I remember my first MOBA game; the innocence of going into my first game, not knowing anything about the genre or the game, being overwhelmed by the amount of heroes that can be played and not knowing what the heroes do. Needless to say, my first game was not an enjoyable experience, as is most people's first experience with a competitive game.
For those who don't know, a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game is a genre that is rising in popularity and is the future of competitive gaming. There are two teams of 5 heroes and the objective of the game is to destroy the enemy team’s base. As the game progresses you can kill enemies or AI controlled minions to gain gold and experience to level up one of your hero’s four skills. With this gold, you can buy items for your hero to gain attack damage, armor, or a special ability from the item. You gain gold slowly over time, by destroying parts of the enemy’s base, killing enemy heroes, and by getting the killing blow on enemy minions.
If you’re suddenly interested in playing this type of game, just hold on there for a second. There are many things you should know about this type of game before you just jump right into it.
The first thing you should know is that there is a very steep learning curve in learning these types of games. In order to get good at a MOBA game is to learn all the moves each hero has. This way, you can use your skills to your advantage. For example, if you have an ability to pull people towards you, you want to stay at a distance and have your team around you when you land your pull. Of course, just because you know all the skills of each hero, doesn’t automatically make you good at the game, although it is a good start.
The second thing you should know is probably the most dangerous thing about playing MOBA games. The player community is horrible, and this is no exaggeration, the MOBA community is probably the worst community in all of gaming, although Call of Duty and Halo are right up there. In almost every game, you’ll find at least one person who blames their team for everything. Since you’re playing an online team game with strangers, they will find any reason why it wasn’t their fault they died and blame everyone else. This happens 9/10 games that you will play. Everyone is looking for a reason why they lost, and everyone will start blaming other people. Sure, you may find the odd person who admits his faults and moves on from it, but most people will get mad at you for the littlest thing and continue to be mean to you until the game is done. There are a couple things you can do when this happens. You can either just not talk back and don’t provoke them further, you can mute them in game so that you don’t see any messages from the person harassing you, and you can report them for verbal abuse and get them banned.
Thirdly, and probably one of the most important things is to set aside at least 30-60 minutes to play a game. Yes, a game can sometimes take that long. If you leave in the middle of the game, you’re abandoning your teammates and now they have to deal with a 4v5, which is almost a guaranteed loss. Additionally, if you leave, you have a chance of getting banned from the game. Usually it’s a couple hours or days, but the more you get banned, the longer the ban. So again, make sure you have enough time to commit to a game.
Why should you play these games then? Because it’s a very competitive game that actually is a lot of fun if you can get past the community being bullies. There aren’t many competitive games out there that people take seriously; these games are some of the few that people are passionate about. If you need proof, just go to twitch.tv and watch a League of Legends or DotA tournament. In fact, The International 4, which is the biggest DotA tournament of the year, will be happening in July and has a prize pool of over $5.5 million dollars, $3.9 million of which the community contributed by purchasing certain in-game items.
DotA and League of Legends are both free to play games, and everybody should definitely at least give these games a chance if you have a decent PC. Personally I’m a DotA player, but I won’t get into the debate of League of Legends vs DotA, they’re both great games and people should play whatever game they prefer.