How many times do people involved in the MMO scene wish for days of yore? Back and forth go arguments about ‘rose colored glasses’ by the newbies against the old guard, and ‘silver platter’-esque statements by the old school concerning the new dawn. A meeting point between the two is about to be achieved.
I’ve recently explored a very general overview of how the MMO space would do well by examining idea implementations from other genres. As evidenced by less frequent postings here, I’ve been cheating on my genre of choice with another.
“To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.” – Cicero
It’s always helpful to have brief history lessons for the uninformed, or to refresh material for the knowledgeable.
MOBAs as we know them today were borne of a playerbase-created mod entitled ‘Defense of the Ancients’ (DotA) to a popular RTS at the time. It’s very important to illustrate that this whole genre was created not only by an indie concept, but that it has remained largely close to the playerbase’s control.
At this point in time, we’ve a genre with multiple offerings, largely staying true to the original DotA concept but everyone offering a spin. Some are pure arena based, some are more map-roaming oriented, etc.
Best Is Yet To Come?
Enter: Valve. Any gamer who takes themselves seriously as such really can’t speak ill of this company. Personally, I don’t appreciate FPS titles, of which the majority of their products are, but it’s hard to say that the company hasn’t done wonders for the industry, the playerbase, and done so without selling out to big suits. Oh, sure, they’ve done handsomely for themselves, but (not to beat a dead horse) they know the proper order of horse:cart. [Disclaimer: I speak in present-day terms only. We know how EA/Blizzard started out, and how they ended up.]
People have cried for remakes of games from their past pretty extensively over the years. “I wish I could play [insert title] but with updated graphics” is a fairly common statement. Or, perhaps someone might say something about a dwindling population. After all, many computer games of our current time rely on ‘the others’ to create the memories and content that make the games what they are.
And so in the MOBA genre, we will have precisely that. And the main concern is that a remake ‘must be done right’- it must be a GOOD GAME in and of itself. I mean, it makes sense. Slapping lipstick on a pig and all…
So what better to do a remake than to invite one of the key players from the original DotA concept, into a company that is largely playerbase-centric, and take the time to do it right, proper testing and marketing?
It will be interesting to see just how successful DotA2 ends up being. There is no doubt it will be successful in my eyes, but I’m curious to see to what extent. LoL is pretty much the undisputed king of the genre at present, but with a title remake done right by the right player in the industry, surely we will witness some influx to the genre, as well as a certain degree of ship-jumpers from the vanguard to the remake.
With inevitable decline in numbers from the MMORPG themepark model due to mindless rehashes of the WoW-model, it will neat to see if companies take note of what is about to happen in the MOBA genre, and get serious about doing PROPER remakes of old titles, complete down to names of champions.
Personally, I don’t want completely remade games with updated graphics. My guilty desire is to see games capture the essence that a remake would provide. I’m all for reinventing the wheel, so long as it stays true to its roots. Here’s to hoping the MOBA genre will be a beacon that the MMO might actually take cues from.
Anyone who, like expressed in the previous post, is interested in trying out LoL, here’s a signup link. And if you’re already signed up, add me. I’m currently getting back into it for both entertainment and research purposes, it would be fun to have others to game with (one of my main draws to MMORPGs).