MOBA’s, like most PvP-related games, are one of those things that I watch from the outside looking in with a mixture of curiosity, jealousy and concern. I have a weird compulsion to try one out but worries about both the behavior of myself and others as well as my own performance bringing down everything.
See, PvP things are one of those styles of game where I try it out, get annoyed, hate myself, ragequit, then come back to after a while to try again. It’s the same thing I feel with strategy and bullet hell shooters. I love to hate them. It’s masochism.
So when games like SMITE or Heroes of the Storm make the news, it stirs that pot a bit more for me. I have this weird, unrequited love with the things.
MOBAs seem like the sort of PvP game I could get in to initially, or at least to get my feet wet in the style of game. I sort of look at it like using it as a training exercise for when I’m able to get in to “deeper” games like Camelot Unchained. The thing is–and this is completely unfair, by my own admission–the press regarding League of Legends and its playerbase has poisoned the well for me. Hearing about the levels of abuse levied against players who don’t measure up has me pretty much frozen. Specifically because I am one of those players.
I am eternally awful at PvP. I’ve always been and probably forever will be no matter what amount of practice I put myself through. I literally get nervous to the point of having my hands shake and my entire rotation lost to me because PvP jolts me in ways that I can’t adequately describe. It’s like the anxiety that someone would likely get out of public speaking.
Despite these misgivings, I still desperately wanna try these damn things out. I think back to my early PC online gaming days when I played the hell out of games like Tribes and Unreal Tournament and remember how much fun that was even though I was always in the middle tier of the scoreboard. It seemed somehow less pressure then. People were either far less angry at others for not doing their team function, or they were and the lack of VoIP made it impossible to know.
So it goes on with the genre for me, right up until I read about a couple of titles. In specific, Gigantic and Overwatch.
I had written a whiny post about Overwatch and its relation to the Titan project before, but despite all of that I still find myself wanting to try it out. A Team Fortress-style game with superheroes and Blizzard’s unrelenting ability to make polished gameplay has me completely excited. The potential for this game to be crazy-good is supremely high.
Plus, it’s a damned superhero game with unique characterization. I miss that. I will begrudgingly play the HELL out of that game until one of the CoH successor titles becomes a playable thing.
Also, my brief time with Team Fortress 2 has me thinking that I could be….well, reasonable. I played the game a few times when it went completely free-to-play even though it came with my purchase of The Orange Box several years back. I played Medic, Heavy and then settled on the Scout because the high speed movement reminded me a lot of Unreal Tournament. Also, I was able to sprint about and snag the briefcase and bring it back without anyone noticing for my team, so I actually was able to contribute.
The broad spectrum of characters in Overwatch, then, has me thinking that it’s even more varied than TF2 and, thus, more possible to find a character style that I like to play. Which should improve my chances of becoming something useful to the team.
I have been following Gigantic for a little while with a passing glance for about a year or so now. The art style immediately drew me in to the game with its simple-looking art style and use of bright colors. The mechanics of the game also immediately appeal…and watching the titular gigantic monster-things stomping about the map on your side just makes me think of things like MechWarrior or a kaiju film, except viewed from ground level. It all sounds like an engrossing experience.
From a gameplay perspective, it sounds like there’s a lot to do but the ebb and flow of battle should make it all come together. Additionally, the range of characters once more means I should find something to play that ends up being useful to my team. Tied with an apparently fast-paced playstyle and it sounds like it could be a very thrilling game.
Ultimately, though, I still find myself firmly be-fenced with the MOBA genre (although Overwatch probably shouldn’t count but screw you this is my post nyeh). I know I shouldn’t discredit something without actually trying it, but there are SO MANY assumptions that swirl around these games that I bring myself to a standstill with worry. I worry about the players. I worry about my performance. I worry about the chat and how prevalent it will be. I worry about spending money on a thing that I ultimately will despise.
Still…looking over the pictures for this post and re-reading information about both games stirs that pot once more. Maybe some day I’ll settle down and actually play these games, or try out one of the MOBA’s that are out there now.
Or I could just, yanno, try out a battleground PvP thing in one of the MMO’s I play now. Who the hell knows.