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]

League of Legends’ next character is an evil world-crushing space dragon

You can read headlines, can’t you? League of Legends has released a trailer for its next character. It’s a dragon. An evil dragon that destroys worlds and is also from space. Being from space makes it approximately 80% more awesome as well as unlocking several additional adjectives to put in front of the “dragon” part of its nature. Like “interstellar” or “galactic” or “star-spanning.”

In most games, you might be worried about the balance issues implied in pitting a world-smashing dragon from the inky blackness between stars against a puffball, a bounty hunter, and a woman with fox tails and no ability to purchase an outfit that adequately covers her legs. Here, though, we’re pretty sure they’ll manage to sort it out, probably by not allowing Aurelion Sol (right, the star-dragon has a name) to just consume the battlefield when he gets bored. Check out the character trailer just below.

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SMITE and Paladins tournaments coming to Dreamhack

Dreamhack 2016 is set to be one of the biggest competitive gaming events of the year, with a 10,000-seat LAN party crammed into the Elmia Exhibition and Convention Centre in Jönköping, Sweden. The event will run between June 18th and June 21st this year and is the largest of its kind, with a long-standing history of hosting high-profile e-sports tournaments. Hi-Rez Studios has now announced that it will be joining the e-sports section of Dreamhack this year with two major tournaments: the $450,000 SMITE Masters and the $100,000 Paladins Founders tournament.

As the name suggests, the Paladins Founders tournament will be open to anyone who has purchased a founder’s pack to get beta access to the game. A series of qualifiers will be held during the spring in both the North American and European regions, with the top two teams from each region earning a spot in the finals at Dreamhack. This is the first competitive tournament for Paladins and is sure to be a good test of how the game performs as an e-sport.

Source: Hi-Rez blog


Gigantic releases a big (experimental) update today

The beta test for Gigantic is still ongoing despite the financial difficulty of its development studio, but you can’t take part in that test right now. Why not? Because the game is being patched. And this isn’t a patch filled with mostly polished systems and maps, either; the latest update is all about rolling out experimental systems, maps, characters, and music which may or may not work in the final version of the game or at all.

Well, maybe the music isn’t experimental, but the rest of it is.

This patch introduces a new map, Siren’s Strand, along with a very experimental new hero named Pakko who will only be available for about a week. It also introduces Crown Boosts to the in-game store that will boost your reward for winning matches, adjusts the mechanics for power gain, and refines how Focus skills work. You can jump in the game now that it’s all patched to test the changes yourself, but if you can’t wait that long, take a look at the patch notes for all of the details, including a hero-by-hero breakdown of balance tweaks.

Massively OP’s Matt Daniel recently trekked into Gigantic’s beta to check it out for himself; read all about it in his first impressions piece.


Paragon’s early access starts on March 18 with Founder’s packs

There have been plenty of tidbits coming out about Paragon lately, but you won’t have to rely upon tidbits to get a sense of the game starting on March 18th. Early access can be purchased by buying one of the game’s three Founder’s Packs, and if you didn’t expect the game to have that option we don’t know what rock you’ve been living under.

The cheapest option is $20, while players with more money to pledge for the game can go in for $60 or a princely $100 for a wider variety of skins, unlockable items, boosts, and a free pack to give to a friend. It’s worth noting for the record that all of the game’s heroes will be free, so you’re buying nothing more than cosmetics with bigger packs. Not willing to put up the money? You can still sign up for the beta, or you can wait for open testing starting sometime this summer.

Source: Reddit via VG24/7


Heroes of the Storm shines the spotlight on Xul

Necromancers are always given the same reputation. No matter what, everyone assumes that necromancers are going to be freaks raising armies of the dead, cackling madly, and otherwise being really creepy to hang out with at parties. Unfortunately, Xul from Heroes of the Storm is unlikely to change this image, being a necromantic engine of death with a scythe and a dagger who looks like death warmed over and can’t be bothered to wear a shirt with a vest. But on the bright side, he does look like he’s bulked up, so at least he’s eating well.

The latest hero spotlight for the game falls on Xul and his mixture of abilities, with a brief talk from the development team about how Xul’s abilities were pulled from Diablo II and incorporated into the game. He’s meant to be creepy and evocative for longtime Necromancer players while at the same time feeling cool even if you’ve never once played his source game. Check out the spotlight on Xul’s abilities in video form just below.

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SMITE’s PlayStation 4 closed beta kicks off today

Heads up, console MOBA fans: SMITE officially enters closed beta on PS4 today. “All of SMITE’s game modes will be made available,” says Hi-Rez, “and players will have access to Season 3 content including Amaterasu and the new Joust map.”

Gems and the PS4 founder pack are also available for sale. According to the FAQ,

“The Founder’s Pack unlocks all current and future gods, and also contains 400 Gems, the Exclusive Ares Soldier of War skin, and the Limited Ymir C4codemon skin, all for $29.99. It is available for a limited time to players who help test SMITE on PS4 during the alpha and beta. The Founder’s Pack will be discontinued shortly after the official PS4 launch, later this year.”

Do note that you can’t link your Xbox and PS4 accounts. PS Plus is not required.

Source: Press release, FAQ, PS4 store


Eight tips for success in Epic’s MOBA Paragon

Nobody ever claimed that MOBAs were easy to comprehend in full. Sure, you can get in and start playing relatively quickly, but to truly master the game and not be the video game equivalent of a Mr. Magoo, you need to study and learn all of the systems, strategies, and techniques.

Epic Games has that in mind as it presents its latest Paragon video. This time around, the studio lays out a tutorial of sorts with eight tips to succeed in the game. Some of these tips are pretty standard for MOBAs, including pushing your lane and letting minions do the work for you.

You can watch the tips video after the break!

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Gabe Newell fires Dota 2 presenter, calling him ‘an ass’

Dota 2‘s Shanghai Major tournament got off to a shaky start this week with a slew of technical problems and controversy over presenter James “2GD” Harding being removed from the show. James has a long-standing reputation in the e-sports community as a popular but abrasive on-camera personality who often offends people live on air for entertainment value. He presented during the first day of the Shanghai Majors before being promptly let go, causing a lot of noise in the community as players demanded that he be brought back. Valve CEO Gabe Newell himself then took to Reddit himself to explain why James was let go, stating,

“We’ve had issues with James at previous events. Some Valve people lobbied to bring him back for Shanghai, feeling that he deserved another chance. That was a mistake. James is an ass, and we won’t be working with him again.”

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League of Legends introduces mobile friend app, standardizes penalties

Why else do you play League of Legends if not to make friends? And when you attain such friends, isn’t it important to be connected to them 24/7? Thank goodness for Riot Games’ new League Friends app, which mostly serves as a friends list and chat room while you’re on the go. The app is available for both Android and iOS devices.

Hopefully you don’t play League of Legends to violate the game’s rules and standards of conduct, because if you do, then the game police with their Riot gear (sorry) will come after you. The studio is standardizing its penalty system across the board for professional players, separating infractions into smaller offenses (which go into the League Championship Series Index) and major boo-boos (which are filed under the Global Index). Breaking the rules on the professional level can mean anything from a fine to a permanent ban.


Beta impressions of Motiga’s MOBA Gigantic

About a week ago, I got an e-mail granting me access to the closed beta test of Motiga’s in-development MOBA title, Gigantic. Now, most of you are probably well aware of the hurdles the studio has been facing, such as having recently laid off a significant portion of Gigantic’s development team on account of insufficient finances. Although Motiga is still “aggressively” negotiating with investors to reinfuse life (i.e., money) into the game, it seems that things are not looking particularly bright for Gigantic’s future.

In spite of that, I’ve spent the past week or so dabbling in the game to see how it’s shaping up. If things pan out for Motiga — and I certainly hope that they will — then we can consider this a preview of things to come. But if they don’t, then I suppose I can at least give you some impressions on what may have been. At any rate, after taking the game for more than a few spins, I think it’s about time I share my thoughts.

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Betawatch: The Division opens up for beta testing (February 19, 2016)

It’s that wonderful time again, ladies and gentlemen, when a long-awaited title goes into open beta. The Division has opened up its beta today to everyone playing on a supported platform, which means more or less every platform that isn’t a Mac or, I don’t know, a ColecoVision. You’ve even got some open beta challenges to take on. There are also hints that the game may well be getting endgame raids after all, so it’s probably for the best that your ColecoVision isn’t supported; you know that would be a whole thing.

Speaking of divisions, let’s go into the not-getting-intro-space-but-still-getting-a-mention division:

  • You do know that Black Desert is launching next month, yes? Because its second and final closed beta is running right now. If you didn’t know it before, it sort of follows.
  • You do know that SMITE is coming to the PlayStation 4, yes? That’s totally happening, with closed alpha beginning today and closed beta is kicking off in March. Not quite yet. Here’s a hint: If you want to know what the game will be like, it will be very much like the game you can already play on your computer, but with a controller.
  • You do know that Atlas Reactor is having an alpha sneak peek week, yes? Please phrase your response to that question in a way that allows Seussian rhymes with “sneak peek week.”
  • You do know that Paladins has a new glacier map to head through, right? Well, congratulations, you keep up on the beta news on this site. Thank you for still reading this feature. It gets lonely.
  • Last but not least, there’s Asta‘s open beta hitting early in March. At the same point as The Division and Black Desert launches. Did you know about that? More importantly, do you know why?

Speaking of horrible segues, we’ve got our full list of games in testing just below, and as always we’d like your help in letting us know about anything we might have missed. We’re not omniscient, and sometimes things just launch. It’s weird, but it happens.

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Epic shows off Paragon gameplay, promises no pay-to-win

Epic Games‘ upcoming third person MOBA Paragon has been getting some attention lately with its fluid gameplay and undeniably high-quality graphics. The studio has been releasing informational videos and sneak peeks on the game for the past few months, and this week’s trailer looks at some of the abilities the game’s heroes can use. We can see new hero Gideon using portals to summon damage-dealing rocks and teleport around a 3D battlefield, and Dekker’s Containment Fence force field locking enemies in place. The video was reportedly created using the game’s match replay feature and was recorded during actual gameplay.

Ever since Paragon‘s card system was revealed, some fans have been concerned that these gameplay-affecting items may end up in some kind of microtransaction store and that this would disrupt competitive gameplay. There was also some worry that the game’s planned cross-platform play between PS4 and PC would create a competitive disparity as PC users will be using more precise controls. Epic reassured players in a statement to Eurogamer today that it “will never sell card packs for Paragon” and that the studio is “very aware that pay-to-win is a bad thing for competitive play,” but so far there has been no comment on the potential cross-platform gameplay issues.

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Heroes of the Storm outlines existing and upcoming improvements to matchmaking

Blizzard wants Heroes of the Storm to be accessible to everyone. That can’t happen if your first match of the game sees you pitted against expert players who defeat you so thoroughly that your realistic input in the match ends after you choose your character. Thus, a number of changes have been made to the game’s matchmaking engine, which have resulted in notable improvements to the fairness of matches. But the team isn’t finished yet.

Further updates to matchmaking are planned, starting with a restriction against having multiple particularly complex heroes such as Abathur in a quick match. Queue times are also being looked at, although the developers are all right with the current length of queue times for quality matchups; any longer would be unacceptable. While further updates to matchmaking are still in the pipe, a balance patch has already come out to power down Li-Ming, Stitches, and Rehgar slightly, while Anub’arak is getting a bit of a survivability buff.


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