This is another in my Blaugust series of posts. For the others, you can find them at the tag page here.
A few months ago, on a whim, I decided to try out some games in the MOBA genre. I downloaded League of Legends, Smite, and the newly released Heroes of the Storm over a period of two or three weeks.
Each of those games has a distinct way of playing. There are similarities: they’re all lane based battles, they all have a collection of heroes or gods (in the case of Smite) that you can select from, and they’re all multiplayer (in that there’s no progression when playing bots.)
And while the bots are there for practice, man I found them hard, with no way to tone down the difficulty. And the bots had nothing on the human players. I was smashed time and time again. The biggest problem I had, apart from inexperience, was confusion. So much happening on the screen with explosions, minions, and visual effects, that it was hard to keep track of what was going on half the time.
I’m sure, that if I kept playing, then I would have improved. No one gets anywhere without at least a small amount of practice, and that goes with any game, or real world activity. But when I’m playing a game I look for more than just doing the same thing over and over. If I have to grind, I need other things to do as well.
Ultimately, I felt that this kind of game isn’t what I’m into. It’s not so much that I was beaten down on each game I attempted, even though that was discouraging. It’s just that I’m not a PvPer by nature. I’m really not all that competitive, I don’t feel the need to be better than anyone else. I don’t mind some PvP, but I kind of want it on my terms. That doesn’t mean I care if someone is better than me, I just want to choose when and where I PvP, if I happen to be in a competitive mood.
And I discovered something else about MOBAs while I was there. There’s only one map. Maybe some variations. There’s three lanes, surrounded by jungles, with towers and bases at predefined locations, and you play that every single game. What varies is the role you play using the selected hero. Now I know a lot of people like this. A lot of people like tennis too, where the court design hasn’t changed in two hundred years. But this is also why I’m not a raider in MMORPGs.
I like going on a raid. A few times. But then I want to do something else. I don’t understand how raiders do it, running the same dungeon dozens sometimes hundreds of times in order to kill the boss and get the loot. To me that’s tedious. And that, from what I can see, is the MOBA. Doing the same map over and over and over again.
So yeah. I’m crap at MOBAs. How about you?