Not So Massively: Path of Exile's map system, D3 drop rates, and MOBA news

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Upcoming MOBA SMITE met some opposition from The Universal Society of Hinduism this week as the game lets players control the Hindu gods Kali, Vamana, and Agni. Developers also released Guan Yu this week, a new character based on an ancient Chinese general. Lord of the Rings-based MOBA Guardians of Middle-earth published its first gameplay trailer this week, showing classic DotA-style gameplay tweaked for console controls.

Diablo III released a hotfix this week that doubled the drop rate of valuable items in Inferno difficulty and made bosses more tempting targets. Blizzard also announced plans to address the use of gear-switching mouse macros that players have been abusing in magic find runs. Upcoming free-to-play dungeon crawler Path of Exile released exciting details about its endgame map system that is sure to take over from traditional magic find runs.

League of Legends celebrated the release of its Pulsefire Ezreal legendary skin this week with a half price offer and an updated Ezreal champion spotlight video. Dota 2 also continued its march toward release with the addition of two classic heroes: Luna and Wisp. Finally, Firefall reached a whopping 500,000 beta signups this week and impressed fans with an augmented reality technology demo.

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In a Diablo III hotfix this week, the drop rate of item level 61 to 63 loot on Inferno difficulty was dramatically increased. Item level 63 drop rates were increased from 2.0% to 4.8% in act 1, from 4.1% to 9.3% in act 2, and from 8.0% to 16.3% in acts 3 and 4. Players will now be more likely to find rares with the maximum stat budgets, even if they can farm only act 1. Bosses were also changed to drop one guaranteed rare item when players have four stacks of the Nephalem Valor buff and two additional rares when players have a full five buff stacks.

Tempted by the lure of the real money auction house, players have come up with some bizarre ways to get an edge in the hunt for valuable items. It's possible to use a mouse macro to instantly swap from your combat gear to a high magic find set. As long as the gear is swapped before the killing blow on an elite monster is dealt, the full magic find bonus of the second gear set is used. Blizzard is considering ways to tackle the issue and will be releasing a blog post in the near future with some of the proposed solutions.

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Path of Exile developer Grinding Gear Games released details on its replayable endgame map system this week. Maps are physical items that are used to open portals to endgame dungeons full of monsters, bosses, and loot. When consumed, a map opens six portals to the target location; each portal can only be used once by a single player. Players using the maps solo can return from the area to offload their loot and return through each of the spare portals, but a group of six players will get only one trip.

The system is designed to ensure you can bring at most six inventories full of loot home from the dungeon, so you'll have to be picky about what makes the cut. This should stop map dungeons from becoming a massive source of low-end items but keep them as the best place to find high-end items. Maps can also get item affixes that add bonuses to all monsters or players inside that dungeon, with an increase in drop rate to match the increased difficulty.

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Hi Rez Studios came under fire by a group named The Universal Society for Hinduism this week due to its depiction of the Hindu deities Kali, Vamana, and Agni. As SMITE is a MOBA in which players control various gods from real-life religions and mythologies, the studio draws characters from diverse pantheons like those of the ancient Greek, Chinese, Egyptian, and Norse people. COO Todd Haris confirmed that the iconic Hindu deities will be staying in the game, stating that "going forward SMITE will include even more deities, not fewer."

SMITE released some gameplay footage of its new avatar Guan Yu this week, a Chinese figure still revered in the country today. The video below shows off Guan Yu's main attacks using his signature halberd.

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Guardians of Middle-earth launched its first gameplay trailer this week, showing character selection and traditional MOBA lane mechanics. Each player also seems to be surrounded by a circle showing the range of his abilities and the area they'll affect when activated. This focus on primarily short-range aimed abilities may be a departure from the MOBA norm, but it could be necessary to merge MOBA gameplay with a console control scheme.

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This week's League of Legends patch brought some changes to the matchmaking system and reduced IP gains for short matches against bots. For the purpose of the IP nerf, a short game is less than 24 minutes on Summoner's Rift or 12 minutes in Dominion. The patch also added a few balance changes and quality of life improvements for various champions. Annie can now select Tibbers by activating her Summon Tibbers ability a second time, an improvement shared by Shaco's Hallucinate ability and Yorick's Omen of Death.

The Pulsefire Ezreal legendary skin has arrived, and until Wednesday, July 4th, you can pick it up for half price for 1625 Riot Points. To celebrate the skin's release, Riot Games has published a new updated champion spotlight for Ezreal explaining each of his skills and suggesting effective rune builds and tactics.

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Dota 2 released a double-dose of heroes this week as classic characters Luna and Wisp entered the field. The Dota 2 Herodex is also now live, so you can look up the stats and skills of each hero and see videos of each skill in action.

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Firefall reached an impressive 500,000 signups from beta-hopefuls this week, and Red 5 Studios promised to release a large number of beta invites to match the growing demand. Firefall programmer Jon Olick released a video this week of a very impressive augmented reality experiment that puts Firefall combat into the real world. The player can watch the battle from above and even fire an orbital laser cannon into the fray. While this is just a technology demo, the results are impressive, and the demo is said to run in realtime.

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This article was originally published on Massively.