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]
If you were in any way hoping that the Dutch Gaming Authority’s ruling about lockboxes would lead to a worldwide shift, it seems that’s not quite what’s happening. Valve was one of the companies told to change their lockboxes or face prosecution in the Netherlands for failing to comply with the country’s policies, and Valve has responded… by disabling the Steam Marketplace selling or direct trading of lootboxes for CounterStrike: Global Offensive and DOTA 2 in the Netherlands.
The official statement from Valve indicates that it does not agree with the DGA’s ruling and that appeals are ongoing but that the current action is the only possible solution to the problem. There’s no word of any sort of long-term plans if the DGA does not change its ruling, especially as Valve is currently framing the disabling of lockboxes as a wholly temporary measure. Our condolences to players negatively affected by the decision.
Everyone is getting in on the battle royale craze, even SMITE
. The newest adventure is Medusa’s Deathmatch, and Massively OP’s MJ is jumping in for the first time to check it out. Join us live at 6:00 p.m. to see the gods’ version of battle royale. Will MJ be any better at it with gods involved?
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 19th, 2018
You might not want to look too closely at the latest patch for SMITE
. Why? Well, it brings in the new Medusa’s Deathmatch map, and that probably means it’ll turn you to stone. Or
it means that you’ll be fighting two enemy teams at the same time
, forcing you to adjust your strategy to avoid giving ground to either side while still remaining competitive. If you already feel you know how to handle one other team, you might change your tune when you’ve got twice the enemies and twice the challenge.
The patch has also brought along several new skins and a variety of bug fixes, as patches tend to do. Of course, it’s also brought some issues along with it, which are already helpfully available in a thread on the official site; this includes some after-match placement errors, which are good to know about ahead of time. So jump on in and take on your enemies, possibly while watching everything through a mirror. (It’s a Medusa thing, you see.)
There is a lot of stuff in Heroes of the Storm that’s meant as an homage to classic bits of Blizzard games, but the new Alterac Pass battleground is… well, an homage to Alterac Valley. Which is an actual battleground. So it’s like playing something that’s a more direct patch over from the original, although it seems unlikely that Alterac Pass will devolve into both teams ignoring one another and racing for the faction leaders at top speed.
Also, Alterac Valley features very few British lesbians who can teleport or armored space mercenaries with flamethrowers, so that’s a bit different.
True to the inspiration, players will no longer be rushing the enemy core but will deal with the enemy generals as they capture graveyards, take out forts, and generally weaken the other team’s defenses. Check out the preview trailer for the new map just below, and remember: if you want to take part in a battle in HotS, you are expected to actually take part in that battle. Blizzard has just banned a number of people for the crime of joining matches and then either going AFK, refusing to participate, or intentionally dying. So be fairly warned that joinging without intent to play will, well, stop you from playing.
Battle royale is the thing to do lately, and by Zeus, SMITE
is doing that thing: In update 5.10, the Hi-Rez MOBA will introduce Medusa’s Death Match, another of its adventure side-games, only this one is explicitly a battle royale map.
“The 3v3v3 death match brawler adventure will be played on a new egyptian themed map. Teams will spawn at bases around a center objective, but the true goal is to be the last man standing. The first team to win 3 rounds wins the match. A death fog will quickly close in on the map, until only the center play area is left available. The 3-team game format makes for interesting strategy and the potential for alliances not normally found in SMITE game modes. The killer fog sets a definitive timer for rounds, and it makes matches quick-paced and fun.”
The new adventure should be rolling out to PC and consoles later in June as part of the game’s ongoing fifth season.
5.9: Dragon’s Fortune is technically live on all three major platforms today
, with a pile of bug fixes, new skins, new chest items, and the usual round of item balancing tweaks. As for the gods themselves, here’s the breakdown of what to expect:
- Ah Puch’s Corpse Explosion’s damage will shift around to rely a little bit less on minions, buffing him in the early game;
- Cu Chulainn is getting a wee nerf to Berserk;
- Erlang Shen, Neith, Skadi, Zeus, and Nox will see slight buffs;
- Hachiman and Xbalanque are being nerfed slightly to bring them into parity with other characters of their archetype;
- Zhong Kui should be a whole lot less frustrating to play;
- and Chernobog, the game’s newest god, is getting well-earned buffs to make him easier to play.
Of course, that rundown assumes you can actually get in to play, which isn’t a given as the servers have been struggling to stay afloat thanks to tons of people playing and a strange bug, as Hi-Rez’s Stewart Chisam notes:
Fortnite had another record month of revenue in April, according to SuperData’s latest global revenue report. “Epic’s Battle Royale shooter made $296 million in April across Console, PC and Mobile, up from $223 million in March,” says the firm.
But the more interesting story is SuperData’s assertion that “Grand Theft Auto V is finally showing its age.”
“GTA V Online revenue declined 9% year-over-year, ending an impressive streak of 12 consecutive months with year-over-year growth. GTA V Online has declined sequentially every month since the start of the year, likely in part due to the continued rise of Fortnite as well as a dearth of significant content updates from Rockstar.”
really needs to be given some credit for striking out in a different direction when the rest of the PvP scene was shamelessly copycatting League of Legends
and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
. The turn-based strategy game had more in common with Advance Wars and chess than your typical MOBA and remains rather unique in the genre space.
Well now the Chinese can experience that unique flavor, as Trion Worlds announced that Atlas Reactor has arrived in that country and is available through Steam. The free-to-play game is the second (after Trove) that Trion launched in the region and brings the full game up through the current start of Season Six.
“Atlas Reactor’s exciting and competitive take on the turn-based strategy genre as well as its compelling cast of characters make it a great fit for China,” said CEO Scott Hartsman. “Chinese players have fully embraced Trove and have been asking for a fully localized version of Atlas Reactor as well, and we couldn’t be happier to bring it to them.”
Toxic players, beware: Hi-Rez may not be talking to its Hand of the Gods
players, but it’s cracking way down on SMITE
miscreants. The studio apparently banned or suspended over 2000 people last week
“based on player reports and in-game behavior,” just a fraction of the number punished this season alone.
“Over 20,000 players have been suspended or banned in SMITE during Season 5 so far. However, this latest action today represents a ramp-up in our suspension activities, especially on Xbox and PS4, where our tools and processes have improved the most. One of our top priorities is making sure the player experience is positive and fun, and we’ve done major work recently to help us handle in game toxicity. We’ve been working hard to improve our machine learning tools to better identify players that have shown trends of negative behavior, as well as ramp up the efforts of our internal team at Hi-Rez that checks player reports and chat logs.”
The company stresses that this is all past of its “initiative to promote positive player behavior and handle negativity in game,” with more on the way. It also requests that players keep the reports coming.
Back in February, Valve took action on MMO studio Insel Games, which published hybrid MMOs Wild Buster and Guardians of Ember, booting the company off Steam having determined that the company had tampered with reviews by coercing employees to buy and positively review the game. While Insel Games denied any wrongdoing, its games have been accessible to new players only through its official website for the past few months. For Wild Buster in particular, updates had been scant.
Now, an update has finally arrived. Insel Games told the Steam community that Wild Buster had “failed to attract enough players to provide a sustainable service and a big enough community to enjoy the game.” Rather than shut down the game, however, Insel Games says it’s transferring publishing rights to IDC Games, which will relaunch the game as Champions of Titan with new accounts and a server wipe. Not coincidentally, this will also allow the companies to get the game back on Steam.
If you’ve ever felt like SMITE
has mined out a few pantheons for all the material that’s available, you’ll be happy to know that patch 5.8
doesn’t just mark the launch of the Slavic deity Chernobog. No, this is part of the new Divine Uprising event
, bringing out a wholly new balance to the game as well as three new pantheons getting added into the mix. And that’s just the start; after all, there is
the aforementioned Chernobog.
The patch also adjust balance for several existing gods and offers new skins, along with some tweaked item balance across the board. Of course, the patch isn’t perfect, and a thread of known issues has already been started; we can only hope that those are addressed sooner rather than later. Still, though, the promise of entirely new groups of myths to fight against? That has to be worth something.
Gosh, isn’t it just the worst when you’ve got those friends for whom everything
just ties back to their deals? We get it, Karen, you have kids. Yes, Joel, you do crossfit, that’s not what we’re talking about right now. Fine, Pyke, you’re the newest character in League of Legends
and you’re a drowned revenant seeking revenge against the crew who abandoned you
. Can’t we all just sit and have a nice lunch and talk about other things
Ugh, here he goes. Look, there’s nothing to be done about it, we’ll just have to listen to Pyke ramble on about how he’s going to stealth his way up to his targets before surfacing and killing them with his other abilities, including a paralyzing shot and a special capturing harpoon. And now he’s putting the trailer for his thing just below instead of just, like, talking to us about it. Seriously, Pyke? This is almost as boring as hearing about Karen’s kids.
You heard me, Karen.
is going all in on e-sports, founding its own e-sports production outfit called Skillshot Media
and lending longtime COO Todd Harris to oversee it. According to GIbiz
, the fledgling company opens tomorrowday with 35 employees already.
“Our goal has always been to foster community through esports and video content,” Harris writes on the new website. “By organizing ourselves as a separate entity focused only on esports and content, we’re excited to bring even more dedicated esports attention to SMITE and Paladins, and to also explore partnerships with new games and additional game publishers and developers.”
Meanwhile, in the studio’s flagship MOBA SMITE itself, Chernobog, Lord of Darkness, cometh. Specifically, he’s live and playable on the PTS right now.
“He is the incarnation of the inevitable evil that persists in the world. He is Chernobog, Lord of Darkness. Learn the lore of our newest Slavic God entering the Battleground in Update 5.8!”