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]
Some game titles don’t make a whole lot of sense to us. The new MOBA from Square-Enix, Flame vs. Blaze, is one such title. These are not really opposing forces, you see. But does that really matter? What matters is that it’s a 3v3 MOBA title on your iPad or iPhone, allowing you to indulge in quick MOBA-style combat from the comfort of your handheld device. That alone sounds pretty worthy.
Of course, maybe the prospect of a MOBA alone isn’t enough to entice you, but the game has its own unique mechanics as well. The characters you use in the game can transform into alternate forms, providing multiple sets of abilities as you recruit monsters, gather resources, and lead a fierce charge against the other team. Check out a whole lot of art and screenshots just below, and don’t feel left out if you’re on an Android device; release for the platform is planned for November.
If you blinked, you missed it: Cloud Pirates shut down over the weekend.
My.com announced that it was giving up on its Allods-themed Cloud Pirates MOBA back at the end of August; the game’s last day was technically September 29th, although when we tried to stream it Friday, it had already shut down, frustrating our farewell effort.
At the time, My.com didn’t explain the reason for the sunset, but we assumed it was simply a matter of its low numbers on Steam. The game’s western port had only been known for a year; it hit early access in February, then launched in April.
Our condolences to those affected by the shutdown. There’s a little bit of chatter on the game’s subreddit, including a screenshot gallery of the last days of the game, plus check out Last Level Press’ final video of the game.
Remember a couple of weeks ago when Valve said it was continuing to seek ways to crack down on review bombing, the practice of sending a zerg of people to wreck a game’s review standing on Steam usually for reasons unrelated to the actual quality of the game? This right here is why. This is why we can’t have nice things.
The latest review bombing drama involves one of the most popular games in the world right now, the irritatingly named PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Apparently, Chinese players are really pissed off about an ad for a VPN service that’s begun appearing on the lobby screen of the game’s Chinese version. Chinese players are already frustrated with the bouts of lag they suffer, to the point that they feel forced to play on international servers just to participate, so an ad from a VPN company right inside the client – claiming it’s from “the only official accelerator of the game” – is a bit like adding insult to injury. That’s on top of the fact that there are freakin’ ads in a buy-to-play early access game.
As VG247 points out, Steam’s review metrics for the game show a fairly well reviewed title – right up until this weekend when it tanked with over 15000 negative reviews.
SuperData’s August 2017 global revenue report confirms what anybody even casually watching PUBG already knows: The upstart game that’s kicking butt on Steam is the literal definition of industry disruptor.
Over on the PC side, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds dislodged World of Warcraft by one place since last month, while DOTA 2 fell down to 10 and ROBLOX fell out of the listing as CS:GO returned. On console, GTAV/GTAO is still on top, though Overwatch got bumped one place thanks to the entry of Yet Another Madden game. And the mobile listing shuffled slightly, with Pokemon Go inching upward once again.
“PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds continues to dominate PC game sales, despite still being in Steam Early Access,” says SuperData. “PUBG is the number 1 premium PC game for the 3rd month in a row and has overtaken World of Warcraft on the total PC games list for the first time.” Indeed, the company says PUBG sales accelerated last month, “bringing total life-to-date sales close to 9 million units through August.”
By most accounts, LawBreakers is having a rough go at breaking into the shooter market, with even CliffyB admitting last week that his studio “need[s] the bodies” and that the player numbers are humbling. Part of that may just be the $30 cost barrier to entry, and now that barrier is going away, at least for the weekend: In the tersest Steam post of all time, Nexon has announced a free weekend for the game beginning this Thursday, September 28th, and ending October 2nd.
Most recently, the game patched up to 1.4, which boosted health for all characters, added out-of-combat health regen, group spawning, the new Namsan map, new daily login rewards, and more matchmaking and queueing options.
It’s a great feeling when a Gigantic
match starts up, and then some of the other players just leave without warning in the middle. Wait, not great; what’s that other word that means the opposite of great? Crappy. That’s the one. And the folks behind the game know that. That’s why they’re rolling out new penalties for players who leave in the middle of a match
, much harsher than they had been before when stability was still an issue.
Essentially, lockout time increases the more you leave matches in quick succession, with players also getting more time to reconnect in the event of an unexpected disconnection. After a week, your penalties for leaving are downgraded slightly, so if you got kicked off of the game for half an hour one week but don’t make a habit of leaving mid-match, you’ll rarely notice any penalties at all. With penalties starting at five minutes and extending up to a full day of being locked out of queue, players will hopefully want to stick out a match while also not being horribly penalized for stability or other real-life issues.
It’s quite possible you don’t think that AI is a big part of gameplay in Heroes of the Storm, but a lot of the game’s matches are played against AI opponents, and AI takes over when a player unexpectedly disconnects from the game. So it’s important for the game to have AI that is fast, responsive, and satisfying to play against or alongside. The latest development dispatch explains changes made to the AI and gives a broad overview of the way that the game keeps AI heroes engaging.
Rather than scripts, the game’s emerging new AI is controlled instead by coding conditions and scenarios, leading to a more organic experience that keeps the AI heroes putting the emphasis on player-controlled characters. AI opponents should be reactive and dynamic, calculating the safety and range of a given position and moving to better positions as they become available; the same basic process is used for accomplishing each goal on a given map. Check out the full article for more details about how the developers are making sure that AI opponents and allies still feel interesting to play against.
Wednesday the 13th could be your lucky day. Do you want a SMITE
Ultimate God Pack? We bet you do! And we bet you’d be fine just watching Massively OP’s MJ hang out on the gods screen and talk for an hour for a chance to win one. After all, this pack gives you all the gods as well as 1500 gems. (On top of that, it refunds any favor you spent on gods previously.) Of course, MJ won’t really do that to you — she will actually dive into the Corrupted Arena again, so there will be plenty of SMITE
action and plenty of death counter feeding. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. for your chance to win the Ultimate God Pack she brought home from PAX West
just for you.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, September 13th, 2017
SMITE and Paladins studio Hi-Rez is thanking players today for their efforts in raising funds for the victims of the 2017 hurricane season.
“Earlier this month SMITE and Paladins players around the world contributed to the efforts to support those that have been affected by the devastation left in wake of Hurricane Harvey. Hi-Rez Studios hosted special promotions for its online games SMITE and Paladins where players could purchase in-game cosmetic items with a portion of the proceeds going to hurricane relief. Together the online communities for these two games raised $76,000 which Hi-Rez has donated to the Red Cross for hurricane relief efforts.”
The money raised is a sliver of the $1,401,749 Hi-Rez and its players have earmarked for charity since 2012. “The Atlanta based studio is grateful to its players for contributing to
charitable efforts that help others in need,” the PR says.
Just because SMITE
weren’t available to play at PAX West
doesn’t mean that there wasn’t stuff to learn about the games from Hi-Rez!
I got the low down on Hi-Rez projects from Scott Zier, who is VP of Design at Hi-Rez as well as executive producer of Hand of the Gods. We touched on multiple topics, from the flagship MOBA and the shooter to the MIA mobile title and the new mobile title. As Zier said, the studio always has a number of projects going at any one time: “We’re very much a multi-game studio.”
There’s a tendency for all of us to claim that it’s our teammates holding us back in online games. Any raid leader, for example, will probably opine at least once or twice that the rest
of the raid is what’s holding back progress. Atlas Reactor‘s new Fourlancer mode
lets you put your money where your mouth is, though; in this new mode you control the entire four-person team and face off against another player controlling a full team, with an extended decision timer and no one else to blame if you screw up. If you’ve ever said that your teammates are holding you back? Prove it.
The same patch also brings in Isadora, who is protected by a lot of shields but has very little health beneath that. She switches gameplay modes if her shields are destroyed, but she can also re-activate her shield as an ultimate ability, allowing her go charge back into the fray. Combine that with a double ISO weekend running from September 8th to the 10th and you have plenty of reason to get in there and play.
From FarmVille to VR to e-sports: Facebook is gunning for whatever the kids are into these days.
At least that’s the takeaway from Hi-Rez’s announcement today. Following last week’s reveal that it’s putting together a WESA-backed 10-member Premier League for Paladins e-sports, Hi-Rez announced today that it’ll be streaming the content from that league exclusively with Facebook Live, complete with a “weekly Paladins Esports Show on Watch, Facebook’s new platform for shows [that] will bring news, insights and analysis of the competitive scene.”
As GI.biz points out, Facebook’s already booked “5,500 hours of ESL’s tournament coverage, 1,000 hours of Wargaming’s esports content, and four monthly broadcasts from PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” though Facebook’s Leo Olebe tells the publication the social media empire’s involvement is more about altruism than profit, at least for now.
“At Facebook, we always talk about building amazing things first and then figure out how to turn it into something economically viable at the end of the road,” he says.
Have you found yourself playing Master x Master
and thinking that the game was just too darn generous with currency? Probably not, but then, you aren’t NCsoft
and thus trying to derive a profit from the game. A new post on the official site
explains that the studio believes the game was giving out too much SOL (the currency earned just from play) and not offering enough advantage to players using X-Coins (the currency bought for real money). So the economy is changing.
Nightmare mode will no longer cost SOL, X-Coin prices on unlocking Masters will go down, and SOL costs for most Master items will go up. The stated reason is that players were earning too much progress for free and there was a severe imbalance, but the Reddit thread in response is full of players who feel unlocking Masters is already expensive and making their items more expensive just limits the game for no player benefits.
However you feel about the changes, you’ll want to spend your SOL before September 13th, when the changes are set to roll out to everyone regardless of opinion.