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]
Every year brings a lot of patches for SMITE
. A new official post on the game’s subreddit penned by Hi-Rez President Stewart Chisam puts the game at patching roughly 48 weeks in a year
, which is pretty substantial. But it doesn’t matter all that much if the patches aren’t working right, and the post is essentially admitting that that has been the case more often than not lately; patches have beenreleased too early and without enough testing, making all of that speed mean less than nothing.
“Our current quality is not at all where it should be, and we strongly believe our quality can and should be better,” Chisam says. “We’ve been saying that for a while, and things have gotten better — but not good enough. So I think bigger changes are needed. We can’t keep doing things the same way and expecting different results.”
So the team is working on changing that, starting with a beefed up internal Q&A team.
The time has come. After beta testing across multiple platforms in front of 20 million players and establishing itself as the most-played new game on Steam in 2016, Paladins is finally ready for prime time.
Hi-Rez Studios announced that the MOBA is officially launching on May 8th. On that date, Paladins will become available on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. The studio also released Paladins Strike today, a mobile shooter that’s on iOS and Android.
Beta testers are to be rewarded for their help with 200 free crystals if they log in after launch. This means if you want yours, then get into the beta during this next week to flag your account. And if you want two free skins, then connect your account to Paladins Strike.
The day is just about here. After announcing its intentions to close Paragon in January due to lackluster popularity, Epic Games is about to flip the server switch from “on” to “off.”
The Fortnite studio said that the official closing time for Paragon will happen tomorrow morning, April 27th, at 8:00 a.m. EDT. Naturally, the community is going through the stages of grief and remembrance as the final hours wind down.
While it is certainly unfortunate that Epic has felt the need to shutter the game, the studio did so in about as classy a fashion as possible. It offered refunds to players for all purchases across all platforms and released the assets to the community. And art is pretty much all that the players have left as a tease of what the future could have been for this MOBA.
“Fortnite is now the largest free-to-play console game of all time, in revenue generated and monthly active users,” SuperData has declared in its monthly revenue report for the gaming industry for March 2018. The game sits at the tippy-top of the console listing and has now breezed past both PUBG and World of Warcraft to sit at #5 on PC.
“Fortnite had quite a March. The game has overtaken the previous ‘king of battle royale,’ PUBG, in terms of revenue generated and monthly active users across all platforms. It also hit the #1 spot by revenue on iOS in the United States in its launch month, and has the highest conversion rate of any free-to-play PC game in March. […] There’s no other way to say it: the game is a phenomenon. Fortnite generated $223 million across all platforms (console, PC, Mobile) in March, up a whopping 73% from February.”
Hearthstone’s re-entry to the PC side has bumped Far Cry 5 out of the top 10 (though Far Cry 5 on console is at #2). Destiny 2 is now nowhere to be found, Monster Hunter World has sunk to #10 on the console side, and Sea of Thieves debuted at #7 for console revenue. Don’t get too excited about Sea of Thieves, though; the analytics firm says almost half of the game’s two million or so monthly active users were playing the free trial.
Things are looking slightly grim for Valve’s MOBA, as SuperData reports that DOTA 2’s playerbase is in decline as the game continues to lose its population.
The average player base, which peaked at 709,000 back in February 2016, is now down to 437,000 as of last month. Peak players have declined from 1.2 million down to 733,000 over the same span of time.
While the MOBA is still boasting respectable numbers and is active in the e-sports scene, it doesn’t even break onto the top 10 charts for Superdata’s monthly PC rankings (where competitor League of Legends continues to sit comfortably at the top).
The MOBA pushed out its Feast of Abscession update earlier this month, adding the Pudge Arcana for the butcher and lots of new voiceovers.
Perhaps because the announcement was all the way back in January, but Paragon’s shutdown is scheduled to take place at the end of next week. Epic Games made the decision to pull the plug on the action MOBA due to an unsustainable playerbase and refunded all users any money they had spent on the title.
As the sun begins to set on this title, we can take a moment to ponder what might have been. Artist Dave Rapoza shared some concept art on Twitter that he had developed for the game but had never been turned into actual assets. This gallery of characters ranges from the heroic to the bizarre and gives a taste of the odd sci-fi angle the game as attempting.
“Four years ago I got the opportunity to help flesh out Paragon, the now-cancelled MOBA from Epic Games,” Rapoza wrote. “I was given free reign on the character designs, it was an awesome opportunity, but most of these never made it into the game. Hope you like it!”
If you feel as if the Heroes of the Storm team has been worse than it should be about communicating with the playerbase and explaining how issues are being handled, the good news is that the development team agrees with you. The latest letter from the team notes that communication has been worse than it should be, and it outlines a number of steps being taken to improve match balance, like the addition of a new ban pick during the mid-ban phase.
Other areas are still being discussed; intentionally dying during a match is a form of toxic behavior, for example, and the team is still working on the best method of sussing out when someone is intentionally dying rather than just not staying alive. The team is also looking into the right balance to strike for time in the queue vs. match quality, something that comes up especially on the highest skill levels. Check out the full rundown for an idea of where the game is going from here.
Believe it or not, there are studios out there still trying to break into the heavily cornered MOBA market. For Korea’s Reloaded Studios, the strategy is simple: Make a MOBA that cuts out the fat and delivers a lean experience.
Meet The Day Online, a free-to-play third-person action MOBA that throws players into close quarters, gets rid of excessive farming, eliminates personal resources, and speeds up the gameplay cycle.
The title just went into early access this week and features three battle arenas and four game modes. There are already 28 champions from which to play, and the team has plans for even more heroes as well as a massive 25v25 arena.
Don’t skip this article — stay a while and listen!
The big news for Heroes of the Storm this week is that Blizzard is bringing over one of its most iconic characters from the Diablo franchise to fight for players. That’s right, Deckard Cain is back (even though he didn’t quite make it out of Diablo III alive) and coming to the MOBA this month.
Cain is a setup healer who assists allies and keeps foes out of range with his various spells, potions, and boring stories. Seriously. And if the Diablo geek factor wasn’t high enough, Cain even hauls out the Horadric Cube as a weapon. Check out his hero spotlight after the break!
Fortnite isn’t just a hit for Epic: It’s a hit for the whole industry. That’s according to SuperData’s latest report, which ranks PC, console, and mobile games according to their global revenues in the month of February.
“Fortnite Battle Royale’s dominance in the Free-to-play Console segment drives the segment’s 359% year-over-year growth,” says the analytics firm. “Epic’s Battle Royale title showed no signs of losing steam. Fortnite earned more additional content revenue on console than any game other than Call of Duty: WWII and now has more monthly active users than Grand Theft Auto V.”
Pay-to-play MMOs shrank again this month, continuing the trend identified in previous months. On the PC side, Crossfire and Fantasy Westward Journey Online II switched places, and Hearthstone rejoined the list to bump off Overwatch, but otherwise, it’s pretty much the same list as last week, with World of Warcraft hanging in there at #7.
The anniversary of the original StarCraft is getting celebrated in multiple games, and Heroes of the Storm is outright bringing one of its major characters to the field. Fenix is now available in the live game, alongside a balance pass aimed to bring his numbers down slightly from where they had been on the test realm. Don’t worry, he’s still just as flexible a Dragoon as he’s ever been, and his shields will still be hard to cut through while he barrages the enemy team. Just as always.
Balance changes also arrive for Tracer and Varian Wrynn in this build, with Tracer getting slightly retuned to lose some mobility while needing to stay closer to enemies for longer while Wrynn has his Heroic abilities moved lower. There are also the usual bug fixes and quality-of-life changes in the patch, so even if you have no interest in anniversaries or the heroes with balance changes, it’s still a worthwhile patch.
Even the gods like a good party every now and then. Actually, pretty much all of the time, if you read some of the old stories. It’s kind of why they got into trouble so often.
SMITE’s Patch 5.5 strikes up a party atmosphere in this MOBA, starting with eight new god skins, adjustments to the matchmaking system, and improvements to the new player experience. Beginners will enjoy better level up rewards than ever before, including a free god, a free voice pack, and plenty of other goodies.
The devs at Hi-Rez are also using this patch for significant balance tweaks: “As the Season continues, we have gotten to a point where players are starting to really understand the map and how to gain a lead from it. Even so, players are struggling to find opportunities to end the game; with Phoenix sieges being very difficult even with a substantial lead. Comeback potential is important, but it shouldn’t feel like the lead built up through the game is unimportant.”
It’s been four years since SMITE
sped onto the scene; that’s four years of gods smashing other gods on the battleground. It’s been a pretty fun ride for Massively OP’s MJ since she climbed aboard, especially with all the adventures! Tonight is all about just hanging out and celebrating the game. Who knows, she might even finally brave the new 5v5 conquest map! Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. and wish the MOBA a happy birthday.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, March 26th, 2018