League of Legends revealed upcoming champion Darius this week and announced huge client updates that seem set to double the game's frame rate. Blacklight: Retribution released a new Netwar game mode, combining capture the flag and control point gameplay. Heroes of Newerth released its new support hero Riftwalker, Dota 2 released classic hero Treant, and Rise of Immortals took a close look at melee damage-dealer Tzai. Upcoming MOBA Smite will be entering closed beta at the end of the month, and Torchlight II's beta will soon end for the last time.
Five top tips for your first few days of Diablo III
Diablo III officially launched at midnight last night, opening the floodgates on what is possibly the most pre-ordered PC game in history. It's been almost 12 years since the previous game in the series launched, and it's still going to this day.
EVE talks smack about Diablo III's login woes
Oh naw you didn't, girl! EVE Online is letting the trash-talk fly at the newly launched Diablo III by displaying the message "37...3007...315300: It's code for "Play EVE.
Blizzard issues an apology for the state of Diablo III's launch
OK, have we all gotten the jokes about Diablo III's launch out of our systems yet? Not quite? It's understandable, since the huge and much-hyped launch wound up with a lot of serious problems from the start.
Blizzard awarding Australian GAME customers free copy of Diablo III
It's been a rollercoaster week for Australian Diablo III fans who pre-ordered their copies of Blizzard's long-awaited dungeon crawler at GAME. The troubled retailer went into administration yesterday, leaving customers in the lurch without their game or their refunds.
League of Legends team revealed upcoming champion Darius, the Hand of Noxus. Wielding a colossal axe, Darius is a melee champion whose abilities focus on making his target bleed. His passive ability, Hemorrhage, adds a bleed effect to every basic attack and stacks up to five times. Crippling Strike causes Darius' next attack to add a movement speed and attack slow, and the ability's cooldown is lowered for each stack of Hemorrhage on the target. His ultimate, Noxiun Guillotine, leaps to a target and deals true damage based on the number of Hemorrhage stacks.
Decimate makes Darius swing his axe in a circle, hitting nearby enemies for damage based on which part of the axe hits them. Apprehend grants passive armour penetration and can be activated to use the axe to hook a nearby enemy and pull him into melee range. The Darius patch will also bring some much-needed graphical updates, update the matchmaking system, and add a new late-game item for mana-hungry champions. In addition to improving the look and feel of the game, the graphics update will decrease UI clutter and greatly increase most players' frame rates.
Dota 2 update, along with a series of bug fixes for hero abilities and bots. Several more teams were invited to August's official tournament The International, which last year hosted a prize fund of $1.6 million US.
Blacklight: Retribution released its new Netwar game type this week, combining capture the flag gameplay with capture points on a massive map. Netwar has timed matches, and the objective is to be the team with the most points at the end. Points are earned by capturing the flag and by holding any of the four capture points in the corners of the map. To capture a flag, you also need to hold the corresponding capture point.
Diablo III has been out for just shy of a week, and already some players have completed the entire game on normal, nightmare, hell, and inferno difficulty modes. World of Warcraft guild Method, which frequently aims for raid boss world first kills, took its skills to Diablo III and became the first to kill the Skeleton King in inferno difficulty. The team of three to four players was surprisingly beaten to the world first inferno game completion by a single player, proving that inferno mode can be completed solo with the right combination of skills, gear, and luck.
The announcement that inferno could be completed solo has sparked outrage over the difficulty presented in inferno, as it's supposed to be significantly harder than Diablo II's unforgiving hell mode. Unlike in previous games, players can even resurrect each other without limit in the middle of a fight. Nevertheless, groups continue to be slaughtered in both hell and inferno modes. Diablo III's release was not without difficulty, as the servers were extremely unstable for the first few days. In response, dissatisfied players who were unable to log in flooded Metacritic with 0/10 votes to push the game's score down.
Heroes of Newerth's latest hero, Riftwalker, was released last week but was almost lost among the excitement surrounding the new Mid Wars game mode. Riftwalker is an intelligence hero and the first real support champion to be released in a long time. Her first ability, Cascade Event, is cast on a point on the ground and pulls all nearby enemies toward that point, dealing magic damage to all affected players. This can be used tactically to pull enemies toward Engineer's mines or to set up kills for another player with an area-effect stun.
Riftwalker's second ability, Shared Existence, places on an enemy hero a slowing debuff that grows in strength every time the hero takes damage. Combined with ranged heroes who have fast attack speeds or damage-over-time spells, this ability can stop practically anyone from fleeing. Rift burn deals increasing damage in an area every second for several seconds, pairing nicely with Cascade Event and your teammates' area-effect stuns. Riftwalker's ultimate channels for a few second and then teleports to the target location, dealing an area-effect stun. The stun is superior magic damage, so it cuts through magic immunity from abilities and shrunken head.
Rise of Immortals team released melee damage-dealer Tzai some time ago but didn't release an accompanying immortal spotlight video until this week. Tzai is an assassin capable of killing almost any lone immortal; he uses his Flying Kick ability to close the gap to melee range and stays in range due to the bonus movement speed from Demon's Gaze.
Hi-Rez Studios announced this week that its upcoming MOBA Smite will soon enter beta. Smite turns classic MOBA gameplay on its head with a third-person perspective camera and very high-quality graphics. The beta period begins at the end of the month, and you can sign up for a chance to get access.
Torchlight II is currently in the midst of an extended stress test weekend that's due to end tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. EDT. The beta will end for good shortly after this stress test, and developers will begin focusing on getting the game finished and released as soon as possible.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.