Not every studio has had time to chill out this week, however, as Monolith Studios prepares to launch its console MOBA Guardians of Middle-Earth. As part of the run-up to launch, developers released a new video looking at team-based strategies and introduced new heroes Haldir and Lugbol. Rise of Immortals' massive Battle For Graxia overhaul is also gearing up for launch and is now officially in open beta.
Diablo III game designer Jay Wilson confirmed that there are no plans for PvP-specific gear in the game and promised that an update on the development of PvP arenas will be released "very soon." The Path of Exile developers promised to announce the final date for open beta soon as well and teased players this week with a colossal 25MB image of the game's full passive skill tree.
Guardians of Middle-Earth released two new videos ahead of this week's launch. The fifth part in its MOBA Mastery series looks at team-based strategy, covering important topics like effective lane pairing and efficiently farming to hit level 5 and unlock your ultimate ability. In the latest Battle Profile video, developers also introduced Haldir the Silvan elf and possessed goblin Lugbol.
Haldir is a long-ranged attack damage hero with the ability to teleport around the battlefield and get into the perfect position to strike. His Wrath of the Elves ability fires five basic attacks in a cone, and deals incredible damage if fired at point blank range. Lugbol is a Goblin sorceror with extremely poor basic attack damage but incredible ability damage. He summons a wolf to fight by his side and deals massive damage with area-effect fire spells.
Bloodline Champions was one of the earlier competitive MOBAs back in 2011, having a popular e-sports scene but differentiating itself from DotA-based games by focusing on more action-oriented gameplay. Now it seems that the game is under threat of extinction as the playerbase continues to shrink. Some players have blamed the lack of big game updates, and others believe the community itself is pushing players away.
The past few months have certainly been light on character and gameplay reveals, and that may be starting to take its toll. To help get the game back to full strength, community member Entarion is starting a new series of roundtable discussion videos and is looking to the community for topics to cover. Some suggestions so far have included realistic ways to make Bloodline Champions better known, details of how it will fit in with the rapidly growing e-sports scene, and information on new characters. Head over to the Reddit thread to suggest a topic or contribute to the discussion.
League of Legends picks up the pace following DreamHack Winter 2012 and the Thanksgiving break, this week Riot Games gave players a look inside the mind of professional LoL player Alex Ich from Moscow Five. Alex talks about his favourite character, Ryze, and the challenges of playing him at a competitive level.
Dota 2 dev team has taken it easy over the Thanksgiving break, but the competitive e-sports scene stops for nothing. The grand final of the World Cyber Games Dota 2 tournament took place this week, with Invictus Gaming facing off against Team DK. The match was streamed live with some hilarious commentary and a refreshingly relaxed tone for the competitive gaming scene.
The colossal overhaul has been in the works for months, but the end is finally in sight. Battle For Graxia has now officially entered open beta on Steam and will hopefully soon transition to a full free-to-play release. The updated game will provide a more familiar MOBA gameplay style and could lead to a large competitive tournament scene as we've seen in other games.
Blizzard's Jay Wilson confirmed this week that there are no plans for PvP-specific gear in Diablo III, leaving the question of what the PvP tokens that DiabloFans found in datamined files will be used for. Last week Jay promised that a PvP blog update is on the way and apologised for keeping fans waiting, so we should know the answer to that question soon enough.
If you've been struggling to build an effective Wizard for farming Inferno, the video below offers some much-needed gearing advice. In the video, livestreamer Archon InfernoFriday builds an effective gear set for a critical mass Wizard build on a budget of only a million gold. The build can easily farm Inferno with Monster Power set to two or three but doesn't have enough damage to efficiently farm in higher difficulties.
Path of Exile is known for an incredibly complex character customisation system that has produced some pretty crazy but effective builds. This week developers released a massive 25MB image showing the game's entire passive skill tree system in all its glory. To navigate the system, players will have to pick key passives that will make their build work and figure out an efficient route to them that picks up as many applicable bonuses as possible.
Path of Exile is in the running for the Indie of the Year award at IndieDB. The award organiser asks people to find and vote for the games they love on IndieDB each year to help compile a list of the 100 most popular indie games on the site. A second phase of voting will then open to determine rankings. With previous first place winners like Minecraft and Terraria, there's sure to be some stiff competition this year.
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