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Member Since 21 Aug 2012
Offline Last Active Oct 05 2012 06:11 PM

Topics I've Started

What mechanics are most vital to the MOBA genre?

22 August 2012 - 12:03 PM

So I've been trying to program a very simple MOBA; nothing commercial, just a programming exercise for myself really. In the course of the project (which I initially pitched to myself as 8bit League of Legends), I continually simplified the core mechanics to keep the code concise and the overall scope manageable.

By the end of this exercise, this is how my mechanics had changed from the typical MOBA:
  • Reduced the number of lanes from 3 to 1
  • Eliminated the 'jungle'
  • Eliminated the upgrade systems (gold and exp)
  • Reduced the multitude of champions to a single exemplar
  • Changed the control scheme from LoLs ('qwer' attacks + mouse for targeting and movement) to typical top-down shooter controls (arrows key to move + a few other keys for attacks in the direction of movement)
  • Forced the viewport to be centered on the player's champion (some MOBAs, like bloodline champions do this as well)
And that's when it hit me -- this game no longer felt like a MOBA at all. It felt like an odd multi-player version of an old shoot-em'-up. So, where would you draw the line? What aspects of the MOBA genre are the most essential to its unique play style?

For me list went something like this:
  • Two teams of players battle on a fixed map in real time.
  • Each player controls a single avatar from a top down or isometric perspective.
  • The combat consists primarily of dodging attacks and getting situational advantages through positioning.
  • ??? (something in most MOBAs but not mine)

P.S. This is my first time posting and I read the first-timers post, but please let me know of any faux pas that I managed to still make. :-)