Not So Massively: Why are all these games still in beta?

Not So Massively title image
Dota 2 revealed its latest hero, Clinkz the Bone Fletcher, in this week's beta patch, while the Realm of the Titans beta was rudely interrupted by a security breach that saw thousands of passwords stolen. Blacklight: Retribution's fourth beta phase is now underway, and we have beta keys for those of you who haven't managed to get into it yet. Bloodline Champions celebrated the two-year anniversary of its first beta test this week, and developers revealed details of upcoming bloodline Headhunter.

League of Legends spilled the beans on its brand-new psychotic yordle champion Ziggs, the Hexplosives Expert, this week with a full gameplay reveal, art spotlight and patch preview. Diablo III seems slightly nearer to release this week with the news that Blizzard has cancelled BlizzCon 2012 in order to focus on getting the game to release as soon as possible. Heroes of Newerth player Fatmilk set a new world record by playing the game for 76 hours straight and raised pver $3,700US for charity as a result. Finally, the Rise of Immortals developers discussed the latest immortal, Ukkonen, and other topics in the first part of a new developer podcast series.

Dota 2 title image
The Dota 2 beta is now well underway, with new patches released almost every week. This week Valve released news of its latest hero, Clinkz the Bone Fletcher, a flaming skeletal archer risen from the dead in search of vengeance. If you're in the Dota 2 beta, remember to record your favourite game replays to video before the next patch as old game replays will no longer work in the game client once it goes live.

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If you're a fan of League of Legends' cute, fuzzy, and distinctly psychotic yordles, you're in for a treat this week. Riot Games revealed its next champion this week, the disturbing yet adorable Ziggs. This furry little explosives expert has a uniquely distressing grin, but it's not half as distressing as the ample supply of bombs he rains down on his enemies. In addition to an art spotlight on the new champion, Riot has published a gameplay reveal discussing his moves and a patch preview introducing the changes due in Ziggs' introduction patch.


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Blacklight: Retribution's fourth closed beta phase went live this week and is set to run until Thursday, February 9th. If you haven't managed to get into the beta for this exciting upcoming FPS, you're in luck. Head over to our official giveaway page to claim a beta key and register it over at the Blacklight: Retribution homepage to get started. While you're downloading the beta client, check out the latest developer video on heavy weapons below:


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The big news for Blizzard fans this week is that BlizzCon 2012 was canceled due to the company's packed development schedule. Hopefully this means we'll see Diablo III released soon, though Blizzard seems to have replaced this year's BlizzCon with its brand-new Battle.net World Championship e-sports tournament. For those in the Diablo III beta, patch 10 brought countless gameplay and itemisation changes this week, in addition to new potion graphics and class balance tweaks. Read the full patch notes for more details.

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Realm of the Titans has been very quiet for the past few months while it's been in closed beta. This week developers broke the silence to deliver the news that a security breach at its publisher Aeria Games has put everyone in the beta at risk. All players have had their passwords reset, so they'll have to secure a new one via the Aeria Games portal website.

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This week Bloodline Champions celebrated the second anniversary of its first ever beta test. Two years after its first shaky tests, the indie title has grown into a very successful competitive online game. To celebrate, Stunlock Studios released a sneak peek of its newest bloodline Headhunter yesterday after the Kill The King tournament.

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Popular Heroes of Newerth livestreamer Milkfat attempted to beat the world record for Longest Strategy Video Game Marathon this week with a target of 76 hours of playing HoN continuously. He beat the current record of 52 hours by a full day, setting a new record of 76 hours and 30 minutes hours. The whole event was streamed live on Twitch TV and raised over $3,700US for charity Doctors Without Borders.

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In part 1 of a new Rise of Immortals developer podcast, Petroglyph introduced its latest immortal Ukkonen and tackled important questions like "Why does Petroglyph hate Tzai?" Ukkonen is a high-mobility damage-dealer whose abilities center around lightning attacks. He was introduced in the latest patch along with new login screen graphics, a visually revamped website, and a brand-new game logo. This week players rejoiced as all alternate skins were reduced in price by over 60% in response to player feedback.


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.