Not So Massively: Updates ahead for Firefall, Diablo III and more

Not So Massively title image
This week Firefall gave fans an inside look at what each of its development teams is up to for the next development cycle, revealing a strong focus on PvE content. Path of Exile ran another public stress test this weekend to see how the servers would cope with a full-scale deployment, and Blacklight: Retribution's $30,000 US 30 days of fight contest has officially ended.

Diablo III developers gave a sneak peek of the upcoming patch 1.0.5 update, which aims to reduce monster damage, rebalance defensive abilities, and introduce "uber" versions of several bosses. Players also found a way to farm treasure goblins this week with an odd quirk of the Puzzle Ring legendary.

Upcoming MOBA SMITE revealed details of Thor, god of thunder, in a new video. League of Legends officially released its devestating new dark mage Syndra this week and started a new video series that asks professional players about their favourite champions. Finally, Wrath of Heroes introduced new Dark Elf assassin Zathis and detailed its new Alchemy system, which lets players convert their old tactics and masteries into something useful.

Firefall title image
This week, Firefall developer Red 5 Studios revealed intimate details of its current development targets. Teams of developers are currently assigned to areas from PvE content to matchmaking systems and server scalability. The next Firefall development milestone will feature an updated dynamic incursion system, all-new creatures, new achievements, and an updated PvE reward system.

Path of Exile title image
Path of Exile's beta patch 0.9.12 went live this week in time for its latest public stress test weekend. These periodic public tests are used to see how the game servers cope with heavy load, as Grinding Gear Games already has plenty of closed beta testers to provide gameplay feedback.

Diablo III title image
This week Blizzard released a sneak preview of Diablo III's next major patch. Upcoming patch 1.0.5 will contain changes to many of the defensive abilities players currently see as mandatory, and some old features from Diablo II will be making a return. The Infernal Machine is a new device that will let players battle tough "uber" versions of some of the game's bosses, a throwback to the previous game's Uber Tristram update. A new Monster Power feature will also let players scale the game's difficulty up in exchange for added rewards and will work similarly to D2's "players X" command.

In a separate dev journal, Senior Technical Game Designer Wyatt Cheng gave details of the defensive ability changes coming in the patch. Wizard's Energy Armour and Barbarian's War Cry are both being nerfed as they're currently seen as mandatory for almost every character build. Energy Armour is being nerfed in effectiveness by around 21%, and War Cry's Impunity rune will lose most of its resistance bonus. To compensate, damage on monsters across the board is being reduced by 25%.

The legendary Puzzle Ring added in patch 1.04 has fascinated players with its ability to periodically summon a treasure goblin when the player is hit. The summoning ability is rare and unpredictable, but this week a player revealed his method for farming the goblins. He stands in a doorway as melee skeletons crowd around him, causing the treasure goblins to spawn far enough away that they aren't spooked and won't run away. After five hours of being hit, the player collected a room full of around 40 treasure goblins.

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Blacklight: Retribution released episode three of its new weekly video podcast series, and this time it has a name. The community voted on what to call the podcast last week, and the name Blacklight Overwatch won by a landslide. This week's episode introduces the dart gun's thumper ammo, which deals all of its damage in one hit, and a new flare round that burns for damage over time. The 30 days of fight event is now officially over, with 30 players having each won $1,000 US just for playing the game.

Smite title image
Upcoming MOBA SMITE revealed its next character to be released, and it's one that players have been asking about for a long time: Thor, god of thunder. Wielding his colossal hammer Mjölnir, Thor is a powerful physical fighter with a mix of both melee and ranged abilities. Thor gains 20 physical power for each nearby enemy god, up to a maximum of 60 bonus physical power for some serious damage output in teamfights.

Mjölnir can be thrown in a straight line to deal damage both on its way out and when it returns; players hit by the hammer as it's thrown will take bonus damage if they're also hit when it comes back. Slamming his hammer into the ground, Thor can create a barrier of stone spikes in a line to block an enemy's retreat. Thor's ultimate ability lets him fly into the air and select a far-away target on the ground to come crashing down on. Check out Thor's official reveal video below to see each of his moves in action and how he fares in real gameplay scenarios.

League of Legends title image
In the lead-up to the League of Legends season two World Championship tournament in October, Riot Games has released the first of a new video series that asks professional players to talk about their favourite champions. This week's first episode features Dyrus from Team SoloMid, who introduces his favourite tank champion, Singed.

This week also saw the release of new champion Syndra, a devastating mage who uses clever placement of dark orbs to deal massive burst damage. Syndra's signature damage-dealing ability is Dark Sphere, which deals damage near the target location and summons a dark orb there. Syndra can then pick up the orb using Force of Will and hurl it at enemies to deal additional damage and apply an area-effect slow. If there are no orbs around, Syndra can toss an enemy creep or neutral creep instead.

Scatter the Weak damages and knocks back all dark orbs and enemies in a cone in front of Syndra, and any dark orbs pushed are empowered with additional damage and a stun. Her ultimate ability, Unleashed Power, fires the three dark orbs that orbit Syndra at a target enemy. Any additional nearby orbs that have been summoned will also be fired for extra damage.

Wrath of Heroes title image
This week's Wrath of Heroes update introduces Dark Elf assassin Zathis and a new Alchemy system that lets players sacrifice unused masteries in exchange for XP. Adding five copies of the same tactic to the Alchemy table will produce the elite version of that tactic, and a mixture of two and five elite tactics can be gambled for one random elite tactic.

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This article was originally published on Massively.