Not So Massively: Path of Exile server upgrades, Dota 2 broadcasters turn to crowdfunding

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Path of Exile continued upgrading its servers to cope with the increasing load of new players following its open beta release, closing the servers for three hours this week to add several new database servers. Massively exclusively revealed Blacklight: Retribution's new Safehold and metro maps, and Firefall developer Red 5 Studios explained its development plans for the next quarter.

Rise of Immortals released a spotlight video on its new long-range mage immortal Undine, while Guardians of Middle-Earth showed off its latest two DLC characters Radagast the Brown Wizard and Glóin, father of Gimli.

League of Legends made some balance changes to its Honor system, which rewards players for being nice to each other. Riot also talked to some of Season 3's newest competitive players about what being a professional gamer means to them. Dota 2 finally got its long-awaited team matchmaking system this week, and community broadcaster Beyond The Summit launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay for full-time tournament broadcasting.

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Path of Exile continued experiencing periods of heavy lag this week because of high player load at peak times, prompting a three-hour downtime while developers added extra database servers. This was an exceptionally long case of downtime for Path of Exile, as developers are normally able to add new network servers and release patches with as little as one minute of downtime. Patch 0.10.0G was also deployed this week, fixing several unexpected disconnections and adding some new cosmetic microtransaction pets.

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League of Legends has traditionally punished toxic behaviour in games through its player-run banning tribunal, going as far as to ban some professional players from tournaments. Several months ago, Riot Games experimented with a similar positive Honor system that rewards players for positive behaviour. It was hoped that these rewards would make it more appealing for players to act positively in matches, and the system was an immediate success.

Reports of negative attitudes rapidly dropped by 29%, offensive language dropped by 35%, and verbal abuse has decreased by a whopping 41%. This week Riot Games made some changes to make it easier to earn the Great Teamwork, Leader, and Mentor quests but harder to earn the Honorable Opponent Crest.

The past few years have seen an absolute explosion of e-sports, with Dota 2 and League of Legends both pouring over a million dollars per year into their world championship tournaments. Many gamers dream of making a living playing their favourite games, and with LoL's Season 3 tournaments on the way, Riot visited with the professionals this week to get their take on what being a pro player means.


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Dota 2's long-awaited team matchmaking system is now live, allowing players to set up teams of five players and face off against other teams of equal skill. To match teams fairly against each other, the game assigns a public matchmaking score to each team based on its performance. Early data suggest that the quality of matches with pre-made teams of friends is higher on average than public games.

While Valve puts a lot of money into live event coverage for its annual world championship tournament event, there are dozens of smaller tournaments throughout the year. They may not have huge prize budgets or flashy stage shows, but smaller tournaments are often just as fun to watch thanks to great community commentators and livestreamers. This week Dota 2 event broadcaster Beyond The Summit launched a crowdfunding campaign on indiegogo to fund full-time broadcasting. The community response has been overwhelming, with the campaign hitting its 25k goal in just over 24 hours.

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Rise of Immortals released a new spotlight video this week delving into the gameplay behind its newest immortal, Undine. As a long-range mage, Undine is proficient at poking enemies from a distance and taking down groups of enemies in a teamfight. She has a combination of single-target skill-shot nukes and area-effect abilities, and she is rated as a very difficult character to learn how to play.

Undine's main damage-dealing ability is the skill-shot nuke Tidal Surge, which has such long range that it can effectively hit enemy immortals in the laning phase from a safe distance. In a teamfight, Undine can use Tide Pool and Hydro Pump to deal incredible area-effect burst damage. Fleeing enemies can be prevented from escaping with the Groundwater ability, which leaves a trail of muck that immobilises enemies who cross its path.


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Guardians of Middle-Earth has been live for over a month now, and developers have been experimenting since then with the release of DLC based on well-known characters from the Lord of the Rings lore. New characters include ranged spellcaster Radagast the Brown Wizard and melee warrior Glóin, father of Gimli. The videos for both characters show their abilities in action but are a little light on explanation of each character's mechanics.


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Massively exclusively revealed the next big Blacklight: Retribution update this week with a sneak preview of the Safehold and Metro game maps. The Metro map takes place in an old subway system, while Safehold is set in an open plaza and its surrounding buildings.

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Upcoming MMOFPS Firefall detailed development milestones for this quarter of the year. Plans include bugfixes and balance changes to the PvP matchmaking system and extensive PvE updates. New players will enjoy an updated tutorial designed to introduce players to the game in a more consistent manner and a new progression system that is easier to understand. Existing players can look forward to upgraded crafting mechanics, changes to how the Chosen respond to player-organised war efforts, and a ton of new social features like custom army names and chat channels.

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.