Skill School: How to last hit with Dota 2's Sniper

Josh Augustine at

We love games like Dota 2, League of Legends, and Smite, but the myriad skills needed to master their complex gameplay can scare new players away. That’s why, twice a month, we pick a key skill and teach you how to master it, using a character that particularly excels at or relies on that skill in-game.

This week, we’re tackling the most basic and rewarding skill, last hitting NPC creeps. And there's no better hero to learn the ropes with than Dota 2’s long-range, kill-master Sniper.

Smite gameplay video introduces Ares and his fiery chains of war

Omri Petitte at

No, that isn't a euphemism for godlike promiscuity, but it is an ability used by Ares in Hi-Rez's third-person MOBA Smite. Billed as a magic-oriented tank, the Greek god of war shores up his allies' defenses with CC duration reductions, latches onto and pulls rival gods using Very Annoying Chains, and hunkers behind a shield doubling as a flamethrower. His utilitarian appeal jives well with the remaining pantheon's abilities and ultras, making Ares well-suited for wading into the thick of the fray whenever possible -- which is exactly where he prefers to be. Have a look at our hands-on preview from earlier this year, too.

Hindu leader requests removal of deities from Smite, Hi-Rez declines

T.J. Hafer at

Smite, Tribes: Ascend creators Hi-Rez's upcoming MOBA that lets you, well, smite your enemies as playable gods from numerous pantheons has struck an unpleasant chord with some real-world worshipers of the gods depicted in the game. Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged Hi-Rez to remove the Hindu gods Agni, Kali, and Vamana as their depiction in the game was disrespectful to their followers.

Tribes: Ascend downloaded 1.2 million times, Hi-Rez's MOBA entering closed beta May 31

Evan Lahti at

This doesn't mean that Tribes has 1.2 million unique players, mind you, but it's still a heartening stat. I still can't quite believe that a small group of independent developers in Georgia dug up the license to a hardcore, classic PC game, made it free without compromising its spirit or nuances, and are doing this well.

MOBA hero spotlight: Smite's Ymir

Lucas Sullivan at

I’ve just become the frosty filling of an ice-wall sandwich. Josh and I are getting hands-on time with Hi-Rez Studios’ Smite, and we’re right at eye-level with the action thanks to the third-person camera angle. Through sheer coincidence, we’ve both chosen Ymir, the leader of the frost giants from Norse mythology, as the tank of our opposing teams. This astral plane isn’t big enough for two ice giants—may be the best frost titan win.