It seems like it's beta week this week, with the first round of invites already out on Firefall's public beta and the Diablo III public beta closing in. A short video of Diablo III and a series of screenshots were leaked by a member of the current "friends and family" beta stage, giving us a look at the character select screen and game creation options. This week Blizzard also opened the official Diablo III beta website, hinting that the beta will soon be accepting selected members of the public.
Bloodline Champions reveals plans for development in September, including first details on the revamped user interface, the updated new player experience and some new bloodline customisation options. The League of Legends crew returns from PAX this week to deliver more details on its upcoming Dominion game mode. Rise of Immortals finally gets an official release date of September 12th, leaving just one week for players to get into the open beta and claim their free prize for participation. In its first immortal spotlight video, the RoI team also gives details on area-effect nuker Vezin this week.
Skip past the cut for details of this week's biggest news from the world of MOBAs and other online games that aren't quite MMOs.
Diablo III's public beta rapidly approaching, this week Blizzard launched the game's official beta community website. The websites share a login space with existing Battle.net accounts, so if you have a World of Warcraft account, you can use that to log in. As is the case with Blizzard's other games, a separate website has been set up for EU players. In addition to providing discussion forums and updates on the game's release schedule, the website hosts a number of articles on gameplay and getting ready for beta. Fansite Diablofans has also published its own comprehensive article on what to expect from the Diablo III beta.
An ex-employee at Blizzard allegedly leaked footage and screenshots of the beta client this week, giving us a brief first look at character creation and the login system, along with another look at the game in action. Fansite Force Strategy Gaming has compiled a video of all the leaked screenshots and video clips along with some discussion on what new information we can glean from it. Check out the video below to get a sneak peek at the current state of the Diablo III friends and family beta that will undoubtedly soon open to the public.
Firefall at PAX Prime, developer Red 5 Studios released an update on the game's beta progress. In a follow-up post this week, the Firefall team announced that the closed beta is now underway and the first series of invites have already been released. Anyone who signs up to the beta on the website and is accepted will be able to invite one other person of his choice, but the additional invited player won't get his own invites to give out.
Stunlock Studios revealed several big changes on the way for Bloodline Champions in patch 2.0. Scheduled for release in just a few weeks, the patch brings a revamped user interface, combined regions to shorten matchmaking queues, and an adjusted new player experience. The level system is being rescaled, and a new starter quest will offer new players a free Bloodline for completing several easy achievements. A new traits and medialions system will allow players to somehow customise bloodlines, but the exact mechanics of the system haven't yet been explained. If you've ever wanted to know what Bloodline Champions is like to play, tune into next week's Not So Massively for our first impressions of this team-based MOBA.
Rise of Immortals open beta this week is that a full release date of September 12th has finally been announced. Players who participate in the open beta before the 12th will get $10 worth of free microtransaction coins and a limited edition immortal skin when the game goes live next week. Petroglyph has been giving players a sneak peek into the development of Rise of Immortals during the weeks leading up to launch with polls and reveals on everything from the gender of creeps to work-in-progress immortals.
This week Petroglyph released its very first immortal spotlight video, featuring Lord Vezin, the wraith of Graxia. Vezin is designed to be a close-range area-effect nuker for pushing lanes. Due to the large range of defensive items available in RoI, he can be alternatively built as a tank to farm the jungle and completely dominate team fights. To get the details on all of Vezin's abilities and recommended builds, check out the spotlight video below.
League of Legends: Dominion on the way, the developers at Riot Games have been keen to discuss the expansion's new features and the work going on behind the scenes. Last week's developer diary on the relic and shrine systems was followed up this week with an exhaustive interview on the design process behind the game mode itself. With the number of MOBAs on the market today, it's rare to see one change the standard DotA formula as much as LoL will with Dominion. Adding a new control point mechanic is an interesting idea, and this interview on the topic is definitely worth a read.
After a successful PAX week, Riot gets back into the swing of things with its 43rd summoner showcase video, featuring some awesome Orianna fanart. For LoL fans unable to make it to PAX, Riot has released a short recap video from the event. The LoL booth had PvP tournaments, competitions and tons of cosplay. Check out the video below for highlights from Riot's trip to PAX Prime.
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