North America's hopes of winning the League of Legends World Championship were dashed this week as all three US teams were knocked out of the competition along with Dota 2 world champions Invictus Gaming. Heroes of Newerth fought back with its new competitive HoN Tour event, which aims to give hundreds of cash prizes away to players of all skill levels.
Dota 2 released classic hero Magnus this week, SMITE revealed its newest god Ares, and Guardians of Middle-earth showed off its two newest additions: Nori and Wulfrun. Finally, Russian MOBA success Prime World revealed some details on its PvEvP Dragonwald game mode ahead of the release of its North American and European beta tests.
Diablo III launched with myriad problems, not the least of which was a chronic lack of endgame content and disappointing magic-find grind. Patch 1.0.4's Paragon system took a big step in the right direction by giving players 100 extra levels and a series of magic-find improvements, but it has nothing on the upcoming Monster Power and Infernal Machine mechanics in patch 1.0.5. Monster Power will let players scale the game's difficulty and rewards up to ludicrous levels, and the Infernal Machine will open portals to new Uber versions of the game's bosses to provide additional challenge and rare loot.
Patch 1.05 was released on the test server this week along with some interesting patch notes on additional changes. Resplendent chests will now drop the same loot as killing an elite, taking into account your magic find and Nephalem Valor stacks, and opening one will even grant a Nephalem Valor stack. Random events have had their loot increased, and a new "Find Similar" option in the Auction House lets sellers look up the prices of similar items for comparison. Combined with the new content, these changes will go a long way toward improving Diablo III's endgame.
Path of Exile may still be in beta, but it's already gathered a huge following. Back in July, developers revealed their plans for an innovative map system that lets players generate random endgame areas to farm in. This week the team revealed another innovation on the standard action RPG with its new Turbo Hardcore league event. Hardcore mode offers an additional challenge by giving players only a single life, but the Turbo Hardcore league makes death almost unavoidable by increasing monster movement, attack, and cast speed by 60%.
Leagues are special timed events that let players start from scratch and compete in a completely fresh game economy. The goal is to reach as high a level as possible within a few hours and try to be the first to complete various challenges set by the developers. Players are rewarded with currency items and other prizes for participating in the league events, which have been running throughout closed beta and will continue throughout open beta.
League of Legends World Championship grand final, this week all eyes are on the Championship Playoffs. The second day of matches concluded this week with a surprise upset as Chinese favourite Invictus Gaming was abolished by European team Moscow 5. Invictus Gaming recently won the million dollar top prize at the Dota 2 World Championships but comes out of the LoL World Championships with only $75,000 US.
It's been a bad week for North America's tournament hopes as all three entries from the region have now been knocked out of the tournament. The grand final will begin this weekend on October 13th, when the four winning teams will battle it out over the million dollar top prize. All four qualifying teams are already guaranteed to walk away with a minimum of $150,000 US, with $250,000 US for second place.
S2 Games launched the official HoN Tour competitive gaming season. The tour will run until April next year, has a considerable prize pool of over $330,000 US, and aims to get players of all skill levels involved.
In contrast to competitive tournaments that reward only the best players, the HoN Tour features four separate divisions for players of varying skill levels. Rather than focusing on one huge cash prize for the grand final of the top tier, the producers have ensured that hundreds of smaller prizes will be spread between participating teams.
The event will be run for a total of eight full cycles, with the top teams in each division being promoted to a higher division for the next cycle and the lowest being relegated to a lower tier. Anyone can sign up to join the Bronze tier competition, but only the top 16 in this category will win prizes and advance to higher divisions.
his ultimate ability, Reverse Polarity, which pulls in and stuns nearby enemies and can really make or break a teamfight. This week's update also includes a new Team system that lets groups of five players pick a team name and logo and compete against other teams in a competitive setting.
Prime World recently announced that it plans to release with an unusual new "PvEvP" game mode called Dragonwald. This week developers released early details of the game mode ahead of the start of its upcoming European and US beta tests. In Dragonwald, both teams start on opposite ends of a map and approach a dragon in the middle. The first phase of the game is entirely PvE as the other team is out of reach and you have to fight past various mini-bosses to get to the dragon.
The first team to get to and kill the dragon gets a dragon egg, and that's where the PvP really begins. An NPC walks toward the enemy base with the egg; the closer he gets, the more damage the base takes. The team in possession of the egg has to protect its NPC from attack until the enemy base is destroyed. Dragonwald has proven popular among players in the Russian Prime World beta and will be coming to North America and Europe soon.
SMITE puts players in control of mythical gods from cultures around the world. Recently developers released a new 1v1 "Joust" game mode, and this week, they went on to reveal a new god: Ares, the Greek God of War. Ares is a melee tank with abilities that buff allies and control to enemies. He gains 40 bonus magical power for each rank 3 aura item purchased from the store, making him a great tank for teamfights.
Ares' Shackles ability fires out a chain that latches onto an enemy god and steals movement speed over time, letting him catch up to any fleeing hero as long as he can aim the chain well. He also has an area-effect damage-dealing ability and an aura that buffs the defense of nearby allies, but Ares' main trick in a teamfight is his ultimate ability, No Escape. When cast, No Escape latches onto every nearby enemy with a chain. After a short delay, it pulls all chained enemies toward Ares and stuns them for a short duration.
Guardians of Middle-earth lets players duke it out as characters from the Lord of the Rings fiction. This week developer Monolith Studios revealed two new characters coming to the game: Nori the Dwarven demolition expert and Dark Sorcerer Wulfrun.
Nori is strongest when near an enemy or allied structures, able to release buffs near allied towers and deal insane damage to enemy structures. Wulfrun is a master of crowd-control, able to knock back enemies and heal allies.
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