When it comes to video game genres I wouldn’t blame any of you for not having heard the term MOBA much before this week but the chances are that you’ve heard of some of the big name Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas: League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth and Defence of the Ancients 2. (does anyone who owns a Steam Account not have a DOTA2 invite yet?)
Now with the news that DC Comics are releasing their own MOBA, named Infinite Crisis, followed swiftly by Paradox Interactive announcing their own take on the genre with Magicka Wizard Wars, I imagine you’ll be getting used to the term in no time at all.
Born of a common ancestor in the form of a Warcraft 3 player created scenario named ‘Defence of the Ancients’, these games are carving out a vast fan base for themselves. How vast? Well according to an infographic released by Riot Games last October, League of Legends is “by hours played per month, the most popular video game in the world.” In fact, there are as many players logging in daily to play League of Legends as there are people in Tokyo. So yeah, pretty vast.
In case you hadn’t already guessed, I’m a League of Legends player myself. Recently I had the privilege to introduce our own Adam2Marsh to the game. Here are the five reasons to try League that enticed him to give it a try!
1:) A huge, ever growing, cast of interesting characters!
At the time of writing there are over one hundred and ten individual characters with their own abilities, strengths and weaknesses. New characters are constantly in development and released roughly every two to three weeks along with balance changes keeping things nicely competitive for everyone. The variety is simply staggering, check the below video to see the developers talking to you about some of their favourites..
2:) Free to Play (not pay to win!)
‘Free to Play’ is a term that makes most gamers I know groan and shake their heads. For many it has connotations of a game that is on its last legs and rattling out its dying breath. Either that or the dreaded “Free-mium” model that has leaves a sour taste in the mouth. Thankfully League is neither on the way out or sealing its best content behind a toll gate.
As I spoke about in the last point, there are many, many characters available. Characters and cosmetic customisations for them, named ‘skins’ are available to purchase through the use of‘ Riot Points’, Riot Games’ own version of Microsoft Points.
However, all characters are available to buy using the in-game currency that is awarded after each match. More than that, each week a different selection of 10 characters are put on free rotation for you to try out.
It’d be tempting to think that the best Champions are the ones that are the most expensive but the truth is that some of strongest choices are available for an amount easily earned in two or three matches. In fact, Adam2Marsh has already picked up a few himself!
3:) A passionate, creative community
The League of Legends community has a bit of a bad reputation and it’s not entirely undeserved (a subject I’ll tackle in a different article). At it’s best, the community is a force of fan dedication producing everything from art to statues, dolls, replica costumes and even robots!
Each week there is a ‘Summoner Showcase’ where some of the fan creations that caught the eye of the developers are shown off for the whole community to see. See the whole playlist here.
4:) Developers that care
There is a huge amount of interaction on the forums between the developers and their fans: feedback is taken on board, questions answered and sometimes features, game maps, champions and even skins are made from player suggestions.
Add in that Riot have a department dedicated to improving the community through intiatives like The Tribunal and Honour initiative. They’ve been reducing the impact of negative player behaviour on others and it’s pretty clear that this is a company that puts a lot of stock in the quality of its players’ game experience.
5:) It’s fun!
Cheesy but true. League is a competitive, thrilling game that continues to grow and change. It’s kept me thoroughly engaged and coming back for more for over two years now.
But jumping into a game like this can be a daunting prospect for even the most hardened of our gaming brethren, so after this you fancy joining Adam2Marsh and myself on the battlefield of League of Legends, leave a comment, send us a Tweet or a message on Facebook.
So what are you waiting for? You can start here!
Looking forward to seeing you on the Fields of Justice!
Art Work Picture By Yumedust