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Not So Massively: D3 launches European beta and HoN celebrates 100th hero


League of Legends announced a new photo contest this week and continued its world tour series with a look at the game's French playerbase. Fans have also been preparing for the Intel Extreme Masters world championship. Dota 2 implemented a new co-op matchmaking mode that pits players against bots, and the studio released classic hero Atropos, the Bane Elemental.

The Diablo III beta grew significantly this week with the first round of European invites making its way to potential players. Blizzard confirmed that a big game announcement is almost here and discussed its recent layoff of over 600 employees. Blacklight: Retribution celebrated its open beta this week with a new an impressive new trailer filmed with entirely in-engine footage.

Heroes of Newerth celebrated its 100th hero this week with the gripping intelligence hero Kinesis, who deals massive damage by hurling trees and creeps at foes. Rise of Immortals released its spotlight on Kaos and revealed details of upcoming immortal Azcadelia.

League of Legends title image
The Intel Extreme Masters world championship begins tomorrow, starting five days of frantic League of Legends, StarCraft II, and CounterStrike competitive gaming. A full list of the competitors and their team Rosters is available on LoL's Season Two competitive gaming webpage.

Riot Games revealed the winners of its recent Art of Revelry contest this week, showcasing the incredible prize-winning art produced by fans. The studio also revealed its new I Heart LoL photo contest, asking fans to submit photos that show how much they love League of Legends. Prizes include a new graphics card, GamerFood vouchers, a JiNX voucher, and thousands of Riot Points.

The LoL world tour visited another group of impressive artists this week as it explored the game's artistically inclined French community. The French have recently taken livestreaming and competitive gaming by storm, with the French language stream of the recent Kings of Europe e-sports tournament hitting a record 16,000 concurrent viewers.

Dota 2 title image
Dota 2 has added a new co-op matchmaking game mode that pitches random players of the same skill level against appropriately skilled bots. The bot AI was improved significantly in the patch; they now have the ability to deny creeps and feature improved last-hitting skills. The patch also brought classic DotA hero Atropos, the Bane Elemental, into the arena. Atropos is a disabler, with abilities that cause a target to sleep, drain the target's health and mana, and lower enemy attack damage.

Blacklight: Retribution title image
To celebrate the start of open beta, the Blacklight: Retribution team released a new trailer this week showing the kind of gameplay you can expect if you give the game a try. While the animation sequence for the trailer was scripted, fans have confirmed that the video's impressive videos were accurate and the trailer was likely rendered entirely in-engine.

Diablo III title image
Are you a European gamer looking forward to playing Diablo III? The first wave of European beta invites went out this week, so check your account management page to see if you've been selected. Remember not to click links in emails reporting to be from Blizzard as they may be phishing schemes trying to steal your password; go directly to your account management page and look for a Diablo III beta account in your game list.

Those outside Europe should also be happy that the European beta is underway, as it means the game is one step closer to launch. As we wait for the all-important launch date, Blizzard confirmed that a big Diablo III announcement is almost here. How Blizzard's recent layoff of over 600 employees factors into future plans for Diablo III is yet to be seen.

Heroes of Newerth title image
Celebrating its 100th hero, Heroes of Newerth ran a week-long series of contests, competitions and celebrations. Players enjoyed 75% reductions in hero prices, a chance to beat the developers at their own game, double silver coins from matchmaking games, and a raffle for over $100,000 US worth of gold coins. The celebrations officially began on Monday, February 27th, but unfortunately the S2 Games newsletter informing players of the events wasn't sent out until the 29th. If you missed the news, it's already too late to participate; the events ended today.

The 100th hero to arrive in Newerth is Kinesis, an incredibly fun-looking intelligence hero whose abilities are based on telekinetically throwing trees and creeps at enemies. Telekinetic Lift hurls up to four creeps or trees into the air for eight seconds. Kinesis can then throw these creeps at a target hero to deal massive damage and apply a stacking slow debuff. Stasis Smash throws a hero into the air just like a Stormspirit, except that heroes in the air take half damage rather than being immune to damage. When the effect ends, the player in stasis hits the ground and deals damage and a stun to himself and other enemy units nearby.

Every time Kinesis attempts to deal damage with a spell, even if it's prevented, he stacks up a telekinetic shield that blocks all incoming damage until depleted. Kinesis' ultimate ability, Mass Control, applies Telekinetic Lift to every object in a selected area. The ability can then be used again to hurl the lifted objects at an area on the ground. In combination with Telekinetic Lift, this ability can deal massive damage to a lone hero or turn the tide of a teamfight.

Rise of Immortals title image
Last week we got a sneak peek at upcoming immortal Azcadelia, and this week the character's art and abilities were fully revealed. Azcadelia is a ranged damage-dealer who commands tiny shadeling creatures to attack her targets. She can order all three shadelings to attack the same target and even make them explode to deal area-effect damage. Her abilities focus on area-effect damage, silencing and immobilising enemies.

When Kaos, the Universal Commando, first arrived in Rise of Immortals, players were confused by the presence of a US Marine in the immortal games. This week's Kaos immortal spotlight did little to alleviate that confusion, dispensing with the usual lore and background story in favour of explaining the new character's skills in more detail.

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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