Not So Massively: MOBA closures, docking in Elite, and D3 at E3

Not So Massively MOBA closures, docking in Elite, and D3 at E3
Fans of indie MOBA Rise of Immortals were disappointed to learn that the game's recent relaunch has been a failure and developers have been forced to close the doors at the end of the month. Third-person SMITE is seeing more success with its own open beta, and this week it added new character Athena, the God of Wisdom. League of Legends announced its plans for DreamHack Summer 2013, and Machinima published an incredible documentary about famed tournament team Counter Logic Gaming.

Blizzard revealed this week that Diablo III will be coming to the XBox 360 on September 3rd along with the previously announced PS3 release. Path of Exile gave all players a free passive skill reset with patch 0.11.0 this week and officially started its first ever four month long Anarchy and Onslaught leagues.

David Braben discussed seamless docking transitions in a new Elite: Dangerous progress diary video this week and took on board outside investors to bolster its existing budget secured through crowdfunding. Star Citizen showed how its towering budget will be put to use with a video tour around the cramped studio that developers hope to move out of soon in search of a larger office space.

Rise of Immortals title image
Players of Indie MOBA Rise of Immortals were shocked yesterday to find out that the game will be shutting down at the end of the month. RoI was one of the first of the new wave of MOBAs, releasing in 2011 when the genre was just beginning to erupt with new titles. Despite getting into the scene earlier than several more recent competitors, the game had fairly limited success and didn't gain much traction in the media. A small community formed, and developers were able to continue updating the game with new characters and maps for some time after launch.

Noting that Rise of Immortals wasn't well-suited to traditional competitive MOBA gameplay, developer Petroglyph eventually decided that a total revamp was in order. The game was rebranded as Battle For Graxia and the gameplay was overhauled to more closely match the expectations of competitive MOBA players. The in-game community hub was replaced with a standard lobby and character picking system, and the PvE modes against AI were removed.

When the announcement went out yesterday that the game will be closing its doors at the end of the month, not everyone was shocked. Players noted that the community hasn't grown significantly following the relaunch, and developers confirmed that problems with player retention meant that the game just wasn't making enough money to keep the servers open. On a personal note, I've covered Rise of Immortals from day one of the Not So Massively column and will be truly sad to see it go. We can only hope that this blow doesn't spell the end of Petroglyph Games.

League of Legends title image
Riot Games has announced its event plans for League of Legends' DreamHack Summer 2013 presence this week, including a $30,000 US competitive tournament and a players-vs.-developers face-off. Riot will be based at the Logitech booth and will be running raffles, giveaways, and quizzes throughout the event.

If you've been following the League of Legends competitive scene, you probably know that North American competitive team Counter Logic Gaming is kind of a big deal. The group reached massive acclaim in the early competitive scene but went on to lose some key matches, and group tensions have continued to rise.

Following on from its touching interview with CLG member Doublelift, this week Machinima produced an incredible four-part documentary on the team itself and its league history. League of Legends fans have been urged to contribute whatever funds they can to the documentary team, which has already raised $24,528 at the time of this writing.


SMITE title image
For the past two years, third-person MOBA SMITE has been turning ancient gods and mythological heroes into iconic and recognisable characters. The latest addition to this growing roster of gods is Athena, the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom, justice, and law. In SMITE, Athena is a melee tank with a twist: After she uses any ability, her next basic attack becomes a ranged attack that passes through enemies in a line.

Athena's main damage-dealer is a charged dashing strike that also adds a stack of Block, an ability that lets her absorb incoming basic attacks with her shield. Careful micromanagement of these abilities will make Athena deadly in the right hands, but the learning curve for playing her is sure to be immense.


Star Citizen title image
In this week's episode of Wingman's Hangar, we got a video tour around the cramped Star Citizen offices and heard that the company is aiming to find a larger space to move development into as the project progresses. Developers also looked at some player-submitted spaceship models, and Chris Roberts himself answered player questions on topics like theft and beta NDAs.


Elite: Dangerous title image
In a new Elite: Dangerous video progress diary, CEO David Braben revealed that the studio has taken outside investors on board. David also answered several questions from backers and confirmed that docking with space stations will be done via a seamless transition rather than a loading screen. The latest development newsletter went into greater detail on how the team plans to visualise the docking process, and it discussed the various types of ship that will be available in the final game.


Diablo III title image
Diablo III's upcoming console release was originally announced to be for the PS3 and PS4, but this week Blizzard confirmed that it will also be coming to the XBox 360. Both versions feature four-player offline co-op modes and are scheduled for release on September 3rd 2013. The console versions of the game are surprisingly already far enough long in development for hands-on demonstrations and will be set up for attendees tomorrow at E3.

Path of Exile title image
Path of Exile's four-month-long Anarchy and Onslaught leagues have now officially started, offering a list of difficult challenges and an exclusive t-shirt reward for anyone who can complete them. This is the first long-term league for Path of Exile and its success may lead to further leagues similar to Diablo II's twice-yearly ladder reset. Patch 0.11.0 was also successfully deployed this week, granting all players a once-only full passive ability reset. If you're thinking of holding onto your reset and using it later, be warned that the reset will disappear if you apply or remove any passive skills from your character.

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.