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.
It’s been a week of solid development for online gaming, with Hearthstone releasing its League of Explorers adventure and StarCraft II launching its standalone Legacy of the Void expansion. We got development previews of Diablo III‘s next big patch, Heroes of the Storm‘s new battleground, Splatoon‘s new maps and items, and Path of Exile‘s Talisman league. League of Legends revealed its next champion and details of some huge buffs on the way for six champions, SMITE revealed its next character, and Star Citizen just has a few issues left before Alpha 2.0 can be released. We also heard the latest from Dota 2, Chronicle: RuneScape Legends, The Division, Elite: Dangerous, Grey Goo, and others.
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StarCraft II‘s highly anticipated standalone expansion Legacy of the Void went live this week, concluding the game’s three-part storyline. A new co-operative mission game mode has been added that pits groups of two players against missions with objectives that need to be completed in order to win. A new multiplayer mode named Archon has also been added in which two players team up to control a single base, and a new matchmaking queue means you can also play this mode competitively online.
The expansion adds 10 new maps for competive play and the six new units Cyclone, Liberator, Adept, Disruptor, Lurker, and Ravager. The total level cap has also been increased to 150, and automated tournaments will now run in-game every two hours that reward the winner with league standing and trophies.
Blizzard announced that LOTV sold a million copies in its first three days.
— StarCraft (@StarCraft) November 13, 2015
Diablo III‘s massive Patch 2.4.0 has hit the public test realm and full patch notes have been released. The update will upgrade the size of several game zones, adds a new Greyhollow Island area, and introduces a series of set dungeons that players can tackle once they’ve got all six pieces of their class set gear.
The Action Combat gameplay available on console is now making its way to PC, and players will be able to empower rifts by spending gold. Every class has the usual laundry list of balance tweaks, and many legendary items are being buffed. Players will also be ahppy to know that more stash tabs will become available and cosmetic pets will start picking up gold for you.the release of The League of Explorers. This adventure adds 45 new cards and is split into four wings with a total of 13 new bosses between them. It also contains nine class challenges, new battlefields, a new card back, and the Discover keyword that lets the player draw from randomly generated cards that aren’t in their deck.
Heroes of the Storm is testing out its upcoming Towers of Doom battleground right now on the public test realm. The new map features a protective barrier over each team’s core that prevents players from damaging them. Instead, you win by capturing bell towers and then activating altars that cause your team’s bell towers to fire at the enemy core. Playtesting of the battleground will conclude on November 24th, when it will move to the live servers. The latest In Development video also gives us a sneak peek at upcoming heroes Cho’gall, Lunara and Greymane.the reveal of new champion Illaoi The Kraken Priestess, a powerful juggernaut champion who can spawn ethereal tentacles on the battlefield. get ready for Content Update 2.1.0. The patch will add a new Siege Ballista skill that summons a huge crossbow totem in addition to several other new bow skills, physical damage skills, and new chaos damage spells. There are also several new unique items and new support gems that have effects like converting curses into auras and converting elemental damage to chaos damage.
Content Update 2.1.0 will also mark the start of a new Talisman league event that turns the usual hunt for rare monsters on its head. The game maps will be peppered with Ancient Ezomyte Talismans, which are picked up by monsters and provide them with huge buffs. If you manage to kill a monster under the influence of a talisman, it will drop as an item and all nearby monsters will try to grab it, becoming similarly buffed as a result. If you manage to get your hands on a talisman, you can equip it as an amulet that comes with huge implicit mods. You can also sacrifice sets of talismans at stone rings to summon monsters that drop a talisman of one tier higher.this season’s SMITE tournament series will have a prize pool of $600,000 US. This tournament follows Hi-Rez’s commitment to making SMITE a more sustainable career option for professional gamers by spreading its cash prizes more evenly throughout the scene, and that’s certainly reflected in the prize breakdown. The first place prize for both the North American and European tournaments sit at $70,000 US, while the second place winner walks away with $55,000, third place with $40,000, and fourth place with a still-respectable $32,500. The runners up who make it to between 8th and 5th place will also still get between $20,000 and $25,000 each.
This week also saw the public test server release of new God Chiron, The Great Teacher. Based on a centaur from Greek mythology, Chiron’s SMITE counterpart is a great support character who heals nearby allies every time he uses an ability. His official reveal is expected to be released tomorrow, and he’ll be coming to the main server soon after a period of balance testing. The latest public test server patch also introduced a beta version of the upcoming Clash game mode and a much-requested change to allow a team to easily surrender if someone on their team disconnects from the match.
At the latest Nintendo Direct, the company revealed several big updates were on the way for its quirky online shooter Splatoon. Over new 40 pieces of gear have been added this week, including some winter clothes for your squidlings and bandanas. Two new maps were also announced during the event, with the Museum d’Alfonsino now released and the Mahi-Mahi Resort still to come. If that wasn’t enough, Nintendo also announced that an official livestreamed Nintendo Treehouse Splatoon Tournament will be coming to the game in December.
Predictions that Star Citizen Alpha 2.0 would release this week turned out to be a little optimistic, but the dev team is now down to just a handful of issues that need to be resolved before it can be released. Developers are working on fixes for various bugs with Quantum Travel, and have implemented a new Quantum Fuel system that could leave you stranded in deep space if you don’t pay attention to the fuel gague. The audio, animation and user interface are all complete and undergoing general bugfixing and polishing while the remaining gameplay issues are resolved.
- NCSoft Korea showed off gameplay and characters from its upcoming MOBA Master X Master, but there’s still no word on any possible western release.
- Nexon Japan’s online FPS Devil Third Online has now entered closed beta, and there are rumours that it’ll be brought to North America.
- Jagex’s new mobile competitive card game Chronicle: RuneScape Legends will be entering closed beta on November 25th.
- Online FPS The Division is still in development, and this week Ubisoft released a new Community Q&A video to answer fan questions.
- The Elite Dangerous: Horizons beta got a release date of November 24th.
- Online RTS Grey Goo released a series of new achievements.
- Dota 2 launched into the Group Stage of the 2015 Frankfurt Majors.