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Blizzard Umbrella: The Podcast For People Who Love Blizzard Games

This is a podcast about all things Blizzard Entertainment. We cover all of their games on a weekly basis. We talk World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Diablo, and Starcraft 2. Each week Dusty and Ryan talk about their weeks in the Blizzard Universe, the recent news, and a topic related to the Blizzard gaming sphere. This podcast was inspired by shows like The Instance, Convert To Raid, Overwatchers, Angry Chicken, and so much more! If you are into blizzard games this is the show for you!
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Mar 28, 2017

Blizzard Umbrella #10 : It is patch day!!  What to expect in 7.2!

Intro:

This week Blizzard Umbrella is back for the tenth recording.  The show brings you a special episode this week that is all about the new World of Warcraft patch, 7.2 Tomb of Sargeras.  You can find the show on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play.  You can also find us on Twitter @BlizzUmbrella and e-mail us at BlizzardUmbrella@gmail.com.  The website is up and running and you can find it at www.theblizzardumbrella.com to find out about us and what we’ve been up to.  This week the show discusses 7.2 and all things to expect.  Why, because its patch day!

Website:

Ryan has worked very hard and very quickly to get the website up and running.  There has been a lot of caffeine involved and blood shot eyes but it has all been worth it and very fun.  Go check it out at www.theblizzardumbrella.com and give some feedback!

What We’re Up to:

This past week Ryan’s guild pushed out the progression raid to Sunday in an attempt to kill heroic Gul’dan, and kill Gul’dan they did.  Ryan was able to force a wowprogress update by requesting armory updates from 14 of his guild’s raid members and the guild now shows the kill credit.  On to mythic they go!!  Grats to them!  Other than WoW Ryan has been fighting an uphill battle in competitive Overwatch trying to break into gold. 

Dusty has been doing the typical day to day in WoW in anticipation of 7.2.  Dusty also talks about how he really enjoys classes with an overabundance of mobility.  In Diablo, Dusty has been cleaning up his stash space so he has room when season 10 drops and can not wait for the new armory coming to the game.  The new season cosmetic rewards seem lackluster to Dusty and he also mentions he will be playing a Wizard and would love for people to join him.  He checks out Orissa in Overwatch and thinks she is tons of fun.  Other than gaming Dusty has been reading Chronicles Vol. 2 and absolutely loves it.

It’s patch day, it’s patch day, it is patch day!

7.2 is bringing a lot of changes and additions to the game.  This makes it hard to know where to start when you log in for the first time.  Ryan suggests upon logging in to start your artifact and order hall research, open the new artifact traits, and then jump over to the broken shore to start opening up the zone.  The new traits take the current 20 point trait and combine it into one which will be the first trait you want to get past the initial 35.  If you are past 35 artifact traits the AP you are refunded will be usable in the new traits whether it be the new ones or the additional available points in old ones.  54 traits gets you almost 5 additional traits from the refunded AP.  There will be 7 different quests to unlock these traits that are broken up amongst all the classes.  These quests will be necessary to unlock the new traits.  It will take some time to max out to level 40 artifact knowledge.  The new artifact appearances will require you to be level 110, have 35 traits, open the empowered traits, and have the Mage Tower up on the Broken Shore.  This will allow you to do one of many quests available for the classes to get their challenge appearances.  These challenges will not be easy.  Class mounts will require you to be exalted with the new reputation, Armies of the Legion Fall and complete the eleven week quest campaign.  Pathfinder part 2 to get flying will take at least two weeks that requires you to do all of the invasions on the Broken Shore that don’t open until the second week 7.2 is live.  The requirements for flying and the class mounts are different.  All loot drops for level 110 content have their base item level increased.  BOE craftable legendaries make their debut.  Gearing up now for alts should be drastically quicker.  Legendaries can now be worn at level 101.  In the immediate do the scenario quest on the Broken Shore, open your new traits, and start your research.  In the long term make sure to continue to get Armies of the Legion Fall reputation, work towards getting your Champions of the Legion Fall followers and work towards class mounts.  We don’t exactly know when Tomb of Sargeras will open up but Ryan feels like it will be around one month.  Ryan is really looking forward to the Tomb of Sargeras raid so his guild can reap the benefits of all their hard work to get into mythic raids and start the end of the Legion.  Dusty is really enjoying the rate of content release. 

News

No news this week in light of the special episode for the patch.

Where to find us:

Come check us out on our new website! - www.theblizzardumbrella.com

E-mail: BlizzardUmbrella@gmail.com E-mail any questions or topics you’d like Dusty and Ryan to cover in up-coming episodes.

Twitter : @BlizzUmbrella

Reddit : BlizzardUmbrella

Btags : Dusty – Btag: Techguru77#1984
                            Twitter: @Dmporter17
                            YouTube: TechnologyGuru
             Ryan – Btag: Mcirish#1609
                          Twitter: @McirishGaming
                          Twitch: McirishGaming


Closing:

Thanks as always for listening to the show!  Come find us and say hello.  We love hearing feedback and always are ready to answer any questions you guys have!  Thanks again and we will talk to you next week!

7.2 Patch Notes

https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/news/20629899/world-of-warcraft-7-2-the-tomb-of-sargeras-patch-notes

Mar 22, 2017

Blizzard Umbrella #9 : How much do you like a good story?! Does it drive gameplay?

Intro:

This week Blizzard Umbrella is back for the sixth recording of the Dusty and Ryan duo.  You can find the show on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play.  You can also find us on Twitter @BlizzUmbrella and e-mail us at BlizzardUmbrella@gmail.com.  The website is now up and running and you can find it at www.theblizzardumbrella.com. This week the show discusses how important story is to the success and popularity of each of Blizzard’s games.

Website:

Ryan has worked very hard and very quickly to get the website up and running.  There has been a lot of caffeine involved and blood shot eyes but it has all been worth it and very fun.  Go check it out at www.theblizzardumbrella.com and give some feedback!

What We’re Up to:

This past week both Ryan and Dusty have been very busy.  Ryan spent most of the first half of last week working on the website and the show.  The second half of the week Ryan was off in Chicago enjoying some family and friends time.  What little game time he had he spent boosting his competitive Overwatch rank on the climb to Gold and beyond.  His guild managed to get Gul’Dan down to 8% and have his demise in their sight.  To top it all off Ryan jumped on Mass Effect Andromeda as it went live!

Dusty finds himself starting to get a little tired of doing world quests in WoW.  It’s not quite to the point where he wants to stop playing but he is finding himself not logging on every day while he waits for 7.2.  Dusty also tried out Probius on the PTR and enjoyed him quite a bit.  Not much Diablo this week but lots of Hearthstone in anticipation of the new expansion!  Other than that Dusty is picking up his copy of Mass Effect and can’t wait to play.

Blizzcon dates are announced for Nov 3rd and 4th and Ryan is going to try and get tickets to take the podcast along with him.

How much do you like a good story?! Does it drive gameplay:

Blizzard does a great job with creating a story.  All of its’ games are story driven and each of these stories are some of the best around.  Obviously. a story can make a game more fun or less enjoyable but how much do these stories drive the success of Blizzard’s games?  Dusty talks about how if it weren’t for the story, he probably wouldn’t play much World of Warcraft.  While this isn’t the case for Ryan it certainly does hold some validity.  When you look at this large spectrum of players who all play these games for their own reasons, this begs the question, if it weren’t for the story of each of these games how much would people play them.  Games like Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, and Starcraft all have the ability to circumvent story and jump right into multiplayer.  With this in mind, does the story of these games still provide motivation in some capacity for players to play.  Ryan feels like story absolutely drives gameplay.  Story causes players whether they get into it or not, to enjoy killing villains like Gul’Dan and Xavius.  It also is extremely motivating to play heroes who have been killed off like Varian when they are introduced into games like Heroes of the Storm.  Another driving force behind story motivated game play can be attested to Blizzard’s ability to create story outside of the games.  Dusty feels like some of the best out of game story has come out of Team 5 with their Hearthstone content.  Dusty talks about the Overwatch shorts and Ryan talks the WoW movie and memorabilia.  Story even makes Ryan want to play Starcraft when he doesn’t enjoy RTS games.  Does age change any of this for players?  Do the older players like story more, typically speaking? Is there enough nostalgia there for the older players to really register more with story?  Or, is age not a factor?  What do you guys think?

News

World of Warcraft:
-There will be a quest to unlock the new artifact traits
-In order to get the new challenge artifact appearances (which are inspired by quests for weapons such as Anathema and Benediction) you must have unlocked the new traits, be 110, and the mage tower needs to be up
-You can repeat these quests after/if you fail.  It will cost to do it again after the initial free attempt
-New artifact knowledge levels up to 40

Diablo:
- Season 10 drops very soon
- Necromancer early reveals

Hearthstone:
- Journey to Un’Goro is on its way pretty quick and card reveals will continue
- Dusty really likes the Sunkeeper Tarim legendary Paladin card, Volcano, and also the Priest card, Tortallan Shellraiser

Heroes of the Storm:
-Probius is still on the PTR
-A few minor tweaks to other heroes

Overwatch:
- Lucio has a range reduction on his song and his ultimate
- His healing gets a buff
- Wall speed is increased and a speed boost after jumping off a wall is given to Lucio’s kit
- Orissa hits quickplay on live and will join the competitive play pool in a week

Where to find us:

Come check us out on our new website! - www.theblizzardumbrella.com

E-mail: BlizzardUmbrella@gmail.com E-mail any questions or topics you’d like Dusty and Ryan to cover in up-coming episodes.

Twitter : @BlizzUmbrella

Reddit : BlizzardUmbrella

Btags : Dusty – Btag: Techguru77#1984
                            Twitter: @Dmporter17
                            YouTube: TechnologyGuru
             Ryan – Btag: Mcirish#1609
                          Twitter: @McirishGaming
                          Twitch: McirishGaming


Closing:

Thanks as always for listening to the show!  Come find us and say hello.  We love hearing feedback and always are ready to answer any questions you guys have!  Thanks again and we will talk to you next week!

Necromancer

http://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/gaming/781212/Diablo-3-Necromancer-Season-10-PS4-Blizzard-Xbox-One

http://www.pcgamer.com/diablo-3-showcases-elusive-necromancer-class-ahead-of-ptr-debut/

Mar 14, 2017

Blizzard Umbrella #8 : Care to roll the dice bones?! RNG week.

Intro:

This week Blizzard Umbrella is back for the fifth recording of the Dusty and Ryan duo.  You can find the show on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play.  You can also find us on Twitter @BlizzUmbrella and e-mail us at BlizzardUmbrella@gmail.com.  The website is now up and running and you can find it at www.theblizzardumbrella.com. This week the show discusses all the rng across Blizzard’s games and how it effects both the players and the game play.

Website:

Ryan has worked very hard and very quickly to get the website up and running.  There was a lot of caffeine involved and blood shot eyes in the end but it was all well worth it and very much enjoyed.  Go check it out at www.theblizzardumbrella.com and give some feedback!

What We’re Up to:

This past week Dusty has been very busy outside of gaming.  The little gaming he was able to get in was spent leveling and working on his Demon Hunter.  Who doesn’t love double jump and glide?  A few quick play games in Overwatch and some Zul’jin and Varian action for the master skins in Heroes of the Storm rounded out his Blizzard gaming. Other than that it was just some Zelda action on the Switch for Dusty.

Ryan’s guild this week killed heroic Elisande and is now working on Guldan who stands in their way to Mythic.  With only doing his emissaries and a few mythic plusses Ryan grabs two more legendaries, one for his priest and one for his monk.  Besides raiding Ryan has been working on getting his Overwatch rank up to gold and helping some buddies finish off their For Azeroth games in Heroes of the Storm. 

Ryan and Dusty touch on the importance of communication in competitive game play and playing a proper team composition.

Rolling the Bones and all RNG across Blizzard Games:

Blizzard is notorious for relying heavily on RNG across their games.  It might be a way to monetize a game or to change up game play.  When it comes to World of Warcraft, RNG is all over the place.  You can find it with critical strike rating, titanforging, legendaries, or even class mechanics.  Class mechanics like Outlaw Rogue with their Roll the Bones.  Things like critical strike work well with the game.  When you take titanforging, legendaries, and class mechanics, RNG often doesn’t work well. Blizzard early on said Outlaw Rogues with their RNG wasn’t working well and they were going to look at changing that dps system.   Since then, they have reversed their stance and said that they like the design of the system and are going to leave it as is.  Titanforging and legendaries on top of the AP grind have caused for a lot of top end guilds and raiders to burn out and step away from end game hardcore raiding, or the game altogether.  All this because of RNG.  While this doesn’t always work in favor of the very small group of top end players when looking at the overall player base it does provide an easy stepping stone for the casual players.  That elicits the question, when does RNG become bad and when is it good?  Clearly the legendary system is broken and needs some serious adjustment, but how much adjustment?  Are they moving in the right direction with their changes to that system and are these changes coming a day late and a dollar short? On top of RNG inside of WoW you can find RNG in games like Hearthstone and Overwatch with their loot boxes and card packs.  Dusty mentions that it takes quite a bit of money to purchase enough boxes or card packs on average to obtain all the cosmetic or cards respectively.  Is this design a good one?  Could Blizzard not adopt more of a Heroes of the Storm system across their other games?  Remove the RNG and make each item cost more or less depending on rarity and just monetize more cosmetics?  All things considered, the guys agree that RNG shouldn’t make or break a game but should simply add some flavor to it. 

News

World of Warcraft:
- Legendary changes are still coming
- New dungeon Cathedral of Eternal Night
- Random secondary relic traits are no long in the pipeline
- Additions to class campaign, new champions, and order hall upgrades
- Demon Assaults
- Pet Battle Dungeon – You only need one level 25 battle pet
- PvP brawls are just around the corner
- Demon invasions on the Broken Isles
- New world quests
- Upper and Lower Karazhan and Suramar dungeons added to the random heroic list
- Upper and Lower Karazhan, and Cathedral of Eternal Night added to the mythic plus list
- TAB TARGETING IS GETTING FIXED!

Diablo:
- Season 10 starts next week and Season 9 ends this week

Hearthstone:
- Card pack prices get raised in Europe

Overwatch:
- Look to see Orissa go live before this month’s end

Heroes of the Storm:
-Probius is soon the make his debut

Where to find us:

Come check us out on our new website! --  www.TheBlizzardUmbrella.com

E-mail: BlizzardUmbrella@gmail.com E-mail any questions or topics you’d like Dusty and Ryan to cover in up-coming episodes.

Twitter : @BlizzUmbrella

Reddit : BlizzardUmbrella

Btags : Dusty – Btag: Techguru77#1984
                            Twitter: @Dmporter17
                            YouTube: TechnologyGuru
             Ryan – Btag: Mcirish#1609
                          Twitter: @McirishGaming
                          Twitch: McirishGaming


Closing:

Thanks as always for listening to the show!  Come find us and say hello.  We love hearing feedback and always are ready to answer any questions you guys have!  Thanks again and we will talk to you next week!

Mar 9, 2017

Intro:

This week Blizzard Umbrella is back for the fourth recording of the Dusty and Ryan duo.  You can find the show on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play.  You can also find us on Twitter @BlizzUmbrella and e-mail us at BlizzardUmbrella@gmail.com.  This week the show discusses the PTR and whether we like it or not.

Oops:

Prior to this show there has been an oops.  You have all been told the wrong Twitter username to find the guys at.  The correct username if you want to find them is @BlizzUmbrella.  OOPS!

What We’re Up to:

This past week Ryan’s guild killed a few more bosses and is now 8/10 Heroic Nighthold.  Look out Gul’dan!  Ryan has been taking a break from all the WoWs outside of raiding to play a lot of Overwatch competitive play.  On top of that, Ryan has also been enjoying playing some Orissa on the Overwatch PTR.

Dusty has been pretty busy but has managed to get some gaming in.  This last week Dusty grabs the pet before the Diablo season ends.  In WoW Dusty finishes off pathfinder part 1 and the ending of the Suramar questline really catches Dusty’s eye. Pathfinder part 2 can’t come soon enough!  To top it all off, Dusty plays around with some funky deck combinations in hearthstone while waiting for Un’Goro to drop. 

Outside of Blizzard games Dusty has been playing Zelda on his new Nintendo Switch. 

To PTR or Not to PTR:

Outside of Hearthstone, all of Blizzard’s game have a PTR.  The PTR or Public Test Realm is an alternate version of each respective game that has future content on it.  Players can come try out this content and allow Blizzard to gain some feedback or find bugs prior to live launch.  When it comes to the, PTR Ryan and Dusty both agree that the PTR for WoW isn’t something that they want to utilize due to it potentially ruining the magic of each WoW encounter.  Games like Overwatch and HOTS are more gameplay oriented so the PTR isn’t such a big deal to Dusty and Ryan.  Hearthstone doesn’t use a PTR and the guys feel that it’s due to gameplay speed and simplicity.  Diablo and Starcraft both have a PTR and respectively they serve a particular purpose.  When it comes to WoW, the PVE scene at the top level is very competitive.  These guilds and players put in a lot of time and effort to try and be the World 1st.  In order to best prepare to achieve this objective they will spend a lot of time on the PTR putting together the strategies for their boss kills.  Does this ruin some of the prestigiousness of end game raiding?  This begs to question what is a good balance from a PTR perspective of what is enough for Blizzard to put on there for testing and what to hold back so as to keep things fresh and exciting?  In short, both Ryan and Dusty feel that the PTR is great for some games, not so great for other games, and pointless altogether for games like Hearthstone.

News

- In Overwatch, Orissa hits the PTR and already sees some nerfs, Ana and Bastion see some nerfs, Winston’s bubble CD gets changed, and Zarya sees a change to her bubble as well
- Probius makes the HOTS roster
- Hearthstone awaits the new expansion and new ladder changes go live
- WoW AP and Rep items gained prior to 7.2 are pointless to hold on to and the way the new artifact traits work is released
- The current Diablo season is ending soon, the new one is not far behind it, and when can you look to see the Necromancer

Closing

Another week is in the books as the duo of Dusty and Ryan chat all things Blizzard. Keep looking to see them bring more information and talks to you and they will talk to you next week.

Where to find us:

E-mail: BlizzardUmbrella@gmail.com E-mail any questions or topics you’d like Dusty and Ryan to cover in up-coming episodes.

Twitter : @BlizzUmbrella

Reddit : BlizzardUmbrella

Btags : Dusty – Btag: Techguru77#1984
                            Twitter: @Dmporter17
                            YouTube: TechnologyGuru
             Ryan – Btag: Mcirish#1609
                          Twitter: @McirishGaming
                          Twitch: McirishGaming


Probious Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPxjfQaxZhI
Ben Brode raps Un’Goro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEmnpRSgqQk
Alternate rap video sped up 1.5x (This one is a lot more fun to listen to): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDIUkCJ2nSk

There are a lot more versions out there the public has gotten a hold of and they are all great.  Check them out on YouTube!  Good on you Ben!

Mar 1, 2017

006: All the games to play!? Game Overload!

Intro:

This week Blizzard Umbrella is back for the third recording of the Dusty and Ryan duo.  You can now find the show on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play.  This week the show discusses the plethora of games Blizzard has available to the community.  What does this in terms of how players spend their time or the focus of Blizzard as they continue to develop these games?

What We’re Up to:

Ryan’s guild makes some heroic progress in Nighthold!  Much to his dismay Ryan also took the time to do the archaeology weekly for the moose mount.  On top of doing the his typical WoW thing Ryan also finished of the HotS Warcraft event, played some competitive Overwatch, and has been continuing to dust off his Hearthstone skills, can you say one shot?!

Dusty and Ryan played some HotS together which caused Dusty to realize how much he appreciates being able to play and communicate with people as he plays games instead of playing solo.

Dusty plays lots Zul’Jin and goes on a win streak.  On top of playing lots of Heroes dusty jumps into LFR and does the second wing of Nighthold for the first time.  Dusty also hits rank 10 in Hearthstone and looks forward to getting his chest!

Both Dusty and Ryan come from a different perspective when it comes to raiding and briefly discuss how they feel about Nighthold with that in mind.

LFR can be a cesspool!

A Diverse Game Selection:

Blizzard over the years has branched out to a point where they have game options in almost all of the big genres out there.  With multiple games of different types available both players and Blizzard are presented with a dilemma of where does their time and focus go.  Blizzard obviously has multiple development teams to cover their bases but the players only have so much time in a given week.  With that in mind, the questions stands, what does this mean from Blizzards end and from the players end?  Does Blizzard design games and events with the intent to get people to play all the games?  Do the players reach a point where there is so much to do that they start to miss out due to lack of adequate gaming time?  Does this dilemma cause these games to grow more towards a casual player scene or does the hardcore gamer not get neglected?  How many players still play non Blizzard games now?  Dusty and Ryan give their two cents.

News

- Farming legendary items will be possible in 7.2 and getting a legendary for an offspec will be easier
- Hearthstone has the Journey to Un’Goro expansion coming soon
- HotS sees lots of heroes changes on the PTR
- Overwatch’s new competitive season is on the doorstep

Closing

Another week is in the books as the duo of Dusty and Ryan chat all things Blizzard. Keep looking to see them bring more information and talks to you and they will talk to you next week.

Where to find us:

E-mail: BlizzardUmbrella@gmail.com E-mail any questions or topics you’d like Dusty and Ryan to cover in up-coming episodes.

Twitter : @BlizzardUmbrella

Reddit : BlizzardUmbrella

Btags : Dusty – Techguru77#1984
             Ryan – Mcirish#1609

 

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