Why I dislike MOBAs

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Raspharus

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#1  Edited By Raspharus

Well I would have 3 reasons. Three big reasons

  1. Usually they take enourmous amounts of time invested, in order for the player to get half decent. For example in dota/lol you need to learn tons of mechanics, interactions, spells heroes etc just to be able not to suck
  2. Even if you do learn, getting better is another story. After you've learned you need to invest double the time to actually be good.
  3. Playing solo, and this is linked with the community. If you don't have a stack of 4 friends that play then good luck.

As far as I can say, most of the time I didn't even have fun playing, because I was too stressed out in order to do something. Hell rather than playing these types of games I would gladly play something like WoW or a single player game where I can actually have fun and be engaged.

What I have to give them though is the fact that the esports scene is indeed very well established. I have discovered that spectating tournaments is more relaxing and engaging than playing, haha.

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Wemibelle

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I wouldn't say I don't like them, but I just don't really care for them anymore. Mostly, this comes from my distaste for nearly anything multiplayer nowadays. I don't mind poking into a few matches of CS:GO or HotS when the the mood strikes me, but that desire to play something multiplayer comes and goes so quickly nowadays that I don't often see the point; after just a day or two of messing around with anything multiplayer, I just find myself not caring anymore. This likely comes from two factors: I don't have any friends and I find myself preferring those intimate, story-driven experiences so much more nowadays. For this reason, I see myself continuing my current trend of getting a hankering for something multiplayer every so often, indulging it for a few days, and moving on to something else.

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CaLe

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#3  Edited By CaLe

They give me the feeling that I am commanding rather than directly controlling. MOBA and RTS type games come with a sense of detachment that I just can't get into. XCOM was a recent exception to this, where it wasn't direct control and I still very much enjoyed it, but I think that offered a completely different experience overall.

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Brackstone

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The biggest thing for me is how, in my mind, needlessly complex they are. Fewer characters, and serious streamlining of the shop mechanic would help a significant amount. Super Monday Night Combat wasn't a straight moba, but it got a lot of things right while still being extremely complex and difficult to play in all the right ways.

Also, I just really hate RTS controls used for a single character. They work, but they feel terrible.

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Sweep

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#5 Sweep  Moderator

I changed the thread title because you aren't really asking a question here, and "why do you dislike mobas?" could be interpreted as somewhat trolly.

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Raspharus

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wow you actually took time and read my thread instead of insta deleting it :D Thank you(and im not sarcastic)

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Naoiko

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I don't really dislike MOBA's as a genre. I do however avoid playing them like the plague. I for one don't enjoy day after day of having people troll you and make you feel like poop as you try and learn to play a game.

For me, games are for relaxing and having fun,not something that will send me to see a psychiatrist after playing.

It takes a very skilled and tough skinned (manner of speaking) person to get into such games and keep playing them. So I salute the MOBA players, but it isn't for me.

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chobobot

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I also do not dislike the MOBA genre, I actually am jealous of players who are not only good at them but have the time to play them. From a spectator standpoint they look really entertaining, but for my brain they are just too complicated to get my head around. I don't know how many times I was pumped up to play something like DOTA 2 or LoL, installed it, played for like 1 hour and just uninstalled it.

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Raspharus

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@ChoboBot yeah i get what youre saying, the learning curve is too steep indeed

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Hayt

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I dislike MOBAs because they ruined Warcraft 3, Command & Conquer and internet cafes for all time.

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Crysack

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#11  Edited By Crysack

Aside from the solo/team aspect, I don't see how these problems are unique to MOBAs. Competitive RTS games and fighting games have similarly complicated learning curves.

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Raspharus

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Did anyone try heroes of the storm though? How is it compared with the others?(besides the fact that it is easier)

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IVDAMKE

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#13  Edited By IVDAMKE

As someone who used to play Dota 2 excessively it's always disheartening to see people try out MOBA's, find certain things about them that they dislike and then disregard them in ways that seems as if they're blaming the game.

Anyone is totally within their right to dislike a game for reasons such as incredibly complex mechanics, but statements like complexity being "needless" don't really help games expand in what they can be as a medium. There's a reason these games are so big and there's a reason that complexity exists. Think about all other games that are taken to that level of competition; Street Fighter, Starcraft and Counter-Strike they're all incredibly complex and require a lot from the player in terms of knowledge base and execution when they play these games. It's that depth to the games systems that allows them to be taken seriously as a professional endevour.

These games aren't meant to be played occasionally and that's totally fine. Just like small indie art games aren't meant to be played for thousands of hours, if you don't like these games there are plenty of other simpler versions of them out there which are fantastic games for the opposite reasons.

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Loafsmooch

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#14  Edited By Loafsmooch

I used to play a lot of LoL, Dota, HoN, Smite.. But I never liked the last-hitting and micromanagement aspect of those (Smite being somewhat better in that regard). I wasn't bad at that stuff but I just felt like it took time away from the actual action. HoTS is almost pure PvP action. It has minimal amounts of the other bullshit and it's so much less stressful to play. It's much easier to just have fun in HoTS, especially with friends.

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FacelessVixen

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#15  Edited By FacelessVixen

I gave LoL a day sometime last year. I didn't hate it, but it's certainly nothing that stuck with me because MOBAs just aren't my thing.

Also, the passion of the dedicated LoL community can be a little discomforting at times.

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AlexW00d

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#16 AlexW00d  Online

Other than the whole community being full of shithawks point, all of the reasons you dislike them are why I like Dota. I like that it's complex, I like that there are so many different combinations, I like how every single game you play can be completely different, and I like how I'm still learning things 1800 hours in. When you're essentially playing the same game over and over - a simplification, but bare with - you have to compare these games to actual sports like football or rugby or ice hockey or something. Those are all pretty complex games, they all take a fair amount of learning, and the more you play the more you improve, you can't just jump in and be a pro. Much like with Dota, if you took out all the complex things, all the interesting mechanics, you'd be a left with a hollow shell, which whilst maybe fun for a small while, is ultimately complete unrewarding.

Although, as someone above said, you not liking the game because it's complex isn't the fault of the game, it's not your fault either, but the game is not to blame.

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Raspharus

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@alexw00d Funnily enough I have 1.3k hours in dota 2 and trust me, while it's complexity at first seemed interesting to me, it's just the fact that most of the time instead of feeling engaged I feel frustrated.

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Honkalot

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The complexity is pretty necessary though. In HoN there are about 130-140 heroes now, so that is a really high complexity with somewhere around 500-600 spells.

But that variety is 100% of the replayability. So it'll always be very time consuming to get into a game like that, but it's also the reason anyone keeps playing them.

Then there are other flavor versions of complexity, I could never get into DOTA2 because of the hero levels and mana bars not being visible at all times. I was too used to always being able to see them in HoN, and they're very important to keep track of. In DOTA2, at least then, you had to click-select the enemies to view that stuff and it annoyed me enough that I couldn't play it.

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DrFlapjack

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I felt the same way about League as you, but then I discovered ARAM (All Random All Mid). This game has one lane and you get a random champ, It's way less serious and people are more likely to have fun, it also helps you learn all the champs, and most matches last around twenty minutes.

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TheMasterDS

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I used to think I just didn't like shooters because all the shooters back in the day revolved around keycards and the doors they opened. Eventually that element was expunged and shooters became fast paced games where you shot stuff and got places.

That's what Heroes of the Storm is to MOBAs. It expunges elements of MOBAs that made the genre unappealing to me, replaced them with entirely appealing elements and, as a result, has become a huge part of my gaming life in a very short order.

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Mike

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#21 Mike  Moderator

@sweep said:

I changed the thread title because you aren't really asking a question here, and "why do you dislike mobas?" could be interpreted as somewhat trolly.

Dota sucks.

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#22 Sweep  Moderator

@mb said:
@sweep said:

I changed the thread title because you aren't really asking a question here, and "why do you dislike mobas?" could be interpreted as somewhat trolly.

Dota sucks.

:(

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thatdutchguy

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I miss the good ol' RTS games like Command & Conquer and Age of Empires. I've had no interest in MOBA games at all. I've gotta build that base son.

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Slag

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I understand perfectly why someone might not like MOBAs, all the reasons you listed are perfectly valid and commonly mentioned OP

What I don't understand why people (not just the OP) constantly seem to need to seek validation or feel compelled to justify their dislike of MOBAs. Why do we constantly have to have this topic come up? Do you feel forced to like them or something?

There isn't nearly this much handwringing about other genres say like Shooters or Platformers.

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#25  Edited By sodapop7

@slag: It's probably because of the attention they're getting the last few years. The sheer number of people playing these games is pretty staggering and it can feel really weird to not understand why.

I've tried playing and watching a few different MOBAs and found neither to be an enjoyable experience in pretty much any aspect, so I would also talk to friends about why they were playing them (easier/less stressful than SC2 was the answer I kept getting). Then I gave up and just embraced that feeling that I'm just better than everyone else (woo!).

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JusticeJanitor

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@themasterds: I feel the same way about Heroes of the Storm. I have around 100 or so hours dumped into League of Legends and Dota 2 and I really like some parts of them, some other parts of it really turned me off of those games. I've started playing Heroes of the Storm last week and it has all I love about MOBAs with none of the bullshit.

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Slag

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@sodapop7 said:

@slag: It's probably because of the attention they're getting the last few years. The sheer number of people playing these games is pretty staggering and it can feel really weird to not understand why.

I've tried playing and watching a few different MOBAs and found neither to be an enjoyable experience in pretty much any aspect, so I would also talk to friends about why they were playing them (easier/less stressful than SC2 was the answer I kept getting). Then I gave up and just embraced that feeling that I'm just better than everyone else (woo!).

ok so it's a peer pressure kinda thing? I.e. your friends all the play the game and are subtly pressuring you to (have conversations you don't understand? I'm old enough now that the majority of my friends don't actively game much anymore, so i don't see this kinda thing.

fwiw the reason I like DOTA and have been playing it for nearly ten years since it was a Frozen Throne Mod, is the team/social aspect of the game. I played a lot of team sports growing up and these kinds of games are about the only videogames I've ever played that replicate that experience.

I definitely do think it is physically mechanically much easier than SC2 (you don't need to worry about muli-tasking work economy vs fighting or APM or any of that), but I'd argue the game is much more difficult overall due to the sheer amount of skill matchup memorization and prioritizes a skill set (communication and co-operation) that the vast majority of games don't train players to have. You've got a lot to juggle in Sc2 mentally, but since the game is undoubtedly optimized for 1v1, at least you don't have to co-ordinate with 4 other people.

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jSlack

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The feeling from winning a 5 man game like Dota, LoL or Heroes is akin to the feeling of winning in an organized team sport. It's the closest I've felt to that.

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bemusedchunk

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After playing Heroes for a few days straight, I think there are MOBA's out there that don't follow your three rules.

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Trenox

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#30  Edited By Trenox

I miss the good ol' RTS games like Command & Conquer and Age of Empires. I've had no interest in MOBA games at all. I've gotta build that base son.

I can totally understand this romantic notion of RTS games - I played Dune2 on the Amiga and loved it. But I also gotta admit that it leads to incredible stale game play and the formula has been done to death since back in the day. RTS games needed to evolve to stay relevant and MOBAS is the best answer so far and has proven incredible popular for a reason. That being said i can also understand why its not for everyone and can seem intimidating to approach.

Question to the OP: Do you not give any points to MOBAs in regards to the competitive aspect of playing and the thrill of winning a really hard game with your team? Its not many games that can be as satisfying on this front IMO.

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sodapop7

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@slag: I wouldn't say peer pressure, they never tried too hard to get me to play. I just became curious why so many of my friends who played SC2 with me were switching to MOBAs. They said that the team aspect put less pressure on them individually and there was less to think about once you got your hero down. I think the multi-tasking when a Starcraft game gets past 10 minutes or so on top of making strategic decisions is what got to them even though we'd play plenty of team games in SC2.

Though I don't think I agree that Dota 2 is more difficult than Starcraft at all. Most of the rest of life trains you to communicate and cooperate haha. Whereas you're all alone in a game of SC2, it's all on you to succeed or fail which in addition to the mechanical difficulty makes it much harder, at least in my opinion.

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Lv4Monk

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#32  Edited By Lv4Monk

@crysack: I disagree, fighting games don't require nearly the same initial study period before you can even begin toying with strategy. Basic mechanics in most fighting games can be learned in one sitting and you can start having fun. The basics of zoning, footsies, and punish are enough to start the mind games.

Problem is most people don't know where to go or who to talk with to learn those basics and they aren't exactly obvious to the untrained eye.

There are an enormous number of variables interacting with other variables in MOBAs with stats and abilities that only mean something when compared directly to other abilties and a million different contexts. MOBAs are largely about comparing numbers and deciding the appropriate action in a game where there are dozens and dozens of numbers affecting each match

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Raspharus

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@trenox: Oh believe me I do. Actually mobas can be like a drug. That's the worst part actually. They give you the winner's high, and of course that you want more. Unfortunately unless you are playing with a team, that won't last long. So you begin thriving for a higher ranking in order to be placed with good people which cooperate. But to get that rating you need to work a lot. Like truely a lot. I have friends that play dota since 7 years ago and they are still only borderline good at it. Long story short you need to invest a ton of time and dedication.

Don't get me wrong, I am also a competitive person, but I don't want to spend all my gaming time(which I consider a time to relax) being frustrated and annoyed that I can't climb/I can't play good/My team sucks etc.

@sodapop7: In a way Dota can be considered harder than sc2. It is not mechanically or game wise harder by any means on the contrary. But the thing that makes the game hard are cooperation and team sense. The Moba concept itself while it works it only does so for organized teams. That's why a lot of people play LoL/dota with their friends. That's why a lot of them hate soloing. Because the solo concept it's broken unless you have such a high ranking where people think alike, from experience.

When i said that the solo concept is broken I was refering to this situation: Imagine that you are in a room. You're put there with other 4 random people and forced to cooperate in order to achieve something. Those 4 people may be good or bad, mannered or not, intelligent or stupid. If achieving doesn't work, you will be tempted to want to leave. And here is where moba communities became worse than call of duty/halo etc. In any other competitive online game(sc2, fighting games, call of duty) if you were playing public matches and you saw that you were losing/team was bad, you just left. Because it didn't matter much. Team was a very broad concept in games like halo or cod. This is where all the toxicity comes in mobas. Getting back to my example, if you want to leave, from that room well too bad cause you can't. Well technically you can but then you are going to be punished. This creates frustration. Because whereas the player wants to escape from that stupid situation he is forced to stay there in order to not be punished by the system. This coupled with the fact that tiny mistakes can turn games around. Well this is a gimmick imo that shoots two ways. The first way is entertaining the public that watches esports(matches that end with a comeback), and the second way is to give a chance to the loser in order to regain his lead. This while in theory is very good, it creates further frustration leading from the people which lose a game that they could've easily won. Moreover if it's due to their teammates mistakes it will create even further frustration.

You can't control your teammates. Sure if you are going to suggest a few things maybe some players will listen. But usually people have high egos in competitive games, and don't like being told what to do. If everyone is playing for himself the "team" is not a team.

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SirPsychoSexy

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People always talk about how mobas are so hard to get into, how they aren't fun until you put in hundreds of hours. I personally had fun from minute one. I just dove right the fuck in. I enjoy learning. I enjoy seeing these massively complex systems and figuring them out. I enjoy getting better and learning something new literally every single game for hundreds if not thousands of games. Yes they get even better the more time you put in, but I was never asking myself, "Is this even going to be worth it?", "When will it get fun?". The whole journey was part of the enjoyment. Maybe I am just weird.

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#35  Edited By Raspharus

@sirpsychosexy: hell no you're not weird man, it's just that they're your type of games. Whatever works your boat.

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Did anyone try heroes of the storm though? How is it compared with the others?(besides the fact that it is easier)

HOTS has less to manage, but the gameplay is fairly similar. There's a much bigger focus on the special mechanics for each map - most of them revolve around fighting over an objective, winning it means your enemies have their towers and forts attacked/damaged. Also, its harder to 'feed' since everyone on a team levels at the same pace. Always been the one thing thats bugged me in LoL, getting shouted at for feeding, but no way to stop other than just putting time in learning, something that means enduring the abuse until you learn how to make judgement calls, and recognize losing battles.

I really like that the store has been replaced by the talent system - to me it feels like it is much easier to choose based on how the game is going, and less of a need to memorize buy orders for your heroes. I am sure this is old hat to LoL vets, but when you're still trying to learn how to MOBA - knowing when to attack, when to flee, when to push, when to ambush and so on, its just another thing that can go wrong.

If the MOBA gameplay at all interests someone, I would suggest they start with HOTS first, then try LoL/Dota.

And finally, if MOBAs just dont interest you? Not a bad thing. No game is for everyone.

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Canteu

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#37  Edited By Canteu

I've played LoL since alpha and have never felt any of these issues. I like MOBAS, but I don't really like HOTS, due to how simply boring it is. I also do not see the point of this thread. Why do people seek validation for their dislike of something? If you don't like something you don't like it, pretty simple in my book.

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I have a rather strange compulsion in Dota, having spent over 4000 hours in game, but having played in around only 50 matches. I really like watching pro-games and play random hero vs bots matches many times each day. I appreciate the complexity of the game as it still provides things for me to learn about it and ways to improve my playing.

I really dislike the antics of some people when they blame others in the team. I've not had too much of this aimed at me, but when it happens to others in my team - or even between opposition team members, it really disheartens me. It is my problem, since I should be more thick skinned and ignore it. But I can't help it spoiling the fun element of the game in listening to people being sore losers and not cooperating.

Dota is an easy game to abuse. "Smurf" accounts are common and some people do play to ruin games for others. For example, even when someone is muted, Dota still allows "ping spamming" that is really distracting. One of my last games involved someone who was abusive to all from the start, died a lot, gave up, was muted by the rest of the team, went to the fountain and spammed pings on the map for the five minutes until he got an automatic abandon for not moving his hero. That made our loss somewhat more palatable though!

Typically, on many of the games I've played in, seen on Twitch, or YouTube, the person complaining is often the one playing poorly, or facing superior opposition. I guess for some people it is in their human nature to deflect blame away from themselves. The common reaction is to chastise team mates (even when undeserved) for playing badly, rather than being supportive and constructive, or respecting opposing players for doing well in their games and learning to cooperate and communicate in-game. On EU servers, language barriers are often there (I guess this is the same on the US servers too). Perhaps I'm too old to compete against others, although the desire still remains strong.

I can't forget some of the matches I've played where my team pulled a win from the jaws of defeat, or had close-fought battles. Those games are seemed so thrilling that it has scratched an itch that I've been unable to find in any other game I've ever played.

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dusker

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@raspharus: Maybe it's a testament to the games that the at least two of the reasons you dislike them, are the reasons why many other people like them.

There really isn't a way to create a competitive, strong meta-game focused game without making it complicated. Without a lot of interactions between different systems, the game would quickly become boring. For example, people were (very) ready for the last release of DOTA to be changed, because certain heroes and gameplay styles became too powerful and made the game stagnant. So while it might take you a long time to learn the game, there is a clear payoff to building the game this way. Additionally, you can't make the game easy to optimize (this speaks to your "getting better" point). If execution was really easy, each patch would be max-mined much too quickly, and too people would be able to do it. Making optimization difficult is a necessary condition for creating a pro scene, because the ceiling is so hard to reach, very few people will be able to (consistently) hit it (if they ever do).

Of course, the community problems aren't important for the game to succeed, but creating cloistered, aggressive communities on the internet is how many people make themselves feel important. I would also like to see this aspect of MOBAs go away.

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@canteu:Well I didn't open this thread in order to validate anything, I'm not that type of person whatsoever(you can see by the mod's edit, the title was first why you dislike mobas); somewhere of course there are people that dislike the genre as there are people who like the genre.

Moreover I choose this topic because I wanted to hear other people's opinions about the genre and why they avoid playing it. It is true that I had my fair share with it and seeing it's "problems" I was curious in what other people think.

@varietygamer: just curious, do you play RTS'es a competitive level? or do you play them just cause you like the genre/stories/mechanics etc?

@dusker: good point. Besides my subjective matter with the genre, as you can see the overall tower of complexity(that I started to dislike at some point) is definetly appealing to others.

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viking_funeral

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Moreover I choose this topic because I wanted to hear other people's opinions about the genre and why they avoid playing it. It is true that I had my fair share with it and seeing it's "problems" I was curious in what other people think.

If that was genuinely your goal, there are much better ways to go about it. One would be to foster an actual discussion instead of just stating that you dislike something and why.

I mean, you don't even has a single question in your opening statement.

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TheMasterDS

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"If the MOBA gameplay at all interests someone, I would suggest they start with HOTS first, then try LoL/Dota."

@corvak: To my ears this sounds like someone saying start with WoW then try Everquest. Or start with Hearthstone then try Magic Online. It might be the sort of thing that makes sense when a games in its infancy but in ten years time it'll look patently ridiculous.

The newer more accessible fiendishly streamlined games aren't gateways to unstreamlined clunky games, they're an end unto themselves.

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Raspharus

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#45  Edited By Raspharus

@themasterds: mosy likely yeah. I mean if you take dota for example, the game is very different from LoL which is the closest competitor. Having played Hots and then jumping in dota thinking its gonna be quite the same is a big mistake. Even jumping in LoL is too much, because Hots lacks way too many mechanics that the other mobas are thriving on(last hitting being one of them for example).

If someone would ask for my opinion whether they should quit Hots for another moba I would suggest them to try sticking to the game because its good and fun indeed, and a different kind of genre albeit a good one

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Crysack

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@lv4monk said:

@crysack: I disagree, fighting games don't require nearly the same initial study period before you can even begin toying with strategy. Basic mechanics in most fighting games can be learned in one sitting and you can start having fun. The basics of zoning, footsies, and punish are enough to start the mind games.

Problem is most people don't know where to go or who to talk with to learn those basics and they aren't exactly obvious to the untrained eye.

There are an enormous number of variables interacting with other variables in MOBAs with stats and abilities that only mean something when compared directly to other abilties and a million different contexts. MOBAs are largely about comparing numbers and deciding the appropriate action in a game where there are dozens and dozens of numbers affecting each match

That might apply to SF but it doesn't apply to a large percentage of fighting games. A good example is Tekken which requires quite a solid level of execution to get the basic movement down - and thereafter, there are so many idiosyncratic mechanics and enormous movelists for every character that it takes hours upon hours of work to even become competent.

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Lv4Monk

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@crysack: I suppose a lot of the more straightforward 3d fighters haven't been around in a while but I stand by the word "most" when applied to 2d fighters. While there is the occasional mind warp of mechanics (Guilty Gear is...intense) many of them operate on a much more grounded level. Street Fighter may be more upfront about it's simplicity but something like BlazBlue looks far more intimidating than it actually is. I feel it's the opposite with MOBA, you're the odd duck when you release a game like that.

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Mamba219

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@alexw00d Funnily enough I have 1.3k hours in dota 2 and trust me, while it's complexity at first seemed interesting to me, it's just the fact that most of the time instead of feeling engaged I feel frustrated.

This realization dawned on me at some point as well, after having played god knows how much Dota, Smite, and League. I haven't really touched them since other than an occasional Smite arena match with Sobek.

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Enigma777

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1600 hours in Doter and counting. Most orbit gas been solo. I still have fun and am engaged every single match do in not sure what point 3 is referring to.