Scam Poetry Thaine Lyman, GM of World of Tanks Blitz State of the industry 2020: Ron Curry, CEO, iGEA Can Seamus really quit Facebook? Elder Scrolls Online Creative Director Rich Lambert is here! Careful what you Wish for
Do you social? We social too!

New Hearthstone is ready for roll call as we head back in time again to the age of the Scholomance Academy! The time before the school became a hotbed of necrotic evil, it was instead a grand college of arcane sciences – with a still-very-human Kel’Thuzad in the headmaster’s chair!

As always, the Hearthstone team served up a hammy (in the best way) video to show us the ropes on the new expansion and its features.

Let’s take a look:

The two biggest new features in the set we’ve seen so far?

Spellburst: this triggers an effect the first time you cast a spell after playing the minion. There’s a Spellburst that puts the spell back in your hand, and another that deals two damage across the board, and no doubt there’ll be lots more.

Dual Class: There’s a bunch of new cards that are available across two classes, and each brings features notorious to certain classes across the divide. Think Mage / Rogue cards that delivers a Combo that Discovers a Mage spell or a Druid/Shaman spell that gives two Mana crystals now but Overloads them on your next turn. Every class overlaps with two other classes and there will be 40 dual class cards in total.

The dual class vibes also reach into Legendaries, with the example Scholomance professor Shan’do Wildclaw being a Druid/Hunter that offers a Choose One with Beastly synergies galore.

We’ll learn lots more over coming weeks ahead of the expansion launch in “early August”, with 135 cards to be revealed in all.

Nice board. I wanna go in the basement!

Starting with this week’s patch, everyone who logs in gets the new Transfer Student card (yes, you get two copies) which changes its effects based on the game board you find yourself playing on. It’s usable right away so throw it in your deck and see what surprises you’ll find.

As always, there’s a bunch of pre-order packs available too. The Mega Bundle will get you a Kel’Thuzad (the lich, not the human) Mage hero and cardback. It also must be said that the Scholomance Academy pack art might just be the coolest pack design ever, all purple-y and spellbook-y.

Keep up with all the news and reveals at the official Scholomance Academy site.

Thaine Lyman had 17 years at Activision under his belt working on major PC and console games like Call of Duty before he headed to Wargaming to work on World of Tanks. After a first stint in the PC team he headed to Minsk in Belarus to lead the mobile team on Blitz.

We talk about the new era of ‘real’ mobile games, how free to play models have changed, and the fights over creating fantasy tanks and skins in a game with a long pedigree of historical accuracy. It’s a really fun chat so dive in and enjoy!

Seamus talks to Run Curry, CEO of the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association, about how the industry has been dealing with the pandemic, the highs and lows of the first half of the year, and the politics that holds back better support for the business of games in this country.

If you’re in the industry, or you want to be, or you just want to know what’s going on, Ron is the guy and this episode is a great update on everything that’s been happening and where things might go next.

Nic hits Seamus with a surprise grilling about his intentions to make a permanent exit from Facebook. Can he genuinely follow through on his threats? What are his plans to solve all the gaps it creates in communicating with friends and family?

Then the show turns to lighter fare, like the COVIDSafe app and whether it’s ever going to become a useful part of the solution in Australia.

Plus a little more Quibi before the launch window free trial ends, Nic suggests a ‘Pilot Night’ concept, and Seamus falls in love with a London Underground circuit board map.

This week I’m talking to Rich Lambert, Creative Director of Elder Scrolls Online. Rich has been working on the title since its inception, which makes it a 13 year journey working on the game. Keep in mind it was in development for seven years before its official release in 2014.

The game struggled for a while but it has carved out a unique patch in the MMO space after some big changes a few years back. We discuss this and other aspects of what defines Elder Scrolls Online and how the big story arcs like we find in the new Greymoor expansion help to keep its fans coming back again and again.

Greymoor is now available and while this latest expansion has a cost, you can dive in and try ESO for free and enjoy an awful lot of the game without ever being forced to pay.

I’m a long-time WoW nerd and I’ve spent some time in ESO lately and after some initial confusion found the different combat and deeper approach to storyline built into the quest lines to be a really refreshing angle. It’s always a good thing for there to be diversity in the MMO category.

Nic shares a baffling experience from a recent online shopping expedition, and Seamus explains the Mixer mess and what it means for having a viable live streaming ecosystem that isn’t just the one backed by Bezos billions.

Plus WWDC news and some hot tips of the week!

Seamus looks at the big news from the WWDC 2020 keynote, analysing his top new feature picks and exploring the potential of some new ideas.

From the chips to the best features in the 2020 updates to iOS, tvOS and macOS, it’s always a fun time of year for Apple fans to think about what’s next. And few changes come bigger than a whole new chipset underpinning it all.

In an already very weird year, this undoubtedly takes the trophy with six months left to play. It’s got cockroaches, pig masks, and senior executives of one of the biggest tech companies in the world. What a journey this one is. Expect the movie in 2022.

Plus Nic and Seamus look at the latest Playstation 5 news now that the big reveal has happened, and offer up their two tips of the week.

Philip Mayes is the founder and CEO of Mighty Kingdom, an Adelaide games studio closing in on its tenth anniversary. The studio was named Studio of the Year at the 2019 Australian Game Developer Awards, with a super successful focus on developing games for big brand licenses including the likes of Disney, Lego and Conan. Their games reach tens of millions around the world and they’re one of the biggest studios in the country in terms of both head count and output.

This is another fantastic conversation, exploring Philip’s big desire to see more studios really extending themselves toward bigger ambitions, wanting to see more small-to-medium studios pursue bigger and bigger ideas to chase the dream of becoming big studios in their own right.

It’s really great hearing Phil talk with a clear mission to create a big and successful business in the games industry, and the desire to develop positive competition and look to lift all ships along the way.

Read the full transcript below.