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Following last week's League of Legends livestream, I joined Patrick Mackey this week in delivering a very positive first impression of the game. League of Legends officially turned two years old this week, and to celebrate, Riot Games has released the Birthday Surprise Fiddlesticks skin. Heroes of Newerth also released potentially overpowered agility carry Gemini this week, though the character is currently marked for early access and must be purchased. Bloodline Champions officially launches on steam this week, and all current and new players will receive a bonus gift to celebrate.

Diablo III fansite DiabloFans took a look at upcoming Book of Cain lore compendium, upcoming graphic novel Sword of Justice and the next Diablo novel. DiabloFans also takes a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Black Soulstone cinematic trailer. The game's predecessor Diablo II received a new patch this week aimed at eliminating RMT and spam bots, which has met with limited success. Finally, Firefall fires up its community coverage with the first of a new weekly community roundup.

Skip past the cut for details of this week's biggest news from the world of MOBAs and other online games that aren't quite MMOs.

League of Legends title image
Earlier in the week, League of Legends developer Riot Games announced that there would be a surprise coming on October 27th to celebrate the game's second birthday. Fans expecting in-game events or one-time gifts were let down when the surprise turned out to be a new Fiddlesticks skin purchasable with cash. Riot responded to criticisms with a note that the skin is legendary and will be permanently priced lower than other skins at 975 Riot Points.

Players supporting the new skin have pointed out that Surprise Party Fiddlesticks was actually an extremely popular fan-suggestion, with thousands of players voting for its inclusion in the game and many submitting artwork to help with its development. The inclusion of the fan-designed skin in the game itself seems to be Riot's birthday gift to the community, but some players are still sore that there were no birthday events. Riot released a champion spotlight on Fiddlesticks to coincide with the skin's release. If you want a peek at what the new skin looks like in-game, or if you've ever wanted some tips on playing this unique mage jungler, check out the champion spotlight below.

Diablo III title image
Last week we looked at the awesome stuff that comes with the Diablo III collector's edition, including a two-part behind-the-scenes bluray, a model of Diablo's skull and a soulstone pen drive. This week, fansite DiabloFans took an in-depth look at three more pieces of Diablo merchandise that are guaranteed to turn my wallet inside out.

The Book of Cain was first shown at BlizzCon's publishing panel, where it was said to be a chronicle of Diablo's in-game history. As its title suggests, the book is written from the perspective of Deckard Cain himself, styled as his own hand-written notes about events as they unfolded. Due for release in December of this year, the book also sets the scene for the events of Diablo III.

If lore compeniums aren't your thing, note that Blizzard will also be releasing a Diablo III novel titled The Order in March 2012 and a graphic novel by the name of Sword of Justice that picks up Tyreal's story where Diablo II left off. The comic will be published first as a series of five limited-edition print runs for collectors and then later as a mass-published graphic novel. If video is more your thing, DiabloFans is on a roll this week with a fantastic behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Black Soulstone cinematic. If you haven't seen the cinematic yet, check it out below.

Diablo II title image
With Diablo III's beta in full swing and BlizzCon just finished, more and more players have been checking into its predecessor Diablo II for some classic hack-and-slash gaming. The D2 ladder officially reset this week, and with it a new RMT-fighting patch was released. Players can now make the game ignore players automatically when they say something in a list of trigger words. After adding a list of phrases commonly used by disruptive spam-bots, you'll will be able to play in public games largely in peace and quiet. The new patch also fixed a known duping method, but this didn't deter the RMT industry, as sellers amazingly had high runes back in their stores no longer than eight hours after the reset.

To celebrate the reset, I ran a livestream of Diablo II this week with Tina Lauro and friends from GamerGaia. We started new ladder characters at level 1 and played up until the we had rescued our good friend Deckard Cain from the ruins of Tristram. If you have the Diablo II itch, check out the livestream recording below.

Bloodline Champions title image
Indie MOBA Bloodline Champions officially released on Steam this week on October 28th, and to celebrate, all current players and new account holders will be getting a present. In addition to a seven-day XP boost, players will have their choice of cosmetic items from a selection of steam-powered goodies. To collect your gift, just log into the game within the next week.

Heroes of Newerth title image
Patch 2.2.6 went live this week in Heroes of Newerth, bringing with it new agility carry Gemini. True to his name, Gemini's abilities revolve around splitting himself in two and micro-managing both halves to maximum effect. Gemini's second skill, Twin Fangs, splits him into a fire and ice wolf, which take separate paths as they dash toward the target location, dealing damage to any units they pass through and ending with a stun at the destination. Not only can this ability be used to bypass terrain like cliffs and trees, but Gemini is also invulnerable for the duration of the attack and can travel up to 800 units using it.

His first skill, Twin Breath, deals damage in a wide area-effect cone, also slowing and adding a DoT to anything it hits. Gemini's third skill, Twin Strikes, is a passive that makes each of his auto-attacks hit the target twice. While the second hit deals less damage than the first, it can proc items like thunderclaw and savage mace. Gemini's ultimate, Fire and Ice, causes him to split into his two fire and ice wolf forms, giving two characters to manage and effectively doubling his damage output.

The drawback to Gemini's ultimate is that he will die if either wolf is killed. If both wolves are within 300 distance units of each other, however, they can be recombined and Gemini's health pool will be set to the higher of the two wolves. Playing defensively with one to keep it safe and provide a massive free heal is a legitimate strategy that really earns Gemini his role as carry. In the hands of a good micro-managing HoN player, Gemini is sure to be completely unstoppable.

FireFall title image
Firefall developer Red 5 Studios kicked its community coverage up a notch this week with the first of a new weekly community roundup series. This week's roundup features some impressive fan-art for the upcoming game in addition to two fan-made trailers.

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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