MOBA Monday: An Expanding Genre

MOBA Monday: 
MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) is my favorite kind of gaming genre in the world.

Once upon a time, the term MOBA did not exist in the gaming world. The first MOBA to develop a cult following of sorts was Defense of the Ancients (DotA).

Technically speaking, DotA was nothing more than a custom map you could play on the Warcraft III game. One could even go as far as to say it was a “mini-game,” but an amazingly complex one that impacted gaming history forever. Yes, we are talking about a custom map here, after all.

DotA grew in popularity to the point where many purchases of the Warcraft III Battle Chest occurred just so people could play it. There was nothing like it anywhere else in the gaming market back in the day. It was one-of-a-kind. To say DotA, let alone the entire MOBA genre up to this point, was niche would be an understatement.

“Oh, what game do you play?”

“I play DotA.”

“DotA? What’s that?”

***Cue lengthy explanation that ends up making the other person more confused than before.***

This was old-school DotA in action.

And that’s how a lot of conversations played out among DotA players and non-DotA players alike. Quite normal, I would say. DotA really pioneered something that many gaming companies try to replicate.

The two largest contenders in the MOBA market nowadays would of course be Dota 2 and League of Legends.

Dota 2 has a very prominent, hardcore crowd when it comes to MOBA, whereas League of Legends caters more toward the casual market. To each their own, but I play Dota 2 at the moment because I just think it is the superior game between the two.

But what about the “other” MOBA titles out there that all want a piece of the pie? Do they even have a realistic shot of nabbing a slice of the action or are they going to be left with nothing but crumbs?

Well, I just think most of the other MOBA titles are not appealing. I keep telling myself, “What’s the point?” when Dota 2 and League of Legends exist.

Some of these other MOBA titles include:

Smite: The third-person perspective MOBA with a mythological god theme. 

Dawngate: I am not too sure about this one.

Strife: It seriously looks like a League of Legends ripoff with mechanics from Dota 2. Maybe?

And even more MOBA titles exist. Rightfully so, competition is a good thing. Companies are just trying to revolutionize the genre with their own respective spin on concepts and mechanics, but I don’t feel compelled to try other MOBA games.

There are various reasons for this.

1) The Time Aspect
MOBA is a genre you have to invest a lot of effort in learning. Between just Dota 2 and League of Legends, I know more than 200 unique heroes/champions with literally thousands of different abilities, items, strategies and a whole lot more. But this was all after YEARS of playing both extensively.

The notion of picking up another MOBA and extracting the knowledge from that game would be somewhat demanding, at least to me. I know I could do it, but I don’t think it’s worth the hassle.

2) The Gameplay Quality
I just think Dota 2 and League of Legends both do the MOBA genre (for the most part) better. Don’t get me wrong. It’s difficult for me to assess the other MOBA titles out there without sitting down and playing them adequately to develop a proper opinion for each one. 

There probably would be countless elements for all the MOBA games out there that I could enjoy in varying degrees. But then again, why do I need to look any further when I have Dota 2 that gives me my MOBA fix and then some?

3) Loyalty 
Call me strange, but I develop a sense of loyalty to the games I play. I played the first Dota game for a long time before eventually finding my way to Dota 2. 

Am I just a fanboy? Am I strange for feeling loyal to Dota 2 and not wanting to venture out into other MOBA titles out there?

Meh, it doesn’t bother me one bit. I am loyal to Dota 2 because it is an awesome game. Need I say more? I am just glad the MOBA genre has expanded so much as a whole. It’s all very exciting for gamers everywhere. 

“Get good. Be better.” – Nhan Fiction 



One thought on “MOBA Monday: An Expanding Genre

  1. Kidae September 10, 2014 / 5:35 am

    Love reading your posts ❤ you inspire me to write about my League of Legends experiences as well! Just thought I'd leave a comment cos I always mean to but never do~


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