A month ago, Smite introduced a new game mode to stand beside Conquest, its traditional 5v5 three-lane battleground. Siege cuts the three lanes down to two and adds lumbering siege tower minions, earned through kills and clearing jungle camps, that can quickly knock down towers by themselves. The smaller map and siege tower minions make for a shorter, faster-paced game, and I was still trying to decide how I liked it compared to Conquest when Hi-Rez added another wrinkle. In the latest patch, they cut Siege down to a 4v4 mode, and now Siege produces some of the most fun, fast-paced lane-pushing matches I've ever played.
Three Lane Highway is Chris' sometimes serious, sometimes silly column about Dota 2.
Later this month I'll be attending ESL One Frankfurt to cover the tournament for PC Gamer. It's one of the last high profile Dota 2 competitions before The International, and the best chance most European fans are going to get to watch some of these teams play before they win eleventy million dollars at TI4, buy private islands, and vanish.
If you're considering attending then you probably play Dota 2. You know something about the meta, drafting, laning, teamfights, whatever. You're capable of replicating many of the things that you watch professional teams do—albeit imperfectly—on your own time, and doing so constitutes a big part of your hobby. You watch Dota because you play Dota.
Riot Games has suspended two Challenger Series players, Alfonso Aguirre "Mithy" Rodriguez and Erlend "Nukeduck" Holm, for repeatedly engaging in "extremely toxic behavior" during games. The League of Legends developer said in its suspension ruling that both players have been punished previously over similar issues but have "shown no improvement" in their conduct.
Three Lane Highway is Chris' sometimes silly, sometimes serious column about Dota 2.
It is the most human thing in the world to want to be the coolest person in the room. Competition for status is written into our society and culture. It is why we valourise the assertion of individual will and downplay collective success. It's how teenagers figure out who they are. It's how democracy (sort of) functions, how movies get made, how lies pass into general acceptance. It's a process we can't shake, a process that generates politicians and celebrities and bullies and—to the point—some really, really shitty Dota players.
Today Crytek announced Arena of Fate, a fast-paced five-on-five multiplayer game. Crytek’s press release curiously does not mention the term MOBA, but the Arena of Fate site calls it a "free-to-play action strategy game." If it walks like a MOBA and quacks like a MOBA, well, it’s probably a MOBA.
Here's a quick maths question for you. If a copy of Dota 2's Compendium costs $10/£6 (which it does), and $2.50 of that goes to the International 2014's prize pool (which it does), and that prize pool—which launched at a base level of $1.6 million—currently stands at over $6 million (which it does), then how much deeper is Gabe Newell's swimming pool tribute to Scrooge McDuck? The answer is lots.* Valve aren't the only winner of this equation, though. The participants of the Dota 2 tournament have a much bigger prize to compete for, and the Dota 2 community have now secured the entirety of the Compendium's stretch goals.
Now you can get in the mood for DIGITAL SPORTS! with the help of the smooth, comforting and somewhat sociopathic Narrator from The Stanley Parable. As teased all those months ago, his gently mocking wit is now available as a Dota 2 announcer pack. Sure, it's not hard to make fun of an incomprehensible game about internet wizards, but it takes skill to do it and still make the game's fans want to give you money.
People who are dedicated to video games will go to extreme measures to enjoy them. We’ve probably all skipped a day of school or work following the release date of a sequel to our favorite game, or abandoned many social events in favor of marathoning them. But Pro League of Legends Player Hai Lam just took it to a whole new level.
People are playing League of Legends right now. Millions of people. From May 8 to May 11, though, the best players in the world are going to be playing League of Legends in the All-Star 2014 tournament, and millions of people are going to be watching. But how will you watch? Where will you watch? Riot's put together a handy list of who's competing and when. Here's the coolest thing about this year's All-Star Challenge, which precedes the tournament: fans voted on which pro League players get to compete.
MOBAs live and die by their three lane 5v5 maps. Dota 2's map has been passed down from generation to generation as a relic of the ancients. It shall always be as it always has been. League of Legends tried to introduce a new map and game mode with Dominion. It didn't work. Now Hi-Rez Studios' is taking a shot with Siege mode, a new two-lane map for Smite. Siege launches in beta with Tuesday's patch, along with the usual range of balance tweaks and a new god, Egypt's Osiris. Check out the one-minute tutorial video below for a peek at how Siege plays.
Dota 2 hasn't been out officially for even a year, but the most popular game on Steam is getting a host of updates and changes in next week's patch. Titled “Spring Cleaning,” the update includes dozens of changes to the game’s inventory, interface, and heroes.
"They have no idea I'm here," says GamesRadar's Lucas Sullivan as he sneaks up behind two enemy gods in my lane. I'm casually killing minions in front of my tower in Conquest mode, Smite's take on the 5v5 Multiplayer Online Battle Arena codified by Dota and League of Legends. On a strategic level, Smite plays almost identically to League, but it tucks the camera in close behind the back of my character—a god pulled from the pages of Greek or Hindu or Egyptian mythology—and feels more like a third-person action game as I cast magical abilities with the keyboard and sling attacks with the left mouse button.
Dawngate has just leveled up and announced an open beta release. We wrote a bit about the closed beta almost a year ago, so EA's MOBA, developed by Waystone, has had a lot of time to marinate. If you’re game for a new MOBA, head to the Dawngate website to sign up.
After a weekend of watching the best players from the US and Europe compete in High-Rez Studios' MOBA Smite, I could pick out the most amazing plays by the volume of the crowd. The thousand-seat Center Theater in Atlanta erupted for every kill and chanted for favored teams, but only the best ganks and jukes incited cheers that grew louder and louder and louder. Sometimes the plays were so precise, so obviously above the skill level of any normal player, that I was already writing them down as the crowd went wild.
At least one incredible play happened in every match I watched throughout Smite's three day launch tournament, and I put together a list of the moments that really wowed me below. Each one is embedded with a timestamped video from a Twitch livestream so you can jump straight into the action.
The MOBA genre already has colossal communities in both League of Legends and Dota 2, but what's missing is an arena where the greatest gods of mythology toss magic fireworks at each other and roast a couple thousand mortal minions. Enter Smite, Hi-Rez Studios' free-to-play god-on-god rumbler, which launches in full today after a lengthy beta period and is available for all to download on its official website.
It’s been a long time since we heard from Ironclad’s MOBA Sins of a Dark Age, but it’s still alive and kicking and has just landed on Steam Early Access for $5. That’s a steal compared to the $25 you had to pay previously for a founder edition and access to the closed beta. However, when it’s ready, Sins of a Dark Age will be free-to-play.
When Dragons and Titans released last year, the notoriously competitive free-to-play MOBA space was already crowded by heavyweights Dota 2 and League of Legends. To find its own niche, Dragons was designed in Unity to work entirely in web browsers, and launched on Facebook to become the F2P MOBA you could play anywhere.
All week long, we're peering ahead to what the future holds for the PC gaming industry. Not just the hardware and software in our rigs, but how and where we use them, and how they impact the games we play. Here's the final entry in our five-part series.
By 2020, cars will fly and the DeLorean will make a successful comeback. The Large Pixel Collider will usher in a new age of global prosperity as President of Earth. Half-Life 3 will, finally, be close to release. Those are just a few of our wildest predictions for what's on the horizon. Below we throw caution to the wind to make our boldest predictions about the future of PC gaming and a variety of genres, from shooters to RPGs and MOBAs.
The International, Valve's annual Dota 2 tournament, is one of the largest gaming events in the world, a celebration of Steam's most-played game that last year took over a symphony hall in Seattle. A report at onGamers, citing sources from eSports teams and officials, indicates that this year's event will move from July from August, and according to Valve's Gabe Newell, may take over a sports stadium.
By now you might be a little confused about what Transformers Universe is. The game was first announced in 2011 as an MMO. Then, just last month, developer Jagex announced that Transformers Universe is in fact a massively online tactical action game, or MOTA, which clearly evokes MOBAs. If you look at the two recently released trailers, however, Transformers Universe looks most like a class-based multiplayer action game (maybe a little bit like Smite) with a few Transformers-specific twists.