's Jay Wilson stepped down
from his role as Lead Game Designer this week, revealing that he's been working on the game for over seven years and will now be moving on to another Blizzard
project. The rest of the Diablo III
team will continue to update the game with regular patches.
Patch 1.0.7 hit the public test realm this week and we finally got a closer look at the detailed patch notes
. The Wizard and Monk are getting some key ability updates, and the patch brings in new account-bound craftable gear made from Demonic Essence dropped by elite monsters. The new account-bound items include armour that can roll higher stats than rare drops, an item level 63 amulet, and a new Marquise gem tier.
Game development studio Gas Powered Games went to Kickstarter this week
to ask for $1.1 million US in funding for its action RPG Wildman
. The game aims to merge classic action RPG gameplay with RTS elements and will include online co-op multiplayer. Despite an initially slow reception, the studio has received an outpouring of support in the media and has now hit over 22% of its goal with 26 days remaining.
Gas Powered Games is best known for the Dungeon Siege
and Supreme Commander
series, and until earlier this month, it was developing ongoing content for Age of Empires Online
. When that project was canceled
, the studio no longer had the funds to keep its 50 staff on the payroll while developing Wildman
. The fate of the studio now rests on its success on Kickstarter as in a surprising turn of events, Gas Powered Games laid off 40 developers from its 50-man team shortly after launching the Kickstarter campaign. A video update from CEO Chris Taylor
explained the reason for the layoffs and divulged plans to potentially hire some of the laid-off employees back if the campaign is well-funded. Reactions to the video's blunt honesty have been mostly positive, with a few people decrying it
as emotional blackmail but most just writing in support of a studio whose future now rests in the public's hands.
With less than a week to go until Path of Exile
enters open beta, two Massively freelancers have given the game a whirl and delivered their first impressions
. Though the game may not officially be released for some time, January 23rd's open beta launch will include the game's final character wipe. As Path of Exile
is free-to-play, there will be a smooth transition to full release rather than a limited beta followed by publication. There's been a flurry of media activity over Path of Exile
in the lead-up to launch, and developer Grinding Gear Games
has now released the official open beta trailer below.
Following its recent revamp, Rise of Immortals
has now started pumping out new characters, maps, and game modes. The latest patch added the new All Random All Mid game mode
that forces all players to pick random characters and puts them in a new single-lane map. All-mid mode has proven popular in Heroes of Newerth,
where it provides faster matches with highly compressed action.
While game modes that force players to pick random heroes may be more fair to newer players, there's always a chance that someone will happen to get a hero she's exceptionally good at. To help combat this, Dota 2
has released its fun new Least Played game mode
. As the name suggests, this game mode forces players to pick from the heroes they have the least experience with. In addition to ending up with a much fairer game for new players, this mode should help people learn new heroes and get over the Dota 2
If you've always wanted to play League of Legends
competitively but weren't sure where to start, Riot Games has a new infographic explaining the process for its upcoming Season 3
tournaments. Teams will now fight their ways up through six competitive tiers, each divided into five divisions. At the end of the competitive season, the top 16 teams or players in each division will be placed into an online tournament to qualify for the championship series. All you need to start this journey is a level 30 account with access to 16 champions and a lot of skill.
Early details of new support champion Thresh
have now been revealed, including an interesting soul-stealing mechanic and a bizarre lantern-based escape mechanism. Enemy monsters and players who die near Thresh will occasionally drop soul essence, which Thresh can pick up to boost his armour and ability power. Thresh can also give nearby allies a small shield by dropping his lantern, which acts as an escape mechanism as any ally who clicks on the lantern will be pulled to Thresh.
Heroes of Newerth
's new agility hero, Bushwack, officially released to early-access puchasers last Friday. Bushwack is intended to be an auto-attack carry who can dominate a game if he gets a good enough farm, but so far players report that his damage is underwhelming
and his attack range is too low. Bushwack's Crippling Dart ability has a powerful slow to help him stay in range of enemies, but the low duration makes it a tricky ability to use well. His Splinter Shot passive also causes all basic attacks to split into three when they hit an enemy hero, making good positioning tricky.
Bushwack's main ability is his passive ultimate that adds poison damage and clearvision to every attack. The poison stacks multiple times on successive attacks and applies to targets hit by items like Frostfield Plate and Thunderclaw, but the damage isn't very high, and the clearvision serves a very niche purpose. Bushwack's Side Step ability lets him rapidly leap a short distance to position well for an attack, but players report that the leap doesn't disjoint incoming projectiles or targeted spells.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.