Diablo III developer Wyatt Cheng revealed on the game's forums that a sizeable nerf may be incoming to lifesteal, life on hit, and life regeneration as part of an ongoing effort to reduce the spikiness of incoming damage. Path of Exile embraced its livestreaming popularity with the release of full in-game Twitch integration that includes Twitch chat in game chat. Massively sat down with Firefall developer Red 5 Studios this week to discuss its open beta and fan concerns on keeping pay-to-win items out of the cash shop.
League of Legends gave players a second chance to transfer to the new Russian server for free and introduced a great new change to Baron coming in the next patch. Dota 2 prepared for its $2.6 million US world championship tournament with new features added to the tournament's digital compendium. Heroes of Newerth released a new devblog on upcoming Patch 3.2 and its plans to completely revamp underused Djinn hero Saloman. Russian MOBA Prime World announced that its western open beta will kick off this week on July 26th. And after rebranding the game as a MOBA, End of Nations' developers argued that the game hasn't actually changed much at all.
Star Citizen officially stopped selling ships with Lifetime Insurance with the release of its new website, existing backers have been permitted to continue purchasing insured ships until November 28th. Some supporters have taken advantage of this offer by buying ships for friends, while others have been reselling them to the public for a profit. Developers still permit this practice but have determined that the risk of scamming is too great to officially support it on the RSI website. Forum threads offering to buy or sell ships will be closed from now on, and anyone buying a lifetime insurance ship at auction does so at his or her own risk.
When Chris Roberts started the Star Citizen project, he offered personal meetings and conference calls to the top reward tiers. So many people have now pledged for some one-on-one time with Chris that he can no longer afford to give out any more of these rewards. On July 31st, the $1,000 to $5,000 tiers will have their personal meeting rewards replaced with alternatives like ships. Massively recently got some of its own face-time with Chris when our own Jef Reahard interviewed him on PvE, the persistent world elements of Star Citizen, the economy, and plans for PvP.
Elite: Dangerous backers took to the comments section in its latest Kickstarter update to protest the company's release of public shares and assignation of a board of directors. David Braben responded to fears with an assurance that he retains full creative control over Elite and that the IPO was simply intended to raise funds to keep the business stable. Frontier Developments' existing bank balance of £7 million in the bank and the extra £10 million from the IPO both dwarf the immensely successful £1.5 million Elite Kickstarter campaign.
Braben clarified that the company currently employs over 200 staff and is working on other projects in addition to Elite; the IPO is meant to support the entire company. In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, he listed the reasons that Elite needed a Kickstarter: "To prove that there really were people seriously interested in the game; to provide a great sounding board to validate ideas and plans for the game we were making; and to provide funds to reduce the risks of development." The Elite: Dangerous Kickstarter evidently didn't cover the whole cost of development, which shouldn't surprise many people when its competitor Star Citizen projected costs in excess of $20 million US.
Diablo III that relies on lifesteal, life on hit, or life regeneration, prepare for a massive nerf. Wyatt Cheng recently revealed on the Diablo III forums that the team is looking into ways to reduce the sustainability of ranged characters. The current situation is that some builds haven't got enough effective hitpoints to survive a single hit but work well by avoiding being hit entirely. Blizzard wants to change this to make incoming damage less spiky in inferno mode but also less avoidable.
Path of Exile, you'll be glad to know that the latest patch has added Twitch streaming from inside the client. The client supports webcam picture-in-picture and even integrates your Twitch channel's chat into the in-game chat. You can also link your Path of Exile and Twitch accounts to add a streaming icon to your game and forum profile, and the top streamers for a particular race event will be highlighted on the race page.
League of Legends opened a Russian server back in April and gave players from the North American and European servers the opportunity to transfer for free. This week developers re-opened free transfers to the server due to a large number of requests. The promotion will last until Patch 3.1, which hasn't got a fixed date yet but will introduce a series of major gameplay updates ahead of the competitive season 4. One significant change coming in the patch is that Baron's debuff will no longer halve a player's attack damage stat; instead, it will simply make the player deal half damage on all attacks and spells directed at Baron himself. The change will make teamfights around Baron much less one-sided.
Dota 2 world championship tournament, The International, Valve has released the Dota 2 streaming client and the full game on both Mac and Linux. The tournament will begin with the group stages on August 3rd and has a confirmed prize pool of at least $2.6 million US. A million dollars have been contributed to the prize fund by around 400,000 people who have purchased the tournament's interactive digital compendium. Demand for the compendium has been so huge that Valve has even added new features to it.
Players can now assemble a fantasy team of players competing in the tournament in a similar manner to fantasy football leagues and collect virtual player cards on each of the entrants. Collecting all of the players in a team will unlock bonus cosmetic upgrades for the International Courier. Those watching the tournament will also be able to compete to predict the outcome of each match.
Heroes of Newerth's balance designer Aaron Van Note described some of the big changes coming in Patch 3.2. Underused hero Saloman is being given a completely new set of abilities, including one that lets him gain bonus gold from chaining creep last-hits. Getting a last-hit will normally give you the gold for that creep, but Saloman will also gain a 25 second stacking buff that increases gold from kills. Aaron also describes a brand-new passive movement speed aura similar to the haste aura from a dominated Snotter Boss. The patch will also bring in a series of balance changes for other heroes and is set to deploy on July 26th.
Prime World's western release, the wait is almost over! An official announcement has now confirmed that the game will enter open beta in North America and Europe on July 26th.
End of Nations as a MOBA, Trion Worlds paradoxically released a statement this week claiming that the game "hasn't changed as much as it sounds like." Gameplay will now focus more on individual hero characters that level up, but developers said that they "don't feel [they] drastically changed the game at its core." A closed alpha of the newly redesigned tactical gameplay is currently underway.
Firefall's first open beta tournament, Massively sat down with developers from Red 5 Studios to discuss plans for future development, aims for open beta, and concerns players have raised over whether the game is pay-to-win. If you've never heard of Firefall but want to see what you'd be getting into by jumping into the open beta, check out the hilarious beta review below by The Hiveminded.
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