Not So Massively: Grow a moustache for Movember

Not So Massively title image
Last week Diablo III revealed details of the three followers players can hire, including their abilities and items. Dungeon crawler Path of Exile released patch 0.9.3, bringing some much-needed gameplay changes in the run up to open beta. League of Legends made some changes to its "draft" game mode and celebrated the release of the Fizz patch with a champion spotlight on this aquatic champion. Heroes of Newerth revealed its own new hero this week, with a hero spotlight on potentially overpowered melee damage-dealer Lord Salforis.

Competitive Facebook MMO Dungeon Overlord officially released this past week following a long beta period. Meanwhile, Blacklight: Retribution is gearing up for its third closed beta session, due to run from December 1st to December 14th. Cartoonish team deathmatch game Brawl Busters honours cancer awareness event Movember this week by giving away free in-game moustaches. We have hundreds of moustache codes to give away, so grab a key to show your support for Movember. Finally, Rise of Immortals is launching a new contest with a top prize of a brand new Alienware laptop, and all you have to do to enter is play the game more than anyone else from tomorrow until December 21st.

Skip past the cut for details of this week's biggest news from the world of MOBAs and other big online games that aren't quite MMOs.

Diablo III title image
Blizzard continues Diablo III's trek toward release with a new teaser webpage detailing the three followers you can get in the game. Followers are Diablo III's version of Diablo II's mercenaries, and like their counterparts in the previous game, they can be given equipment to help buff their offensive and defensive capabilities. Each follower has one special focus item type that only he can use, and he can be equipped with either of two different weapon types. The Templar uses spears and shields, the Scoundrel fields bows and crossbows, and the Enchantress equips either a dagger or a staff.

Interestingly, the followers will gain abilities as they level up just like a player, and you'll have to pick between two alternative abilities every five levels. The Templar is a healer and tank that would pair well with a ranged class, the Scoundrel is a ranged damage-dealer that would pair well with a melee class, and the Enchantress is an all-round utility follower with crowd control, damage and shield abilities.

Dungeon Overlord title image
At the start of August, I took a look at an upcoming Facebook MMO called Dungeon Overlord. The game promised to merge FarmVille-style resource mechanics with competitive PvP, and when I gave the game a try, it did seem to tick both boxes. When I tried Dungeon Overlord, it was in early beta and had a long list of features to be implemented before official release. Developer Night Owl Games reports this week that the wait is finally over and Dungeon Overlord has officially launched.

League of Legends title image
With competitive season two now underway, Riot Games has added some much-needed tools for private tournament matches. The "draft" competitive game mode in which each team bans particular champions and picks its team from those that remain has had the ban limit raised to six, and AFK detection for custom games has been introduced.

Following this week's announcement that League of Legends has more active players than World of Warcraft, this week Riot Games launched the game's newest champion Fizz. In a champion spotlight video accompanying the launch, Riot delves into Fizz's abilities and makes suggestions for how to play him. Fizz is a melee assassin with extremely high burst damage, the ability to walk through creeps, and a move that completely dodges enemy attacks. Check out the official champion spotlight video below for more information.


Heroes of Newerth title image
Heroes of Newerth's patch 2.2.9 hit this week, bringing with it new melee damage-dealer Lord Salforis. He's able to deal insane burst damage with good timing, and as he's a strength hero, he will become very hard to kill toward the end of the game. His first ability, Mors Certissima, is a potentially abuseable AoE nuke (on a four-second cooldown) that deals massive damage in the early game. The balancing factor for Mors Certissima is that if the hit doesn't kill an enemy, he will regenerate some of the damage over the next few seconds. The high mana cost is supposed to make it difficult to spam this ability, but mana potions, power supply, a teammate with ring of sorcery, or a good Nymphora lane partner will quickly negate that.

Lord Salforis' second ability, Life Tap, applies a small slow to nearby enemies and a small movement speed buff to Lord Salforis. The hero's next basic attack will steal some life from the target and hit for superior magic damage that can penetrate any invulnerability effect. Lord Salforis' third ability, Presence of the Dark Lord, grants him passive health regeneration for each enemy hero nearby and deals magic damage split among all heroes in range. This helps cancel out enemy health regeneration in a team-fight while keeping Lord Salforis alive, and it can be used to chase down and kill fleeing heroes with little effort.

If you thought those abilities were broken already, Salforis' ultimate will probably make you punch your monitor. Lord Salforis applies a dot to the target that can't be removed or dispelled in any way, and the target cannot receive heals from friendly heroes or items while the dot is active. If someone dies to the dot, Salforis gets an attack speed buff that he can consume to heal himself instantly. Lord Salforis went live last Friday, and as with all new heroes, you'll have to buy him with cash through the early access system or wait almost a month and a half for him to enter the general hero pool.


Path of Exile title image
Path of Exile's patch 0.9.3 is now live, bringing with it a massive list of balance and gameplay changes. The team at Grinding Gear Games explains that the previous system required all characters to be wiped between major beta patches and that this would prove problematic once the game enters open beta and then release. Major gameplay systems have been revamped to remove the need to wipe characters when balance changes are made, including the removal of all level-scaling of abilities. A poorly built character with unlevelled abilities will no longer deal more damage just because of his base level, putting some challenge back in character design but making the game harder to balance overall.

Rise of Immortals title image
With the holiday season rapidly approaching, Rise of Immortals is offering players the chance to win a Christmas present worth fighting for. Petroglyph has teamed up with Alienware to offer prizes of Alienware mice and keyboards in the Rise of Immortals 2011 holiday challenge, with the first place winner even walking away with a brand new Alienware laptop. To win, all you need to do is rack up more gameplay time in Rise of Immortals than any other between November 22nd and December 21st. Petroglyph has added a generous helping of Petroglyph coins to the prize pool, giving 50 active players 1000 coins as runner-up prizes and every new player 200 coins for signing up during the contest.

Blacklight: Retribution title image
Upcoming online FPS Blacklight: Retribution has successfully completed two major closed beta stages and is rapidly approaching its third. Developer Zombie Studios announced that the next stage will start on December 1st and continue for a full two weeks. Anyone who managed to get a key to get into the first two closed beta stages will find himself able to log in during the third, but all progress from previous stages has been wiped.

Brawl Busters title image
We introduced team deathmatch game Brawl Busters back in August, taking a first look at its Team Fortress 2-style graphics and interesting classes. The game has now entered open beta, and this week we have a rather unusual giveaway for fans or readers giving the game a try for the first time. In its new MMOvember giveaway, developer Rockhippo is giving away hundreds of equippable moustaches for your in-game characters.

The giveaway is in honour of Movember, a month-long cancer awareness event that asks men to grow moustaches in an effort to raise money for charity. Head over to our official giveaway page to grab yourself a moustache key and head over to the "Redeem Prizes" page on the official Brawl Busters website. Before complaints of sexism in the team deathmatch workplace come flooding in, Rockhippo has even let female characters wear a moustache with pride.


Join us every Monday 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.