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

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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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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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SpellSlingers – New Show Based on Magic: The Gathering

***FELICIA DAY’S GEEK & SUNDRY AND WIZARDS OF THE COAST LAUNCH ‘SPELLSLINGERS,’ A NEW SHOW BASED ON

MAGIC: THE GATHERING***

WHAT:             THE SHOW

Spellslingers is a new show based on the phenomenally popular trading card game, Magic: The Gathering.  Presented by web TV personality Sean “Day[9]” Plott, the show exposes viewers to fun-filled, fast-taking and adrenalin-paced battles that highlight a myriad of the latest cards.  In each episode a new geek icon will take on our expert Sean with the hope of emerging victorious in an all-or-nothing match.  In the premiere episode, Sean goes head to head with E-sports caster Rob Simpson (StarCraft II caster and Red Bull eSports manager). Upcoming guests include Grant Imahara, Bobak Ferdowski and Felicia Day. Starting today, be part of this exciting Magic experience every other Wednesday, only on Geek & Sundry.

 

Magic: The Gathering is the first and most widely played trading card game. Players take on the role of Planeswalkers – powerful mages who battle others for glory, knowledge and conquest. Their weapons include spells, creatures, and artifacts gathered from a vast Multiverse of unique fantasy worlds. With more than 12 million players and fans worldwide, Magic is printed in 11 languages and played in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit www.magicthegathering.com.

 

WHEN:             The premiere episode aired Wednesday, September 18th 2013 at 10am PT / 1pm ET

 

WHERE:           Geek & Sundry Network: http://www.youtube.com/geekandsundry

Digital entertainment company Geek & Sundry presents the best in internet television and online’s foremost geek voices. Founded by the producers of the hit web series The Guild, Geek & Sundry offers a diverse lineup of shows that create a hub for fans of comedy, gaming, comics, music, and literature around the world.  Spearheaded by prominent geek figureheads, Geek & Sundry features original content by Felicia Day (The Guild, Dr. Horrible, Eureka) and Wil Wheaton (Star Trek, The Big Bang Theory).

Check out the network’s slate of shows: http://youtu.be/lxZq37eHw1s

 

WHO:               Host Bio:

Sean “Day[9]” Plott is an internet TV host best recognized as an evangelist and influencer in the gaming, game lifestyle and e-Sports fields, with over 5 million views each month.  His web show Day[9] Daily and autobiographical story, My Life of StarCraft, based on Sean’s experiences in the industry have both been widely acclaimed. Sean is also a staple in the games scene as a commentator for Blizzcon, ESL, Dreamhack and NASL tournaments.  Most recently, Artillery Games announced that he has joined their studio in a games design role. Sean started his career as a former professional games competitor where he won multiple games honors such as placing 1st at the World Cyber Games USA Tournament in 2005 and as PC Gamer Magazine’s “Gamer of the Year” in 2010.

 

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Magic 2014 – Duels of the Planeswalkers Expansion

Get ready for more Magic: The Gathering action! Magic 2014 – Duels of the Planeswalkers Expansion is now available!*

The Magic 2014 Expansion gives players the opportunity to explore new planes, fight new enemies and face new challenges. Available on Xbox LIVE Arcade, PC via Steam, PlayStation Network, iPad, and Android tablet via Google Play and the Amazon App Store, fans will also enjoy the following features:

Five New Playable Decks

–       Unlock 280 unique cards over multiple battles.

 

New Campaign Levels

–       Battle through six new single-player campaign levels, exploring the planes of Ravnica and Kamigawa.

 

Five New Challenges

–       Fiendish puzzles to test strategic thinking.

 

Unlock Items

–       Unlock new persona portraits, achievements, trophies and more.

 

*Magic 2014 – Duels of the Planeswalkers Expansion launches on PSN in the US on 9/24. Launch timing may vary by platform and region.

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Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-Ray Review

Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-Ray Review

I’m a trekkie.  Does that surprise anyone?  When the first J.J. Abrams Star Trek came out in 2009, I saw it first day.  When Star Trek Into Darkness came out, again I was there first day.  Yeah, I already knew it’s “big secret” but I didn’t care.  I was all for a new take on a classic.  I’ve got Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn on my DVR and when I’m bored, I’ll watch bits of it and when it gets to the end I’ll hit ‘Start Over’ .

So.. yeah.. I like the Star Trek universe just a little.  You can also read my review of the movie itself here:

Star Trek Into Darkness: A Review

Now I have the Blu-Ray.  I’ll admit I’ve not been keeping up with the news about it at all; just simply paying attention to the release date, and there was no mistake that I was going to have the Blu-Ray.  I love the special features and to me that’s what Blu-Ray is all about.  Yeah DVDs have special features too, but most now-a-days just have the movie itself and nothing more.

When I opened up the package I looked over the back and saw several cool features, but wait.. Where was the movie commentary?  Even the 2009 Star Trek’s DVD had a commentary with it!  Where were the deleted scenes?? BAH!

I started looking into this and was told that there were Retailer Exclusives.  What???  Wait a minute.. That’s low.  To quote National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: “That’s pretty low, mister!  If I has a rubber hose, I would beat you into a…”

So I found out the only way to get the audio commentary is to get the iTunes Digital Copy.  More on this and the special features in a bit, for now, let’s explore the package itself:

What I have is the Blu-Ray+DVD+Digital Copy.

The DVD

The DVD contains the movie itself.  When popping it into my player it launches directly into upcoming dvd/blu-ray previews.  You get: Anchorman 2, World War Z, and G.I. Joe 2.

The Main DVD Menu gives you 4 options;   Play – Setup – Scene Selections – Previews

Play – you watch the movie

Setup – Audio Options – English 5.1 Dolby Digital – French – Spanish – English Audio Description

Setup – Subtitles – English – French – Spanish – Portuguese – None

Scene Selections – select which scene to watch

Previews – The Mission Continues (commercial for returning veterans and their continuing efforts for public service work) – Jack Reacher – Anchorman 2 – World War Z

The Blu-Ray

The Blu-Ray of Star Trek Into Darkness goes directly to the main menu screen and also offers 4 options; Play – Settings – Scenes – Extras

Play – you watch the movie

Settings – Audio – English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD – French 5.1 Dolby Digital – Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital – Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital – English Audio Description

Settings – Subtitles – English – English SDH – French – Spanish – Portuguese – None

Scenes – select which scene to watch

Extras:

Creating the Red Planet: Cast & Crew show how they created the movie’s opening Red Planet sequence.

Attack on Starfleet: Cast & Crew show how the attack in the meeting room was created.

The Klingon Home World: We get to see a deleted scene from the previous 2009 Star Trek in which there were Klingons..  I never knew of this until today – so that was cool.  This feature shows how they made Kronos (or Qo’noS for you die-hards).

The Enemy of My Enemy: J.J. Abrams explains why Kahn was chosen to be in this movie, but that Kahn is not exactly the “main antagonist”.

Ship to Ship: C&C show how they do the space flight from the Enterprise to the Vengeance.

Brawl by the Bay: The film’s final battle scene, this shows how they pulled off the hand to hand combat between Spock and Kahn in San Francisco.

Continuing the Mission: Similar to the commercial that was found on the DVD this shows a little more “behind the scenes” and explains what The Mission Continues program is all about.

The Mission Continues: exact same commercial that was found on the DVD.

In all the extras on this blu-ray run a little over 40 minutes.. and that’s it!

Remember a few lines up where I mentions “more on this and the special features in a bit” in regards to the audio commentary and well.. special features?  Here is what I’ve found out:

This combo pack I have also comes with a digital download and from what I understand it does work with iTunes.  Save this if you want some free extras.  The iTunes download is going to be roughly 5gig; but it’s also more than just the audio commentary.  It’s a picture-in-picture version of the film that also has behind the scenes footage and from what I’ve been able to find out the commentators will pause the movie and rewind it in spots to talk about it.

As for the special features on the blu-ray itself.. Remember also when I mentioned the words ‘Retail Exclusive’?  Yeah.. this part sucks..

There are several versions of Star Trek Into Darkness out there floating around that are on Blu-Ray.  Depending on the retailer you get it from will also determine what special features you get.  As best I can find out all of the special features listed above are on all versions of the Blu-Ray.  I’ll do my best to list the retailer exclusive extras (I just can’t tell you what they are because simply put.. I’m not going to dish out more money just for that).

Best Buy Extras

NIF- Home of the core

Unlocking the Cut

Down With The Ship

Safety First

The Sound of Music and FX

Aliens Encountered

Target Extras:

Kirk and Spock

Mr. Spock and Mr. Spock

The Voyage Begins… Again

Rebuilding the Enterprise

Vengeance is Coming

Visual Affection

iTunes Extras:

Audio Commentary

WalMart Extras:

Vengeance Ship Toy

Limited Edition Villain SteelBook Package

Amazon Extras:

Starfleet Phaser Toy

I’m sure there are other exclusive and limited edition collector’s sets out there and I’ve also heard that different countries are going to have even different extras on theirs.  For me, it looks like I have the basic Blu-Ray and that’s disappointing.  I like the extras, I mean that’s the reason I went with blu-ray to begin with but when someone decides to start doing retailer exclusives in hopes to get me to buy multiple copies of their movie just so I can have ALL of the extras.. well.. I’m just not going to do that.

For now I’ve got to give this Blu-Ray a 2 out of 5 due to it’s lackluster of special features.

You can get it on Blu-ray here:


Star Trek Into Darkness (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD)

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