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]

Heroes of the Storm introduces Diablo II Amazon, major progression and leveling update

"It's a whole new era for Heroes of the Storm," Blizzard has declared in its new HOTS dev video today. That's because the game is currently in the midst of a month-long test of a huge progression patch the studio is calling Heroes 2.0. Level caps are being nuked; your level cap will now basically be account-wide, and leveling will be much more quick across the board. Blizz is also adding loot chests out the wazoo as you level and meet certain accomplishments. It's going to look pretty familiar to other games across the MOBA genre and in Blizzard's own stable.

The studio has also introduced a new hero today: Cassia, the Amazon, brought over from Diablo II. The best class! In HOTS, she'll function as a ranged assassin with high defenses while moving, flung javelins and lightning plus cone javelin stabbing. Sorry, bowazons.

Check out the pair of intro vids down below.

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SuperData February 2017: World of Tanks perks up, Hearthstone is sinking

Happy SuperData day! That's the monthly holiday when we pore over the market analysis report, freak out over something doing well, freak over something doing poorly, and then fight over definitions, the evils of trusting paywalled science, and why more MMOs aren't on the current list. This round, there's lots to bicker over -- but also some bits to celebrate in the February 2017 charts of top-grossing game titles.

On PC, while League of Legends, Crossfire, and Dungeon Fighter Online continue their top-three dominance, the rest of the roster has seen a bit of a shake-up, as Overwatch has fallen from #4 to #6 and World of Tanks has pushed past it as well as World of Warcraft. WoW's status is a tad confusing; last month, SuperData began reporting Western and Eastern WoW separately, even though it does not appear to be doing that for any other game. This month, it's omitted the West/East tags but still has two entries for WoW, so we're left to assume to top one is still West as it was last month.

On console, ARK: Survival Evolved has fallen from its #4 spot to #6. As always, we point out that ARK: Survival Evolved has yet to formally launch, and it's absurd that it's on this list at all, but fools and their money and all that.

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Grab a pair of SMITE skins in honor of Celestial Voyage, courtesy of Hi-Rez and Massively OP

SMITE is kicking off a new event today, this one sure to bring a smile to the face of anyone obsessed with Stargate or Indy IV or just "alien astronaut" sci-fi in general. Dubbed Celestial Voyage, the event will ask players to complete quests to unlock goodies and hieroglyphs, the latter of which function as a puzzle for more loot.

As is traditional for SMITE, the update comes with a ton of exclusive themed skins. We've got two extra existing skins that match the theme to give away to our readers today: Celestial Isis and Stargazer Anubis. Onward to the giveaways!

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Cloud Pirates opens up a new deathmatch map

We're going to assume that if you're already sailing in some sort of magical airship and engaging in aerial combat with disgruntled associates, then you probably have no issue with exploring a region created by an ancient and insane alien race. It comes with the territory.

This past week, Cloud Pirates launched its Death or Glory update, at the center of which lay a special deathmatch map named Fractal Space (no, it's not a Guild Wars 2 crossover, alas). There's incentive for fighting on this map, as the bad guys have a chance of dropping a very valuable core for players to use or sell. In addition to the map, the update brought daily rewards and a brotherhood ladder system to the Allods Online spin-off.

Check out the Death or Glory trailer after the break!

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Gigantic has plans for bot matches, accessibility, and Windows 7 support

Motiga Community Manager Evan Teicheira has a new state of the game post up for Gigantic today -- a most welcome one as the game laid off another 15 employees earlier this month to "reduce burn rate."

"One of the most important revelations we’ve had during the beta is that Gigantic is complicated – not necessarily in a bad way, but in a way that makes it difficult for new players to pick up the game and get over the steep learning curve of the game," he acknowledges. "There are a lot of intricate mechanics that differentiate Gigantic from other games, and only make sense when players understand how each mechanic plays into the much larger picture. For a brand new player, Gigantic can feel like a hectic, fast-paced, visually overwhelming, and ultimately confusing experience. Even for veteran players, it can also be difficult to test new heroes on the live battlefield."

Consequently, Motiga is working on bot matches, balancing accessibility with challenge, Tripp tweaks, chat and voice implementation, an achievements system, new heroes, new battlegrounds and -- drumroll -- the move to Arc, which should allow players on Windows 7 and beyond the chance to play the game.

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Only two gamers have maxed out all of SMITE's 86 toons

As SMITE continues its third birthday celebrations, it's running multiple sales and bonus events in-game. Out of game, it's produced an inexplicably weird dance-off video and an infographic to brag up the game's stats.

Of note, players have counted over 247 million hours played in the last year alone -- and mage roles are by far the most popular (it's not even close!). And never let anyone tell you MOBAs are doomed to be short popcorn games; Hi-Rez says the longest conquest match ran 3 and a half hours.

A bonus slice of cake goes out to the two players -- only two! -- who've managed to achieve diamond mastery on every single god. I just counted: That's 86 characters maxed out.

Check 'em both out below. Especially that video, because what?

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Here's why everyone's pissed off about City of Heroes NPCs in NCsoft's MOBA

Yesterday, NCsoft took the lid off a secret it's clearly been working on for a while: The company means to introduce a notorious and well-known City of Heroes NPC as one of the characters in its upcoming MOBA, Master x Master.

Here's the thing. Master x Master is actually pretty well-liked around here. The writers we've sent to test it out the past few years came away thinking it was an excellent hybrid PvE MOBA with a lot of MMO elements, a genuinely good entry to the market and something we're happy to cover. So I don't think anyone wishes it, specifically, harm.

But NCsoft? I don't know who told you this was a good idea. It's really not a good idea.

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SMITE throws a week of birthday festivities

Touting proudly (and weirdly) that SMITE is almost out of its "toddler years," Hi-Rez Studios is throwing a week of celebration for the MOBA's third birthday. Starting tomorrow and running through March 27th, SMITE will boast ongoing and daily events to mark this occasion.

For the full week, SMITE is activating double login bonuses and handing out a birthday global emote to any player that gets a single win during the promotion. There's also a schedule posted of daily sales and giveaways that include free gems, a free enigma chest, and triple worshipers. The studio is also planning to run another community skin contest, starting tomorrow.

Hi-Rez recently put development of mobile spin-off SMITE Rivals on indefinite hold in favor of focusing more on a different spin-off, SMITE Tactics.

Source: SMITE

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Master x Master introduces Koom and Vonak

Eager to know when everyone gets to play Master x Master? We can't tell you that, on account of not actually knowing. Still, the game is introducing us to two new heroes, so forward motion is still happening! This pair is Koom, an enormous stone juggernaut, and Vonak, a spindly guy with a popped collar and two guns. Care to guess which one is the defensive hero and which one is the assault?

That's not a trick question, by the way. It's pretty obvious. Koom is a huge dude made of stone, he's all about defense. That should not be a difficult evaluation.

As always, the videos for both characters show off their abilities and some of the customizations available for the characters to tweak abilities and attack. You can check out both videos down below, and presumably join the "eagerly waiting for a beta announcement" crowd.

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League of Legends on LGBT representation and pro team mistreatment allegations

League of Legends will probably introduce non-straight characters eventually, a new interview on Polygon with Riot Games' Greg Street suggests. The publication asked Street questions about LGBT representation during GDC 2017, noting that Blizzard's Overwatch (particularly Tracer) has proven that it's a hot topic and something millions of gamers want to see. League of Legends currently has over 130 characters to Overwatch's 24, but Street says that Riot has to be careful what it adds lest one region or another blockade the game.

"We owe it to the players and, I think, to the world to do something like that. [...] What I don't want to do is be like, 'Okay, team, next character, whatever you do, has to be lesbian.' I don’t think we’ll end up with something good there.... From the beginning, it has to be the character's identity. I’m sure we'll do it at some point. I don’t know which character or when it will happen."

If and when it does happen, Street says, it'll likely be in "storytelling outside the game."

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Paragon celebrates a year of early access with a big patch

Has it really been a year since Paragon first went into early access? It certainly has according to the developers, and they would know. By way of celebration, players are being treated to a nice big patch containing all sort of fun toys, starting with a new hero named Yin. She whips things and reflects projectiles, so if that's your thing you should be happy to see her show up.

The game has also adjusted balance on 20 different existing heroes, as well as adjusting several cards and adding a large number of new ones. Players also have access to the new Banner feature, allowing you to show off your sign for kills and tower destruction. Last but not least, there are also a number of promotional giveaways to coincide with the anniversary. You can find out everything from the full patch notes, or you can check out the top-level overview with the video just below.

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Grab a Paladins closed beta key for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 from Hi-Rez and MOP

Hi-Rez's team-shooter MOBA Paladins hits closed beta for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 today, expanding the game beyond its 8 million open beta players on PC. That means the Season 1 patch -- with 22 champs, customization, trio of PvP modes, AI co-op challenges, and competitive ranked mode -- debuts today. And Hi-Rez is touting a $50,000 prize pool for what it's dubbed the "Console Wars" Paladins tourney at Dreamhack this July.

Paladins will be free-to-play on launch; in the meantime, you'll need keys to play on console. Guess who's got keys for both platforms? You betcha! Click the Mo button below (and prove you're not a robot) to grab one of these keys!

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SMITE reveals playable Cernunnos, The Horned God

I would be lying if I said that the latest god reveal for SMITE isn't provoking goat jokes. He is. He's Cernunnos, the stag-antlered Celtic deity of "wild things," of fertility, and of the underworld too. In SMITE, he'll wield a glaive, thorns, a horn-charge, the boards of the Wild Hunt itself, and the literal power of the seasons to kick your butt.

But it's cool, go ahead and make your goatman jokes.

The 4.4 patch should also introduce new skins for Kuzenbo, Bellona, Kukulkan, Chronos, Loki, Morrigan, and Izanami. It's on the PTS right now, but you can get caught up on Gernunnos and the notes in the videos below.

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