MOBA Madness!

heroes

With PAX now over, many games have made their debut and are enjoying the light of day. No more NDA means I get to write what I’ve been thinking about for a while: a comparison between MOBAs. I take two familiars – League of Legends and DotA 2 – and compare them to two games in beta right now, Dawngate and Strife. I wanted this comparison is because I don’t fully understand why someone would try to hone in on a genre I consider to be pretty well dominated – so what better way than to look at each empirically, to analyze what each has to offer?

Of course, because they’re in beta, that means plenty will likely change. This information is accurate at the time of writing, but who knows what’ll change as the betas evolve.

Hopefully, this information will be helpful; and even if it’s not, it’s worth going to play a round or two – if for no other reason than to see who is trying to dethrone the kings of the genre.
Enjoy.

 

Dawngate

Strife

LoL

DotA 2

Associated company / software Origin Proprietary Proprietary Steam
Hero Selection Select ‘shaper’ in the match, and you get to pick different ‘perks’ that help tailor the hero to the role you want to play Select your hero before matchmaking In match (except for “Team Builder” mode) In match (standard is “allpick” mode, but if you select a random hero you get more money). The exception is “All Random” mode, where everyone commits to getting a random hero.
Number of heroes 26, 10 available to play in rotation without having to unlock them 15, but all champs are unlocked so you can play them. 118, 9 or 10 available to play in rotation without having to unlock them 102-112, but all heroes are unlocked so you can play them.
Loadout modifiers “Loadouts” are squares into which you put puzzle pieces (Spiritstones – kinda like tangrams) in which you can mount gems (Sparks) that give different perks. Some spiritstones have their own unique effects. Different types of pieces and gems can be crafted with “Destiny” points. Pets: there are 7 options, each w/ their own buffs and that can be levelled. Items: make and improve items that can be bought in-game, but expire after a certain period of time. Masteries are buffs you get as you increase your summoner level, runes you buy and put into slots unlocked by your summoner level, and you have summoner abilities that are selected during matchmaking and can be cast in-game. No out-of-game perks or modifiers
End of round rewards Rewarded with a box, the quality of which is determined by victory, game duration, first win of the day, and how many people commended you. Boxes contain things like spiritstones, sparks, and destiny points; even (at the highest tier during the closed beta) heroes. At the end of the round, you pick one of three boxes. Each contains varying amounts of food (for levelling pets), minerals (for crafting items), and potions (for improving items). You can pay to open additional boxes once you have selected your first. IP, XP for your summoner (profile thing) XP, steam items (like the weapons and items in TF2), “battle points”. Battle points level up your profile, and gaining certain levels awards items.
How are leavers/quitters/DCs dealt with? No end-game rewards They do collect end-game rewards No end-game rewards. “Leaver Buster” bans for a certain amount of time (depending on when they left), possibly removes League Points, and either records a ‘leave’ or a ‘loss’ (regardless of whether or not the team won) No end-game rewards, and are put into a low-priority queue for matchmaking. However, if you are the second to leave a match, there are no penalties.

 

fight

Dawngate

Strife

LoL

DotA 2

Commending other players After the match but before the scoreboard shows, a list of all players appears. In this screen you can give other players ‘karma’ – the more karma they get, the better their end-of-round prizes will be. There is a button next to profile/character in the end-of-match scoreboard. Can commend for one of three reasons: teamwork, friendly, helpful. All three buttons next to profile/character at end of match. Enough commendations can get you a ribbon for your profile indicating how awesome you are. Commendations can be given, which then show up on your profile.
Reporting other players Select the profile name after match and select ‘report’ from dropdown menu Button next to profile/character at end of match (next to the commendation button) exclamation mark button next to commendation buttons – asks for reasons for reporting with many detailed options An in-game report option
Playerbase (how vitroilic so far) 3 out of 5 ‘uninstal faget’s 3 out of 5 ‘noob kill urself’s 4 out of 5 ‘fukn die aswipe’s 4.5 out of 5 ‘nubs ur ruining the game’
Currencies Waypoints (real money) and Destiny (rewarded after matches). Gems are the real money equivalent. The rest of the ‘currency’ is stuff for crafting, enchanting, and feeding(levelling) your pet Riot Points (real money) and IP (influence points, earned after matches). IP unlocks Items are bought through Steam with real money – there is no currency equivalent.
Stuff you can spend in-game money on (aka stuff you can get for free) Unlock heroes, craft loadout items. No real in-game currency – again, the items you use are for crafting, enchatning, and your pet. Unlock heroes, unlock loadout modifiers like runes and masteries. n/a
Other stuff to spend money on ward skins, costumes, different announcers new colours for the heroes’ outfits (and more food/ore/potions by unlocking additional chests at the end of the round) costumes, customizing visuals of wards, XP bonuses, IP bonuses, etc items, costumes, wards, XP bonuses

 

maps

Dawngate

Strife

LoL

DotA 2

Map layout / style 2 lanes, 4 “Spirit Wells”. Each spirit well has workers who collect in-round money (“vim”) for the team who control the well. 3 lanes, each w/ two towers and one Generator. Generators power the ‘throne’, so when all are destroyed it will no longer attack units. Standard is 3 lanes, each w/ two towers and one inhibitor. Destroy inhibitors to spawn bigger minions, but the inihbitors respawn after time. There is one other map with two lanes and capture points. Standard is 3 lanes, each w/ 2 towers and a tower/rack. Wisdom and armory racks behind each tower – killing them
Jungling options Standard jungle creeps, and one big baddie, “The Parasite” – the killing of which gets you bigger minions: “striders” Standard jungle creeps, and Baldir and Cindara. Beating C gets you a huge monkey tank that’ll charge down a lane. Standard jungle creeps, and two bosses. The Dragon is just big, but the killing of which gives no buffs, whereas killing Baron Nash gives you the Baron Buff (all stats regen) Standard jungle creeps, but with more sizes of camps / variety than the other games. One boss, Roshan, gives the Roshan buff (respawn).
Minion/Creep kills Whoever gets the killing shot gets the bulk of the money/xp, but perks can allow nearby heroes to benefit Shared between heroes nearby (as long as a player gets the killing shot, not a minion) Whoever gets the killing shot Whoever gets the killing shot – but you can last-hit allied NPCs to deny the money/xp (called denying)
Surrender vote Yes, after things happen: a certain amount of time has passed after a player disconnects or the player kill gap is too big No Yes, after a time has passed No
Items Need to go back to shop There is a courier who can bring you items Need to go back to shop There is a courier who can bring you items, and it can be buffed and killed
Hero plot stuff following the lore, banter with each other, and calling out pings (“Renzo could have sworn there were more of them!”) characters announce their own double kills and kill streaks, etc following the lore, they banter w/ each other not a lot of development into personalities of the characters – a little more tabula rasa, but more unique
Current Status “Community Beta” Closed beta F2P, released October, 2009 F2P, released July 2013 (although DotA was a game as early as 2003)
Something Unique “Break The Meta” : they’re trying to get away from the standard MOBA meta by changing the map to 2 lanes, among other things. Also, “Dawngate Chronicles”: like the TF2 “War!”, they’re going to try to make the lore fluid and affected by the players. Pets, trying to ‘distil’ what is fun about MOBAs and emphasize it Summoner (player) levels up, which allows access to more buffs, runes, masteries, etc. In comparison to DotA, with skills you can get really good at tricks started the meta (DotA Allstars), denying – but because the DotA series really started the MOBA genre, the others that follow have improved on the flaws

Dawngatestrife leageu dota 2

 

 

  • Diplo

    Dota2 does have an honor system in the form of commendations. Your commendations are shown in your Dota2 profile.

    • DireMuffin

      Ah, sorry! My informant was misinformed. ;)

    • Dirue

      yes but its totally useless in dota2. Might as well say its not there