In the past few months, I have found myself falling out of favor with the MMO gods, and this makes me slightly sad. For years I was a WOW die hard to the end. Yet today I am not turned on by the game play. Maybe I have grown up a little bit or it could be I feel like these types of games are so rinse and repeat. Well, I may have found my social online gaming fix in a genre called MOBA! MOBA stands for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games.
The genre started way back in the days when Blizzard’s Warcraft 3 was popular and current. A group of players decided to take the Blizzard game and use the custom game editor and created their on little piece of gaming glory called DOTA (Defense of the Ancients). Your overall goal is to work as a team to destroy your enemy’s base.
Today the genre has blown up, creating a highly competitive and challenging genre of videogame. You won’t be hard-pressed to find gaming clubs, events, and even big prize awarding competitions dedicated to this unique style of game.
What is the point?
All MOBA games are going to follow a few simple core mechanics:
Choose a hero. Some are tanks (high health). Some are DPS (high damage). Some heal.
Work as a team.
Destroy the enemies base.
Something to note about MOBA games, majority of them are free to play. So if you want to get your hands dirty and try a new one out then go for it.
Depending on the MOBA title you are playing you can be given a choice of a handful of heroes up to ridiculous levels of choice. Due to the popular free to play model you don’t always have access to all of the heores unless you either spend countless hours gaining in game currency/experience OR paying with your wallet to unlock your favorites.
Each hero can have quite different levels of variation. Depending on your style of play will depend on your hero of choice.
Work As A Team
Your communication with the team will be the next hurdle to overcome. Unless you pay attention to your teams wants and needs your unit will fall apart and you will fall to your opponent (granted they work together).
Depending on the map there will be some number of paths or “lanes” that you will need to coordinate which of your team members will occupy. Below is an example of a League of Legends map.
Along with your heroes you will have support provided by your base in the form of minions. Your base will begin to spawn computer controlled minions to assist you in each lane. Paying attention to your team mates, minions, and all of the opposing units will tax the group as well.
Destroy The Enemy Base
Once you have the team work down and you have coordinated your group, you are ready to start the battle. Your team will push up each lane behind your minions working your way towards the enemy base. Sounds simple right? Well of course it’s not that simple, you have obstacles. Each team has a form of defense in each lane, towers. These towers act as a buffer, firing projectiles at the enemy units that that draw near.
At early stages of the game these towers will punch you in the face, so stay back and let your little buddies act as meat shields. As you kill your enemies and destroy towers, you will earn money and experience. The experience will allow you to learn special abilities and grow in power. The money will allow you to purchase pieces of gear that will make you tougher and do more damage. Once you are strong enough the attack on the enemy base will become easier and easier. Now is the time to take you victory. Easier said than done, so lets go!
Lets Play Some MOBA!
There are many more mechanics involved in this style of game. The first time you play you will struggle. The key to MOBA games is practice, if you think of it as a sport rather than a videogame (eSport) you will save yourself hours of frustration and heartache. Practice, practice, practice, oh and do a little more practicing.
Remember that there are so many types of MOBA games and everyone plays different. So some may not follow the same exact formula, but most are incredibly entertaining and challenging, even for the strongest of gamer.
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