Path of Exile celebrated the new year by releasing some interesting stats on the game's performance in 2013 and launching a special week-long ladder event with the properties of both the Domination and Nemesis game modes. Despite speculation to the contrary, Blizzard confirmed this week that Diablo III players will not be getting a seventh skill slot. And Star Citizen has hit its $36 million stretch goal, unlocking a new solar system named Tamsa that's collapsed into a black hole.
Bridging the gap between casual and pro at the Chicago Dota 2 Winter Open
At Ignite Gaming Lounge in Chicago, Illinois, the crowd is losing its mind. It's grand finals of the Chicago Dota 2 Winter Open, a two-day, double-elimination, 16-team throwdown, and for some reason someone has just picked Meepo.
Battle.net beefs up parental controls
Kiddies will find it tougher to spend money in Blizzard's games, as the studio is expanding its parental controls to include locks on in-game purchases.
Is League of Legends greedy? No, says Riot Games president
Responding to claims that Riot Games is being greedy and lazy for failing to create an updated client for League of Legends, President Marc Merrill posted a sharp-tongued rebuttal on Reddit yesterday.
Stick and Rudder: 2013's essential Star Citizen stories
What say we recap 2013 from a Star Citizen-focused perspective? It was a huge year for Cloud Imperium's space sim sandbox, and no, I'm not just talking about the ever-increasing crowdfund windfall.
Designing Star Citizen's MISC Freelancer
Last December, Star Citizen showed off the prototype for the MISC Freelancer ship, a transport vessel with a community-approved design. Now, virtual pilots can take a slideshow stroll through the artistic development process that has gone into taking this ship from concept to final product over the past year.
League of Legends was the target of a distributed denial of service attack this week, which took the servers offline for several hours. A group calling itself "Derp" claimed responsibility for shutting down several online games as part of a sustained attack against livestreamer and pro gamer James Varga.
The group taunted Varga in a text chat and systematically shut down the servers of every game he tried to play on his stream before moving on to attack EA.com and Reddit. Armed police officers arrived at Varga's home address during the attack after his personal details were posted online and someone called in a hoax 911 call claiming that he was holding hostages. Though he was detained while police searched his house, Varga was released without charge.
Dota 2 servers were briefly taken down this week as part of the attack on livestreamer James Varga. The interruption came at an inopportune time for those grinding Phantom Fragments before the end of the Wraith-Night holiday event, but Valve decided to extend the event until today. If you still have fragments left to spend, remember to redeem them before the end of January or they'll disappear.
Path of Exile rang in the new year with a celebratory look back at the past twelve months in review. Developers revealed that 87 patches have been deployed, over 1,000 race events have been run, and the development team has grown from a small core of 20 to now 55 people. The game hit a peak concurrent player total of almost 70,000, and over 3.7 million accounts were registered this year alone.
The first race event of the new year is now underway, with both the properties of Domination and Nemesis events in one. Players have until Wednesday, January 8th, to prove they have what it takes to survive in this ultra-competitive hardcore league. All monsters in this event have a powerful Nemesis modifier and shrine effects will affect both monsters and players alike. The 40 players with the most experience points by the end of the event will win a unique item named Demigod's Touch, but a single death will expel your character from the event.
Diablo III's development, the game allowed players to put seven skills on their hotbars. That was eventually reduced to six skills based on feedback and testing, but players have speculated ever since that a seventh slot might be released with the game's first expansion. Blizzard confirmed this week that players will not be getting a seventh skill slot in Reaper of Souls but that a fourth passive slot is unlocked at level 70.
Star Citizen hit the $36 million funding mark this week, unlocking the Tamsa solar system. Located at the edge of Benu space, the Tamsa system is unique in that its star has collapsed into a black hole. The system now contains only two planets that are both being slowly pulled toward the black hole, making it an unlikely site for colonisation.
The next stretch goal is at $37 million and will introduce the similarly named Tanga star system, a white dwarf star at the heart of a planetary nebula. The system was originally a red giant with one habitable world, but all life in the system was extinguished when the star collapsed to form a white dwarf. No details have yet been revealed on exactly what either the Tamsa or Tanga system will be used for in the final game.
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