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Reader Comments (29)

Posted: Apr 9th 2011 8:09PM pcgneurotic said

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Interesting.

Posted: Apr 9th 2011 8:52PM socialenemy2007 said

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Finally! Been waiting for you guys to start covering MOBA's. XD

Posted: Apr 9th 2011 8:56PM (Unverified) said

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Thank you for finally covering MOBA's!

Posted: Apr 9th 2011 9:18PM Beau Hindman said

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I love this. So many people have been asking. WOOT! And Brendan writing it? WIN WIN!

Beau

Posted: Apr 9th 2011 10:09PM Slayblaze said

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Glad to see this highly anticipated new column, MOBAs deserve some serious love!

Also looking forward to see the part that was mentioned "..and other multiplayer online games that aren't quite MMOs". So it sounds like its not strictly MOBAs but other genres as well. This should get interesting...

Posted: Apr 9th 2011 10:21PM Brendan Drain said

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@Slayblaze Absolutely, if you have any ideas for games you'd like to see covered please feel free to mail me (address at the end of the post) or just leave a comment about it. We're starting off with MOBAs but we're very interested in knowing what other games you'd like to see covered that aren't quite MMOs.
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Posted: Apr 9th 2011 11:20PM NeverDeath said

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MOBAs on an MMO site? Bah, fail. I play them sometimes, but they're not really even in the same boat, MOBAs are much MUCH easier to design, launch, maintain and require hundreds if not thousands of work hours less in art, animation, sound and systems design. There's nothing wrong with MOBAs, but they just aren't really the pinnacle of game design that a persistent online game-world - ala MMORPGs - are.

Still, I'm a disappointed that Demigod wasn't mentioned. In my opinion, it required drastically superior tactics and strategy in order to win, than HoN, LoL or DotA, possibly all combined. Pick a hero, use a small selection of abilities and build items that contribute more to your success than your raw skill, and also an extreme emphasis on the heroes that are just flat out imbalanced, which also never seem to get fixed, largely because the games don't require a subscription, so they can get away with it. Other than that, very little is required. Demigod was a lot more fun imo than any of these games, and the online community for the game has dwindled for sure from its launch, but I still play it LAN or with AI from time to time, just because it was that fun.

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 12:21AM Skyydragonn said

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@NeverDeath Pinnacle of game design? you mean the genre thats been rehashing the same staple mechanics for almost a decade now?

No offense but there are bigger and bette mountains to climb now-a-days :p
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Posted: Apr 12th 2011 7:22PM (Unverified) said

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@NeverDeath Pinnacle of game design huh? Absolute statements like that tend to get the person saying them in to a bit of trouble. When it comes to the "best" of anything, it all boils down to opinion. In your mind, MMO's are the greatest games ever. Fine. But not every one sees it that way. Also, to say that MMO's are the only ganre that creates vast, highly detailed worlds, Bethesda would like to have a word with you.

Also, the actual impact that players have on an MMO, ironically enough, tebd to be pretty minimal when compaired to many single player games. There are exceptions, but one of the problems you have with a persistant online world/universe is that other players want to try the content as well so developers tend to make events repeatable (with the exception of launch events/special one time events). The worlds remain relatively static. But in many single player games, the world can start one way and end up completely differant by the end. Not something you see often in an MMO (at least, not directly because of player interaction).

Finaly, we come to innovative gameplay. Most MMO's follow the same general formula; level up, earn the best gear, and establish yourself in the server's economy. There are differant games from time to time (world of tanks comes to mind), but mmos usually follow a similar grain. There are plenty of games out there, however, that use similar ideas of other games in its ganre but make something new and interesting... portal is a great example of a fresh idea in the bloated FPS family.

TL;DR?
Just because you think something is the best, doesn't make it so. When you make claims like that, people are going to refute you.
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Posted: Apr 10th 2011 3:10AM NeverDeath said

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Unfortunately, none of those mountains exist within the gaming industry - and if they did, they would certainly not be "MOBAs". Show me a genre that hasn't been spitting out the same design ideas for years. With the exception of the slow trickle of 1 or 2 minor design changes to the same tired formulas, all games are just at that point where there's too much of the same old flooding the market. Look at how often games are released now, they are throwaway - you play the game, you beat it in 36 hours, then on to the next. The games that beat this rule are the games with that something extra that gives them lasting power - and stale ideas or not, the sense of a persistent world populated by other players, where your character is a persistent part of that world and reflects the decisions you have made on how to dress them, what abilities they have and so on... That offers the most replay-ability.
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Posted: Apr 10th 2011 11:52AM socialenemy2007 said

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@NeverDeath MOBA's are very easy to learn, but incredibly hard to master. I have much more fun playing HoN than killing ten rats and doing fishing and cooking dailies in your average "pinnacle of game design" mmorpg.
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Posted: Apr 10th 2011 12:34AM (Unverified) said

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Glad to see MOBA's covered here.

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 1:16AM wfseg said

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Nurse Akali!

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 1:42AM (Unverified) said

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Why is this on Massively instead of, say, Joystiq?

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 6:40AM ShawnSchuster said

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@(Unverified) Joystiq covers MMOs. So there's that.
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Posted: Apr 10th 2011 3:07AM Phenomen said

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I'm loyal League of Legends player and this game is awesome.
New champion every 2 weeks, MMO-like account customization (masteries, runes), huge EU and US playerbase and it's FREE. When I say free, I mean completely free to play. There is NO cash shop that sells Power. You can only buy "skins" for champions you like that dont affect gameplay in any way. Also there is massive tournaments hosted by famous cybersport leagues (ESL, IEM, WCG etc) with good cash prizes. I suggest you give a try to LoL, it's amazing.

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 10:36AM Skyydragonn said

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Thank you for validating my point, so exactly what was the purpose of your original comment?
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Posted: Apr 10th 2011 1:50PM NeverDeath said

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@Skyydragonn

Both that MOBAs and MMOs aren't on the same level of design because one is complex and the other is simple, and that Demigod was much more tactical and strategic than any of today's current MOBAs. It's a shame that Stardock didn't add more support for it to have remained competitive with those other titles, which is probably largely due to that the other MOBAs are simpler and therefore appeal to a wider audience.

Also to the guy who said that MOBAs are difficult to master... For Chimpanzees, perhaps. Mastering a MOBA is about a few elementary things that might challenge your average WoW player but would give actual gamers no challenge whatsoever: Combining a few items, lots of clicking for movement, timing for killing blows on creeps, pinging the minimap and typing "gank" to organize killings with a generally unfair advantage in numbers, using some skills which function in a very straightforward and basic manner. There are very few abilities in MOBAs which require finesse to use, and for all of these reasons I'm pretty amazed at the statement that these games are difficult to master.
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Posted: Apr 11th 2011 11:27AM socialenemy2007 said

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@NeverDeath Sorry man, but your average carebear from WoW, "The pinnacle of game design" as you stated, wouldn't last 5 minutes in a HoN match without screwing it up and rage quitting.
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Posted: Apr 10th 2011 5:15AM Addfwyn said

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Big fan of LoL. I played HoN for a while, and for those who prefer something much closer to DotA it's fun...but it's almost too similar, and I found the community kind of offputting.

The same can be said for the LoL community at times, but the game is also different enough from dota (so many champs with very unique mechanics, the system of passive, and new stats like ability power or cooldown reduction) to be very entertaining I find, even for a longterm dota player. The fact that it is totally free is nice, though I admit I have dropped a fair sum of money into LoL. Since I'm not actively playing an MMO at the moment, I pick up $10-15 worth of Riot Points per month, and consider that like my subscription.

Haven't really dabbled in RoI or Bloodline Champions (there are no mac ports that I know of, and I don't play mobas seriously enough to warrant a restart to play). Bloodlines does look interesting though

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