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League of Legends

Not So Massively: GTA Online's expansion, Reaper of Souls on console, and LoL's Braum spotlight

Betas, Horror, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, Crime, MMOFPS, MMORTS, Community Q&A, World of Tanks, Post-Apocalyptic, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Infinite Crisis, Path of Exile, Hearthstone, H1Z1

GTAO
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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League of Legends introduces Braum, the Heart of the Freljord

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA, League of Legends

Is there a Mrs. Heart of the Freljord?
For too long, there's been a hole in the many champions of League of Legends. Braum, the Heart of the Freljord, fills that hole, introducing the first truly impressive moustache to the game and allowing everyone to marvel at every perfectly waxed hair. Oh, and he also serves as a tank support character, which is also a first, but mostly it's about that glorious lip-blanket.

Right, you probably want to know a little bit more about what Braum can do. Well, he applies a stacking debuff that stuns enemies with his basic attack, but once the first tap is in place, attacks from allies will also increase the stack count. He also attacks with line-based AoE attacks that snare targets, blocks attacks with his enormous shield, and can dash to his allies to help protect them from further attacks. In short, he's a traditional MMO tank tearing up the League of Legends lanes. And he has a moustache. Did we mention that?

Not So Massively: LoL's Twitch revamp, Dota 2's tourney sales, and D3's hotfix

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Business Models, Classes, Game Mechanics, News Items, Free-to-Play, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, Transformers Universe, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous

LoL
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

Continue Reading

League of Legends introduces the new Team Builder queue

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA, League of Legends

The A-Ish Team
You know what you're good at playing in League of Legends. Which is all well and good, but sometimes you choose to play something that requires a degree of support that's just not there from the rest of your team. Wouldn't it be nice to just choose your character and your playstyle right from the start, so you can form a team meant to compliment your strengths and weaknesses? That's what the new Team Builder queue is all about.

Queueing up requires selecting both your character's position and role, then filling in the blanks by matching with other players who can support your initial decision. You can also invite friends in to the queue along with you, filling out the missing spots with other suitable candidates. A preview video is embedded just pas the cut, but you should take a look at the full article and FAQ for more information on forming a team that's the best it can be.

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HBO's Game of Thrones advertises for League of Legends

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, MOBA, League of Legends

Game of Thrones
League of Legends will be partnering up with HBO's Game of Thrones for a cross-promotional effort in the coming weeks.

Riot Games said that HBO contacted the studio with the offer, saying that there was a shared interest between the two franchise's fanbases. Riot released League of Legends assets to HBO, which will then be turned into a trailer spotlighting both the MOBA and TV series.

The game studio gave an overview of the promotion in an interview today: "HBO is doing a three-week activation in advance of their series premiere on April 6th. They're going to be getting some marketing assets, whether that's logo bugs or website takeovers. But we're also working with their team to produce a mash-up trailer. They're giving us some exclusive sneak peaks into footage that hasn't been seen before."

The best of Massively's League of Legends column, The Summoner's Guidebook

Fantasy, Massively Meta, Guides, Miscellaneous, MOBA, League of Legends, The Summoner's Guidebook

TIBBERS
Former Massively writer Patrick Mackey was first brought onto the team to cover Champions Online in his Behind the Mask column, and he did so with technical expertise and brutal honesty that was even better-suited for his ultimate column here: The Summoners Guidebook, which for two years covered Riot Games' League of Legends, one of the biggest games on the planet.

Today, in honor of that column's lengthy run, we share the very best of Patrick's articles. If you'd like to follow his future League of Legends blogging, you can find him at Boot Camp for Gamers.

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The Summoner's Guidebook: Staying positive in League of Legends

PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, MOBA, League of Legends, The Summoner's Guidebook

This is the last issue of the Summoner's Guidebook for the time being. I hate to leave, but unfortunately things are out of everyone's hands. So before I go, I will give you my final lesson: the way to be the best League of Legends players you can be.

I played my first game of Hexakill last week, and it was terrible. I was jungle Shyvana, and we had a duo top plus otherwise standard lanes. All of my lanes lost. Our Ryze went 0 and 6 against the enemy Syndra. The enemy Riven had something like 11 kills in the midgame with over 26 by the end. I was the only one not behind; our bottom lane was losing, but not terribly. We won that game.

Some of that victory comes from the enemy screwing up. I will fully admit that if the enemy had played properly in the midgame, we would have lost. However, even with the enemy's mistakes, we were tens of thousands of gold and several towers behind. How is a comeback like that even possible? Here's how: Stay positive and always look for the silver lining.

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Not So Massively: Star Citizen's procedural planets, Diablo III's Paragon 2.0, and Pokemon's Democracy mode

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, Patches, PvP, Endgame, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, Sandbox, League of Legends, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Player-Generated Content, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile

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Star Citizen reached a whopping $39 million in crowdfunding this week amidst controversy over feature creep and the delayed dogfighting module. The next stretch goal will fund an R&D team to look into the possibility of procedurally generating entire planets for players to explore, but this feature will not be coming until after release. Developers on Elite: Dangerous were surprised this week when two games they developed as part of a company game jam event led to $6.2 million in signed publishing contracts on a yet-to-be-named platform.

Blizzard revealed the final details of Diablo III's upcoming Paragon 2.0 update that will provide theoretically endless progression, and players have figured out how to power-level characters with Diablo II style runs. As the release of Path of Exile's first mini-expansion draws near, Grinding Gear Games revealed details of what will be in the expansion, including a strange new Vaal Orb currency that can significantly buff items.

Valve announced that it will be releasing a new feature-length documentary named "Free to Play" next month, which chronicles the struggles of three participants in Dota 2's first ever million-dollar tournament. SMITE's launch event has been expanded into a new GameVid Expo event featuring prominent livestreamers and YouTube celebrities, and old character Agni received a graphical overhaul. And Twitch Plays Pokemon continues to grow in popularity, reaching over 100,000 simultaneous viewers this week and adding new Democracy and Anarchy modes.

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The Summoner's Guidebook: Don't be afraid of LoL; just do it!

PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Guides, MOBA, League of Legends, The Summoner's Guidebook

Everyone who plays League of Legends has bad games every now and then. Everyone has bad community experiences, too. I think it's rare to have a game where everything just feels exciting and positive and wonderful all the way through. LoL is really not well-designed for that.

However, it's fear of loss, of playing poorly, and of dealing with jerks that keeps us from actually enjoying the game. Those things are real, but if you let those things get you down, you'll never give yourself a chance to improve.

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Not So Massively: 50,000 play Pokemon together, Heroes of the Storm leak, and PoE's Sacrifice of the Vaal

Sci-Fi, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Not So Massively, Sandbox, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Star Citizen, Infinite Crisis, Path of Exile

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A bizarre experiment is currently taking place on Twitch.tv as thousands of gamers have tuned into a stream of Pokemon Red/Blue that puts the viewer in control. Almost five million people have tuned into the stream so far, with hundreds competing to control the game via chat. League of Legends revealed plans for its upcoming Hexakill featured game mode that turns Summoner's Rift into a 6v6 battle. Leaked screenshots of the Heroes of the Storm client surfaced this week, giving previously unknown details on unrevealed characters that will be in the upcoming MOBA. Infinite Crisis expanded its roster of super-heroes with the addition of Star Sapphire, and turn-based MOBA Arena of Heroes has now been released for Android devices.

Blizzard's Wyatt Cheng told fans of Diablo III's Wizard class that he's been experimenting with decreasing the Arcane power on Crit stat to better balance resource generation. Changes will not apply retroactively but will apply to all gear dropped after the Loot 2.0 patch. Path of Exile's Sacrifice of the Vall mini-expansion was revealed in a teaser ahead of the March 5th release date. And Star Citizen sent five more players through to the second round of the Next Great Starship contest; Chris Roberts answered 10 fan questions in another Ten for the Chairman video.

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The Summoner's Guidebook: Two years and I'm still playing LoL

PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, MOBA, League of Legends, The Summoner's Guidebook, Anniversaries

It's the time of the year when I get to sit down and reflect a bit on how I've grown as a League of Legends player. Last year I had made some pretty big jumps in skill, especially in the realm of Dominion skill. This year I've kind of shifted my focus to SR. Also, I got a little more involved in the community, but not enough. That, I hope to change.

Playing more stuff that you play

Disappointingly for a lot of Dominion players who read these articles, I haven't been talking about it much lately. The big reason is I've been playing it a lot less, and unfortunately it's because the game mode isn't very popular.

My solo queue time in Dominion is kind of long, for starters. Once you get to any sort of respectable level in that game mode, queue times start to get obscene. I end up having to wait 5-6 minutes for games on CS, and that's not so good.

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Not So Massively: Elite's Alpha 2.0, Star Citizen hits $38m, PoE's first expansion, and MOBA news

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, Business Models, Culture, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, Endgame, News Items, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, Sandbox, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile

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Elite: Dangerous released the second phase of its alpha testing this week, giving early adopters the chance to smash each other to bits or play co-operative horde-style missions. Star Citizen hit the $38 million crowdfunding mark to unlock a solar system with an interesting oceanic planet where terraforming is banned, and it showcased the talents of its modders in episode 1.2 of The Next Great Starship.

Turn-based MOBA Arena of Heroes asked for votes on its Greenlight campaign to help the game secure a free-to-play release on Steam. SMITE revealed the deadly and barely-dressed Greek goddess Nemesis in a new god reveal video. League of Legends made a change its ladder system that allows highly skilled players to actually skip the promotion series matches, and week four of the Legends Championship Series ended with further upsets for European team Fnatic.

Blizzard revealed that Diablo III's sales have topped 15 million worldwide on all platforms, putting console sale figures at somewhere below three million units. We also discovered that items dropped before Reaper of Souls will not be enchantable when the expansion hits, and several legendary and set items will be exclusive to Torment mode. And Path of Exile announced that its first mini-expansion will land in March and has promised teasers with more info all this month.

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The Summoner's Guidebook: My goals in League of Legends

PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, MOBA, League of Legends, The Summoner's Guidebook

Whenever I enter a League of Legends match, I have a few goals set in mind. Of course, winning is a goal, but that's not the only goal. My agenda tends to be a lot more long-term, relative to other LoL players.

We've talked a lot about meta lately, and it tends to be a hot topic with Season 4's preseason patches shaking up the meta quite a bit. There are a lot of reasons to justify not playing meta. There are also a lot of reasons to take risky decisions that might not pan out.

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Not So Massively: Star Citizen design contest, Dota 2's New Bloom, and LoL tournament controversy

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, Business Models, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Game Mechanics, New Titles, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, Sandbox, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile

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The first round of Star Citizen's Next Great Starship competition got underway this week, pitting 24 teams of artists and technical wizards against each other for a chance to get their ship design in the game and win the $30,000 top prize. The latest Elite: Dangerous newsletter clarified that there are three major alpha stages coming and that each stage will proceed onto the next only when developers consider it ready.

The League of Legends Championship Series is off to a great start with Gambit breaking Fnatic's undefeated winning streak in the EU circuit. On the smaller end of the competitive scene, Razer has come under fire for allegedly unfairly disqualifying a team in its own $1,000 tournament. Dota 2's New Bloom update has introduced a hilarious new game mode that lets players trade skills with each other and added a clever new feature that lets players jump into recorded games and take control of them.

Third-person MOBA SMITE introduced its first limited edition skin and has pledged to add $5 from each purchase to the prize pool of its upcoming launch tournament. Turn-based MOBA Arena of Heroes hit version 1.44 this week and got its official release on iPhone and Linux. Diablo III showed off the contents of its Reaper of Souls expansion collector's edition box, and a new Path of Exile video shows content update 1.0.6's awesome new summoning spells in action.

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The Summoner's Guidebook: Stop worrying about the LoL metagame

PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, MOBA, League of Legends, The Summoner's Guidebook

If there's one thing that seems to be fairly static among low and mid-level League of Legends players, it's that they dislike the metagame. If I weren't such an exception (being a kind of bad player overall), I'd say that probably 100% of low-level players challenge the meta. This kind of complaint hits the comments, my email inbox, or IMs all the time: "LoL is so dumb! There are only four viable champs in each role, and the meta is static."

The first thing I'd like to point out is that those statements, regardless of variation, are all wrong. LoL as a game changes wildly from patch to patch and season to season, and while the existing Summoner's Rift solo queue metagame is more or less fixed in terms of roles (duo bot, one jungler, a "support" who does not CS in favor of giving it to an ally), none of that applies to premades of three or more players or other game modes. Even between the roles, there's a wide variation in expectations of what those roles should do. Stop blaming the game; think outside the box and start seeing the game for what it really is.

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