Not all online games can be neatly classified as either a full-fledged MMO or not an MMO at all. Some games contain elements of persistence, community, and iterative development that we've come to expect only from MMOs. In last week's colossal Not So Massively, we we published an exclusive reveal of Rise of Immortals character The Netheurgist and took a look at the new LoL champion Vayne.
Following on from that, we celebrated Heroes of Newerth's first birthday with a look at its one-year Honiversary update. We also took a look at a few new games from Prime World, Realm of the Titans, and Karma Online to Blizzard's highly anticipated Diablo III. As if that weren't enough, we got an interview with END Games, the developer behind Vorp!, an online multiplayer action game based entirely in Facebook.
In this week's Not So Massively, we take another peek at the sheer creativity of the League of Legends community and get technical with Heroes of Newerth's practically suicidal hero Martyr. We also take a look at Bloodline Champions' new match replay system, Rise of Immortals' immortal Aislynn, and the latest Realm of the Titans game update arriving in time for closed beta.
In each week's Summoner Showcase, Riot Games highlights the impressive creative accomplishments of the LoL community. This week's showcase introduces some impressive costume designs produced by a group of Spanish League of Legends cosplayers. Also included in this week's video are MapmakerHIS's fantastic painting of champion Caitlyn and a seriously cool LoL-themed monopoly board created by player Sephrick. Finally, a player by the name of "I is for Ian" impressed the community this week with his video "League of Legends Dubstep," which features iconic samples from the game. The summoner showcase has been embedded below in HD:
Stunlock Studios published its developer update blog for May this week, detailing the company's plans for the coming month's development on Bloodline Champions. The new tournament season is beginning, and with it comes a whole host of new season 2 items for the tournament shop. Old tournament tokens will be converted into blood coins, making season 2 a clean slate for competitors. With the new season comes a new healer bloodline named the Grimrog to mix things up. The new bloodline will be released for a short preview phase leading up to its eventual full release on June 15th.
The big news this week for BC fans is that the first iteration of the match replay system is finally being released with Patch 1.2. As saving match replays incurs a bandwidth cost, however, the function will unfortunately not be offered for free. Players will need to purchase a replay pass for either 600 Funcom Points or 20,000 Blood Coins to access the feature, though owners of the Champion or Titan editions of the game will get a pass for free.
Heroes of Newerth hero into the game's already impressive lineup. Martyr is a pure support ranged intelligence hero whose abilities are much more potent when he's on low health. His first skill, Retribution, is a long-range nuke that adds bonus damage and a bonus slow for each percentage of health Martyr is missing. Using his second skill, Guardian Angel, Martyr can also redirect 50% of the damage from an ally to himself.
Although this may seem like suicide, the damage from Guardian Angel can never reduce Martyr's hitpoints to below 10%. The skill also comes with a passive component that applies increasing damage reduction as Martyr's health decreases. If Martyr dies while the spell is active, he will receive the same XP as the spell's target for 30 seconds. This helps to offset the likelihood of dying shortly into a team-fight.
Martyr's third skill, Sacrificial Lamb, sacrifices 20% of his hitpoints and heals all nearby allies for the same amount. As the health taken is percentage-based but the heal given isn't, this can be an incredibly potent heal in late game once Martyr has stacked enough hitpoints. In addition, when Martyr dies, this skill applies a massive movement speed and attack speed buff to all allied heroes in range, helping them either escape a lost fight or turn it around.
Martyr's ultimate is an incredibly powerful self-heal or ally-heal depending on how it's used. If the targeted ally has a lower percentage hitpoints than Martyr, that ally will be healed up to the percentage Martyr has. Conversely, if Martyr is low on health, then he'll be healed up to the hitpoint percentage of his target. This can be used to save an ally or yourself during a team-fight, and as it's percentage based, the skill scales incredibly well into late game. To see how Martyr plays, check out the official Hero Spotlight video, embedded below in HD:
Rise of Immortals team has been hard at work developing new immortals for the release of its upcoming MOBA. Last week, we published an exclusive reveal of The Netheurgist, a necromantic torturer sporting a distinctly Edward Scissorhands look. This week's reveal at GameReplays gives us a first look at Aislynn, a she-wolf barbarian wielding the powers of nature. Her abilities include a combined nuke and heal that changes depending on the target it's cast on, a shield that can be cast on allies, a short movement speed aura, and a powerful automatic resurrection spell.
Aeria Games' upcoming DotA-inspired MOBA Realm of the Titans received a large content update this week ahead of the official start of its closed beta. A new Titan's Eye PvP map was revealed, one in which victory can be won through either destroying the enemy base or reaching 66 hero kills. The map also has increased gold gain, decreased death timers, and all heroes benefit from reduced cooldowns. Is if that weren't enough to produce an endless stream of carnage, a strange plant grows all over the map and grants invisibility to nearby heroes.
The content update brought in a new mount system, which will provide heroes with out-of-combat movement speed enhancements. Also in the patch was a system that will spawn runes at set points on the map; the runes grant players temporary buffs from double damage and movement speed increases to regeneration. Players familiar with DotA, HoN or other MOBAs will be familiar with this system. Screenshots of the new map can be found in the gallery below: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.