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League of Legends

The Summoner's Guidebook: Supports are ruling League of Legends

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

I think Season 4 of League of Legends has been dominated by support play. Some of this is because there have been a number of really inspiring star support players at the pro level, and their brilliance is shining down a bit on us plebians. Although I think that the Season 4 jungle is still really messed up, the support role has really solidified in a good way.

What do I mean by "good"? Supports still get less gold than other roles and don't generally rock huge K/D ratios. They're still the team's ward machines, as we talked a bit about last week. However, the support's overall game impact has increased dramatically. Supports get more gold than before; they are making plays, initiating fights, and making way more of an impact in those fights than they ever were before. There's no more need for a support who is an ult and ward bot; you can now tank, deal damage, or whatever mix of support you want.

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Potential League of Legends patching problems due to porn filters

MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, MOBA, League of Legends

Will the UK's anti-sex law cause issues with patching League of Legends? According to LoL's subreddit, some members are seeing an effect from the filters UK Internet service providers have in place by default to block pornographic content for new customers; specific update files that happen to have "sex" in the wording -- VarusExpirationTimer.luaobj and XerathMageChainsExtended.luaobj -- have been blocked.

Riot Games informed Eurogamer that there are no reported incidents of this law interfering with the game, but the studio is monitoring the situation. If players run into a problem, they should contact LoL support for help.

Not So Massively: LoL's LCS tourney, Star Citizen's death mechanics, and PoE's race infographic

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Business Models, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Patches, PvP, PvE, 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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Rumours over former World of Warcraft designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street's reasons for quitting were quelled when it was revealed that he's now a lead game designer at Riot Games. League of Legends also kicked off its 2014 competitive season with the first round of the Legends Champion Series. Dota 2 extended the deadline for its 3-D modeling competition until tonight, and Russian MOBA Prime World revealed plans to merge its English and Russian servers together.

Star Citizen's head honcho Chris Roberts answered more questions from fans this week, touching on topics from character death and contracts to NPC AI and playable alien races. The next stage of the Elite: Dangerous alpha was revealed to be a focused test of the multiplayer ship combat gameplay, but its release will cause the first beta stage to be delayed.

Diablo III enabled background downloading for its upcoming Patch 2.0.1 and the Reaper of Souls expansion, allowing players to download the game's 6GB pack of artwork and models ahead of launch day. The treasure hunters among you will also be happy to hear that dozens of legendary and set items have been significantly buffed in the latest public test realm patch. And a new infographic published on Path of Exile's hardcore new-year race shows that over 25,000 characters were made for the event and just over half survived the entire week.

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Led by mobile and free-to-play, U.S. digital sales see big gains in 2013

Fantasy, Real-Life, Business Models, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, PvE, War, Free-to-Play, Browser, Mobile, MMOFPS, Dungeon Fighter Online, Miscellaneous, MOBA, League of Legends, MMORPG

MMO Chart
The digital games market is still on the rise, generating $11.7 billion in sales in 2013. According to market research firm SuperData, this total marks an 11% increase over digital sales in 2012. SuperData noted that Christmas and New Year's occurring in the middle of the week may have helped spiked end-of-year numbers; December 2013 saw a 36% increase in digital sales compared to December 2012.

Mobile titles claimed the largest percentage of the digital pie, representing $3.6 billion in sales. Free-to-play titles were up 45% year-on-year to $2.9 billion. Perhaps most interesting for MMO players is the fact that F2P MMO offerings from games like World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic landed in the top ten, though the top three free-to-play earners in 2013 were CrossFire, League of Legends, and Dungeon Fighter Online.

Data used by the firm is gathered by collecting digital transaction data directly from developers and publishers.

[Thanks to Hagu for the tip!]

The Summoner's Guidebook: Wards win League of Legends

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

A lot of you have noticed that I've been talking a lot about wards over the past several months. This is for a good reason: Wards win League of Legends! I think that every one of my past wins on Summoner's Rift has been either due to wards or a complete blowout laning phase.

Of those two things, there's one you have almost zero control over, even as a jungler. You can outlane the person you're against, but there's no telling when your opponent is just better than you. If you're a jungler, sometimes the enemy lanes don't give you any openings or your lanes just throw kills away to the enemy jungler. No matter how good you are, someone can always be better than you -- or your allies can be horrible.

However, in Season 4, if you place down a ward, in probably 90% of circumstances you're getting vision for the full duration of the ward. No matter how good the enemy team is, if it moves through that area, you get intel. If it doesn't, you also get intel.

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Greg Street is now lead game designer at Riot Games

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA, League of Legends, MMORPG

Ghostcrawler
Greg Street, also known as Ghostcrawler, was the lead systems designer for World of Warcraft for much of the fantasy MMO's life. When he left Blizzard late last year, the rumor mill exploded with speculation on where (and why) one of WoW's most familiar and visible developers might be going. As of today, the mystery appears to be solved.

Information on Street's LinkedIn profile, supported by several industry sources, indicates that he is now working as lead game designer at Riot Games, known for the massively popular League of Legends. Street has yet to confirm the move via Twitter or any other official channel.

Not So Massively: LoL team cheated out of winnings, SMITE's $100,000 tournament, and Star Citizen on plotting jump points

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Legal, Dev Diaries, Not So Massively, Sandbox, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Player-Generated Content, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile

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Members of competitive League of Legends team Absolute Legends revealed this week that they still haven't seen a penny of the combined $11,500 in winnings from November 2012's IEM Singapore tournament. Absolute Legends CEO Tim "WetDreaM" Buysse has been accused of holding onto all of the prize money despite his contracts with players entitling him to only a small cut. Dota 2's unique monthly player total broke the 7,000,000 mark this week, and new stats suggest that almost 10% of those logged into Steam may be playing the game. And SMITE announced details of its $100,000 launch tournament, which will see four of North America's best teams take on Europe's finest four at the end of March.

Chris Roberts answered more fan questions on Star Citizen this week, revealing further details on exploration and mapping space and confirming that plotting a new jump point will be a very risky business. In a new interview on Elite: Dangerous, David Braben outlined the massive scope of the game's upcoming online features, which will include huge conflicts between NPC factions that players can influence. Blizzard announced that it's aiming to release the pre-download for Diablo III's upcoming Reaper of Souls expansion by the end of January and confirmed that vendor-sold items will no longer be salvageable in the next expansion beta patch. Finally, Path of Exile kicked off race season six this week with some fantastic prizes and revealed that PvP tournaments may be coming in Patch 1.0.6.

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The Summoner's Guidebook: Reckless risk-taking in League of Legends

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

Most people who play League of Legends tend to take really silly, ridiculous risks. If you've read the Summoner's Guidebook for any length of time, you know that I always recommend playing your cards close to your chest and avoiding uneccessary risk-taking.

However, being extremely cautious is not the best idea in the long-term. I'm not suggesting that taking risks all the time is good, but I do advise taking at least one or two stupid gambles every game. Calculated risk-taking is important to victory. You can't be timid and let the enemy walk all over you, but you also can't be mindless. It's important to know the difference.

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Not So Massively: LoL downed by DDoS attack, Star Citizen hits $36 million

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Business Models, Contests, Culture, Events (In-Game), Patches, Endgame, News Items, Free-to-Play, Legal, Dev Diaries, Not So Massively, Sandbox, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Path of Exile

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Livestreamer James Varga became the target of a vicious online attack this week that started with the League of Legends servers being shut down by a DDoS attack. A group calling itself "Derp" claimed responsibility for the attack, which ended with a hoax 911 call that sent armed police to Varga's home address. The Dota 2 servers also came under attack, but Valve extended its holiday event by a few days to give players a final chance to grind up some Phantom Fragments.

Path of Exile celebrated the new year by releasing some interesting stats on the game's performance in 2013 and launching a special week-long ladder event with the properties of both the Domination and Nemesis game modes. Despite speculation to the contrary, Blizzard confirmed this week that Diablo III players will not be getting a seventh skill slot. And Star Citizen has hit its $36 million stretch goal, unlocking a new solar system named Tamsa that's collapsed into a black hole.

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The Summoner's Guidebook: Pooling your efforts to win LoL games

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

Winning in League of Legends isn't only about skill. Sometimes you completely rock your lane and go 7/0 in laning phase yet manage to lose the game. Blaming your team is totally reasonable there, but the truth is probably closer to home than you think. A team that is working together will prevail regardless of the strength of its individual members and in most cases regardless of its strategic decisions.

I've had games where we had one losing lane and no other big lane advantages (I stole a blue buff once, and both junglers took some Flashes but didn't get any big wins), then went on to utterly destroy the enemy because we pulled together as a team despite having a 5/0 Riven on the enemy team. I've also had games where we had two people with over 5 kills in laning phase and still managed to lose.

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Is League of Legends greedy? No, says Riot Games president

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

League of Legends
Responding to claims that Riot Games is being greedy and lazy for failing to create an updated client for League of Legends, President Marc Merrill posted a sharp-tongued rebuttal on Reddit yesterday.

"It's pretty frustrating when people try to position us as greedy," Merill began, "because look at it from our perspective: We build pretty much the first successful free online game in the west that core gamers actually really like and play. We did this by building a really fun game, constantly investing over and over to grow and improve this game and by NOT selling power or being money hungry."

Merill said that "millions upon millions" play the game for completely free, which is completely fine with Riot Games, and that the studio does the right thing in the end such as its response to the e-sports contract controversy.

"I completely disagree with your greed accusation and yes, it pisses me off because I've spent the last eight years of my life building this company, game, and team to deliver great value and to treat players well," he wrote.

Hackers harass League of Legends livestreamer with DDoS attacks and police calls

Culture, MMO Industry, Livestream, Miscellaneous, League of Legends

A vendetta against a livestreamer has caused real-world havoc. A user or group identifying itself as DERP has targeted a popular Twitch streamer, calling the police on him and performing DDoS attacks against the games he was playing on December 30th.

The streamer's name is James Varga, and according to reports, the games he was broadcasting were shut down by hackers performing distributed denial of service attacks. These games included League of Legends, Dota 2, and those through Battle.net. Varga continued to communicate with DERP during this time, and either DERP or a third party escalated matters by calling 911 and claiming that Varga was holding hostages in his home. Varga was then briefly detained while the police searched his home, but he was released without charges.

This is similar to an incident earlier last month when a World of Warcraft livestreamer was arrested after someone called the police on him to interrupt his stream.

Not So Massively: Diablo III's Nephalem Rifts, PoE season six, and Firefall's ex-CEO comes under fire

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, Culture, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Casual, Dev Diaries, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, Sandbox, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Firefall, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Path of Exile

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There's just one day left to sign up to Star Citizen's Next Great Starship game modding competition, and 198 teams have signed up to compete. Following the recent delay of the dogfighting module, players who missed the livestream got an early peek at the delayed and buggy combat gameplay when the full video was uploaded to YouTube this week. League of Legends was hit with its own scary bug this week that appears to make players on the other team teleport across the map toward you.

Blizzard has now confirmed that the Nephalem Rifts feature coming to Diablo III will now be exclusive to Reaper of Souls expansion holders rather than the free update accompanying the game. Path of Exile developer Grinding Gear Games announced that its sixth race season will begin on January 10th, and players have recently discovered some odd stats spawning on fishing pole items originally thought to be worthless. And Firefall's ex-CEO Mark Kern defended himself on Twitter this week, stating that he wasn't fired but instead resigned after losing his status as CEO. Developers working under Mark have been writing about their discontentment with his command style this week on Glassdor and Reddit.

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The Summoner's Guidebook: The allure of new LoL champions

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

Picking new champions in League of Legends is akin to picking a role. There are a few major schools of thought: Either you pick a small number of characters and stand by them or you grab every new character that strikes your fancy. Of course, there's a middle road where you get a lot of characters but you still focus on getting new characters that add something to your roster.

There's less of an opportunity cost with picking up a new character than there is with picking a new role. Learning a new champion takes some practice, but many of the things you learn while playing your new character are applicable to every character in the same role.

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Not So Massively: Elite's Oculus Rift support, Star Citizen delays, and Firefall's CEO worries

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

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The Elite: Dangerous combat alpha was updated with support for 3-D monitors and the Oculus Rift gaming headset this week, and developers gave fans a look behind the scenes in a new development newsletter. Star Citizen's dogfighting module was also delayed in order to bring the level of polish up higher and integrate the combat with the existing hangar module.

League of Legends released its annual Snowdown update alongside a coincidentally named Showdown game mode that offers short 1v1 and 2v2 matches. Dota 2 officially removed its Steam activation queue and opened its doors to the public, and Valve put out a call for 3-D modelers to make new items themed on the Chinese New Year. Heroes of Newerth's patch 3.3 went live, introducing a new tactical item that can copy runes without consuming them. And SMITE revealed new Mayan god Chaac, a rain god with a lightning axe that's bigger than he is.

Diablo III officially opened pre-orders for its Reaper of Souls expansion; fansite Diablofans collected together another 50 legendary item screenshots from players on the public test realm. Path of Exile's patch 1.0.4 is due to launch today, adding the channeled Flameblast spell and support for private PvP duels. And Firefall developer Red 5 Studios sacked its CEO and founder Mark Kern this week, prompting several anonymous employees to reportedly come forward with stories of poor management behind the scenes.

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