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.
Diablo III‘s second ladder season will come to an end on Sunday, April 5th, with season three due to begin the following week on April 10th. When the season ends, all seasonal characters will be converted to non-seasonal, and any gold and items in their possession will also be transferred. Paragon XP accrued will be combined with non-seasonal paragon XP to calculate new levels. Items in your stash will be sent to your non-seasonal mailbox, so remember to log in and collect them.
Before season three begins, rewards of exclusive cosmetic items for transmogrification will be given out to players based on their attained level and number of achievement points. Finally, on April 10th, all the seasonal leaderboards will be wiped and season three can officially begin. If you haven’t reached level 70 or are still going after achievement points to unlock the season’s rewards, don’t worry because all characters now have a 100% gold and XP bonus until the end of the season.
If you’ve been keeping an eye on Blizzard lately, you’ll have noticed how much weight the company has been putting behind its new projects. Polygon has recently spoke with Blizzard’s Jeff Kaplan about how the project got started and where it’s heading.
Overwatch stumbled out from the remains of Project Titan, a game that was reportedly equal parts Destiny and vapourware. Speaking about the phenomenal and unexpected success of Hearthstone, Kaplan said that Blizzard had to learn that “not every game can be World of Warcraft” and that “sometimes it is OK to have a smaller, self-contained game.”
Kaplan also revealed that Overwatch will be the first game of a whole new IP and universe, with more titles to eventually follow. The dev team is now focused on creating an interesting future Earth at a time global crisis and populating it with likeable heroes.
Play Path of Exile and win prizes? That’s the message from this week’s Competitive Season Invitational tournament. Players have competed for in-game prizes before in PoE’s previous seasons, but this time a set of shiny new Alienware Alpha consoles were on the line. Top players faced off this past weekend in a PvP tournament and level race invitational in the EU and US regions, and four winners emerged victorious. Players Roshak, Dsfarblarwaggle, Throzz and lPeeps each walked away with an Alienware Alpha, a TactX keyboard, and a TactX gaming mouse.
The month long Torment and Bloodlines leagues ended just a few hours ago, but your league characters are safe! Grinding Gear Games has transferred all characters, gear, and hideouts from the completed leagues to the Standard and Hardcore leagues.Russian indie developer Snowforged Entertainment announced this week that its upcoming RTS Starfall Tactics will feature a persistent online shard. The core gameplay of Starfall Tactics involves designing and building fleets of ships to conquer territory, and the persistent shard will extend this further. Players will reportedly be able to send fleets out into unexplored space, discover new planets, mine asteroids, and even claim sectors of space in the outer regions. Starfall Tactics is powered by Unreal Engine 4 and is currently in a pre-alpha development state, with an estimated release window of 2016.
Does your university have its own League of Legends club that wants to run a flashy event or tournament? If you’re in Europe and register your university’s LoL society with Riot Games by April 2nd, you can enter a competition to win €1,500 toward your dream LoL event. The winners of the competition will be selected by Riot using judging conditions such as efficiency, the size of the audience you’ll reach, whether you have a well-planned budget, and how innovative your event idea is. To get an idea of the kinds of events Riot has in mind, check out the video below of one successfully run budget LoL event.
Warframe‘s Sanctuary update landed this week, and it looks like it was well worth the wait! Players got their hands on two awesome new weapons: the Ripkas motorised saw fists (yes, saw fists), and a hand shotgun called the Kohmak that increases its volley with successive shots. A ton of new Conclave Mods and Ability Augment Mods are also now available, and the list of bugfixes and general gameplay updates is huge.
The patch also saw the release of a brand new Cephalon Capture PvP game mode and a pile of improvements as part of PvP 2.0. As if that’s not enough, a new Warframe called the Chroma has arrived, and new missions and quests stand ready to be completed. [Thanks, Kenny!]
Blizzard announced that a new Team League game mode is on the way for Heroes of the Storm‘s ranked matchmaking. The mode will allow you to create and name persistent teams of five players and compete with other teams for a spot in the top rankings, in line with how MOBAs tend to be played competitively. You’ll have to spend 1,000 gold to form a team, and each member will need a level 40 account with at least 10 heroes unlocked.
Your group must play together to enter the queue as a team and gain ranked standing, but the good news is that you can have up to nine members in a team and just select five when you queue. You can also be in multiple teams at once, so you’re not stuck with an inactive team of one or more of the members leaves. Team ranks will start at 50 and adjust upward or downward based on successes and failures, and a new UI screen will track your team’s stats.
- Microsoft announced a partnership with Tencent to bring popular titles League of Legends, Dungeon Fighter, and more to the Windows 10 store in China.
- Star Citizen version 1.1 was released this week along with several new ships to spend hundreds of dollars on.
- SMITE celebrated its one year anniversary with double log-in rewards from now until March 29th.
- Prime World released its Patch 10.2, improving the castle-building gameplay and adding punishments for leaving a game early.
- Turbine announced that Infinite Crisis will also be coming to Steam when it officially launches on March 26th.
- Tickets for Dota 2‘s world championship tournament The International are due to go on sale this Friday, March 27th, and will cost $99.