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Not So Massively: Hero spotlights and Diablo III confirms PvP arenas in 2012


This week, League of Legends revealed plans to buff support tanks in the Varus patch and change several ability power items. Riot also plans to buff Master Yi and nerf Ryze's ability to tank and deal damage at the same time. Dota 2 released an updated user interface designed to take all the pain out of using the courier, and Bloodline Champions revealed its massive $10,000 DreamHack Summer 2012 tournament.

Diablo III revealed the Witch Doctor this week, giving Diablo II necromancer fans a peek at the closest replacement they'll get in the upcoming title. Blizzard's Jay Wilson also confirmed that PvP arenas will be released long before the end of the year. Heroes of Newerth released its new support hero Ellonia, an ice mage whose abilities focus around a stacking slow debuff. Rise of Immortals released a new immortal spotlight video on popular area-effect damage-dealer Netheurgist and encouraged players to start guilds with a contest to win 1,000 prestige points for every guild member.

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Diablo III cooks up a reveal for the Witch Doctor
As the release grows closer, Diablo III continues to serve up new reveals for the game's classes. But the latest revelation is still bringing a lot of secrets along with it.
League of Legends announces full release of Spectator Mode
League of Legends players, go make some popcorn and grab a drink because the game's spectator mode is almost ready to go into full release. After the game's next patch, players will be able to spectate League of Legends games in a variety of ways, and they can enhance the experience using a number of nifty features.
The Summoner's Guidebook: Improving our skillshot dodging skills
Although the term "skillshot" was a new word for me when I started playing League of Legends, the concept of avoidable attacks is something that is very intuitive for even novice gamers.
Get into the Neverwinter beta by pre-ordering Torchlight II
Synergy and cross-promotion are what make the corporate world go 'round, so try not to boggle too much as you read the following sentences. Perfect World and Runic Games have teamed up to give you a unique way to access the Neverwinter beta.

League of Legends title image
League of Legends released its Varus patch preview this week, delving into all of the gameplay updates due to hit the game when new champion Varus is released. Riot is continuing to integrate tanks into the DotA gameplay but has noticed that support tanks tend to die early in teamfights. To solve this, the team will ensure that Alistar, Amumu, Leona, Nunu, and Taric will receive magic resist per level in the hopes that they will survive area-effect damage in a teamfight.

Although you may be familiar with Master Yi as a champion who unashamedly dominates games, Riot has found that he's very inconsistent, so he'll be getting a buff in the coming patch. Ryze was also found to be too powerful at higher levels, and players have consistently chosen a single-item build for him. All of his abilities and base stats are being rebalanced in an attempt to fix this one-trick champion by making ability power builds more attractive. Finally, several items normally used on ability power champions have been rebalanced. For the full details on all the changes, check out the patch preview video below:

Dota 2 title image
Every MOBA uses a variation on the standard DotA user interface, but this week Valve decided it was time for some improvements. Dota 2 players were treated to UI updates aimed at reducing wasted UI space in higher resolutions and making the courier simpler to use. Effective courier-handling is an important part of Dota 2's competitive gameplay, but it's one that's more of a nuisance than a test of skill. The courier's availability is now visible on its icon, and it can now deliver items with a single click.

Diablo III title image
If you were planning on playing Diablo III until you found out that the necromancer wouldn't be available, you might want to check out the Witch Doctor reveal video. The Witch Doctor is practically a replacement for the necromancer, with summoned minions, area-effect spells, and even curses. The Diablo III launch site has reached 72% reveal with just two weeks to go, revealing an excerpt from the upcoming novel The Order and a developer diary from March 21st, which is when the release date of May 15th had been finalised internally.

This week Jay Wilson confirmed that the PvP arenas recently cut from Diablo III's launch will be released by the end of the year. When asked about a translated interview in which he promised the feature "before 2013," Jay responded, "I also said I hoped it was 'way' before the end of the year." Developers are gearing up for a big launch, with adverts on prime time TV containing new cinematic footage.

Bloodline Champions title image
Bloodline Champions is getting ready for its usual massive showing at DreamHack Summer, this time with a $10,000 livestreamed tournament. A sum of $6,000 will be awarded to the first place winner, $3,000 for second place, and $1,000 for third place. Qualifier tournaments started yesterday and will continue for four weeks, but if you're attending DreamHack 2012, you can get involved by winning the BYOC tournament for a chance at the main prize.

Heroes of Newerth title image
Heroes of Newerth released a new hero this week, the ice queen Ellonia. Her first ability, Glacial Spike, fires a shard of ice in a line, damaging and slowing all enemies it touches and piercing through enemy units. The spell has a very low cooldown like Artesia's magic missile, and the slow effect stacks with every hit. Her second spell, Frigid Field, also has a low cooldown creates a frozen area on the ground that slows and damages units inside it every second.

Flash Freeze is a single-target stun that deals damage based on the number of stacks of Ellonia's slowing debuff on the target. It consumes all charges of the slow, but the duration of the stun is also increased for each charge removed. Ellonia's ultimate, Absolute Zero, fires a slow-moving orb that deals damage and a stacking slow in an area 10 times per second. This can stack up huge amounts of Ellonia's slow debuff on fleeing heroes, allowing Flash Freeze to deal extra damage.

Rise of Immortals title image
To encourage players to create guilds using the new guild system, the Rise of Immortals team is offering all guilds a chance to win 1,000 prestige points for every member of their guilds. Two winning guilds will be selected today from the list of guilds with five or more active members. This week the Rise of Immortals team also released a new immortal spotlight on one of the game's original release characters: Netheurgist. As an area-effect disabler, Netheurgist has poor defences but massive damage-dealing potential.

His first ability, Shadow Spear, fires a spear that pierces enemies in a line and applies a five-second damage over time effect to every enemy hit. This ability doubles as an initiator, as Netheurgist can activate the ability a second time to teleport to the spear. His second ability, Shackles of Death, is a single-target damage over time spell that increases in damage the longer it remains active. His other abilities include an area-effect damage-over-time spell, an ability that leaves a damage-dealing trail behind Netheurgist, and a move that pulls all nearby enemies toward him and damages and stuns all affected enemies. Check out the spotlight video below for more details:

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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