I'm sighing the weary sigh of a man staring into the future and seeing naught but DoTA clones. You may remember End of Nations as the Petroglyph developed free-to-play MMORTS that ran into trouble after its open beta was postponed and members of staff were laid off. Subsequently taken in-house by publisher Trion Worlds, it's now resurfaced as - you guessed it - a lane pushing game.
There's just something about seaside resort hotels, gently swaying palm trees, and fruity cocktails in coconut-shell vessels that draws gamers in for a bit of escapism and relaxation. Oh, and also causing a ruckus and inciting panic amongst the few remaining tourists in town. Infinite Crisis is the latest to join the tropical madness conga line, with DC Comics superheroes flooding its new two-lane map Coast City.
It hasn't been a great year for Petroglyph Games, the former End of Nations devs who took to Kickstarter with their RTS Victory, a funding campaign they cancelled ten days later. Now, Petroglyph have announced that their free-to-play MOBA Battle For Graxia (a game built on the foundations of their 2011 effort Rise of the Immortals) is to shut up shop at the end of June.
I tend to get quite annoyed by pointless cinematic trailers for games, but this luxuriant CGI video for League of Legends won me over - and this is coming from someone too intimidated by LOL (or MOBAs in general) to play beyond the tutorial. Perhaps it's because the game has already been out for quite a while - this seems like a fun thing for the fans to pick over, rather than another cog in the marketing machine. The trailer's a battle royale of sorts between many of LOL's now-countless heroes, and unlike the game itself it doesn't involve too much furious clicking on stuff. Barely any, in fact. Instead, the likes of Garen, Katarina and Ryze duff each other up for our amusement. Have a watch below the break.
With so many current and yet-to-be-released titles, you might feel as if you're floating in a veritable moat of MOBAs. So what will Dawngate, the MOBA that EA didn't-quite-announce last week, be doing to distinguish itself from the rest of the moat-murk? Quite a bit, actually, if this dev video's anything to go by. Dawngate definitely looks like a MOBA, but the old formula's being tinkered with to keep things fresh.
On Saturday more people were playing Dota 2 at the same time than there are residents of St. Louis.
Shopping must be tough if you're a League of Legends champion. How are you supposed to pick out a nice pair of boots when an endless wave of creeps are sweeping forth to give you a knock on the noggin? Recognising the desire to browse in leisure, Riot will introduce Custom Item Sets into patch 3.7: item profiles that can be created and edited directly from the summoner profile.
Given the number of DoTA-likes being released, I can only assume the endgame is Meta Dota, an all-star version in which every hero is a different developer's attempt on the genre. It would be the most obtuse and complicated game ever created, and it's community would exist in a dark void of bile and anger. Here's another for its roster: Dawngate, which is EA studio Waystone Games' as-yet-unannounced game.
Turns out those faceless dudes from the Game of Thrones-spoofing announcement trailer aren't any less creepy when pulled out of the realm of live-action. I was hoping the hollow blackness of the wizards' heads might be downplayed a little in Magicka: Wizard War's art, but I guess I can forgive them when that much fire and lightning is bursting from their limbs.
G-1, the Chinese Dota 2 league, has been suspended by organisers 17173, following a series of DDoS attacks that caused players to disconnect during their games. The attacks began on Sunday, affecting players from Team Dignitas, Evil Geniuses and Kaipi. 17173 say they are working to rectify the issues, and have sought technical advice from Valve.
Yesterday, we reported on a study published by DFC Intelligence, claiming that Dota 2 had overtaken League of Legends as the most played game in North America and Europe, and citing data from XFire and other unnamed sources. But the conclusions of the report seemed problematic - Riot had previously announced five million concurrent players worldwide, and while Dota 2 is undeniably growing in popularity, to surpass it in two key regions would have been a big deal.
As we reported at the time, with DFC's methodology unclear, it was impossible to confirm their findings. To find out more, I got in touch with David Cole, owner of DFC, for clarification. Additionally Riot, eager to retain their title, have provided some of their own statistics, which suggest that League of Legends is still the king.
Update: Riot have questioned DFC's findings, telling Games Industry that League of Legends sees "over 500,000 peak concurrent players every day on just the EU West shard." See inside for more details.
Original Story: Dota 2 has surpassed League of Legends as the most played "core" PC title in the West through the first quarter of 2013, according to a report by DFC Intelligence. If accurate, it's a big coup for Valve's MOBA, which is both "technically" unrealeased and "technically" not free. Of course, as those heavy ironic quote marks imply, neither of those facts mean much when Steam has become so flooded with invites that you could run out onto the street, shout "I NEED A DOTA," and be guaranteed that some passing stranger would hand you one. I'm serious. Try it.
Dota 2 has been updated with its first new hero in six weeks. Rigwarl the Bristleback is the phlegm chucking pig-hedgehog thing in question. He's kind of what I imagine a dark, gritty reboot of Sonic the Hedgehog would look like. Except yellow. An initiator, Bristleback can slow enemies with a stacked attack, has a 360 degree spike attack, and location-based damage resistance.
During a talk at GDC today, Creative Assembly revealed a new direction for its Total War series: Total War Arena, a completely multiplayer and free-to-play combination of RTS and MOBA elements.
Just about anything can be turned into a MOBA these days—gods, sequels, and even Gandalf. The spaghettified web of comic book worlds and their classic hero vs. villain pairings seems like a natural fit for the teamwork and ability synergy found in those games, and Turbine agrees, bridging characters from the DC comic books with MOBA mechanics in Infinite Crisis, which will be free to play later this year.
I think it's high time Riot changed the name of its MOBA juggernaut to Legion of Legends. The game's colossal numbers keep getting bigger, and after throwing around multiple instances of the word "million" back in October, Riot announced last week that 5 million players regularly get their junglin' on during peak hours.
This week in eSports: MLG Winter is finally here! Heart of the Swarm has launched, and now is as good a time as ever to start eSportsing. Plus, competitive gaming has earned itself a spot at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics conference. Have a look at all of this and more inside. gl hf!
When Valve invited Dota 2 caster Kevin 'Purge' Godec to their studio last week, they made a crucial rookie mistake: feeding him. That gave him all the power he needed to surge past their defence towers and snap pics of some upcoming hero concept art. Or possibly they gave him their blessing to share their plans with the community at large. There's just no way of knowing.
This week in eSports: the Swarm approaches, and vengeance is upon us all! By this time next week, we'll have a champion for the GSL and IEM, Heart of the Swarm will be burrowed on our hard drives... and that's just StarCraft. Get off one last inject on your hatch, then 1-A your way down into this week's eSports news. gl hf!