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Diablo 3 Kicks Off Season of Grandeur

Diablo 3 has officially started its 16th season, which allows players to earn a number of new items upon the completion of specific tasks. The new event is being called "The Season of Grandeur" and along with unique loot, it also brings a host of quality of life upgrades. Season 16 began on January 18th and will last through March 17th.

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Diablo 3 Cosmetic Rewards Incoming

Some of the new cosmetic rewards players can earn include the Helm and Shoulder Armor of the Conquerer Set. Fans are also able to earn a new portrait frame and the Wings of Lempo, which are designed after those on a monarch butterfly. Players that create a Seasonal Character will be given the buffs associated with the "Ring of Royal Grandeur", which will make it easier to earn set bonuses and create unique armor combinations.

Those that take part in Season 16 will have the opportunity to receive an extra stash tab by completing seasonal challenges. New conquests also offer their own rewards for those willing to take them on. Blizzard's official blog grants a closer look at Season 16's challenges and the rewards associated with them.

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Quality of Life, Improved!

The blog post highlights the quality of life changes that Blizzard has implemented, including removing legendary potions from players inventory to clear up space. One of the biggest and most requested changes has been made to Primal Legendaries, which will now shine a beam of light and be marked on the mini map so they are almost impossible to miss. Players are not able to earn Primal Legendaries until they've completed their first Greater Rift 70 or higher on solo play. With such a difficult item to obtain, this beam of light and marking the items on players minimaps will make sure no gamer gets ripped off.

We here at Gigamax are big fans of the Diablo series and can't wait to start earning the latest rewards in the action RPG. For all the latest details on Diablo 3, be sure to keep checking back with us here at GigamaxGames.com.

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Blizzard Cuts Back Heroes of the Storm Development

Things are not looking good for Blizzard's MOBA, Heroes of the Storm, a title that blended together all of the company's games like Overwatch, Diablo, Starcraft, and World of Warcraft. The president of Blizzard, J. Allen Brack, and chief development officer, Ray Gresko, announced today that developers are being pulled from the game and being transferred to different projects within the company. 

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In a press release that was made public today, Brack and Gresko said that it was a difficult decision to make and it will ultimately impact the future of the game. 

“Over the past several years, the work of evaluating our development processes and making hard decisions has led to new games and other products that we’re proud of,” Blizzard said. “We now have more live games and unannounced projects than at any point in the company’s history. We’re also at a point where we need to take some of our talented developers and bring their skills to other projects. As a result, we’ve made the difficult decision to shift some developers from Heroes of the Storm to other teams, and we’re excited to see the passion, knowledge, and experience that they’ll bring to those projects. This isn’t the first time we’ve had to make tough choices like this. Games like Diablo II, World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Overwatch, and more would not exist had we not made similar decisions in the past.” 

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This Isn't the End for Heroes of the Storm

The company assured they will continue development of the title, supporting the game with new characters and events, but the time between these updates will increase. According to the two executives, this is to set up Heroes of the Storm for long-term sustainability. 

Unfortunately, this news also means that Blizzard had to cancel both of their planned eSports events for Heroes of the Storm. The pro-level tournament, Heroes Global Championship, and the collegiate level contest, Heroes of the Dorm will get the axe. 

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Tough Call for Blizzard

“[A]fter looking at all of our priorities and options in light of the change with the game, the Heroes Global Championship and Heroes of the Dorm will not return in 2019,” the press release read. “This was another very difficult decision for us to make. The love that the community has for these programs is deeply felt by everyone who works on them, but we ultimately feel this is the right decision versus moving forward in a way that would not meet the standards that players and fans have come to expect.” 

It is a shame that this is the beginning of the end for a game that many enjoyed so much. Blizzard is making a responsible move by reallocating employees internally rather than laying people off. The MOBA space has plenty of competition in today's market and it looks like Heroes of the Storm couldn't keep up with games like League of Legends and DOTA. We here at Gigamax will keep a close eye on these deveopments, so be sure to check back here at GigamaxGames.com for all the latest details. 

Source: news.blizzard.com/en-us/blizzard/22833558/heroes-of-the-storm-news

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Diablo Immortal Announced for Mobile Platforms

The Diablo series spent most of its life tied down to the PC, but recently Blizzard introduced the series to consoles with Diablo III. Now, they're transitioning the game over to mobile platforms with a new title named, Diablo Immortal.

Diablo Immortal Mobile Game

Blizzard made this surprising announcement during the Blizzcon 2018 opening ceremony, revealing the brand new mobile Diablo game. The company claims that they are going to uphold their value of gameplay first and ensure that it feels like the Diablo fans all know and love. Diablo Immortal is described as full-fledged action RPG that users can play anytime, anywhere, and with anyone. The title is being developed in collaboration with NetEase, a Chinese company that has helped Blizzard port their games over to the country.

Diablo Immortal plans to fill in the story between Diablo II and Diablo III. It will follow characters that fans will recognize like Tyrael, Malthael, and other returning favorites. Blizzard also played a cinematic trailer that focused on the story after the destruction of the Worldstone, eventually leading to an entertaining action sequence that revealed the classes included in the game.

Blizzard offered a look at how the game will perform on mobile devices with a short gameplay trailer. The gameplay is easily recognizable and even features all the classes from Diablo III. New abilities for each class will be available along with an expansive new world to explore. Online multiplayer is a core function of the game with the trailer showing upwards of 6 characters on the screen at once.

While this certainly wasn't the news fans expected, it will be interesting to see what Blizzard has planned for this controversial game. We'll be sure to keep a close eye on Diablo Immortal so check back here at GigamaxGames.com for all the latest details!

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Cosplay at Overwatch League Finals Barclays Center NY

The last battles of the Overwatch League Finals have been fought. Its outcome sparked both cheers and tears, filling the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. London Spitfire's took home the trophy for the first, in what will hopefully be a long history of championship rounds.

Cosplay at Overwatch League Finals Barclays Center NY

While there was plenty of hype surrounding the competitive superstars and their superb skills, the other side of Overwatch's fandom made a strong appearance at the finals. The spectacular cosplay highlighted the awe and dedication that has made the series so famous. These cosplayers spend countless hours putting together costumes to show their love for the colorful cast of characters the game has to offer.

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Image Source: https://bit.ly/2Ajlweq

Cosplay Spotted at Overwatch League Finals

Gigamax Games was lucky enough to attend the final matches of the Overwatch League. Besides the impressive scale of this massive video game tournament, the cosplay stood out.

The arena was packed full of dedicated fans and you didn't have to go far to find someone dressed up in a very accurate representation of their favorite hero. One of the many amazing Cosplays we saw was a Widowmaker donning an outfit that replicated the character's Black Lily skin. It is immediately evident that a ton of commitment was put in to accurately portray the purple villain. With body paint, an elegant dress, high heels, and even the signature sniper/automatic rifle this Cosplay was a perfect example of one fans love for Overwatch.

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One Shot, One Kill

Other Cosplayers made full suits of armor for their costumes, dedicating time and effort to make sure every piece matched up to its virtual counterpart. Another fantastic cosplay we saw roaming the halls of the Overwatch League Finals was a Brigitte dressed in the colors of the New York Excelsior's. Of course, cosplaying comes with its fair share of struggles, mainly being surrounded by people who want a picture with the character and to learn about the hard work that went into making the costume. But this only goes to show how integral Cosplayers are to the Overwatch League experience and getting fellow fans excited for the festivities.

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Rally To Me!

An insanely detailed portrayal of Junkrat made an appearance. This would make any fan stop and double take to make sure the fictional Australian criminal wasn't there. Blizzard certainly showed these fans love on the final day of the event, pulling some of the best Cosplayers there during one of the intermissions between matches.

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BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!

What's Next?

With the Overwatch League Finals come and gone, we already can't wait to see what Blizzard has planned for next year's grand event. More importantly, we are hyped to see what Cosplayers put together for their costumes, hopefully, we'll finally see an Orisa!

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Wrecking Ball Revealed as Overwatch’s Next Hero

Wrecking Ball Revealed as Overwatch's Next Hero

Not long after Blizzard teased Hero 28 for Overwatch on Twitter, the company revealed that the next character would be an adorable chubby cheeked hamster named Hammond (AKA Wrecking Ball). Along with the big reveal, Blizzard announced that he is available on the Public Test Realm for any PC Overwatch gamers. Those interested in this lovable rodents fascinating backstory should definitely check out his origin video below.

As Blizzard showed off in the teaser trailer leading up to the reveal, Wrecking Ball has the ability to transform himself into a ball and roll around the battlefield to increase movement speed. While in ball form, he can launch a grappling hook that tethers him to surfaces and allows the player to swing around the battlefield and inflict damage much like a real wrecking ball. Outside of wrecking ball form, he pilots a spider-like mech that has Quad Cannons that are able to tear through the competition.

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"Insert Miley Cyrus Quote Here"

Wrecking Ball's next ability is Adaptive Shields. This provides bonus protection for each enemy in the vicinity of the hero when Adaptive Shields is activated. Another ability, Piledriver, allows the hamster to slam into the ground from a good distance up in the air and injure as well as launch other players that are in his blast zone. Finally, his ultimate Minefield lays out a generous field of explosives that explode when an enemy walks near them. Along with the video, Blizzard detailed Wrecking Ball's story on their website.

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AWWWWW! He think's he's D.Va!

As mentioned above, players that own a copy of Overwatch on the PC can jump on Blizzard's Battle.net service and test the hero out right now. A new update has been released on the PTR which fans can get to by clicking the dropdown menu in the Overwatch tab of  Battle.net and selecting Public Test Realm. Currently, there's no word on how long the updates will remain on the test server but if it's anything like the other major character additions, it will be 3-4 weeks.

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Blizzard Shares New World of Warcraft Classic Details

Brand New Info on World of Warcraft Classic

Although a release date has not been announced, Blizzard confirmed it is remaking the vanilla version of World of Warcraft. As time passes, it becomes increasingly evident that the development team behind World of Warcraft Classic is very passionate about the long-awaited project. In a recent "Dev Watercooler" blog post, Blizzard unveiled new details about their experience prototyping the game. They also went on to reassure fans that they would do the original version of the WoW justice.

"The process of restoring the classic game is not straightforward, and it's important to us to take the time and effort to get it right--this includes poring over numerous game versions, data, and code; meticulously scrutinizing all the changes we've made over the years," Blizzard's dev team wrote.

"All the work we're doing will ultimately allow us to recreate an authentic classic experience on a platform that is much more optimized and stable, helping us avoid latency and stability issues. Additional improvements will include modern anti-cheat/botting detection, customer service and Battle.net integration, and similar conveniences that do not affect the core gameplay experience." (https://bit.ly/2t2S726)

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Back To Where It All Began

World of Warcraft Classic Rebuild

Blizzard detailed that the initial World of Warcraft Classic prototype is a rebuild of Patch 1.12: Drums of War using various archives and source code. Unfortunately for the team, this revealed some pretty big problems including game crashes, issues with modern video cards, incompatibility with Blizzard's latest login system, and a host of other concerns. Using this initial prototype the development team was able to create another test version using the game's modern code and all the infrastructure enhancements it has received over the years. This build of the 1.12 patch is compatible with the latest technology available for PC's and Blizzard's current systems.

World of Warcraft Classic was initially announced at Blizzcon 2017 with a surprise trailer that delighted fans that have been requesting it for years. Hopefully, dedicated WoW players won't have to wait long to play the experience that started their journey through Azeroth. Be sure to check back with GigamaxGames.com for more information on World of Warcraft Classic when it becomes available!

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Brigitte Shield Charges to Overwatch on March 20th

Brigitte Shield Charges to Overwatch on March 20th

The 27th Overwatch hero, Brigitte is heading to all platforms including PS4, Xbox One, and PC on March 20th. Blizzard announced this exciting news today (3/15/18) on Twitter along with an announcement post on their blog. Players that own a PC and want to try her right now, she is currently available on the Public Test Realm.

Blizzard is calling the new hero an "engineer with peerless armor constructing abilities," and she definitely shows her prowess when deployed on the battlefield. Her primary weapon is known as the Rocket Flail, which extends when used and can hit multiple heroes at the same time.

Along with Brigitte's flail, she also gets a deployable Barrier Shield, which like Reinhardt can protect allies immediately behind her. She also has the ability to throw Repair Packs to heal teammates, while her passive ability, Inspire, heals all nearby allies when she deals DPS.

Blizzard Picks Up The Pace

Brigitte was officially announced by Blizzard only a couple of weeks ago and right beforehand they revealed a lore database that will host content revealing the backstory of many of their popular heroes. To start Blizzard gave some more insight into how Torbjörn lost his arm in a tear jerking letter to his wife. With the new heroes imminent arrival, we'll be sure to show her off in action the day she becomes available to the public, so don't forget to check out our Stream Page so you know exactly when you'll have a chance to see this exciting new hero!

Brigitte Abilities

  • Rocket Flail – Brigitte's melee weapon has an extended range, enabling her to strike multiple enemies with a single swing.
  • Repair Pack – Brigitte throws a Repair Pack that can heal an ally. Any healing over that ally's maximum health provides them with armor instead.
  • Whip Shot – Brigitte throws her flail a long distance, dealing damage and knocking an enemy away from her.
  • Barrier Shield – Brigitte deploys a frontal energy barrier to absorb a limited amount of damage.
  • Shield Bash – Once her Barrier Shield is deployed, she can dash forward to stun an enemy.
  • Inspire – When she hits enemies with her flail, she also heals nearby allies over time.
  • Rally – She moves faster and provides all nearby allies with armor that lasts until it's removed by damage.
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Diablo 3 Switch Rumors Might Actually Be True!

Diablo 3 Switch Rumors Might Actually Be True!

Last week Blizzard put out an ominous video on Twitter, switching a Diablo night-light on and off. The gaming community instantly associated this with a yet to be announced Diablo 3 Switch release. Hopes and dreams were quickly crushed when Blizzard made an official statement explaining “We can assure you we’re not that clever,” They continued to state, “It was meant to be a fun community engagement piece. We have nothing to announce.” http://bit.ly/2FlY5iT
Take a look at the Twitter post by Blizzard that includes the short video which created such a stir.

There Is Still Hope!

Now, gamers have a reason to get excited once again. The dream of playing Diablo 3 on the Nintendo Switch could soon become a reality. A Diablo 3 Switch release may have been dismissed at first by Blizzard but reports are coming in from Eurogamer that a project is in production.





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Anonymous sources from Eurogamer suggested the game will be a port of Diablo 3. No word on if the Reaper of Souls and Rise of the Necromancer expansions will be included. However, it would seem a bit lazy if Blizzard didn't bring over the entire game including the new Necromancer character and other recent content.

Take a Step Back Blizzard

It seems Blizzard was taken aback by the reaction from fans and the gaming community from their short, abstract video. Nintendo has a tendency to hold off game release announcements until they’re nearly ready for market. Especially when it comes to third-party Switch games, early announcements are not typical for Nintendo. A Diablo 3 Switch release may be in the works but Blizzard could have been asked to take a few steps back by Nintendo since the short video seemingly tipped fans off.

Diablo 3 would make be a great fit for Nintendo’s hybrid console. Judging from the reaction of the gaming community, it looks like it would be a money maker as well. Gigamax Games will continue to keep an eye on how this story progresses. Don’t forget to keep checking back for the latest updates and announcements surrounding Blizzards potential Nintendo Switch teaser.

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Blizzard Adding Lore Database to Overwatch

Blizzard Adding Lore Database to Overwatch

Blizzard is hyping up fans with more than one new teaser this week. After their cryptic tweet detailing what everyone believes to be a new hero, the company is shifting its focus toward a new lore database that will offer insight into the stories behind the worlds favorite heroes. Blizzard "released" a letter Torbjörn wrote to his wife after suffering injuries on the battlefield and this is just the beginning.

The official Overwatch Twitter account revealed the information of a rather unsuccessful mission called "White Dome." Unfortunately, the operation didn't go as planned and an ambush led to Reinhart having to jump in and save Torbjörn after losing his arm.

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The Lost Arm and Lore

Blizzard later updated the story to include the letter that Torbjörn wrote to his wife, Ingrid, from the hospital after the failed mission. In the letter, he assures that all is well and even jokes about the situation that led to him receiving that neat and versatile claw arm.

"I know that by now you have gotten news of my injuries in our latest mission. While the descriptions may sound terrible, the doctors are quite sure I'll make a full recovery. Even Angela came to visit me! On the matter of my arm, I promise to make it my first priority to construct a suitable prosthesis that will make everyone forget that it was ever gone. If only Angela's dreams of tissue regeneration were a reality! I told her she should be working harder!" (http://bit.ly/2HK4CWa)

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The letter also includes a bunch of other details on the builders family and personal life. To see it in its entirety, the full lore entry is available on the Overwatch blog. Be warned, a tissue box may be needed while reading!

Currently, the "Story Update" that Blizzard released is part of a larger ongoing archive that gives players "secret clearance" to various art, videos, and stories. The company hasn't dedicated a section to the storytelling device as of now. However, with the fascinating tales behind the Heroes coming out rapidly it is expected they'll have a place soon for gamers to view them.

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Microtransactions Pay Off Big For Activision Blizzard

Microtransactions Pay Off Big For Activision Blizzard

Microtransactions are a huge source of revenue for the video game publisher Activision Blizzard. The company announced today in an earnings report that revenue from "in-game net bookings," which contains DLC sales, loot boxes, and in-app purchases on mobile games, reached $4 billion in 2017. The fourth quarter alone secured the company $1 billion for additional content sold.

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Around $2 billion of Activision Blizzard's revenue in 2017 came from in-game net booking's in their mobile subsidiary, King, which owns and operates Candy Crush. The other $2 billion came from Activision Blizzard's console and PC efforts, along with the rest of their mobile ventures like Hearthstone. These two revenue streams were pointed out by Daniel Ahmad, an industry analyst, on Twitter.

More Games, More Money

Call of Duty: WWII offers microtransactions that give players their own in-game currency, Call of Duty Points. These points can then be used to purchase in-game items like loot boxes that net players cosmetics for their avatars. Additionally, Activision recently launched the first paid DLC pack, Resistance, which is being sold at $14.99 USD. In Overwatch, players spend their money on loot boxes that offer a variety of different skins and other cosmetic items. World of Warcraft also offers a vast in-game economy allowing players to spend real-world money on mounts, pets, and a host of other items.

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The Trend Continues

Microtransactions are a growing trend throughout the gaming industry with many companies jumping on the bandwagon. EA recently suffered serious backlash with their title Star Wars Battlefront II, which players believed contained a very hostile microtransaction system.

Not every modern game contains a microtransaction system. However, it is becoming a major profit earner and difficult to ignore for many businesses in the industry. Especially when Activision Blizzard was able to put up numbers like the $4 billion in revenue earned. Hopefully, gamers can continue to fight toxic systems like the one EA tried to put in place and show developers what a proper loot box structure should look like.

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