Not So Massively: Star Citizen's hangar module, Elite's black markets, and the Dota 2 world championship

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Star Citizen fired a shot across the bow of game publishers this week as it hit $15 million US in crowdfunding. The game's hangar module has now entered code lockdown and will soon be available to owners of every ship type except the cutlass. Elite: Dangerous teased players with details of trading and black markets in a massive new development newsletter, and revealed two new luxury passenger liner style ships.

Dota 2 kicked off its third annual world championship tournament, The International, with a record-breaking prize pool of $2.8 million and growing! League of Legends' smaller but still incredibly popular $100,000 EU LCS Summer Split tournament also got underway this week ahead of the colossal upcoming patch 3.10. The patch will include nerfs to champions Elise and Twisted Fate, and the removal of the popular Runic Bulwark item.

Diablo III's gold economy showed further signs of runaway inflation as developers increased the size of gold stacks on the real money auction house from 10 million for $0.25 to 50 million for the same price. Blizzard also asked players for feedback on the idea of adding a Diablo II style ladder system, and announced that it has big news about the game to be revealed in Gamescom later this month. And Path of Exile showed off its new Reave skill for Shadow characters ahead of upcoming patch 0.11.4.

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Star Citizen title image
Star Citizen continued to show publishers how wrong they were for abandoning space sim games as it passed the $15 million US crowdfunding mark with ease this week. This milestone unlocks a 42-page handbook explaining how to customise and overclock your ship systems. The impending $16 million milestone will bring in a new galaxy-wide combat arena mode, and the newly-revealed $17 million milestone adds the Battlecruiser as a playable ship class.

In this week's episode of Wingman's Hangar, Cloud Imperium announced that the first iteration of the ship hangar module is now in code lock and will now go into a period of extreme testing before being released as a standalone app to anyone who has bought a ship package. The Cutlass pirate ship unfortunately won't be available in the hangar module as it requires a special asteroid hangar. Developers also revealed that the game won't have continuous beam weapons at launch, but there are some plans to implement EMP weapons that can disable enemy ships to be captured.

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In its tenth development newsletter, Elite: Dangerous developer Frontier Developments revealed the first details on how trading will occur within the Elite universe. While the game's predecessors had only one legal station market available and the occasional shady black market dealer on each station's bulletin board, Elite: Dangerous has several different options available. Space stations will trade in legal commodities and essential ship supplies, shipyards will trade limited ship commodities like powerful modules and specialised enhancements, and factories will sell particular commodities they produce at a discount.

On the darker side, private black markets trading in illegal goods will open up based on a player's reputation; These may be hidden within legal markets and require the player to be introduced to a particular contact first. Pirate bases will also be strewn throughout the galaxy, offering a refuge from trade laws and ignoring your fines and outstanding bounties. Smuggler bases will similarly allow trade of illegal bounties and ignore fines, but its inhabitants will try to kill you if you have a bounty placed on your head.

This mega update also delves into the fine details of Elite's planet generation tools, introduces two new luxury passenger liner ships designed for couriering around high-paying passengers, and delivered some prototype UI screens for commodity trading.

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The League of Legends EU LCS Summer Split tournament got underway this weekend, pulling in tons of livestream views as top European teams locked horns over a $100,000 US prize pool. The tournament will be followed by Patch 3.10, which introduces a number of balance changes necessary to keep competitive and casual play in line. Champion Elise is usually picked or banned in competitive play, and Riot Games has taken that as a sign that she might be a little overpowered.

Elise will have her spiderlings nerfed in the patch, dropping their base health significantly to make them easier to kill but increasing their armour and magic resistance to make physical and magic penetration useful stats in countering them. Her signature Rappel ability is also being nerfed by having its additional range decreased.

Gunslinger Twisted Fate is next on the chopping block, with his gold-gathering passive ability being tweaked to affect only his own kills and the time delay for Pick a Card being rebalanced. Twisted Fate has been controversially rebalanced several times now, and fan response to further meddling in his skills has been mixed. The mega patch also comes with jungling changes and some big item changes, including the complete removal of the Runic Bulwark item.

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Dota 2's million-dollar world championship tournament, The International, is now officially underway. Sales of the tournament's accompanying digital compendium have pushed the prize pool from its already impressive $1.6 million US up to a record-breaking $2.8 million, and the total is still growing! The first group stages took place this weekend to determine which teams would advance to the main event and on to the grand finals.

Diablo III title image
The Diablo III gold economy has continued to experience runaway inflation, forcing developers to increase the stack size of gold on the real-money auction house from 10 million to 50 million increments. Many good items previously available for a few million gold just a few months ago or hundreds of thousands at launch are now selling for billions of gold. Gold restored to hacked accounts will also be limited to 10 million to limit duplication via customer support abuse. These changes were both made to keep the price of gold competitive with third-party sites.

On the lighter side, Blizzard appears to be considering the possibility of adding a Diablo II style ladder system, as community manager Grimiku took to the forum this week to ask for feedback on the idea. Developers also revealed that a big piece of Diablo III news will be coming out at Gamescom later this month, but current speculation is that it will be related to the upcoming console release.

Path of Exile title image
Path of Exile players were recently teased with information on a new Dexterity/Intelligence skill that could potentially lead to some interesting new builds. The Reave skill starts out as a basic attack ability that hits a small area in front of your character, but each successful attack increases the area until it reaches a huge size and can take out larger groups. The area resets if the player makes no successful attacks for a few seconds or uses another skill, but moving does not reset it. This skill will synergise well with attack-speed builds, will be available to low-level Shadow characters, and is due for release in patch 0.11.4 in under two weeks time.

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This article was originally published on Massively.