Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

Not So Massively: Merry Christmas, Frostivus, Greeviling, and Snowdown!


Dota 2's Frostivus holiday festival turned sour when Greevils stole all the presents, and you can hunt them down for both naughty and nice rewards. Heroes of Newerth was hit by a real-life Grinch this week as hackers breached the game's security and stole the password database, but developers pressed on with their Christmas update and the release of new hero Lodestone. League of Legends got in the Snowdown spirit with a spotlight on new melee initiator Vi, and Riot Games revealed plans to slow down new champion releases and make older champions significantly cheaper.

Elite: Dangerous faces a tense holiday season, with over £300,000 ($484,000) still left to raise on its Kickstarter campaign, which is currently trending to end at a nail-biting 90%. The wealth of recent video updates and trailers should help convince people to pledge before it's too late. Diablo III's first big item duplication scandal reared its ugly head when as it emerged that some Taiwanese players had been abusing the anti-theft rollback support that's meant to protect people when their accounts are hacked. A short interview with Jay Wilson from the Spike Video Game Awards also emerged this week, and in it Jay promised that 2013 will be a big year for the game.

Not So Massively title image
League of Legends spotlights Vi, gets spotlighted by hacker
Do you solve all of your problems via punching? Do you think that the core problem in your life isn't that you try to punch your way through problems but that you aren't punching hard enough?
Blizzard bans thousands of bots from Diablo III
Diablo III is a few thousand players lighter today, as Blizzard announced that it had culled the unfaithful (read: botters) from its fold.Community Manager Lylirra issued the grim proclamation: "We've recently issued account bans to several thousand Diablo III players who were found to be using botting programs while playing.
SMITE issues doomsday patch with Mayan god
Everyone's hopping on board the (non-existent) apocalypse bandwagon, and SMITE may have the edge on irony. Today the MOBA has expanded to include the Mayan god Xbalanque as well as a host of new features and additions.
Frontier releases first Elite: Dangerous trailer
UK-based Frontier has released the first Elite: Dangerous teaser trailer as its crowdfunding project nears the two-weeks-remaining mark. Eurogamer reports that Elite needs approximately £30,000 per day for the next 15 days in order to meet its £1.
Frontier teases Elite: Dangerous scavenger hunt video
Another day, another Elite: Dangerous teaser video. But hey, this is a good thing, right? Yes, yes it is, especially because every little reveal helps build a bit of momentum for Frontier's crowdfunding project that's closing in on crunch time.
Star Citizen's Roberts supports Elite, Project GODUS, says you should too
Star Citizen head honcho Chris Roberts may be busy heading up the revival of the space sim genre, but he's not too busy to make a case for a couple of high profile Kickstarter projects.
Massively Exclusive: Blacklight: Retribution shows off the end of the world, part 5
The adventure of the Blacklight team comes to an end today with the last motion comic setting the stage for Blacklight: Retribution's major patch World's End.

Dota 2 title image
Unleash your inner Grinch with the Greeviling in Dota 2, a new holiday event that sees players chase down and kill wild Greevils for presents. Both naughty and nice presents can drop, and players over at Reddit have been opening them to find out what kind of items you can expect to find. Naughty presents reportedly offered better loot initially but were stealth nerfed in the latest patch and now mostly drop coal. The Dota 2 store has also been updated with Christmas items and all of the winning avatars from the recent Polycount avatar design contest.

Heroes of Newerth title image
Heroes of Newerth was hit by a real-life Grinch this week as hackers broke into the game's login server and stole the player password database, but that hasn't dampened S2 Games' Christmas spirit! The winter patch arrived this week, adding snow to the forests of Caldavar and introducing this year's crop of holiday avatars. The Christmas-themed avatars are bundled exclusively with gold coin packs, but there are loads of new non-Christmas avatars to spend the coins on.

This week also saw the release of new magnetic golem hero Lodestone. With his Rocket Drill ability, Lodestone can fire his drill to a target location and then pull himself toward it, stunning any heroes along the path. Headsmash deals a large amount of mixed damage while damaging Lodestone himself in the process, but the Lodestone Plates passive will heal him for a portion of any damage he takes. Lodestone's ultimate ability, Shatterstorm, can turn around any teamfight by completely nullifying nearby enemies' armour and magic armour, but the effect also applies to Lodestone.

League of Legends title image
Despite being targeted by the same hacker who recently broke into Heroes of Newerth, normal League of Legends operations continued this week. If you've ever thought that there were too many champions in LoL or that they're a little too expensive, you're in luck! In the coming year, developers plan to release a new hero every three to four weeks instead of every two, and prices will be reduced significantly.

The last hero to be released under the old schedule is the recently revealed Vi, an armour-clad melee fighter with fists bigger than her head. Vi is sure to be a very competent initiator due to her Vault Breaker charge and a shield that activates every time she lands an ability. Denting Blows adds a special effect to every third punch that deals a percentage of the enemy's health as bonus damage and shreds some of his armour.

Vi relies on getting into melee range and staying there as she can deal massive damage to slowed or stunned champions. Vi's Excessive Force ability adds a cone of damage to her next basic attack, and her ultimate dashes to an enemy champion and deals huge damage. Combined with Vault Breaker, this should give Vi the mobility she badly needs to stay in a teamfight.

Elite: Dangerous title image
With just 11 days to go, the Elite: Dangerous Kickstarter campaign has passed the £900,000 mark. The project is still trending to end at 90% but has begun to pick up steam as the final weeks approach and may just be pushed over the line. In a recent update, developer David Braben implored fans to spread the word and to each recruit five more backers. With so much support already behind the game and still over £300,000 left to go, it's going to be a tense holiday at Frontier Developments.

Diablo III title image
Duplicating items was a massive problem in Diablo II, but it was normally the result of a complicated bug or exploit. The Taiwanese Diablo III community has been seeing lots of duplicated items recently, but the culprit turned out to be the anti-theft support system. Players who have their accounts hacked can have their accounts rolled back to a time before the theft occurred, but the stolen items are out there in the game world somewhere. New changes now mean that all restored items in Asia are account-bound, a change that may make its way to the North American and European servers soon.

Jay Wilson gave a short interview about Diablo III at the recent Spike Video Game Awards, and the video has been making the rounds this week. While he was careful not to reveal anything specific, Jay confirmed that 2013 will be a big year for Diablo and that the development team is still working hard on upcoming updates. This may be a reference to the PvP Arena system, which is expected to release in early 2013, or to the expansion announced in the last Activision-Blizzard conference call.

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

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr