Not So Massively: SMITE's launch date, Star Citizen's $33m goal, and Elite's cockpit reveal

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Another $3 million was pledged to Star Citizen this week during the Thanksgiving livestream, pushing the total to over $33.5 million and unlocking several new ships for play. Developers now have over 50% more finance than was initially required for their ambitious plans. Meanwhile, Elite: Dangerous' art director took players on a tour of some impressive work on the cockpit and user interface systems in a new video dev diary, showing everything from battle damage to pilots reacting to g-forces.

Diablo III fansite DiabloFans has compiled a video list of all the new skills introduced in the upcoming Reaper of Souls expansion; each existing class gets one new class-defining skill with a selection of runes. Path of Exile added the Storm Call skill in its latest content update patch and revealed new supporter packs with unique cosmetic portal effects. And if you downloaded the latest Firefall patch, you'll need to head over to the website and download a small update or the next patch will break your game.

In MOBA news, SMITE finally announced an official launch date of March 25th 2014 and will be starting a huge $100,000 tournament in January to celebrate the event. Turbine's DC Comics MOBA Infinite Crisis also received a new champion this week with the introduction of the bizarre ranged damage-dealer Mecha Wonder Woman.
Star Citizen title image
Following another lengthy livestream this week, Star Citizen saw a massive spike in pledges that pushed the company's crowdfunding total to over $33.5 million. This unlocks the RSI Orion mining platform, the Aegis Surveyor salvage ship, and the Anvil Carrack long-range exploration craft. The next two stretch goals have also been revealed as the MISC Hull C cargo ship designed specifically for smuggling illegal goods and a tiny but high-tech ship called the Drake Herald that specialises in the secure transfer of encrypted data.

The studio has now raised over 50% more cash than the initial and ambitious plan for the game called for, and this latest spate of pledges has left many wondering exactly where Star Citizen's crowdfunding total will end up.

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Developers released their eighth Elite: Dangerous developer diary video this week, showing recent progress made on the immersive cockpit and user interface portions of the game. Art Director Chris Gregory took players on a tour of the recent capital ship battle video released a few months ago and showed how work is progressing on turning that concept into a reality. The holographic cockpit UI in the video was a mock-up created in 3DS Max, but seeing it in action convinced the team to implement an immersive cockpit view in-game.

In the video, developers reveal that Oculus Rift and 3-D TV support have both already been integrated with the game engine. Your character inside the cockpit will also react to ship movements and explosions, and you'll even be called to address emergencies popping up inside the cockpit during a firefight. The glass screen can become cracked due to battle-damage, gas can leak into the cockpit, and fires can break out in your equipment. Those who loved the radar mechanic in Elite and Frontier will also be glad to know that it's returning in the new game.


Diablo III title image
As Diablo III's Reaper of Souls approaches completion, a full list of the new skills and runes is becoming available. In addition to introducing the new Crusader class, the expansion will be giving each existing class one additional skill; DiabloFans has compiled a list of videos showing them all in action. The Barbarian's new Avalanche ability is on a 30-second cooldown timer and delivers a huge burst of area-effect damage in front of the character with massive falling rocks.

The Demon Hunter gets his own damage cooldown with the Vengeance ability, which turns him into a giant ball of death for 15 seconds by adding piercing projectiles and homing rockets to every attack he makes. The Monk's Epiphany ability increases spirit regeneration by 35 per second and adds the ability to instantly dash to targets for 15 seconds, letting him spam all his most powerful attacks.

The Witch Doctor's new skill is the short-cooldown Piranhas spell, which uses 250 mana and causes a pool of flesh-eating fish to spawn at the target location. The creatures deal poison damage over time, and those afflicted will take 15% increased damage from all other sources. The Wizard has a similar short-cooldown area effect spell called Black Hole, which deals arcane damage over time in an area and pulls all nearby enemies in.


Path of Exile title image
Content Update 1.0.2 went live this week in Path of Exile, introducing the new Storm Call skill, several new unique items, changes to endgame map mods, and some new cosmetic microtransactions. This update comes at the same time as a new series of supporter packs ranging from $50 all the way up to $900. The packs give players a forum title, microtransaction points, and unique new town portal effects.

Players have also now discovered the bonuses given by the recently released Enhance support gem: It increases the quality of supported active skill gems and can even push beyond the 20% cap. A level four Enhance gem can give an additional 24% quality for a new maximum of 44%.


Firefall title image
If you downloaded the latest Firefall patch, your game is probably now broken. The last update contained a launcher bug that prevents Firefall from downloading any further patches, which means the next update will render the game unplayable for those affected. To fix the issue, you have to download and run a new launcher file from the Firefall website.

SMITE title image
Third-person MOBA SMITE has been in beta for a long time, but it already has a large roster of characters and a thriving competitive scene. This week Hi-Rez Studios revealed that the game will officially launch in Europe and North America on March 25th of next year and that all account stats and information from the open beta will be carried over into release.

To celebrate, a $100,000 tournament will be fought over the release weekend in front of a live audience in Atlanta, Georgia. The top four teams from Europe and four from North America will be selected from the SMITE Weekly Tournament Series and flown to the venue to compete. The qualifying series will begin on January 4th, so you'll have to get your team together by then to be in with a chance at the $100,000 prize pool.


Infinite Crisis title image
The DC Comics extended multiverse is home to dozens of variations on the classic heroes and villains we know and love, and the Infinite Crisis event brings all them together in one place. That's the story behind Turbine's Infinite Crisis MOBA, and it allows developers to introduce some strange versions of the DC characters as playable champions. The latest such addition to the game's roster is the bizarre Mecha Wonder Woman, a ranged character that deals damage with thrown shurikens and rockets.

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.