MOBA Category

MOBAs are multiplayer online battle arenas, PvP-centric, non-persistent online games that share some but not all mechanics in common with traditional MMORPGs. We formerly categorized MOBAs as “Not So Massively” games. You may also be interested in our Multiplayer category for other multiplayer online games that aren’t fully massive. [Follow the MOBA category’s RSS feed]

Nexon’s Hyper Universe MOBA just rolled out a new ranked mode

Nexon has big plans for its MOBA Hyper Universe over 2018. The Korean giant – or rather, its super adorable disco dog – laid out its spring plans for the game this week. The big news is a brand-new ranked mode, with eight tiers to climb, a drafting system that lets you block specific characters you don’t want to play, a “true skill” system whereby failure loses you points, and special skin and nameplate rewards for victory.

Technically, the first season begins on February 22nd, but you can jump into the preseason to test it all out right now as long as your account is level 15 and you’ve got 12 toons unlocked. There’s also a new toon debuting this week: Captain Red, a hybrid specialist for both melee and ranged.

I’m gonna be honest: I’d rather hear patch notes read to me by a disco dog than by pretty much anyone else. That video is down below.

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Toxicity roundup: Overwatch troll, Fortnite pro fired, Division modder ban, HOTS’s voice chat, and Twitch’s new anti-hate rules

When the toxicity topics just keep piling up in the news room and nobody wants to cover them, you get the Toxicity Roundup, your weekly report on who’s being a jerk in gaming this week! (We’re kidding. This is not really a thing. We don’t really want this to be a thing. Please don’t make this a thing.)

Let’s start with Overwatch. Kotaku has a report out on a stream sniper who was hassling popular streamer TimTheTatMan. The troll would show up in the streamer’s matches, refuse to play anything but Symmetra, and proceed to suck – meaning the team always lost. Apparently, TimTheTatMan wasn’t the only person this jerk had griefed. “To be clear this player is being banned, not for their hero choice, but rather for systematically ruining Overwatch games for thousands of players,” Blizzard wrote on Reddit. “We recognize that not finding this player faster is an unfortunate failure of our ever-developing reporting system and we’ve already taken steps to quickly eliminate outliers like this in the future.” So one down, how many more to go?

What else have we got here…

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Da Ji and the Legend of the Foxes brings an anime adventure to SMITE

For a MOBA, SMITE sure doesn’t play by rules, or at least any rules we recognize. Hi-Rez seems to be constantly reinventing the game and its modes and toons, a pattern on display once again this week as the game rolls out its first adventure of the year: Anime Horde Mode.

Da Ji and the Legend of the Foxes transports players to a colorful realm, complete with anime inspired artwork, where they’ll defeat relentless waves of enemies. Lending her talents to this new experience is renowned voice actress Cristina Vee (Sailor Moon, Pokemon, and Hunter x Hunter), who stars as the Adventure’s main character Senpai Da Ji. […] Da Ji needs help defending the sacred fox from waves of various enemies. Surviving the ninja hordes will pit players against one of the epic bosses in an exciting battle. No two Adventure playthroughs will be the same as each bossfight is randomized, with more bosses being added each patch. With every victory, players will level up and earn in-game rewards to help their progress.”

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The Daily Grind: Has the MOBA bubble burst?

The past few weeks have not been kind for fans of MOBAs. In a short span of time we’ve lost Paragon, Master x Master, and Gigantic; it wasn’t so long ago that the not-quite-a-MOBA-but-close-to-it Breakaway got put on indefinite hiatus by Amazon. Off the top of my head I can think of a lot of other MOBAs that arrived, failed to make any significant impact, and then shut their doors without a whole lot of fanfare.

Of course, this also prompts a question of whether or not the bubble has burst or if there was ever a bubble in the first place. I’ve always found it kind of odd that the genre exploded as it did in the first place, because it’s already fundamentally a genre based on a mod for one very specific game. There are only four titles that have really taken off in a significant fashion, and two of those are somewhat debatable depending on who you ask.

So what do you think, readers? Has the MOBA bubble burst? Was there never really a bubble in the first place, just a bunch of games rushed out with no real sustainable market? And how does it make you personally feel either way?

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Warcraft’s Maiev leaps into Heroes of the Storm

Warcraft III or World of Warcraft players should know well the name of Maiev Shadowsong. This Warden — best known as Illidan’s jailor — has built up a following across the two games she’s fought, and now Maiev brings her war to a new front in Heroes of the Storm.

The MOBA version of the character attempts to stay true to her roots as a fast-moving fighter who strikes out all around her. With her blink ability, she can dart into the fray and lash out with a fan of knives before anyone can react. Blizzard is obviously positioning her as a multi-target fighter who can get in and get out before taking too much damage herself.

Perhaps her most interesting ability is Vault of the Wardens, which allows Maiev to do a little flip in the air that dodges attacks and can cause an enemy to waste a move. If you like frustrating your opponents, this could be the class for you!

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The Stream Team: Farewell, Master X Master

It is never a happy day to see a game end. Perhaps inevitable in the grand scheme of life, but never happy. Today Massively OP’s MJ will be with MXM until its servers blink off for the very last time. Tune in live at 4:00 p.m. to share stories and say goodbye as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you the final hour of…

What: Master X Master
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 4:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

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PWE will sunset MOBA Gigantic in July because it couldn’t ‘break through in a crowded market’

Gigantic is on the short road to sunset, I’m sorry to report.

The move by publisher PWE won’t surprise many players, as the development studio behind the game, Motiga, was shuttered back in November. At the time, PWE said it would keep the game itself online; it even pushed out a patch a few weeks atfer that.

But today, PWE has called it quits. “It is with heavy hearts that we announce the January Update is the final content update for Gigantic, and the game servers will be discontinued on July 31, 2018,” says the company, thanking players for giving the game a chance.

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Atlas Reactor’s fifth season is live with new cyborg character Vonn and Valentine loot

We mentioned on the podcast that Trion Worlds seems to be moving into high gear here at the beginning of 2018 with all of its games, and Atlas Reactor is now joining the show with the launch of season 5 today.

“Trion Worlds’ competitive tactics game Atlas Reactor kicks off 2018 with Season 5 of new content today, featuring the brand new cyborg Freelancer – Vonn the Scion of Ice. Players can now earn prestige points based on their Season 4 rankings that can be spent on golden ability effects and earn loot matrices from alerts, daily missions or through direct purchase from the in-game store.”

Nothing says Valentine’s Day like a competitive tactics game, am I right? I’m right: Until February 20th, Atlas Reactor players “can celebrate Valentine’s Day with new skins and emblems that have been added to the Mad Love loot matrix.”

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SMITE 5.1 is a virtual do-over for the Conquest map

SMITE’s massive 5.1 patch is live today on PC, complete with the heavily overhauled and graphically updated Conquest map. There’s a new tutorial for the map, remodeled characters, an expanded map size, better jungle layout, improved pacing – it’s a ground-up revamp. Do note that Hi-Rez has been hotfixing today (yes, that’s why Thoth was unplayable). Valentine’s day goodies and new skins abound as well.

Consolers, you’ll be waiting another week for your taste of 5.1. Check out the epic player-made infographic below for the full run-down!

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Western gamers start petition to save Paragon while Chinese players await info

It shouldn’t really need to be said, but Paragon has fans. You may not love it yourself, but there are a lot of fans who are really upset about the shutdown announcement. So the fans have turned to that time-honored tradition in the wake of an unwanted shutdown, a petition for Epic Games to keep the lights on at the bare minimum.

The petition was aiming for 25,000 signatures and as of this writing has almost hit that number, so it’s clear that a lot of people are willing to write in to support the game at least remaining online even if the updates grind to a halt. Of course, petitions to avert shutdowns do not have the most positive track record; nevertheless, if you are sad about the game shuttering, we encourage you to throw your name onto the list.

Don’t think a petition is going to work? You could always join the folks playing on the Tencent-backed Chinese version of the game, which reportedly either isn’t sunsetting – or hasn’t been told yet.

Source: Petition; thanks to Kinya for the tip!

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Guild Wars 2 makes SuperData’s top 10 list of ‘premium PC games by revenue for 2017’

If you want SuperData’s complete 2017 Digital Games & Interactive Media market brief, you’re… not going to have to pay for it. It’s free, or at least the “executive summary” is, assuming you’re willing to put in an address to get it. Here are some of the more interesting highlights from the doc.

  • MMORPG players, take note: Guild Wars 2 is included on the top 10 premium PC games by revenue for 2017. It’s at #8 with $87M.
  • There are a few MMOs on the top free-to-play games by revenue for 2017 list too, including Blade & Soul, MapleStory, and Roblox. (We’re not quite sure why World of Warcraft isn’t on either list.)
  • PUBG owned 2017 with $712M in revenue in less than a year – yes, more than Overwatch, Destiny 2, and Grand Theft Auto combined in 2017.
  • A third of the world plays free-to-play games. That’s 89% of the revenue of the mobile and PC markets.
  • Mobile isn’t dead; we spent $14 billion more dollars on mobile than PC last year than in 2016. Notably, a huge chunk of that money is funneled to just a handful of games – most of them in the east.
  • E-sports is only getting bigger, with $756M in 2017 revenue.

You can take a peek yourself on SuperData’s site.

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Hi-Rez apologizes for SMITE recruitment video that cracked Paragon jokes

Hi-Rez has apologized for a brief video that invites soon-to-be-homeless Paragon players and everyone else to come play SMITE that was apparently taken as an attack on Paragon and Epic Games.

“If you don’t know Isaiah and myself, we’re just a ‘PARA’ community managers for SMITE,” HiRezSt3alth jokes in the clip as the camera zooms his face for the emphasized word.

“Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s ‘GON’,” HiRezIsiah quips. “That’s why we’re happy to invite players from all walks of life, from all platforms and all communities, to join us for our fifth year and season of SMITE’s release.”

“Wow,” HiRezSt3alth replies. “Five years? That sounds like one ‘EPIC GAME.'”

Interestingly, the Paragon Reddit, or what’s left of it, isn’t really outraged over the video; the upset seems to have mild and come from SMITE players on Twitter who thought it in poor taste, along with a popular streamer who merely called it “embarrassing” and cringey while pointing out that Hi-Rez probably shouldn’t be bragging about longevity given the fate of Tribes: Ascend. (Or Global Agenda, for that matter.)

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