Category: First-person shooter game

The Best Blizzard Games For Esports Competitions

The Best Blizzard Games For Esports Competitions

Blizzard Entertainment is a true titan of the gaming scene and it has understandably carved out an enviable position in the burgeoning world of esports. The iconic developer and publisher has been releasing cult titles since it was founded by a trio of UCLA graduates in 1991 and it is now part of America’s largest gaming company. Activision Blizzard boasted revenue of $7.5 billion in 2018 and Blizzard Entertainment games played a huge part in that strong performance.

Nowadays, it is hugely important for publishers to crack the competitive gaming scene as it is extremely lucrative and leading esports enjoy remarkable longevity. Blizzard Entertainment may have lost the rights to Dota 2–one of the world’s most popular esports–to Valve Corporation in a bitter dispute, but it still possesses a formidable stable of giants in the competitive gaming scene.

Here are its five most important titles:

Overwatch

Blizzard released this multiplayer first-person shooter to global acclaim in 2016, with reviewers praising its class-based combat, polished gameplay, and utterly magnificent artwork. Overwatch was hailed as fun, accessible and extremely well-made, and it became an instant classic.

It pits teams featuring soldiers, mercenaries, scientists, and adventurers against one another in the near future, and it is perfectly set up for the sort of intense multiplayer action that lends itself well to competitive gaming.

The Blizzard team did not initially set out to create a new esport, but they soon recognized its potential in this field. The first organized, prize-winning competitions were launched just a few months after the game’s release, and ESL quickly put together the Overwatch Atlantic Showdown. At Blizzcon 2016, Blizzard announced that it would launch the Overwatch League as a result of intense demand from fans. It began in 2018 and boasted a $3.5 million prize pool, instantly catapulting Overwatch into the top 10 most lucrative esports for gamers to compete in.

The first season proved to be a smashing success, as London Spitfire beat Philadelphia Fusion at the Grand Finals in New York’s Barclays Center to become the first league champions.

Intel and HP were the league’s first sponsors, before Toyota got on board, while ABC, ESPN, and Disney XDaired contests live. The prize pool was increased to $5 million for the 2019 season and new franchises joined from across the world, ensuring competitive Overwatch gaming as it continued to soar.

Hearthstone

This free-to-play digital card game dazzled critics when it was launched in 2016. Eurogamer gave it a perfect 100 score and said it was “overflowing with character and imagination, feeds off and fuels a vibrant community of players and performers, and it only stands to improve as Blizzard introduces new features”. The game builds upon the Warcraft lore, so it instantly appealed to a huge group of fans, and it reeled in all manner of gamers thanks to its fun, accessible, fast-paced gameplay.

It is also blessed with sophistication, subtlety and a high skill ceiling that has enabled it to become one of the world’s most popular esports game. It was behind only LoL, CS:GO, Dota 2, and Overwatch in Twitch viewing hours in 2018, with Heroes of the Storm in sixth and StarCraft II seventh in a strong showing for Blizzard.

Wagering on esports has become a hugely important factor in the growth of this nascent scene, as many fans love to grab a stake in the action. Dedicated betting sites like https://unikrn.com/bet offer a huge range of markets in esports, and Hearthstone is one of the most important titles in this regard. It now faces intense competition from the digital version of Magic The Gathering Arena, but Hearthstone has a loyal following and it should continue to flourish in future.

StarCraft II

This is the most established esport in the Blizzard roster, as there have already been more than 5,000 professional StarCraft 2 tournaments. A grand total prize money of $30 million has been dished out to 1,900 pros over the years, and it is another important esport for wagering purposes. The game was launched all the way back in 2010 but, like LoL and Dota 2, it has achieved fantastic longevity thanks to its popularity within the competitive gaming scene.

It is a real-time strategy game that continues the epic saga of the Protoss, Terran, and Zerg as they wage battle across the galaxy. StarCraft II was released on a free-to-play basis as of November 2017, with microtransactions for skins, voice packs, and so on, making it a commercial success.

Professional play began upon its launch and, after a blip that lasted for a couple of years, it is going strong once more. The last three World Championship Series have carried prize pools of $700,000 and it also recently featured at IEM Katowice 2019, with a $400,000 contest.

Heroes of the Storm

This multiplayer online battle arena game sees legendary heroes and villains from WarCraft, StarCraft, Overwatch, and Diablo summoned to the Nexus to fight for glory. The MOBA genre is arguably the most important to the world of esports, thanks to the success of League of Legends and Dota 2. Since it was released in 2015, Heroes of the Storm has emerged as a serious contender to those leading titles in the popularity stakes, thanks to its varied gameplay and strong cast of characters.

It has already seen prize money in the excess of $18 million at its professional tournaments, making it the sixth most lucrative esports in history. However, Blizzard made the shocking announcement in December 2018 that it was canceling the Heroes Global Championship for 2019. An overwhelming sense of sadness and betrayal were the dominant emotions among pros, yet there is still hope that a competitive scene may be revived for this popular title someday.

Warcraft 3

The original Dota as a custom map creation within Warcraft 3, so that Blizzard execs could feel aggrieved at its success in esports with Valve. Warcraft 3 itself never enjoyed such a strong scene, although it has seen 1,300 tournaments and prize money reaching $5.4 million over the years.

The game was released in 2002 and it is now a grand dame of the industry, but Warcraft 3 Reforged will be released this year and that could give the title a fresh injection of life.

It will boast improved graphics, new dialogue, and better pathfinding, which could make it more appealing as an esport. There are still tournaments going on, but some fans would prefer Blizzard to stop spending so much time remasteringWarcraft 3 and instead channel its efforts into developing a fourth entry in the popular series. Warcraft 4 really could take the esports world by storm.

***DISCLAIMER***

This article is a Guest Post written by James Metcalfe from Unikrn.com

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Escape From Tarkov Beginner’s Guide

Escape From Tarkov Beginner's Guide

Escape from Tarkov is a gritty, tactical shooter where you lose your gear when you die. Gameplay revolves around the search for Escape from Tarkov Items, such as guns or armor. Players can keep them if they succeed in their bid to escape. Otherwise, they lose it all. It currently features two game modes, a high-risk survival mode, and a lower risk, no penalty mode. There are more things planned for it so look forward to changes in the future.

If you’re feeling lost or confused about the game, you’ve come to the right article. Here are some essential tips and tricks new players need, as well as some refreshers for old ones.

Play Offline

It’s a good idea to take the time to play the game in offline mode. You’ll be able to familiarize yourself with the gameplay this way. Since EFT is a realistic shooter, there are mechanics and rules that will be different from other games. While prior experience to other first-person shooters is indeed a good thing, every game handles their guns differently.

It’s also important to know the maps well. With this kind of knowledge, you won’t get lost while going to the extraction point. It will also help you find good ambush spots or hiding places, as well as locate where loot spawns are. You’ll be able to use the environment to your advantage.

By playing offline, you remove the threat of better players jumping the gun on you. You’ll be able to build your confidence without the crushing discouragement of lack of perceived progress. Besides, online play is more unpredictable because of other players. Then there are the cheaters and hackers. All in all, it’s better to wade in and out from offline to online, than straight-up diving into online mode.

Farm Scavs

The best way to start collecting gear is to farm Scavs. They’re the AI faction, and the second gameplay mode lets you play as one. Scavs are always armed, and also drop necessary items such as money or meds. Just take their gun, vest, or bag and leave. That way, you’ll always have back up equipment in future rounds. Play as one every time it’s available so you don’t lose as much as when you use your main character.

There’s no set method to farm, and what works for another won’t necessarily work for you. Go and find the best way to farm for yourself.

Get Experience

As the saying goes, ‘practice makes perfect’. You’ll have to play for hours and hours just to gain experience and improve your situational awareness skills. With that, you’ll realize when it is better to engage or simply run away. There’s also the matter of determining whether it is safe to loot a body or not, and whether to use meds or save them for later. Every situation is unique, so you have to be exposed to all kinds of circumstances to be able to react accordingly.

Survival doesn’t mean you kill all your opponents, mind you. Sometimes, it’s knowing when to stay down and retreat.

Other Tips

You should also learn how to let go of items you wanted to get but couldn’t get your hands on. There’s also the persistence to try again and again even after multiple failures. Know what’s valuable and what can be left behind. You can also participate in Escape From Tarkov trading to boost your funds.

Only you can decide how you want to play, so play how you want. Slow and steady, or fast and risky, the most important thing is to not forget to have fun. May you survive and escape Tarkov more often!

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Destiny 2 Players’ Love for Public Events

destiny 2

Image Credit: Pixabay.com 

For MMOs, it’s important to have a wide range of content since it helps keep the game fresh and ensures that players come back for more. However, it’s not enough for developers to put content just so that players have something to do. Instead, they should consider balancing them, so that no particular kind of content will be more prominent than the rest. Unfortunately, for Destiny 2, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Players’ Display of Affection for Public Events
Destiny 2 has a wealth of endgame content. They’re all there as venues where players can get gear and other Destiny 2 items that will allow them to continuously raise their Power Level up to 305 (even 350 for ambitious players). Although Bungie meant to make all content equal, players don’t see it that way. To them, being able to enjoy the full range of what the game has to offer is nice, but it’s just secondary to pumping their Power Levels. In Destiny 2, players tend to prioritize the latter, even if it means grinding one specific type of content over the others.

In Destiny 2, once you hit Power Level 260, leveling up becomes less routine, and more concentrated on fewer kinds of activities. There are weekly events, the Iron Crucible, Nightfall, Strikes, and Public Events. Among these, Public Events have become the most popular among players.

Why players stick with what seems like a rather mundane activity instead of bigger and arguably better end-game content is because it provides an easier way for players to get Exotics gear compared to the others. For those new to the game, Exotics are the game’s highest tier of gears. In fact, they’re the only gear that is either equipped as they are, or infused to increase Power Levels once blues and non-Milestone legendaries no longer do the trick.

 

Explaining the Rise of Public Events

There are two reasons why it’s easier to get Exotics on Public Events compared to Strikes and The Crucible. First, it’s because of Destiny 2’s new map system. Players can check out any zone to look out for any active and soon-to-be active events, which lets them get to that particular area ahead or just in time. Heck, even late, because there are instances when players arrive at the last twenty seconds of a public event, but still manage to open a chest and get a reward. Besides, Public Events are the most common way to get Exotics, and it’s easy to find other players doing the same thing.

Usually, you’ll find three of four people doing the same Public Event, so you won’t have to worry about going at it alone and struggling. Also, almost everyone already has an idea how to trigger the heroic version of these Public Events, which have a higher chance of giving out Exotic loot.

From the players’ perspective, this is a good thing; it’s a convenient and fun way to boost their Power Levels. However, if we judge this phenomenon from the point of view of sound game development, it’s not something that should continue. After all, Bungie should’ve designed the endgame content in such a way that players will try their hands on all of them equally, and their preference for one over another would be because of personal reasons. The question is, what should they do: nerf Public Events, or buff everything else? We’ll know the answer in the few months to come.

Accessible content is always a pro. When specific content is more accessible than the other, then a few tweaks are in order. Hopefully, Bungie will get this right.

The Lowdown: CSGO Update 1.36.02

The Lowdown: CSGO Update 1.36.02

Last September 11, Valve released Update 1.36.02 for CSGO. It was a significant patch for the game, so if in case you haven’t been caught up to speed with the new set of changes in Valve’s in-house real life-inspired shooter, read up before you get back in the crossfire.

Trading CSGO Skins in China is Allowed

CSGO update - gamehitch-

Perhaps the biggest change in this update isn’t something that would only affect Chinese players. In fact, CSGO has become free-to-play in China if users verify their identity through Perfect World, a game hosting service (similar to China’s version of Steam). Once that’s done, players will not only be able to play the game without any charges but also receive “Prime” status, which means they’ll only have matches with players that also have Prime status.

With Update 1.36.02, Chinese players will finally be able to trade among themselves. For gamers playing CSGO via Perfect World will no longer have to buy from Steam whenever they want CSGO Skins, cases, or keys.

Smoked and Aimpunched

Update 1.36.02 has fixed a game-breaking glitch on smoke grenades. Before the patch, players were able to make the smoke from the grenade as clear as vapor by simply renaming a few shader files. Thankfully, this was corrected; now, players can no longer tamper with game files but are still be able to connect. Anyone who tries to get down and dirty will receive an error message. If you’re thinking of using this exploit to gain an unfair advantage, don’t count on it.

Another significant development is the reduced unarmored aimpunch. For those unfamiliar with the mechanic, aimpunch is a mechanic that enables unarmored player’s to aim flinches whenever someone gets hit. A player get rewards for taking offensive action and penalizes them for not wearing armor.  However, with this update, while aimpunch will still mess up affected players’ aims, it will no longer be as punishing as before, making it less rewarding for their enemies.

The next focus of the gameplay tweaks in Update 1.36.02 is in the use of pistols. The goal of these changes is to promote the use of pistols, especially with skilled players. Front and center of this development are two pistol models: the Glock and P250.

Handguns Getting Handier

The Glock has been made to be more about getting up close and personal since it’s now better suited for accurate players who prefer close-quarters shootouts. To make it even more suited to this new role, the pistol’s base damage has also been elevated, but its damage, when shot from longer distances, is reduced. Also, its accuracy when fired and moving has been improved. Overall, on top of receiving a more defined usage, the Glock has been given a buff.  A well-deserved one at that because it’s the simplest and one of the most reliable pistols in the game.

Meanwhile, the P250 is the exact opposite of the Glock. In fact, the P250 is now mostly for longer-distance engagements, in particularly against unarmored enemies. The damage, both baseline and at longer distances, has gone up; however, armor penetration and accuracy while moving have reduced, and not as stellar as Glock’s.

Allowing China’s CSGO players to trade cheap CSGO Skins and tweaking two pistols to make them more distinct, Update 1.36.02, has made positive changes even though it’s not a big patch. Hopefully, Valve would continue giving the player base meaningful updates like this so that CSGO can continue to be one of the best first-person shooters out there.