Tag Archives: Preview

2023 PC Gaming Look Ahead

Introduction

I altered the format of the title slightly. I think it gives a little something more. A je ne sais quis, if you will. I haven’t decided yet to go back and change the other titles in the series right now. It requires a bit more tweaking in the background than I’m willing to do right now. Maybe over the weekend when I have no other articles to write. So, what’s in store for this 2023 PC gaming look ahead?

To be honest, not much. While committed to finding my roots as a gamer once again through the page and maybe some other content, I’ve never been much of a PC gamer. Discovering Steam and the masterpiece that is Portal 2 helped, but mostly I prefer consoles and, especially recently, mobile games. But, I saw a couple of titles that I want to highlight.

Three PC Games That Caught My Eye

As I’ve done with the other articles, I started with a Google search for “2023 PC games”. That took me to this page. I scrolled…and scrolled…and scrolled. As the heading of this section says, I found only three that I consider to be worth my time to discuss here. Let’s take them in order of excitement level.

Hogwarts Legacy (Excitement Level: Slightly Above Meh)

Once I finally got around to reading them, I liked the Harry Potter books. I also enjoyed most of the movies. It bothered me that they split book seven into two movies and then made quite possibly the most boring fantasy movie I’ve ever seen with Part 1. No lie. I fell asleep the first two times I watched that one. That has nothing to do with my reaction to this game. I actually wanted to illustrate how much I like Harry Potter and that I should be more excited about this one. I’m sure once I get to play it, I’ll have fun. I know that I liked the original games and this one gives me more of a chance to be the wizard I want to be instead of one of the main characters from the story.

Street Fighter 6 (Excitement Level: Hadoken!)

Wow, didn’t realize just how light that logo was. They framed it on a dark background, so it showed up much better on the actual page. Oh well, too lazy right now to go and fix it up in GIMP, so it is what it is. Speaking of the page, I only scrolled through and read some of the basic information there, so I have little to no information about this game. Even so, as long as I can throw fireballs and dragon punches, I’m in.

Diablo IV (Excitement Level: Send Me to Hell!)

It took me forever to play Diablo III. Like many, I heard the negative feedback from the launch and never fully recovered from that. In fact, I played Torchlight II until my fingers bled and never even considered Diablo II as an option. Then, I think Chris might have picked it up. Or, we played it to compare to Torchlight for the podcast. Either way, once I finally played it, I loved it. I am again in a bit of a hiatus from the game, but once I get back into it, I’ll be ready for the fourth one.

The Verdict

All of these games will be available on consoles and that’s probably where I will play them. Nevertheless, I might end up splurging again on a gaming PC to get that experience from Diablo and Hogwarts Legacy. I mean, honestly, Street Fighter is meant to be played on a console sitting next to your best friend on the couch. Honestly, three games is more than I thought I’d be able to find for a 2023 PC gaming look ahead, so consider that a win.

Completely Ignorant 2018 NFC Preview

Introduction

I mentioned in my previous article that I took my cues for these articles from The Bill Simmons podcast. That’s not entirely true. I also texted a friend asking if he knew about any fantasy football leagues that I could join. It’s been a couple of years since I wasn’t invited back to a league that I won with Blake Bortles as my starting quarterback. Honestly, I didn’t miss it all that much.

However, all of the sports podcasts that I listen to have advertisements for fantasy football. They must have wormed their way into the dark corners of my brain only to spring into action at just the right time. I always thought that advertising didn’t work on me. Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age.

True to Simmons form, I had to subscribe to Cousin Sal’s podcast to get the NFC portion of their preview. However, and I say this with some pride, if the completely ignorant tag on my AFC preview wasn’t entirely true, it will be for this one. Not only do I keep a glancing eye on the AFC because my favorite team plays there, but I kept zoning out while listening to Simmons and Sal during their NFC show. More than once I said, “Wait, what team are they discussing?” Without further ado, on with the ignorance!

NFC East

  1. Iggles: The one thing that I do know about the NFC is that the Iggs won the Super Bowl last year with their second string quarterback. I can’t even remember that quarterback’s name. I just keep thinking Frank Reich or Brian Hoyer. Eh, I probably won’t have to know his name since Carson Wentz is supposed to be back. No reason to think that having him back will result in anything less than another division title.
  2. Washington: Our nation’s capital professional football team has a racist nickname and mascot. Not only that, but when you consider that they could both get positive press and  potentially more money from changing it and they don’t, you know Dan Snyder is a prick. With all that being said, I guess it is too much to ask karma to relegate this crap show into the bowels of oblivion every season. So, 2nd place this year it is for the racists.
  3. Cowgirls: I just called the previous team racist and now I’m making a slightly sexist joke? I suppose that it could be interpreted as such, but that’s not how I mean it. Um, I’m just going to apologize and move on to the next team.
  4. Gynts: Ugh, never mind, I’ll deal with the awkwardness of making a joke that can be misconstrued as sexist instead of dealing with the awkwardness of this train wreck of a team. Seriously, how did the NFC East go from one of the best divisions to possibly the worst? The NFL has this parity thing on lock.

NFC West

  1. Rams: In my previous article, I mentioned that there are somehow two teams in Los Angeles again, and neither one of them is the raiders. The Rams are a much more LA team than the Chargers and they are getting the appropriate buzz of a team that resides in La La Land. It’ll be fun to watch if they an live up to it.
  2. Seahawks: I’m ready to give the Seahawks one more year. They haven’t had a hugely precipitous decline, but when you think that they were just in the Super Bowl 3? years ago and now they could be a 4th place team next year (or maybe this year) depending on how Jimmy G-sus in Frisco and whoever is playing for whatever other team is in this division do in those seasons.
  3. 49ers: I’m not as keen on good old Jimmy G-sus as some others out there. I’m not saying he’s bad. I’m just not ready to say that he’s very good. Sure, he had some great games last year, but so did Nick Foles. Maybe people are right and the NFL is just a quarterback’s league to the point that mediocre quarterbacks are now considered good to great.
  4. Cardinals: Our crack team of reporters have informed me that the other team in this division is the Cardinals. The only thing that I can ever say about the Cardinals is I feel bad for Larry Fitzgerald. I feel even worse that it was my Steelers who roadblocked his only Super Bowl possibility.

NFC North

  1. Packers: I’ve heard more than one professional writer, paid money by ESPN to write, use the Brink’s truck metaphor to describe Aaron Rodgers’ contract. If they’re not being ironic, because that’s what the kids do these days, then that’s a sad state on the affair of sports writing. Grantland Rice, these guys ain’t.
  2. Vikings: The Purple People eaters got reincarnated in a big way last year. I kept hearing rumblings about Minny’s defense, but I didn’t actually witness them until the playoffs and they were really dang good. I remember texting Chris during the game in awe of the defense. The defense might still be good this year, but I don’t think they can carry the team to a first place finish.
  3. Lions: The Lions stink. Historically, they’ve mostly just been no damn good. The current team seems okay with their status as being no damn good and willing to continue that tradition of being no damn good. The only thing keeping them out of last place is.
  4. Da Bears: I texted Chris when I saw the scrawl on ESPN during one of the college football games. “The Raiders traded Khalil Mack.” He texted something back about a good player on a down year. Hmm, I mused, I guess I was just reacting to the name. I should have known that something was up because the Bears are a dumpster fire of a team right now.

NFC South

  1. Panthers: As long as Cam is the quarterback, you can’t rule out the Panthers. Because he’s their quarterback, they often don’t get respect from the “media” or something, so they always have that chip on their shoulder that all professional athletes need to succeed for some reason. For me, that gives them a slight edge over the Falcons and Ain’ts.
  2. Falcons: Old whatshisface, according to whatshisface from Jacksonville, is still the quarterback. He might be overrated. Who’s to say, really? But, he is one of the better quarterbacks in the league, the rest of the offense is pretty dang good, and the defense is serviceable.
  3. Aint’s: The old Aint’s snuck up on people a bit last year. They won’t have that same opportunity. Oh sure, there could be some “Win one for the Gipper” nonsense surrounding Brees getting older, but I don’t see it. They won’t be wearing paper bags in N’Awlins, but they won’t be dancing either. Except they always dance in N’Awlins. Ah, you get my point.
  4. Bucs: I know nothing about the Bucs. That’s not entirely true. I’m pretty sure Jameis Winston is still the quarterback. When he’s not sexually assaulting people or stealing crab legs, he’s not that great of a player to begin with. The fact that I can’t reliable name him as one of their players or any other player, for that matter, probably doesn’t bode well for them.

The Verdict

The Rams look like they can put up a good fight and maybe meet the Iggles in the Championship. I recently learned that Wentz isn’t going to start the first game, which isn’t too bad considering Foles was decent last year. Still, that deal with the devil has got to be nearing an end and it is quite concerning that Wentz is still not cleared. Who knows? It would be interesting, and not altogether unpleasant, to see the Iggles go from NFL Champs to also rans.

Thursday Night Football

As I’m up against my deadline, I’m just going to make a quick pick for this game to have it on record. I’ll pick the other games Friday or Saturday.

Atlanta at Philadelphia: Speaking of those Iggs, and the possibly resurgent Falcons as I discussed, they play the opening game. The line right now is Iggs -2, which was probably higher before the Wentz decision, so there’s not much confidence in them right now. I’ll take the Falcons in an upset. George gives the Falcons a slight edge, too, 54-46. If you don’t know who George is, I’ll give him a full reintroduction in my picks on Saturday. See you then.

Completely Ignorant 2018 AFC Preview

Introduction

A couple of days ago, I was updating my podcast feed. During the update, I encountered a pleasant surprise. The Bill Simmons podcast, which had been a string of shows that I cared nothing about for the past 8 months, updated with their AFC preview with Cousin Sal. That’s when I know that it is truly time for me to start paying attention.

My birthday used to fall on the same day as the Super Bowl and more than once growing up I had a Super Bowl themed birthday party. Recently, I realized that there were so many other things to do on an autumn or winter Sunday afternoon than sit around and watch football. I’m not nearly the football fan that I used to be.

Oh sure, all of this kerfuffle around concussions and not standing for the national anthem have me curious. Just not curious enough to tune in every Sunday for about the last 5? 6? 7 years? When was the last time the Steelers won the Super Bowl? That would have been the last complete game I watched

Kneeling in church is the ultimate in respect. During the anthem, the ultimate in disrespect? I honestly don’t get it.

I do keep in the game by listening to Simmons and Sal every year. I’ve also become a huge college football fan. Instead of watching men get paid market value to smash their heads into one another, I’m watching unpaid interns. Old habits die hard and nobody’s perfect. Let’s bury that lead and get to the preview.

AFC East

  1. Patsies: Is there any more sure bet in sports than the Patriots winning the East every year? Sure, there are worse teams in the league in any given season, but this is the worst division 2-4 year in and year out. An automatic 6 (well, usually 5 because they sometimes poop the bed against the Fins in Miami) wins every year sure goes a long way to building a dynasty.
  2. Jets?: I guess. Buffalo had a decent season last year, but nobody knows how or even why. The Fins are perennially very bad and showed no inclination to get any better in the off season. The Jets have the new hotness at quarterback and there seems to be one a year that “surprises” everyone and leads their team to a big improvement. Perhaps this is the Jets year.
  3. Bills: If the Bills don’t repeat their improbable competence from last year, they should at least win enough games to keep them out of the basement this year. Honestly, though, does anyone know what to do with any of these teams besides the Patriots?
  4. Fins: Okay, so I’m 99.9% sure that Miami will end up in last place, so maybe it’s just the Jets and the Bills that I can’t tell the difference. If any of you says anything about the Jets wearing green and the Bills wearing blue, I will not be held responsible for my actions in response.

AFC West

  1. Chefs: People are high on the Chargers and even the Raiders for some reason (I’ll get into that reason when I get to them), but Andy Reid is the Chefest of all the coaches in the entire league. I promise that isn’t an intended fat joke. Completely by accident. I just mean that he wins in the regular season and then farts out in the playoffs. Who does that remind you of? If you said Marty Schottenheimer, give yourself a no prize.
  2. Chargers: The Chargers are in LA? Really? When did that happen? I guess I need to start paying more attention to this league. Then again, what would become of my “completely ignorant” previews? I think I’ll just settle for being pleasantly surprised by little things like the Chargers being in LA. Okay, preview time. The other team in LA is much more LA than this one, but with Phil Rivers as their QB, they can potentially make some noise.
  3. Broncos: The last time I paid attention to the Broncos, Peyton Manning was their QB. I’m pretty sure that they had a plan for when he retired, but damned if I know what that plan was. Given that fact, I’m pretty sure that it hasn’t worked out for them and it might be a few years until they’re relevant again. I still think they’re going to be better than the Raiders.
  4. Raiders: Earlier I mentioned some reason that has people thinking highly of the Raiders. That reason is that Jon Gruden, average coach and below average TV commentator, has taken over as their coach. If this sounds like familiar news, take away the below average TV commentator part of it, and we are 20 years ago. Except we’re all 20 years older. This is the worst episode of Quantum Leap ever.

AFC North

  1. Steelers: The Steelers winning the north are only a slightly less sure thing than the Patriots every year. Once in a while, the Bungles or the Rats bubble up and the Steelers have a down year. I don’t think this is that year. While this isn’t my father’s Steelers team, their offense is dynamic as hell and their defense is just good enough to keep teams in check.
  2. Bungles: The Bungles are the summer reruns of the NFL. Marvin Lewis just keeps on coaching. Andy Dalton just keeps on Andy Daltoning. And that Burfict guy just keeps taking dumb penalties at key points in the game. It’ll all be just enough to keep them in the playoffs discussion for most of the season.
  3. Rats: The Rats are a mess. While Jimbo sleeps in the treehouses of potential recruits, his brother John has carved out a respectable little legacy down there in Ballamore. However, other than elite quarterback Joe Flacco, what do the Rats really have? Maybe an exciting start followed by a crash back to earth midseason?
  4. Brownies: According to Simmons and Sal, people are excited about the Brownies. I can only assume this is because people are impressed by what they see on television, no matter the evidence to the contrary. After all, 2016 showed that. Sure, the Brownies have that guy that gave that great speech and the coach that gave the not so great speech, but this is the same team that has gone 1-31 over the last two years. This is not a Cinderella worst to first story waiting to happen.

AFC South

  1. Jags: The Jags hold a special place in my heart. Before this year, the last time I was in a fantasy football league, I won the league with Blake Bortles as my starting QB for the entire season. I was not invited back the next year. I also grudgingly respect the Jags for what they  were able to do against my Steelers in the playoffs last year and wouldn’t mind a rematch.
  2. Titans: The Titans are an intriguing team. They’ve taken over the Texans spot as the team from the AFC South that gets the most hype (and maybe even too much). I must be falling for it this year since I think that they could potentially overtake the Jags for first place. All because of Magic Man Mariota.
  3. Texans: I fell for the Texans hype for a few years. As the previous section shows, I’m now falling for the Titans hype. What’s funny is that with Watson as their quarterback, I should probably like the Texans more than I do. Oh well, if I get too much correct, then I’ll lose my completely ignorant label.
  4. Colts: Andrew Luck is back, but what does that mean? In a division with 2 potentially very good quarterbacks and one that is passable, will Luck even be that much of a factor for this team? What the heck happened? While we were all busy, the glasses came off of the AFC South and now they’re the beautiful girl we should have seen the whole time.

The Verdict

This doesn’t seem like much of a year for surprises in the AFC. The AFC South has the potential to be very exciting and things might get weird in the AFC West. Oh, heck, what am I saying? Things probably will get weird in the AFC West. Until the Steelers prove that they can beat someone in the playoffs, it’ll probably be the Golden Boy representing in the Super Bowl again this year. Come back in a couple of days (or maybe even tomorrow) for my Completely Ignorant NFC preview. Have to get that and my picks for the first week done before Thursday, after all.

Hearthstone Road Trip: Destination Witchwood

Introduction

Last week or the week before, I did a quick post about the new season in Hearthstone.A� A few times I said that I refused to speculate myself, but I did mention a rumor that I heard that made sense to me. Someone made the connection between each Hearthstone season and the sorts of sets that we could expect from them.A� Their conclusion was that the Year of the Raven would be one of dark and mystical forces.A� While that part seems to be true with at least the first expansion, that’s the only rumor that has so far been true.

The extension of this thought was that Hearthstone might be travelling to the World of Warcraft zone Duskwood.A� I had my suspicions that wasn’t true that I wrote in the article.A� Admittedly, my only evidence for my theory was that the gem in the center of the card just didn’t put off much of a Duskwood vibe.A� Still, I’ll take a victory lap when I get something right.

Enjoy them.

Instead, we are going to a forest in (near?) Gilneas known as the Witchwood.A� Even having played World of Warcraft obsessively for almost 3 years and then off and on for another 5 or 6, I had to Google Witchwood to make sure that it wasn’t just some Hearthstone version of Duskwood.A� Sometimes Hearthstone adds to or modifies WoW lore in that way.A� They didn’t this time.A� This is honest to goodness WoW lore that they’re using this time, albeit, a somewhat obscure one.

So, what do we know about the Hearthstone version of Witchwood.A� Surprisingly, even though the expansion isn’t due until April and most of the major card reveals are still a week or two away, we know quite a bit from what has been released.A� Let’s explore the spooky forest, shall we?

Even/Odd Decks

One of the things that the Hearthstone team has been consistent is that they want to use Hearthstone to explore ways to make the game unique by doing things with the digital format that you can’t do in paper.A� I mean, I like Magic and I like playing Magic on the computer, but that’s all it is.A� It’s just Magic on the computer.A� Even the new game, Arena, which is supposed to be more user friendly and attract some of the Hearthstone crowd into Magic, is just Magic on the computer with a different wrapper.

That’s not true with Hearthstone.A� Once upon a time, Blizzard did have a paper World of Warcraft TCG and I still enjoy playing it from time to time.A� When Hearthstone came along, they stopped supporting the paper cards.A� I feared that Hearthstone might just become WoW TCG on the computer.A� The fear was initially supported by them recycling card art and mechanics from the game.A� But, the fear was put to rest when Chris tried to make a paper version of Hearthstone and found that it would be too bogged down by all of the RNG inherent in Hearthstone.

The point of this all is that the Hearthstone developers have been successful in their attempts to make the Hearthstone experience unique.A� That’s not to say that all of theirA� ideas have worked.A� You need look no further than these cards to realize that.A� As I said to Chris when he asked me about them, “The idea is interesting, but the execution so far is pretty terrible.”

I’m not the only one who thinks so.A� I was watching a streamer the other day who was trying to put together decks for the even and odd cards that had been revealed using the cards that are available in the game so far.A� He made sure to repeat several times that the card pool was incomplete and that there might be cards from the Witchwood expansion that could strengthen the decks.A� But, so far, none of the decks even looked to be fun.A� Certainly none of them would be viable in any competitive format, except maybe the mage deck that used the card that upgrades your hero power at the start of the game.

Mechanics

Echo – I recognized this one from Eternal.A� It doesn’t work exactly like it does in Eternal, but it is has some similarities.A� In Eternal, when you draw a card with Echo, it creates a copy in your hand that you can then cast.A� With Hearthstone, the card is copied when you play it and then you can cast it over and over again.A� For instance, if you had the Phantom Militia card which is the only one to have been spoiled so far, you could cast 3 2/4 taunts on turn 9 or 10.A� Depending on what cards they put the echo mechanic on, it seems like it could be much more broken than the Eternal version.

Rush – The designers have been saying for a few expansions now that they think the charge mechanic was a mistake.A� It really became apparent when Patches the Pirate was such an oppressive card in Standard and they realized that it would most likely continue into Wild.A� There was one other card that had charge but could only attack minions, so they must have taken inspiration from that one for the new mechanic.A� I realize that charge is common to all card games in one form or another, but it is especially annoying in a game like Hearthstone because it is one that is, according to the designers, predicated on board control and trading.A� Rush brings that aspect back to the game while still having minions that attack right away.

Solo Adventures

The release schedule for Hearthstone used to be two sets and an adventure released each cycle.A� I might be wrong about that.A� But, there were adventures released that allowed players who didn’t want to pay money and didn’t play enough to get gold for packs to get dust or cards.A� They did away with adventures recently, which I thought would have a deleterious effect on the game.A� Honestly, as with most decisions, it hasn’t had much of an effect at all that I can see.A� Perhaps those players who relied on them to increase their card collection more than I do would argue otherwise.

They are still releasing adventures.A� It’s just that the focus of them has changed.A� With Kobolds and Catacombs, they put together a solo adventure mode that allowed you to pick one of the established classes and build a deck through randomly offered cards.A� The mode also gave “loot” in the form of additional cards or game effects.A� It is a fun mode, but that’s all it is.A� There are no rewards for defeating all of the encounters and the boss.A� That’s a bit disappointing because even a tiny bit of gold for your first time with each class would be nice to have.A� Oh well, no big deal.

They’ve expanded on this idea with Witchwood.A� It is similar to the Kobolds and Catacombs solo mode in that you fight against a predetermined number of encounters.A� Also, after you defeat an encounter, you get loot cards to improve your deck.A� Where it differs is that youA� choose from one of the four new classes in the above picture instead of the established classes of the game.A� I’m pretty excited about this idea because I generally enjoy the single player modes of card games.

I’ve logged probably twice as much time in Eternal’s single player modes as competitive.A� I’m stuck on an encounter in HEX, but I did enjoy it while I was playing it.A� I don’t spend nearly as much time in the single player mode in Hearthstone compared to the competitive modes, but I do still enjoy playing through this game mode.A� I just want some rewards is all.

The Verdict

I’m not sure what to think about the odd and even decks.A� I like the idea of trying new things.A� But, this idea just seems bad overall.A� The new mechanics are cool.A� Echo seems like it is just waiting for the right card to be abused to a horrifying degree. A�Can’t wait for the first noob to try to point a rush minion at my face and “Whoops” him. A�More of a solo mode that is fun can only be a good thing.A� It also leads to the possibility of even more going forward.A� Stay tuned for the official 2GG preview once all of the cards have been spoiled.

Quoth the Raven

Introduction

A few days ago, I noticed a post on Instagram about the new Hearthstone “year” and was surprised.A� I don’t know why I was surprised.A� I knew that it was about this time that they started their version of Standard and then it would have been around this time that they had their first rotations.A� However, unlike Magic, a game that I am almost always aware of new sets and rotations, Hearthstone is more of a hobby.

Bear in mind that Magic itself is only a hobby and you will then understand the priority that Hearthstone is not for me.A� I am back to playing a bit each day to complete a daily quest or two.A� I watch the game on stream because it is an easy game to just veg out to while I’m writing or doing school work.A� Every once in a while I get delusions of grandeur and think that I’m going to grind to legend one month.A� So far, I haven’t pursued that particular goal.A� With my current schedule, I don’t think that I will anytime soon, either.

So, to make a long story short (I know, too late!) I had no idea that the rotation was imminent.A� Once I saw the Instagram post, I decided to do a little bit of research on what was imminent for the “Year of the Raven.”A� Needless to say, true to form, Blizzard did not give much information other than the name and the cards that were rotating into the Hall of Fame.A� Sure, I could speculate.A� Since I’m not a Hearthstone acolyte and I haven’t played WoW consistently for about 5 years now, any speculation on my part would most likely be wildly inaccurate.

When has that ever stopped us before?

The Good

Once upon a time, Molten Giant was part of an OTK warrior combo that quickly got nerfed via the Warsong Commander nerf.A� They had to further nerf Warsong Commander when OTK Patron Warrior became a thing.A� The final nail in the coffin of this card came because of the stifling nature of handlock and the fact that they often could cast all giants for very cheap or even free, as was the case for this card.

I was a huge fan of the old Handlock decks because they fit right into my playstyle.A� It was a control deck that required several different decisions to be made on every turn.A� I wasn’t the best Handlock player, though, and I understand why the deck became so dominant when played by players who are much better than I am.A� This card needed to be nerfed if it was to continue into the future and shake up the standard meta.

I mentioned in my discussion of the latest round of nerfs that I liked that Blizzard wasn’t ignoring their eternal format as I was afraid they might.A� Some of those decisions were directly related to the Wild format.A� This decision is the same.A� Because there are more tools to deal with a pre-nerf Molten Giant, they’re giving it a chance to see if it can find a place in the meta.A� I don’t know if this will allow old Handlock to shine again, but I’m holding out hope.

The Bad

Out of the three cards that are being put into the Hall of Fame, this is the decision that I understand the least.A� While this is a frustrating card to play against, I don’t often see it in Standard decks at all.A� I play against it all the time in Wild already because I play against a bunch of Mill rogue and occasionally see them in a Freeze or Quest Mage deck.

I’d have rather seen Doomguard in this slot and I’m not the only one.A� I’ve seen more than one discussion in Twitch chat (yes, they do happen sometimes) and on message boards about how annoying it is to play against Warlock with Doomguards, cubes, and Skull of the Man’ari.A� Warlock may or may not have been as oppressive as everyone thought when they nerfed priest (mostly) with the last patch, but I do know that I have seen a lot of Warlock being played on stream.A� I’m astounded that Doomguard is not in this spot.

This leads me to believe that maybe they are releasing a standard card that does a similar thing or would cause this card to be busted wide open.A� I know that Blizzard seems to shy away from pushing a mill strategy, even though some players want to see that in Hearthstone.A� I understand why Blizzard would not want it.A� Without a graveyard and the possibility of interaction, cards that are burned are gone.A� It’s just not a fun strategy for the kind of game that Hearthstone is designed to be.A� Hopefully, Blizzard hasn’t decided to make mill viable in Standard.A� The fact that this card is moving to Wild only makes me think that they have.

The Ugly

This is perhaps the single most frustrating card to play against in the game.A� Since the only win condition is to reduce your opponent’s health to zero, adding immunity to the game messes up all calculations and delays that victory by at least one turn.A� Since mage also has very powerful minion removal, the ability to gain life through Artificer now, and the ability to have more than two Ice Block in their decks, a sure victory often becomes a defeat that nothing could have been done to prevent.

So, I understand that reason for moving this card to Wild.A� However, they just gave a few new cards to Rogue that give them immunity for a turn similar to this card.A� So, I don’t completely understand the decision.A� Granted those cards work slightly different from this one and they can be played around (especially the secret that only grants immunity after damage is dealt and it doesn’t prevent the damage) easier than this one.

As a result, in addition to moving this card to Wild, perhaps they should have also adjusted this card so that it works more like that card or something.A� I honestly don’t know how they would change the card other than to make it like the rogue card, but that seems like a lazy way of doing things.A� A quick look at the most recent Wild snapshot shows that Mage decks that use Ice Block are only considered Tier 2, so perhaps Blizzard knows what they’re doing.A� So, I’m skeptical, but I guess that’s why I don’t design card games.

The Verdict

There are other things that they have announced.A� First, that we here at 2 Generations Gaming are most excited about is the announcement of a tournament mode.A� Yes, we can start to network and advertise the web page with our own tournaments in Hearthstone!A� When Chris told me about it, I was beyond excited.A� When we first started having the idea for the web page, I always wanted to do a tournament for Magic and we’ve even had discussions about that, too.A� Things are really starting to come together.

Two other cool things for filthy casuals like us is that they are altering some of the more difficult quests to finish and making them easier.A� This will mean less time invested in getting my gold to buy my packs that I will never open.A� Finally, the new Druid hero is finally here and she is easy to get.A� Win 10 Standard games over the season and you will have Lunara instead of Malfurion.A� All great stuff.

As far as the new set, I don’t have much to say right now.A� I refuse to speculate because I’m mostly ignorant to both Hearthstone and World of Warcraft at this point.A� Anything that I might say or think will be simply guessing and even though I made the joke earlier, I’m not usually one to engage in wild speculation on what Blizzard might do.A� As we saw with my analysis of Ice Block, it is sure to be incorrect.

However, I have seen some speculation from others who know better than I do.A� First, someone said that the year of the Kraken seemed to deal with mystical and god like powers.A� Then, the year of the Mammoth dealt with large creatures and effects.A� Therefore, the year of the Raven will deal with dark and dreary themes.A� This made them conclude that the next expansion might have something to do with Duskwood.A� There was another image out there that made theory seem plausible, but I don’t exactly see Duskwood in that icon at the middle of the teaser.A� I suppose that we will see.A� Continue to visit for more of my analysis as we get closer to the release.