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Official Site: SMITE
Studio: Hi-Rez Studios
Launch Date: March 25, 2014
Genre: Mythological Fantasy MOBA
Business Model: F2P (Cash Shop)
Platform: PC, Xbox One

SMITE adds achievement system, omnipotence queue event

It’s a big week for SMITE, as the deity-filled MOBA has added several new features with yesterday’s patch. Arguably the biggest addition is the achievement system, which currently contains over a hundred goals to accomplish.

Also with the patch, SMITE began selling 2015 season tickets (which come with extra in-game goodies), overhauled the in-game store, and added new voice packs, ward skins, and god skins — including the Kawaii Pop skin for Bastet. The game is also preparing a new event for this weekend: an omnipotence queue special event that ties into the achievement system and allows players to win free gems.

Finally, the patch ushered in a fearsome god, Ah Puch, who loves to play with dead things. Ah Puch commands and controls decaying corpses, as you can see in the god reveal video after the break.

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Not So Massively: LoL’s Reddit controversy, HotS’ Heroes of the Dorm

If ever we needed evidence that e-sports are fast becoming more like real-life sports, this week’s MOBA news provided it. Dota 2 announced that a new seasonal Major Championship league will fill in the gap between world championships and that there will be strict transfer windows for teams just like in real life sports. Top North American League of Legends player Hai Lam retired this week due to an injury, and controversy unfolded over potential cheating in this week’s IQCI Finals. Heroes of the Storm got an official launch date of June 2nd following an April 19th open beta, and its ESPN-sponsored Heroes of the Dorm tournament finals were completed.

Hundreds of Grand Theft Auto 5 players’ accounts have been reportedly compromised due to a security breach at an unknown website, but Rockstar insists that its Social Club servers have not been breached. Path of Exile started the beta for its upcoming expansion, The Awakening, and SMITE revealed its next character is Mayian death god Ah Puch. Elite: Dangerous spoiled us with details of its Powerplay territorial warfare update that lets players pick a side in an ongoing interstellar war. Star Citizen showed off its plans to let players manually load and unload cargo and then sailed past the $80 million mark by selling MISC hull hauler ships.

Read on for detailed breakdowns of the stories above and other news from the wider world of online gaming in this week’s Not So Massively.

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Leaderboard: Which of the big four MOBAs is your favorite?

OK, MassivelyOP MOBA fans, it’s time to vote for your favorite game. We’re going to keep it simple for today’s Leaderboard, though. There are dozens of MOBAs, but there are basically four that get all the press (and presumably all the players).

Assuming you’re a MOBA fan, which of the big four is your favorite? League of Legends? SMITE? Dota 2? Heroes of the Storm? Vote after the cut!

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Not So Massively: Descent’s Kickstarter woes; Heroes of the Storm’s $450K tourney blunder

Descent: Underground has passed the 50% mark on its Kickstarter campaign and promised to add singleplayer to the title but has only four days left to secure over $200,000 US. Path of Exile pulled a hilarious April Fools’ Day prank on players and revealed details of its upcoming Act 4 update, including the highly requested loot filter feature. League of Legends ran the 2015 URFitational tournament as part of its April Fools’ Day celebrations and unbanned reformed professional player Nicolaj Jensen.

Blizzard revealed details of Diablo III‘s upcoming third game season, including season-exclusive legendary items and achievements. Nosgoth got a huge update with a new map called The Crucible and a system for punishing people who quit games early. SMITE released its Written in Stone patch along with iconic new hero Medusa, the Gorgon. Star Citizen passed $78 million in crowdfunding this week and released its monthly progress report for March. And Heroes of the Storm‘s $450,000 college scholarship tournament got off to a shaky start as some teams didn’t bother showing up for their matches and others were unable to report their match results.

Read on for a detailed breakdown of all the above stories and more news from the wider world of online games.

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SMITE patch adds Medusa, clan system [Keys gone now!]

The latest SMITE patch is no joke: It features Medusa, whose speed and high burst damage support what Hi-Rez calls a “more assassin-like playstyle.” The update also adds the clan system that allows players to earn honor points and level their clans up via battlefield achievements.

And here’s a bit of good news for the industry: Hi-Rez is in the middle of a major expansion — of itself. Georgia.org reports that Hi-Rez will soon be “leasing an additional 22,000 square feet in Alpharetta [Georgia] to expand its current headquarters and [will] add 50 jobs in 2015.”

The devs have published an extensive look at Medusa including a designer Q&A and a video which you’ll find past the break, along with a quickie giveaway of keys that each unlock a different playable character and a costume for him or her, including Medusa. Don’t forget the patch notes!

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Massively OP’s MMO April Fools’ Day roundup

It’s April 1st, and in the MMO space that means that studios morph into merry tricksters and devious liars. But how will you keep track of all the goings-on today? With this article, of course!

We’ll be endeavoring to collect and link to all of the fun and wacky April Fools’ Day pranks that are going on in MMOs and on studios’ websites. If you know of one that’s not on the list, send us a tip or leave a comment below, as we’ll be updating this post all day.

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Happy birthday, SMITE

Hi-Rez’s MOBA SMITE turns one year old today. Confetti! Balloons! Free stuff! Yes, the devs are running a giant sale on gems, god packs, and skins in celebration. The game is still on track for its Xbox One release later this year.

In other SMITE news, Medusa the Gorgon is the latest deity to arrive to the pantheistic MOBA. She’s a burst-damage ranged hunter who can pull off all manner of nasty tricks, such as spraying others with acid and petrifying them with a glance. But best of all, she can shoot snake arrows because that’s what you want raining down on your head in the midst of battle.

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Not So Massively: D3’s ladder reset, HOTS’ team league mode, and Starfall Tactics

Diablo III is getting ready to close its second ladder only two months in on April 5th but will be providing a 100% gold and XP boost for the remainder of the season. Blizzard discussed how the development of Project Titan led to its new online FPS Overwatch and revealed that the title will be the first of a series of games set in the same universe. Path of Exile‘s Torment and Bloodlines leagues ended today, and a tournament this weekend awarded four of the game’s top players with some nice Alienware swag.

Indie RTS Starfall Tactics announced its intention to develop a persistent online shard in which players can wage wars and conquer each other’s territories. Riot Games announced a new contest in the EU region that will give university-based League of Legends clubs €1,500 toward the costs of running an event. Warframe‘s massive Sanctuary update landed this week, introducing new quests, weapons, tons of bugfixes, and the Chroma warframe. And Blizzard announced an upcoming Team League mode for Heroes of the Storm that aims to let everyone take part in competitive team play.

Read on for a detailed breakdown of the stories above and a roundup of all the other big news this week from the wider world of not-quite-massive online gaming.

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Not So Massively: HoN’s Grimm Hunt, HEX’s 100k tourney, and Descent’s reboot

It’s been a packed week in the world of online multiplayer gaming, with competitive tournament announcements, patches, and tons of new videos. Microsoft may be forced to remove monsters and combat from Minecraft in Turkey following a report by the country’s Social Policies Ministry. Competitive card game Hearthstone revealed a $3,000 invitational tournament among eight pre-selected pro players, while competing card game HEX announced its colossal $100,000 Frost Ring Arena tournament. SMITE followed up its recent Oceanic server release with a new competitive league for players from Australia and New Zealand and jumped to consoles with its Xbox One alpha.

Heroes of Newerth released a new objective-based game mode called The Grimm Hunt to liven up the standard MOBA gameplay with some new ideas. Destiny revealed some more details of what’s to come in patch 1.1.2, and Elite: Dangerous released its own patch 1.2 with the highly anticipated Wings multiplatyer feature. Star Citizen released a new trailer showing off the social module and how the various parts of the game will tie together in the persistent universe. Classic dogfighter Descent may get a reboot as Descent Underground if its ambitious $600,000 kickstarter succeeds.
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The Stream Team: MOBA Madness in SMITE and Infinite Crisis

It started as a one-off thing, but MassivelyOP’s Mike Foster just can’t stop the MOBA Madness. This week the stream’s going into all-new territory, featuring Hi-Rez Studio’s SMITE along with Turbine’s Infinite Crisis. Are these games different enough to break from the pack? Tune in live at 7:00 p.m. EDT as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team finds out.

What: SMITE/Infinite Crisis
Who: Mike Foster
When: 7:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Enjoy the show!

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Not So Massively: Hearthstone’s MagicAmy drama; Riot rules on SpectateFaker

Riot Games President Marc Merill says he regrets comments made in the heat of the moment regarding the recent SpectateFaker controversy. Riot issued its ruling on the matter this week, confirming that it will take the stream down as Faker believes it’s harming his career. League of Legends also got a new champion this week with Bard, an odd new support champion who grows in power by collecting musical chimes that appear randomly on the map. Hearthstone was also rocked with its own scandal recently as players began aggressively investigating female competitive player Hyerim “MagicAmy” Lee over accusations that someone else was playing her tournament matches for her.

In lighter news, Blizzard announced that it will have a huge booth in March’s Intel Extreme Masters event and will be giving out Heroes of the Storm beta keys at the event. Infinite Crisis faces low player numbers as it closes down the Gotham Heights matchmaking queue. Diablo III players have found a way to power-level extremely quickly and have already broken the 800 paragon level barrier. Third person MOBA SMITE has released new goddess Bellona, the Ancient Roman Goddess of war. Destiny‘s patch 1.1.1 has now landed along with new goodies like mobile vault access and a new hardcore Inferno game mode. And mobile MOBA Vainglory released new mage hero Celeste as part of patch 1.2.0.

Read on for a detailed breakdown of this week’s news from popular online multiplayer games.

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SMITE adds the warrior Bellona to the fray

SMITE has taken another giant step forward as the MOBA has introduced its first true female warrior to the champion pantheon.

Bellona is a take-no-prisoners fighter who wields several different giant weapons (including sword and hammer) depending on the attack. The more Bellona hits or gets hit, the faster she moves and the more protected she becomes, making her an agile tank.

The recent patch also added new champion skins, emotes, voice packs, and a new god rotation. You can watch the patch overview video after the jump.

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