Not So Massively: Star Citizen demos live gameplay; Dota 2 team kicks member after $6m win

    
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Last week, Star Citizen released impressive Gamescom 2015 demo videos showing live gameplay footage of players walking around a space port and a mission to board and steal a derelict ship. The SMITE community discovered that one of the game’s loading artworks looks suspiciously similar to a piece of League of Legends concept art. Beta signups have opened for Hi-Rez Studios’ new shooter Paladins, and Splatoon got a fun new Rainmaker game mode. League of Legends started preparing to move its North American servers and its first female professional player qualified for the LCS this week.

Following its $6 million world championship victory, Dota 2 team Evil Geniuses kicked one of its winning roster. Heroes of the Storm players found that average match lengths are on the rise, and nerfs are on the way for mage hero Kael’Thas. Diablo III revealed several new set and legendary items coming in patch 2.3.0 and gave us a sneak peek at its upcoming fourth game season. Infinite Crisis also officially closed its doors for good, and Descent: Underground showed off some gameplay at a recent convention.

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, and don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS feed for weekly updates!

If you missed Star Citizen‘s big presentation at Gamescom 2015, you may have missed the most important piece of news in the upcoming game’s development history. The talk included live demos of the game’s upcoming social module and multi-crew ships, both of which will be released later this month.

The social module takes place in one of the game’s space ports that will be in the persistent universe, and gives players access to a communal space with meeting rooms, shops, bars, ship showrooms, a medical unit, and a place to pick up missions and jobs. Players will be able to chat and explore the space port together, and even walk around inside multi-crew ships together. The live demo video below even shows crew members jumping out of their ships in space suits and hijacking a derelict ship adrift in space.

The week of Gamescom was also one of the most financially successful for Star Citizen in a long time, with the game’s crowdfunding total rising by over $1.5 million US. Funding for Star Citizen had slowed down significantly over the past few months leading up to Gamescom, and fans expect it to pick up when the FPS and social modules are released.

The SMITE community raised concerns this week after players noticed similarities between the the artwork for the Sun’ Bride Chang’e skin and concept art for League of Legends‘ Star Guardian Lux skin. The characters in both pieces of artwork appear to be striking the exact same pose, leading some players to claim the artist had obviously traced the image. Hi-Rez Studios responded immediately with a statement saying that the artwork in question was created by a third party and that it has been removed from the game. A new piece of artwork has been commissioned to replace the offending piece, and an investigation is underway as to exactly what happened with the third-party artist. In other news, developers announced that SMITE will officially launch on XBox One on August 19th.

Following its six million dollar win at The International 2015, professional Dota 2 team Evil Geniuses has been constantly in the spotlight. Player Syed “Suma1l” Hassan has been held up as the world’s youngest gaming millionaire at just 16, having previously won another $1.2 million in the Dota 2 Asia Championships at the age of 15. Team member Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora has also been praised for his incredible five-man echo slam that arguably won the game and the tournament for his team. That move was automatically immortalised in a commemorative in-game statue that was given out to 269 players who were watching the game at random, and it was so decisive in that match that some of those statues are now reportedly selling for hundreds of dollars online.

It’s not all good news though, as player Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling reports that he has been kicked from the squad just days after helping them win the biggest prize in e-sports history. He will be replaced by ex-teammate Artour “Arteezy” Babaev, who left in January and is returning to take on the Hard Carry role. Many other teams are going through roster shuffles too, with Cloud 9 announcing that its current team is also breaking up.

paladinsThe dust is starting to settle from Gamescom 2015, and it looks as if Hi-Rez Studio’s new shooter Paladins was a massive hit. MassivelyOP’s Tina Lauro gave her hands-on impressions of the game this week, and beta signups have officially opened.

splatoonNintendo’s ink-filled shooter Splatoon got a hilarious new game mode this week in addition to some of the previously leaked weapons being officially released. The new game mode is called Rainmaker and challenges two teams to fight over a powerful weapon initially set in the centre of the map. The first player to make it to the rainmaker and blast through its protective shield can pick it up and shoot blasts just like the inkzooka. The goal is simply to get the rainmaker to the enemy base, whereupon it will explode in a shower of game-winning brightly coloured goop. If neither team managtes to get all the way to the enemy base, the one that makes it closest will win the match.

leagueoflegends

Riot Games suffered a bit of backlash recently when developers said that they didn’t want to add the highly requested sandbox mode to League of Legends. Developers originally suggested that players should be playing the game normally rather than testing things out in a sandbox mode, but players reacted badly to that message. In the face of complaints, Riot agreed to put the question of whether or not to add a sandbox mode back on the table.

If you’re a North American LoL player and have been experiencing connection issues lately, you’ll be glad to know that they may soon be a thing of the past. The North American League of Legends server is currently in the process of being moved to a more central locaton of Chicago, Illinois. It’s hoped that this will decrease ping times and packet loss for the majority of players.

This week also saw professional team Renegades win a spot in the League of Legends Championship Series, marking the first time that a team with a female member has made it into the tournament. Maria “Remilia” Creveling said that her goal in League of Legends was to become the first woman in the LCS to prove that women could compete on that level but that the competition itself doesn’t mean much to her and she might not actually compete as it may not be financially viable.

Blizzard teased us with information on Diablo III‘s upcoming Patch 2.3.0 this week, which contains five new or updated item sets and six new or updated legendary items. There’s one set for each character class, each focusing on overpowering iconic abilities like Blessed Hammers and Archon or massively boosting particular playstyles. The legendaries also provide unique effects and there will be at least one legendary per class that can only be collected during the game’s upcoming fourth competitive season. We also got a sneak peek at what else we can expect from season four, including the Season Journey interface and a whole host of new achievements. The season begins on August 28th and is expected to be at least three months long.

infinitecrisisPlayers officially waved goodbye the DC Comics based MOBA Infinite Crisis this week as the game servers were switched off for good. The shutdown was announced back in early June just a few months after the game officially launched, with developers blaming the game’s failure on a lack of players and stating that the MOBA genre simply matured around them while they developed the game. Infinite Crisis isn’t the first of the new wave of MOBAs to fail at grabbing an audience, and it certainly won’t be the last to close its doors.

descent-titleRemember the Descent reboot that popped up on Kickstarter back in April and just barely inched past its $600,000 US goal? Developer Ascendant Studios took the current prototype of the game to Rooster Teeth Expo in Austin, Texas, where attendees were given hands-on time with the current build. The developers have been using a Star Citizen-like website and crowdfunding model to raise more funds to hit small stretch goals and have raised an extra $30,000 or so.

heroesofthestormHeroes of the Storm is marketed as having shorter matches than a typical MOBA, but players have now found evidence that the average length of matches has actually been increasing slowly over time. Explanations for the lengthening matches include players learning the game and improvements in matchmaking making for closer matches that last longer. Players compiled data for each map to rule out the differences caused by recently added maps, and the match length increase appears to be happening across the board. This week also saw the release of a spotlight video on Diablo III‘s monk hero Kharazim, and some balance changes are on the way for Kael’Thas.

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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Denngar
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Denngar

Loving the new Splatoon game mode for it’s creativity, hating my fellow players who really don’t seem to get it (think of it like soccer… retreating back to your goal with the ball is usually not the best idea >.< )

Zulika_Mi_Nam
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Zulika_Mi_Nam

annoyedbadger Sorenthaz Nreff Zulika_Mi_Nam 
ppd blog about the aui move – http://peterpandam.blogspot.com.au/

KneeDragon
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KneeDragon

Dammit, Jared!

GoJammit
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GoJammit

Digest tobascodagama They’ve charted it. It is only about a minute though.

GoJammit
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GoJammit

Joseph C tobascodagama Right. Besides it’s still a solid 10-15 minutes shorter than most LoL games.

GoJammit
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GoJammit

I think Wingman is finally making some progress on that weight loss. Descent looks…decent. Never played the original game. Not into the whole claustrophobic closed area thing.

MyCatIam
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MyCatIam

Star Citizen … alright I am hyped. You guys impressed me.

annoyedbadger
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annoyedbadger

Damonvile The AA was just as responsible for that win as the ES, but its just less flashy.

annoyedbadger
Guest
annoyedbadger

Sorenthaz Nreff AUI has another team already apparently.

annoyedbadger
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annoyedbadger

Sorenthaz Nreff Zulika_Mi_Nam RTZ is individually good, but he cant play as a team, his ego is too big. He causes drama, and breaks up teams. He is all about himself, not the team. And not matter how good you think you are, teams win Dota.