Friday, July 20, 2012

DotA 2 News

Naga Siren added to Dota 2

» Naga Siren is the newest hero implemented in the Dota 2 Test patch.There will now be a message when the Aegis gets denied.

Patchnotes 18 July Patch Testclient:

Added Naga Siren!
Added new stats dropdown feature when spectating!

- Enabled Naga Siren in Captain's Mode.
- Disruptor: Fixed Glimpse affecting Warlock Golem and Spirit Bear.
- Silencer: Fixed Curse of the Silent affecting Warlock Golem and Spirit Bear.
- Storm Spirit: Fixed Static Remnant blocking creep camps
- Templar Assassin: Fixed Refraction being dispellable.
- Undying: Fixed a case where early game zombies could sometimes get stuck with an earlier or invalid level of Deathlust into the late game.
- Beastmaster: Fixed the path that Wild Axes take. It should now work the way it was originally intended.
- Fixed Shadow Word refreshing its debuff version when stolen and cast as a buff.
- Fixed Dazzle's Weave refreshing its debuff version when stolen and cast as a buff.
- Fixed restealing an ability (stealing another ability in-between) not restting its cooldown.
- Fixed Diffusal Blade stopping Force Staff movement.
- Fixed Refraction and Pipe causing Blink Dagger to not get disabled.

- Sellback times no longer expire when moving items to the courier.
- Fixed item stocks not restoring correctly when multiple items are sold back within the sellback time.
- Added a message when a player denies the Aegis.
- Added confirmation dialog before starting a practice lobby with a league set but one or more teams not set.
- Added client-side console variables allowing spectators to locally disable certain announcer lines. Especially useful for broadcasters. The cvars are:
- cl_dota_speech_spec_towerattack, cl_dota_speech_spec_towerfalls, cl_dota_speech_spec_barracksattack, cl_dota_speech_spec_barracksfalls, cl_dota_speech_spec_ancientattack, cl_dota_speech_spec_enemybasefalls, cl_dota_speech_spec_idles .
- Set any of them to '0' to prevent that line from playing. (Broadcasters will almost always want to set cl_dota_speech_spec_idles 0 ).
- Multiple players who have the same announcer equipped in the same game should now hear the same speech.

Diablo 3 News

Morhaime addresses the Diablo community: On D3's launch, online only and coming changes.
by Radoslav 'Nydra' Kolev

Co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment Mike Morhaime addressed the Diablo III community today in a lengthy post. Morhaime talks about the ups and down the game had and the future Blizzard are shooting for.

Below you can find the full post from Mike Morhaime, the highlights of which are Diablo III's launch and the resulting issues, patch 1.0.4., RMAH, the online-only experience, PvP and revamped legendaries.

Dear Diablo Players,

Now that Diablo III has been out for two months, I would like to take a step back and discuss the launch, the feedback from the community, and talk about what the future holds for the game.

We’ve had an enormous amount of feedback since the launch. I speak for everyone at Blizzard when I say that we appreciate the passion and affection many of you have for the Diablo series. We truly believe “Every Voice Matters,” so I want to thank you for sharing your experiences in an effort to help us improve the game. Your support makes it possible for us to continue doing what we do, and we never take that for granted.

The launch week of Diablo III was memorable for many reasons — some positive, and some not so positive. We were thrilled that Diablo III had the biggest PC-game launch ever, surpassing the lifetime sales of Cataclysm (the previous record holder for biggest PC-game launch) in a matter of weeks. We’ve been floored by the response.

However, the launch had many challenges as well. It has always been difficult to forecast how many players we will have. With World of Warcraft, it was a challenge to handle the immediate demand when we launched back in 2004, and that was just in North America. We eventually expanded to other regions and reached nearly 5 million players by the end of the first year, and there were a lot of growing pains with that. However, we’ve never gone from 0 to more than 6 million players across multiple continents within a few days with a brand-new game. For Diablo III, we looked at historical sales for Blizzard games and other top-selling PC games and watched preorder numbers. We even upped our estimates to ensure we had additional capacity, or so we thought. In the end, it just wasn’t enough, and that is something we will work hard to conquer for future releases.

In response to the immediate and overwhelming demand for the game, the team worked around the clock to support all regions, increase capacity, ship additional hardware to our datacenters, and troubleshoot and fix bugs as they sprang up. While things have by and large been running smoothly for several weeks now, various game-related issues have come up that we have either already responded to or are continuing to investigate (such as the latency issue some of you are experiencing) and make adjustments for. Rather than address every subject individually, I’ll just say that even as we work to address or resolve current issues, it’s always possible that further issues will crop up. We hope that our actions in the past have demonstrated that above all else, we’re committed to delivering an awesome game experience, and we hope you’ll have faith that we will continue to keep that commitment and respond to any new or outstanding issues quickly.

We are not satisfied with breaking launch records; we want people to continue playing and enjoying Blizzard games for a very long time. The Diablo III team has made an epic, entertaining, and beautiful gaming experience. That being said, we know that it isn’t perfect. Our teams are working hard to improve the game balance, build on our design, and listen to what players are saying to make it the best game it can be.

You’ve seen some of that work already in patch 1.0.3, and you’ll see additional improvements with patch 1.0.4. On the game balance front, this update will contain changes designed to further deliver on the team’s goal of promoting “build diversity,” with buffs to many rarely used, underpowered class abilities. Another topic we’ve seen actively discussed is the fact that better, more distinct Legendary items are needed. We agree. Patch 1.0.4 will also include new and improved Legendary items that are more interesting, more powerful, and more epic in ways you probably won’t be expecting.

We’re also working on a number of interface updates, including social improvements that will allow players to more easily view their friends’ achievements, more quickly join games, and more efficiently communicate with each other. In addition, we’ll be making updates to the auction house in the future to provide players with better information through tooltips and notices, offer improved search functionality, and more.

Regarding the real-money auction house, our primary goal for including this in the game was to provide convenience and peace of mind for those players who might otherwise turn to third-party services to buy items. Black market trading sites can put accounts at risk and create many customer service challenges. We felt that the players themselves also deserved the opportunity to benefit from the extra loot they found, as opposed to having all of the benefit go to the black market/illegal trading organizations. We know the auction house isn’t perfect, but with your help and feedback, we’ll be able to continue making it a better experience for those who choose to use it. On the flipside, we are also committed to ensuring you have a great experience with Diablo III without feeling like the auction house is mandatory, which was never our intention. Thank you for all the feedback about that.

One other common topic we’ve seen in the forums is the always-connected experience, and the perception that the online requirement is nothing but an ineffective form of copy protection that has already been cracked. While we’ve never said that this requirement guarantees that there will be no cheating or game cracks, it does help us battle those problems (we have not found any fully functional cracks). More important to us is that the online requirement is critical for the long-term integrity of the game experience. I fully understand the desire to play Diablo III offline; however, Diablo III was designed from the beginning to be an online game that can be enjoyed with friends, and the always-online requirement is the best way for us to support that design. The effectiveness of the online elements — including the friends list and cross-game communication; co-op matchmaking; persistent characters that you can use by yourself, with others, and in PvP; and some of our customer support, service, and security components — is tied directly to the online nature of the game. These and other online-enabled features are essential to our design for Diablo III. That said, there are still improvements we believe we can make to expand the online experience and make co-op play even more rewarding, and this will remain one of our priorities moving forward. Overall, while there are some downsides to the online-only approach, I still believe this was the best long-term decision for the game.

I know many of you are also looking forward to patch 1.1, our PvP update, which will provide new experiences and give you a whole new way to apply the skills you’ve picked up while battling demons. This patch will also build on the social and auction house changes I mentioned above, and the team will continue to fix bugs and further tune game balance as well.

We’re also working on a gameplay system that will provide players who have max-level, high-powered characters new goals to strive for as an alternative to the “item hunt.” We’re not ready to get into specifics just yet, but I can say that we’re actively taking your feedback into account as we plan out the future of the game.

As always, we appreciate your candor and passion. Your constructive feedback and thoughts are valuable — they will continue to help us be a better company. I just want to reiterate that while we can’t claim to have ever shipped a perfect game, we are committed to supporting our games relentlessly and making improvements where we can. Thank you for your support.


Mike Morhaime

XcN News

XcN to replace Ritter ART-Gaming in GEST July
by Patrik "Raistlin" Hellstrand
Indonesian side Ritter ART-Gaming will not be able to take part in this weekend's GIGABYTE E-Sports Tournament International DotA Cup. Replacing them will be the fellow Indonesian team XcN.

XcN, with a fresh Playcybergames Indonesia DotA Tournament victory in their backs, will hop in to Group C where they are paired against MSIEvoGT, G7, StarsBoba and SVR_Es.

We would like to remind you of the GEST GosuBet Championship - place your tangos on this weekend's matches and you have the chance to win GIGABYTE motherboards and DotA 2 beta keys.

XcN roster:
Farand 'Koala' Kowara
Brando 'easy-XLR8'
Muhammad 'Lordbubu' Damar
Wendy 'PPPmyt^^' Chandra
Ruby 'Straight' Gunawan

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

MSI Philippines with €3,800 offline finals next weekend

by Patrik "Raistlin" Hellstrand

MSI Phillipines is hosting their finals of their 200,000 PHP (€~3,800 EUR) DotA tournament MSI Overdrive next weekend, July 6-8. The 4/F Annex Event Area will be the venue for the 30 teams taking part.

The tournament will feature internationally top ranked teams like Mineski, MSI EvoGT, Pacific.Revitalize, Izone^125, Badburn and Dreamz Ledion SS. Have you followed the GIGABYTE Esport Tournament you have surely heard of them and seen the top notch performance by the Filipino sides.

The grand final winner will walk home with a 75,000 PHP (~€1,425 EUR) check as well as a SteelSeries QcK MASS Gank Edition mousepad. The runner-up will have to settle with 25,000 PHP (~€475 EUR).

The champion of each of the open qualifiers will be getting the first ten seeds, and the runner-ups of the six open qualifiers will get the first 16 seeds in the 32-team single elimination tournament.

When teams reach the quarter finals, they will be split up in two groups of four in which the top two will advance to a playoff.

As a special all-star game, the ten players with the most likes in this photo albumwill form two teams. The two with the highest number of votes will be the captains of the two teams and will draft their team mates among the pool of the other 8 "all-stars". The prize for that all-star game is a 5,000 PHP (~€95 EUR) and five SteelSeries Sensei mice.

The 'Art of Blizzard' art book coming this October

by Radoslav "Nydra" Kolev

352 pages of Blizzard artwork will be released this fall for company's fans to enjoy and follow the creation of their favorite worlds.

-"An epic volume of art and behind-the-scenes insights, The Art of Blizzard celebrates the studio's genesis by examining the creative forces behind these games and showcasing their artistry through more than 700 pieces of concept art, paintings, and sketches. Commentary on the art is provided by Blizzard Entertainment's own Nick Carpenter, Sam Didier, and Chris Metzen, who've each played important roles in shaping Blizzard's game universes over the years.

The meaty hardcover art book (published by Insight Editions) currently sells for $45.88 on Amazon with the list price being $75.00. The release date is set on October 10, 2012.

VIDEO: 27-minute long Wizard in Inferno Guide

by Patrik "Raistlin" Hellstrand

Check out this 27-minute long guide for Wizard. If you want to learn how to beat Inferno and want explanation of the gear, skill and passive spec and playstyle tips including kiting and stutter step techniques, this one's for you.



VIDEO: Killing Elites - Tactics for the Undergeared

by Radoslav "Nydra" Kolev

Kripparrian comes out with a video full of useful advises about how to approach unique and elite pack while undergeared. Check the VOD and try the strategies before spending millions on the auction house.



A Month of Diablo: June 2012

by Radoslav "Nydra" Kolev

Although nothing could top the month of May when Diablo III was actually released, June was quite the eventful four weeks as well. There were good moments like the world first hardcore Diablo Kill, some awesome farming guides and Patch 1.0.3, and there were also bad moments like lawsuit threats, a disappointed community and Patch 1.0.3.


Gems, dyes and other commodities come to the RMAH

by Radoslav "Nydra" Kolev

In a good Blizzard tradition, "soon" is set as the date for when commodities will arrive at the RMAH. Gold, however, will not be available until later moment.

Community manager Cerunya wrote:
"The following commodities will be available for trading in the real-money auction house:

  • Gems
  • Dyes
  • Crafting Materials
  • Blacksmithing Plans and Jeweler Designs
  • Pages of Training
The ability to trade gold as a community won't be included in this initial update, but we hope to enable it in the near future. Keep an eye on this thread for further updates."

Source: Battle.Net