Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Video: The dos and don'ts of putting together a creative portfolio

Industry artists go over what can make or break a creative portfolio, offering practical advice for artists seeking to improve their work. ...

from Gamasutra News http://ift.tt/2CcKOHz

'Antihero' Review - A Thief's Life for Me

The Christmas celebrations in most of the world has been infused with the spirit of those "charming" Victorians, with Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol—and its many adaptations—dominating across all kinds of media. And as we all say goodbye to the Christmas spirit—complete with carols, punch, and top hats— we say welcome to Antihero [$3.99], the turn-based digital board game that reminds us that Victorian England was as much about thievery and murder as it was about Christmas carols. We first wrote about Antihero back in 2014, and, after stopping on PC first, the game is finally on mobile, and it's easily one of the best games of the genre. This Victorian take on the 4X genre offers much more than first meets the eye, and it's guaranteed to keep you scouting, researching, killing, and thieving for quite some time.

In Antihero, you run a thieves guild as you attempt to gain enough victory points to defeat either the AI or a human opponent. When I started playing the first scenario of the Campaign, I thought that the game would be all about overpowering your opponent by controlling enough territory and killing enough people. I was quickly surprised by the intricacies of the game mechanics and the depth and variations the developers have managed to weave into this digital board game.

You start the game with a Master Thief, and you gradually use that character to burgle for gold and scout the map. Using the Master Thief's abilities, you begin to build your economy, which will get you gold and lanterns each turn. The gold can be used to hire new gang members (urchins, thugs, Saboteurs, etc) while the lanterns are used to research various upgrades, which include things like giving your Master Thief an extra turn, getting more gold per house you burgle, and many more.

The various members of your gang bring their own special abilities to the game and allow you to win those victory points. Urchins infiltrate various buildings, which then provide you with benefits per turn, Thugs can block access to various parts of the map, Gangs can take out enemies and also evict those poor Urchins, and so on. Using these various members efficiently is the difference between winning and losing. For instance, if you manage to get three Urchins in a church, you get one victory point. However, you lose that victory point if your Urchins get evicted.

Additionally, each Urchin you buy in the same turn becomes more expensive, so you might want to use Urchins to infiltrate the orphanage so that future Urchins become cheaper to buy. And if you fear your opponent will try and evict those poor Urchins from the church and cost you a victory point, you can use a Saboteur to trap that building for two turns, nullifying any eviction attempt.

The game's many clever mechanics and ways in which the various characters interact make it really fun to play and will get your strategic gears turning. Do you try and have your gang kill more of the enemy's thugs, since every kill allows you to upgrade that gang? Or do you instead use your gang to evict those poor urchins from the Trading House so your opponent's lantern intake slows down? Do you upgrade your Thugs' health and use them to isolate parts of the map (that you can then plunder more easily), or do you upgrade your Master Thief into a killing machine and wreak havoc on your opponent's attempts to block you? Antihero offers a ton of different ways to play, and I never felt that I only had one viable way to win, which is a sign of a well-designed game.

Antihero's various scenarios also help add different ways to approach each match. There's one scenario where you have to steal jewels from the Palace at the center of the map, but in order to do so, you have to place a Thug on each of the two Guard Towers. As you can imagine, these rules turn the Guard Towers into slaughterhouses and force you to time your moves carefully. Another scenario has you stealing invitations to a masquerade and using those invitations to sneak your urchins and thugs into the Masquerade Ball before your opponent does.

To win in Antihero, you have to collect a specific number of Victory points, but those victory points could come from all kinds of actions, including taking out a specific character, completing a scenario-specific action, or even buying one of the very expensive Victory points. All these variations make for a very entertaining strategy game that will keep you on your toes the whole time you play it. And the game doesn't include dice, so you won't have to curse your luck when you see your plan fall apart simply because of a bad dice roll.

Antihero offers plenty of content to keep you occupied, including a long Campaign, a Skirmish mode that can be played against an AI opponent or in local multiplayer, and online multiplayer—which offers both synchronous and asynchronous modes. The Skirmish mode is highly customizable and really fun to play. The Campaign also acts as a great tutorial that walks you through the game's mechanics and even some of its strategies, although there's still plenty to discover for yourself.

Visually, the game is a real looker. The cartoonish characters with their oversized heads are charming (even when they are gutting someone), and the maps are colorful and well designed. There are also some great animations when characters are idling on the map, including plenty of side glances. The buildings don't look that sharp when you zoom all the way in on the iPad, but that doesn't detract much from Antihero's great art direction. The music is also fun as are the various sound effects, including the sounds of clubs on skulls.

Antihero plays very well on the touchscreen, although the game doesn't offer an undo function, which can be an issue when you accidentally lose an action point because you tapped on the screen without intending to. And it's often unclear how far your Master Thief can move while scouting, which—combined with the lack of undo—can mess up your move. The game also doesn't offer a way to watch a replay of your opponent's move (without exiting to the menu and returning to the game), which can be an issue because you'll often get distracted when playing on your phone on tablet. And Antihero doesn't offer the ability to remove or speed up the various animations (like money flying to your money pile or the burgling animation), which can add up over time. These aren't major issues, though, and don't detract from the overall quality of this really entertaining game. But I would like to see some of those issues fixed.

Antihero is a premium game with only cosmetic IAPs, and for $3.99, it's definitely a steal. The three IAPs are just skins for your various characters, but they are quite fun. The one IAP adds four Master Thief skins from the upcoming Armello game, the other one adds four skins based on literary characters, such as Sherlock Holmes and Tiny Tim, and the last one turns your Master Thief into Oliver Twist.

If you've been looking for a fun but challenging digital board game with a lot of depth and a great visual style, Antihero is the game for you. There's plenty of content to play through and clever strategies to figure out, and all of that is dressed in a lovely art style. Now go take out all those street urchins and take over the town; just know that you're in for a challenge and will have to plan carefully and execute at just the right time.


🤔 Like this article?We pride ourselves on delivering quality, long-form articles like this one instead of the SEO-driven click bait that is slowly taking over the internet. Unfortunately, articles like these rarely generate the traffic (and as a result, the ad revenue) of listicles, cheat guides, and other junk.

Please help us continue producing content like this by supporting TouchArcade on Patreon, doing your Amazon shopping by first visiting http://ift.tt/2pHr7VS, and/or making one-time contributions via PayPal.


from TouchArcade http://ift.tt/2A8mRj6

Platinum Games is working on two new IPs, which it plans to self-publish

Platinum Games' co-founder Atsushi Inaba has revealed that the company is currently developing two new IPs that it plans - in a first for Platinum - to completely self-publish.

Speaking to GameInformer, Inaba explained that the company has been "looking into creating our own IP, creating our own game." Although Platinum has traditionally focussed on making original and licensed games under the wing of a larger publisher, "we're becoming more and more interested in the idea of self-publishing and doing our own title."

Inaba explained that Platinum's internal policy of allowing any team member to pitch a game idea has resulted in around 70 design documents, which the company has been slowly sifting through. The idea, says Inaba, is that "we want to motivate the people that work here. We want to give them an opportunity to make their own game." To that end, Platinum now has "two designs that we're genuinely focused on".

Read more…

from Eurogamer.net http://ift.tt/2DTWpvE

Feature: What We Expect From The Inevitable January 2018 Nintendo Direct

Feature: Feature: What We Expect From The Inevitable January 2018 Nintendo Direct

Ninty needs to come out swinging this month

from Nintendo Life | Latest Updates http://ift.tt/2qfQ0cb

Become The King Of The Monsters This Week On Switch

News: Become The King Of The Monsters This Week On Switch

We did not meant to kick that bullet train... maybe...

from Nintendo Life | Latest Updates http://ift.tt/2CtNbcC

How Warframe built a collaborative free to play economy

Warframe developers discuss how the relationship with their community helped to build a collaborative free to play economy. ...

from Gamasutra News http://ift.tt/2CvvZn3

Valve responds to accusations of erroneous Steam cheating bans on Linux

Valve has responded to accusations that it is automatically banning Linux Steam accounts simply for having certain phrases in their usernames, calling the claims "a tactic employed by cheaters to try and sow discord and distrust among anticheat systems".

The reports first surfaced over the weekend, when some users took to Valve's github bug repositories claiming that Steam accounts on Linux featuring the phrase "catbot" were being banned by Valve's anti-cheating software.

"Catbot" is a name associated with a type of nuisance, auto-aim cheat bot, often seen in the likes of Team Fortress 2. Reports suggested that all Linux accounts with "catbot" in their name were being blanket banned by Valve, regardless of whether cheating had occurred.

Read more…

from Eurogamer.net http://ift.tt/2Cxm3JW

Get a job: Sucker Punch is hiring a Gameplay Programmer

Bellevue-based Sucker Punch Productions is looking for focused, collaborative, and professional engineers to implement gameplay features for its upcoming project. ...

from Gamasutra News http://ift.tt/2lJSj1T

Fortnite's Battle Royale is going stealthy for its next limited-time event

Epic Games has announced Sneaky Silencer, a new stealth-focussed limited-time mode for Fortnite's Battle Royale.

Fortnite's Sneaky Silencer event is scheduled to commence on January 5th in the UK, and runs until January 8th. It follows on from a number of other recent limited-time activities, including a 50v50 mode, and a High Explosives mode which ended earlier today.

When the Sneaky Silencer mode begins, weapons will be limited to Suppressed SMG and Suppressed Pistols only, and traps will be disabled. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, the frequency of Bush drops - that is, the item which brilliantly, hilariously enables you to roam around disguised as a bit of shrubbery - will be greatly increased.

Read more…

from Eurogamer.net http://ift.tt/2qeAs8O

1979 Revolution: Black Friday named Facebook Game of the Year

Facebook has named its picks for the best games of 2017 to appear on its social video game platforms. ...

from Gamasutra News http://ift.tt/2lI5Nfl

My 2018 MMO Outlook – Mining for Old Gold

Here we are again, a common refrain at the top of these annual posts, but what else have I got going for me?  This will at least be the last of the annual posts for quite a while.

Last month I posted my review of my annual MMO outlook and found that I had played nothing on the list.  That was in part because most of the list didn’t ship, but also because I just reverted to the mean and played what I always play, which is WoW, EQII, and EVE.

So this year I am going to eschew the looking forward aspect of my annual post.  Let’s face it, there isn’t that much coming that both interests me AND is likely to ship in 2018.

I am going to, here at the start of the new year, buckle down and commit to playing a new MMO in 2018, but only one that is new to me.  There are plenty of old MMORPGs still knocking around, classics of the genre, storied in their time, that I have never touched.

I will spend at least a month playing one of these titles seriously and blogging about it, because that it the point of the exercise to a certain extent, so that old timers can come by and mock my ignorance and tell me how things were back in the good old days and all of that.

So here is the list I am mulling over with some pros and cons as I see them from the outside.  Each game has some minor claim to fame in my mind, has come up occasionally, and is more than ten years old.


A re-tread from my last year’s list and a bit of a cheat since I have actually spent a few minutes playing this.  But it is an old title, having launched back in 2001

Pros:  I have, in fact, tried it so know that I can get it running, create a character, and play.

Cons: Was not in love with the camera and controls.  Also, as it has been modernized so much that I wonder if I should go play the “old school” version of it.

2 – Ultima Online

Hard to leave this one off the list seeing that it was the first of the big wave of popular titles in the MMORPG genre.

Pros: Really getting to the old school thing, might be a free to play option soon.

Cons: Isometric, third party camera view always seemed odd to me in screen shots.  Might indirectly lead me into giving money to EA.

3 – Dark Age of Camelot

I had some friends who left EverQuest back in the day and found it a pretty decent time.  At that point I was living in a house with spotty internet at best so wasn’t keen to invest in it.  But now connectivity is no problem.

Pros:  It was supposed to take the “suck” out of MMORPGs and also has some sort of free plan.

Cons: It is really a realm vs. realm sort of game as I understand it.  Am I ready for old school PvP?  Also, as above, some of this money goes to EA, which does not please me.

4 – Anarchy Online

The original MMO launch disaster movie and one of the early free to play titles by necessity.

Pros: It is one on the list that isn’t fantasy based and Funcom is talking about rolling a new server.

Cons: The stories about it might be true and most MMORPGs are fantasy for a reason.

5 – Silkroad Online

Token Asian MMORPG?  There were some people in an old guild that went off to play it and reported having a decent time.  It is old-ish, and still around.

Pros:  7th century Chinese theme, a bit different, free to play, and has survived this long.

Cons: PvP-centric, grindy to get you to pay, everything else on this list has survived even longer, and I might be thinking of a different game when it comes to where those old guild mates went.

6 – Maple Story

Why wouldn’t I put a 2D side scrolling MMORPG on the list?  Another one of those “been around for freakin’ ever” titles that I have never tried.

Pros: Low system requirements… hell, there was a single player Facebook version of the game at one point… free and it has lasted this long.

Cons: Browser based 2D side scrolling MMORPG might be warning enough, right?

7 – Entopia Universe

Unbridled virtual capitalism where some guy bought a moon and then resold it and because rich or something… the details are kind of vague.

Pros: Very much free, storied, and still around.

Cons: Very much designed to make you spend money and I am not sure what the real objective of the game is besides the Burnsian “make more money!”

8 – A Tale in the Desert

A non-combat, social MMO that resets to a new “telling” of the tale every so often, one of those games that gets mentions a lot but rarely by anybody actually playing it.

Pros: The first 24 hours are free.

Cons: Social might be a problem for me going in solo, especially since the current “telling” has been going on for over two year now, so I might feel late to the party.  Also, after the first 24 hours you have to subscribe.

So that is a list of eight possibilities.  I won’t be jumping straight into any of them.  This will likely be a spring-to-summer sort of event.  That means if I am missing some vital option from the list you can chime in via comments or the poll below using the “other” field.  Otherwise take a moment to pick which one of the above might be the most worthwhile venture.

If there isn’t a poll above this line AdBlock may have eaten it.  It happens.

I won’t say I’ll follow the will of the respondents, but if one title seems to be leading the pack substantially I will give that some weight.  Also, a bit of trivia; I had previously made tags for every game on the list above.  I suppose that says something, though I am not sure what, besides that I have mentioned them all here at some time before.

And, of course, if you want to see how this sort of post has played out in the past, you can check out attempts from past years:

from The Ancient Gaming Noob http://ift.tt/2DROzmn

'Arena of Valor' Beginner's Guide: The Basics of a MOBA

Tencent's Arena of Valor [Free] has been "soft launched" in North America for a couple weeks now, and while I gave it in our in our launch day review, I'd score it even higher than that if I could today. It effectively is League of Legends, which is one of my favorite games of all time... So, of course, I've fallen madly in love with Arena of Valor, as it's LoL, but I don't need my PC to play it. The problem with these games, and Arena of Valor is no different, is that doing well in them involves less of a learning curve and more ... smashing your head against a learning wall. MOBAs are incredibly skill intensive games, which is why people get so unbelievably sucked into them, but getting to that point can involve a lot of frustration as you die over and over and over. So, we'll be publishing a series of Arena of Valor guides starting at the absolute basics and (hopefully) culminating in total MOBA newbies seeing some level of success climbing the ranked ladder.

What is a MOBA?

Starting at the absolute beginning, a MOBA is a multiplayer online battle arena. The genre kicked off with a custom StarCraft Map called "Aeon of Strife" which was pretty innovative at the time as instead of commanding an army of units, players competed with a single hero unit. MOBAs surged in popularity when the Warcraft III map "Defense of the Ancients" (or DotA) was released in the early 2000's. It didn't take long for DotA to become a international phenomenon, and the success of DotA spawned countless other MOBAs over the years from League of Legends to Heroes of the Storm, and loads of other similar titles released by publishers around the globe. Arena of Valor is the latest (and in my opinion) greatest entry in the genre, and the accessibility of mobile has resulted in a massive surge of new people experiencing a MOBA for the first time.

While there are many variations and different game modes, the core of most MOBAs is team-based five on five battles that take place on a map with three lanes and a jungle. The top and bottom lanes frame the outside of the map while the middle lane is the shortest and runs directly across the center. Each lane has six towers, three for each team, and at specific intervals your base spawns non-player controlled characters typically referred to as "minions" down these lanes. Winning involves pushing with your minions down a lane, destroying all the enemy towers, and eventually attacking the enemy base. Of course... It rarely ever goes that smoothly.

Heroes have unique abilities, each of which have their own associated cool-downs and (typically) mana costs. In Arena of Valor, your hero has a passive ability which is always in use, two active abilities, and an ultimate ability that unlocks at level four. As you level up, you gain skill points to improve these abilities and while you always want to put a point in your ultimate when you can, deciding which of your primary abilities to level up first is entirely situational and depends on which you think will be more useful in the early game. Abilities can be enhanced with items, and your ability selection as well as which items you build is referred to as your "build."

Hero Types

Typically speaking, the key to victory in a MOBA is a well-rounded team. In Arena of Valor heroes are put into six different categories, with most able to fill multiple roles depending on how players choose to utilize them. These are what they're specifically called in Arena of Valor, but most/all MOBAs categorize their heroes in a similar way:

  • Tank - These are your beefy heroes with loads of hit points. Typically when you play as a tank, you'll be buying defensive items which add even more hit points along with armor, and magic resist. As a tank, your job is to stand in the front lines, soak up as much damage as you can, and "peel" enemies off weaker members of your team. "Peeling" involves paying attention to who is attacking another teammate and using abilities on them to interrupt that attack or redirect it to you. Most tanks have abilities that can stun, grab, taunt, or do other things to interrupt attacking enemies.
  • Warrior - Typically less beefy than tanks, warriors serve a somewhat similar role except they trade the survivability of tanks to be able to do more damage. Usually warrior abilities are all close range melee attacks, and in a team fight you'll be up-close and personal swinging your weapon around. Playing a warrior well involves knowing when to disengage from fights so you don't die, and how to balance item purchases between survivability and damage dealing. You need survivability as you don't do damage while dead, and you need damage items as otherwise you're just a less effective tank.
  • Assassin - In the melee world, assassins are on the complete opposite end of the survivability spectrum compared to tanks. When playing an assassin, you basically have one job: Jump in, kill an enemy, and get out before you get killed yourself. (This is often referred to as "ganking.") Assassins have abilities which prioritize both damage dealing and mobility, as you rarely build any survivability so if you can't kill an enemy and get out, chances are, you'll the one that will be getting killed.
  • Mage - The mage is a broad category, as characters vary wildly in play style but all have one thing in common: They focus on building ability power to increase damage, and their damage is done via magical attacks. Mages are important to have on your team because if the enemy team is building lots of items that increase armor, your magical spells completely disregard that. Mages also typically have very powerful ultimate abilities that do loads of area effect damage. The down side of mages is they're referred to as "squishies" because they die so easily. Mages rarely build many defensive items, and have low base hitpoints, making them easy targets for assassins.
  • Marksman - Also known as the ADC (or attack damage carry), a marksman is a pure ranged damage dealer. You build attack damage, improve your critical strike chance, and most of your damage comes from ranged auto-attacks. In an ideal team fight, you'll be in the back-lines attacking whoever is in range while staying far enough out of the fight that your tank is able to protect you so you can keep a constant flow of damage towards the enemy team. Similar to mages, marksmen rarely build defensive items, so you will die quickly if you encounter basically any other damage-dealing class and aren't able to escape.
  • Support - Last, and by no means least, is support. Like mages, this is a pretty broad category but really just means you're playing a character that primarily assists your team. Usually supports have disruptive abilities that can snare, grab, stun, or otherwise "crowd control" the enemy team so your team can take them out. Also, supports will often have abilities which heal or shield your teammates.

Typical Team Composition

While it's a good idea to have each player on a team playing a different hero subtype from the above list, what's more important is that each hero has abilities that complements the rest of the team. So, if you've got two tanks but one focuses more on crowd control abilities and another does magic damage, it's not that bad to have two of them. That goes for the rest of the classes as well, as when you get into a team fight situation, assuming everything else is equal, typically its the team who has the widest variety of unique abilities that pulls ahead.

From a raw damage perspective, it might seem like a good idea to stack a team with nothing but marksmen, but all the enemy team will need to do is buy armor items and your attacks will be completely negated. By having a mixture of magical and physical damage dealers, it's very difficult for the enemy team to avoid both damage types. This is just one of many examples as to why a well-rounded team is important.

Typically, what I usually do is select my hero last, and choose whatever we're missing. Arena of Valor actually gives you a hint window on the bottom right side of the screen during hero select that tells you what your team could use. This is a great guideline for what to play. This is called "filling" in the MOBA vernacular, and in my experience, is the best way to win games.

Usually you'll want a tank or beefy warrior, an assassin, a mage, a marksman, and a support. The fascinating part about MOBAs is that many different classes can fulfill those roles via making up for any inherent shortcomings with specific items. For instance, something I've seen kicked around is the idea of playing Mganga as a tank. Mganga typically is a very squishy mage, but you can build all defensive items and fill the roles of both a tank and a support. This sort of flexibility is what makes MOBAs so ridiculously complex, but once you understand everything all the heroes can do (which really just comes from playing loads of games) it becomes super difficult to put down.

Last Hitting and Gold Generation

I've mentioned buying items a number of times now, as items are the primary way of increasing the effectiveness of your character. You buy items with gold, and gold generation is super important in MOBAs. While in lane, most of your gold will come from killing minions. If you're nearby when a minion dies you get a small amount of gold, but if you get the killing blow on a minion, you get a bonus. This is referred to as "last hitting." Individually these bonuses don't seem that important, but if you can keep last hitting throughout the game, and you can prevent the enemy player in your same lane from last hitting, you will be significantly more powerful as more gold equals more items. Last hitting requires a decent amount of skill, so don't sweat it early on if you're missing a bunch of them.

Another way to get gold is by going into the area between lanes, which is referred to as the "jungle." In the jungle, monsters, which in MOBA-speak are called "creeps" spawn at specific intervals. Killing these rewards gold and experience, but you don't want to get too greedy on taking jungle creeps because if you have a jungler (more on that later) they are dependent on these monster spawns themselves.

Last, but not least, killing enemy players rewards both gold and experience as well. Depending on the situation, like if you get the first kill of the game ("first blood") or kill an enemy that is doing really well ("shut down") you will get more gold than usual. Also, the more often and the quicker an enemy is killed the less gold they reward, although it's still substantial at any stage of the game. MOBAs are all about gathering as much gold and experience for your team as you can while depriving the enemy team as much as possible.

It's because of this that the most important thing you can do in a MOBA is not die. Rarely is there a situation where your death is a good thing, as you are feeding the enemy team gold and experience. (Which is why dying over and over is called "feeding.") Running away when you're in danger of dying and teleporting back to the base to heal is almost always the right call over giving the enemy team a kill.

Typical Team Positioning

When you first start playing, you'll be matched up with people who are similarly new to the game, which means team positioning will be all over the place. Once things settle out and you start playing with people who are beginning to figure out what's happening, the basic positions of your team is as follows, and again, this is a super flexible thing like everything else in a MOBA:

  • Top Lane - Tanks, warriors, and similarly beefy characters who can survive on their own typically live in the top lane. You're farthest from your teammates, and usually have the least team support when other people come into your lane to attempt to gank you. In theory, you should have enough armor, hit points, and everything else to be able to run back to your tower safely. Once some towers start falling and everyone moves on from the laning phase to the team fight phase of the game you're expected to be front and center of every fight.
  • Jungler - As a jungler, you don't kill minions in lanes for gold and experience and instead wander around your jungle killing creeps. Your primary responsibility is ganking lanes and providing support to lanes that are being camped by more than two members of the enemy team. Also, you're expected to help any lanes that are losing. Overall, I find jungling to be the most stressful position as if someone dies, you get blamed for not being there. If an enemy doesn't die, you get blamed for not being there to gank. That being said, a quality jungler that can have a presence over the entire map can easily carry a game to victory. Junglers can really be any of the above hero category, but you usually want to play a hero that has some ability that helps you run into a lane and kill someone. That can be a grab to bring them to you, a quick gap closer to get in range of them, a long-range stun, or anything similar.
  • Middle Lane - Usually this is where your mage will go. This is the optimal lane for mages because they typically get the most power by leveling up their abilities, so by being in a lane by themselves they aren't sharing experience with any other hero on the team and can level up quickly. Additionally, since mages are usually very squishy, it makes sense to put them in the lane that is the shortest so they can get back to their tower the easiest if they're getting ganked. As a mage in the middle lane, you're also expected to roam to either the top or bottom lanes as needed to provide support if it looks like there's a fight brewing.
  • Bottom Lane Marksman - In the bottom lane you usually want your marksman and a supporting character. As a marksman, your job is to harass the enemy players in the bottom lane to bully them out of range to get experience from creeps that die and to prevent the enemy team from last hitting. Your goal is to rack up as much gold from last hitting as possible to buy items to become stronger than the enemy marksman. Pay attention to the map, as when your jungler or middle lane teammates come down you're expected to have the lane in a situation where you can majorly capitalize on them being there to wipe out the enemy bottom lane and push down the tower. Once the laning phase is over, you join your team and stay in the back, dealing as much damage as possible.
  • Bottom Lane Support - Last, but by no means least, is the supporting hero that runs along side the marksman. Your entire job is to protect your marksman and make sure they can get as big as possible. You also want to focus on harassing the enemy team to keep them away from minions so your marksman can kill minions (this is referred to as "farming"). Additionally, the reason you're down bottom is so when you have the opportunity you can rotate up to the dragon with your marksman and kill it to award extra gold and experience to the whole team. During team fights you provide heals and crowd control so the rest of the team can shred the enemies and push for a victory.

MOBAs Have Guidelines, Not Rules

Everything I've laid out in this super-high level overview of the basics of a MOBA are really just guidelines. The truly captivating part of the genre is that you can really play it in a billion different ways to respond to the evolving meta game that every MOBA has. For example, in League of Legends there was a while where it was in fashion to run three characters in the top lane at the start of the game to immediately push down the enemy tower. It worked, but left the bottom lane super exposed. Opposing teams figured this out, and exploited the advantage this inadvertently gave them by having most of your team on the other side of the map.

Similarly, if you're playing a mage that totally counters the enemy hero in the top lane, there's nothing wrong with organizing a lane swap so you can take advantage of that weakness. It's just important to keep playing, not get discouraged, and use every loss as an opportunity to learn something about the game. For example, maybe you suffered a humiliating defeat, but saw a really clever combo of abilities put together by the enemy team. Remember that, and use it yourself.

It's very, very easy to get tilted and start blaming your team when things go south, but if you treat every game as a new opportunity to learn and get better, you never really lose. (I know this advice is hard to follow when your team spends 20 minutes doing dumb things and basically handing the game to the enemies, but still!)

Next Up...

In our next Arena of Valor guide, we'll look into different item types and how to build your hero to maximum effectiveness. The cool part about how much depth this game has is... There's really no shortage of stuff to write about. Stay tuned!

from TouchArcade http://ift.tt/2qdwDR3

ESA rebukes World Health Organization 'gaming disorder' classification

The Entertainment Software Association argues that including 'gaming disorder' in the upcoming diagnostic manual "recklessly trivializes real mental health issues." ...

from Gamasutra News http://ift.tt/2qgKMx7

Victorian-Era Strategy Game 'Antihero' Finally Hits the App Store

2018 is already off and running with new game releases as the highly-anticipated digital board game Antihero [$3.99] has finally landed in the App Store. Antihero first popped up on our radar way back in September of 2014 after it had already been in development for about a year. We then spent the next 3+ years seeing the game in various stages of development at all the typical game conferences we'd attend, always liking what we'd see but never being fully convinced that the game would actually release. Today I'm very happy to have been proven wrong and based on the early impressions of the game in our forums so far and the very positive reception Antihero received when it launched on desktop back in July, it sounds like it was well worth the wait.

Antihero is a turn-based strategy game that has you playing, as you could probably guess from its title, as the bad guys in a Victorian-era setting. You'll run a guild and hire a gang of ruffians who do your evil bidding like bribing, stealing, blackmailing, and even murdering in order to take over the city. There's a story-driven campaign mode as well as skirmish battles against AI opponents for single player, and both ranked and casual PvP modes for online multiplayer. The online is even cross-platform with the desktop version that released back in July, so hopefully that means there's already a good player pool of opponents to square off against. We'll be diving more into Antihero now that it's finally out, but if you've been waiting years to get your hands on this one you can grab it right now with the link below and share your thoughts about it in our forums.

from TouchArcade http://ift.tt/2A9Flji

Blog: Introducing the hidden object genre to VR

Cut the Rope developer ZeptoLab explains how it brought the classic 'hidden object' genre to virtual reality with its debut VR title, Where's Om Nom?. ...

from Gamasutra News http://ift.tt/2Citd1X

Steam Winter Sale 2017 Continues! Plus, Final Day of Voting for The Steam Awards!

The Steam Winter Sale continues today, through January 4th!* Save big on thousands of games for Windows, Mac and Linux!

Today is the final day to vote in The Steam Awards! Find out the winners on January 3rd.

Voting for The Steam Awards 2017 ends with The "Even Better Than I Expected" Award. Here are the finalists:

Assassin's Creed Origins

Call of Duty: WWII


Hollow Knight

Sonic Mania

Remember to check back every day to see the new category and cast your vote!

*Discounts end January 4th at 10pm Pacific, unless otherwise indicated.

from Steam RSS News Feed http://ift.tt/2Cbh0LB

Feature: Exploring The Dual Worlds of InnerSpace On Nintendo Switch

Feature: Feature: Exploring The Dual Worlds of InnerSpace On Nintendo Switch

"Moments of chill, book-ended by epic story moments"

from Nintendo Life | Latest Updates http://ift.tt/2DTKjD1

Railway Empire Is Now Available For Digital Pre-order And Pre-download On Xbox One

Content: Railway Empire 
Check pre-order price and availability in your Xbox LIVE region

Game Description: You may pre-download this game, but it will not be playable until release date (01/29/2018 – 9:00 PM).

United States, 1830: The New World is in its ascendancy. Industry is booming, and the race is on to establish the most dominant and powerful rail empire in all of North America. It’s time to out think and outmaneuver your competitors as you lead your company into the 20th century!

Secure an exclusive custom paint job of the Super Hudson with your pre-order.

Xbox One Pre-Order FAQ

from Xbox Live's Major Nelson http://ift.tt/2CFjClS