I read an interesting article of predictions for gaming in mmorpg.com the other day about M.O.B.A.S. If you are an avid gamer (and if you are not, why exactly are you reading this post?) you know that the proliferation of these types of games has seemingly skyrocketed lately, due largely in part to the satisfying “quick fix” which LOL and M.O.B.A. type games like DOTA provide players.
I think Youtube personality Boogie 2988 said it best when he alluded to the fact that former World of Warcraft players and mmo enthusiasts may tire of the waiting in those types of games. As Boogie put it, Wow is a good game, but there is a lot of waiting around in that game, players have to queue for entrance into instances, whereas games like L.O.L. provide a lot of the instant gratification which some players have accustomed themselves to these days.
Coming from the mmo gaming side of things, I was quick to jump into the fray in League of Legends, which was very similar to Warcraft 3 (which it should be given that DOTA was a mod of Blizzard’s old RTS game) and I found the game lacking at first glance. For one thing, I missed the open world feel of a mmorpg game like Everquest 2 or World of Warcraft. Yes, combat is a significant part of gaming in those games too, but it is not the sole focus of the game. In L.O.L., you pick a champion and you go out and level him or her up, while your summoner also levels behind the scene.
It’s a more visceral, satisfying form of combat in some player’s point of view, but for old time mmo gamers like me (Though not as old to remember dabbling in original E.Q. or even Ultima Online) the game felt as though it did not offer as much diversity or richness of play as wow did, where you can do more than battle creeps and opposing teams (like crafting, questing, and raiding to name a few examples.)
Yet, the mmorpg.com article predicted a rise not only in M.O.B.A style gameplay (which seems accurate given Blizzard’s announcement during this year’s Blizzcon about Blizzard DOTA’s impending release) but also, even more interesting, a rise in a hybrid type genre of game: an mmo like game mixing in elements of M.O.B.A.S. Isn’t that what I was bemoaning was lacking in L.O.L. and surely my way of thinking is exactly what game devs foresaw. Crafty little devils!
There are many reasons I can see this prediction coming true: The rise in popularity of e-sporting events like those made prevalent by StarCraft and now L.O.L., the aforementioned dislike for waiting to be queued into instances in other games, not to mention the copy cat way in which game companies have a tendency to churn out copies of more successful or more high profile versions of other products.
Consider this further evidence: The online gaming communities have catered to just about every type of game genre there is, with a recent replication of sites devoted to L.O.L. specifically and M.O.B.A.S. in general. The aforementioned MMORPG.com blog has expanded and now has sister/partner sites dedicated to RTS gaming (rtsguru.com) and FPS gaming (fpsguru.com) could DOTAguru sites be far behind???
Lastly, my favorite game magazine, Massive Online Gamer dedicated not one, but two articles about M.O.B.A.S. this past issue, one detailing the rise of the Dominion map in L.O.L. and Another entitled “3 simple rules for L.O.L. beginners,” penned by Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe. In addition to being a major NFL athlete, Kluwe is a confessed gaming aficionado and he has a quirky and fun writing style, and if you have never read any of his articles, you owe it to yourself to read some of his work. You will be glad you did if you are a gamer.
Anyhoo, you might play devil’s advocate and say, “Hybrid M.M.O, M.O.B.A.S., don’t we have that already in a game like World of Warcraft?” and in a sense you would be correct, given that wow has b.g.s that are as much fun as L.O.L. Yet, it depends on your gaming style, M.O.B.A.s usually are more focused on team oriented objectives, not just ganking, though there is a bit of that too. I personally am in favor of mixing the visceral thrills of L.O.L. with the more open ended and massive feel of an mmorpg like wow or DAoC. Just please don’t make it so unfriendly to newbs!
Oh and while I am at it, I leave you with this tantalizing tasty morsel of news….