Not So Massively: Dota 2's Three Spirits, Star Citizen's anniversary, and Diablo II's ladder reset

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Blizzard has revealed details of changes coming to Diablo III's difficulty settings in its upcoming pre-expansion patch; monsters will now level up with the player to make all content the appropriate difficulty. Path of Exile announced that its first expansion will be coming in March and released the first of seven major content updates that should keep players very busy until then. It was announced that Diablo II's ladder will be reset on November 26th, giving players a rare chance to start playing the old-school dungeon crawler in a completely fresh loot-economy.

Star Citizen is celebrating its first year anniversary with a limited-time relaunch of several previously released limited-edition ships. The game also passed the $27 million mark to unlock the Banu Merchantman ship and revealed its next stretch goal. Details of the huge Dota 2 update that caused Valve to cancel its Diretide holiday event this year have now been released, including information on three new heroes, a new crafting system, and a Coaching feature that lets players virtually watch over their friend's shoulders. And SMITE's latest update visually revamped Chinese character He Bo, God of the Yellow River.
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Recent expansion reveals have left the Diablo III community with a lot of questions, and Blizzard has been out in force responding on the forum. Developers confirmed that a ladder system hasn't yet been announced for Reaper of Souls, cleared up some misconceptions on enchanting, and clarified that the game's difficulty settings are being radically changed. The old progression from Normal mode to Nightmare, Hell, and finally Inferno will be going out the window, replaced with a seamless system that tracks your character level.

Monsters will spawn at your level and gain additional stats, prefixes, and abilities depending on the level they spawn at. The Monster Power system has been redesigned and will form the basis of the new difficulty setting that players have control over. You'll start with the Normal, Hard, and Expert difficulty options and can unlock a further Master difficulty mode at level 60. It's only on hitting level 70 that you can unlock five new difficulty levels named Torment I to Torment V. This new system will arrive for all players in a pre-expansion patch, and developers plan for Master difficulty to feel roughly like current Inferno gameplay with Monster Power set at eight to ten.

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Path of Exile's first major expansion is due in March next year, but that doesn't mean the developers at Grinding Gear Games are planning to slack on updates until then. A total of seven content updates are planned for release on a new bi-weekly update schedule, introducing everything from secret vendor recipes and unique items to new skill gems and race events. The first patch has just landed in-game as Content Update 1.0.1, and the second will hit on November 26th, kicking off PvP Season One with a new rapid-fire PvP tournament.

Content Update 1.0.1 introduce a series of new items and skill gems and expanded on the popular Descent race event with its new Descent Champions league. Descent races let players create fresh characters and delve into a dungeon that doesn't exist in the main Path of Exile storyline. The new version contains a branching progression and gives players a selection of new unique items and skill gems at the start to build their characters around, making it the perfect challenge for the theorycrafters among us. Check out the video below for more information on what landed in the patch.


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If you've been craving some classic Diablo II-style gameplay and Path of Exile doesn't quite scratch that oldschool itch, you're in luck. Diablo II's current ladder season is about to come to an end and will reset on the morning of Tuesday November 26th. All ladder characters and their equipment will be moved to non-ladder and players can start fresh in a completely blank item economy. Useful but common items like Wizardspike and uniques with low stat-rolls will once again become valuable, and the race to level 99 or to put together the ultimate PvP build will begin anew.

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It's hard to believe it's been a year since the Star Citizen project began and incredible to think of how successful its crowdfunding efforts have been when most publishers at the time wouldn't touch a PC space sim with a 10-foot pole. To celebrate the anniversary, Cloud Imperium is offering many of the limited-edition ships again for a short time. The sales start today with the Origin M50 and will continue with a new package each day, including the Origin 350R, Drake Caterpillar, RSI Aurora LX, Anvil Gladiator, Aegis Retaliator, and MISC Starfarer.

The sales end on November 26th, which marks the final date for backers getting the game's controversial lifetime insurance packages with their ship purchases. As a result, ships bought after the 26th will no longer come with lifetime insurance. The game's crowdfunding total has now reached over $27 million, unlocking the Banu Merchantman ship, and this new sale is expected to push the game from $28 to $29 million depending on interest in the limited edition ships. The $29 million stretch goal will allow the studio to dedicate additional resources to its singleplayer game Squadron 42, a planned spiritual successor to Wing Commander.


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Players who raged over Dota 2's canceled Diretide Halloween event this year were told that developers had instead decided to focus on a huge content update that just wasn't quite ready in time. This week Valve revealed details on the Three Spirits update, which introduces three new heroes, a new crafting and socketing system, and the belated Diretide event.

The patch also contains a Coaching feature that will let experienced players watch over their newbie friends and give them tips in-game through a private chat channel and by drawing on the ground and minimap. This feature proved popular in Heroes of Newerth and is sure to take off in Dota 2 due it its large competitive scene.

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In addition to adding new champions, SMITE has recently begun revamping some of its older characters to keep them interesting to play and to match the game's new visual design style. Chinese water god He Bo is the latest character to get the overhaul treatment, and his new model is a significant visual upgrade.

He Bo is a mage who specialises in slowing enemies and dealing area-effect damage with water spells. He can blast enemies at short range with a cone of water, unfurl a river scroll in front of him to slow down any enemies in his path, or cause a water spout to burst up from the ground beneath an enemy. In a teamfight, He bo can pull out his ultimate ability, Crushing Wave, which transforms him briefly into a huge water wave that rolls forward and severely damages all enemies in his path.


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This article was originally published on Massively.