Riot Games has released the first League of Legends patch of 2014 with a long list of notes. As Riot’s Chris Tom admits, there’s nothing world shattering in there, just a lot more refinement and tuning. “We’re still closely watching the state of the game as it evolves with the preseason,” he says in a post on the game’s official website, “and this update is just another step down that path.”
League of Legends' third season recently ended with a shocking cliffhanger, as Ziggs was revealed to be the lovechild of Gragas, who had himself been framed for the horrific slaughter of hundreds of minions. None of that is true, but I know more about TV than sport, and so like to pretend that LoL's seasonal shifts relate to that instead. As we head towards the new pre-season, Riot have been running through the balance changes that will arrive along with it.
But will Season 4 of League of Legends be comparable to any season of 24, where small tweaks are made to the same basic formula; or will it be more like the last season of Fringe, with all of the existing plot lines abandoned for something really dumb? Well, dumber. A new video by Riot explains what to expect.
League of Legends had, has or will have a card game in the works, as revealed in perhaps the oddest manner possible. Riot Games' co-founder and president Marc Merrill seemingly had his twitter account hacked over the weekend, with said hacker revealing the existence of a standalone card game called League of Legends: Supremacy (a name Riot trademarked a year ago). The account thief teased a few images and then threatened to upload the whole lot, before backing down and handing control back to Marc.
Tonight, at the slightly absurd 4am BST (or the more sociable 8PM PDT), the League of Legends Series 3 World Championship final will take place between SK Telecom T1 and Royal Club. Not to undermine the achievement of the two teams who have battled their way to within sight of the Summoner's Cup, but, as someone who doesn't watch the DotA-like wing of e-sports, I'm more impressed by this: Riot's celebration of the competition. Taking some of the best players from the tournament, they've created anime counterparts imbued with the powers of their chosen champions.
A new video from League of Legends developer Riot Games argues that appealing to the better angels of our nature can bring increased success on the battlefield. Based on the studio's own internal statistics, the video points out how teamwork and sportsmanship can lead to more wins, more gold, and a better atmosphere in the online multiplayer game.
A handful of professional League of Legends commentators halted their lengthy discussions of counter jungle strategies, the best times to hard leash, and other MOBA jargon to host a Reddit AMA ("Ask Me Anything"), where they talked about their jobs and how you can get do it, too.
CCP's Kristoffer Toubourg will soon be Riot's Kristoffer Touborg, as announced on the EVE Online lead designer's Facebook page. After five years working on the pioneering sci-fi MMO, he's trading the Bjorky shores of Iceland for the distinctly Guinessy city of Dublin to put his skills to use on Riot Games' League of Legends.
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?
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 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.
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.
Riot has announced that French team Against All Authority has been disqualified from this weekend's LCS playoffs for being "unable to field a roster of eligible players." The situation was created when one of the team's starters was pulled away by a family emergency, and none of their valid substitutes were able to step in within the time frame allotted for aAa's semifinal match against SK Gaming.
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.
This week, we're taking a look at how to effectively control a pet and use it to its full potential in Dota 2. It's not just fanboy rage fueling Dota 2 players who insist their game be labeled as an ARTS instead of a MOBA—there are some very distinct RTS elements that have evolved with the game since it's early days as an RTS mod, including how pet handling functions. Let's break down the mechanics and see how we can use them to our advantage.
I think it's high time Riot changed the name of its MOBA juggernaut to Legion of Legends. The game's colossal numbers keep getting bigger, and after throwing around multiple instances of the word "million" back in October, Riot announced last week that 5 million players regularly get their junglin' on during peak hours.
This week in eSports: MLG Winter is finally here! Heart of the Swarm has launched, and now is as good a time as ever to start eSportsing. Plus, competitive gaming has earned itself a spot at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics conference. Have a look at all of this and more inside. gl hf!
This week in eSports: the Swarm approaches, and vengeance is upon us all! By this time next week, we'll have a champion for the GSL and IEM, Heart of the Swarm will be burrowed on our hard drives... and that's just StarCraft. Get off one last inject on your hatch, then 1-A your way down into this week's eSports news. gl hf!
Last night, the (still technically unreleased) Dota 2 beta registered a peak of 297,000 players. This broke the previous record, set by Skyrim, by almost 10,000, making it the most-played game on Steam by concurrent users in history. With the rate they're sending out free keys, this doesn't really surprise me.
This week in eSports: the death knell sounds for IPL6, but an announcement from QuakeCon gives us something different to look forward to. Things have come right down to the wire in The Defense 3 and the GSL, and the next MLG is right around the corner. There may be no better time this year to 6 pool or gank your friends into giving eSports a look. gl hf!