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Not So Massively: Elite's Panther LX, PoE's launch week, and Blizzard All-Stars' new name

Brendan Drain, @nyphur
October 21, 2013

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This week, a new Elite: Dangerous newsletter showed off the work-in-progress missile launcher and torpedo weapons and the Panther LX heavy cargo clipper ship. David Braben also discussed plans to release the first alpha stage in December and then later proceed to a wider beta. Star Citizen managed to scrape together another million dollars this week, unlocking the Xi'an Scout light attack craft, and developers shone the spotlight on some great fan-made videos.

League of Legends extended the deadline for achieving the necessary ranks to earn the various Season 3 rewards to November 11th, and this week players discovered a series of Soraka support bots that were farming account levels in co-op mode. Blizzard All-Stars has been renamed yet again and is now back in development under the name Heroes of the Storm.

Path of Exile began gearing up for its official launch this coming Wednesday with the release of a deluge of new information on what the patch contains and the first of a brand-new season of the popular Build of the Week series. Firefall developer Red 5 Studios released a new development update with details on plans to revamp everything from the user interface to crafting and character progression. And Russian MOBA Prime World asked its community to come up with a set of guidelines for players to abide by.

Top Stories title image
Yep, Star Citizen's still raking in the money
Cloud Imperium founder Chris Roberts has announced Star Citizen's latest monetary milestone in a new letter from the chairman. The crowdfunded space sim topped $23 million this week, which unlocked a new Xi'an scout plane.
League of Legends aims for harmony with new Team Builder feature
MOBA golden child League of Legends has long been renowned for its incredibly hardcore community, which can make matters unpleasant for newer players and for those looking to learn a new character or try a new strategy.
Solstice Arena comes to Steam
Growing older has two distinct disadvantages: responsibility and less free (game) time. This is where Zynga's mobile MOBA, Solstice Arena, really shines with its cross-platform access and average ten-minute match duration.
Infinite Crisis trailer introduces Atomic Green Lantern
Sometimes, being a hero is more than a difficult job; it's a downright painful experience. Such is the case for the newest champion to join the Infinite Crisis line-up: Atomic Green Lantern.

Elite: Dangerous title image
Frontier Developments released the 13th development newsletter for Elite: Dangerous this week, delving into the early details of weapons, space stations, ships and more. As the game moves steadily toward early alpha testing, developers continue to add more weapon systems for us to pulverise enemy ships with. The beam laser and magnetic railgun were shown off in a previous newsletter, but now we know that the game will also feature missiles, torpedoes, and a new "Small Hardpoint Cannon" that can fit to any unused small ship hardpoint.

The update also shows off concept art for an orbital space station and a mesh paintover of the Panther LX heavy cargo clipper. Painting over the initial 3-D mesh of the ship gives the concept artists a more true-to-life end result, which then acts as a visual target for the texture artists and modelers still working on the ship. Accompanying the newsletter was the seventh dev diary video, which delves into the upcoming alpha and beta stages due to start in December.

Star Citizen title image
Star Citizen bagged yet another million dollars this week, passing the $23 million mark to unlock the Xi'an Scout light attack craft. The $25 million stretch goal has now been revealed as an enhanced alpha with geolocated servers in North America, Europe and Australia from day one of testing. This goal will also add extra alpha slots for players to reserve, which may prove to be a sensible business move given that there are only about 6,700 slots remaining and new customers are the team's most important source of funding.

Even though the game isn't playable yet, Star Citizen has already inspired hundreds of fan-made stories, 3-D models, works of art, and videos. Developers put a few of the best fan videos under the spotlight this week, including the awesome short film "Goodbye" below.

League of Legends title image
Riot Games has decided to extend the deadline for League of Legends' Season 3 rewards to November 11th. Players who achieve Bronze rank or higher in ranked matches before that date will get bonus rewards like unique summoner icons, profile banners, ward skins, and rare champion skins. Riot is also planning to re-release several old legacy and event skins to the general public as very few players currently own them.

New players trying out the co-op mode against AI have recently uncovered a bot that automatically plays support with Soraka to farm levels. The bot allegedly runs straight to bottom lane and latches onto the player that heads there, healing them and refilling their mana for the entire match. Players found at least 12 of the bots running currently and have speculated that they may be used to farm level 30 accounts for sale or to scam the recruiter reward system.

Blizzard All-Stars title image
Blizzard's first attempt to break into the MOBA genre has been named for a third time. The game was originally named Blizzard DOTA but provoked a legal dispute with Valve over its use of the DotA brand in its game Dota 2. As part of the settlement for that case, Blizzard agreed to change the name to Blizzard All-Stars. After two years of silence punctuated by the occasional reminder that the game is still in the works, developers have decided to rename the project yet again. The new name is Heroes of the Storm, and the game will be unveiled at BlizzCon next month.

Path of Exile title image
Path of Exile officially launches in just two days time on Wednesday, October 23rd, when the colossal 1.0.0 patch lands. The update adds the Scion class, new items, new skills, and an additional act to the game. Developers have also increased the drop rate of armour with four linked sockets by a huge percentage to help players get over the level 40-55 hurdle, tweaked the item quantity and rarity bonuses, and improved two-handed weapons.

Release day marks the start of two new four month long ladder-style leagues and some rebalancing of the passive skill tree and skill gems that is sure to have players theorycrafting new and better character builds. In that spirit, Grinding Gear Games has launched a brand-new season of its popular Build of The Week series to accompany the game's official release. The first episode shows off some of the new features coming in for launch, including the new Scion class.

Firefall title image
Red 5 Studios released an in-depth development update this week detailing everything the studio has been up to lately and what the future holds for Firefall. The team emphasised that its number one priority is the quality of the game and the user experience. The number of QA testers has been doubled as developers strive toward their goal of having more defect reports closed each day than created. There are also developments in the user interface, dynamic encounters, character progression, combat, crafting, and social integration.

Prime World title image
Russian MOBA Prime World recently took the unusual stance of letting its community vote on guidelines and rules to be followed by all players. Among those rules passed were orders not to go AFK in games, intentionally feed the enemy team with kills, or make any other attempt to assist the enemy team. Other guidelines have been agreed on by the players that Nival won't be using when issuing punishments. This includes directives to play as a team, help out new players, practice good sportsmanship, communicate with your team, and report offending players without telling them you are reporting them.

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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