League of Legends was voted the runner-up for the Golden Joystick Best MMO award despite the fact that it's not an MMO. Developers revealed some interesting updates for the game's 3v3 Twisted Treeline battleground, and officially released a new champion named Elise the Spider Queen. Heroes of Newerth revealed its own new hero this week, an adorable support character called Pearl the Bubble Mage.
Dota 2 added classic hero Centaur in this week's beta update, and Rise of Immortals published some more details of its upcoming Battle for Graxia revamp. Guardians of Middle-Earth revealed its newest combatants this week, fearless warrior Éowyn and ruthless Orc warlord Mozgog. Finally, Blacklight: Retribution raised its level cap to 40 in preparation for the upcoming Evacuation update.
Diablo III failed to win anything at this year's Golden Joystick awards, securing only runner-up positions for Best RPG and Ultimate Game of the Year. Both awards were understandably taken by Skyrim, which launched late in 2011. This week, developers scaled down the percentage increase in monster damage that each Monster Power level adds. Playing on Monster Power 10 previously increased monster damage by 371%, but this was nerfed to 250% as even the toughest players found the damage far too spiky to handle.
With the magic find bonuses from Monster Power and the increased drop rates on item level 63 loot, Diablo III players have found themselves reaching ludicrous damage levels this week. Glass cannon Wizards are now viable, but to take on Monster Power 10, players will need both insane damage and huge defensive stats. One player released a video this week of his Weapon Throw barbarian taking down Azmodan on Monster Power 10 with an insane 2.6 million damage per second.
Path of Exile team revealed that the $1.35 million US it raised in pre-order supporter packs hasn't even covered the cost of development. Founder Chris Wilson revealed that the New Zealand government has been completely useless in offering financial support for the game's development. Complicated paperwork and long discussions about grants haven't yielded a single cent so far, despite the company already having raised over a million dollars on its own through a crowd-funding initiative.
The latest Build of the Week video shows off an insane character build that reduces the player to a single hit point. The build relies on some pretty rare items, stacking energy shield and taking passive skills that stop poison damage and life drain from killing him through the shield.
League of Legends was named as a runner-up in the Golden Joystick award for Best MMO despite not being an MMO. Most of the League of Legends action is concentrated in the 5v5 Summoner's Rift and Dominion maps, with 3v3 battleground Twisted Treeline being a less popular choice. This week developers released a new beta version of the map and revealed plans to revamp it with some unique gameplay.
The updated map features new items, two neutral altars, a new spider boss and all-new terrain. The game is split into two lanes with a condensed jungle in between, encouraging junglers to farm hard and gank both lanes. It's hoped that the changes will lead to shorter but more action-packed rounds featuring unique strategies that may not work in Summoner's Rift or Dominion. LoL's Shadow Isles patch also went live this week, adding a Halloween theme to the game and releasing new champion Elise, the Spider Queen.
Éowyn is a tanky defender with potent damage and crowd-control abilities; she's able to tackle and take down enemy players with ease. With a passive ability that gives her health regeneration when she's hit and an ability that transfers some of her health to nearby allies, Éowyn is sure to be a valuable team member if played well. Orc warrior Mozgog is the ultimate close-range combatant, with huge basic attack damage and health regeneration. His Bloodied Blade ability deals damage in an area and makes nearby enemies flee.
Heroes of Newerth didn't have enough adorable heroes, check out new support caster Pearl the Bubble Magi. Pearl uses her mastery of magic and the power of bubbles (I'm not making this up) to buff allies and drown her enemies. Her first ability, Asphyxiate, is a single-target nuke that removes all buffs on the target and greatly slows him, then explodes to spread the effect to nearby heroes. Whirlbubble launches a giant bubble in the target direction that pushes enemies back and deals magic damage when it pops.
Soothing Presence gives Pearl a passive aura that heals nearby allies and increases in potency for each ally in range. The ability can also be activated to heal all nearby allies. Pearl's ultimate ability is Preservation, which conjures a massive bubble that pushes back nearby enemies and heals allies that stand inside it. All attacks coming from outside the bubble are also completely ignored. With her anime-inspired design and a magic staff three times her height, some players have had a hard time taking Pearl seriously.
Dota 2 added new hero Centaur this week and temporarily disabled Silencer and Drow Ranger in competitive captain's mode games. Silencer steals intelligence from nearby enemy heroes when they die, increasing his own damage and mana pool while depleting the enemy's. In a huge 74-minute game this week, a player managed to steal a total of 120 intelligence, giving himself an incredible damage boost. A player on the opposing team had his intelligence drained so much that he didn't even have enough mana to cast his ultimate ability.
Rise of Immortals' massive Battle for Graxia update will soon enter closed beta, promising a more competitive MOBA with gameplay more familiar to players of other genre titles. In preparation, developers have released an updated FAQ on the revamp that covers everything from the major differences with existing gameplay to the closed beta signup process.
Blacklight: Retribution team raised the game's level cap to 40. Anyone who reaches level 40 before November 30th will also get an exclusive Valve helmet.
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