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With five weeks left until Diablo III launches, Blizzard started its pre-launch marketing campaign this week with a new series exploring each of the five classes. This week kicks off with a preview of the Demon Hunter. Meanwhile, Torchlight II revealed details of a new charge bar mechanic designed to keep a rapid pace of action, and dungeon crawler Path of Exile started gearing up for release with some tempting pre-order packages.

Penny Arcade made a guest appearance in League of Legends this week with a special comic introducing upcoming champion Varus. Riot also revealed the next champion due for release, armoured spectral warrior Hecarim. Rise of Immortals got the Penny Arcade treatment this week too when joke character Karapyss the Crabomancer was actually released. Bloodline Champions launched an Easter egg painting contest this week and asked players whether grades should be reset for the current competitive season.

Blacklight: Retribution officially launched this week and celebrated with the release of its first new gun, the heavy assault rifle. Finally, Wrath of heroes released its first hero spotlight video this week, introducing hybrid damage-dealer Nethys.

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New Diablo III launch site collapses under the weight of fans
With just over a month left until Diablo III is released, Blizzard launched its new "Darkness falls, Heroes Rise," minisite to get people excited. Fans can enter an art contest with some big prizes, or create a banner to unlock an exclusive in-game banner sigil that will never be given away outside this event.
Ready, aim, Firefall: Impressions of the closed beta
Last year at PAX Prime, I had the opportunity to get my hands on an early version of Red 5 Studios' upcoming MMOFPS, Firefall. The game's come a long way since then, having gone into closed beta shortly after PAX Prime.
Buffs coming for League of Legends' Kayle, Teemo and more
It's been a long time coming, but a major buff patch is about to hit League of Legends. The patch that will introduce new champion Hecarim comes with a whole host of balance changes to other champions and gameplay mechanics.
League of Legends IPL swings into Sin City
Las Vegas is welcoming League of Legends players with open arms as the best of the best compete in the next step of the Challenger Circuit: IPL 4. With $5 million on the line for the season, you can bet that League of Legends players are doing anything and everything they can to get a piece of that action.
The Summoner's Guidebook: Practice makes perfect
If you haven't noticed from previous editions of The Summoner's Guidebook, I emphasize practicing new techniques a lot. Practice is the only thing separating novice League of Legends players from experts.

Diablo III title image
With Diablo III's launch just over a month away, Blizzard has launched a new weekly series on each of the five classes: Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, and Wizard. This week's class is the Demon Hunter, a lone survivor from a demon attack on her village. She is now part of a group that will stop at nothing to rid the world of demons, using ranged weapons, bombs, and traps. Her offensive abilities are powered by Hatred, a resource that regenerates quickly, while her defensive abilities draw from a more slowly regenerating Discipline resource. While the Demon Hunter may not be able to take much of a beating, her abilities focus on keeping enemies at arm's reach and killing them from a distance.


League of Legends title image
Penny Arcade made a guest appearance in League of Legends this week with a special edition sneak peek of Varus, the Arrow of Retribution. There's no release date for Varus yet, but he'll probably enter the arena after the new mounted spectral warrior Hecarim, the Shadow of War. The new champion was revealed this week with an art spotlight, lore preview and full gameplay preview and will be released with the next major game patch.

Hecarim's passive ability lets him walk through other units, and grants attack damage based on his bonus movement speed from items. Devastating Charge makes Hecarim's spectral mount charge toward the target, increasing movement speed and adding knockback and additional damage to his next attack.

Rampage deals physical damage in an area; Spirit of Dread absorbs health from nearby enemies for a short duration. Hecarim's ultimate, Onslaught of Shadows, summons a horde of spectral riders that charge toward the target, dealing magic damage in a wide area and causing a fear effect.

Rise of Immortals title image
If you liked last week's Rise of Immortals April Fool's joke featuring Penny Arcade's Karapyss the Crabomancer, you're in for a pleasant surprise. This week, Karapyss was actually released in the game, proving that Petroglyph doesn't take itself too seriously. Karapyss is a tanky initiator with sustained damage output in teamfights and massive lane presence. His first ability, Deluge, silences a target and creates a field that reduces enemy movement speed and magic resistance. Using his Submerge ability, Karapyss can bury himself in the ground and regenerate health over time and then pop up underneath nearby immortals.

Karapyss really shines in teamfights with his cleave ability and a toggled ultimate spell that periodically deals damage to nearby immortals. Karapyss' signature ability also traps enemy players in a circle surrounding him, allowing him to drag enemies across the map for a short duration.


Blacklight: Retribution title image
Free to play FPS Blacklight: Retribution finally ended its long beta period this week and touted its official launch. Developers celebrated with the release of Blacklight's first new weapon, the heavy assault rifle, which can now be found in the cash shop. The response from players has been mixed, with some welcoming new weapons and others asking for balance changes on existing weapons before new ones are released.


Bloodline Champions title image
Bloodline Champions celebrates Easter this week with a new Easter egg painting contest. To enter, just post a photo of your BLC-themed painted egg in the official contest thread before April 18th for a chance to win some in-game goodies. This week the BLC team also gave a small sneak peek at the next bloodline and asked players whether grades should be reset for the new competitive season.

Path of Exile title image
Last week's Path of Exile public stress test was a massive success, with 46,911 players checking out the game during the 54-hour event and a mountain of tester feedback delivered straight to the developers. As launch is now rapidly approaching, this week the team at Grinding Gear Games released pre-order packages. Path of Exile will be free to play, so the packages contain microtransaction points and immediate access to the current closed beta. Larger packs also contain bonus extras like forum titles, soundtrack downloads, in-game pets, t-shirts, full boxed copies of the game, and even the chance to design items in the game.

Torchlight II title image
In this week's Torchlight II developer update, Runic Games talks about a new charge bar mechanic that will unleash powerful new abilities. The bar charges up as you kill enemies and slowly depletes if you take a break from combat. Each class can use this charge to perform different signature moves, such as the Berserker's Frenzy in the video below.


Wrath of Heroes title image
Wrath of Heroes released its first hero spotlight this week, introducing hybrid damage-dealer Nethys the Unsated. With a mix of close-range melee abilities and area-effect crowd control, Nethys heals herself to stay alive in a frantic battlefield. Check out the Nethys spotlight video below for information on each of her abilities, suggested mastery loadouts, and tips on playing her in a game.


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.