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28 Mar 14 Blog 1

5 MMOs You Should Have to Pay For

There used to be a time when free video game you found online weren’t exactly top tier games.   However, thanks to the micro transaction model (love it or hate it), more game developers are creating fun, professional and wildly entertaining video games that are free to download and play.  The companies then make their profits from the most dedicated of players who are willing to pay for items that grant them a competitive edge.  Below are three video games that you should, at the least, try out today. The downloads are quick and the learning curve is pretty easy on all of these games.

 

Hearthstone

Hearthstone

 

Hearthstone is Blizzard’s newest game.  It is a digital, collectable card game based in the Warcraft universe.  Players are randomly assigned a class to start, and must conquer each individual class in order to play as that particular class/character.   As a player levels up each class deck, they are given new bonus card packs that allow more strategy to be implemented into their decks.  The higher ranking players you play, the more powerful their cards will be.  This game is highly addictive once you understand beginning strategies.

 

Play Hearthstone for free

Screenshot from a card battle

hearthstone screenshot

Class/ Character Options

play hearthstone free online

 

World of Tanks

 

play the world of tanks online for free

 

World of Tanks is made by Wargaming and is a free MMO that places players in the seat of various tanks for battles that can either be won via killing the entire opposing fleet or having enough friendly tanks in the opponent’s start location for long enough that their base is captured.  The game plays much more like a high stakes chess match that has an immense player base, which means their is next to no wait time in order to join a new battle.  This game happens to be a favorite free game at Rock Videogames, the graphics are excellent, the ui and controls on point and the game forces players to think and act strategically instead of zerging around mindlessly.  Try it out, thank us later.

 

Play World of Tanks for free.

World of Tanks Art

free online mmo war game pvp

 

 Beginning Area and Formation

wot screen2

 

 

World of Warplanes

 

free online flight simulator

World of Warplanes is another game created by Wargaming, only instead of tanks, the game allows players to experience combat as a pilot in over one hundred different types of aircraft.   The game features a player verse player option of 15 v 15.   Like World of Tanks, in World of Warplanes you can win your match if you are able to either eliminate all enemy aircraft or you gain control over the skies.

 

Play World of Warplanes for free.

 

 Attacking an Enemy Vessel

world-of-warplanes-12

 

Flying in the Pacific

free multiplayer flight simulator

 

 

 Other Free Games You’ve Probably Already Heard Of

 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

oldrep

 

 

League of Legends

LoLege

Correct Micro Issues in Starcraft 2
13 Feb 14 Blog 0

Correct Micro Issues in Starcraft 2

It is very important to micro manage your units while in combat in Starcraft 2.  Being able to improve on this skill will have a direct effect on the amount of wins you achieve while playing.

Common Beginner Micro Issues

It is common for the beginner to often throw their units into battle all at once while continuing to build or check other parts of the map.  Stopping this right away will take a player from bronze to silver.  Each unit you lose is lost resources, and resources are what matter in this game.

Not to sound like John Madden, but the key is to make sure your opponent is losing more resources than you are in combat.  Knowing when and how to retreat is helpful, and moving injured units to the back of the pack during small skirmishes can have a butterfly effect that lasts throughout the game.

Strategy

Each unit has strengths and weaknesses that you can exploit.  Setting up cover with siege tanks or colossi while drawing enemy infantry into range can prove to be devastating if the opponent does not retreat.  Likewise, if that opponent counters heavy ground only units with air, you will lose the game quickly.  Moving your units in and out of combat at strategic times is the key to winning skirmishes.  Easier said than done, but the more a player looks at the micro events within a skirmish as opposed to throwing all units in together at the same time, the better the outcome will be.

Predicting your opponents moves is also an advanced strategy that can swing the game in just seconds.  If you scout and know an opponent has reapers early, setting up a trap at your mineral line can completely wipe out his army.  Countering quickly, you will certainly be able to take out a depot or barracks.

Common targets that opponents will predictably attack are mineral lines, expansions, pylons/depots and retreating and heavily outnumbered units.

Also be certain to consider the speed of your opponents units.  If you are up against mutas with thors, you will need to build faster units to avoid the mutas taking laps around your base while bringing havoc.

 

 

3 Starcraft 2 Mistakes Keeping you in Silver League
13 Feb 14 Blog 0

3 Starcraft 2 Mistakes Keeping you in Silver League

Below are the three mistakes that beginners make when playing Starcraft 2.  Fixing these elements can have an immediate impact on a player that will put them well on the road of of making it to the next level.

It’s The Economy

The economy is the backbone of your success in Starcraft 2.  Having a stable source of income is the easiest way to start winning more games of Starcraft 2.  There are several strategies that you can use to make sure that you will always have an income.  The easiest strategy to manage is expanding as soon as you are able to.  Zerg can expand very early, while Terran and Protoss can expand around the 6 minute mark with enough units to defend the expansion assuming no rush.

If you are a new player, do not focus on tech right away.  Instead, create enough units to defend while getting your second expansion established.  Once you have another source of income, you can start harassing your opponents expansions while investing resources into technology upgrades.   Focus on building workers, then building units when you have money and once you have an extra 3/400 build your expansion.

Likewise, during mid game look to expand again at the 10-12 minute mark depending on how things are going.  At this point, it does become a balancing act of ensuring you have plenty of units.  If you can continually harass your opponents expansions while you work your way to three bases, you are set.  Using scouting techniques on your opponents expansions will help you react at a much faster pace.

Go Fast

Starcraft 2 is also about speed.  You do not have the luxury of being supply capped or to sit around and wait for something to happen.  Be sure to plot your build systematically.  Many beginners will create several pylons/depots/overlords all at once since that is the structure on their mind at the time, and they do not want to be hassle with being supply capped once combat starts.

Instead of falling victim to this beginner mistake, make sure that you are predicting when you will need to start building more supply and use that extra 200 for units, tech or expansions.

Learn Keybindings

Not unlike point 2 of going fast, the biggest factor that will take beginners up a notch is by learning keybindings.  This eliminates the constant and slow process of clicking on everything.  It is recommended that you bind your expansions to numbers 1-3 for fast access while you are across the map fighting.  Pumping out a few extra workers when you have income is almost always helpful into post late game stages.

Learn keybindings for which structures you are trying to create, or abilities you are trying to execute.  Again, this saves precious seconds and will have a beneficial effect on your ability to respond to your opponent’s next move.

Also use the shift right click command with your workers to return to mining, build another building etc.  This can add up to thousands of minerals mined as opposed to leaving your workers sitting all over your base area.  You can also do this with the attack command so that your units can continue to attack buildings in a failing base while you manage expansions etc.

Do not make half hearted attempts at keybindings.  If this was new information for you, the next game you play, make sure to look at the keybindings that you are using.  Play unranked for a few games if you prefer, just be certain that you give yourself an appropriate trial by fire- it is the fastest way to learn.

Is World of Warcraft almost dead?
13 Feb 14 Blog 0

Is World of Warcraft almost dead?

There are two signs that a MMORPG is on the verge of becoming obsolete: Rapid creation of expansion packs and merging of servers.  It happened to EverQuest, it happened to Ultima Online.

Blizzard is now doing both with the World of Warcraft, plus one other indicator that I will get to later.  As a publicly traded company that exists to increase shareholder earnings first and is a video game company second, Blizzard is attempting to hold onto every last penny that they can.  The strategy is two fold.

1. Merge World of Warcraft Servers.

When a MMORPG starts to lose subscribers, the affects are not immediately noticeable.  However, when those subscribers are leaving by droves, servers start to become empty and dead.  For the experience of the players still willing to pay for game time, this put’s their monthly revenue at a serious risk.  So, to reduce that risk, merging servers unites players that are still willing to pay monthly and affords them a populated feel to the game.

Blizzard plans to merge a set of servers today, February 13 and next week on February 25th 2014.  This will add several more merged servers to the already massive list.  Look for another mass merge in 10-14 months.

 

2. Create More Expansions Faster

Before Everquest finally kicked the commercial bucket, their dev team started pumping out expansion packs.  At the tune of 2 per year. The idea was that the players that still remained were die hards.  They were passionate.  If you could give them more content, then they would buy it.  Now remember, Blizzard wants to squeeze everything they can out of this game.  As a company that has shown deliberate signs of following the EQ business model, look for this strategy to be imitated as well.

Classic Launch: 11/04

Burning Crusade: 1/07

Wrath of the Lich King: 11/08

Cataclysm: 12/10

Mists of Pandaria: 9/12

ANNOUNCED Warlords of Draenor later 2014 at the earliest.

Thus far expansions are predictably launched.  However, I would look to see another quick announcement at BlizzCon after Warlords of Draenor is launched.

 

3. Increasing Value of Invite a Friend Perks

When the World of Warcraft came out, there were obviously no amazing perks for inviting friends into the game. No extra mounts, free levels, free game play etc.  Now that Blizzard is seeing a decrease of subscribers look for this clear trend to continue or accelerate.  One thing is certain, the fewer people still playing, the better the perks are going to become.

 

 

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