Will DotA 2 and League of Legends Have Competition?

Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games, otherwise known as MOBAs, have gained immene popularity in the last few years with games like DotA 2 and League of Legends hitting over 8 million and 64 million active players a month, respectively. Not to mention the million of dollars being awarded in the competitive scene.

What is MOBA?

If you are unfamiliar with the genre, MOBAs usually play from a top down perspective. You, and a small team of friends each control a single character with unique abilities and attempt to push into the enemy base and destroy it. The large followings of DotA 2 and LoL have inspired several triple A developers to come up with their own interpretations of the MOBA formula. Let’s see what some of the big names have to offer.

DawnGate

Devleoped by Wystern Games and published by EA, DawnGate has a lot of gameplay similarities with DotA 2 and LoL. However, DawnGate boasts what the develoeprs call a “flexible meta”. What does that even mean? Well, in DotA 2 and LoL, the characters you choose to play pretty much defines your role in the match. A particular character’s abilities might make it much more suitable to act as a healing support, rather than a damage soaking tank for example. So, the variety of character combinations that can make up a team’s roster is a huge part of what is called the meta game. But in DawnGate, players have the option to pick their role no matter what character they are playing. This is because selecting different roles affects the attributes and perks a character gets. You might earn more currencty each time you kill an enemy player or get a health boost when you kill an enemy neutral creature. DawnGate gives you the tool to play the same character in vastly different ways, and this flexible meta is its main draw card.

Arena of Fate

Crytek’s Arena of Fate is going for something punchier and more accesible by limiting its matches to 20 minutes. The game still features a large pool of characters to choose from and the objective of destroying the enemy team’s base. However, if the 20 minutes is up and both teams still stand, then the team with the most points is the winner. Attribute boosting abilities are unlocked as you level, and alternative to buying attribute boosting items in shop areas like in DotA 2 or LoL, making matches faster paced and getting the need to remember recipe combinations.

Dead Island: Epidemic

In Dead Island: Epidemic (DIE), items take on a more persistent role. Brought to you by the same people who published Island, the game calls itself the world’s first Zombie MOBA, or “ZOMBA.” DIE features a crafting system that has players collecting blueprints and item parts during matches to make and upgrade their own weapons to use in the future. Gameplay revolves around surving waves of zombies. In addition to fighting other humans, you can also choose to fight only NPC zombies. The game differentiates itself by letting up to three different teams of players battle it out, and relies on WASD key inputs for movement and the mouse to aim. As you can imagine, DIE is a lot more action orientated, and could be mistaken for a top-down shooter.

Heroes of the Storm

Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm draws its content from the universes of its existing catalogue of games. This means the roster of characters from the Starcraft, Warcraft, and Diablo series. Like in Arena of Fate, Blizzard is aiming for matches around 20 minutes long. Although this isn’t a hard limit, the timeliness encouraged through the game’s leveling system, which has whole teams leveling up together. Similar to Arena of Fate, HotS has no items or shops to worry about, which gets rid of the need to consider that extra information. Map’s specific objectives regularly popping up encourages teams to confront eachother more often.

To be perfectly honestly with you, it’s hard to imagine MOBA players like myself breaking away from the games we’ve already devoted so much time to. But, on the other hand, the flexibility, themes, and shorter learning curves being offered by games like the ones mentioned before could bring in a lot of new players to the genre and give veterans different things to be excited about.

Mastering the Tilt on the Wii U

wii u tilt demo

The Wii U allows for the use of multiple styles of controllers with different games. This means that you have greater versatility in how games are controlled and which games you can play from within the gaming universe. The tilt controller in Wii U is available in many games and can be done with a variety of their controllers such as the pad controller, balance board and some of the Pro Controller models. However, some people reported that the tilt isn’t aligned and may cause problems. Nintendo posted a fix here.

What Games is it Going to Affect?

Tilt control has been commonly been used to control driving games and flight games. When the Wii first came out it was an incredible advance in the use of tilt control as it introduced the concept of incorporating balance boards and pressure pads. The presentation of the body in the game then had more of a real time feel. While this new application of control technology stayed with the fitness games for a while, developers have brought it out into games on Wii U with great success. You can go beyond driving and flying now to control combat, robots and more. Mastering the tilt can take some time as it not only is a different way of controlling a game, but it requires that you also learn how to control your vision and perception as well.

Combining it with the Balance Board

If you are combining the tilt option with a balance board controller it will add to your physical experience of the game greatly. In the same way that using the balance board could make a Wii Fit game a real workout, now your Project Robot fight can be equally as physically challenging. While this may sound like a sneaky way to work in activity, there is actual a valid reason to introduce tilt control to game design. By adding in more of the natural reflexes of the body to the game control designs, game play can become faster and more intuitive. Tilt and eye tracking represent the greatest leaps forward in intuitive and realistic game action that the industry has seen in decades.

Getting the Hang of the Tilt

The best way to get the hang of the tilt is to play several different games that use tilt control, but for different purposes. If one game is using it to change the vision perspective of a race car and another is using it to move a robot’s body then you will quickly develop your tilt skill, this is all about developing your game style.

If you have ever sat and watched someone play Wii U you will notice that they move their body in signature ways while playing, even if their body movement is not affecting the controls of the game. This is a part of the “passive” game style. Tilt control movement is an active game style. The more you experiment and practice the faster you will discover which movements are most naturally suited to you and create the result that you want.

Xbox One Has a New Way of Keeping Up with Your Friends

xbox friends feed

Coming on the heels of a price drop that has resurrected Xbox One as a player in the home gaming system market, the console is also receiving an update that is expected to be launched in August 2014. While there are many features being added and upgraded, one of the most important ones is going to be the changes that are made to your friend feed. Whether you are using the feed layout on the skin or with the Smartglass app, this redesigned feed promises to enhance your gaming experiences.

What Happened to the Feed?

The first thing you may wonder is what happened to the feed? Instead of its usual place on the screen it has now migrated to a one column window on the outer edges that can be closed or kept open at will. Not only does this free up more real estate on the screen, but it has allowed Xbox One designers to put more information into the feed. You will be able to see more about what your friends are doing, plus do more with your own feeds to increase the social networking aspects of the Xbox One system.

What Can You Do?

With the new Xbox One friend feed you will still be able to make comments, like comments and also post directly from your games. You can post screen shots or recorded sequences. You also now have the option to send attachments with private messages. This can be very helpful when working together in tournaments, competitions or sharing your accomplishments. You also will see more of any of the attached like comments with each post in your feed, be able to post directly to a friend’s feed or globally to all of your friends as well. One of the biggest upgrades is that you will be able to see when your friends were “last seen.”

Why “Last Seen” is Important

The “last seen” tag that will now appear by your friend’s name lets you know when they were last online. Not only does this let you know who is available for play or chat, but it is also an important tool to let you plan out your challenges and adventures better. By reviewing the “last seen” tags you can get a feel for when people are most often online to game, to chat or busy with something else. This can help reduce frustration when trying to plan a team.

Getting the Most Out of Your Friend Feed

The latest upgrade to the Xbox One system promises to make communicating with friends, and networking with new people on the platform easier and more rewarding. The style of feed is much closer to the style of the standard Facebook page which also makes it easier to understand and to use. The added features and small changes to the basic design will enhance your game play, while also freeing up more of your screen so you can play more intuitively.