Legends of Runeterra Preview – Overwhelming the Competition

Could Riot Games be too late to the party with its take on the digital card game? Legends of Runeterra by and large missed the peak of the genre, which hit its stride with the release of Blizzard’s Hearthstone in 2014. Being bolstered by the unwavering League of Legends star power may not be enough to achieve its lofty goal; is there time to make up for the delay and convince players that Legends of Runeterra is the TCG they have been waiting for?

The answer to this last question is a resounding yes. Riot Games’ mediocre timing may turn out to be Legends of Runeterra’s greatest strength, as they didn’t have to enter a colossal and potentially destructive clash with Hearthstone. This also served another purpose, which was to see where Magic: The Gathering Arena would fit as a potential big-name competitor. The jury is out on this as well, declaring that the latest MTG card game poses no massive threat.

Legends of Runeterra Preview Card Combat

The World in Your Deck | Legends of Runeterra Preview

Riot Games clearly took a long, hard look at the competition and settled for what makes a first-rate digital card game. Legends of Runeterra is a fun game to watch, with a crisp and clean starting board with exactly the right amount of bells and whistles to look good without encumbering the screen. This is the kind of game that is likely to appeal to those who have stayed away from CCGs until now, since everything about it seems poised for perfection. League of Legends fans are in for a treat, as the Champions that they know and love come to life in new and innovative ways, often with a little bit of clever showboating, and they are joined by several new characters. It may be far from original, but this is fan service at its best.

Sure, there are some balance issues that the betas will hopefully iron out, and the in-game menus look simple but are somewhat bland and overcomplicated, when they should go straight to the point – why do I have to go to Collections to delete a deck, instead of having that option in Play as well?

When you and a challenger are facing each other over the board, the slightly warped perspective may take some getting used to, but a few minutes should do the trick. Furthermore, the way that the Legends of Runeterra decks are portrayed is beyond criticism, with crispy clean design and perfectly visible stats that never get into the way of your strategy. I would like to be able to instantly see the attack and health points for the cards that I’m holding, but this is a minor concern that can also be directed at Hearthstone.

Legends of Runeterra Preview Fast Spell

The cornerstone of Legends of Runeterra is the use of Champions, faces that you know and love from the MOBA. Prepare yourself to meet Jinx, Braum, Darius, Zed, Lux, Lucian, and others, coming from six regions of Runeterra: Shadow Isles, Ionia, Piltover & Zaun, Demacia, Noxus, and Freljord. You can have up to six Champion cards in your 40-card deck, with the rest being comprised of follower and spell cards. Champions should always be your focus in every match, as they come with valuable stats; furthermore, they can level up by fulfilling a special condition, turning them into devastating gamechangers – for Jinx, having a empty hand is the requirement, while Braum levels up by taking 10 damage. Never ignore Champion cards, as their damage dealing ability and resourcefulness is vital in the hands of a skilled player.

The catch is that Legends of Runeterra gives you a myriad of choices and tactical options, and them callously slaps you on the wrist for being greedy. All those beautiful units and spells are yours for the taking, but under one very succinct condition – you are limited to choosing cards from two regions, and no more than that. Experimenting with Champions and spells is going to take a long time, as every opponent that you face seems to take a different yet effective approach to decks. When you begin to feel comfortable with your selection, another rival comes by and obliterates the masterful strategy that you thought would be effective against every single player in the world. Matches are mostly about skill, but luck also plays a small role in the outcome as the right cards are drawn in the nick of time, especially the all-important fast spells that can turn the tide of a clash.

Legends of Runeterra Preview Decks

Elusive Is as Elusive Does | Legends of Runeterra Preview

Ignore the tutorials at your own peril. They may seem intimidating and a couple of them may even stump you, but this is where you’ll get useful info that is otherwise coming at the cost of many defeats. Besides, this is where you earn your first significant set of cards, getting closer to a proper deck. Legends of Runeterra seems fairly generous with its reward track, handing card after card during the tutorial, but also as you face other players. However, there’s a catch – you can only have one active region reward track. This means that the sooner you settle for a consistent and reliable deck, the better you’re going to be at earning new cards from your two preferred regions.

Your goal is to destroy the enemy Nexus using your cards to hit it, providing they aren’t blocked by rival cards. Such a simple approach develops into several layers of complexity, as you learn to deal with the intricacies of card effects such as Overwhelm and Elusive. The latter is particularly worrying, as these cards can only be blocked by another Elusive unit, paving the way for some unflinching Nexus takedowns in case you are not duly prepared.

Legends of Runeterra Preview Burst Spell

While it has a lot of catching up to do in terms of player base and content to properly rival Hearthstone, Legends of Runeterra seems to be on the right path. This is a game that is both entertaining to play and to watch, sporting an ambitious competitive tone while remaining within reach for those who have never tried a digital card game before. Riot Games is determined to prove that there’s more to it than League of Legends, and Legends of Runeterra is just the first of many cards that it has up its sleeve.

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Magic: ManaStrike Interview: Producer Kay Kim on the Origins and Future of the Game

Magic: ManaStrike is a new way to play Magic: The Gathering on Android and iOS, offering a take on the card game that pushes it closer to games such as Clash Royale and Minion Masters. Following our review and the addicting gameplay that it boasts, we had the opportunity to speak with Kay Kim, the Netmarble US Producer for this game.

In our interview, Kim will talk about how the opportunity to develop Magic: ManaStrike came up, how players are reacting to the game, what is planned for the future, and discusses the possibility of taking the game into eSports territory.

Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

I’m Kay Kim, the Netmarble US producer for Magic: ManaStrike.

How would you describe Magic: ManaStrike to new players?

Magic: ManaStrike takes the Magic: The Gathering franchise and places it in a whole new genre—real-time PVP strategy. Players take the role of a Planeswalker, a powerful character who can summon monsters and spells from their deck to win the battle on a 3D real-time battlefield. Additionally, the Planeswalkers themselves can enter the battlefield. They come equipped with unique special skills which, if used strategically, can turn the tide of battle.

When did you acquire the Magic: The Gathering license, and did you immediately feel that it would be a good fit for the real-time PvP genre, or were other game concepts studied as well?

The original Magic: The Gathering game is a great strategy game with a 26-year history so, when we were approached by Wizards of the Coast to come up with a new gameplay experience for Magic on mobile platforms, we were excited. We realized it would be great to blend the strategy of the core card game with the fun and depth of a Player vs. Player (PvP) battler. We really wanted to bring the characters, creatures, and spells of Magic rendered in full 3D models on mobile.

From there, we worked closely with Wizards of the Coast to make sure it lined up with the rich history of the constantly-expanding Magic multiverse. We believe that the game will appeal to strategy gamers worldwide. It’s easy to pick up, but with a depth of strategy that will pose a challenge to master, all with the incredible characters and lore that Magic: The Gathering offers as a fantasy brand.

Magic ManaStrike Interview Planeswalker

How would you convince non-Magic: The Gathering fans to give Magic: ManaStrike a go?

This game is a combination of a fantastic IP with a lot of story behind it, and fun, rewarding gameplay. If you’re new to the Magic: The Gathering franchise, don’t worry! Magic: ManaStrike uses a new gameplay style that will be enjoyable for all players, but stays true to Magic: The Gathering’s roots. You can learn about the different monsters and spells as you play the game, and you can experiment with different Planeswalkers to discover which one is the best fit for you. And along the way, you’ll learn a little bit about their history and personalities.

And of course, you’ll be winning matches, leveling up cards, and getting more and more great rewards.

Many players are comparing the game with Clash Royale. However, I would say that it looks more like Minion Masters. Are you a fan of these games, and if so, how does Magic: ManaStrike improves on them?

At Netmarble, we are gamers first. We play many games across many platforms so we make games we want to play because then we know players will love them too. Magic: ManaStrike allows players to come in and learn the mechanics of the game. As their experience grows, players start to strategize more and become more engrossed in the game. Seasoned players can also come in and enjoy it right away. We feel we’ve created a game nearly anyone can love.

Magic ManaStrike Interview Nissa Revane

Can you tell us which one is your favorite Planeswalker in Magic: ManaStrike, and why?

Tezzeret is my favorite because of his high versatility in attacks. His basic attack is a huge AoE damage to ground units; when deployed, he summons an additional aerial unit which does an AoE attack as well. Tezzeret’s Gravity Sphere skill is great because it will pull enemies close to an area and stun them for a second. And his funky reggae hairstyle and general appearance look awesome in my opinion.

How is the overall player reaction to game balance, including the game-changing Planeswalker abilities?

Of course, players always have opinions about what is and isn’t working in the game. We have a discord where players actively discuss what they think. And we relay that feedback to the developers. Also, what might seem over- or under-powered early on might be viewed differently later. Regarding Planeswalkers specifically, some powers are more situational than others. Finding the best times and ways to use them can often turn a match around but will often require more strategic thinking.

That being said, we are carefully monitoring the game and will adjust things as necessary to ensure balanced gameplay.

Clearly a lot of work went into the presentation of the game, particularly the Planeswalkers. Was it an arduous task making all these stunning artworks come to life in the arena, given the small size of the units?

Using the Unity engine and working closely with the Wizards of the Coast team, we took our time to ensure the artwork stayed true to what Magic players have come to love while still putting our spin on it and bringing our expertise in mobile gaming.

Magic ManaStrike Interview Jace Beleren

Do you plan on adding new Planeswalkers and cards in the future? What kind of timeframe can we expect for content updates?

We are always adding new content to our games and looking for fun ways to keep our games fresh. As you know, we have just launched the game so right now we are focused on providing a great experience and ensuring players enjoy the game. There will be updates coming soon though, so stay tuned.

Do you have plans to take the game into eSports territory?

We aim to make our games as fun as possible for players. There is always a possibility for future esports plans if the demand is there from fans.

Anything else that you would like to add about Magic: ManaStrike?

We are very proud of what we’ve built for players and hope they continue to enjoy the game. And keep in touch. There’s more Magic: ManaStrike to come!

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PUBG Mobile was the Second Most Downloaded Mobile Game in Q3

PUBG Mobile was the second most downloaded mobile game in the world in Q3 2019, beaten only by Fun Race 3D. It beat out games like Mario Kart Tour, Garena Free Fire, Mr Bullet, and Sand Balls, just to name a few. The majority of those downloads came from the Google Play store. On the App Store, Mario Kart Tour was actually the most downloaded game of the quarter and PUBG Mobile ranked only 7th.

PUBG Mobile saw more than a 100% growth quarter on quarter with nearly 80 million downloads. While Battle Royale Garena Free Fire managed to spend a 4th quarter in a row in the top 3 in the Google Play Store.

Of course, it should be noted that it is impossible to know how well Fortnite is performing on mobile because they aren’t in the Google Play store and this chart gets its data from the mobile app stores. It is interesting though to see so many games on these lists that well quite frankly, I’ve never even heard of. A lot of them are super casual games and aren’t the type of thing that people read or write about very often.

The data was collected and presented by SensorTower who are constantly releasing new reports on the performances of mobile apps, including games. If this is the sort of information that interests you then you should check out the MMOGames weekly business report every Friday. It dives into all the data and financial news that has been released in the online gaming industry every week.

 

 

Source: Sensor Tower

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New Warhammer MMORPG Warhammer: Odyssey Opens Pre-Registration

There’s a new Warhammer MMORPG on the way and now you can pre-register to play it. Warhammer: Odyssey takes place in the Old World where Morrslieb the Chaos Moon grows large and doomsayers have taken to the streets. You’ll be able to explore iconic Warhammer Fantasy locations like Marienburg, Drakwald Forest, and The Wasteland. The game is expected to expand with episodic updates released over time throughout the length of the game’s life.

Pre-registering your interest now will sign you up for a chance to take part in future beta tests. You’ll also earn exclusive in-game rewards as well as get news and updates on the development of the game.

Currently, there are 6 unique classes that have been confirmed and anyone familiar with Warhammer will recognize them. They are High Elf Archmage, High Elf Shadow Warrior, Human Witch Hunter, Human Warrior Priest, Dwarf Slayer, and Dwarf Engineer.

The game is being developed by Virtual Realms, a studio based in Bangkok. They are best known today for their flagship MMO Celtic Heroes on iOS.

There is no release date for Warhammer: Odyssey yet and we don’t even have an idea of when beta testing will begin. But that’s hardly going to stop any Warhammer fans. The game will be playable on iOS and Android. Based on previous experience it would be safe to assume that beta will begin in the next couple of months, so be sure to keep an eye out for it, we will be.

 

Source: MMOCulture, Official Site

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MMORPG Sword Cat Online Launches

Have you ever wished you were in a game populated solely with catgirls and boys? If you said yes, you’re in luck and I’m not just talking about City of Heroes’ Pocket D nightclub. No, I’m talking about the mobile MMORPG Sword Cat Online. In Sword Cat Online everyone plays as a cat hero made in a cute cartoonish art style.

One thing that makes Sword Cat Online stand out is that it is designed to be played with just your thumbs, allowing you to hold your phone in a more natural way as you play. It also boasts full social features like clans, chat, a PvP Arena, and World Boss co-op. It also has a single-player campaign with hundreds of stages.

Because of the anime style fighting scenes, the developers do stress that Sword Cat Online is really only recommended for those ages 12 and up.

The game is available exclusively on Google Play, sorry iPhone users. To celebrate the launch of the game all new players can use the code “scofun19” to receive a free cat hero and 300 gems in game. This code does have a limited quantity though so it is recommended that you redeem it right away. You can find more opportunities to win prizes and get more information about the game on their official Facebook page.

Also, be sure to check out the trailer for the game below.

Source: Press Release

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Space MMORPG Second Galaxy Launching this Week

Three thousand years in the future humanity has formed an empire in the stars called “Second Galaxy.” In this Second Galaxy, five regimes have emerged, each eager to further colonize the universe. Players in this open world MMORPG have the freedom to play any role they like from explorer to bodyguard, miner, or merchant.

The universe of Second Galaxy has 4,961 galaxies to explore that are filled with dark matter, wormholes, space stations, and more. In those, nearly 5,000 galaxies are more than 50,000 stars across 1,000 light years. There are five types of spacecraft with over 150 classes to pick from. Customization of your ships is impressive as well with more than 1,000 types of tactical equipment, 3,000 spacecraft components, and 5,000 technological upgrades.

You’ll be able to see thousands of players on the screen engaging in real-time combat. Thanks to their advances in technology the game can support half a million concurrent players. Quite impressive for a mobile game. Yes, all of this is in a mobile game.

Second Galaxy will be launching globally on iOS and Android on July 5th. Though it’s being called a soft launch, so maybe it’s just a beta? Honestly, does anything mean anything these days? From the sound of it though, they mean for it to be a launch.

This gorgeous looking mobile game looks like it could give EVE a run for its money. If you’re looking for more information about the game you can find them on Facebook or on their official site. Pre-registration is now available as well.

 

Source: Press Release

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New Smite Game, Smite Blitz Announced by Hi-Rez

The height of the MOBA craze seems like it was forever ago. How often do you hear people talking about LoL, DOTA, or Smite anymore? Well, Hi-Rez, the makers of Smite haven’t forgotten and now they’ve announced new game set in an alternate Smite universe called Smite Blitz.

Smite Blitz is a mythology-themed action RPG with story, challenge, and PvP modes. It will launch with 60 Gods available and many more to come at launch. The game will be playable on iOS and Android, in fact, it is available in Technical Alpha for both right now. If you want the opportunity to take part in the Technical Alpha you’ll need to sign up for Hi-Rez Labs, the volunteer playtesting program for things in development by Hi-Rez.

Here’s what the press release announcing the game had to say about the gameplay.

SMITE Blitz allows players to form squads from their collection of gods from multiple pantheons and create the ultimate team to tackle the variety of challenges SMITE Blitz has to offer. Through simple core gameplay, a depth of content to explore and with a brand new visual style, people both familiar and new to the SMITE universe can experience SMITE Blitz to its full extent.

“No other mobile RPG offers players the chance to control legendary gods in the palm of their hands from so many different pantheons!” said SMITE Blitz Associate Producer, Logan Cooper. “Bringing the world of SMITE to mobile devices has opened up opportunities for new gameplay experiences beyond competitive gaming that fans of the game have been keen for us to continue to explore, while opening it up to players that may not have had the chance to experience the epic stories from across mythology that only SMITE can provide. We’re excited to welcome players to SMITE Blitz and can’t wait to see how their adventures unfold.”

 

Source: Press Release

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NEXON Opens Durango: Wild Lands Pre-Registration For Mobile

A new MMORPG with dinosaurs is about to make its way to mobile, thanks to a little help from NEXON. Now the publisher has the tools necessary to get players ready for the Jurassic adventure Durango!

The team announced today, in conjunction with its Korea office, that it has launched pre-registration for Durango: Wild Lands starting today. This mobile sandbox MMORPG, as they describe it, “transports players into the middle of a vast wilderness in an alternate universe where humans live alongside dinosaurs. The only way players can survive the uncharted and unforgiving land is to explore, compete and band together to build a functional society.

Durango: Wild Lands features a persistently-evolving open world where freedom of choice grants players the power to control their own destinies. Crafting, cooking, farming, sewing, gathering and taming wild dinosaurs are just several of the skills players will need to master to establish a thriving civilization in the midst of the hostile wild.”

Pre-registration has officially opened up for both Google Play and iOS devices through the official game website. And those who jump at the opportunity will score some free bonuses when the game launches, including the following:

  • Collectable Items– An exclusive package of useful in-game items, including the Broomstick, Paper Box, Doggy Mask, Dino Mask, Warp-Box, Health, Striped Compsognathus and more.
  • Rare Gems– Android players who pre-register through Google Play will receive 300 Warp Gems.

A release date for Durango: Wild Lands still hasn’t been provided yet. But considering the game is set with pre-registration, it probably isn’t too far off now. Not to mention that the game is available now in various markets, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand, among others.

Will you be taking the journey into the world of Durango?

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MU Origin 2 Closed Beta Announced

It seems like just yesterday we were talking about Webzen’s MU Origin and now here we are on the cusp of the MU Origin 2 closed beta for North America and Latin America talking about it. The closed beta starts today and will run for 10 days, until April 7th. It’s only available for Android users though there will be an iOS version when the game launches later this year. Though the game will also be releasing in Europe players located there won’t be able to take part in the closed beta.

MU Origin 2 is, as the name implies, the second spinoff from Webzen’s massively popular Korean MMORPG MU Online. Players will be able to pick from three distinct classes; Dark Knight, Dark Wizard, and Elf. The press release boasts that the game will include classical MU elements and gameplay on a mobile device with a huge selection of quests, dungeons, modes, pets, items and more.

All closed beta participants who reach level 150 and submit a short survey about their experiences in the beta will get an exclusive title when the game launches. It should be stated, however, that characters from this closed beta will be wiped. According to comments made on Facebook Webzen currently hopes to launch the game for everyone in May or June.

If you’re looking for a new mobile game to play then it looks like MU Origin 2 will be a great option for you going into the summer. Check out the trailer below and for more information head over to the official site.

Source: Press Release

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Fortnite Android Will Not Launch on the Play Store

It can get mighty frustrating waiting for certain games and apps’ release on Android when they’re already live on iOS, with the Fortnite Android version being one of the biggest in recent memory, having been confirmed as launching for Android devices a while back but taking its sweet time. Well, it looks like we finally have our answer as Epic Games have decided that Fortnite Android will not be launching on the Play Store at all, and will instead be launching directly from Epic.

Fortnite Battle Royale

This may seem like an odd decision but the reason why is pretty simple: Google takes a 30% cut of revenue earned through their Play Store, and with Fortnite’s success, Epic feels that the game doesn’t need to rely on the Play Store to make people aware of Fortnite’s release and is confident that it will bring in more than enough money, thus saving them millions of dollars.

There are concerns over security, however, as some point out that scammers will use this opportunity to promote fake versions of the game to coerce unsuspecting people into installing malware, which Google Play can better protect against. Considering many of Fortnite’s players are young children, many are concerned that scammers will exploit this fully expecting people to search for the app through a search engine rather than going directly to the source, especially if they utilize ads and SEO to appear near the top of search engines.

However, Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney claims that this decision will not only save them a lot of money in the long run, but also notes smartphone platforms “do very little” and make money selling ads using keywords for the most popular apps on their platforms and would much prefer to have better control over their title and be able to offer the best user experience.

Our Thoughts

It’s great to see Fortnite finally making movements towards Android, especially considering how well they’ve been doing on iOS over the past few months. As for the security concerns, we shall have to wait and see. We don’t yet know exactly how Epic Games will implement the Android version of the game or how they’ll go about protecting their users, but we will certainly be keeping an eye on the situation.

Source: The Register

 

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