Not So Massively: Dota 2's Diretide controversy, Extra-Life fund-raising, and Star Citizen breaks $26m

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Not So Massively: Dota 2's Diretide controversy, Extra-Life fund-raising, and Star Citizen breaks $26m
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Charity Extra-Life has been working with MMO and MOBA studios across the world this week to raise money for children's hospitals; the charity's website was the subject of a DDoS attack this past weekend but still managed to raise over $3.25 million US. Dota 2 players threw a huge internet tantrum this week when Valve chose not to run its promised Diretide Halloween event and didn't give players any indication as to why. Threats were allegedly made against Valve employees as part of the outrage, and Dota 2's metacritic score was trashed.

League of Legends relaunched classic ranged champion Sivir this week with an updated look and a few nice gameplay changes as part of Patch 3.13. Heroes of Newerth hinted that its previously discussed Chaos Mode, which gives players new sets of random abilities every time they spawn, will soon be released under the name Rift Wars.

Diablo III developers reversed their decision to make Transmogrified gear become soulbound and released a lore update delving into the dark history of gothic city Westmarch. Path of Exile's first post-release update is in the works, but developers have already managed to fix the occasional disconnects that crept in shortly after launch. And Star Citizen has hit the $26 million crowdfunding mark, unlocking advanced capital ship systems.
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Multiple games from across the MOBA and MMO genres worked with charity Extra-Life this week to raise money for children's hospitals by livestreaming games. The charity was hit with a Dynamic Denial of Service attack that temporarily brought the donation servers down soon after the event launched, but the webhost was able to get the servers back online. Fundraisers rapidly made up for lost time, raising a total of over $3.25 million US as of the time of publication.
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Halloween came and went for Dota 2 players with a suspicious lack of holiday events. Last year's Diretide event was supposed to be a new annual tradition, and a developer thread hinted that it would be back again this Halloween. But when the clock struck midnight on October 31st, players knew it was probably not happening. Valve hasn't yet released any statement on why it skipped the event this year; in fact, the Dota 2 blog hasn't been updated at all since the middle of September.

In response to the missed holiday event, Dota 2 players threw a massive tantrum across the net that even got the attention of Forbes. Thousands of players rated the game zero on metacritic in just two days to pull its score down from over 8.0 to less than 4.0, and others have reportedly defaced Wikipedia articles and threatened Valve employees. Dota 2 developer Matthew Bailey even claimed to have been targeted with harassing calls to his personal phone number over the issue.

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This week saw the relaunch of classic ranged champion Sivir, one of the earliest champions and most in need of an overhaul. Sivir has received a graphical and audio upgrade to match League of Legends' new design style as well as some balance changes to make her a more competitive choice. The update was packaged with Patch 3.13, which also introduced balance changes for 13 other champions and minor bug fixes for 12 others.

The Twisted Treeline map is now officially out of beta, but Riot Games has promised to continue iterating on it. And the healing nerf has been removed from Dominion mode as it didn't really stop teams from turtling and was effectively a nerf to champions that relied on healing and regeneration.

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S2 Games released a cryptic trailer this week stating that something called Rift Wars will be coming soon. The video shows a hero using three abilities that ordinarily belong to other heroes, so it looks as if Rift Wars will be the Chaos Mode developers hinted at back in June. This new game mode spawns the player as a completely new hero with a random set of abilities every time he dies, leading to some hilarious skill combinations that aren't normally possible.

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If you're the kind of gamer who just can't get enough lore and fiction, the latest dev post on Diablo III's Reaper of Souls expansion will be right up your alley. The update delves into the dark history of Westmarch, a gothic city drenched in the blood of conquest and the setting for the next act of Diablo III's story. Developers have also revealed that the Transmogrification feature coming in the expansion will no longer cause items to become soulbound.

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The recent influx of players since Path of Exile's launch has caused noticeable bouts of server instability and disconnections. Developers were happy to report that the disconnection issue has been solved and work on improving combat sync is continuing. The first post-release update was also announced this week, with plans to add more secret vendor recipes to discover, five new unique items, and a new support gem that increases the experience gain of other gems linked to it. The update has been dubbed 1.0.1 and will be released on November 12th.

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Star Citizen just about met the $26 million mark yesterday, unlocking enhanced capital ship systems. Players will be able to take command of damage control teams to fight fires and repair ship systems during a battle, and the bridge of capital ships will come with new workstations for jobs like Navigation and Engineering. With the possibility of recreating an immersive starship captain experience with your friends as bridge officers, it's no wonder this stretch goal inspired so many new pledges. The $28 million stretch goal was revealed as a new starter ship called the Mustang.

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