Dungeons & Dragons New Rules for 2014

Wizards of the Coast Announces Thrilling
Dungeons & Dragons Launch for Summer 2014

Players fight the most fearsome monster of all time
in an exciting multi-platform gaming experience

December 19, 2013 – Renton, WA – Wizards of the Coast today announced that the highly-anticipated new rules system for Dungeons & Dragons will release in summer 2014.  After nearly two years of an open public playtest and more than 175,000 playtest participants, the rules are complete. Players will be immersed in rich storytelling experiences across multiple gaming platforms as they face off against the most fearsome monster of all time.

“Just like a perfectly balanced party, Wizards has worked cohesively with fans, designers and partners to create the next generation of D&D,” said Nathan Stewart, Brand Director for Dungeons & Dragons. “We whole-heartedly thank all of the play test participants, whose feedback has proven instrumental in shaping the future of Dungeons & Dragons.”

More information about the exciting Dungeons & Dragons entertainment offerings will be available in early 2014. To learn more about D&D, visit www.dungeonsanddragons.com.

 

About Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS), is the leader in entertaining the lifestyle gamer. Wizards’ players and fans are members of a global community bound together by their love of both digital gaming and in-person play. The company brings to market a range of gaming experiences under powerful brand names such as MAGIC: THE GATHERING, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, and KAIJUDO. Wizards is also a publisher of fantasy series fiction with numerous New York Times best-sellers. For more information about our world renowned brands, visit the Wizards of the Coast Web site at www.wizards.com.

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Frozen – A Review

It’s been a few months since I’ve found myself in a movie theatre.  This time of year gets to be very busy for me, however, today we decided to un-busy ourselves and hit our local movie theatre (Carmike Oaks 7 Cinema here in Batesville, Arkansas).  Popcorn in hand, we made our way to be entertained.

Today’s movie:  Disney’s Frozen.

Based very loosely on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen, Frozen takes us on a journey into the Kingdom of Arendelle.  Princess Elsa is born with the powers to create snow and ice and her younger sister, Princess Anna, loves the magic her sister can create.  One evening all Anna wants to do is play with her sister, so the two sneak off into the main Ball Room and Elsa creates mounds of snow, Olaf the snowman, and slides of ice.  Anna begins jumping faster and faster across the snow and ice, and begins to fall.  Elsa tries to save her sister from falling but instead hits her with ice making her fall deathly cold.  Elsa cries to her parents, the King and Queen of Arendelle, for help.

They take a freezing Anna to trolls, and ask them for help.  Their Grand Pabbie is able to help, but warned that had the ice struck Anna in the heart she would have been frozen forever.  He is able to mend Anna but in order to do so, he has to remove all memories of Elsa’s magic from Anna’s mind.

To further protect Anna from getting struck again by ice, the King and Queen explain to Elsa that she has to stop using her magic.  Elsa is so scared of doing harm to her sister that she condemns herself to her room in the castle and refuses to ever play with Anna.

It’s a heart-wrenching moment, that intensifies with the death of the King and Queen (they board a ship and are killed during a storm).

Years later Princess Elsa is of age to be made Queen.  Anna wants desperately to be with her sister, but even now Elsa continues to push her away in order to protect her.

As more events unfold we see Queen Elsa exiling herself to the North Mountain.  Anna goes in search of her along with an ice-merchant named Hans, but in trying to convince her sister to return, Elsa strikes Anna with ice, in the heart on accident.

Hans takes Anna to the same trolls as before and they tell him that her heart is slowly freezing, that she will eventually freeze solid. Grand Pabbie explains that only an act of true love can thaw Anna’s heart.

An army is sent out to capture Queeen Elsa and in a battle upon a frozen fjord a sword blow threatens to kill Queen Elsa.  Anna, giving disregard to herself, places her own life between the sword and her sister as she freezes solid as an icy blue statue.  The sword strikes Anna’s hand and shatters, knocking the attacker back.

Queen Elsa holds her sister and cries over what she has done.  Then we see the color begin to emerge from the blue icy statue of Anna as she thaws and everyone is happy again.

As with most all Disney movies, this one also features song.  I would almost have to say that it has the best songs in it since The Lion King.  I’ll also go on the record to say that yes, my eyes did tear up twice.  Yes, this 40-year old guy, found his eyes watering over a cartoon.

I rather liked it, as did my children.

Frozen features voicing by Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, among others.

We all give it 5 stars out of 5 stars.

You can get it on Blu-Ray here:


Disney’s Frozen (Two-Disc Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy) (2013)

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Magic: The Gathering Holiday Box 2013

This holiday season, Magic: The Gathering players everywhere will know just what to put on their wish list: the Magic: The Gathering Holiday Gift Box! Featuring four booster packs from Theros, 20 basic land cards, and a Karametra’s Acolyte premium card with an illustration unique to this gift box, it’s the perfect way to supplement their vast Magic collection. The box itself holds more than 2,000 cards, providing a great way to store a collection.

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What do you get the planeswalker who has everything?

Enchant the Magic™ player in your life with the Magic: The Gathering® Holiday Gift Box, containing four booster packs from the Theros™ expansion, 20 basic land cards, and a premium card featuring an illustration unique to this gift box.

The box itself can hold an arcane arsenal of over 2,000 cards. (Gift box does not contain 2,000 cards)

Contents

  • A storage box that holds more than 2,000 cards
  • Six illustrated plastic dividers
  • A sticker sheet for customizing the dividers
  • Four Theros booster packs
  • An alternative-art Karametra’s Acolyte from the Theros set
  • 20-card Theros basic land pack

Available today for $19.99, it’s the perfect gift for any Magic player on your list.

You can grab a copy here:

Magic: The Gathering Holiday Box set 2013

 

Magic: The Gathering, and Forgotten Realms are trademarks of Wizards of
the Coast LLC in the U.S.A. and other countries. Kaijudo is a trademark
of Wizards of the Coast/Shogakukan/Mitsui-Kids. HASBRO is a registered
trademark of Hasbro, Inc. All rights reserved.

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D&D F2P App Game Arena of War

First Ever Dungeons & Dragons Free-to-Play Mobile Game, Arena of War, Now Available Exclusively for iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

 Arena_of_War_Logo

SAN FRANCISCO – October 17, 2013 – DeNA and Wizards of the Coast announced today that Arena of War, the first ever free-to-play Dungeons & Dragons mobile game, is now available exclusively for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Arena of War is a thrilling, turn-based, 3D, battle-RPG mobile game that sends players on perilous quests through the Forgotten Realms. As a proven fearless champion, the player is called upon to fight for the gods of good during the Sundering, a historic event in the Realms that will reshape both heaven and earth and shift the balance of good and evil.

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Arena of War is an epic and imaginative experience and we could not be more honored to be partnering with Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro to launch the first ever free-to-play mobile Dungeons & Dragons game,” said Tiburcio De la Carcova, Head of DeNA’s Vancouver and Santiago studios. “Our development team worked side-by-side with Wizards of the Coast to build a game both long-time fans of the leading RPG franchise and action-adventure game players new to the brand will enjoy playing.”

Players build an adventuring party to enlist on their quests in Arena of War. By inviting friends to join a questing party, players can vanquish enemies and take on tougher challenges and bosses together. Each quest provides heroes with a variety of challenges for which some players, depending on character class, will have an advantage. The arena itself is also dynamic, filled with deadly traps that can be used against a player’s enemy or result in their own demise.

“Wizards is committed to working with the best partners to bring great digital D&D experiences to our fans,” said Nathan Stewart, brand director for Dungeons & Dragons, Wizards of the Coast. “Arena of War creates a great mobile experience in the Forgotten Realms and pits players against our legendary monsters to fight for the Realms in the current Sundering storyline.”

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The Arena of War App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch or at www.AppStore.com

 

Arena of War is coming to Android mobile devices soon. Players can pre-register and receive an email alert when the game is available for Android as well as upgrade their character by obtaining the free Ultra Rare Power CAUSE FEAR if they enter their email address on the game’s website: http://www.dndarenaofwar.com

Dungeons & Dragons, Arena of War, D&D, Magic: The Gathering, and Forgotten Realms are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast LLC in the U.S.A. and other countries. Kaijudo is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast/Shogakukan/Mitsui-Kids. HASBRO is a registered trademark of Hasbro, Inc. All rights reserved.

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hearthstonefeature

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft a Review

I’m doing some play testing for the Closed Beta and I want to share with you a review.  First, however, let me answer to you..

What is Hearthstone?

In a simple description Hearthstone is a FREE(ish)online strategy card game made by Blizzard, the same company that brought you World of Warcraft.  You can take a prebuilt deck, or build one yourself if you can collect the cards (more on collecting the cards a bit later in this review).  You start off with playing as Jaina and play a prebuilt deck through what is called Practice mode.

Once you have bested a opponent (you are playing vs the computer at this point) you will unlock that specific character and will be able to use them.

Hearthstone Logo

Objective:

You start off with 30 life; you must knock your opponent down to zero to win.  You may be able to deck them (make them run out of cards in their 30 card deck – but I’ve not been able to do this yet, so I’m not sure if it’s possible) to win.

It breaks down like this; there are 9 classes to play, and each one can customize their own deck (or as mentioned earlier you can use the prebuilt deck).  As you win you gain levels (complete with the familiar fanfare music from World of Warcraft).  As you gain levels you are given more cards which in turn can be used to make your own custom deck.

Let’s get into a little more detail.

As you begin the game you will see the Today’s Quests followed by the Entry Screen.

Each day there are new Quests that will pop up; could be that you need to win 2 battles with your Priest deck; or dish out 100 damage to minions.  There are several quests out there, but when you complete one you will be rewarded with gold.

Gold:

Gold can be used to purchase 5 card decks (per 100g) or entry into the Arena (150g) More on the Arena in the next section.

On the entry screen you will see:

Play:

This mode allows you to play against other online players.  Here you choose which character you want to play as and go “into battle”.  You can choose to play with the premade basic deck or one that you have customized.

As you gain levels here you also can earn “Ranks” or “Medals”.  I’ve got all of my characters up to at least level 10; but I’ve not seen anything different happen.  Upon going up in level you gain all of the base cards and by level 10 you have all of the base cards for that character.

Practice:

This mode lets you test out your decks against the AI.  Since I started playing, I only used this mode for the first few battles; the rest I just went against other players.  I really don’t see much of a need to use Practice Mode since there is not much of a difference between Practice mode and Play Mode (and in Play Mode you get ranked, so why not just play in Play Mode anyways?).

Arena:

Arena Mode lets you build a deck on the fly and battle other players.  I’ll describe the Arena Mode in the next section.

You can also access the Store (I’ll detail that a bit later in this review), Open Packs, and view your cards in My Collection.  You can also view your Quest Log – this shows you your progress in the game.  You can also see how much Gold you have collected up.

Collecting Cards:

There are several ways to get new cards:

You gain a base set of cards by gaining levels.  As mentioned above once you hit level 10 you should now have all of the base cards for that corresponding class.

You can go into the Arena and play (this costs real world money $1.99 – or you can purchase entry with gold 150g, HOWEVER, the 1st time you go into the Arena it’s free).  In Arena Mode you are given 3 cards at random and pull one card to build a deck with.  You do this 30 times.  Then you go up against someone else who has done the same and play.

If you lose, you can try two more times.

If you win, you keep going until you lose for a total of 3 times.

You use the same deck each time you play during that session.

The more you win the more prizes you get; should you lose you are compensated with ONE 5-card pack.

I’ve only payed to play once and won 15 Arcane Dust (more on Arcane Dust a bit later in this review), 1 pack of cards and 5 gold.

If you lose all 3 times you get 1 pack of cards.

Stormwind

Purchase:

You can also purchase 5-card packs.  You can spend 100g to get 1 pack, $2.99 for 2 packs, $9.99 for 7 packs, $19.99 for 15 packs, and $49.99 for 40 packs.

Arcane Dust:

This lets you disenchant Expert Cards to create other cards.  Expert Cards are, basically, and card that is not a basic card (i.e. if it has a little gem in it it’s an expert card: White (diamond = common), Blue (sapphire = rare), Purple (amethyst = epic), Orange (amber = legendary) (although Legendary cards cannot be disenchanted or crafter).

Classes and Characters:

Confused yet?  Let’s go on to Classes and Characters.

Unlike World of Warcraft, you don’t create your own class and character here in Hearthstone.  The name of the game is; Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft for a reason.  As mentioned earlier there are 9 classes to choose from (and thus 9 characters).

Anduin Wrynn

Anduin Wrynn is the Priest.  His Hero Power lets you restore 2 Health.

Jaina Proudmoore

Jaina Proudmore is the Mage. Her Hero Power lets you deal 1 damage to anything.

Guldan

Gul’dan is the Warlock. His Hero Power lets you draw a card but you also take 2 damage.

Malfurion Stormrage

Malfurion Stormrage is the Druid.  His Hero Power gives you +1 Attack for the turn and +1 Armor (Armor stays with you until it is broken).

Rexxar

Rexxar is the Hunter. His Hero Power lets you do 2 damage to the enemy hero.

Uther Lightbringer

Uther Lightbringer is the Paladin. His Hero Power lets you summon a 1/1 Silver Hand Recruit.

Valeera Sanguinar

Valeera Sanguinar is the Rogue. Her Hero Power lets you equip a ½ Dagger or give your weapon a +1 Attack for that one turn.

Thrall

Thrall is the Shaman.  His Hero Power lets you summon a random Totem.

Garrosh Hellscream

Garrosh Hellscream is the Warrior.  His Hero Power lets you gain 2 Armor.

 

That’s the very basics of the mechanics of the game.

Once in the game and playing either against the computer or a player you will be dealt your hand.  You can either keep the initial draw or toss one of the cards (or all of them) and get new ones.  You are stuck with the new one(s), however.

There are several battlegrounds you will play on; Stormwind, Orgimmar, Pandaria, Stranglethorn Vale.

Right now you can play it on PC and Mac.  Eventually it will be available on the iPad and Android tablets (though some crafty folk have already figured out how to get it on those tablet devices).

Stranglethorn

My Impression:

It’s silly simple to figure out.  It’s not a complex game by any stretch of the imagination.  Remember how simple Pokemon was back in the day?  Yeah, it’s stupid simple like that.  However, there is a depth to it that kept me coming back for about two weeks.  I say two weeks only because.. well.. I’m getting a little bored with it now.  I’d like to get more cards but no way am I going to start shelling out hard cold cash for virtual cards.  Yeah, I can play the game and earn gold and get packs with gold that way; but that takes a while to add up.

I’m running into players that seem to have deep pockets, which means they just dump cash into the game and get pack after pack which allows them to build a kick-ass deck.  Remember Magic: the Gathering?  I would get one or two packs a month, but a friend of mine would get one or two boxes a month.  Guess who was able to build the better deck much faster?  You can still have fun with it though; I’m just grumpy at always being broke I suppose.

The AI needs a little work.  There are a few times when I’ve been down to 3 or 4 life; I’ve wiped out all but one of the computer’s minions and then the computer will pull a card that does: Deal 5 damage to an enemy hero or give one of your minions a +1 attack.  And it gives the +1 attack to his only minion and does not attack with it; allowing me to win on my next turn.  Maybe it’s just being nice to me though, I really do like the ego boost too.

I’m a bit curious to see where the game takes us as we move into the future.  I wonder if it will be integrated with World of Warcraft at all (it does remind me a bit of the Pet Battle system in game – and as a side note.. when is Blizzard going to give us an app game of the Pet Battle system to play on iPads or on Android tablets??? I digress..).

Things in Closed Beta are changing a little each week; but for the most part everything listed up above seems to be fairly stable.

Once Closed Beta is over all cards are wiped out.  Don’t fret if you did spend your money on the game; you will get the equivalent back in gold so you can “re-purchase” those packs.

All in all, it’s a fun little game.  Not a huge download, and you can generally play a game in about 7 minutes or so.  It even works great for those of us on mega-slow internet connections like satellite internet.

 

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft®
©2013 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a trademark, and World of Warcraft, Warcraft and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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