumer protection agency to rely on in America and since gaming journalism isn’t really journalism but is instead advertorialism, you can bet your bottom dollar this bit of news will continue to go ignored. You can also bet that Linux users will continue to be banned on a guilty-until-proven-innocent charge, Blizzard will continue to fraudulently take money while locking people out of their accounts and we’ll all keep trucking towards a future where Corporatism replaces Consumerism.

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