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]

Master X Master sells founder’s packs and starts closed beta testing

Make way for NCsoft’s upcoming MOBA because it is hoping to crash the news cycle this weekend. Master X Master just started its closed beta testing, which will run through April 27th.

The closed beta will feature both PvP and PvE content and promises to have plenty of promotions and events for testers to enjoy (in addition to, y’know, the game itself). As might be expected, there will be a full wipe following the CBT just in case you were hoping that this was the first online game in history that wouldn’t do this to a closed beta.

While you can sign up for the chance at getting a key, a fast pass to the beta is available by purchasing one of MxM’s new founder’s packs. The three packs, which range from $20 to $100, offer beta access in addition to masters, titles, skins, name reservations, and other benefits. Founder’s pack goodies will be available to players in both beta and at launch.

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SMITE gets a new racing mode, Paladins maps out e-sports tourney

Hi-Rez’s MOBAs are both seeing fresh updates this week.

In SMITE land, the 4.6 patch updates Hades and Ravana, adds a bunch of new skins, and perhaps most amusingly, adds Apollo’s Racer Rumble – a racing mode. “Pick from a cast of gods, get in their themed cars (yes, cars) and drive through two tracks with obstacles, items, and drifting,” says the studio. Vrooooooom.

Paladins, on the other hand, has witnessed a volcanic eruption! Patch 47 to the open beta landed yesterday, introducing the freebie Volcanic Makoa (free if you hit level 30, that is), along with new digs for Kinessa. E-sports is on the agenda too:

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EVE Fanfest 2017: EVE Valkyrie adds atmospheric flight in Groundrush, coming April 11th

Virtual reality dogfighter EVE: Valkyrie has taken centre stage in the emerging VR landscape, growing from a tech demo developed by some devs at CCP Games in their spare time to become a bundled launch title on the Oculus Rift and launch on several other VR platforms. The game has received several major updates since its launch just over a year ago, adding a new Carrier Assault game mode, weekend Wormhole events, a competitive league system, and more.

Today at EVE Fanfest 2017 and as just announced by the official PlayStation blog, CCP Games revealed the next step for Valkyrie — and it’s a pretty big one! The Groundrush update will add a radically different way of playing the game with the first ever ground-based map, “Solitude,” which will see you dogfighting within the atmosphere of a planet and dodging through pirate structures. The update also expands co-op play to the Control and Carrier Assault game modes, adds some new Wormhole events, and adds official support for the Steam Controller. The Groundrush update officially launches on April 11th, and you can check out the trailer below.

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Cloud Pirates releases fully on April 19th with the Stronghold launch

Why would you try to steal a cloud? What possible advantage could that confer? Even when you ignore the obvious logistical difficulties of getting one into a cargo hold, it’s mostly water vapor. It’s not easy and it doesn’t produce anything. Or perhaps the title Cloud Pirates refers to where the pirates operate rather than what they specifically steal, which would make more sense. You can find out when the game launches for everyone on April 19th.

The launch also coincides with the release of patch 1.3 for the game, the Stronghold update. Players will be able to besiege a stronghold in a new gameplay mode, form three-player groups to play together, and generally enjoy a vastly expanded set of features for the game. Check out a trailer just below and get ready to sail the bounding… well, skies. You might wind up stealing a cloud or two along the way, as long as you’re up there.

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Paragon’s Morigesh lands on April 4, hopes you like bugs

Games-run MOBA Paragon’s free-to-play open beta is introducing a brand-new playable character next week on April 4th. Her name is Morigesh, and she is pretty much the personification of an evil dank swamp.

“Available for free to all players on Tuesday, April 4, Morigesh is a close range caster who uses her abilities to deal consistent damage to her enemies before assassinating them,” says Epic. Her skills include marking targets with her evil doll, a hive of bugs that acts as an AoE DoT, a personal morph into her own speed-buff swarm of bugs, and surely the last one isn’t also bugs? OK, yeah, no, it’s bugs.

There’s no way I can preview the following video without freaking out a little bit, so I present it to you unwatched with all the usual entomophobia trigger warnings. I’ll just be over here in the corner, screaming silently. Thanks, Epic!

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The Stream Team: Dipping into SMITE with an Isis and Anubis giveaway

SMITE doesn’t stop at celebrating its birthday on just one day — or even one week! No, the party is still going, and Hi-Rez and Massively OP have more gifts to give away. MJ has codes for Celestial Isis and Stargazer Anubis to hand out to lucky viewers. She’ll also be showing off the gods themselves in a match or two, so tune in live at 8:00 p.m. for your chance to win

What: SMITE
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Enjoy the show!

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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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