Star Citizen came one step closer to hitting its total required funding this week as it passed the $18 million mark, unlocking an exclusive star system for all crowdfunding backers. Developers took the opportunity to announce the contents of the $20 million stretch goal and plans for further stretch goals after hitting its total funding goal. Elite: Dangerous showed off new space station concept art and a great-looking in-engine render of the Federal Battle Cruiser in its latest newsletter, then delved into details of its modular space station system.
The final teams have been selected for the League of Legends 2013 World Championship, which is set to begin next week on Sunday, the 15th September, and will continue for three weeks. The overall tournament winner will receive the top prize of $1,000,000 US, with a further $1,000,000 spread among the other teams based on how well they do in the tournament. Console-born MOBA Guardians of Middle-Earth enraged fans this week by bundling Raptr with the game download and giving away copies of DLC that some players had paid $70 for.
It was revealed this week that parts of Diablo III's upcoming Reaper of Souls expansion will be released in a free patch for all current players and that the expansion will feature the game's first fully randomised tileset. Further details of the Mystic artisan and her enchanting abilities have also been revealed. And Path of Exile fixed a series of abusable bugs in its skill cooldown system, and players finally discovered what the mysterious new Empower support gem does.
|PAX Prime 2013: Riot Games' Whalen Rozelle on LoL Season 3
I was really excited to step into Riot's press room on Friday at PAX Prime. We had just finished the first series of matches of the day, and it was thrilling to talk to people about the matches yet to come.
|Diablo III launches on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
With the game's first expansion already announced, you might be looking for a chance to play Diablo III in a different way. Does sitting around a television with your friends count?
|Star Citizen's $20 million stretch goal is planetside FPS combat
Star Citizen smashed the $17 and $18 million crowdfunding barriers over the past seven days, and as per Cloud Imperium tradition, the latter milestone "unlocked" the next tier of funding rewards.
|PAX Prime 2013: SMITE's graphical updates, 10v10 mode, and e-sports
I found myself in unfamiliar waters as I waded into the Twitch booth at this year's PAX Prime. All around me were gamers -- but not just any gamers. These guys were wearing jerseys with sponsorship logos and carrying custom gaming mice and headsets.
|PAX Prime 2013: I played Smashmuck Champions and it was golden
There were some pretty great games at this year's PAX Prime, but if there's one new game I played that I couldn't wait to go home and install, it was Smashmuck Champions.
|Elite Dangerous newsletter focuses on algorithmic space stations
Elite Dangerous' 11th newsletter likely hit your inbox this afternoon. In case it didn't, or in case it tripped over your spam filter, allow me to summarize.
Star Citizen has gathered another million dollars in crowdfunding and hit yet another big stretch goal, and the trend seems set to continue. This week the team hit the $18 million mark, unlocking an exclusive star system in the game for backers. Developers clarified that the star system itself will be accessible by all players but that only backers will be able to start the game there and have access to home base hangars in the system.
Cloud Imperium previously estimated that it would need around $21 million to complete Star Citizen, so there are only two stretch goals left until the game is officially fully funded. Backers will still be able to pledge their support after the project hits its funding goal; new stretch goals will be drawn up based on what the team feels it can do with the additional funding. As that goal approaches, developers have revealed that the $20 million pledge tier will include first-person combat on a few lawless planets. First-person combat had previously been promised only on space stations and platforms.
Elite: Dangerous newsletter for some new concept art and a fascinating look behind the curtain of development. In this edition of the newsletter, developers discuss the different types of space station design that will be in the final game and how they're generated by piecing together modular components. Stations will be designed to reflect their purposes, with agricultural, cargo, and scientific modules added depending on what functions the station has and where it is in the solar system.
Specialised stations like mining bases, shipyards, and pirate bases installed into asteroids will also be available in-game, and many new stations will be built over time. The space stations have been designed with scientific plausibility and solid engineering principles in mind, so they should look as though they'd work in a newtonian universe. Sections will spin to provide artificial gravity by centripetal force, and space for internal walkways and domiciles will be considered when modules are being designed. The newsletter ends with an early look at the impressive-looking Federal Battle Cruiser running in-engine.
League of Legends World Championship tournament has now been decided. The tournament will kick off next week on Sunday the 15th and run for three intense weekend sessions, ending on Saturday, October 5th. Six days of qualifying rounds will whittle the competition down to just eight teams entering the quarter finals, and with a total of $2,000,000 up for grabs, those eight spots will be worth fighting for.
A total of fourteen teams from around the world will enter the tournament, and by the end one of them will walk away with the $1,000,000 top prize. Team SoloMid, Vulcun Techbargains, and Cloud 9 will be representing North America in the competition, joined by European teams Fnatic, Gambit BenQ, and Lemondogs. Korea will be represented by its top teams MVP Ozone, Najin Black Sword and SK Telecom T1, and Chinese favourites Royal Club Huang Zu and OMG are sure to have their eyes on the million dollar prize. Team Mineski and Gamania Bears will be joining from Southeast Asia, and newcomer GamingGear.eu secured a spot in the tournament by winning the International Wildcard tournament at Gamescom.
Diablo III's upcoming Reaper of Souls expansion have been released this week in various interviews and forum posts, which fansite Diablofans has handily collected together. We learned that the Mystic artisan can reroll any stat on an item you have, but once it's re-rolled, it becomes the only "mutable" stat on the item. You can re-roll the mutable stat as many times as you like, but the other stats on the item are locked and won't ever be rollable. This means there's still a great deal of value in a good base item that happens to roll good stats and that you can reroll the unwanted stat repeatedly to get exactly the one stat you want.
Blizzard has also confirmed that many of the systems and gameplay mechanics slated for Reaper of Souls will actually be released in a free patch for all Diablo III players ahead of the expansion. It hasn't been decided yet which features will be given out for free and which ones will be bundled with the expansion. Developers stated in interviews at Gamescom that one of the new features will be a completely randomised tileset for the new zone of Westmarch. It isn't clear whether that means the graphics will be random or the actual level design will have the same procedurally generated layout as Diablo II's areas. The console version of Diablo III also officially released this week to largely positive reviews.
Path of Exile by having multiple copies of the same skill gem in your equipment, you may need to update your character for Patch 0.11.5. The update rectifies a number of bugs and abusable edge cases with the skill cooldown system and corrects a number of other balance issues and bugs.
Developers recently released a mysterious new support gem called Empower with a hidden effect that was to be revealed only after the gem leveled up. Even though it required a ridiculous amount of experience to level up the gem, players have already managed to reveal its special ability. The skill adds +1 to the level of any supported active skill gems and may add up to +3 when leveled up further.
Guardians of Middle-Earth recently released on PC to a horde of angry players complaining of unplayable lag, experiencing game-breaking glitches, and even demanding their money back. It soon emerged that the game is using a peer-to-peer networking solution rather than dedicated servers and that new bugs had been introduced when the game was ported to PC. No refunds have yet been given for the game.
Further player backlash hit this week when developer Zombie Studios teamed up with Raptr to give away thousands of DLC packs for free that some existing players had paid up to $70 to unlock. The Raptr installer was also pushed into the latest Steam update for Guardians of Middle-Earth so that it automatically prompts the player to install the program on launching the game.
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