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Not So Massively: Diablo III expectations, polishing Torchlight II


This week Diablo III's Bashiok caused a stir over a cheeky forum post asking a fan to lower his expectations of the upcoming title. He continues posting rampantly to the forum this week to defend recent game design decisions. Dota 2 delivered its first test build using its new deployment system, and Gaming With Gizmoh raised over $1,000 US for Child's Play with a 24-hour marathon of the beta. League of Legends took a look at its Filipino playerbase, while Heroes of Newerth was struck by a massive exploit that saw the European servers taken offline for days.

Web show Extra Credits teamed up with Red 5 Studios to offer its support for the studio's ambitious development plans for Firefall. The month-long Blacklight: Retribution open beta started today, with the introduction of three beta events with prizes and a new video tutorial for the Heavy Metal map. Rise of Immortals celebrated its first anniversary of unveiling the game to the public this week and offered a sneak peek of its creepy new Immortal Azcadelia. Finally, Torchlight II developer Patrick Blank talks about polishing content and delivers an update on where the team is in development.

Not So Massively title image
Blizzard tells Diablo III fans to lower their expectations
Are you eagerly awaiting Diablo III's eventual release? Well, perhaps you shouldn't be quite that eager.
Blizzard clarifies Bashiok's statements about Diablo III and hints at release announcement
The most recent tempest in a Diablo III-shaped teapot has been community manager Bashiok making a statement to fans urging them to lower their expectations for the game.
The Summoner's Guidebook: Get back, get back!
Last week, I said I would avoid doing articles on the situational "soft skills" in League of Legends. Well, this week kind of ruins that already. Today we're going to talk about lane positioning, zoning, and harassment.
Sins of a Dark Age announced, new team-based RTS from Sins of a Solar Empire dev
Ironclad announced Sins of a Dark Age today, its follow-up to the epic space armada strategy game, Sins of a Solar Empire. The new game will be a free-to-play project, blending classic real-time strategy with the MOBA genre (League of Legends, DOTA 2).
The League of Legends World Tour visits the Philippines this week, celebrating just over a year of the game's release in the region. The Filipino community has exploded in the past year, doubling in size about five times. The Philippines is a true nation of gamers, with gaming cafes on practically every city street. Competitive gaming comes naturally to the region's gamers, who routinely challenge rival gaming cafes and proudly display tournament awards on their home turf.

Dota 2 title image
Valve released its first Dota 2 test build this week using its new deployment service. The stable version of the main game remained accessible to players, while the test build was released as a separate game on Steam. Once any issues with each test build are discovered and fixed, it will be migrated over to the main game. Gaming With Gizmoh ran a 24-hour Dota 2 beta marathon over the weekend in support of charity Child's Play. The group managed to raise $1,249 US, over 25% more than its $1,000 US goal.

Firefall title image
Web show Extra Credits, as featured on Penny Arcade TV, joined forces with Red 5 Studios this week in a new series of Firefall promotional videos. While the Extra Credits crew goes out of its way to praise Red 5 as a studio, it also highlights some of the design problems inherent in making a game with such a wide scope. "If Red 5 fails, they'll have failed doing the right thing," says Extra Credits.

Diablo III title image
Blizzard's Bashiok has always been active on the Diablo III message boards and rarely shies away from arguing with the concerns of fans. This week he discusses the changes recent rune changes, defends the concept of skill customisation, and explains why certain game elements from Diablo II were kept in for the sequel. Skill runes now unlock as you level up, and Blizzard has published a list of runes and their unlock levels on each skill page to give players an idea of the customisation paths they might want to take.

Lorehound explores the price points for listing items on the Diablo III cash auction house, working out the percentage that Blizzard takes as a cut even before PayPal fees and withdrawal fees. If an item is listed for the minimum price of $1.50 US, about 83% of that goes to Blizzard, while the remaining 17% (25 cents) will almost certainly be eaten up by fees. Players may not see much from sales below $3 US, as the standard fee of $1.25 will eat up the profit from small item sales.

Blacklight: Retribution title image
The Blacklight: Retribution open beta starts today, and to celebrate, Zombie Studios has announced three exclusive beta events. Prizes include thousands of ZEN, the game's microtransaction currency, which you can spend on customisations and items when the game goes live. The three highest-level players by March 26th will get 5,000 ZEN, and six runners-up will get 1,000 ZEN. A further 5,000 ZEN is up for grabs in a video contest for the best frag video produced during open beta, with two runner-up prizes of 2,500 ZEN. Finally, every match you win during the beta will win you a ticket for a raffle at the end of beta.

If it's your first time playing Blacklight: Retribution, you'll probably want to check out the Intel Report video series that shows the position of weapons depots and combat choke points on each map. This week's Intel Report tackles the Heavy Metal map, a huge industrial complex with multiple entry points and wide open spaces.

Heroes of Newerth title image
Following this week's balance patch, an exploit was discovered in one of Heroes of Newerth's alternate avatars. The Logger Legionnaire skin's Whirling Blade chance was unexpectedly found to be 100%, making him able to easily outfarm any other hero. S2 announced that half of the servers would be shut down to apply a hotfix for the exploit; the other half would then be incrementally restarted over the course of three hours. The hotfix occurred during European and North American prime time and crippled match making for several hours. The European servers have been reporting zero usage since the incident, but this may be a display bug.

Rise of Immortals title image
Rise of Immortals celebrates the first anniversary of the unveiling of the game to the public this week. Although RoI officially launched in late 2011, the first ever beta started one year ago. This week the team offered a sneak peek of its next Immortal, the creepy Azcadelia, Weaver of Shadows. From the preview image, players are expecting an undead witch whose abilities revolve around spiders. If you have arachnophobia, you may want to avoid this one.

Torchlight II title image
In this week's Torchlight II dev video, Runic Games' lead level designer Patrick Blank talks about the magic of making awesome content. To reward explorers who like to visit the entirety of a map, the team has implemented easter eggs, scripted events and special items you can find only by exploring. The team has completed its second polishing pass of Act 1 and is about half way through polishing Act 2.

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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