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Not So Massively: Diabetic champions edition


Welcome to Not So Massively, our weekly roundup of the top news from popular multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs) and other multiplayer online games that aren't quite MMOs. Published every Monday, the column covers games such as League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, Rise of Immortals, Bloodline Champions and more.

Last week we brought you the exciting news that Valve's eagerly awaited MOBA Dota 2 would be demonstrated at August's Gamescom convention. League of Legends finally released its first female tank champion, Leona the Radiant Dawn, last week, leaving only Skarner to be released from the trio of champions revealed at E3. Aida Arenas had its closed beta unexpectedly postponed indefinitely, with no reason given or timeline for when the beta schedule might resume. Finally, we got some hands-on time in the Rise of Immortals open beta and delivered our first impressions of this promising new MOBA.

In this week's Not So Massively, we get a first look at League of Legends' mysterious upcoming champion Wukong the Monkey King and check out two more awesome LoL parody songs. S2 Games dropped the price of Heroes of Newerth to $10 this week, but inexplicably failed to state when the deal will end or if the price drop is permanent. We take a look at HoN's latest hero Revenant, revisit Realm of the Titans' unique Titan's Eye map, and check out some new Bloodline Champions tournament changes coming in the game's next competitive season. This week we also briefly introduce World of Battles: Morningstar, an innovative new take on MOBA gameplay using traditional RTS style unit control and huge armies.

If you caught League of Legends' first look at its upcoming kung-fu monkey champion back in April, you'll be pleased to know that the champion (now named Wukong the Monkey King) will soon be added to the game. In unrelated news, Riot Games has elected to extend the season one ladder until an undisclosed date. While season one of LoL's competitive tournament play was concluded with the recent finals at Dreamhack, the ladder will remain unresolved for the next few weeks and players still have a chance to take a top spot and win prizes.

Following last week's impressive LoL rap and parody songs, this week's summoner showcase highlights two new additions to the growing list of LoL themed fan-music. Famed for her awesome World of Warcraft parodies, Ember Isolte follows up with her first LoL-based song "Keep Feeding," a parody of "Bleeding love" by Leona Lewis. Gragas is coming for your booze and your nexus in Gluglug's latest song "Like A Gragas," an incredibly catchy parody of "Like A G6" by Far East Movement. We've embedded the song below because it's far too awesome not to share.

Following last week's MOBA Champions contest to win one of five free copies of Heroes of Newerth, S2 Games has opted to drop the price of the game to $10. It's not clear whether this price drop is permanent or a promotional deal, but we have been told it's been done to celebrate the 500,000th purchased account. Developers referred to the offer as a sale on the forum, but despite repeated requests a date for the end of the sale has not yet been given. If you're planning to take advantage of this offer, remember to uncheck the $20 gold coin deal when registering to ensure you're charged only $10.

The latest hero to hit HoN was revealed this week in a new Hero Spotlight video. Revenant is a ranged intelligence hero aimed at ganking early in the game and turning the tide of teamfights in late game. His first ability, Defile, buffs either Revenant or a teammate to let them deal extra magic damage with their next two normal attacks. The attacks also apply a stacking slow, making this a particularly good skill for ganking early in the game when hero mobility and magic armour will be low.

Revenant's second ability, Mortification, spawns spirits around any target unit, deals magic damage over time to all enemies within 300 units of the target, and lowers affected enemies' magic armour over time. This is particularly useful in late game teamfights when combined with his ultimate. Revenant's third ability, Essence Shroud, is an offensive invisibility spell with a long cooldown. The first attack dealt when breaking invisibility reduces the target's physical armour. Using this skill well will require good coordination with teammates.

Revenant's ultimate Manifestation is a passive ability that turns his other skills from potentially overpowered to absolutely broken in the right hands. Rank 1 grants the ability to cast without breaking invisibility, rank 2 duplicates any spell cast and applies the duplicate to Revenant himself, and rank 3 duplicates the spell a second time and applies it to the nearest target. With three copies of Mortification reducing enemy magic armour and dealing magic damage, this has the potential to seriously turn teamfights around in late game.

Manifestation may be balanced out by the fact that by the time Revenant gets the ability to level three, enemy heroes will likely have built their core defensive items. Revenant went live on Friday 15th and interestingly doesn't seem to be as hilariously broken as he initially appeared. This may be because most of his abilities require good team coordination of which to make good use. For more information, check out the Revenant hero spotlight video embedded below in HD:

This week Bloodline Champions developer Stunlock Studios announced a new competitive tournament scheme for the game along with details of the prizes available. In addition to the previous amateur and professional tournament brackets, a medium bracket has been added to allow real amateurs to stand a chance of winning. To help decide the direction of future development, Stunlock also launched a survey this week with prizes for all those who provide feedback. In exchange for answering the short one-page survey, players will be given 1000 Blood Coins when the survey closes on on the 8th of August. If you've ever wanted to have your say on the development direction Stunlock should be taking with Bloodline Champions, now's your chance.

Some time ago, in-development MOBA Realm of the Titans announced its new Titan's Eye map. Every new MOBA has to differentiate itself from the competition, and one way to do that is through maps that alter the basic game mechanics to produce new gameplay. Featuring alternate win conditions, reduced cooldowns on all abilities, frequent rune spawns, increased base damage and strange concealing plants, Titan's Eye could provide an interesting iteration on the default MOBA map. Although the game is not yet in an open or closed beta phase and so is not playable, its developers have released a teaser video explaining the mechanics behind the Titan's Eye map. We've embedded the video below in HD:

Of all the online games to cross my path in recent months, World of Battles: Morningstar is possibly one of the most unique. Not a MOBA in the traditional sense but not quite an MMO either, WoB:M merges online battle arenas with traditional RTS gameplay involving entire armies. A single battle can see up to eight armies clash, each containing up to 16 battalions of units. Playing will unlock new units and upgrades that can be used to customise your troops. Powerful Master Units also provide huge tactical benefits to your army and might add some much-needed twitch-based gameplay to what could otherwise be a slow and drawn-out affair.

Stay tuned to next week's Not So Massively, in which I'll be giving World of Battles: Morningstar a full gameplay test and delivering some first impressions on the game. If you're interested in seeing how traditional RTS action can be merged with MOBA gameplay, head over to the WoB:M website to sign up or check out the official trailer, embedded below in HD:

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

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