Not So Massively: For the King's Kickstarter, Hearthstone's match controversy

Online gaming and e-sports are getting bigger by the day, and there are literally hundreds of popular online games out there that don't really fit into the MMO category. Join me each week for Not So Massively, where I gather together the top stories from the biggest MOBAs, competitive card games, first person shooters, and other popular online games in one place.

This week we have weird new champions and big game updates from League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth and a revolutionary game-changing patch for Counter Strike: Global Offensive. We also hear about adorable new online roguelike For the King, look into the latest cheating controversy in Hearthstone, check out what's been happening lately with Path of Exile and Star Citizen, and more!

If there's a game or story you'd like to see covered in next week's Not So Massively, please drop us a tip and let us know.

forthekingVancouver-based game developer IronOak Games has announced its new graphically stylised game For The King, a turn-based RPG roguelike with co-operative online multiplayer. The game is currently in the pre-alpha stage and the developers have just launched a Steam Greenlight page and Kickstarter campaign for the project. The Kickstarter campaign managed to smash through its conservative goal of $40,000 CAD in just over a day, and is now adding stretch goals such as new zones and a pet feature.

csgoCounter Strike: Global Offensive got a major update this week that seems to have fixed a lot of the game's hit registration problems. The old hitboxes have been replaced by a new system that uses "non-polygonal capsule-shaped hit volumes" to more accurately fill out the shape of the player models. The new hit volumes appear to be very forgiving of poor player accuracy, with the head, chest, arms and legs now taking up significantly more screen volume.

The patch also replaced all of the player animations with new ones and updated the animation system to continually synchronise with the server so that players are always in the same animation on your screen as on the server. Players are reporting that shots now consistently hit and miss when expected, and there are significantly fewer unexplained misses. Hitboxes are also now accurately represented while jumping, defusing and climbing a ladder, which finally fixes the jumping sniper exploit that let players poke their heads up from behind cover without danger.

A new SV_ShowBulletHits command has been added to let you see exactly where your shots hit when playing on a private server. The M4A1-S has also been nerfed in power and reduced in price a little, the Zeus is now only $100, and player character and weapon models can no longer poke through walls.

hearthstone

It seems like every few weeks there's another controversy brewing in the competitive Hearthstone scene, from players flipping coins in place of playing matches to straight-up cheating. This week we learned that one of the players who missed out on a spot in the world championship tournament was knocked out by someone who may have cheated but was allowed to continue competing. The controversial match occurred during the Regional Last Call Tournament, which acts as a qualifier for the world championship tournament at Blizzcon but is actually run by third party organisation ESL.

The rules of the tournament demand that players bring only three decks of cards into the game and win a match with each deck. Players can ask their opponents for proof that they are complying with the rule in the form of a screenshot at any point during the tournament. Player Alex "Redwall420" Spruck recalls that he made such a request of a player named Austbuck, who then admitted he had brought additional decks into the game. The ESL organisers decided to allow the offender to delete the extra decks and continue in the competition, despite objections that his rule-breaking may have contributed to a previous win in the tournament.

ESL's Hearthstone head responded to the complaint with an explanation that it will only take action if there's concrete proof that a player has cheated, stating "players who feel their opponent is using cards not in their submitted lists can submit a ticket to the admins with screenshot proof of the card being played." Polygon points out that players can't possibly know if a card is on their opponent's registered card list as only the admins have access to that information. This latest scuffle has prompted renewed calls for Blizzard to produce their own dedicated tournament mode that locks decks and manages tournament brackets automatically.

hon-titlenewHeroes of Newerth is adding an interesting new agility carry hero called Nitro who is actually a pair of characters on a mobile artillery platform. Psychopop mans the cannon, while her sidekick Mauser sits in a motorbike that can be detached and controlled as a separate character. Splitting the two characters up increases the range of Nitro's cannon but leaves her immobile, which can be dangerous as both characters automatically die if their partner is killed. When the two characters are reunited, their health pools recombine so that damage is carried over, making Nitro a very squishy character.

The Nitro patch also significantly changes HoN's laning gameplay and game progression. The gold rewards for killing enemy heroes have been rebalanced, and XP will be split between people in a teamfight even if they died during it. Pushing lanes with creeps will be made more effective to to de-emphasise turtling strategies, while tower damage will be increased to discourage pushing without creeps. Towers will take more damage and will no longer attack heroes if there are creeps in range to attack, and creeps are now a lot more powerful.

Lane creeps also now give 20% bonus XP if there's a second allied hero in range, so having a jungler and a second solo lane will be a lot more optional. Each player will get his own invulnerable courier that can only be instructed to deliver items from the stash, and revelation wards will automatically give sight on enemy wards in range. The patch is due to be released on September 22nd.

leagueoflegends

League of Legends is getting a weird new champion that's half purple wolf ghost and half creepy bipedal lamb. Kindred is a ranged Jungler with a dash and a slow, and can deploy the wolf spirit to gain a buff to the dash's cooldown inside a set area. Kindred can also mark enemies for death from anywhere on the map and gains a permanent stackable buff to basic attacks for each marked foe killed. The champion's ultimate ability creates a zone around the target champion that prevents damage which would bring any champion's health to critical levels and then applies a heal on termination. The ability affects enemies too though, so you could inadvertantly heal your attacker.

The final pre-championship gameplay update arrived this week in the form of patch 5.18, which contains balance changes to 20 champions and several items and is the build that this year's World Championship series will be played on. The series is due to begin on October 1st with the group stages in Paris, leading eventually to the grand final in Berlin on October 31st. Patch 5.18 also fixes the invisible missile exploit that players recently discovered, which Riot has confirmed was caused by a mistake made in the animation cancelling code.

Riot updated its Instant Feedback system that immediately gives players bans and report cards after matches if it detects toxic behaviour this week. The system now delivers report cards in-game immediately following a match rather than via email, and it now also detects and punishes players for intentional feeding. The automated ban system recently claimed popular YouTube star Dunkey, who was reportedly banned after an abusive chat tirade against another. In response, Dunkey made the video below (NSFW) defending his right to trash talk other players delving into all the reasons that he's quitting the game:

pathofexile

Path of Exile's Warbands and Tempest leagues will end on Friday. October 2nd, after a full three months of operation. Developers are planning to launch a new month-long set of league events for the month following this that revisit previous league types, with prizes including unique gear and random microtransaction items for reaching certain level thresholds.

starcitizenStar Citizen passed the $89 million crowdfunding mark this week, and opened up its new community hub website to all backers. Jason Hutchins over at Illfonic discussed the kinds of problems they're still finding in the Star Marine codebase after the recent dev stream merge. The team also detailed all the work that was done this week, including finishing the code for reloading weapons while in cover and handing over the Headquarters game mode to the designers over at Foundry 42 UK.

inothernews

Every week, Brendan Drain scours the net to bring you all the latest news from from the world of MOBAs, lobby-based games, and other online multiplayer games that aren't quite MMOs in Not So Massively. If there's anything you want to see covered here, post a comment or send mail to brendan@massivelyop.com to let him know!
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22 Comments on "Not So Massively: For the King's Kickstarter, Hearthstone's match controversy"

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BigMikeyOcho
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BigMikeyOcho

By the way, there's a reason why For the King is doing as good as it is. Initially, his group started making a physical board game based on Ultima 7: The Black Gate. When they realized it wasn't going to pan out, they switched it up and started making a Unity roguelike version of the board game. They finally decided to drop the Ultima titling and go with their own IP, and thus started creating For the King.
So the game is taking inspiration from the old Ultima series of games, so the Ultima community is supporting it.
http://ultimacodex.com/2014/02/the-black-gate-board-game-has-been-cancelled-new-project-in-the-works/

CloakingDonkey
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CloakingDonkey

DPandaren Nyphur Armsbend League doesn't need any promotion NOW... that was an entirely different story 4 years ago when the game was indie developed and brand new...

CloakingDonkey
Guest
CloakingDonkey

Nyphur Armsbend The problem isn't being competitive or competitive gaming. It's garbage games like LoL that punish the entire team for one guy screwing up. When one of your friends constantly screws up and it screws the entire team then obviously people get mad at eachother.

Solution: Play other games ;) Dunkey gets it. Even if he's an asshole :P

Nyphur
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Nyphur

DPandaren Nyphur Armsbend This is true. Riot doesn't owe anyone special treatment, even if they're the owner of a popular youtube channel and consider themselves unofficial promoters of League of Legends. Riot has made the explicit decision to disallow abusive chat and toxic behaviour in its game, so anyone who repeatedly engages in that behaviour is not welcome and should expect a ban. They've even banned pro players before for toxicity, and unbanned one who reformed.

DPandaren
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DPandaren

Nyphur Armsbend Eh, at the end of the day he just acted like a dick when he should have just shrugged it off and report that player. People do that shit all the time in CSGO and Dota 2, all you gotta do is just report and go whatever. Super pro or not. He's just being a cock online. And I think he's taking that whole promotion thing too far. League's a game that doesn't really need any sort of promotion, so why should they care? I mean, Riot already threw Icefrog under the bus when Dota 2 was still in beta by shit posting on him. People did not care and kept playing their game.

Nyphur
Guest
Nyphur

Armsbend I don't agree that we should be able to harass other people online, no matter how competitive a game is. But he does make some good points about what competitive games like MOBAs do to people. I've played several MOBAs where I had fun right up until I invited real life friends along, because some of them get hyper competitive.
Suddenly they're bitching at you for making mistakes, swearing at the rest of your team for being shit at the game, and accusing the enemy team of cheating or being on smurf accounts. All you can really do at that point is stop taking the game seriously and just play casually or stop playing with your friends.

Nyphur
Guest
Nyphur

Squive Nyphur Sorenthaz Greaterdivinity 25 xp was an exaggeration, but the point is that it's a long grind and previous play apparently wasn't taken into account. It's like waking up one day to find that your favourite MMO has banned you from raiding with friends until you do a hundred dungeon runs with strangers.

Armsbend
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Armsbend

Btw, the guy who was banned from LoL made some really good points if you listen to the entire cast.

Armsbend
Guest
Armsbend

xPhenomen Sorenthaz Greaterdivinity Nyphur Brendan's point is it is way too much.  As a reader, I must agree with him.

xPhenomen
Guest
xPhenomen

Sorenthaz Greaterdivinity Nyphur the point is to prevent cheaters on new account to jump straight to ranked mode. Now they need to play casual and VAC anticheat will filter some of them before cheaters ruin competitive experience.

kofteburger
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kofteburger

SallyBowls1 kofteburger Chrome is too mainstream. I use Yandex.Browser.. which is chromium based.

BritoBruno
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BritoBruno

Liked the Nitro spot, i love hon.
But sadly, as long as Kane is a metapick, any champion that immobilizes himself will be unviable.

Squive
Guest
Squive

Nyphur Sorenthaz Greaterdivinity What? Here's how the system works.
Casual
Personal Score * 4
Deathmatch
Personal Score / 5
Arms Race
Personal Score * 1.5
Demolition
Personal Score * 3
Competitive
Rounds Won * 30
If you're getting 25 XP in Casual matches, you're just doing horrible and need to spend more time practicing before you get into competitive anyway.

Nyphur
Guest
Nyphur

Sorenthaz Greaterdivinity Nyphur I think It's more to stop people buying new copies of the game to smurf or hack, so I actually do approve of the idea in principle as competitive play should be cleaner once I get back up to it. The problem is I have absolutely no interest in playing 500 random deathmatch games with screaming russians and swearing ten year olds just so I can play with my friends again.
You have to get 10,000 XP to unlock competitive play and each match gives you tiny amounts like 25 XP. But of course you can buy their latest operation to get missions that also give you big lumps of XP. They're literally gating competitive play behind a grind wall and hoping we spend cash to shorten the grind.

Sorenthaz
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Sorenthaz

Greaterdivinity Nyphur The idea behind it is probably that by the time you hit the point to play ranked, you'll be acquainted enough with the game's mechanics and everything to not be a total detriment to your team.

Greaterdivinity
Guest
Greaterdivinity

Nyphur Wait, xp grind for competitive matches? They added levels into the game that I've somehow been missing?
Ugh, Hidden Path, literally everything you've done since you took over CS has been a disaster -__________-

Nyphur
Guest
Nyphur

Greaterdivinity I won a game of the gungame mode for the first time after the update. Unfortunately, they also introduced a ridiculous XP grind recently before you can join competitive matches, so even though I've played competitive mode with friends for ages I suddenly have to play about 500 matches of casual crap to unlock it again.

Greaterdivinity
Guest
Greaterdivinity

The CS:GO update has finally made the game tolerable. Extremely happy that I get to mock all my friends who said I was just bad and that there was nothing wrong with the hitboxes/detection from the beta until this point. I may finally try to give competitive play a shot, though I'll have to spend some time relearning recoil/bullet patterns again.
Also, Hearthstone is being pushed as an esport...but doesn't' have anything like a tournament mode that allows for various rulesets? I mean, I guess it makes sense given Blizzards wildly haphazard approach and apparent simultaneous caring and lack of caring when it comes to their games as esports : /

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

kofteburger Yeah but paste as plain text in Chrome avoids that.

Armsbend
Guest
Armsbend

LoL and HoN look so old now.  I like the still art on Nitro though.

kofteburger
Guest
kofteburger

wow copying also copies the link.

kofteburger
Guest
kofteburger
wpDiscuz