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.
Star Citizen‘s latest monthly report is now out, detailing all the work that’s been done by the various studios around the world in March. Highlights of this month’s work include a first glimpse at the FPS module, steady progress on the persistent universe, and footage from PAX East and SXSW. The current crowdfunding total also passed $78 million this week with over 865,000 backers.
Descent: Underground has raised over $366,000 of its $600,000 US goal on Kickstarter, but with only four days to go it doesn’t look good for this classic reboot. The game has now passed Steam’s Greenlight programme and has over 5,500 backers on Kickstarter, but if the campaign doesn’t pick up some serious steam in its final days, then it may not succeed and the developers will get no money at all.
The original plan for developing the game was to focus on multiplayer, with hints of a singleplayer campaign to be added as a stretch goal. Now the team is promising both singleplayer and multiplayer as well as linux and mac releases, VR support, and co-op game modes. Response to the Kickstarter from Descent fans has been mixed, with criticisms levied against the focus on multiplayer and the decision to sell ships as Kickstarter reward tiers.developers posted a fake incident report for the bug and apologised for the inconvenience, blaming the mistake on a typo in the latest patch.
Grinding Gear Games announced this week that the Forsaken Masters supporter packs will stop being sold on Sunday, April 19th, in preparation for the game’s upcoming Act 4 release. The upcoming expansion will add an entire additional story act to the game and will ship with the highly requested item filter feature.
Developers have always been reluctant to allow players to filter out all the rubbish loot on the ground because any user interface they could develop for such a feature would be extremely complicated and impractical. The new feature will use text-based scripts that players will have to write themselves, but it will let players customise the text shown for particular item types and even play alert sounds when particular types of item drop.with last year’s classic Ultra Rapid Fire game mode players had been asking for. Ultra Rapid Fire is a fast-paced game mode that makes all skills mana-free to cast, increases attack and movement speed considerably, and reduces cooldowns by 80% across the board. Everyone has tons of hitpoints to grind through, but damage comes fast and quick, resulting in a complete bloodbath. To top it off, Riot ran the 2015 URFitational tournament with 10 of the game’s top competitive players.
Riot Games also reinstated previously permabanned pro player Nicolaj Jensen, who was banned in 2013 for persistent toxic behaviour and participating in DDoS attacks against other players. The ban was lifted after a review of Jensen’s account showed that he has genuinely reformed his toxic behaviour since the ban and has not been implicated in any further DDoS attacks. Riot decided to give Jensen a second chance, making this the first professional player ban to be overturned in the history of the game. Professional player Khaled Abusagr who was banned at the same time as Jensen has apparently shown no signs of reforming and won’t be reinstated.
Blizzard gave players a look ahead at Diablo III‘s upcoming third season in a new devblog this week. The new season will add several season-exclusive legendary items that are sure to change the way people build characters, including new legendary gems that can be inserted into jewelry with sockets. New conquest challenges will be coming to the season, along with 100 new seasonal achievements, and those who earn enough seasonal achievement points will unlock unique cosmetic rewards. Season 3 is set to begin on April 10th, and there’s currently no specific time frame on how long it will last, though the previous season was only a few months long.
If you’re a student and avid MOBA fan, chances are you’ve seen Heroes of the Storm‘s recent competition that promises to pay winning team’s college tuition. The Heroes of the Dorm is an unusual scholarship programme open to students in the US and Canada, with over $450,000 worth of college tuition fees to be won in a massive ongoing tournament. Signups closed last week on March 26th, and this week saw the top 64 teams emerge from a series of open qualifiers. Unfortunately, that’s when the tournament started experiencing problems.
BlizzardWatch reports that the teams were having difficulties connecting to the TeSPA page to report their match results, and others were unable to sign in at all. Many of the 900 teams that signed up also didn’t bother showing up for their matches and effectively used the tournament to get free invitations to the closed beta. Blizzard also announced that it will be discontinuing sale of new founder packs tomorrow as it begins opening the closed beta to more players through additional waves of invites.
[AL:Nosgoth]If you’re a fan of the Legacy of Kain and Soul Reaver series’ and haven’t played third-person online shooter Nosgoth, now might be a good time to check it out. Developer Psyonix has just released a huge update for the game, including a brand-new map called The Crucible set in a city beneath the land of Tartarus. The patch also added the some user interface improvements and the first phase of a new leaver penalty system that will lock players out of the matchmaking queue for three minutes if they abandon a game early.SMITE released its Written in Stone patch this week, overhauling the clan system and adding new champion Medusa, The Gorgon. Medusa is a ranged attacker with exceptional mobility, able to move sideways at full speed and suffering only half the normal movement penalty when slithing backward. Medusa can throw venomous snakes forward to poison foes using her Viper Shot ability and spray them with acid to reduce their attack speed.
Using her Lacerate ability, Medusa can dash toward a target and hit them for a small amount of damage, leaving behind a debuff that reduces their healing for a short duration. As expected, she can also turn enemy champions to stone temporarily with her ultimate ability; enemies who are looking at Medusa when she casts Petrify are completely stunned, while others are only slowed. Check out the God Reveal video below for a demonstration of all of Medusa’s abilities and tips on playing her in combat.
- Free to play online shooter Warface released a huge spring update this week, including the new Domination and Marathon game modes.
- Dark Souls II announced its upcoming 1.15 update with a series of balance tweaks to the game.
- Post-apocalyptic online shooter Survarium has released on Steam’s Early Access programme. Survarium aims to be a worthy spiritual successor to the Stalker series.
- Mobile MOBA Vainglory released update 1.3.0 along with its new sniper hero Vox.
- Torchlight II is currently available DRM-free as part of the 14th Humble Indie Bundle.
- Nival‘s online strategy game Blitzkrieg 3 began its fourth stage of closed alpha testing, and developers have been hard at work ironing out bugs.