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Path of Exile

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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Not So Massively: Novus AEterno's kickstarter, LoL's Yasuo spotlight, and Elite's first alpha test

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Casual, MMORTS, Dev Diaries, Not So Massively, Sandbox, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile

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If you've ever wanted an MMO that's part Homeworld and part EVE Online, check out upcoming single-shard MMORTS Novus AEterno. The game recently smashed its $75,000 US goal on Kickstarter and has managed to bypass Steam Greenlight to secure a Q1 2014 PC release. Previously kickstarted sci-fi sandbox Elite: Dangerous has now entered alpha testing with the release of an impressive-looking singleplayer combat test.

League of Legends released a spotlight video on new champion Yasuo, who features an insane critical hit chance, a spammable knock-up ability, and a wind wall that blocks all projectiles and spells. Dota 2's annual Frostivus celebrations were taken over this year by the interesting new Wraith Night co-op horde game mode. SMITE developer Hi-Rez Studios offered to help players hit by YouTube's recent automated copyright sweep by providing written permission to use its game footage, and old character Kali got a complete revamp.

Mobile MOBA Arena of Heroes is now officially out of beta with the release of its first version for the iPad. Diablo III's Reaper of Souls closed beta has now officially begun and test versions of the new loot system and paragon patch are now on the public test realm. And Path of Exile fans won't have long to wait for the big PvP update, as it should be starting after content update 1.0.4 on December 22nd.

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Not So Massively: LoL's e-sports controversy, Dota 2's matchmaking overhaul, and more

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

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The MOBA e-sports community was enraged this week when it was reported that professional League of Legends players participating in the 2014 championship series had been barred by contract from livestreaming competing games. The list of competing games included the entire Blizzard lineup and practically every MOBA, including several that no longer exist. Dota 2 gave players an inside look at its upcoming matchmaking revamp, which introduces a new Ranked Matchmaking system. And SMITE revealed details of its versatile new mage character Nu Wa, Guardian of Heaven.

Diablo III beta testers put together videos of some of the new monster affixes in the game's upcoming expansion, including an inventive Wormhole modifier that essentially lets the elite monster teleport players. Path of Exile's new dueling and PvP tournament features have been delayed until after patch 1.0.3, and developers briefly showed a new tower zone that will come at the end of the game. Star Citizen hit the $34 million mark this week, unlocking a new smuggling ship and locking in future plans for a strange new solar system with a black hole instead of a star. And Elite: Dangerous retired its early backer rewards ahead of today's web store relaunch.

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Path of Exile going strong a month after launch

Fantasy, Launches, Patches, Free-to-Play, Promotions, Path of Exile

Path of Exile
Path of Exile is strutting its stuff a month after its official launch, boasting a huge community, a new patch, and strong sales of its new supporter packs.

Grinding Gear Games announced that Path of Exile has topped four million registered users and sees over 250,000 players every day. Last Wednesday's 1.0.2 patch was the first post-launch update for the game, containing new items, recipes, achievements, and various fixes and balance tweaks.

The studio sold nearly 5,000 purchases of its supporter pack bundles, which range from $50 to $900, over the Thanksgiving weekend. Grinding Gear says that these purchases "have funded a significant portion of the game's development."

[Source: Grinding Gear press release]

Not So Massively: SMITE's launch date, Star Citizen's $33m goal, and Elite's cockpit reveal

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Bugs, Business Models, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Not So Massively, Sandbox, MOBA, Diablo III, Firefall, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Infinite Crisis, Path of Exile

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Another $3 million was pledged to Star Citizen this week during the Thanksgiving livestream, pushing the total to over $33.5 million and unlocking several new ships for play. Developers now have over 50% more finance than was initially required for their ambitious plans. Meanwhile, Elite: Dangerous' art director took players on a tour of some impressive work on the cockpit and user interface systems in a new video dev diary, showing everything from battle damage to pilots reacting to g-forces.

Diablo III fansite DiabloFans has compiled a video list of all the new skills introduced in the upcoming Reaper of Souls expansion; each existing class gets one new class-defining skill with a selection of runes. Path of Exile added the Storm Call skill in its latest content update patch and revealed new supporter packs with unique cosmetic portal effects. And if you downloaded the latest Firefall patch, you'll need to head over to the website and download a small update or the next patch will break your game.

In MOBA news, SMITE finally announced an official launch date of March 25th 2014 and will be starting a huge $100,000 tournament in January to celebrate the event. Turbine's DC Comics MOBA Infinite Crisis also received a new champion this week with the introduction of the bizarre ranged damage-dealer Mecha Wonder Woman.

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Not So Massively: Star Citizen's mining ship, D3's cow level, and Elite's incoming alpha

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

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With the monumental funding push from its anniversary sale, Star Citizen broke three million-dollar barriers this week and unveiled its plans for several new ships. Players will get a new luxury yacht, a salvaging vessel, and a much-requested mining ship. Elite: Dangerous announced that its alpha test will begin very soon and will initially focus on the flight control portion of the game before opening up to become a full-scale PvP battleground.

League of Legends released its major pre-season update ahead of competitive season four, making huge changes to support classes, wards, and more. Heroes of Newerth confirmed that it will be running its usual $30,000 US tournament at DreamHack next week, and developers released a spotlight video on new hero Klanx.

Diablo III's Reaper of Souls beta will officially launch by the end of the year, but many streamers are already in the beta thanks to Blizzard's Family and Friends beta scheme. One streamer got the surprise of his life when he stumbled into what appeared to be a new cow level, but we aren't sure whether it's the real deal. Path of Exile saw record turnout for its first Descent Champions events this weekend. And Firefall's latest development update blog entry confirmed that the game will be getting an episodic storyline.

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Lightning strikes in Path of Exile's update 1.0.2

Fantasy, Historical, Video, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Path of Exile

Just one look at Path of Exile's newest content update preview video from Grinding Gear Games and you know that the upcoming patch sizzles -- literally. Update 1.0.2 includes the new skill Stormcall which allows players to call lightning down upon multiple or single targets. Along with a new skill, the patch is introducing five more unique items (including Wings of Entropy, a unique two-handed sundering ax that acts like duel-wielded axes) and some map mod changes. Players can also buy new items from the store, such as a lightning bat pet and -- for one week only -- special Pilgrim's hats to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Content update 1.0.2 releases this Wednesday, but you can get a peek at it in the video below. More information on the patch will be posted on the official site soon.

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Not So Massively: Dota 2's Three Spirits, Star Citizen's anniversary, and Diablo II's ladder reset

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Business Models, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, Sandbox, MOBA, Diablo III, Anniversaries, Star Citizen, Path of Exile

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Blizzard has revealed details of changes coming to Diablo III's difficulty settings in its upcoming pre-expansion patch; monsters will now level up with the player to make all content the appropriate difficulty. Path of Exile announced that its first expansion will be coming in March and released the first of seven major content updates that should keep players very busy until then. It was announced that Diablo II's ladder will be reset on November 26th, giving players a rare chance to start playing the old-school dungeon crawler in a completely fresh loot-economy.

Star Citizen is celebrating its first year anniversary with a limited-time relaunch of several previously released limited-edition ships. The game also passed the $27 million mark to unlock the Banu Merchantman ship and revealed its next stretch goal. Details of the huge Dota 2 update that caused Valve to cancel its Diretide holiday event this year have now been released, including information on three new heroes, a new crafting system, and a Coaching feature that lets players virtually watch over their friend's shoulders. And SMITE's latest update visually revamped Chinese character He Bo, God of the Yellow River.

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Not So Massively: Dota 2's Diretide fiasco, D3's Adventure Mode, and HoN's Rift Wars

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, Endgame, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Consoles, Casual, Dev Diaries, Not So Massively, Sandbox, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Star Citizen, Path of Exile

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Several new experimental game modes are on their way to League of Legends, starting with the interesting One For All mode that gives every player the same champion. Valve defended its decision to silently cancel Dota 2's Diretide event but has agreed to release the event as part of a huge upcoming gameplay update. And Heroes of Newerth has now released its chaotic new Rift Wars game mode that spawns players with a completely random set of abilities.

New details on Diablo III's upcoming Reaper of Souls expansion were revealed this week at BlizzCon 2013, including an Adventure Mode that makes the endgame a lot more like classic Diablo II. The expansion will also introduce the Nephalem Rift mode that creates randomised game maps for farming loot, and a hilarious console feature that sends deadly monsters to kill people on your friends list. Path of Exile will soon be coming to Asian regions thanks to a new partnership with Asian publisher Garena Online. And Star Citizen announced its plans to support AMD's proprietary Mantle graphics API, an alternative to OpenGL and Direct3D that's optimised for Radeon graphics cards.

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Video previews Wednesday's Path of Exile update 1.0.1

Fantasy, Video, New Titles, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Path of Exile

Video previews Wednesday's Path of Exile update 101
Players interested in Path of Exile's upcoming 1.0.1, which is hitting servers Wednesday, can get the scoop in the devs' latest update preview video. The clip highlights a sequel to the popular race mode Descent, changes in Purity, a new enhance support gem, and more. Also noted is that Season 5 will start this weekend. Additionally, PoE will be releasing seven bi-weekly content updates between now and the expansion in early March, 2014.

Descent Champions, like Descent, is a special scenario separate from the storyline filled with challenging monsters. Unlike its predecessor, however, this version sports a choice in forks in the progression and a selection of unique items to pick from at the start the event. Purity has been changed so that it doesn't alter players' maximum resistances; instead players can utilize the new player purity aura gems for fire, ice, and lightning.

You can get more details on all these changes (plus a spoiler for one of the five new uniques coming!) in the update video below.

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Not So Massively: Dota 2's Diretide controversy, Extra-Life fund-raising, and Star Citizen breaks $26m

Video, Business Models, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Path of Exile

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Charity Extra-Life has been working with MMO and MOBA studios across the world this week to raise money for children's hospitals; the charity's website was the subject of a DDoS attack this past weekend but still managed to raise over $3.25 million US. Dota 2 players threw a huge internet tantrum this week when Valve chose not to run its promised Diretide Halloween event and didn't give players any indication as to why. Threats were allegedly made against Valve employees as part of the outrage, and Dota 2's metacritic score was trashed.

League of Legends relaunched classic ranged champion Sivir this week with an updated look and a few nice gameplay changes as part of Patch 3.13. Heroes of Newerth hinted that its previously discussed Chaos Mode, which gives players new sets of random abilities every time they spawn, will soon be released under the name Rift Wars.

Diablo III developers reversed their decision to make Transmogrified gear become soulbound and released a lore update delving into the dark history of gothic city Westmarch. Path of Exile's first post-release update is in the works, but developers have already managed to fix the occasional disconnects that crept in shortly after launch. And Star Citizen has hit the $26 million crowdfunding mark, unlocking advanced capital ship systems.

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Rise and Shiny: Path of Exile

Fantasy, Horror, Screenshots, Video, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Launches, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Rise and Shiny, Livestream, Dungeons, Path of Exile

Path of Exile screenshot
I've never been a huge fan of dungeon-crawlers. I've enjoyed them in the past, but overall I don't get much of a thrill out of tweaking my character with weapons and armor just so I can do it all again when I hit the next dungeon. Sure, some of the games from this genre are a blast to play for a bit, but not for a long time. Even with the linear storylines and sometimes fantastic special effects, they just feel more like work for me. I don't like to feel as if I am working when I play an MMO.

Path of Exile comes from the olden days of hardcore gameplay. It's been in development for seven years (some of the designs, like the minimap, show its age), but it launched just last month. I was very eager to at least try it out since I haven't really given a game like it a go for a while. Next thing I know, I am eagerly clicking away at monster after monster, collecting more loot than I knew what to do with.

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Ten things to love and hate about Path of Exile

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, First Impressions, Path of Exile

Path of Exile
Grinding Gear Games' Path of Exile officially launched last week after a long open beta. Like so many similar titles trailing in Blizzard's wake, it's a dungeon-crawly pseudo-MMO that skirts the boundary between sinking to "just another Diablo clone" and rising above the genre. Some journalists are praising it as Diablo II's rightful heir, while others are putting it aside in favor of their weatherbeaten copies of Titan Quest, which better satisfy their urge to click-click-click.

The reality is usually somewhere in the middle of these extremes, but extremes are fun. So let's examine the top 10 things we love and hate about Path of Exile.

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Not So Massively: Star Citizen expands alpha, D3's Mystic revealed, and Path of Exile launches

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Business Models, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Launches, New Titles, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Browser, Consoles, Dev Diaries, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, Sandbox, MOBA, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Path of Exile

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Star Citizen smashed through the $24 million and $25 million crowdfunding barriers this week, unlocking public transportation and expanding the game's upcoming alpha test. Designs for Diablo III's upcoming Mystic artisan were revealed, and it was confirmed that the she will be part of the Reaper of Souls expansion. Path of Exile saw a remarkably smooth launch day, with only minor lag and just a few bugs for Steam users.

Blizzard may have run into yet another naming blunder with Heroes of the Storm, as this week it emerged that a Finnish RPG published in July bears the same name. Third-person MOBA SMITE re-introduced Chinese god Sun Wukong this week, compete with shapeshifting abilities, an extendable staff, and a flying cloud. Firefall developer Red 5 Studios revealed details of what players can expect to be released in the next few months, and its parent company The9 has signed a $24 million US investment deal that values the game at $100 million. And Arena of Heroes is offering fans the chance to win an Ouya console and controller in a competition that will end in just a few days.

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Path of Exile launch-day roundup

Fantasy, Launches, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Path of Exile

Path of Exile launchday roundup
With a patch as big as today's, you have to wonder what Path of Exile has in store for players after launch. And starting now, you can find out. Today the free-to-play action MMO breaks from the bonds of beta and bursts into land of launched titles. But if you think that launch for Path of Exile is just an exercise in switching labels, think again. Two new four-month challenge leagues will offer new and old players alike a fresh start alongside the launch; players can join the Domination league with the new shrine system or the hardcore league Nemesis, where death means converting to a standard character.

Whether you've been climbing those league ladders all the while or you're jumping in to experience the game for the first time, there's plenty of content to keep you occupied. If you need something to pass the time until you can log in this launch day or you want to get a leg up on the competition, check out this collection of updates, interviews, and hands-on experiences.

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