If you have been reading my posts, you know that I have a lot of experience playing games by Blizzard Entertainment. When I started playing PC games, Blizzard’s products were among the first I played. In college, I would find myself sneaking copies of Warcraft 2 onto the computers in the schools computer lab where I worked. Fun times, although it didn’t help much with me keeping my student job! Blizzard is still the producer of many of my favorite games. Although I have had some creative differences with the companies choices since they merged with Activision, I trust Blizzard to continue to produce fun, polished games.
The list of Blizzard games is as follows:
World of Warcraft and World of Warcraft Classic
What can be said about this game. It is the benchmark that all other MMORPGs are judged by. The most common comparison you will hear is how a new game compares to this old standby. The most recent expansion “Battle for Azeroth” was not one of the most well-received, but still had many awesome game play moments. “Shadowlands”, the upcoming expansion, is looking to rectify some of the less popular Battle for Azeroth features. WoW is still a game I would recommend to a new MMORPG player as one of the best options out there, though it does share typical MMORPG problems when it comes to PvP.
SC2 is widely recognized as the flagship representative of the RTS genre. The games popularity has given rise to a thriving E-Sports player base and the annual tournaments can have quite substantial payouts. For balance purposes SC2 is also one of the best products I know of. The three race design is elegantly balanced and interesting, while Blizzard does a tremendous job of trying to maintain unit balance. SC2 also has one of the richer single player stories that began in Star Craft and finishes in SC2: Legacy of the Void.
Hearthstone is one of the first online collectible card game (CCG) battlers. When Blizzard attempted to create a CCG and make it mostly online, nobody expected the result to be so popular. Hearthstone’s free price tag, and vibrant E-Sports scene make this game one of the better CCG battler’s on the market today. Blizzard continues to add new features, cards and ways to play the game, making this one of the more dynamic CCG offerings as well.
Heroes of the Storm
Blizzard was a later entrant into the MOBA gaming genre. Although the father of all MOBA games (DOTA) was created using software provided by Blizzard’s Warcraft 3 title, Blizzard did not enter that market itself for quite a while. When Blizzard chose to create its MOBA entry, they took advantage of the wealth of characters available form all their other gaming titles. This meant the characters for their new MOBA, Heroes of the Storm, were all major characters in their already popular titles. This also gave Blizzard a chance to observe the hyper competitive frameworks of other MOBAs and make some gameplay changes. These changes have resulted in a generally less toxic community.
Overwatch is Blizzard’s FPS entry. Blizzard decided to focus its title on team based tactics over death match style game play. The primary style of an Overwatch game is two 5 person teams competing against each other to accomplish specific goals. Overwatch is another incredibly well-balanced title, which has resulted in high popularity and a thriving E-Sports scene. With this title Blizzard endeavored to create a new style of E-Sports that promoted established teams tied to specific cities. This effort is attempting to turn the Overwatch League into an E-Sport that is more reminiscent of traditional sports leagues.
The Diablo franchise is Blizzard’s horror based hack and slash title. While D3 has PvP options available, that is not the games focus. Everything in D3 is focused around individual or group co-op play. It represents a good time to have with friends, without any PvP concerns entering the picture.
The first game in the StarCraft franchise was the testing ground that helped catapult SC2 into the lofty heights it sits at. This was Blizzard’s first attempt at a three-way RTS game style, and the title where they perfected the form. The online play was rich and diverse, making SC one of the first successful E-Sport contenders. Blizzard recently re-released the game in a remastered format and then offered another reformat that “cartoonized” the game. Both options came with robust online gaming options more akin to what SC2 offers.
This was Blizzards last fantasy RTS set in Azeroth, the world of WoW. While WC2 was an RTS similar in form to the StarCraft series, and was the prototype for those games, WC3 focused more on small tactical group play. Still an RTS, WC3 game play did not promote large armies but small squads. This emphasis on more individualized play and especially the hero character concentration, gave rise to the idea of World of Warcraft. Also, the game editing software provided by Blizzard in WC3 and the games emphasis on character focus, created the opportunity for DOTA and the creation of the MOBA gaming genre. This game has also recently been re-released in a somewhat remastered edition.
The Blizzard Fan Boy
I will admit to being a Blizzard fan boy. They have yet to make any decisions that make me not want to trust them as game producers. I have found every one of their games to be enjoyable, fun, balanced, and engaging. They are one company that I completely trust, but their merger with Activision might impact that trust in the future. For now, they are one of the most reliable game creators on the market.