MOBAs: The Good, The Bad, and The Cuddly

Definition of MOBA:







A MOBA is a competitive based game consisting of one team of powerful characters fighting against another team of powerful characters, battling through each other, lesser creatures (minions), base defenses, and neutral camps, with the goal being, destroy the enemy base. After the completion of each match you are usually rewarded some type of currency that can be used in game to purchase new champions or gods.

I don’t consider myself to be great player or even a good player, but I have put in my fair share of time into a few MOBAs. I have given up hundreds of hours of my life to League of Legends and dozens of hours to Smite and I think it is just about time I give some input into the genre that I have sacrificed so much of myself to. I’ll begin with my opinions on the genre then get a little more in depth with the big differences between the two games I have been a part of.

MOBAs are a community and gameplay driven gaming industry that, over the past few years has helped to establish eSports into mainstream media. They tend to have simple mechanics that are accessible to almost anyone with two usable hands, most of these games are free to play with the possibility of microtransactions and aesthetic in game purchases. However, even with basic intro game mechanics, there is so much room to grow and hone skills to help boost your competitive gameplay, which is the real core of all MOBAs. Growing up playing 5 sports, I was raised as a competitor, so when I finally got past the Bots in League and had my first real PvP game, I became totally engulfed. I am too old and beat up now to be active in sports, but eSports… I have no problem sitting on my couch and playing a few dozen games of League in a row to fill my competitive thirsts. Stemming off of that, the community is super competitive, so similar to sports, you throw your emotions into the first car of a rollercoaster that you don’t have any control over and just have to strap yourself in for what is to come. Some people are drawn to these games for the characters alone, the “love me senpais” may enjoy the over sexualized female characters, while I personally know women who were drawn in by the adorable characters such as League’s Teemo or Smite’s Cupid. I was brought into League due to sheer boredom from everyday gaming, the need for something new, and my drive to win. Whatever your reason is for trying out a MOBA, I am almost positive you will find more in the game that gets you hooked.

If the stats I read are correct, League of Legends is the fastest growing video game of all time. Your pool of characters are referred to as Champions and as of right now there are 130 playable champions to choose from, each having a different set of abilities that you can try out in different ways with different item paths. You have your basic roles as marksman, support, fighter, tank, assassin, and mage, and even in these base roles, each player can create their own build to change up the play style of each champion. The objective is to kill minions, gain gold, kill the enemy team, take monster camps, and destroy the enemy base. Simple in concept, but very complex in actual accomplishment.  Items and champs are constantly being buffed and nerfed, and new items and champs are being introduced all the time so the environment and gameplay is always fluid and changing. This helps to keep champs and builds from being overused and overpowered, but even with all of that, if you want to try something new, unranked matches are the place the try something out. If you want to play a champion like Ashe who is a marksman, you would typically build attack damage and attack speed. Say one of her main items gets a decrease in damage output so you decide to try something different, you can take this marksman and turn her into a mage, by simply buying magic items. The number of mix and match options are countless, so every game can be different. I advise against trying out these new build paths in ranked, because that is where things start to heat up.GuidedBotMatches

After reaching level 30, you have the ability to enter into the ranked bracket which goes from Bronze scrubs to Masters pros. For some reason League players, no matter what rank tier they are in believe they know everything about the game. This makes ranked matches super frustrating sometimes. In a team based game you are reliant on 4 other people to win, and if one person weighs down your team then you could just be shit out of luck and with take a hit in your rank if you lose. This is where League separates itself from the pack. The community seems to be so focused on their own personal ranking that they forget to realize that it is a GAME, and not just a game but a team based game. One person cannot win a game for their team, no matter how well they play, and the sad truth about it is, not everyone is meant to be Platinum or even Gold. I will be blunt, 420, and even chronic here, but the League community is 70% toxic and 20% super supportive, and 10% chat banned. Reading messages from 14 year old anger management children in regards to your mother’s asshole and how that relates to how bad someone plays at League is a huge turn off to a great game and could completely deter anyone new to MOBAs. When League’s toxic community kicks your ass out on the street, your friendly neighborhood good guy is there to pick you up and dust you off, maybe even touch your dick. Thank You Smite for always being there for me.

League, and Dota 2 are the stuck up older blonde sisters that date the football players, while Smite is the brown haired awkwardly cute, glasses wearing younger sister. When you get shot down by the older better looking sisters, you resort to the next best thing. After getting so sick of listening to the know-it-alls in League I decided to check out Smite on my xbone. Smite is a 3rd person perspective MOBA with multiple maps and game modes. You get to choose from a pool of 75 gods that come from 7 different pantheons. You have the similar array of champion diversity with mages, fighters, tanks, and assassins, as well as a huge item pool to choose your build path yourself. Smite gives the player the opportunity for the game to auto buy items for them which makes gameplay more fluid, not having to spend time searching through the merchant for items. Also the gods are fantastic to play with. They don’t have as much character or charisma as League’s champions, but they are beautiful depictions of their godly pantheons. Everything is a skillshot but the game itself is super easy and possibly the easiest MOBA to get into. The community is much more positive and the matches are usually much more fun. Smite is a great change of pace from the heavy rank based MOBA games like League and DOTA and helps to shed a much more pleasant light on the MOBA genre.

MOBAs are on the rise and make up a huge section of competitive gaming right now. If you consider yourself a gamer, I suggest you give one of the many MOBA games a look and get hip with the future, because they ARE the future. League is a super competitive game that brings about a satisfaction upon success, that not many games can replicate. However, this game does have its downsides, being a terribly toxic community, and an easy to play yet difficult to master system. Smite on the other hand is an easy to play game with a supportive community, but does not seem to bring in that surge of satisfaction you get from league. My suggestion is to check out Smite first and get your feet wet with the genre before diving head first into the pool of sensational lava of League of Legends.

Dr. Bob

Friendly Neighborhood physicist who just so happens to enjoy drinking 12 beers and playing videogames all night. Always streaming at

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