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]
The story of DOTA 2 has generally been considered to be a story of racist epithets uttered at strangers in a video game, or perhaps it’s the story of trying to turn video games into the same morass of salaries, egos, and awful behavior that professional sports has been sunk in for years. And yet… now it’s getting another story. An actual cooperative PvE set of story missions. Yes, it’s a thing. The first installment is coming later this month, and the second part should be out some time in July.
Players who take part in the missions will earn campaign experience, with an exclusive Desert Sands Baby Roshan available among the rewards. The only downside is that you’ll need to pick up a 2017 Battle Pass for the game, which will run you the hefty price of… $10. If you’re curious about how you can possibly wring some story out of the game, well, maybe it’s worth it for the curiosity value alone.
I almost feel sorry for a patch like the one hitting SMITE
next week — it’s got new skins for Erlang Shen, Sol, Thoth, Kuzenbo, and Thanotos in addition to mechanics updates — but the bit that’s getting all the attention is the tribute to painter Bob Ross
, whose estate apparently licensed his likeness and his “happy little trees” catchphrase for use as a SMITE
character. He’s part of a new Sylvanus skin, if you’re wondering, and Hi-Rez is cheekily calling him “undeniably one of the true Gods of painting.” Why do I get the feeling the art team pitched this as a joke they never believed would actually happen?
Hi-Rez also notes that it’s testing balances changes on the PTS right now that won’t go live with the rest, though they may go live with 4.9. The goal with the tweaks is to fix the “snowballing” problem of a match that appears to be lost just a few minutes in.
“While we see players are able to come back from these scenarios, it can feel devastating and demoralizing to have such a hill to climb off the first few moments of the game. To counteract this, we are adjusting the Experience needed to reach Level 2 to from 308 to 225. What this means is that the first wave of Minions, even when split by 2 players, will provide those players with enough Experience to hit Level 2. Gold Fury is also becoming a bit more difficult and the early game reward toned down to lessen the lead that an early Gold Fury can provide.”
The Bob Ross bundle and associated goodies arrive on May 9th for PC.
Hi-Rez MOBA/shooter Paladins officially launches into its free-to-play open beta on console today, meaning gamers on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 can finally join their 8.5M PC counterparts at no cost. The studio is dubbing the game “the most-played new Steam game of 2016.”
In celebration of today’s launch, Hi-Rez has granted Massively OP piles and piles of keys for Evie and her full Conjuration outfit (head, body, and weapon). The best part is these keys will work on all platforms — PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4. Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!
Update: Hi-Rez has discovered that the original keys will unlock just Evie’s outfit, not Evie too as intended. We now have a batch of Evie-only keys tucked down below as well, so if you don’t have Evie, grab one of those!
A popular SMITE player and streamer battling cancer has shared the news that it’s terminal, and the impending loss is affecting the community deeply. David Hance, known as Allied, played most recently with Luminosity Gaming, and the organization is urging folks to donate to cancer research. In honor of Allied, who has touched the lives of many, Hi-Rez is offering an avatar with his likeness to every player for free; just redeem the code #alliedstrong in the store. The code works for both PC and consoles.
We wish Allied and his family and friends much strength and comfort during his struggles. You can join with the devs and the rest of the community in offering support on Twitter with the hashtag #alliedstrong.
It is an absolutely massive week for Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm, so let’s dig into all of the news. Yesterday, the game launched its Patch 2.0 overhaul, which contains an improved progression and rewards system, the Hanamura battleground, a collections page, the introduction of gems as the premium currency of the game, and a brand-new hero: Overwatch’s Genji.
As part of the patch fun, Heroes also kicked off a multi-week quest chain called Nexus Challenge 2.0. By completing each of the four quests (which conclude on May 22nd), players can earn rewards in both Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm, such as a new D.Va officer skin, loot boxes, and motorcycle mounts. D.Va will most likely be the next hero to come to the game, according to a new cinematic.
If those aren’t enough freebies for you, Blizzard is giving away two score of free heroes to anyone who logs in: “All players who log in between April 25 and May 22 will receive 100 gems, which can be used to permanently unlock one Mega Bundle of their choice. Each Mega Bundle contains 20 Heroes and has its own theme: Assassin, Flex, Support & Specialist, and Tanks & Bruisers.”
Last week, Valve announced that in order to compete in ranked play, Dota 2 players will be required to register a unique phone number.
“Players using multiple accounts create a negative matchmaking experience at all skill brackets, so our goal is to add just enough friction to this process that the number of players doing this will be noticeably reduced,” Valve wrote. “Having more players using their primary accounts will have a positive effect on both Ranked and Unranked Matchmaking.”
Security-conscious players are probably thinking “RealID” right now, while others are thinking that they’re getting off easy if all they need do is pay a few bucks for a number — at least no one has to cough up social security numbers to play video games. Yet.
Is this a good idea on Valve’s part? And more importantly, will it work?
(With thanks to Joseph!)
It sucks when you get into a match in Gigantic
, you get ready for the thrill of competition… and then two of your teammates just leave. What do you do? Do you stick out the fight, knowing full well that you’re likely to lose because you’re undermanned now? Or do you throw the match as well, falling into exactly the same trap as the people who just abandoned the match? It’s a complex situation, and it’s one Motiga explains is a very real but tricky problem to solve
in the latest weekly dispatch.
The overall goal is for players to find it more rewarding to stay in matches, less rewarding to leave the match, and less penalizing for people who stick it out after other players jump ship. That’s a set of changes starting with the idea of a “safe to leave” flag, a point when players can leave the match once it’s clear that the outcome is all but decided… which, in turn, discourages players from jumping ship at the first sign of trouble. Combined with the team’s ongoing efforts to tackle major server issues, players should increasingly find it easy to get in and play matches which they intend to get in and play… and stick out to the end.
Live in the moment even more than usual, because when April 27th rolls around, Master X Master’s beta won’t be around to keep you entertained.
For the final week of the MOBA’s closed beta test, NCsoft has unlocked all of the masters for testers to test drive and abuse. Abuse? We meant “adore.” Adore. Not only will players have all 36 heroes at their fingertips, but ranked mode on the Titan Ruins map is turned on to test.
“For players still looking to get the exclusive CBT Taejin skin, good news, you now have another chance to get it before closed beta ends,” the studio said. “If you’re able to play and complete at least seven ranked Titan Ruins matches, you’ll be awarded with this exclusive skin, which will be awarded at the game’s official launch.”
Paladins’ open beta update #48 went live yesterday, and with it arrived the champion teased for the last week and change. Her name is Seris, Oracle of the Abyss; Hi-Rez says she “plays unlike any other champion currently in the game and she really speaks to the fantasy art style” the studio is pursuing. That’s because she’s a bit of a hybrid shadow priest, with shadow damage and heals as well as a stealthy shift-phase and a super annoying (for enemies) crowd control move.
There are also a few new skins for existing characters (Alley Cat Maeve! Bomb King in what appears to be a blinged-out pimp costume!), plus tweaks to the co-op Cops and Robbers map and a bunch of requisite balance adjustments for other toons. Check out Seris’ vid below!
Bear with us for a moment, here. You know there’s a game out right now that has a whole lot of characters but is allergic to any actual story, so most of what fans do is ship one character with another character. So what happens when Obnoxious Shotgun Edgelord and Just An Actual Cowboy Straight-Up In The Game hook up and manage to somehow have a love child? Well, Paragon has answered that question with its new ranged carry character, Revenant.
Don’t believe us? It sounds kind of unbelievable. Here, check out the reveal trailer just below in which you see a cowboy-hat-wearing specter of death with a shotgun revolver stomp around and shoot things. Seriously. If you’ve got some fanfics on deck about how such a thing would be possible… well, please don’t send them to us. We’re fine with leaving that as a biological mystery.
Go ahead and keep mocking e-sports, but they are only getting bigger and more respectable as they keep creating tremendous piles of money. In addition to winning coveted spots on television and earning floor space in casinos, now e-sports are inching toward the Olympic stage, at least in Asia.
“The Olympic Council of Asia and Alisports of China today announced a strategic partnership to bring the Electronic Sports video game phenomenon to the official sports programme of the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China,” declares a press release from earlier this week. “E-Sports, which is enjoyed by millions of youngsters around Asia and the world, has already been added to the OCA’s 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, this September as a demonstration sport.”
If you’re not a big fan of Steam’s dominance of gaming trends in the west, maybe you think a competitor will do the service some good — and a competitor does indeed to appear to be on the way.
A tweet lobbed by Niko Partners games industry analyst Daniel Ahmad on Easter sent games journalist scurrying to cover his claim that Tencent is planning a relaunch of its existing games platform as a global Steam-competitor dubbed WeGame. The existing service, Tencent Games Platform, already has 200 million users in China, but when relaunched, it’ll service the west too, beginning with a release of 100 games from primarily western developers. Gamasutra reports that Stardew Valley and Don’t Starve are already on the platform, the latter having sold a million copies there in its first month.
Tencent is already the largest gaming company in the world and according to Bloomberg is currently the 10th largest publicly traded company on the planet. Massively OP readers know it best as the company that owns League of Legends studio Riot Games.
How do you balance a video game? It’s kind of an ongoing question, but it’s also one that Greg Street
(aka Ghostcrawler) has been answering for years with work on both World of Warcraft
and League of Legends
. He gave a panel on exactly that topic for League of Legends
at this year’s GDC, and you can now watch that hour-long talk in the video just past the break. And it’s a worthwhile topic from the start because he’s talking about balancing not for the best players or the worst, but for everyone.
This is important; balancing for new and inexperienced players only produces a game that doesn’t have the depth needed for long-term play, while balancing solely for veterans creates a game that’s impenetrable for newcomers. So how do you make a game that’s fun for people getting into the genre for the first time as well as people who eat, sleep, jungle, and repeat? Check out the video below (courtesy of Gamasutra) for one possible answer.