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Path of Exile

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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Path of Exile patches in guilds, classes, and balance changes for launch

Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Path of Exile

Dancing a merry jig for patch day, tra-la-la.
It's not fair to call Path of Exile's pre-launch patch a kitchen sink patch; this is big enough to include the sink, dishwasher, fridge, and probably a good chunk of the dining room besides. It's a big patch, and when it goes fully live tomorrow, you'll have a chance to play around with the enormous list of features, starting with the addition of an entire system for guilds that didn't exist before.

Yes, the patch includes a guild system. And that's not even the biggest part of the patch. It includes a new character class for players who have cleared the game on Normal difficulty, six new world areas, achievements, new skills, new items, and an assortment of balance tweaks and improvements. That's not even touching upon new challenge leagues and the like. The point is that even if you know the game inside and out, you might want to hop in tomorrow and try out the huge array of new options available to you because... really. There's lots of stuff here.

Not So Massively: Elite's Panther LX, PoE's launch week, and Blizzard All-Stars' new name

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Launches, New Titles, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, Sandbox, MOBA, League of Legends, Firefall, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile

Not So Massively Elites Panther LX PoE ready to launch and Blizzard All-Stars renamed
This week, a new Elite: Dangerous newsletter showed off the work-in-progress missile launcher and torpedo weapons and the Panther LX heavy cargo clipper ship. David Braben also discussed plans to release the first alpha stage in December and then later proceed to a wider beta. Star Citizen managed to scrape together another million dollars this week, unlocking the Xi'an Scout light attack craft, and developers shone the spotlight on some great fan-made videos.

League of Legends extended the deadline for achieving the necessary ranks to earn the various Season 3 rewards to November 11th, and this week players discovered a series of Soraka support bots that were farming account levels in co-op mode. Blizzard All-Stars has been renamed yet again and is now back in development under the name Heroes of the Storm.

Path of Exile began gearing up for its official launch this coming Wednesday with the release of a deluge of new information on what the patch contains and the first of a brand-new season of the popular Build of the Week series. Firefall developer Red 5 Studios released a new development update with details on plans to revamp everything from the user interface to crafting and character progression. And Russian MOBA Prime World asked its community to come up with a set of guidelines for players to abide by.

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Not So Massively: Star Citizen design contest, Samuel L Jackson announcer pack, and LoL releases Jinx

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Contests, Expansions, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, Sandbox, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Player-Generated Content, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Infinite Crisis, Path of Exile

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Star Citizen smashed its $21 and $22 million stretch goals this week, adding the salvaging profession to the game and a facial capture system to the developer's toolbox. The Next Great Starship design contest was also launched this week, offering players the chance to get their ship design featured in the game and win a prize of $30,000.

Datamining from the latest Diablo III test build shows that the previously considered stat caps may no longer be added in the Reaper of Souls expansion, lifesteal may be nerfed, and a new difficulty mode called Torment could be on its way. Path of Exile revealed that two new four-month-long challenge leagues will start when the game officially launches on October 23rd, and developers answered over 100 questions from fans.

League of Legends players on the EU West servers have started a petition demanding compensation for recent server trouble, and new champion Jinx was released this week. SMITE raised over $12,000 for charity with a recent event and overhauled character Hel, the goddess of the underworld. Heroes of Newerth got a new announcer pack voiced by none other than Samuel L. Jackson, and developers on mobile game Dungeon Defenders II have dropped its competitive MOBA element in favour of creating a true sequel to the original game.

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Not So Massively: Elite dev diary, Garen revamp, and SMITE adds Mercury

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Launches, Patches, News Items, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Giveaways, Dev Diaries, Not So Massively, Sandbox, MOBA, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile

Not So Massively Elite dev diary, Garen revamp, and SMITE adds Mercury
David Braben talked us through the impressive Elite: Dangerous trailer and showed how putting the trailer together has helped development considerably. Star Citizen showed concept art for its in-station MobiGlas user interface, and the game's crowdfunding total is about to cross the $21m mark.

Blizzard responded to reports of item duplication and hacking on the console versions of Diablo III and admitted that it is working on a way to let players move from one act to another via the waypoint system. And Path of Exile announced that it will officially launch on October 23rd in a large update that includes a new Steam release.

Competitive League of Legends team SK Telecom 1 battled its way to the million-dollar top prize at this year's League of Legends World Championship, and the tournament's end signals the release of Patch 3.12. Third-person MOBA SMITE added new speed-based assassin character Mercury, Messenger of The Gods, to its growing pantheon. And Russian MOBA Prime World officially launched on Steam this week and released a spotlight on its new blood-drinking characters Vampire and Dahaka.

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Not So Massively: Star Citizen hits $20m, LoL semi-finals, and Diablo III to cap stats

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

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Star Citizen hit the $20 million crowdfunding mark this week and announced that its $22 million goal will be for the purchase of equipment to capture actors' faces and put them in-game. Diablo III site Diablofans found more juicy hints about the upcoming Reaper of Souls expansion in its latest datamining attempt, and developers have opened a discussion on the problems caused by low character health pools. Path of Exile released patch 0.11.6 this week, adding in the new Lightning Trap and Smoke Mine skill gems and rebalancing existing traps and mines. After laying off 10% of its staff, Firefall developer Red 5 Studios has released a new optional subscription package that grants bonus Crystite, manufacturing slots, and marketplace slots.

The semi-finals of League of Legends' Season Three World Championship took place this weekend, ending with Korean favourite SK Telecom T1 and Chinese team Royal Club advancing to the grand final to compete for the million-dollar top prize. Frustrated with the difficulty of learning to use Pudge's Meat Hook ability, a Dota 2 player has developed a standalone mini-game designed to let players train to aim the ability. Classic DC Comics character Catwoman was added to Infinite Crisis as a playable avatar this week, and award-winning Russian MOBA Prime World is now on Steam despite missing its intended mid-September Steam release date.

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