Not So Massively: Star Citizen, MOBA heroes, and no PvP for D3

Not So Massively title image
Sci-fi sandbox Star Citizen secured $2.1 million US on Kickstarter this week, adding to the $4.1 million in crowdfunding the game has already received. League of Legends released new champion Zed, a deadly assassin who can summon his own shadow as an ally, and SMITE unveiled the hilarious Bacchus, Roman god of wine, lewd behavour, and madness. Valve announced a new Dota 2 chat feature that promises to break down the language barrier between MOBA players in different countries, and a new strategy threatens to upset the game's map balance in favour of the Radiant side.

As developers geared up for next month's launch, Guardians of Middle-Earth looked back at the PAX 2012 tournament that pitted the fresh-faced general public against a team of professionals. With the end of the year fast approaching, there are still no signs of Diablo III's promised PvP arena patch despite assurances that it's still under development. Path of Exile will open to the public next month, complete with its own PvP arenas and three finished acts. Developers showed off part of the third act this week in a new Build of the Week video.

Star Citizen title image
Sci-fi sandbox Star Citizen completed its Kickstarter campaign last night, securing a whopping $2.1 million US from fans. This adds to the $4.1 million that developer Cloud Imperium has already received through its own crowdfunding campaign. Star Citizen isn't a traditional MMORPG, but developers say it will integrate some of the best parts from both MMOs and single-player games.

In addition to playing on the single persistent, dev-controlled server, players will be able to launch their own persistent universes as private servers. This approach has been used successfully by Minecraft and other games to reap all the rewards of great multiplayer without the ongoing cost of running official servers.

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League of Legends released new champion Zed this week, a deadly assassin with the unique ability to summon his own shadow as an ally. The shadow will duplicate Zed's attacks, and any shadow attacks that hit an enemy champion will refund a portion of the ability's mana cost. Zed can even swap positions with his shadow at any time, using it for a quick getaway or even to chase down enemies.


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One of the challenges of launching a MOBA in multiple countries around the world is breaching the language barrier between nations. League of Legends has seen incredible worldwide success with its localised releases, but language barriers still exist within each game region, and MOBAs rely on clear and quick communication.

Dota 2 plans to tackle this problem with a new multi-lingual chat wheel feature. Players can quickly bring up the wheel and select from pre-set commands like "Push" and "Need wards," which each player then sees in his own language. You can help decide what commands appear on the wheel by submitting your most commonly used chat phrases.

Players have noticed that teams playing Radiant appear to have gained an advantage since patch 6.75 went live. Game win percentages have always been split almost exactly down the middle, but 59% of games since the patch have ended in a Radiant win. The problem may have been traced back to an emerging strategy in which Radiant players pull a neutral creep camp to the mid lane. This strategy doesn't work on the Dire side of the map and so threatens map balance. Heroes of Newerth faced this problem years ago and was forced to patch it out.

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While most of SMITE's gods are warriors and mystics, not all of them immediately appear to be suited for battle. In a new God Reveal video this week, Hi-Rez Studios introduced Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, lewd behaviour, and madness. Using the ancient power of getting completely plastered, Bacchus is a hilarious but highly effective tank. His passive ability is the aptly named Drunk-o-meter, a buff that scales up in power as he gets more drunk. Bacchus can periodically drink from his wine jug to increase his meter and get a short buff to his physical damage, and he automatically takes a drink when he kills an enemy god.


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Developer Monolith Games is breaking new ground with its upcoming console MOBA Guardians of Middle-Earth, so who better to ask for help than professional MOBA players? Several months ago, Monolith flew a team of professional gamers out to its studio to playtest the game and offer feedback. The game was quickly refined based on that first round of feedback, and the players noted significant gameplay improvements in the second round of testing.

The professionals then jetted off to PAX 2012, where their skills were put to the test in a tournament against event attendees. The tournament was surprisingly even-handed, with the general public picking up the game quickly enough to give the professionals a serious challenge and even beat them.


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Back in April, Blizzard promised Diablo III players that they would get PvP arenas by 2013, but with the year rapidly drawing to a close, practically no information on the arenas has yet been released. Blizzard assures players that PvP is still in the works and that a blog update will be posted closer to release time.

If you're having trouble killing Diablo III's new Uber bosses or collecting the parts to build the Internal Machine, a new video has surfaced that will make you green with envy. The video below shows a Barbarian solo-killing all six of the Uber bosses on Monster Power 10 in under 11 minutes.


Path of Exile title image
Path of Exile ran two hardcore ladder race events this weekend and delivered its first 200 supporter packs to players who donated to the game's crowdfunding campaign. Developers also showed off parts of the game's upcoming third act in a new Build of the Week video, introducing a desert city zone infested by spiders and giant snakes.


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.