Not So Massively: LoL pro Doublelift kicked from e-sports team (November 2, 2015)

    
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Online gaming and e-sports are getting bigger by the day, and there are literally hundreds of popular online games out there that don’t really fit into the MMO category. Join me each week for Not So Massively, where I gather together the top stories from the biggest MOBAs, competitive card games, first person shooters, and other popular online games in one place.

RuneScape developer Jagex this week announced the closed beta date for its upcoming Hearthstone-like collectible card game Chronicle: RuneScape Legends. The League of Legends world championship finals took place, and North American LoL star Peter “Doublelift” Peng was kicked from CLG only to be picked up by the unlikeliest of competitors. Both Dota 2 and Destiny ran interesting Halloween events, and Heroes of the Storm celebrated the release of Artanis. Elite: Dangerous showed off its upcoming ground-based combat gameplay, SMITE revealed its new Clash game mode, and Overwatch teased players on a weird new IP-crossover character. We also heard the latest developments from Path of Exile, Star Citizen, Dungeon Defenders II, Grey Goo, and Splatoon.

If there’s a game or story you’d like to see covered in next week’s Not So Massively, please drop us a tip and let us know.

rslegendsWith the growing success of online competitive card games like Hearthstone and Hex, RuneScape developer Jagex announced earlier this year that it was throwing its hat in the ring with its own card game Chronicle: RuneScape Legends. With its decade-long history and hundreds of quests, RuneScape has a lot of lore, monsters, and characters to base cards on, and plenty of other MMOs have released collectible card game spinoffs in the past. The closed beta of Chronicle launches on November 25th, and you can sign up for the beta newsletter now for a chance to take part.

dota2Dota 2 celebrated Halloween with the release of a spooky new Haunted Colosseum custom game mode. This patch also modified the gustom game page of the Dota 2 UI to help players discover new modes they haven’t played yet, with a list of open lobbies and an automatically selected featured Game of the Day.

elitedangerousIf you were worried that the lifeless planets you’ll be exploring in Elite‘s Horizons expansion would be as barren as they look from orbit, think again. In a new dev newsletter, developers described some of the points of interest you’ll be able to find on a planet’s surface. These will range from natural mineral deposits that will feed into a new industrial process to research outposts and military bases full of items and equipment.

We also heard the heroic tale of the players who come to the aid of stranded explorers who run out of fuel. The Fuel Rats are players who jump out to refuel stranded players who may have mistakenly jumped to a system without a fuel-scoopable star while low on space gas.

heroesofthestormIt’s Artanis week in Heroes of the Storm, with the Starcraft-based hero being officially released onto the live servers and getting a new lore trailer. Artanis is a tanky melee attacker with a passive shield that triggers more often when he lands basic attacks and the tactical ability to swap places with an enemy.

leagueoflegends

The League of Legends world championship took place this week, with favourites SK Telecom T1 facing off against fellow South Korean team and relative newcomers KOO Tigers. SK Telecom entered the final tournament undefeated and had previously beaten KOO Tigers in straight games in SBENU Champions Spring 2015 tournament. While the grand final of the world championship was much closer, the result was a predictable win and $1,000,000 in the bank for SK Telecom T1. KOO Tigers won one out of the four matches played but still walk away with the second place prize of $250,000 US.

Following the championship finals, famous professional player Peter “Doublelift” Peng announced that he had been kicked from Counter Logic Gaming and was immediately picked up by Team Solo Mid. Both CLG and TSM were defeated in this year’s group stages, and will have a lot to prove in the 2016 season. Before that season begins, Riot has announced a series of pre-season changes that we can expect to play a central part of the metagame. Stealth wards are being removed, the mastery system is getting a revamp, and some big changes are on the way for Corki, Miss Fortune, Graves, Caitlyn, Kog’Maw, and Quinn.

Finally, if you’re an absolute lore nut and were wondering what happened to Bilgewater after the death of Gangplank, you’ll want to check out Riot’s newly released four-part short story Shadow and Fortune.

overwatchIf you’ve been following Blizzard’s recent slew of titles, it can hardly have escaped your notice that there’s been a great deal of IP crossover between the various titles the studio is working on. Upcoming MOBA-FPS hybrid Overwatch has taken this one step further with the teasing of fictional StarCraft player D.Va as its next character. Hana “D.Va” Song is a fictional gamer from South Korea who is said to have become the world’s number one StarCraft player at the age of 16 and held the title for three years running. We expect to hear more about the character at Blizzcon.

pathofexile

Path of Exile banned 23 players this week for using third-party software with the game such as bots or map hacks. Though relatively few players were banned in this wave, Grinding Gear Games was clear to point out that those who weren’t banned should consider this as their warning.

We also heard that the game’s upcoming 14th race season wil be called Soulthirst and will have a new Headhunter type league as one of its events. Most of the events this season will likely be Descent and Descent: Champions races with a few rule changes and rebalanced zone levels, and there will be a signature Soulthirst league with rules still to be announced. The season is expected to start later this week and will run until the end of the month.

smite

Hi-Rez Studios announced this week that a new casual 5v5 Clash game mode is coming soon to SMITE. Clash is designed to promote teamfights, with a central buff area for people to fight over and two lanes close together in order to make rotating from one spot to another easier. It’ll play like a casual more cross between Conquest and Arena modes, with open spaces to fight and towers that don’t quite cover the entire lane. Clash won’t be coming to to the live servers normal play for some time, but can be played now on the public test server.

starcitizenIf you’re one of the people who complained about the flight model physics in the Star Citizen Alpha, you’ll be interested to know that the developers have big plans for improving it. In addition to tweaking the existing flight model, developers will be adding three new flight profiles that you can use depending on what you’re trying to do. A precision mode will give players finer control over movements but with a significantly reduced maximum speed, while cruise mode will do the opposite. Space Combat Maneuvering mode is the standard mode we have now, but it’d being improved to define your top speed based on your ship’s acceleration and mass. Developers also confirmed this week that they aren’t far from releasing the big Star Citizen Alpha 2.0 update.

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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mysecretid
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mysecretid

Armsbend Sorenthaz 
“like the other guy doesn’t have hands”
+1 for the strangely poetical turn of phrase there.

Nyphur
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Nyphur

Murmillo If it’s a standalone game which is a “multiplayer online battle arena”, how is it not a MOBA?

Armsbend
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Armsbend

Sorenthaz I’m not a pro I dont really care who is in these things.  I do enjoy watching their dedication though very much.  I am so glad I am not gifted enough in hand/eye to consider being a pro.  I think it is a dismal existence.

Sorenthaz
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Sorenthaz

Armsbend Sorenthaz Yeah basically Starcraft has been dominated by Korea for many years now and there’s not much that can be done because they’re simply far better at micro management and mechanical play.  Also a big factor is that South Korea takes esports very seriously compared to any other region, so professional players practice much longer than most other regions would do and they also hire professional staffing, coaches, analysts, etc. to help their pro players grow and maximize their skills/mechanics/etc.   
Any RTS-oriented game is pretty much bound to eventually get dominated by Korean teams.  DotA 2 *MIGHT* be an exception due to the massive depth and huge variety of play-styles/strategies that teams can use to win/counter their opponents, but there haven’t been many serious Korean teams getting into it yet.

Armsbend
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Armsbend

Sorenthaz they went f2p recently.  It really boosted them up the steam charts as well as Twitch views.  Obvious reasons :P

Armsbend
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Armsbend

Sorenthaz I was watching the Starcraft round of 16 for Blizzcon and the only ones left are Korean fellows.  When they play anyone else it is like the other guy doesn’t have hands.  Thanks for the write up I was just curious.

annoyedbadger
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annoyedbadger

Elite really is shaping up to be a stunning game.
The base game was good, but a bit basic, if stunning in scope and absolutely beautiful.
But what they’ve added since launch has really opened up the game, and with planetary landings and surface exploration and combat, along with industrial processes, the game is really developing at an impressive pace, especially given the relatively low resources its been developed with. Good team at Frontier,keep it up.

Oh, and when is my Union Jack ananconda skin being released? yes yes, gold is nice and shiny, but you cant beat a bit of British patriotism on your flying deathbarge.

annoyedbadger
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annoyedbadger

Murmillo well, the characters have a very moba feel to them, with special abilities and ultimates.
But definitions are so subjective, I’d not worry about it to be honest.

Murmillo
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Murmillo

Why are you calling Overwatch an FPS-MOBA Hybrid? There is nothing MOBA about that game… Yes it’s a multiplayer online battle arena, but so is WoW’s arena, is that a MOBA too? 

Anyway, I’m excited for Overwatch!

Sorenthaz
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Sorenthaz

Armsbend  The second one is pretty fun imo when I played around with it in July.  Heroes now have more of an impact so it’s not solely “plop down towers, sit behind them and wait”, and now you actually feel useful running about and shooting/hitting enemy waves.  It’s also grown more difficult/strategic/team-oriented, but the RNG is pretty annoying and there’s a lot of grindy aspects from what I experienced.   Since I played they changed up the leveling (adding like 25 more character levels and other stuff) and lots of other stuff, so I don’t know how good it is right now.   I have a spare alpha code or two I think that I could toss to people or maybe just give to MOP for giveaway purposes.