Not So Massively: LoL update blocked by porn filter, Firefall's story campaign, and PoE's summoning skills

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​Star Citizen hit $37 million in crowdfunding this week, unlocking the strange new Tanga solar system in a rectangular planetary nebula. In the latest Elite: Dangerous newsletter, developers revealed plans for the upcoming multiplayer alpha stage, the travel and trading alpha, and the eventual full beta release. Red 5 Studios secured $23 million in funding for additional development on Firefall and revealed plans to launch in 2014 with a full story campaign.

Several League of Legends players in the UK have reported that innocuous game files in the latest patch are being inadvertently blocked by the new country-wide internet pornography filter. Heroes of Newerth indulged lore-hounds this week with a new content website for artwork and game fiction. Diablo III's latest public test realm patch doubled the drop rate of legendary items, and developers clarified that XP gain for players grinding paragon levels will be drastically increased in the next update. And Path of Exile revealed the four new summoning skills coming in patch 1.0.6 that will make necromancer Witch builds a lot more viable.
Top Stories title image
Infinite Crisis reveals the Man of Steel as a champion
Modeling Superman in any video game is kind of problematic, since his whole schtick is that he's faster than anything, invulnerable, and strong enough to fling the moon into the sun if he really wanted to.
Discussing guild functionality with Star Citizen's Benoit Beausejour
Cloud Imperium publicly unveiled Star Citizen's organization functionality, and Massively managed to snag a quick interview with developer Benoit Beausejour from Turbulent, a Montreal-based studio that is developing SC's web tech.
The Game Archaeologist: A brief history of roguelikes
As with adventure games, it appears as though the mobile market has triggered a resurgence in the popularity of roguelikes with both developers and players.
Led by mobile and free-to-play, U.S. digital sales see big gains in 2013
The digital games market is still on the rise, generating $11.7 billion in sales in 2013. According to market research firm SuperData, this total marks an 11% increase over digital sales in 2012.
MMO Mechanics: Balancing game economies.
Most players won't need an economics degree to play an MMO, but strong mechanical forces under the bonnet still guide our actions in our favourite titles. Virtually every financial exchange can be broken down into an effort equals economic gain equation: We put in our hours, and the game economy churns out new gear or money.

Star Citizen title image
Star Citizen scraped past the $37 million crowdfunding mark this week to unlock the bizarre Tanga star, a solar system at the heart of an unusual rectangular planetary nebula. This is likely based on the Red Rectangle Nebula in real life, which formed due to the interaction between a binary star pair. In Star Citizen, Tanga has just two planets that are both dead and without an atmosphere, and it's not clear what you'll be able to actually do there.

The next stretch goal will unlock the Earth-like Cano system featuring the oceanic planet of Carteyna, and at the $39 mark developers will unveil the oddly named UDS-2943-01-22 system. This unexplored trinary star system consists of two white dwarfs and an active pulsar and will have jump points connected to human space.

Elite: Dangerous title image
As promised, David Braben released a new dev diary this week delving into the upcoming Elite: Dangerous alpha tests and plans for the future. The next stage of alpha will be an early test of the multiplayer combat, followed by the travel and trading alpha, then ship outfitting, and then finally the game will progress to the beta stages. As some beta backers have been disappointed to have to wait this long to get their hands on a playable copy of the game, developers have added a discounted upgrade option to join the alpha immediately.

Even though Frontier Developments is a publicly traded company with several million dollars of private funding to its name, Elite: Dangerous is still technically independent from external publishers. That might not be enough to make Elite game indie in everyone's eyes, but this week Gametrailers included the game in its top ten list of games that the site can't believe are indies.


League of Legends title image
If you're in the UK and have been experiencing problems when updating League of Legends, you may be the victim of a new country-wide internet filter. A new law has come into effect in the UK requiring internet service providers to start filtering web traffic to remove any content that isn't suitable for children. Game files with names such as VarusExpirationTimer.luaobj and XerathMageChainsExtended.luaobj are reportedly being blocked by the filter because they inadvertently contain the word "sex," causing the patcher to return a File Not Found error.

Heroes of Newerth title image
Though MOBAs typically have a hardcore focus on competitive gameplay, many still try to weave new characters into a compelling narrative and show off early design work conducted behind the scenes. For those more interested in lore and artwork than their kill-to-death ratios, Heroes of Newerth has released a new lore website packed with artwork and fiction. The site will be a permanent home for concept art, cosmetic avatar videos, the Newerth universe timeline, and all future content-related material.

Diablo III title image
Diablo III's latest public test realm patch doubled the drop rate of legendary and set items in response to player feedback. Wyatt Cheng took to the forum this week to discuss upcoming changes to the paragon level system, which will become account-wide when the Reaper of Souls pre-expansion patch goes live. Players were disappointed to hear that the amount of XP required to reach each paragon level will be doubled in the next update, but Cheng clarified that the rate of XP gain will be drastically increased to compensate.

Path of Exile title image
Path of Exile's four new summoning skills have finally been revealed, and it looks as if necromancer builds will soon be back on the menu. The Summon Raging Spirit skill creates a short-lived flaming skull that acts more like a living fireball than an actual spirit, chasing and attacking nearby enemies but being immune to attacks itself. Desecrate empowers all summoning and poison spells cast on enemies within an area by desecrating the ground beneath their feet.

The new Flesh Offering and Bone Offering skills further empower necromancer builds by consuming corpses on the ground to buff your existing minions. Flesh Offering gives your minions attack speed, cast speed, and movement speed, while Bone Offering grants your minions a limited ability to block hostile attacks and spells. All four of the new skills will be released in patch 1.0.6 and are designed to pair with the summoning skills and passives already in the game.

Firefall title image
With Red 5 Studios' former CEO Mark Kern losing his job, the future of MMOFPS Firefall has been uncertain. Several developers on the title blamed Kern's schizophrenic development style and focus on video content for Firefall failing to live up to expectations, but no one knew exactly what would happen to the game after his departure.

Acting CEO James Macauley announced this week that $23 million in additional funding has been secured for development and that the studio is now working hard on a new story campaign for the game. Macauley revealed that launch is now definitely planned for some time in 2014 and stated that he believes that this will be "the year Firefall takes flight."

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.