Not So Massively: Dreamhack Winter 2011

Not So Massively title image
League of Legends launched season two this week and announced some pretty big changes to jungling with the upcoming Volibear patch. Developers have also removed the dodge stat from the game completely and refunded players the full price of dodge runes purchased. Despite the lack of official reveals for Diablo III this week, the news train kept chugging along as fansite DiabloFans dug around in the data files to discover details of the gem system. The first part of the game's official comic Sword of Justice was also released this week, with a limited 100,000-print run.

Bloodline Champions officially released Metal Warden this week and celebrated a successful tournament at Dreamhack Winter 2011. Heroes of Newerth was also at Dreamhack this weekend, with the finals of MSI's massive Beat It tournament and news released of a new HoNTour tournament series. Rise of Immortals released a spotlight on new immortal Pycon this week, and Facebook MMO Dungeon Overlord published a trailer to celebrate the game's official launch. BioWare's Wrath of Heroes celebrated its third closed beta event this weekend, and I was there to get some first-hand experience. Keep an eye out this week for my first impressions of this upcoming MOBA.

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.

League of Legends title image
Earlier this week, we covered the news that season two had begun, and we looked into the Volibear patch's changes to jungling. In a new Inside Design article, Riot Games developer Morello discussed the recent removal of the dodge stat. "Dodge only starts looking compelling when it can be stacked," explained Morello, "but when stacked too high, it completely (and permanently) shuts down a subset of characters." The stat has been removed, and players who have purchased runes that contain it have been fully refunded for their purchases.

Interestingly, the formula used to calculate dodge is also used for critical strike, but that stat will remain unchanged. Developers explained that while critical strike is random chance, it can still be countered by buying more armour. As dodge has no counter, it just adds a random element to combat that removes skill-based gameplay.

Diablo III title image
In the absence of official information reveals from Blizzard this week, fansite DiabloFans has been poking around in the data files to find information about the jeweler NPC and the various gems you can find throughout the game. Although none of these details is final and the Jeweler hasn't been officially added to the beta yet, the details look promising. Magic find gems make a return, this time being limited only to emeralds in helmets. Rubies placed in helmets grant bonus experience per kill, and topazes in helms make more gold drop, making it a tough choice to build for magic find before your character is max level.

The first of five issues of Blizzard's Diablo III comic Sword of Justice was released this week in a limited edition 100,000-issue run. All copies have already sold, but some have appeared for resale on eBay. The comic is being produced by DC Comics, and when all five issues are out, they will be compiled into a mass-produced graphic novel. If you can't wait that long to get your fill of Diablo artwork, check out the incredibly impressive Diablo fan costume below.


Bloodline Champions title image
Metal Warden officially released this week ahead of the Dreamhack Winter 2011 weekend. The Bloodline Champions tournament at Dreamhack went off without major problems, with live streaming of every game via Twitch TV. If you missed the tournament or just want to see what competitive BLC gameplay is like, you can watch the recorded matches online.

Heroes of Newerth title image
Fresh on the back of the $20,000 unofficial HoNWars tournament, S2 Games will be rolling out its own official Heroes of Newerth tournament named HoNTour. The beta stage for HoNTour features a whopping $100,000 US prize fund for 10 events over the course of two months. Registration is open now, and we've heard that there will be varying tiers of difficulty, but unfortunately S2 has neglected to reveal any details of the tournament itself.

The event has been restricted to certain countries for legal reasons, with the permitted countries limited to a small group selectable on the signup page. If your country isn't in the list, you unfortunately won't be able to participate in the tournament. The finals of this summer's MSI Beat It HoN tournament also took place at Dreamhack Winter this week, pitting the top teams from the summer tournament against each other in a bid to win a massive cash prize. Favourite Fnatic.MSI won the tournament as expected, defeating Frenetic Array two games to one.

Rise of Immortals title image
Pycon has finally arrived on the scene, and this week Petroglyph celebrates his release with a new immortal spotlight. The melee tank immortal has significant damage potential and a supportive shout ability to buff nearby allies. His signature ability interestingly grants him charges that increase his damage as he tanks damage, making it essential to build Pycon as a tank if you plan to take out enemy immortals quickly. Check out RoI's Pycon immortal spotlight video below for more details.


Dungeon Overlord title image
Competitive Facebook game Dungeon Overlord officially launches this week and releases its anticipated Heart of the Mountain update that allows players to officially take over an entire mountain and tax other players who live there. To celebrate the official release, Night Owl Games has posted the trailer below.


Wrath of Heroes title image
BioWare's foray into the MOBA scene with Wrath of Heroes was unexpected, but the Warhammer-based competitive game has already entered closed beta. The third beta took place this weekend, and I got some hands-on time with it to find out how it matches up to other games in the genre. Keep an eye out in the Not So Massively category this week for my first impressions of the Wrath of Heroes beta, including screenshots of the game in action.

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.