The Diablo III beta saw some big changes this week to bring the gameplay back into the spirit of its predecessor, Diablo II. Wrath of Heroes began gearing up for its fifth beta session later this week, while Blacklight: Retribution explored the fine art of stealing your enemy's hardsuit in a new video release. Firefall announced its condemnation of the Stop Online Piracy Act this week, adding its name to the list of opposition to the proposed legislation. Finally, Rise of Immortals got a make-over this week with a brand-new logo, launcher and login screen.
League of Legends began its new world tour series this week with a look at the game's Taiwanese community. LoL was released in Taiwan only six months ago, but already a sizeable community has grown up around the game. Incredibly, 5% of the total population of Taiwan has registered an account, and popular fansites in the region record over a million hits per day.
In its new Art of Revelry contest, Riot Games offers players the chance to win Logitech and Alienware gear. The contest is part of LoL's Lunar Revel holiday celebrating the new year and asks players to submit artwork themed around the Lunar Revel or a new year festival.
This week's patch introduced Sejuani, a jungling tank with impressive crowd-control capabilities. All of Sejuani's abilities slow the enemy, making her extremely difficult to escape if you're caught in an unfavourable position. Check out the Sejuani champion spotlight below for full details of the new champion's abilities and some tips on playing her effectively.
in a recent opinion piece, and every day more members of the industry speak out against the proposed law. This week Firefall joined the list of developers protesting SOPA/PIPA and condemned the ESA's support of proposals it originally said would "destroy the freedoms and rights of the internet community."
Diablo III, this week Blizzard announced several major gameplay changes being introduced to the closed beta with its next patch. Identification scrolls have been completely removed, with Blizzard instead giving every player the ability to identify items manually. The Mystic artisan who enchanted a player's gear has also been completely removed as the system didn't provide fundamentally different customisation options than gems and coming up with a new enchanting system would delay the game's release further.
Both the Cauldron of Jordan and the Nephalem Cube have been removed. These items used to let players sell and salvage gear without returning to town, but breaking up combat by returning to town periodically was a big part of Diablo II's charm. The blacksmith artisan in towns can now salvage items, but not white items, which should prevent players from having to return to him incredibly frequently. White items will now be next to worthless but will drop along with magic items to maintain the "loot pinata" feel from Diablo II
Heroes of Newerth released its new ranged intelligence hero Gravekeeper this week, but players will have to buy him for cash through the early access system or wait until February 17th to play him for free. Gravekeeper's first ability, Corpse Toss, throws a corpse at the target hero, stunning him for one second and dealing magic damage. Combined with his second ability that detonates all corpses in an area to deal magic damage to nearby enemies, this ability is sure to give Gravekeeper lane dominance against melee heroes.
Gravekeeper's third ability adds a slow to every autoattack at the cost of one stored corpse. Corpses are collected by running over them, and Gravekeeper can only have one at any time, but he can pick up the corpse from his previous cast of the ability to re-throw it. Gravekeeper's ultimate makes a horde of zombies appear and attack the nearest enemy hero, additionally leaving a huge pile of corpses ready to be detonated. For more information on Gravekeeper and tips on using him in a game, check out his official hero spotlight video below.
Wrath of Heroes approaches beta five, with tactics and alternate abilities due to be released for 10 more heroes. The fifth beta will begin on January 26th, and anyone who participated in previous tests should be able to access this one too.
Blacklight: Retribution released a new trailer this week exploring one of the upcoming game's key features: capturing enemy hardsuits. The hardsuits are powerful tactical weapons, and capturing one rather than destroying it could turn the tide of a battle. But how do you liberate a hardsuit from its current owner, who's using it to fill you full of bullets? Check out the video below for the gruesome details.
Bloodline Champions teased fans with a sillhouette of its next bloodline: Headhunter. Wielding what looks like two massive hand scythes, Headhunter is currently on his way to the test servers and will be released in just a few weeks. This week, the BLC team increased all XP gain by 50% permanantly in order to help separate players more effectively based on player skill.
Rise of Immortals got a makeover this week, with an all-new launcher, website and login screen. The revamp adds some much-needed professional polish to the game, which has seen growing popularity since its inclusion in Steam's free to play game list. Petroglyph revealed that upcoming immortal Ukkonen is due for release next week.
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