SMITE revealed its new god Loki, adding a deadly backstabbing assassin to the game's growing roster of characters. Guardians of Middle-Earth also released its first two real hard carries this week with a Battle Profile on Ori and Agandaûr, two characters whose ability power scales up with each use. Heroes of Newerth's inclusive competitive league HoNTour got off to a great start this week despite early setbacks.
Upcoming action RPG Path of Exile spruced up its website this week and released its anticipated PvP arena patch. Diablo III players have reported that monsters with the Reflect Damage affix are almost impossible to kill in higher Monster Power levels. Finally, the first Firefall Fest saw special guests Athene, Felicia Day, and Wil Wheaton trying the game for the first time, and Blacklight: Retribution released its Evacuation update.
League of Legends' second competitive season having drawn to a close, this week Riot Games revealed details of how European teams can qualify for next year's championship. Tomorrow the game will see a soft reset on competitive players' Elo rating, giving new players in the Ranked Team ladder a chance. To qualify for the competitive season, your team has to be in the top 16 on either the EU West or EU Nordic & East ladders by December 27th.
Online qualifiers on the weekend of January 4th will whittle the competition down to just six teams, which will be flown all-expenses-paid to compete in a live tournament along with the teams that pre-qualified this year. The top five teams from that tournament will join M5, SK Gaming and CLG.EU in this year's professional championship.
MOBA SMITE revealed its newest character this week with a video on Loki, the Trickster God. The video delves into the lore behind Loki and his gameplay in SMITE as a melee physical fighter. True to his roguish nature, Loki deals 20% more damage with basic attacks if he strikes players from behind. Using his Vanish ability, Loki can disappear for three seconds to help him get behind his enemy. While invisible, Loki is immune to slows, has an innate 50% speed boost and adds a bleed effect to his next basic attack.
Loki can also summon a decoy version of himself that taunts nearby enemy minions, allowing him to get behind enemy lines. Aimed Strike adds damage and a slow to Loki's next basic attack, which pairs well with his ultimate ability: Assassinate. When activated, Assassinate instantly teleports Loki to the target location and deals a backstab attack with a stun to all players in the area. Check out the official Loki god reveal video below to see how these abilities work in a battle.
Dota 2 revealed its first seasonal event this week with the Halloween-themed Diretide. When playing on the Diretide map, players trade their competitive tower-smashing for a race to capture candy before boss monster Roshan gets his hands on it. Roshan has been unshackled and will roam the map in search of delicious candy, but players can collect it in a huge bucket or steal it from the opposing team's bucket.
Eventually, Roshan gets a sugar rush and locks onto a player to hunt them down. He can be stopped by feeding him candy, which causes him to pick a new target. Whichever team still has the most remaining candy after 10 minutes wins the game, and that's when things get weird. With the competitive game over, both teams then join forces to take down the enraged Roshan in what is essentially a 10-man raid.
Guardians of Middle-Earth battle profile highlights new characters Ori and Agandaûr. Ori is a dwarf who has mastered the arcane arts, using powerful scrolls and spells to damage the enemy. His abilities focus on area-effect damage and get stronger with each use.
Agandaûr channels the evil power of Sauron to produce forks of lightning, and his power also grows with each ability use. Ori and Agandaûr may be the game's first hard carries, scaling up in power dramatically in the late game but being quite vulnerable early on.
Path of Exile received a huge website revamp this week to coincide with the release of patch 0.9.13. The patch added PvP arenas to the game, which is a feature that Diablo III players have been waiting for since March. Path of Exile is gearing up for an open beta release in December when the game's third act is officially completed and launched. Grinding Gear Games has sent us an exclusive screenshot of a new Act 3 area and a shot of the new PvP arenas.
released a hotfix this week to address a number of bugs and game crashes. Players have reported additional side-effects with recent hotfixes, including increased monster damage from the Molten and Desecrator affixes. Blizzard assured players that those affixes weren't changed and that monster damage is working correctly but admitted that the Reflect Damage affix is in need of some tweaking.
At higher Monster Power levels, monsters have many times more hitpoints, but the players killing them don't. As a result, players with enough damage to farm at the higher Monster Power levels are killing themselves when they attack an elite or champion pack with the Reflect Damage affix. Possible fixes include ensuring that pets no longer reflect damage back on their owners or making Reflect Damage a periodic buff rather than an ability that's always active.
Firefall celebrated its first ever Firefall Fest last week, and the videos of the event are now online. The event was six days of livestreaming and prize-giving with special guests like Athene, Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton playing Firefall for the first time.
Blacklight: Retribution, increasing the level cap and adding new maps and weapons. We got an interview with the developers behind the update this week to find out what the Evacuation update is all about.
Heroes of Newerth's HoNTour league aimed at letting every player get into the competitive scene kicked off this week with the first Bronze League matches. The top teams from the Bronze league will win small cash prizes and advance to the Silver League to compete for even bigger rewards. After a few cycles, the best teams will have migrated up the ladder to compete for huge prizes and the lower tiers with smaller prizes to be won will remain open to more amateur players.
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