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World of Warcraft Reveals New Battleground, New Character, And More



Blizzard has unveiled their next update, Heroes of the Storm, and has provided gamers of the popular title details on what to expect from the MOBA in the near future.

A new battleground, hero (Yrel), and more tweaks are on the way.

“The conflict between the Horde and the Alliance rages on inside the Nexus with the upcoming Warcraft-event: Echoes of Alterac! Battle for glory on Alterac Pass, a new battleground inspired by the iconic World of Warcraft battleground, Alterac Valley. Choose a side, then complete a series of quests to unlock your faction’s a portrait, banner, and mount! And don’t forget to show your Azerothian spirit with new skins, mounts, sprays, and other cosmetic items—as well as an all new Warcraft hero, Yrel, the Light of Hope.”

Here are more details from Blizzard:

“The horns of war echo once again across the snowy slopes of Alterac. This time, something is different. Powerful Heroes join the Alliance and Horde, while the legendary generals Vanndar and Drek’Thar are infused with strange Nexus energies.”

Heroes of The Storm – Alterac Pass

  • New Map Mechanic – Cavalry: Your Cavalry units have been captured by the enemy! Your goal is to break them out of Cages on the map while preventing the enemy team from doing so. Channel on the enemy Cage to gain control of it, then maintain control until your prisoner is freed. After a short delay, the winning team will spawn a Cavalry unit in each lane, boosting the movement speed and damage of nearby allies.
  • Lay Siege to your Opponents: Standard cores have been replaced by Generals who will fight back when attacked! Generals can be attacked after one keep is destroyed, but they gain 20 armor from each keep that’s still intact—destroy all three enemy keeps to diminish their defenses.
  • Destroy Keeps to Spawn Reavers: When a keep is destroyed, the enemy team will begin to spawn melee Reaver minions instead of catapults. Reavers lead your other minions into combat, and serve to tank the brunt of the enemy General’s attacks.

Heroes of The Storm – Yrel


  • Divine Purpose (D)
    • Activate to instantly charge Yrel’s next Basic Ability at no mana cost.
    • Passive: Yrel’s Abilities charge up over 1.5 seconds, increasing in effectiveness, but reducing her movement speed by 25%.
      • Cooldown: 10

Basic Abilities

  • Vindication (Q)
    • Unleash holy energy around Yrel, dealing 38 damage to nearby enemies and healing her for 96.
      • Charging up this ability increases its damage up to 125, and healing up to 320.
        • Cost: 50
        • Cooldown: 6
  • Righteous Hammer (W)
    • Her hammer deals 38 damage to enemies in front, or knocking them away.
      • Charging this Ability increases knockback distance, damage increased to 125.
      • Enemies hit at max charge are stunned for 0.75 seconds.
        • Cost: 50
        • Cooldown: 16
  • Avenging Wrath (E)
    • Leap to a location, dealing 150 damage to enemies in an area and Slowing them by 50% for 1 second.
      • Charging this Ability increases its range.
        • Cost: 50
        • Cooldown: 6

Heroic Abilities

  • Ardent Defender (R1)
    • Surround Yrel in a barrier for 3 seconds, absorbing all damage taken and healing her for 50% of the damage received.
      • Cost: 40
      • Cooldown: 100
  • Sacred Ground (R2)
    • Yrel sanctifies the ground around her, gaining 40 Armor until she leaves the area.
      • Cost: 40
      • Cooldown: 100

In addition to the new battleground and character, the Echoes of Alterac event also features several quests that begin after players choose between, of course, the Horde or the Alliance. Either quest line features faction-themed rewards that include new portraits, banners, and a mount, all of which can be seen here. Here are the quests:

Echoes of Alterac Event Quests and Rewards

  • Quest: Play four games as a Warcraft Hero. Reward: Warcraft Reinforcements Chest (Contains four item drops as usual, but one of them is guaranteed to be a Warcraft Hero from a pool of 28)
  • Quest: Achieve 50 takedowns in winning games. Reward: Faction Portrait
  • Quest: Play six games with friends. Reward: Faction Banner
  • Quest: Win eight games as a Warcraft Hero. Reward: Faction Mount (Ram for the Alliance, Wolf for the Horde)

The Heroes of The Storm: Echoes of Alterac event runs June 12 all the way until July 9th. The new hero, Yrel, arrives first during the week of June 12, then Alterac Pass during the week of June 19.

Heroes of The Storm is now available for PC.




Microsoft Unveils Xbox Developer Sustainability Toolkit




Xbox has officially unveiled the Xbox Developer Sustainability Toolkit which is aimed to help creators reduce energy consumption and measure carbon emissions during game development processes.

The Xbox Developer Sustainability ToolKit includes resources that include:

  • Power Monitor tools
  • Certification reports
  • Power consumption dashboards
  • Best practices

Ubisoft and 343 Industries were named as early users of the Xbox Developer Sustainability ToolKit with 343 Industries able to reduce energy use by 15% without impacting the player experience at all.

Ubisoft and Xbox are co-developing an energy-efficient eco-mode for users.

You can check out the full report right here.

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Epic Games Store Hits $820 Million in Player Spending During 2022



Epic games

Epic Games has officially released financial data related to it’s growing marketplace on PC, showing that $820 million was spent on the Epic Games Store during the 2022 year, and promised support for third-party subscription services and new ‘content hubs’ to help companies promote their titles.

According to the data:

The numbers

  • Total users of Epic Games Store PC: 230 million (up 19% year-on-year)
  • Epic cross-platform accounts: 732 million
  • Daily active users peak: 34.3 million
  • Monthly active users: 68 million (up 10%)
  • Total spending, incl. Epic’s games: $820 million (down 2%)
  • Spending on third-party games: $355 million (up 18%)
  • Free games claimed: 700 million
  • Number of new PC releases: 626
  • Total library of PC games: 1,548 (up 68%)

Epic Games stated on it’s blog that more PC games launched during the 2022 year than in any year prior.

Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto 5, Rocket League, Genshin Impact, and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands were among the most popular titles related to player engagement and player spending, and Epic Games looks to deepen their focus in 2023 as they aim to improve the store launcher’s performance.

Epic Games also aims to add support for subscription services from third-party publishers and live service products by the end of the 2023 year, adding that they are also working on ‘content hubs’ which will be separate from product pages and will enable publishers to “share information with users in a robust editorial format.”

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California Judge Dismisses Gamers Lawsuit Filed Against Microsoft




A federal judge in San Francisco has ruled that the group of 10 plaintiffs “[lacked] allegations” in their lawsuit filed last year that claimed Microsoft’s ownerships of Activision Blizzard would harm consumers and competition in the video games market, according to a filing shared by Reuters.

While US District Judge Jacqueline Corley dismissed the case, she also gave the plaintiffs 20 days to refine their lawsuit and resubmit it, and the group’s lawyer, Joseph Saveri, said that there are plans to officially submit an amended lawsuit with “additional factual detail” that will address the judge’s concerns.

It marks a victory for Microsoft, but their battles are far from over as they still face a hearing over the Federal Trade Commission’s legal complaint, which is currently slated to take place in August of this year.

Microsoft and Activision Blizzard originally expected the transaction to be complete by June 30, 2023.

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