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Not So Massively: Elite Dangerous goes public, Dota 2 launches, and End of Nations becomes a MOBA


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League of Legends announced plans for its upcoming Season three World Championship tournament this week and revealed details of a full Master Yi revamp coming as part of Patch 3.9. After two years of not quite being released, Dota 2 officially launched and saw a small increase in player numbers. The second season of Heroes of Newerth's competitive HoNTour League is about to get underway, but organisers have revealed that there will be cash prizes for only the top six teams in each cycle.

Diablo III fansite DiabloFans revealed some interesting information on upcoming development following an interview with developers, including the fact that the game won't be a launch title for the PS4 or XBox One. Path of Exile upgraded its map-to-maker system to also assign dropped magic and rare maps to the creator of a map area, and it slashed some of its microtransaction item prices.

Firefall developer Red 5 Studios announced its first $10,000 US cash prize tournament series and profiled Star Citizen in its latest Rise of the Indies show on YouTube. Elite: Dangerous released £4 million ($5.9 million US) worth of shares to the public on the London Stock Exchange, adding to the impressive amount of capital the developers already have access to. And End of Nations now falls firmly within the remit of this column after recently rebranding itself from an MMO to a MOBA.

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League of Legends title image
Details of the League of Legends Season 3 World Championship were announced this week, months in advance of the tournament itself. The multi-million-dollar shebang is set to kick off in the Staples Center in Los Angeles on October 4th and will see top qualifying teams flown in from the regional finals in Anaheim, Cologne, Moscow, Dallas, and Shanghai. Details of the tournament format, playoffs, and livestreaming provisions are still to come.

Classic champion Master Yi has been a firm favourite of new players for a long time, but the deluge of new champions in recent years has left him feeling a little old and behind the curve. Riot plans to visually revamp Master Yi in the next patch with all-new sounds, voiceovers, and spell effects. The update will also bring a complete ability rework designed to combine his two most popular builds into a single playstyle.

Patch 3.9 will likewise bring some big changes for champions Draven and LeBlanc, along with several items. A good Draven player was previously able to dominate in the early game with the bonus damage gained from catching axes. This has now been replaced with a buff called "adoration" that stacks up on catching axes and rewards Draven with bonus gold when he kills a player. Leblanc's Mimic ability will still copy the last spell cast, but the rank used will now depend on Mimic's rank rather than the copied spell's rank. Mimicing a rank one spell in the early game is now more worthwhile.

Dota 2 title image
Less than a month after detailing its plans to transition into full release, free-to-play MOBA Dota 2 has now officially launched. The beta has ended, but that doesn't mean you can just jump right in and play. New players must first download the client on Steam and then wait for activation, which is happening in waves to keep the server load equalised. Valve scaled up its server infrastructure in anticipation of up to a 100% increase in the size of its playerbase, but the Steam graphs have shown only a small increase in the number of people playing the game at peak times.

Heroes of Newerth title image
Season two of Heroes of Newerth's HoNTour League is about to get underway, with $360,000 US up for grabs and full coverage of all 10 event cycles. $150,000 US has been set aside for the finals, and the remaining funds will be divided up between the winners of each league cycle.

The first season gained community favour by offering small cash prizes for players at the top of their respective divisions, providing prizes for players of all ability levels. This season comes with the disappointing news that only the top six teams from the top Diamond division will receive cash prizes each cycle. All other divisions provide only Gold Coins as prizes.

Diablo III title image
Diablo III fansite DiabloFans recently interviewed developers Josh Mosqueira, Travis Day, and Wyatt Cheng to find out more about the future for the PC and console versions of the game. Players who were disappointed at the gear-enchanting Mystic being removed from the game will be glad to know that developers have been working hard on getting her back into the game. No details have yet been hammered out on exactly what services she will offer. Paragon levels might also be made account-wide and may have some kind of stat allocation system tied to them.

The console version of the game that was given a September release date on the PS4 and Xbox 360 won't be coming to the PS4 and XBox One until at least next year as developers have only just received their development kits. This means it will not be a launch title on the next-generation platforms. We also found out that there are no plans to bring Diablo III into the PvP e-sports arena and that announcements about new features are on the way.

Path of Exile title image
Path of Exile recently added a feature in which map drops within a map area will become permanently allocated to the person who created the map area. This is due to be expanded in the next patch to also cover magic and rare maps but not the ultra-rare unique maps. The idea is to help stop groups from running out of maps by assigning all those that drop to the group leader. Developers also slashed the prices on many cosmetic microtransaction items this week based on player feedback.

Star Citizen title image
After recently hitting the $14 million US mark, this week Star Citizen welcomed the newest arrivals in its community of over 214,000 crowdfunding backers. Project Director Chris Roberts also appeared on Stage Five TV's Rise of the Indies to talk about how he got started in game development and his journey from creating Wing Commander to building the largest crowdfunded game in history.

Elite: Dangerous title image
Frontier Developments, the development studio behind upcoming sci-fi sandbox title Elite: Dangerous, launched an IPO on the London Stock Exchange this week. £4 million ($5.9 million US) in shares were created and sold to the public, adding to the £7.2 million developers already had in the bank, of which a proportion came from crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. The shares are expected to start trading today under the ticker FDEV.

Firefall title image
Some time ago, developer Red 5 Studios announced its commitment to starting up a competitive e-sports scene in its upcoming MMOFPS Firefall. Last year saw the release of an incredibly useful shoutcasting toolkit for livestreamers, but until now the studio hadn't put any prize money on the line. This week Red 5 announced the upcoming Go4Firefall tournament series, which will kick off on August 4th and promises a prize pool of $10,000 USD in North America and €10,000 EUR in Europe. It's first in what may become a longer series of open beta tournaments composed of weekly five-man Jetball matches.

End of Nations title image
When I first mentioned MMORTS End of Nations in the Not So Massively column, it was because we didn't know for sure whether the persistent MMO elements were truly massive in scope. Now it seems we have a real reason to cover the game here, as this week it was rebranded as a MOBA.

Rather than controlling swathes of troops on a persistent world map, it appears that you'll now lead a hero mech or vehicle onto the battlefield in match-based gameplay. This is made even more interesting by the fact that the game was, until recently, being built by MOBA developer Petroglyph. The switch from MMO to MOBA may have been planned for a long time.

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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