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]
Last week, news that Riot Games Lead Experience Designer Aaron “RiotSanjuro” Rutledge had insulted a banned League of Legends streamer in a public chat under the Riot tag, calling him a “humunculus” and remarking, “[H]e’ll die from a coke overdose or testicular cancer from all the steroids.. then we’ll be gucci.” Following the circulation of the comments on Reddit, Rutledge initially appeared to deflect criticism and defend his comments before being digitally strung up by the community and dressed-down by Riot. And while the target of the slurs, so-toxic-he-was-already-banned Tyler1, dismissed the insult, saying he had no hard feelings, within a few days Rutledge announced he was no longer with the company.
That’s apparently because Riot, a massive online gaming studio ostensibly at the forefront of the push to reduce toxicity in gaming, fired him. In fact, in an interview with Rolling Stone’s Glixel blog, Rutledge says he respects Riot’s decision to boot him, saying he’d have done the same in the studio’s position and noting he’s since checked himself into rehab, as “too many whiskeys” contributed to his lapse in judgment (and to what he now refers to as his “spectacularly stupid” defense).
Halloween is taking over SMITE
this month — and every other MMO and MOBA, of course, but that’s OK because it’s the best holiday of the year and you know I’m right.
This week’s update introduces new skins for multiple characters, including Halloween skins for Thanatos (shown above), Cupid, Izanami, and Susano, several of which are part of the latest leg of the game’s ongoing Odyssey 2018 overhaul. Players should further expect new Japanese-themed quests and the return of the Halloween Arena, plus some balancing tweaks for Ao Kuang, Awilix, Cu Chulainn, Erlang Shen, Izanami, and Raijin. Check out the video for a detailed look at what to expect from this chapter of Odyssey!
Thinking about a trip out to the Old West? Paladins has you covered with its latest map!
Foreman’s Rise features a multilevel battleground on a mesa where a rickety worksite is just begging for strangers with high-powered weapons to come in and make a mess of things.
Hi-Rez’s competitive title has a few more tricks in store with this week’s Open Beta 60 patch. Paladins has added 15 new achievements and a “Harrowing Horrors” quest line, all while embracing the spirit of Halloween with thematically appropriate skins, emotes, weapons, and even a special ghost pirate song for Makoa.
Take a gander at the new map after the jump!
Whoa, has it been a year since Atlas Reactor
launched already? Indeed it has! And Trion’s
marking the occasion with hoopla and presents and all the good stuff
: a half-off sale for tons of stuff in the cash shop, free toons, free skins, and free boosts, all running through October 9th.
“The past year has been fantastic for Atlas Reactor and its players, ranging from launch up through the most recent Fourlancer update, which introduced a game mode that allows players to experience 1v1 matches while controlling all the lancers on their team, adding a completely new feel to the gameplay,” Trion says. “The Fourlancer mode has taken off with the game’s fans, and is a smash hit with players looking to experience a more intense and fast-paced take on the game and is just one of the awesome modes that players have been engaging in.”
Following the anniversary on October 10th, the game will kick off Halloween events and its fourth season, intended to be a “tighter experience” than past seasons, with weekly missions and lore, plus challenges will be replaced with an all-new “alerts” system.
We’re streaming the game in honor of its birthday tonight, so check back in on OPTV at 7 p.m. EDT!
Two days ago, we reported that a League of Legends
developer had landed himself in hot water after he went grossly overboard in insulting a banned troll and streamer
while using a Riot tag in a public Discord channel. The dev, Aaron “Sanjuro” Rutledge
, publicly suggested that it’d be “gucci” if the streamer would die from “a coke overdose or testicular cancer from all the steroids,” after likening him to a “humunculus,” incidentally causing a spike in searches for the word “humunculus.”
This triggered a quick and harsh response from both the community and Riot Games. Riot and Rutledge apologized for the comment and said he was taking some time away from the community, but now it looks as if they’ve severed ties completely.
Rutledge has since posted the following comment on his Facebook page: “Heads up to friends and family. I no longer work at Riot Games. Please call or txt me for more details.” There is no confirmation as to whether he was fired or voluntarily left the studio, as neither party has yet addressed the circumstances.
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