Category: MMORPG

Side to Side: Which Faction Should You Be in WoW: Battle for Azeroth

Those who have been playing World of Warcraft for quite some time now don’t find it difficult to choose between Alliance and Horde. In World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth, however, the choice between the two is going to be tougher. This is all thanks to the changes this expansion has made to both factions. So if you can’t decide, here’s a look at the key differences between the two to help you out.

WoW Azeroth or WoW Horde

A Matter of Morality

The storyline comes first and most important for the lore-invested WoW player. The Alliance is still these goody-two-shoes whose plan is to reclaim the lands and honor (not to mention the WoWc gold) they lost to their rivals. On the other side of the pond, the Horde is having quite a bit of an identity crisis. With Sylvanas at the helm committing all sorts of unsavory acts, this group of maligned but proud and honorable races must examine what it truly means to be a noble Horde, and defend itself from an untrusting and altogether angry Alliance.

If you want to play it safe, stick with the Alliance. If you want a side that wants to do good but also has a good deal of internal issues, then you’d be better off going with the Horde.

Strategic Location

Locations, and in turn, quests, play a big role in World of Warcraft. So if you think a faction’s territory is not something to consider when deciding one’s faction, maybe Battle for Azeroth will change your mind. Because aside from the fact that many new locations for this patch are faction-exclusive, they’re also quite the sight to behold.

For the Alliance, there’s KulTiras, the thalassocratic home of the Proudmoores. Isolated ever since the fall of the Alliance of Lordaeron, the island is finally returning to prominence once more, as the current Alliance is now in need of ships that they can supply.

KulTiras is divided into three zones: Tiragarde Sound, the main city that is under the control of the Proudmoorehouse; Stormsong Valley, where ships are sent to be blessed by priests; and Drustvar, a mountainous region that was once inhabited by a druidic race called Drust.

As for the Horde, they get Zandalar, the homeland of the Zandalari trolls and the birthplace of all troll civilizations in Azeroth. While the Alliance is trying to get the Proudmoores back into their fold, the Horde is trying to recruit the Zandalari trolls.

The three zones in Zandalari are Zuldazar, the most ancient city in all of Azeroth; Nazmir, which was the center of troll civilization before it was reclaimed by swampland; and the hostile deserts of Vol’dun.

Racial Arms Race

Last but definitely not least would be Allied Races. Heck, if there’s something that can convince a player to join a particular faction, it’d be this!

Allied Races are new races for each faction. To unlock hem, you’ll have to finish certain series of quests. For the Alliance, it’s Dark Iron Dwarves, Void Elves, and LightforgedDraenei; and for the Horde, it’s Nightborne (Elves), Mag’HarOrc, and the HighmountainTauren.

As you can see, they’re not completely new races; more like variations of pre-existing races. Nevertheless, they’re very much worth trying out because of their unique abilities. For example, Void Elves have Spatial Rift, which allows them to create rifts in time and space and teleport through it. Cool, isn’t it?

It’s never easy to choose a side, especially when both of them have something equally good to offer that the other side does not have. Still, you have to, because this is a war, and to participate, you have to pledge allegiance to one team.

So what will it be: Azeroth or Horde?

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World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth Rise of Azshara Heart Essences

RISE OF AZSHARA HEART ESSENCES

The newest update patch for Battle for Azeroth introduces two new areas, as well as everything that comes along whenever one opens up. That means new characters, quests, stories, mounts, pets, dungeons, and even a new raid! WoW Classic is still a month or so away, so this patch provides a good way to spend your time while as await the release of Classic.

Now, one of the more important features it brings are the Heart of Azeroth Essences. Here’s all you need to know about these items, from where to get them to how to use them.

All About Heart of Azeroth Essences

Essences are a new item category that will strengthen your character. Up to three of them will fit into your Heart of Azeroth. They have a Major as well as a Minor effect. The former is an active skill, while the latter is a passive skill. Depending on the slot you place them in, either both effects or only the minor one will be active. You can only equip unique essences, that is, you can’t have two of the same essence equipped.

Try out combinations and figure out what’s best for you!

How to Unlock Heart of Azeroth Essences

Once you’ve achieved building the hub in Nazjatar, MagniBronzebeard will give you a quest called Essential Empowerment. Finishing the questline will let you unlock the Essence Forge and earn an achievement as well as your first essence. It also serves as a sort of tutorial for the system, so be sure to take note of the explanations!

Doing the quests will also unlock the slots for your Heart of Azeroth. The first one will unlock both Major (active) and Minor (passive) skills for an essence, provided the Heart is at an appropriate level. Further levels will unlock two slots that will allow you to use only the Minor effect alternating with stamina boosts. Your character must be level 120 to unlock your HoA’s first slot.

To learn a new one, you have to return to the Forge. However, they can be swapped out anywhere you may swap talents. You may also use a Tome of the Quiet Mind or similar items for the same effect.

Where to Get Heart Essences

Many activities give these Heart Essences. PvP, raid bosses, quests, Mythic+ dungeons, reputation rewards, and more will reward you with essences. Each one would fit certain roles in a party (tank, DPS, healer), but there are some characters in any role can use.

Furthermore, you may upgrade them to improve the skills they provide. At the highest rank, there’s a cosmetic effect that will set you apart from the crowd. You may rank up essences to rank 3 without having to learn them. However, getting from 3 to 4 requires it.

You may also buy them from the Auction House with WoW gold. That’s a convenient way to find a specific essence. Of course, you might also find someone who’s selling a maxed out essence. You can just buy it from them so you won’t have to go through the process of ranking it up yourself.

And that’s all for the topic of this article. The new features and areas are sure to be a breeze with the right essences. Remember to have fun with the Rise of Azshara update!

Enjoy World of Warcraft!

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Go the Distance: OSRS Range Training Guide

OSRS RANGE TRAINING GUIDE

In OSRS, aside from the fact that bows look cool, Ranged is a good skill to grind because it grants you considerable accuracy compared to other combat-related skills. However, it can be quite difficult to level up. If you’re clueless about how you can go about going from 1 to 99, here’s an invaluable guide.

Shooting With Style

Before you go off and start shooting, you need to know that there are three styles for Ranged, namely:

  • Accurate – With this style, you receive 3 unwritten bonus levels in ranged, making your shots more accurate. This boost makes it a recommended choice for those who have only recently taken up the skill. And for even more perks, every point of damage earns you 4 EXP in Ranged and 33 EXP in hit points.
  • Rapid – This style gives you the same EXP rates for every point of damage. It also allows you to shoot more often. Be warned, however, because your shots will be less likely to hit their marks.
  • Longrange– What makes this particular style unique is that it splits EXP bonuses to Ranged and Defence, with each receiving 2 per hit. Although it has a significantly slower rate of fire than the other two, it more than makes up for it with the 3 unwritten bonus Defence levels. Aside from utility purposes, this is for players who want to shoot two birds in one stone and level up their Defence as they grind for Ranged.

Cannon Law and its Alternatives

Now we move on to the weapons. The Ranged arsenal is a wide one, but if you want to rake in the most EXP in the shortest amount of time, here are your best options:

  • OSRS Cannon – Also known as the Dwarf Multicannon, you can use this to grind Ranged from level 1 to 80 simply by shooting caged ogres in the Combat Training Camp. It’s not only cheap, but also a fast and convenient way to grind because you no longer have to move elsewhere for a long time.
  • Throwing Knives– You throw these things to rock crabs in order to gain a steady stream of EXP. While the iron throwing knives used to be popular and are still a viable way to grind, it’s been superseded by steel and mithril knives as they offer the same attack speed and better range for less OSRS gold.
  • Mithril Darts – Upon reaching level 20, you’ll unlock Mithril Darts. Aside from their great speed and coveted bonuses, they’re also quite affordable.

Definitely Not Cannon

Once you get past level 20, here are the weapons you should use if you’re not going to stick with the OSRS Cannon.

  • Bow and Crossbow – If you want to a cheap way to level up in your early twenties, you can start with the Shortbow and Bronze Arrows. Once you reach level 28, get yourself a Dorgeshuun Crossbow. It’s a cost-effective option, as the bone bolts are only worth three coins each. Plus, with crossbows, you don’t need to finish any quests just to unlock and equip them.
  • Karil’s Crossbow – at level 70, Karil’s Crossbow is a highly underrated weapon. It fires bolt racks and is more like a shortbow, which means it has a slower rate of fire but higher damage. Also, you won’t be able to equip a shield while wielding it, but the fact that it deals so much damage more than makes up for it. Besides, you’re a Ranged user anyway so you’ll be at a safe distance.
  • Chincompas and Blowpipes – after level 80, you can then move on to Ape Atoll Dungeon and shoot chincompas and red skeletons. A blowpipe is also a good alternative.

So there you have it–the styles and tools of the trade! Now that you know them, what are you waiting for? Aim to be a master marksman in Gielinor! It’s one of the best things you can be.

BACK TO THE START: REASONS TO PLAY WORLD OF WARCRAFT CLASSIC

Nostalgia is one hell of a drug. And in the case of World of Warcraft, that drug is so potent that the fan clamor for a WoW Classic was big enough to convince Blizzard to release one. Now, if you’re not one of those who weren’t lucky enough to experience the early days of what’s arguably the most influential MMORPG, there’s a question to be settled: Is it worth the trip back in time?

The short answer is a resounding yes—and for a wide variety of reasons which we’ll now discuss.

Experiencing What the Old Times Were Like

If you’re a fan of a particular game franchise but didn’t start at the first-ever game, it’s only natural to be curious about how the title that began. That’s kind of the same thing if you didn’t land in Azeroth during its Vanilla days; the only difference is the same game engine. But before you think that there’s very little difference because it’s technically still the 2004 MMO people came to love, you should remember that Blizzard has made a lot of changes to the game since then.

Surely, you’re wondering what it was like without its many additional locations (and many Quality of Life improvements), so you might as well experience what it’s like. The only thing you’ll lose is your cluelessness.

Enjoying the Old Way

Speaking of quality-of-life changes, they were introduced to the game in a gradual manner. The same is true with the graphical improvements. That’s why outside of the expansion-related content and changes, not a lot of people noticed the subtle updates. Trust us; what didn’t seem like much to the unobservant eye is going to feel like a world of difference once it’s gone.

And who knows? You might actually find those missing QoL features–for combat, WoW gold farming, and many other things–as a good thing. For example, without the Quest Tracker, you’ll have to actually read the quest log in order to know where you should go or who you should talk to next. It may be a bit of a slog to some, and understandably so, considering how a lot of gamers have grown up and are now constantly busy professionals. However, for more traditional and more dedicated roleplayers, this is going to be something they’ll want. No UI; like a true adventurer in Azeroth, you open what is the equivalent of your journal, actually read it, and locate objectives on your own.

Going Back to the Past… and the Future

It has become undeniable that technology shapes society. The same is undoubtedly true in Azeroth. Surely, the many changes implemented by Blizzard have affected overall WoW community behavior, so imagine removing all the things that have shaped the population into what it is today. It’s still going to be nothing like how the original playerbase was back in the early days since the Classic’s player base has already been exposed to more recent content, but the loss of many QoL features, gear, and items is going to make things feel like a blast from the past. Even if it’s something you didn’t experience firsthand, at least you’ll have a glimpse of it!

Last but not least, playing WoW Classic can give you a newfound appreciation for the mainline WoW. Finally seeing an older, smaller Azeroth can help you see the newer, bigger one in a different light. You might even start to realize that for all of the faults you can find in the game today, it’s now far better than it used to.

World of Warcraft is more than a decade old, so it’s about time the more dedicated players either return to its roots—or go there for the first time ever. Regardless of which of the two you are, you should definitely try it out. Who knows? You might actually have fun in old Azeroth!

 

PICK THE BEST MMO FOR YOU!

The Elder Scrolls Online, World of Warcraft, and Final Fantasy XIV are currently among the most popular MMOs out there right now. With so many top-tier games to choose from, how do you pick which one to play? Do you want a good storyline? Do you look for the best combat system? What about content?

There are so many things to consider, but fortunately, we’re going to make it a little easier for you. We’ll be focusing more on the content and gameplay, so there’s no talking about the currencies (FFXIV Gil, ESO and WoW’s gold), nor any leveling up or farming guides. Each of us has different preferences, so we’ll just explore the games’ strengths and weaknesses and let you choose for yourself.

World of Warcraft

By virtue of being the “senior” among the three, we’ll go with World of Warcraft first. WoW boasts massive content, a huge world to explore, and hours upon hours of gameplay.

Strengths:

  • Has the most content
  • Good combat system
  • Class customization (to an extent)

Weaknesses:

  • No benefit to exploration
  • Raids are a little daunting for beginners
  • Content updates usually rehash old content in new environments

WoW has been going on for fifteen years. It’s has had seven expansions, bringing the level cap higher and higher to its current total of 120. Each expansion also added quests and additional activities to do. However, fatigue may be setting in, as some players have noted that new content updates are getting a little lackluster. Progression also gets slow at a certain point, and leveling becomes a sluggish, slog to 120. After that, there’s not much to do afterward, especially if you don’t like raiding and dungeoneering.

World of Warcraft is for those who won’t mind rather repetitive content and quests. Those who love raiding with others or with a guild will also enjoy this game. It is not for those who like good stories (though some zone questlines may tickle your fancy), nor those looking for varied content.

Final Fantasy XIV

FFXIV is the middle child who suffered a life-threatening accident only to be revived three years later, bigger and better than ever before. In other words, it shut down soon after its first launch due to a slew of negative reviews. In 2013, it got re-released with the subtitle A Realm Reborn, which players received more favorably. Now, it’s enjoying a sizable number of consistent subscribers who enjoy the game.

Strengths:

  • Good storyline
  • Varied quests
  • Many, many activities are available for players

Weaknesses:

  • No class customization
  • Combat is slower compared to the other two

For the record, progression is tied to the main quest. While those who like good storylines won’t mind, those who do not could end up quitting before getting to the better content. It’s neither strength nor weakness, as you can decide whether it’s something you want to sit through or not. Anyway, since the story is an important part of the game, it kind of makes or breaks the FFXIV. It has a trial version, so you may see if you can sit through the story or not. If you can, great! If not, that’s fine, you can try the other games on this list instead.

Elder Scrolls Online

Hailing from the acclaimed makers of the Elder Scrolls series, the youngest entry of the three featured games is as good as it gets. It has solid gameplay, and while it doesn’t have the scope of content that the other two have, it more than makes up for it in other ways. Like FFXIV, it had a troubled first release but was better received the second time around.

Strengths:

  • Solid combat system
  • Good progression system
  • Class customization

Weaknesses:

  • Non-linear gameplay
  • Works better as a single-player game

The game’s non-linear gameplay allows players to go wherever they want. Enemies they encounter will have levels scaled to the player’s level. It also has a different combat system than the other two, being more action-based. The two other games have tab-targeting systems, which could be something that you don’t like.

Additional Notes

World of Warcraft doesn’t have a player housing feature. It’s something to consider, especially if you like that kind of feature. ESO may be more appealing to fans of the series, similar to Final Fantasy XIV. There’s also the graphics, and whether you prefer the cartoony look (WoW), the anime look (FFXIV), or the realistic look (ESO).

Then there are the subscriptions to figure out. WoW is on a subscription basis, while the other two are free to play with limitations. You can subscribe for access to more content, as well as receive other advantages. Otherwise, you may try them out for a bit to see if they fit your preferences.

If in-game economics is your thing, doing some research on that topic would definitely help. FFXIV currency can be farmed without even fighting once. You can just focus all your time in leveling your professions and crafting things to sell. In ESO, you’re more likely to use your crafted items as there is no auction house. Player owned shops are tied to guilds. WoW’s crafting system is abysmally bad and not even worth mentioning.

At any rate, go and pick the one that tickles your fancy the most! Sometimes, you really need to try it out for yourself to make a decision. Just make sure to enjoy the game!

SNEAK PEEK: 5 HIGHLY ANTICIPATED GAMES OF E3 2019

It’s that time of the year when gamers are wrapped in eager anticipation to see what the near (and for delayed games, not-so-near) future has in store for them. All the excitement is brought about by none other than the Electronic Entertainment Expo—more popularly known as E3. Think of it like Christmas for gamers. And just like Christmas, gamers have their own wish list every single time E3 comes around.

So, which ones made this year? Read up and find out.

Death Stranding

After being revealed on E3 three years ago, Death Stranding is going back one last time, with just as much hype as it did when it was first unveiled—if not more. It’s a no-brainer why, as it’s from world-renowned game director and auteur Hideo Kojima, the brainchild of the action-packed, operatic, and sometimes absurdist espionage action franchise Metal Gear Solid.

After cutting ties with Konami, the game company that owns Kojima’s long-running military half-cinematic video game series and his development studio, Kojima Productions, the gaming visionary streaked on his, reformed his development studio, partnered with Sony, and started what seems like his most ambitious project yet.

Given the last trailer, we see Norman Reedus being some ruffian-fighting, spectre-dodging deliveryman in a post-apocalyptic American wasteland that must be “reconnected” again. Also featured in the game are other big Hollywood names like Lea Seydoux, MadsMikkelsen, Guillermo del Toro, and Lindsey Wagner doing all sorts of political, sci-fi stuff. In true Kojima fashion, the eight-minute-long trailer raised even more questions than answers. That, however, is no surprise, as it has effectively made fans want more of Death Stranding on E3. But until E3 (and Death Stranding’s long-awaited release), we all know fans will end up with even more questions.

Borderlands 3

After the success of the crazy and colorful Borderlands 2, it’s only right that Gearbox’s RPG-esque adventure shooter series will have another addition. With the last one released seven years ago, a lot of the fans who have been waiting in earnest started to question Borderlands 3 was even coming out at all. Thankfully, it is! It’s set to bring back familiar faces and put players back to vault hunters’ shoes.

The patience of the franchise’s fans has finally paid off because the third installment of the game will be officially released on September 13 this year. But before that, it will definitely have a quick stopover at E3 before hitting shelves. When it does, the developers will hopefully address the issue regarding the game’s exclusivity on the Epic Store.

WoW Classic

Games don’t usually get to have a second outing at E3 after being released. After all, there’s no point in hyping up a game that’s already in stores. World of Warcraft: Classic, however, is an exception. Other than improved graphics, nothing has changed. Or rather, everything has changed back to how things were during the game’s early days. The classic version of the most popular and influential MMORPGs will be released on August 27, 2019.

Ghost Recon: Breakpoint

Ubisoft, one of the biggest western gaming companies, is an E3 mainstay, and so is Ghost Recon. For 2019, it’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, a direct sequel to the open-world shooter Ghost Recon: Wildlands. Set in the fictional Pacific country of Auroa, you will be taking on the paramilitary group called Wolves, which was introduced in the previous.

True to the franchise’s name, stealth and survival will once again be an important factor in the game. And unlike in Wildlands where player skills are assigned through perks and abilities, there are now classes that have role-specific skillsets.

Cyberpunk 2077

Last but definitely not least would be Cyberpunk 2077, CDProjektRed’s next masterpiece after the much-praised Witcher franchise. After news of its development, it was finally unveiled for the first time on E3 last year, and will be going back for a second outing in 2019.

The game takes place in the namesake year in Night City, a fictional city in California. Despite being rife with crime, a lot of people live here because of its liberal laws regarding body modification and the promise of making it to the top.

Slated for release in 2020, there is still a lot to be revealed about this potential masterpiece, so it makes perfect sense that it’s going to grace the E3 event once more.

With these highly anticipated titles, this year’s E3 is going to be massive–and that’s an understatement. So, are you now officially hyped? You better be!

Gnomeregan Pet Battle Dungeon Guide

Once again, it’s to put your best battle pets to the test with the halls of Gnomeregan! The all-new Pet Dungeon will make you want to hop on the ongoing story with your battle pets. This mini-game of sorts has become quite a huge hit to the World of Warcraft audience. This turn-based strategy game was born out of the idea of capturing monsters and subsequently training them. The rewards are a great source of WoW gold, so don’t miss this chance.

Here, we’re going to take an in-depth look at this dungeon and guide you through until the very end.

How Do I Get to Gnomeregan?

To get started on your journey, you’ll first need to earn the achievement “All Growns Up!” which requires you to raise a pet to level 25. From there, a new quest should appear to you from RadekFuselockwho is located near the pet battle trainers in Dazar’alor. If you’re from the Alliance, you can talk to Tizzy Gearjoly who is located just outside of Dana Pull’s shop near Hook Point in Boralus. From there, they’ll both send you to Micro Zoox who is just outside the instance portal forGnomeregan. Once you reach that point, your quest will promptly begin.

Do I Need to Complete the Other Battle Dungeons First?

No. Luckily, you won’t need to complete the other dungeons like Wailing Caverns or Deadmines pet battle dungeons to gain access. Plus, with the release of the Tides of Vengeance update, you can play the three pet battle dungeons in any order that you prefer!

Are There Any Different Difficulties?

There are two separate difficulties in pet battle dungeons in general: Normal and Challenge mode. In the normal difficult setting, when faced with a monster, you can heal or revive your pets any time and have at least one pet leveled at 25 for you to start the dungeon. In Challenge mode, however, it’s much more difficult. You cannot heal or revive your pets with Battle Pet Bandage or Revive Battle Pets at any time, and you must have at least 15 pets leveled up to 25 for you to unlock this mode. Furthermore, you need to complete the Normal mode of this dungeon for you to gain access to Challenge mode. But the great thing about Challenge mode is you can do it weekly and it will give you a reward upon completion, unlike in the Normal mode where you won’t gain additional rewards once you’ve finished it.

A quick tip for players who are looking to get into the Challenge mode is that if your pets die and you have no replacement pets, you can remedy this logging onto a different character in WoW and use Battle Pet Bandage or Revive Battle Pets. You can then log back in with you still in the dungeon and your pets healed.

What Quest Rewards Do I Get?

If you complete the dungeon in Normal mode for the first time, you’ll be getting an Ultimate Battle-Training Stone. In addition to that, you’ll also be receiving the Manapool’s aid at any time to teleport directly to the Gnomeregan’s dungeon entrance. However, there won’t be any rewards unlike the first time if you try to complete the dungeon once more in Normal mode,.

If you complete the dungeon in Challenge mode for the first time, you will be rewarded with the “Pet Battle Challenge: Gnomeregan” achievement and the Mini Spider Tank. And if you complete the Challenge mode once per week, you’ll be rewarded Pristine Gizmos which can be exchanged for items from Micro Zoox.

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

How the Storytelling of WoW Keeps Evolving

For over 14 years now, World of Warcraft has remained to only be active, but relevant as a whole in the gaming community. While it did not define the massively-multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) genre that we have today, it continues to be a part of it. More importantly, it continues to evolve with it. With the release of its seventh expansion, Battle for Azeroth, WoW boasts a thriving fanbase, along with tons of third-party marketplaces selling WoW accounts, WoW Gold and boosting services. However, there’s one thing that the players all agree on—the storytelling of the lore has definitely improved.

Storytelling in WoW: Then & Now

Game storytelling doesn’t get much more epic than the Warcraft universe. With the franchise turning 25 years old soon and having released the seventh expansion, World of Warcraft stories have been told as a fantasy world set in conflict. Epic struggles, each with grand heroes and vicious villains push players into the spotlight while these wars raged, with the players protecting the safety of the virtual lands they live on. And since then, players have been held in captive awe as to how Blizzard has told its stories since the early days. Mind you that they’ve managed to evolve their stories to keep up with the changing tastes and technologies of the time and to keep the players immersed and entertained.

How Battle of Azeroth Keeps Things Entertaining

Back when World of Warcraft launched Facebook, Youtube, or smartphones weren’t even in existence. WoW was the first MMORPG to have a social network, with the millions of players playing the game.  Since then, the newest expansion, Battle for Azeroth, has taken place in the shadow of the opening act for World of Warcraft, the War of the Thorns. In this event, both Horde and Alliance players head to the Night Elf territory of Darkshore to take part in the battle. Eventually, the Alliance falls back and the Horde claims Darnassus, the capital city of the Night Elves. Sylvanas Wind runner, the Horde Warchief, then makes the decision to burn Darnassus down while still full of civilians in an unprecedented act of genocide. Whether you choose to be a member of the Alliance of the Horde is up to you.

Blizzard decided to mix things up on patch 8.1, Tides of Vengeance. A quest line called the Fate of Saurfangwill now have a rare player choice inside it. When players meet up with Zekhan, they’ll now have an option to either accept his quest or reject it. Accepting the quest will have it play out like normal, but a rejection leads players down a darker, more loyal path. Upon rejecting Zekhan, loyal Horde players will be given a quest to return to Sylvanas and tell her of this treachery. Sylvanas then reveals that she has “special plans” for Zekhan, which doesn’t sound particularly good for anyone.

Wrap Up

While World of Warcraft has offered light choices like this in the past, these quests usually revolve around the character (or an NPC) killing someone. The choice with Zekhan is far more involved than most other World of Warcraft choices, especially since it has the potential to drastically impact the narrative.

Ultimately, the ability for characters to choose which sides to serve, Saurfang or Sylvanas, is fantastic. It’s exciting, new, and may lead to a whole new avenue that’ll eventually open up WoW to more people. The question is what comes next? How will this new method of storytelling be used for both sides? One thing’s for sure, it’s going to take more than a branching story to create a satisfying ending for those who are hyped for the new expansion.

The 5 Best Maplestory 2 Classes to Play as, Based on DPS

5 Best Maplestory 2 Classes

A player’s choice of class in any MMO is crucial. After all, you’ll be stuck as that class for the rest of your playthrough of the game—barring games that allow class switching. Maplestory 2 isn’t in that latter category though, so choosing a class is something that needs careful consideration.

Some of the classes in MP2 may need more Maplestory 2 Mesos to get the best out of its skills and abilities. However, if you’re the type to enjoy absolutely destroying bosses as fast as you can, that’s not really going to be an issue.

Without further ado, here are the five best classes for PvM in Maplestory 2.

Heavy Gunner

Heavy Gunner is a good PvM-focused class. It has the fastest clear times, provided the player knows how to properly cycle through their skills. When they do, the damage they can dish out is massive. However, if the enemy zips around the map, it gets hard to hit. They’re also a bit lacking in terms of options for mobility. If you’re up for the challenge, however, it can be a very rewarding choice.

Wizard

Wizards deal greater damage per hit. They’re a crowd control class with many area-of-effect spells. For all its potential to deal much damage, it has low defense. A handy teleport skill is its best friend to avoid enemy attacks. Just be careful when you use the skill, as it could cancel the spell you’re casting. While it’s a beginner-friendly class, some of its combos do need some technical skills to pull off.

Assassin

Assassins rely on critical hits for their high burst damage. They’re really mobile and attacks at mid-range. It’s a good thing, as they don’t really have much health. One or two hits from a boss (especially the stronger ones) can knock them down for the count. Overall, assassins need players who are good at judging distance and avoiding enemy attacks. They’re the straight-up heavy damage dealers.

Berserker

Berserkers have the highest HP and can dish out damage like no other. However, being a melee class means you have to go up close and personal to the enemy. For some bosses, that almost certainly spells suicide! There’s also the difficulty of keeping up stacks of their passive buff. When you’re able to figure out a strategy for that though, you’re rewarded with the highest damage a melee class can reach.

Runeblade

Runebladesare mid-ranged fighters who enchant their swords with ice, fire, or storm elements. They have good mobility and have the most visually-pleasing skills. Depending on how you build them, you can be a crowd controller, a damage dealer, or a support character. A highly-versatile character, it can also be a little difficult when you’re trying to dodge attacks while spamming skills.

Of course, that’s only for the damage dealing classes. If you’d rather support your friends, Priests or Soul Binders might be closer to your preference. It all depends on your preference. Take the time to learn about the pros and cons of each class and ask yourself exactly how you want to play. There are multiple character slots so you can start again if the class isn’t what you expected. At any rate, it’s more important that you enjoy the game.

Go and have fun on your Maplestory 2 adventure!