Diablo III revealed further details of the game's difficulty modes this week, confirmed a Q2 2012 release target, and launched the Battle.Net Balance service. We also discovered new map restrictions coming to the beta that will stop players from playing with the map permanently open. Torchlight II's website was overhauled this week, and Runic Games revealed that the game's beta will be starting soon. Dungeon crawler Path of Exile continued its own beta this week with patch 0.9.6 and showed just how complicated its passive skill tree is with a new calculator.
League of Legends reveals Nautilus, announces Sona nerf
Riot Games adds a new champion to League of Legends' growing roster every few weeks to keep the game fresh, and this week Riot revealed the game's next champion Nautilus, the Titan of the Depths.
Diablo III will see you in hell... mode
If you were among the players put out because Diablo III seems too pretty to be hardcore, you'll be happy to know that Blizzard hopes to re-earn your love, not with art but with gameplay.
Diablo III sort of confirmed for Q2 2012
Looking for a definitive release date for Diablo III? So are we, and unfortunately Blizzard isn't cooperating. The best the company can come up with is Q2 2012.
Battle.net Balance boots up
Diablo III may not be out yet, but that's no good reason not to be filling up your virtual coffers for the day that it hits the streets! Blizzard has thrown the switch on Battle.net Balance.
Dota 2 fans were hoping for beta progress this week. Unfortunately, Valve was unable to deliver any updates as the team was busy installing new server infrastructure to cope with the increasing levels of beta participation. Valve assures testers that the gameplay team has been working hard this week despite the delay, and so the next patch will be extensive.
Dota 2 faced additional pressure this week as Blizzard Entertainment has lodged legal opposition to Valve's registration of Dota 2 as a trademark. Blizzard claims that the trademark DOTA "has been used exclusively by Blizzard and its fan community, under license from Blizzard" for the past seven years. Blizzard's claim alleges that "Valve seeks to appropriate the more than seven years of goodwill that Blizzard has developed in the mark DOTA."
League of Legends continues its world tour this week with a look at the Summoners of Singapore and Malaysia. These two nations are no stranger to DotA-style gameplay and have a history of competitive e-sports. League of Legends was introduced to the region in May 2010, and it's now one of the game's most well-established regions.
Firefall video dev diary shows Red 5 Studios' Mark Kern discussing the PvP ladder system and open-world PvE. "It's not just an MMO," says Mark, dropping his previous reservations about calling the game an MMO. However, he confirmed that the game's open-world co-op PvE will support only around 300 players and that the game will have a 5v5 or 15v15 PvP ladder tournament system that makes it more MOBA than MMO.
The beta is currently progressing to the point at which participants will get to take part in open world PvE, and that's when things start to get interesting. Players will be able to work together across servers to deploy structures in the open world that can push back the alien invasion and so unlock new areas of the map. The players will decide which areas they want to expand the game into, and then content will be developed for those areas. It's Mark's hope that players will continue to push back the invasion until the entire planet is revealed.
Blacklight: Retribution beta key over at our official giveaway page and sign up to get started. This week Zombie Studios released a new Intel Report video on the Piledriver map to help new beta testers get acquainted with the game. The video shows the location of the map's weapons depots and four choke points to avoid.
Diablo II, teleporting around with the map open and not really looking at the game's graphics? This week we learned that this won't be possible in Diablo III as we won't be able to display the fullscreen map overlay while playing. Blizzard announced that it "did not want to have the Diablo II scenario where people just stared at a dot on a map to guide themselves through an area." To stop this, Blizzard has made the map full-screen and opaque, and you can't move or use abilities while it's active.
Bloodline Champions video this week, make it Gornodd's official gameplay introduction video for new bloodline Headhunter. Gornodd won the right to make the official video with his fan submission to the Dreamhack Replay Montage contest, and he certainly does Headhunter justice in his latest piece. With commentary by Semmler, the video below introduces all of the new character's abilities and shows just how frantic Bloodline Champions gameplay can be.
Petroglyph reveals that the next immortal will be US marine John Kachanski, codenamed KAOS. Teleported into the battle against his will, John is the first immortal to be... er... mortal. KAOS is due to go live later this month; responses to the character's pending introduction to a fantasy setting have been mixed.
Torchlight II got a new website this week, and develoeprs started a new weekly video feature to update fans on the game's progress. In this week's video, Max Schaefer from Runic Games noted that the team is currently engaged in the laborious task of polishing the game content and balancing boss fights. He asks fans to be patient and bear with the team during development, stating that "the wait is going to be worth it and it's not going to be very long." According to Max, the team will be starting a short and small beta very soon, and we'll be able to see all of the improvements that have been made over the previous game.
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