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 feel as if the Heroes of the Storm team has been worse than it should be about communicating with the playerbase and explaining how issues are being handled, the good news is that the development team agrees with you. The latest letter from the team notes that communication has been worse than it should be, and it outlines a number of steps being taken to improve match balance, like the addition of a new ban pick during the mid-ban phase.
Other areas are still being discussed; intentionally dying during a match is a form of toxic behavior, for example, and the team is still working on the best method of sussing out when someone is intentionally dying rather than just not staying alive. The team is also looking into the right balance to strike for time in the queue vs. match quality, something that comes up especially on the highest skill levels. Check out the full rundown for an idea of where the game is going from here.
Believe it or not, there are studios out there still trying to break into the heavily cornered MOBA market. For Korea’s Reloaded Studios, the strategy is simple: Make a MOBA that cuts out the fat and delivers a lean experience.
Meet The Day Online, a free-to-play third-person action MOBA that throws players into close quarters, gets rid of excessive farming, eliminates personal resources, and speeds up the gameplay cycle.
The title just went into early access this week and features three battle arenas and four game modes. There are already 28 champions from which to play, and the team has plans for even more heroes as well as a massive 25v25 arena.
Don’t skip this article — stay a while and listen!
The big news for Heroes of the Storm this week is that Blizzard is bringing over one of its most iconic characters from the Diablo franchise to fight for players. That’s right, Deckard Cain is back (even though he didn’t quite make it out of Diablo III alive) and coming to the MOBA this month.
Cain is a setup healer who assists allies and keeps foes out of range with his various spells, potions, and boring stories. Seriously. And if the Diablo geek factor wasn’t high enough, Cain even hauls out the Horadric Cube as a weapon. Check out his hero spotlight after the break!
Fortnite isn’t just a hit for Epic: It’s a hit for the whole industry. That’s according to SuperData’s latest report, which ranks PC, console, and mobile games according to their global revenues in the month of February.
“Fortnite Battle Royale’s dominance in the Free-to-play Console segment drives the segment’s 359% year-over-year growth,” says the analytics firm. “Epic’s Battle Royale title showed no signs of losing steam. Fortnite earned more additional content revenue on console than any game other than Call of Duty: WWII and now has more monthly active users than Grand Theft Auto V.”
Pay-to-play MMOs shrank again this month, continuing the trend identified in previous months. On the PC side, Crossfire and Fantasy Westward Journey Online II switched places, and Hearthstone rejoined the list to bump off Overwatch, but otherwise, it’s pretty much the same list as last week, with World of Warcraft hanging in there at #7.
The anniversary of the original StarCraft is getting celebrated in multiple games, and Heroes of the Storm is outright bringing one of its major characters to the field. Fenix is now available in the live game, alongside a balance pass aimed to bring his numbers down slightly from where they had been on the test realm. Don’t worry, he’s still just as flexible a Dragoon as he’s ever been, and his shields will still be hard to cut through while he barrages the enemy team. Just as always.
Balance changes also arrive for Tracer and Varian Wrynn in this build, with Tracer getting slightly retuned to lose some mobility while needing to stay closer to enemies for longer while Wrynn has his Heroic abilities moved lower. There are also the usual bug fixes and quality-of-life changes in the patch, so even if you have no interest in anniversaries or the heroes with balance changes, it’s still a worthwhile patch.
Even the gods like a good party every now and then. Actually, pretty much all of the time, if you read some of the old stories. It’s kind of why they got into trouble so often.
SMITE’s Patch 5.5 strikes up a party atmosphere in this MOBA, starting with eight new god skins, adjustments to the matchmaking system, and improvements to the new player experience. Beginners will enjoy better level up rewards than ever before, including a free god, a free voice pack, and plenty of other goodies.
The devs at Hi-Rez are also using this patch for significant balance tweaks: “As the Season continues, we have gotten to a point where players are starting to really understand the map and how to gain a lead from it. Even so, players are struggling to find opportunities to end the game; with Phoenix sieges being very difficult even with a substantial lead. Comeback potential is important, but it shouldn’t feel like the lead built up through the game is unimportant.”
It’s been four years since SMITE
sped onto the scene; that’s four years of gods smashing other gods on the battleground. It’s been a pretty fun ride for Massively OP’s MJ since she climbed aboard, especially with all the adventures! Tonight is all about just hanging out and celebrating the game. Who knows, she might even finally brave the new 5v5 conquest map! Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. and wish the MOBA a happy birthday.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, March 26th, 2018
For years now, we’ve been accepting our hostile insults and hyper-constructive criticism in League of Legends
through team chat like chumps. Well, that’s all going to change with this week’s Patch 8.7, as the MOBA finally integrates voice chat
into its game client. Now people can shout right in your ears what a loser you are!
Okay, that might be looking at this from a strictly negative perspective. Voice chat is obviously key to a tightly coordinated team, and while there are plenty of third-party options for League of Legends fans, it’s nice to know that the game will provide its own system for those who need it.
Riot Games resisted adding voice chat for almost a decade before now, saying that it was worried such a system would “lead to toxic behaviors.” It publicly changed its mind last year and began to work on such a system in the hopes that it would promote teamwork.
If you’ve been waiting for the day when you could have a Dragoon storming the battlefield in Heroes of the Storm, the time has finally arrived with the addition of Fenix to the game’s roster. He’s available on the game’s test server now as a ranged assassin, offering shield-based durability, teleportation, and some nasty abilities to punish overconfident targets. Best of all, you know that his death really is just a minor setback; it wasn’t a big one the first time, either.
There’s more coming to the game to celebrate 20 years of StarCraft, though, including new sprays, discounts on skins for existing heroes, and even a nice big bundle to award you with a bunch of thematic goodness all at once. Jump on below to see Fenix in action if you can’t hop on the test server right now, and don’t let yourself be distracted by instincts about how much vespene gas you require.
It’s interesting to learn that the art and animations for Paragon cost Epic Games $12 million, all told. How do we know that? Well… the company is giving them away. Not to anyone, to everyone. All of the characters, skins, environmental art, and so forth are all offered completely free of charge to anyone who wants to use them in any sort of Unreal Engine 4 development project.
For those of you not following along, that means that fans could resurrect Paragon completely for free if they wished to. They could also make a totally new game based on the same characters, or just use some of the assets, or use those assets as a starting point for something completely different. It’s entirely up to each individual user. Because all of the assets are there, and again, they’ve been released to the public for use completely for free for UE4 development.
In short: This is really cool.
After a long time of being free-to-play, Dota 2 is exploring the possibility of letting you pay money for it on a regular basis. Sure, cosmetics have always been there, but you couldn’t subscribe just for cosmetic impact. But now you can with the game’s Dota Plus subscription, charging $4 a month for unlimited access to the weekly Battle Cup along with hero progression tracks and challenges along the way.
Players can also unlock a little added advantage in the form of the Plus Assistant, which will offer suggestions and advice about how to play the game and how to level based on your matches and your play patterns. Whether or not this offers an unfair advantage for the subscription price is going to be in the eye of the beholder; then again, most of the beholders probably wouldn’t have expected to have a subscription option for a MOBA in the first place. It’s a wild time to be alive.
Once again, gamers prove that protests can work.
Here’s the deal: Paladins players have been grousing about the Cards Unbound system for months, alleging that the system basically turned in-game purchases made with gold into purchases made only with real cash – in other words, that Hi-Rez had gone way too far over into lockbox-centric pay-to-win territory. At one point, the Paladins subreddit was so fed up that players were “designing” really terrible MS Paint-esque fake cards in protest.
At the tail end of February – the same day IGN posted an article citing an anonymous source claiming that the Cards Unbound system was forced upon the dev team by greedy execs, the studio finally backed down.
With the insane success — both in terms of popularity and finances — that Dota and League of Legends spawned, you can easily understand why game studios latched onto the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) as a relatively quick cash grab. After all, with players providing the ongoing content (through PvP matches), developers were freed up to focus on balance tweaks and churning out new skins and characters to sell.
In a relatively short span of time, the market became flooded with many imitators that sought to grab that slice of the profitable pie. And while some, such as Hi-Rez’s SMITE, have endured, many games discovered the one key danger with this approach: If you could not generate and sustain a large, active playerbase, you were as good as dead. A critical mass was needed, and when it was not achieved, games started folding up left and right.
In today’s Perfect Ten, we’re going to look at a dozen MOBAs that tried and failed to make it. Perhaps they serve as cautionary lessons to other studios seeking to mimic League of Legends’ format, but we somehow doubt that the era of the MOBA is over just yet.