Massive Online Battle Arena, MOBA for short, the newest trend in online gaming and is quickly defining its own genre. Games such as "league of legends" and "Heroes of Newerth" are springing up left and right. Here's the kicker, almost all of them are even free to play and easy to download. These games are not scam-like in any way. They are just fan made games made available to the public.

DOTA - The game that started the MOBA genre

DOTA (Defense of the Ancients) all-stars, a custom mini-game for Warcraft III: Frozen Throne (pictured below) is credited as the first MOBA game. In fact many of the MOBA games popular today are modeled after DOTA all stars. The game is primarily a team pvp, action-RTS play style that incorporates an rpg-like leveling system. Honestly I can't belive somebody didn't come up with this idea sooner.

 Dota allstars for warcraft III WC3


Main Features

  • Each team starts with its own base complete with an item shop that heals you
    • There are three lanes connecting the two bases (the lanes all interconnect)
    • "Creep," computer AI units, are periodically spawned down each of the three lanes
    • Players must advance down one of the three lanes to the enemy base
    • Each team has turrets strategically placed (three per lane)
    • Each base has a structure guarded by a turret; if destroyed, that lane will produce stronger units for the enemy team.
    • To win you must destroy the enemy's nexus in the farthest corner of the base
  • Each player controls a single hero selected at the beginning of the game
    • Players heroes start at level one and gain strength by leveling and buying items
    • Players must kill enemy creep, heroes, and towers in order to gain gold and exp
    • When a player kills another player; the winner gets a gold bonus and the player that was killed suffers a loss in gold (key concept: Do not to "feed" the enemy team!)
    • Players can use gold to buy items; items can be combined to make stronger items
    • Players must push lanes while trying to kill enemy players; the objective is to spend more time killing/leveling to gain the advantage on enemy players
  • Games usually last between 30-45 but can easily be much shorter or longer
  • Characters selection is huge as well as strategically balanced

Most MOBA games use DOTA's formula listed above with differing variations



League of Legends - The New  Generation DOTA

On of the most notable re-creations of DOTA is League of Legends. What makes this game so different from all the other DOTA remakes? League of legends is made by the creators of DOTA. Steve "Guinsoo" Feak and Steve "Pendragon" Mescon, two of DOTA's founders have joined together with some former blizzard developers to create Riot Games. So far their only product is League of Legends, but their company has a lot of potential.

League of Legends Game play Video

League of Legends is the best free MOBA game

League of Legends is sort of the unofficial re-make of DOTA. All of the formentioned rules for DOTA still apply to League of Legends. The creators wanted to keep the original formula they used for DOTA; they perfected it and also added a number of additional elements.

Whats new from the DOTA recipe?

  • League of legends supports a 3v3 play style as well as the classic 5v5
  • There is an "out of game" leveling system (you earn IP for winning matches)
  • There are three game modes: Vs AI, Normal, and Ranked (Lv. 20 req.)
  • Level capped at 18 (out of game level capped at 30)
  • 79 Playable characters characters must be bought with IP (each week 10 different characters are made playable free, as a way to give players a preview

The there are several things to do in League of Legends in the main screen that makes this game so addicting. There is a Mastery system, rune system, as well as a store to spend your IP.

mastery skill tree for league of legendsMasterys are passive bonuses displayed in this 6 tier skill tree. You get 1 Mastery point for every level (30 max.) The game gives you the option of having alternate mastery trees, as well as resetting current ones. 

These masterys, as well as runes, give your champion bonuses throughout the game. Sort of like a permanent item.

league of legend rune pageRunes are passive bonuses much like masterys. But, you have to buy runes with IP. There are three tiers of runes that are level capped. Just like masterys, players can have multiple rune pages and can reset their rune pages at will.

It is important to tailor your runes and masterys specially to what ever champion you are playing. This can give you an edge over other players, especially early game where it counts the most.

The in-game store features many things to keep you busy in between matches. Almost everything is purchased with IP, the main currency you get from playing matches. RP (currency you pay real mony for) is also available for purchase. RP can buy champion heroes just like IP, but the thing it buys that IP doesn't is exclusive character skins and XP boosts. Which if you think about it doesn't really matter unless you really like the game.


Heroes of Newerth- The first stand alone MOBA game

Hereoes of Newerth is another game inspired by DOTA. Unlike League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth is not free to play. There is a one time fee of $30 for each account you make. Which if you think about it, is not that bad. For your 30 bucks you get an increase in graphic quality and you don't have to earn any of the 89+ playable characters by playing matches like LoL.

What's Different about Heroes of newerth?

  1. In Heroes of Newerth there is no out of game leveling system like in LoL
  2. Level cap is set at 25
  3. More heroes and better graphics
  4. No out of game items/skills = all players start with equal footing
  5. The two different teams have a different selection of heroes

Basically, this game is very close to league of legends in many ways. Really it just comes down to user preference. There are other MOBA games springing up here and there as well.

Heroes of Newerth Video Review