SMITE revealed its new ranged crowd-control god Neith this week; she manipulates invisible magical weaves to empower her attacks. And Dota 2 released classic hero Tusk, who can roll himself and his team into a giant snowball of death. League of Legends announced a series of buffs for Nasus, Akali, and Riven in a new Patch Preview video, in addition to changes to items with the cooldown reduction stat.
Heroes of Newerth's patch 3.0.2 fixed an exploit with the Insanitarius item, while competitive team Trademark eSports secured its fourth win in the Diamond division of the HoN Tour league. Finally, Star Citizen continued to break gaming crowdfunding records this week as its total funds raised passed the $8,000,000 US mark.
Path of Exile has now been in open beta for a few weeks, and developers are rapidly hammering out new content and gameplay updates based on all the feedback on the official forum. This week's updates include 11 new types of procedurally generated endgame maps, new skill gem artwork, an audio engine overhaul, and a ton of bugfixes.
Players using summoner builds will be glad to know that summoned creatures will no longer display health bars on mouseover as if they're enemies. Grinding Gear Games has also promised that the next major patch will kick off the start of a regular open beta update schedule intended to regularly introduce new skills, unique items, and other core content whenever they're ready for deployment.
Diablo III's patch 1.0.7 went live this week, introducing the new Brawling dueling mechanic and new craftable endgame gear. Archon gear comes in dexterity, intelligence, strength, and vitality varieties and is crafted with a new Demonic Essence reagent dropped by elite monsters in Inferno difficulty. Both the reagent and the gear are account-bound, so you can share them with other characters on the same account but may not trade them with anyone else.
The patch also introduced new account-bound Marquise gems and some big balance changes for Wizards and Monks. Wizards using Blizzard-based kiting builds with Arcane Orb and Shock Pulse for their main damage-dealing spells will find that their damage has been increased significantly. The Unstable Anomaly passive will now activate when you receive fatal damage, preventing your death, and the Temporal Flux passive now slows by 60% instead of 30%. These changes should make arcane knockback and kiting builds more viable and combines well with the changes to Blizzard.
Monks have had the damage of their Cyclone Strike, Dashing Strike, Tempest Rush, Wave of Light, and Lashing Tail Kick abilitites significantly increased, in some cases multiplied by a factor of two to three. Exploding Palm's explosion will also now deal 50% of the target's maximum health rather than 30%, and Inner Sanctuary and Mystic Ally have been buffed.
Hi-Rez studios revealed the next God to enter the SMITE open beta this week with a video spotlight on Neith, Weaver of Fate. True to her eponym, Neith is a crowd-control specialist who can manipulate the field of battle with powerful abilities based around magical weaves. When an enemy god dies while Neith is in the game, her passive ability causes a weave to be left on the ground that only Neith can see. The weave grants Neith minimap sight at the location and empowers her other abilities when used near it.
League of Legends' upcoming Patch 3.02 is set to fix some big problems with several champions and items. In a new Patch Preview video, Riot Games discussed some of the big champion ability changes and bug fixes on the way for Nasus, Akali, and Riven. Nasus' Siphoning Strike ability was dealing more damage than intended on critical strikes, but once that was fixed, the whole character needed a balance shakedown to bring him back up to par.
Akali players will be glad to know that the minimum stat requirement of her passive is being removed as it was severely limiting the viable rune and mastery choices. Riven's Runic Blade passive ability will also now scale based on total attack damage to help her out in the mid-game and let the passive scale well to endgame. The amount of the cooldown reduction stat on items has been rebalanced across the board, lowering the inherent cooldown reduction on popular items and adding it to specific items. Builds that rely on the stat will now have to actively pursue it by building those specific items.
Dota 2 beta update introduced classic hero Tusk based on original DotA strength character Tuskarr. Tusk is a tanky initiator best known for his Snowball ability that lets him roll himself and his entire team up into a slowly growing snowball that rolls toward a target enemy unit. The snowball moves at 150% of Tusk's own movement speed and can roll over cliffs and trees. Tusk's ultimate ability is Walrus Punch, which makes his next attack automatically a hit as a critical strike and knocks the target enemy up into the air, applying a slow. This attack cannot miss, and the ability has a very short cooldown.
Heroes of Newerth's patch 3.0.2 went live this week, re-adding stat tracking for casual mode games and improving the queue system. The patch also fixed an exploit with the Insanitarius item that let players use it repeatedly, and it fixed bugs with a number of heroes' abilities.
The HoN Tour league has completed its fifth full cycle, with Trademark eSports securing its second consecutive win at the top of the Diamond Division. The team has won in four of the five previous tournament cycles, with only a loss in the third cycle breaking its perfect winning streak. HoN Tour is a divisional league rather than a winner-takes-all tournament, so while Trademark eSports takes the top prize in the Diamond division, hundreds of other teams continue to win big prizes in the lower brackets.
Star Citizen recently completed the most successful video game crowdfunding campaign to date, claiming to have raised $6,238,563 via Kickstarter and direct sales on its own website. This smashed the original target of $2,00,000 by a huge margin, and the funding hasn't stopped coming in now that the crowdfunding campaign is over. Developers recently announced that the total raised has passed the eight million dollar mark; the Star Citizen website reports a current total of $8,165,541.
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