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Not So Massively: League of Legends' balance patch and more


It's been a big week for League of Legends, with a major balance update and new champion Zyra being released. Sona, Malzahar, and Xin Zhao received major buffs, while Evelynn and Twitch were both completely reworked as part of a plan to balance persistent stealth. Dota 2 released new hero Templar Assassin and revealed a limited edition microtransaction key that is needed to open a rare chest. Heroes of Newerth also released its own new hero this week, a ranged damage-dealer called Prophet, who thrives on teamwork.

Blizzard revealed a few details on Diablo III's upcoming legendary item buffs, and players manually recreated the game's Diamond Gates of Heaven area in Minecraft. Path of Exile continued to show its impressive character customisation options in its latest Build of the Week video and offered a sneak peek at the new passive skill tree layout. Finally, the Torchlight II crew announced that it will be at PAX Prime at the end of August and will be running a Torchlight cosplay contest while there.

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Firefall's Assault battleframe will be evolving this summer. The dev team has a stated goal of increasing the skill ceiling of all the battleframes, so Assault will be oriented more to precise attacks and positioning.
It's a bumper week for League of Legends, with a major balance patch being released and new champion Zyra revealed. Zyra is a plant mage who can grow monstrous plants to attack enemies and use magical seeds as ammo. She can plant seeds as temporary vision wards and then cast spells on them to make them bloom into dangerous plants, rooting enemies with vines and dealing damage with exploding thorn buds.

Stealth abilities have always been a big part of League of Legends' gameplay, but they're notoriously hard to balance in a MOBA. This week Riot Games apologised for not keeping players in the loop during its attempts to balance stealth champions Evelynn and Twitch. Both champions will be getting complete ability remakes. Evelynn will sport the game's only form of persistent stealth, while Twitch will trade his current Ambush ability for a series of damage buffs and a shorter-duration stealth.

Riot Games also released the patch preview for its mid-July balance patch this week, highlighting buffs for Sona, Malzahar, and Xin Zhao. Sona's global cooldown is being reduced to let her chain abilities more easily, and her Crescendo ability will now deal its full damage immediately when it hits rather than be delayed. Malzahar is getting a series of buffs to improve his damage potential, and Xin Zhao's abilities are being reworked to improve him in competitive games without making him overpowered in normal games. Check out the patch preview video below for more details.

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Dota 2 released hero Templar Assassin this week and unveiled its latest microtransaction plan. As in Team Fortress 2, chests drop rarely in Dota 2, and players have to buy keys to open them. From now until the end of the month, players can buy the limited edition Sithil's Summer Key to open a special chest, after which time the key will become a normal treasure key.

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If you thought EVE Online players were obsessed with spreadsheets, check out the latest over at DiabloFans! Players have been working out the game mechanics in Diablo III since it was in beta, and several impressive damage calculation spreadsheets have already been released.

This week Blizzard rep Bashiok gave a few hints on how Diablo III's legendary items might be buffed in a future patch. One of the strategies the team is looking into is the addition of on-hit procs. Finally, if you're a fan of Minecraft, check out the impressive video below of Minecraft players recreating the Diamond Gates of Heaven area from Act 4. The construction took a total of five hours and has been compressed into a five-minute, time-lapsed fly-by.

Heroes of Newerth title image
This week, Heroes of Newerth released its new ranged intelligence hero: Prophet, a spellcaster who relies on his teammates to deal maximum damage. Prophet's first ability, Debilitate, is a single-target nuke that adds a debuff to the target, increasing all damage he takes for a few seconds. His second ability, invigorate, is a buff that grants any ally a huge attack speed buff for a few seconds and applies a small heal. Prophet can use this on himself or his teammates.

Persecution is a single-target nuke with a short stun that leaves a lingering debuff on the target. While debuffed, the target will be mini-stunned every time he's hit with a basic attack. The number of times this can proc is limited by the rank of the skill and tops out at a maximum of four charges. Prophet's ultimate ability, Shared Fate, is an area-effect spell that causes Prophet's spells and attacks on targets inside the area to also hit nearby targets. This allows him to stun a group of enemies at once or even apply his attack speed buff to all nearby allies.

Path of Exile title image
If you're excited for upcoming free-to-play dungeon crawler Path of Exile, you'll definitely want to check out the latest Build of Week video below. In addition to demonstrating the incredible character customisation possibilities in Path of Exile, the video shows off the updated passive skill tree coming in the next beta patch.

Torchlight II title image
If you're heading to PAX Prime at the end of August, be sure to check out the latest Torchlight II showing by Runic Games. The team will also be running a special cosplay competition, with one winner being immortalised as a set of named armour in the game.

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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