Valve announced that Dota 2‘s Reborn update will be released to the live servers in the next few weeks. Online RTS Grey Goo launched a tournament series that will run from now until January and boasts a total of $75,000 in prizes to be won. Dungeon Defenders II officially moved from pre-alpha to alpha with its “Alpha and Beyond” update. Heroes of the Storm restricted its Hero League queue system to solo and duo players, a move that has worked well in other MOBAs.
Gears of War designer Cliff Bleszinski announced that his studio is working on a new competitive online fps called LawBreakers set in a low-gravity world. League of Legends released Patch 5.17 following a hotfix to rebalance its newly crowned Juggernaut characters. Path of Exile quadrupled the drop rate of rare and super rare unique items in patch 2.0.3. SMITE added headless disruptive tank character Xing Tian to its growing roster of Chinese gods. And Star Citizen delved into this month’s progress while a fansite has put together all the information we know on the game’s release schedule.
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’ve been following the ongoing development of Dota 2, you’ll have heard of the Dota 2 Reborn project that aims to revamp the game by updating it to the Source 2 engine. The project is not just a graphical overhaul, however, as it adds advanced features like custom game modes and in-client twitch streams. Valve announced this week that Dota 2 Reborn will be rolled out to the live game servers in the coming weeks.
Dungeon Defenders II officially moved from pre-alpha to alpha this week with the release of its “Alpha and Beyond” update. The patch adds lore to the game in the form of new cinematics, rebalances the difficulty of Nightmare mode, and adds four new character builds. The UI also got a bit of an overhaul, a new Daily Bonus feature and much more. Check out the video below for a full overview of the changes.
Online RTS Grey Goo is gearing up for a massive cash prize tournament over the coming months with an estimated prize pool of $75,000 US, part of which includes travel to PAX South 2016. Players can register for the tournament now and the qualifying rounds will run on September 26th, October 24th and November 21st. The qualifiers will all be livestreamed on twitch, with a top prize of $1,000 in each tournament and all qualifying players will be flown out to the final at PAX South 2016 in January. There they’ll compete for the top prize of $10,000.
While a lot of people play MOBAs exclusively in pre-made groups, the vast majority queue for matches solo and are matched up with four strangers. The problem comes when all four of those strangers are grouped together as they will often leave you out of the loop and then blame you for anything that goes wrong. Most MOBAs have solved this problem by limiting the number of players who can queue together, and now Heroes of the Storm is doing the same. When the next game update lands, players will only be able to queue for Hero League ranked matches solo or in groups of two.
Lately it seems that the entire games industry is getting in on the competitive FPS bandwagon. We have Gigantic, Overwatch, Battleborne, Battlecry, and most recently Hi-Rez Studios’ Paladins to look forward to, but it looks like another contender is entering the arena. LawBreakers is a new team-based FPS from Boss Key Productions that mixes realistic graphics, a low-gravity world, and some very interesting character designs. Each character has a different type of grenade and a unique movement ability, from rocket jumping to jetpacks and even an energy grapling hook. The game will be released in 2016 and is being published by Nexon.patch notes are out for League of Legends Patch 5.17 and it looks a lot more conservative than the monster that was the Juggernaut update. The previous patch put champions Darius, Garen, Skarner and Mordekaiser into a new class called Juggernauts, which are essentially tanky melee carries. Riot immediately noticed that the balance was off with the Juggernauts and already deployed a hotfix to rebalance their abilities, so patch 5.17 actually just fixes the inaccurate tooltip descriptions for those champions that show the pre-hotfix stats. The Juggernauts are one of several surprises that are on the way before next month’s world championship tournament. Path of Exile release patch 2.0.3 this week, adding 12 new divination cards and improving the drop rates of some uniques and all divination cards. Unique items classified as rare or super-rare such as Mjölner and Shavronne’s Wrappings will now drop four times as often as they have powerful build-defining effects and few players ever get to experiment with them. The patch also fixes a number of bugs and rebalanced several skills. SMITE got a major balance patch this week and saw the release of new god Xing Tian, The Relentless. Xing Tian is a god from Chinese mythology who was decapitated but refused to die, coming back as an unstoppable headless brute. In SMITE, he’s a distruptive tank character who gains health regeneration every time he lands an attack. He’s also got a skillshot roar ability and a combo attack that knocks opponetns in the air and then roots them in place.
With his Sky Cutting Axe ability, Xing Tian can leap toward the target area to engage enemies or disengage from a fight. This pairs well with his ultimate ability, which makes Xing Tian spin around and scoop up nearby enemies with his axe before throwing them in the specified direction. With some good timing, this combination can help set up another god for a kill. We also heard the news this week that SMITE will soon be coming to Steam.
The latest monthly report on Star Citizen‘s development has been released, delving into the details of this month’s progress in the Engineering, Design, Art, and Writing departments. While there’s no doubt that steady progress has been made on development, the game’s intended release schedule continues to be a source of some confusion. Fansite Imperial News has compiled all available data on the current release schedule into one document, with a list of everything that will be available by the end of the year. We can look forward to the Social Module getting a persistence update, the initial release of the Star Marine FPS module, Arena Commander 2.0 with multi-crew ships, and further persistent universe updates with social ships and smart NPCs.
- Sports network ESPN announced plans to hire a dedicated e-sports editor.
- Hi-Rez Studios announced plans to invest in Tribes: Ascend again for the first time in several years.
- Splatoon released the Mini Splatling minigun.
- Prime World released patch 10.5, adding new hero Desperado and rebalancing heroes.
- Upcoming space sandbox game Everspace hit its crowdfunding goal on Kickstarter.