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Not So Massively: Diablo III players conquer Inferno and more


Diablo III reportedly became the fastest selling PC game of all time this week with over 6.3 million units sold in its first week despite ongoing server issues. Blizzard assured players that recent account hackings have not been caused by a compromised database, and players have come up with a variety of inventive ways to conquer the practically impossible Inferno mode.

In MOBA news, League of Legends celebrated one year of its player-mediated banning tribunal and released the official champion spotlight video for new champion Darius, the Hand of Noxus. Dota 2 released a new interface this week to help players pick heroes more effectively, and Heroes of Newerth released a strange new tentacle demon plant hero named Bramble. We also heard of upcoming indie MOBA Smashmuck, which entered closed beta yesterday.

Upcoming action FPS Hedone was recently rebranded under a new name, and this week developers opened signups for a new closed beta. Torchlight II's beta officially ended this week, and the Wrath of Heroes Beta introduced new hero Amenadresh.

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League of Legends title image
This week marks a year since the release of the League of Legends tribunal that lets players vote on whether to pardon or punish players reported for misconduct. To celebrate, Riot has launched a few improvements to the tribunal and released some interesting statistics on its use over the past year. Over 47 million votes have been cast in total, with 51% of cases being given a guilty verdict and 49% of cases dismissed. Of those guilty cases referred on to GMs, only 5.7% resulted in a permanent ban.

These statistics are impressive, but conflict with reports of tribunal activity released five months ago. While today's punishment figure is 51%, in December 2011 it was claimed that 94% of cases that faced the tribunal resulted in punishment. Although only 16 million votes had been cast by then, that's a pretty big drop in conviction rates.

Last week Riot released details of new champion Darius, the Hand of Noxus. This week's champion spotlight video below shows Darius' axe-swinging abilities in action, including laning strategies and advanced tactics for both Summoner's Rift and Dominion game modes.

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Valve redesigned the Dota 2 hero picker and dashboard with this week's beta update. The new interface includes a search tool for heroes and filters that let you select a hero by role, attack type, or by your own personal tracked stats and favourites. With the huge array of heroes Dota 2 will have at release, these new options will come as a welcome addition to the game.

Diablo III title image
Diablo III's server woes were put into perspective this week as we learned that the game had vastly outsold Blizzard's already high expectations. Sales of 4 million units were predicted within the first 90 days, but that prediction was smashed in just over 24 hours. Selling 6.3 million copies in its first week, Diablo III became possibly the fastest selling PC game of all time. This impressive statistic has been unfortunately overshadowed by six-hour-long server maintenance periods during which even singleplayer games are not possible.

This week saw a number of account hijackings, leading players to suspect that the servers or authenticator databases had been compromised. Blizzard assured players that neither had been compromised, and that the total number of hacked accounts wasn't very high. Complaints also continued this week of poor itemisation on Legendary items, most of which have random stats and many of which are outclassed by rares.

The Inferno difficulty mode has encouraged players to find creative ways to handle the challenge. Wizards using an energy shield build to trivialise Inferno were disappointed when the skill was nerfed in a hotfix this week. A player also published the video below showing a witch doctor killing the first act's end boss on Inferno mode in just nine seconds.

Heroes of Newerth title image
Your favourite MOBA may have some great heroes and interesting items, but does it have a gibbering tentacle demon? This week Heroes of Newerth released Bramble, a mutated mantrap plant that's more Cthulhu than wallflower. Bramble's first ability, Spore Breath, deals damage every second to players in a cone in front of her, ending with a stun. Ensnaring Shrubbery places a shield on Bramble or an ally that slows nearby enemies and heals both the target and any nearby allies for a portion of any damage dealt to them.

As the shield heals for a percentage of damage taken, it can act as a form of damage reduction. Bramble is a strength hero and so will have a huge health pool by the late game stage, allowing her to absorb a huge amount of damage in team fights and heal all nearby allies. Bramble's third ability, Combat Vigor, grants Bramble and all nearby allies movement speed every time an attack is landed. Her ultimate ability summons a wall of impassable vines that slow and damage nearby enemies.

Smashmuck title image
You might not have heard of Smashmuck as it's being developed by indie studio Kiz Studios, but this upcoming MOBA has turned a lot of heads. The developer's ambitious plans include four separate game modes: Capture the flag, classic DotA style tower defense, control point capture, and a more StarCraft-like resource combat mode. Featuring a more cartoony style than most MOBAs, Smashmuck will be launching with four maps and a full roster of champions. The game entered closed beta yesterday and you can sign up now for a chance to play it.

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Upcoming action game Hedone has been a little quiet lately, and this week we found out why. Developer Acony has signed a deal with Sony Online Entertainment and rebranded the game as Bullet Run. You can sign up to the beta now using your Station account.

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The Torchlight II beta officially closed this week on Thursday May 24th. Developers will now begin the process of collating the masses of feedback and bug-reports it received during the beta and finishing off the game.

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Wrath of Heroes released details on its newest hero this week, the Tomb King Liche Priest Amenadresh. His abilities include area-of-effect damage-over-time and heal-over-time spells, a nuke that removes armour from the enemy, and an area-effect nuke mixed with a heal.

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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