Welcome to Not So Massively, our weekly roundup of the top news from popular multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs) and other multiplayer online games that aren't quite MMOs. Published every Saturday, the column covers games such as League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, Defense of the Ancients, Bloodline Champions, and more.

There are plenty of games out there that are almost MMOs but have a different take on persistence or aren't quite massive enough. Last week saw the start of Not So Massively, our brand-new weekly column dedicated to all those games that aren't quite MMOs. We covered some exciting news from a variety of multiplayer online battle arena games, including the results of League of Legends' charity drive in aid of Japan, a first look at a new hero on the way for Heroes of Newerth, Rise of Immortals officially launching closed beta, and development plans for Bloodline Champions.

In this week's Not So Massively, I look at Heroes of Newerth's Engineer changes, League of Legends' new champion Brand, and first details of Rise of Immortals character Ichorr.

Patches 2.0.23 and 2.0.24 went live this week, bringing with them a whole host of balance changes and other sensible updates. The bastard sword and halberd items have been removed from the game, and their places in certain recipes have been taken by the broadsword and warhammer, respectively. Minor balance tweaks, bug fixes and cosmetic changes were made to many heroes and items, but some big changes came to Engineer.

Engineer's third skill, Tinker, has been replaced with a brand-new Spider Mine ability. He can have up to nine of these stealthed mines active at a time, and they remain dormant until an enemy comes within range. The mines then activate, lose their stealth, and chase the target until they make contact, whereupon they'll explode and deal a considerable amount of damage. This new ability is sure to completely change the way Engineer is played, encouraging the use of mind games to lure enemies into your mines.

The other big news of 2.0.23 is that that Nomad is finally live and playable. We looked at Nomad's abilities last week, but if you'd like to see him in action, watch the official Nomad hero spotlight, embedded below in HD. The end of the video also shows the new Engineer spider mines in action.


It's been a busy news week for League of Legends, and not all of it has been positive. The LoL servers have been experiencing severe stability problems throughout the week, interrupting many players' normal activities. In response, Riot Games has given all players who have logged into their accounts within the last 30 days 350 Riot points to spend in the game's cash shop.

Riot Games has released a deluge of new videos this week, including a vague first look at the upcoming Monkey King champion. Continuing the tradition of development transparency, a new art spotlight was released this week featuring new champion Brand, the Burning Vengeance. The video shows the creation of a piece of concept art from start to finish. As expected, Brand's release has been accompanied by a new champion spotlight video showcasing his unique abilities and roles. If you'd like to find out more about this new ranged AoE nuker, watch the spotlight video embedded below in HD.


Rise of Immortals entered closed beta phase last week, and already developer Petroglyph Games has begun pumping out more information on the game. In an exclusive with Curse, Petroglyph revealed the first details of Ichorr, a strength character with a focus on both tanking and healing. The character's abilities haven't yet been fleshed out, but a lot can be inferred by the names and icons released. The biggest news for RoI this week was the release of a new community interview with the game's developers. Interested players asked questions about the game's development focus, and Petroglyph took the time to respond. Issues tackled in the interview include PvE content, instanced dungeons, the game's focus on PvP, and what makes RoI different to other MOBAs.

Join us every Saturday for Not So Massively, our roundup of the top news from popular online games that aren't quite MMOs. If you think there's a game we should be covering in Not So Massively or you've found some interesting news you think deserves attention in the next roundup, please mail the details to brendan@massively.com.

This article was originally published on Massively.
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