Can The MOBA / ARTS Trend Spread to World of Warcraft Players?
Academically, I was always taught to define me terms first. Even though I’ve been playing these MOBA / ARTS genre of games, I never had heard of these acronyms until recent. MOBA stands for ‘multiplayer online battle arena’ and ARTS stands for ‘action real-time strategy.’ In my personal opinion, I prefer ARTS because I’ve always seen this genre as altered RTS (real time strategy) type games.
What are these games though? It all stemmed out of the Warcraft III mod Defense of the Ancients. This mod became so popular that other games have spawned from the concept. Notable games of this ARTS genre are League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, and DOTA. DOTA is actually an acronym FOR Defense of the Ancients. So logically, if Defense of the Ancients came out of Warcraft – it seems logical that Blizzard would want to make their own MOBA game since they inadvertently created the genre. This is the birth of Blizzard DOTA. Click HERE for more information on Blizzard DOTA.
Now to the meat and potatoes, will World of Warcraft players take interest in Blizzard DOTA? In my personal opinion – I say yes. Let’s look at the big picture. Defense of the Ancients originated from Warcraft III. This means at one point, those playing Warcraft III were the ones who made Defense of the Ancients popular. Thus, the core of Blizzard DOTA is Warcraft. So even if a WoW fan is not familiar with the MOBA genre of play, this player can find comfort in the familiarity with certain Blizzard DOTA characters. So far Arthas, Stiches, Muradin, Uther, Thrall, and Sylvanas have been rumored as possible playable champions. WoW players are not only familiar with these characters, but they have possibly downed them in raids, or fought alongside them.
Gameplay is compacted into a single match instead of months of gameplay. Your character will start at level 1 every game. Through gameplay, defeating of minions / other players / towers, and team objectives, your character will gain experience points and level up. With these levels, your character’s stats will increase, and you can make 1 of your four spells / abilities better each level. You will also gain gold though these actions – which allows you to buy items to increase stats, as well. This allows for customization during the match. For instance, anyone who plays Thrall won’t build him the same. This format is a much quicker pace than WoW and also has a definite goal and end.
Much like preparing for a 5-man instance, team composition is important or you will ‘wipe.’ Champions in MOBA games have roles which they usually fulfill. These roles are quite similar to WoW instance groups. You have your tank, range DPS, melee DPS, magic DPS, and support. In team fights (5 players from one team vs. 5 players from the other team), characters are expected to behave in certain ways. For instance, Arthas is a tank; his roll will be to initiate fights, soak damage, disrupt enemy DPS, and to protect his DPS and support. Someone like Uther is support; his role will be to aid his teammates (support) and heal. For team fights, compare the action to a 5’s Arena match – tactics are nearly identical.
Lastly, if you are a Warcraft series fan there is a good chance you like other Blizzard titles. Blizzard DOTA isn’t ‘Warcraft DOTA’ – it covers all Blizzard titles. This is the only game available that allow characters from all Blizzard titles to work together and combat in a RTS-type format. In Blizzard DOTA, players will be able to select characters from StarCraft and Diablo, as well.
Most importantly, Blizzard DOTA is free with The Starter Edition of StarCraft 2. That is something anyone can appreciate. While there is not a release date yet, there are other free MOBA / ARTS games, which are also free, if you want to get use to the genre until Blizzard DOTA is out; League of Legends comes to mind.