League of Legends' database has been hacked, again, although this time it's US players who have had their details compromised, as announced on the LoL blog. "What we know: usernames, email addresses, salted password hashes, and some first and last names were accessed." Along with 120,000 transaction records from 2011 - so if you have a US account and you used your card on the LoL store a couple of years ago, you're going to want to keep a close eye on your bank account. Riot are "taking appropriate action to notify and safeguard affected players", and within the next day they'll be enacting a mandatory password change, which will require NA accounts to pick something safer. Something like, I dunno, Password2?
How do you improve on Awesome? (Or, if not awesome, then pretty darned good.) Easy: you chuck in more characters and features and ridiculously catchy theme tunes. Ronimo Games, creators of Awesomenauts, have taken to the Kickstarters to fund an expansion to their sidescrolling platformy MOBA. It's called Starstorm, and if they raise $125,000 it will be a thing that totally exists.
The first time I played Heroes of Newerth, somebody called me a noob. Somebody else chimed that earwigs had more gaming skill than I did. Then these people began to discuss my mother. Needless to say, I bowed out of HoN rather early in my MOBA career.
MOBAs are notorious for their prickly communities, but that may soon change—thanks to HoN's own developer, S2 Games, who has revealed that it is developing what it calls a "second generation MOBA." Strife is a narrative-heavy, community-driven game that aims to appeal to newbies and veterans alike.
Dota 2 tournament The International has released its prize pool breakdown for this year's event, with more than $2.7 million now on hand for the competition that begins August 7 in Seattle. While the competition is already well-funded, the prize pool continues to grow as more copies of developer Valve's Interactive Compendium are sold.
After the hilarious, Game of Thrones-spoofing live action trailer this year and the screenshots that came a couple of months afterwards, the Video Game Marketing Formula dictates that the next stop on Magicka: Wizard Wars' press tour is a gameplay trailer, which you'll find neatly packaged behind the cut. Paradox is on a roll with these.
League of Legends has been (somewhat reluctantly) deemed a professional sport by the US government, after a lengthy campaign by Riot and others to get LoL's pro players recognised as professional athletes. This is more than just an empty title, however - pros will now be able to come to the US on working visas, which will make it considerably easier for international players to appear in tournaments. "The United States government recognises League of Legends pro players as professional athletes, and award Visas to essentially work in the United States under that title," Riot eSports manager Nick Allen revealed in an interview with GameSpot. "This is groundbreaking for eSports."
I'm sighing the weary sigh of a man staring into the future and seeing naught but DoTA clones. You may remember End of Nations as the Petroglyph developed free-to-play MMORTS that ran into trouble after its open beta was postponed and members of staff were laid off. Subsequently taken in-house by publisher Trion Worlds, it's now resurfaced as - you guessed it - a lane pushing game.
There's just something about seaside resort hotels, gently swaying palm trees, and fruity cocktails in coconut-shell vessels that draws gamers in for a bit of escapism and relaxation. Oh, and also causing a ruckus and inciting panic amongst the few remaining tourists in town. Infinite Crisis is the latest to join the tropical madness conga line, with DC Comics superheroes flooding its new two-lane map Coast City.
It hasn't been a great year for Petroglyph Games, the former End of Nations devs who took to Kickstarter with their RTS Victory, a funding campaign they cancelled ten days later. Now, Petroglyph have announced that their free-to-play MOBA Battle For Graxia (a game built on the foundations of their 2011 effort Rise of the Immortals) is to shut up shop at the end of June.
I tend to get quite annoyed by pointless cinematic trailers for games, but this luxuriant CGI video for League of Legends won me over - and this is coming from someone too intimidated by LOL (or MOBAs in general) to play beyond the tutorial. Perhaps it's because the game has already been out for quite a while - this seems like a fun thing for the fans to pick over, rather than another cog in the marketing machine. The trailer's a battle royale of sorts between many of LOL's now-countless heroes, and unlike the game itself it doesn't involve too much furious clicking on stuff. Barely any, in fact. Instead, the likes of Garen, Katarina and Ryze duff each other up for our amusement. Have a watch below the break.
With so many current and yet-to-be-released titles, you might feel as if you're floating in a veritable moat of MOBAs. So what will Dawngate, the MOBA that EA didn't-quite-announce last week, be doing to distinguish itself from the rest of the moat-murk? Quite a bit, actually, if this dev video's anything to go by. Dawngate definitely looks like a MOBA, but the old formula's being tinkered with to keep things fresh.
On Saturday more people were playing Dota 2 at the same time than there are residents of St. Louis.
Shopping must be tough if you're a League of Legends champion. How are you supposed to pick out a nice pair of boots when an endless wave of creeps are sweeping forth to give you a knock on the noggin? Recognising the desire to browse in leisure, Riot will introduce Custom Item Sets into patch 3.7: item profiles that can be created and edited directly from the summoner profile.
Given the number of DoTA-likes being released, I can only assume the endgame is Meta Dota, an all-star version in which every hero is a different developer's attempt on the genre. It would be the most obtuse and complicated game ever created, and it's community would exist in a dark void of bile and anger. Here's another for its roster: Dawngate, which is EA studio Waystone Games' as-yet-unannounced game.
Turns out those faceless dudes from the Game of Thrones-spoofing announcement trailer aren't any less creepy when pulled out of the realm of live-action. I was hoping the hollow blackness of the wizards' heads might be downplayed a little in Magicka: Wizard War's art, but I guess I can forgive them when that much fire and lightning is bursting from their limbs.
G-1, the Chinese Dota 2 league, has been suspended by organisers 17173, following a series of DDoS attacks that caused players to disconnect during their games. The attacks began on Sunday, affecting players from Team Dignitas, Evil Geniuses and Kaipi. 17173 say they are working to rectify the issues, and have sought technical advice from Valve.
Yesterday, we reported on a study published by DFC Intelligence, claiming that Dota 2 had overtaken League of Legends as the most played game in North America and Europe, and citing data from XFire and other unnamed sources. But the conclusions of the report seemed problematic - Riot had previously announced five million concurrent players worldwide, and while Dota 2 is undeniably growing in popularity, to surpass it in two key regions would have been a big deal.
As we reported at the time, with DFC's methodology unclear, it was impossible to confirm their findings. To find out more, I got in touch with David Cole, owner of DFC, for clarification. Additionally Riot, eager to retain their title, have provided some of their own statistics, which suggest that League of Legends is still the king.
Update: Riot have questioned DFC's findings, telling Games Industry that League of Legends sees "over 500,000 peak concurrent players every day on just the EU West shard." See inside for more details.
Original Story: Dota 2 has surpassed League of Legends as the most played "core" PC title in the West through the first quarter of 2013, according to a report by DFC Intelligence. If accurate, it's a big coup for Valve's MOBA, which is both "technically" unrealeased and "technically" not free. Of course, as those heavy ironic quote marks imply, neither of those facts mean much when Steam has become so flooded with invites that you could run out onto the street, shout "I NEED A DOTA," and be guaranteed that some passing stranger would hand you one. I'm serious. Try it.