Not So Massively: Path of Exile’s Ascendancy expansion (November 23, 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.

Path of Exile revealed details of its upcoming Ascendancy expansion and its new procedurally generated labyrinth system this week. Star Citizen also finally released its alpha 2.0 patch to the public test servers and revealed its expected launch date for the patch’s final release. Destiny increased legendary drop rates with Update 2.02 and added some interesting hints at its upcoming refer-a-friend system rewards. Dota 2‘s $3,000,000 Frankfurt Major tournament was won by an unexpected newcomer from Europe, and one of the losing teams kicked a member for leaking game strategies and other instances of misconduct. And as if one player controlling two characters wasn’t difficult enough in a MOBA, Heroes of the Storm‘s new character Cho’Gall actually allows two players to control one character.

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.

pathofexile

This week we heard news of Path of Exile‘s upcoming Ascendancy expansion, which promises to add a massive procedurally generated labyrinth full of traps, puzzles, and hidden secrets. Rather than adding a new act to the story, this expansion’s content is focused on the labyrinth and the trials required to unlock it. The procedurally generated nature of the dungeon should keep it fresh for at least the next several months, and is sure to make an impact on the game’s seasonal race leagues. The expansion is due for release in early 2016 and will also introduce new gems, enchantments, items, challenge leagues, and boss battles. Check out Massively OP’s in-depth look into the expansion for more details.

As you level up in Path of Exile, you’ll probably find that the original starting skill gems are quickly outclassed by other skills with more specialised properties such as larger area of effect. Grinding Gear Games is now trying to solve this problem through the introduction of new Threshold Jewels that augment certain skills. The jewels are inserted into sockets in your passive skill tree and are only activated if you reach a certain threshold of stats in range. An example would be a jewel that increases the area effect of the Fireball skill but requires 50 intelligence points to be unlocked nearby in the skill tree. This allows those old skills to remain competitive at high level without disrupting the balance of low-level play.

starcitizenStar Citizen‘s big Alpha 2.0 update is finally ready, and has been deployed to the test server in a limited roll-out. All development teams are now working only on bug-fixes and polish while the number of participants in the testing is gradually being increased to ensure that it’s ready for the heavy load of a live rollout. This version of the game includes a small area of space with several combat and research missions, random space encounters such as pirates, several newly-playable ships, and three space stations to dock at.

The full public rollout of the Alpha 2.0 update is expected to be released some time within the next week. Star Citizen‘s funding level also reached the $95 million mark this week following a new ship sale, and we heard details on how ship repair and maintenance will work in the persistent universe.

destinyDestiny‘s much-anticipated crucible patch went live this week with Update 2.02. The patch increases the drop rates of Legendary items in the normal crucible and the Iron Banner considerably. The Banshee-44 gunsmith also now sells weapon parts in exchange for Glimmer, and there are new emotes and emblems for the upcoming refer-a-friend system.

dota2The $3,000,000 Frankfurt Major tournament took place this week, with European newcomers OG unexpectedly taking first place. OG was a new team formed for the Frankfurt Major from the members of former competitive team Monkey Business. Most of the squad got their starts in the original DotA or the Heroes of Newerth‘s competitive scene and have moved between various squads throughout their e-sports careers. The team was one of eight competitors who were not invited to the tournament but instead fought to secure their places a qualifier round. Despite being knocked down into the lower bracket by a first-round loss to Vega Squadron in the group stages, OG went on to defeat Fnatic, Mineski, Virtus Pro, CDEC Gaming, EHOME, Evil Geniuses and Team Secret to claim the top prize of over a million dollars.

In the wake of the tournament, professional team Cloud9 have let go member Ravi “Ritsu” Kodippili amidst allegations of misconduct. Ravi is accused of attempting to manipulate the North American Dota 2 scene to get rid of his team’s new rival Digital Chaos and was found to be leaking information on DC’s strategies obtained from private practice matches. Though these matches are not necessarily secret, Ritsu was shown to be sending the information to other North American teams in an effort to stop DC them from qualifying for upcoming tournament The Summit 4. The announcement comes after Cloud9 was knocked out of the Frankfurt Major tournament in straight losses.

heroesofthestormHeroes of the Storm released a major patch this week, tweaking the upcoming Towers of Doom game mode and rebalancing several heroes. The patch includes sweeping changes to how stats scale as you level up, increases to respawn time for characters of level 10 and below, and replay files should no longer be made incompatible by future patches.

The update also includes new hero Cho’Gall, a two-headed Horde ogre from the Warcraft universe. Cho’Gall is the first character to be controlled by two separate players, with one player using each head. Whoever’s controlling the head named Cho is responsible for moving the character and has four abilities to activate, including a Rune Bomb ability that throws a magic ball at enemies. The player in charge of Gall can detonate the Rune Bomb for a burst of area-effect damage and has several of his own damage-dealing spells.

inothernews

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxEMRTCPKg0

 

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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Geoff Dassad
Guest
Geoff Dassad

Siphaed Or you could communicate with your team-mate. AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
HEATHEN. burn heathen burn. What heathen would communicate with your team-mate. BURN THE HEATHEN,
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAArgh… . . . . . . . .
In other news, best MP ever is playing with friends against friends.

orionite
Guest
orionite

Armsbend Malachap Personally, I hate trading. Not so much the  buying. As you said, if you use poe.trade, then it’s really not that onerous. However, in my 500+ hours of playing I think I amassed about 3 ex and maybe 50 chaos (those are currency items for you non POE folks) and of course oodles of augs, alts, etc. I have tabs and tabs full of gear (mediocre to ok) and the only way to raise more money, would be to sell that stuff. That’s where I lose interest. I don’t want to be setting up and maintain a shop thread, I want to play the game.
I’m hyped for Talisman and Ascendancy, but every time I reach the 60s with a char, I hit that wall, where you need a good 5L or 6L or specific unique. Drop rates are calibrated based on hard core (grinding) and group play, so as a casual solo player you have to accept that you will eventually have to roll another char and there will be no “end-game” for you.

Armsbend
Guest
Armsbend

Malachap trading is the reason i still play.  you dont have to participate but you can.  one side of your mouth says it isn’t complicated while the other side is saying it intimidates you.

poe.xyz solves all of the problems you brought up.  there is a menu for online trading or not.  dont want to haggle?  then choose buyout option only.

shrug.

Malachap
Guest
Malachap

Armsbend Dookii qweazdak

Armsbend
Guest
Armsbend

Grey Goo info is a few days too late.

Armsbend
Guest
Armsbend

Dookii qweazdak atmosphere, build diversity, developer interaction with fans, cost to the consumer (zero dollars), complicated crafting, complicated trading, races, constant updates

Estranged
Guest
Estranged

Gosh, I love it. Been practicing with someone and making great head way.
Well, the whole point is for the mage to have a driver and tank.
Also, the bomb announcement is made. It isn’t random. Practice more. Have been watching pro vids. Picking the right heroics that compliment your team is devastating.

Dookii
Guest
Dookii

qweazdak I always sa POE as a cheap diablo knock off. I tried it out (for only a hour i admit) 2 days ago and that didnt change that idea about it. So i am asking , what is it that is making POE so great?

Dookii
Guest
Dookii

Veldan BKone SallyBowls1 well he did say “first mass market VR headset” ;)

Dookii
Guest
Dookii

SallyBowls1 It is also very limited in its VR capability has almost no software atm and is insanly expensive. Ofc its a phone that doubles as a VR headset but even as a phone it has its issues. The on eofr me would be that is huge.