Dota 2's $1.6 million US tournament The International got underway this week with the preliminary rounds to determine who will make it to next week's final in Seattle. League of Legends released new champion Rengar this week and announced that nerfs are on the way for Diana, Corki, Graves, and Ezreal. Guardians of Middle-earth developers gave a behind-the-scenes look at the development process this week in a new documentary video featuring some of North America's top competitive MOBA players.
Finally, Bloodline Champions released patch 2.6 this week to kick off competitive season six, and Wrath of Heroes released patch 0.24 with its new ornament customisation system and announced upcoming hero Master Albodi.
Diablo III's new Paragon system is live. Each Paragon level requires more experience to achieve than the previous level, with the first 50 levels taking under a quarter of the total experience required to hit level 100. The final 10 levels compose a whopping 27.13% of the grind, but reaching those lofty heights is only a matter of time as you don't lose XP on death.
The Paragon system's goal is to ensure that players don't come away from a magic-find run empty-handed or feel like a night's play has been a waste of time. Developer Jay Wilson described the Paragon system as "a step in the right direction" and stressed that the next major Diablo III patch will bring more endgame gameplay in addition to PvP arenas.
The new legendary items have been out for only a short time, but already players have found and tested many of the unique legendary proc effects. Highlights include details of how frequently the Puzzle Ring summons an act 1 treasure goblin, information on the previously underrated "slain enemies rest in pieces" effect, and the various weapons that can summon allies to fight for you. Player Anuiran has compiled the handy video below showing many of the effects in action.
Runic Games announced that it will unveil Torchlight II's official release date at the beginning of the convention. If you've been desperately awaiting Torchlight II, keep your eyes peeled on August 31st for news of the release date. In a forum post, developer Travis Baldree confirmed that the studio is still aiming for a summer release. If you can't wait for next week, check out Travis' latest forum posts for details on the game's skill system and more.
Dota 2 tournament The International is now officially underway, with the preliminary qualifying rounds running all this weekend with full live-stream coverage. The preliminary matches will decide which teams are placed into the winner and loser brackets, with four teams qualifying for the finals from the winner's bracket and just one team qualifying from the loser bracket.
The finals are scheduled for next weekend in a huge live event in the Benaroya Hall in Seattle, with the grand final taking place on September 2nd. The prize pool has been confirmed as a whopping $1.6 million US, matching last year's prize total. Whichever team comes out on top will become the second-ever winner of The International and will take home the grand prize of one million US dollars.
League of Legends champion Rengar, the Pridestalker, was released this week alongside his official champion spotlight video. The spotlight shows Rengar's unique stealth gameplay and ferocity system and gives players some tips on item builds and advanced ganking strategies for Summoner's Rift. The late August balance patch is also on its way, and this week we discovered exactly what will be in the update:
Recently added champion Diana turned out to be generally too powerful, with higher burst damage, sustained damage, and survivability than other champions. The damage of her Crescent Strike ability is being nerfed, and her base health regeneration is being cut. Popular attack damage carries Corki, Graves, and Ezreal are being nerfed slightly to give them clear drawbacks in the late game stages. Finally, Evelynn is getting a buff, and Abyssal Sceptre's aura range is being significantly reduced to make it most effective only on short-range casters.
Guardians of Middle-earth developer Monolith Productions gave a behind-the-scenes look at the process of balancing its upcoming console-only MOBA. Going into a new genre blind is a recipe for disaster, so the studio flew eight of North America's top professional MOBA gamers to its headquarters for a hands-on demo and feedback-gathering mission. Check out the full video below for an interesting look behind the scenes of game development at Monolith.
Bloodline Champions released patch 2.6 this week, lowering blood coin prices across the board and making trait unlocks free. With the patch comes the start of competitive season six, and all current players have had their grades and tokens reset to put everyone on an equal footing. If you've played Bloodline Champions before and want to see if you can keep up with the top competitive players, now's a good time to start fresh.
Wrath of Heroes revealed its next hero, Master Albodi, this week as part of its plan to release a new hero every two weeks. Patch 0.24 also went live this week, bringing in the first phase of the game's new Ornament customisation system and some changes to the leaderboard ranking system.
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