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Very Quick Tips: Heroes of the Storm

Jun 05 // Chris Carter
General tips: Regeneration globes drop from the mage minions in each creep wave. It took me forever to realize this, but you can use it to your advantage with characters like Kael, and the Mana Addict skill. Do you see the eye above your character when you're hidden? If it turns red, you've been spotted by some source. You do not need to kill creeps to get XP for your team, nor do you need to last-hit them for more rewards. You just need to be near them. Likewise, you don't always have to go after objectives, even though you should in most quick matches where you can't communicate. For instance, it's advantageous to lane for the first tribute spawn on the Cursed Hollow map, and have one player poke the enemy team while everyone else lanes. That way you're outleveling your opponent's team, and giving up one tribute isn't a big deal. Tactics like this require communication however. Ever wonder what the "Bribe" statement is for neutral mercenary camps? Only certain heroes can do this if they buy that ability when leveling up or at the start, like Falstad and Brightwing. Right clicking  on your profile in the top right-hand corner of the main menu can yield a ton of information that's worth reading, like win rates on certain maps and your affinity towards specific heroes. Additionally, you can sometimes locate hidden heroes that haven't launched yet in the Hero Collection screen. Abathur can  be tricky when controlling a stealthed unit. Almost nothing will actually break the cloak, but any ability, including the shield, will sort of show their location to enemies. Any skillshot or AOE can take a unit out of a cloak, and you can see said cloak a bit by way of a shimmering effect. Likewise, Rehgar's chain heal can jump to an "empty" spot -- be aware of every ability that can expose a stealth character. If you see someone with a flaming health bar, it means they're on a killing spree. Depending on that character's build, they may have the skill that adds ability damage for consecutive kills. Death with reset some of this progress. You can swap your active abilities (the bar right above your core Q through R keys) by holding down left click and dragging them. Destroying a keep (the big fort) in a given inner base will spawn super minions (catapults) in that lane. If you hold alt while left clicking, you can bring up an extended ping menu with options like "on my way" and "need assistance." If you want an idea of who top players use, check out the Heroes of the Storm Logs website. Players often use this to decide "tiers," but it's just one piece of data to use when choosing a main, or a new character to try. Want to try out a hero you don't own? Go to the shop, click a hero, and hit "try." For a better shop view, click the hero while in the "Play" section of the game to get an easier, bigger layout with gold and real money prices. "Random" may also grant you access to a hero that you cannot play yet due to your rank. On Quick Match, players will often fight over the "vision" points on maps at the start (especially in Blackheart's Bay). Be aware of this meta-skirmish and plan accordingly -- get behind your warrior/tank and be cautious. If your team looks like they're going for it, think about helping them out, or go to the very bottom and just start laning to get a head start on XP. Laning isn't always sexy, but it pays off, especially if you're outleveling the opposing team. Be patient when buying heroes. Buy ones that cost very low amounts of gold, and level them up -- levels one through five are extremely easy to do. You'll in turn have more chances to earn gold with those cheap character levels, which can buy you more characters as you level up your player level. Before you know it you'll have tons of gold. Exercise restraint and only try to buy heroes on sale with real money. Eventually, they will all go on sale. Speaking of XP, when you hit player level 10, you'll get a free 7-day Stimpack that boosts XP gain. Think about hitting this landmark when you'll have more free time ahead of you -- in other words, if you're about to go on vacation, don't pull the trigger on level 10 just yet. If you're redeeming the retail Starter Pack, redeem your Ronin Zeratul skin first, as it will unlock the Zeratul character. You can give your other unlock to a friend.
Heroes of the Storm tips photo
Make Uther proud
Heroes of the Storm might have some streamlined mechanics when it comes to the MOBA genre as a whole, but it's anything but "dumbed down." While I'll refrain from educating players on MOBAs as a whole (the 15-minute tutorial does a good job of that), here are some tips I've compiled over my long sessions of play.

Dota 2 raking in dough photo
Dota 2 raking in dough

Dota 2 International prize pool is now the largest in eSports history


Plus, Faceless Rex courier!
Jun 05
// Patrick Hancock
The prize pool for the 2015 International Dota 2 tournament is now at $11,617,319, making it the largest eSports prize pool in history. The previous record was held by last year's tournament, which capped off at $10,930,...
Riot Games photo
Riot Games

Riot Games goes in-depth with League of Legends' new HUD update


I'm liking it
Jun 05
// Chris Carter
League of Legends is getting an overhaul in the UI department, in an effort to make the playspace less obscured for players. One of the chief enhancements is to show abilities immediately as they come off cooldown, so yo...

Review: Heroes of the Storm

Jun 02 // Chris Carter
Heroes of the Storm (Mac, PC [reviewed])Developer: Blizzard EntertainmentPublisher: Blizzard EntertainmentMSRP: Free-to-playRelease Date: June 2, 2015 Fundamentally, Heroes is still very much a MOBA experience. It's a five-on-five, top-down, click-heavy affair with various roles such as support, tanks, and DPS, and there's a variety of different characters to choose from. To help break down the barrier to entry, Blizzard has made a number of concessions that set it apart from its competition. Perhaps the biggest difference with Heroes of the Storm is that there are no longer items of any kind, and that's something I'm really, really happy about. While I definitely appreciate the "me-too" nature of adding items to every new MOBA, as it did initially stem from the original DOTA (and by proxy, Warcraft III's shops), learning new item-meta in addition to every map and every nuance for each character can be taxing. I'll often spend hours upon hours theorycrafting builds when returning to specific MOBAs just to figure out the best course of action, which can get tiring if you have to do it for every game. Potions have been replaced by healing wells, found at every fort checkpoint -- making it even easier to get back into the action without any boring moments. Now, there's still plenty of theorycrafting to be had with Heroes of the Storm as characters do get the ability to choose between different abilities after hitting certain level milestones, but you don't need to worry about that one extra crucial layer that can make or break a match. But without items, newer players will be able to pick up any hero and play. Builds are initially limited as you start to level-up within the game's ranking system, offering only a few paths for heroes you've never played as before. It only takes a few games until everything is available though, and at player level 25 (a few days of heavy sessions), every skill will be unlocked automatically. In short, it'll be very easy to come back to Heroes months down the line and learn new playstyles. [embed]292749:58760:0[/embed] The open-ended build system is also great for another reason. Even if you don't build the perfect group composition for any given team, all hope isn't lost at hero selection. For instance, you can spec your support or tank characters into a more damage-centric role over the course of the game. Healers can spec entirely for damage if there's multiple support members on the team, and warriors can go a more tanky route if there's no one to soak up damage. It's far more forgiving than most MOBAs, where you can get yelled at for picking a hero that doesn't fit the current meta, much less your group. Shared experience is the other huge mechanic that Heroes of the Storm is pushing. Basically, it allows everyone on the team to be on the same exact level as one another at all times. For example, you won't have one master player who knows exactly how to lane amassing all of the XP on your team. Instead, the worst player is just as strong as the best one. I dig this system for multiple reasons. For one, it doesn't discourage players from attempting to mount a comeback. While another team can still theoretically outlevel their opponents as a collective, everyone can now feel like they're contributing without having fingers pointed at them. The cast itself is also a huge draw, mostly because it calls upon the rich lore already established in the Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft universes. There's not much backstory in terms of the world itself (unlike Riot Games, which does a fantastic job of keeping its lore interesting and fresh), but each hero has a ton of personality to make up for it. Old familiar characters like Thrall or Raynor have a lot of the same icons and skills from their respective games, as well as updated designs and sound effects. It's a joy to play as Nova and hear the classic StarCraft Ghost phrases, running up against the Lord of Terror himself, Diablo. It sounds hyperbolic, but I really do like playing as everyone (the only hero I straight-up don't like is Tychus), and there's more than enough variation to keep everyone entertained. Abathur, for instance, is a character that doesn't directly fight on the battlefield, but instead hitches a ride on other heroes (as well as towers and creeps) to do battle in the form of a sentient spirit of sorts. The Lost Vikings are a lot like Meepo from DOTA, in the sense that they're actually three different units that can be controlled independently, all in different lanes if you can handle it. There are plenty of more traditional platstyles available, as well as more unique choices like Zagara, who summons minions from StarCraft and can create creep (that barren-esque Zerg terrain) to buff herself. Other characters like Ghost and Zeratul can go stealth to pick off enemies. Sylvanas can disable towers or creeps by attacking them. Uther can heal for a short time after his death. You've seen some of these mechanics before in the genre, but the way each style plays out is unique to Heroes. If you're bored of playing the same exact five-on-five, three-lane map over and over in every game, Heroes can offer some respite. There's tons of maps to learn (seven in all at launch, with another Diablo-themed map in development), all of which have objectives built into them. These mini-quests range from collecting coins to pay a ghost pirate to blow away an enemy base, or defending a circle that shoots lasers at opposing forts. While a lot of folks likely won't enjoy the fact that a team can come back and win because of these events, they're actually just a more streamlined and flashy way of handling the Dragon and Baron Nashor objectives in, say, League of Legends. They're also designed to expedite matches -- an average Heroes game is usually 20 minutes, which is a stark contrast to 45-60 minute matches elsewhere. It's a great philosophy, as one of the common genre complaints is the fact that games take forever. The less Blizzard copies the status quo, the better. Heroes of the Storm also provides a more relaxed environment in general. There's far less pressure in unranked matches (as there should be), and there's even an option to turn off allied chat, thus avoiding taunts from angry players -- instead, you can rely on the fairly extensive pinging system on the mini-map to communicate. "All" chat is also entirely disabled, so you won't hear enemy trash-talking either. There's a few bad apples here and there, but in my experience, this is by and large the most welcoming MOBA community. This should help alleviate a lot of the concerns people have in regards to starting up the genre. For those of you who are more competitive, there is a ranked option called Hero League. There's no bans currently, but you can solo or group queue for it, and hero selection is done by a "draft" style format, where players switch off selecting characters. From what I've played of ranked, the community is just as understanding and helpful, and in every lobby I've been in, players have suggested picks for inexperienced folk and adjusted their picks to help the team. At the highest player rank there's also a team Hero League option for all five players to enter. Currently, the ranked system needs a bit more work in terms of the infrastructure behind it. Blizzard has noted that it is building a system in line with Hearthstone's ladder rankings, but top-tier players will require a lot more to keep playing. In terms of monetizaton, Heroes is roughly on par with League (which is fine by me), but with a slightly lower earn-rate for in-game currency. Yes, it's awesome that Dota 2 has all of its heroes unlocked from the start, and I wish we could have that strategy implemented in every MOBA. But the reality is, Blizzard has created enough avenues to earn gold, and the free-to-play rotation every week will still allow you to play every role and get the full Heroes experience. To earn gold, you can complete daily quests, which will net you around one character per month (depending on the price). By playing frequently, you'll earn gold inherently through completed matches, and by leveling up heroes, you'll earn a nice gold bonus at specific ranks. It's not really hard to do any of these tasks -- they merely require you to play heroes from specific franchises, roles, or play the hero itself a certain amount. There's also a few bundles, including a $20 physical boxed set at launch, that provide a large number of characters. A handful of heroes are also very cheap, to the point where you can buy a few after only a day or so of play. Ever since the beta, I've always had a reserved take on Heroes' economy. In short, it's a bit too conservative in terms of rewards, and Blizzard doesn't put out nearly enough sales (the weekly is usually just a middling one character). That could change over time, but for now, I would like to see a higher earn-rate overall. The good news is that all real-money purchases are just that -- real-money, with dollars and cents. You don't need to wade through and calculate "Riot Points" to figure out how much something costs. Skins are only available for purchase with real cash, which doesn't really bother me as they are a completely optional affair. Plus, when you see how much work goes into making a skin, the prices feel justified, especially when they're on sale. Heroes of the Storm has unfairly been branded as a "just a casual game" due to the removal of many tried and true MOBA mechanics. With over 100 hours of play under my belt, I can say with authority that those claims are untrue. Heroes has a ton of depth, it's very well balanced (though not perfect), and nearly every cast member is a blast to play. It achieves almost everything it sets out to accomplish, so I really hope it catches on with the non-believers and continues to grow. [This review is based on a retail build of the free-to-play game, but Blizzard provided us with 60,000 gold to spend in the shop. A $20 retail starter pack was purchased by the reviewer. I am currently player level 40, the maximum.]
Heroes of the Storm photo
My new go-to MOBA
When people hear the term "MOBA" they usually groan. I tend to respond with, "Tell me more." I grew up with RTS games since I could grasp a mouse and keyboard, and my first MOBA was the original DOTA back in 2005. Over t...

Infinite Crisis closing photo
Infinite Crisis closing

DC Comics-themed MOBA Infinite Crisis closing in August


Steam users can request a refund
Jun 02
// Jordan Devore
Hope you didn't invest much money in Infinite Crisis. After failing to make a big enough name for itself in the MOBA market, the game is giving up. Turbine ended development efforts today and plants to shut down service on Au...
Heroes of the Storm photo
Heroes of the Storm

Blizzard debuts Johanna footage for Heroes of the Storm


The Crusader from Diablo III
Jun 01
// Chris Carter
Johanna, based off the crusader class that was added into the Reaper of the Souls expansion for Diablo III, has been hiding in the current build of Heroes of the Storm for a while, but isn't playable just...
International 2015 $10M photo
International 2015 $10M

The International 2015's prize pool is now over $10 million


Two-thirds of the way there!
May 30
// Patrick Hancock
Dota 2's prize pool for the upcoming Internaltional 2015 tournament has just passed $10M. The pool is increased each time players buy a Compendium, which allows players to make predictions and bask in the glory of all of the ...
Heroes of the Storm photo
Heroes of the Storm

Blizzard is holding an XP boost event next week for Heroes of the Storm


For launch
May 30
// Chris Carter
When Heroes of the Storm launches next week, Blizzard will be offering up a 25% XP boost event that will run from 12:01AM PST on June 2 until 11:59PM PST on June 9. It's not a whole lot on its own, but it will seemingly ...
Ekko photo
Ekko

Ekko, who looks like the Kid from Bastion, is out now in League of Legends


975 RP
May 29
// Chris Carter
If you've been itching for a new champion in League of Legends, Ekko has arrived. He's' described as the "Boy Who Shattered Time." He's an assasin, and his abilities include the power to stack resonance on enemies after hitt...
Heroes of the Storm photo
Heroes of the Storm

Out of closed beta, Heroes of the Storm continues its weekly sale schedule


Anub'arak
May 27
// Chris Carter
Heroes of the Storm is now readily available to everyone, and that means more weekly sales -- any purchases in the open beta will carry over to the full launch next week on June 2. This week the character on offer for 50...
MOBA photo
MOBA

What major MOBA are you playing right now?


I'm down with Heroes of the Storm
May 26
// Chris Carter
"MOBA" is often a bad word/phrase in video game circles. As a fan of them since 2005 I kind of just shrug it off though -- this genre is here, and it's popular, guys. Embrace it or don't play it!  My MOBA history has bee...
LoL bans photo
LoL bans

League of Legends debuts near-instant punishment system for toxic players


Quick draw on the ban hammer
May 25
// Nic Rowen
Just this weekend I was chatting with a friend of mine who told me he recently quit LoL after several years of playing because he just couldn't put up with the scumlords and jerkbags that seem to make up a large portion of th...
Heroes of the Storm photo
Heroes of the Storm

Tychus' cigar isn't in Heroes of the Storm


I need someone to hold me... please...
May 25
// Joe Parlock
STOP THE PRESS. We have received word of possibly the most important, most groundbreaking, lifetouching and soul-rending story this website has ever seen. Your life will never, ever be the same after reading it, so please do...
Heroes of the Storm photo
Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm is now in open beta, will launch next month


On June 2
May 20
// Chris Carter
Heroes of the Storm has been in alpha and closed beta sessions for a while, but it's prepping for a full launch next month. For now, you can enter the open beta on Mac or PC with a simple signup on the game's websi...
SMITE photo
SMITE

Ratatoskr is a cute new character in SMITE that will happily murder you in your sleep


Awww....aaaaaghhh
May 19
// Chris Carter
SMITE is still trucking along for the long haul on PC and with the Xbox One beta, and developer Hi-Rez Studios has just revealed the newest god -- Ratatoskr. In case you're wondering, yes, that cute little critter is a r...
Smite photo
Smite

Smite's now in closed beta on Xbox One


Oh goody! Gems! My favourite!
May 15
// Joe Parlock
Hi-Rez’s free-to-play MOBA Smite is now in closed beta on Xbox One. If you want it, you can sign up for it here. While being retooled to fit better with a controller, the game’s also had a few updates from i...
SMITE photo
SMITE

Hi-Rez is helping out with Nepal relief through SMITE


Open chests to contribute
May 13
// Chris Carter
Hi-Rez Studios has just sent over word that they will be contributing to the efforts to aid Nepal, following Ubisoft, CCP, and Bungie's leads. For the price of 400 gems in SMITE, you can buy a chest that will grant you a...
Dota 2 Compendium 2015 photo
Dota 2 Compendium 2015

New Dota 2 Compendium revealed, up to $15M in stretch goals


Hot off a game-changing patch
May 01
// Patrick Hancock
The newest Dota 2 Interactive Compendium has been revealed for this year's upcoming International tournament. Just as in past years, 25% of each Compendium purchase goes towards the prize pool and stretch goals. This yea...
Gigantic photo
Gigantic

If you want in on the Xbox One Gigantic beta, sign up now


Warning: another MOBA
Apr 30
// Chris Carter
There are people out there who will outright not give entire genres a chance -- heck "I'm out, it's a MOBA" is one of the most common phrases uttered on the internet. But you might want to give Gigantic a shot, as i...
Dota 2 mod photo
Dota 2 mod

Experimental mod envisions Dota 2 as a third-person shooter


Built in a cave with a box of scraps
Apr 20
// Jordan Devore
Not that I've been counting, but I'm sure I've spent more time with Awesomenauts and SMITE than I have with traditional multiplayer online battle arenas like League of Legends and Dota 2 . Hey, I like what I like! I als...
Heroes of the Storm photo
Heroes of the Storm

Blizzard's Heroes of the Storm MOBA will officially launch on June 2


Open beta on May 19
Apr 20
// Chris Carter
Heroes of the Storm, the newest major MOBA on the block, will launch June 2, Blizzard has confirmed. The launch will precede an open beta phase that will start on May 19, which precedes its lengthy alpha and closed beta phas...
Supernova photo
Supernova

Supernova developers unsure on the decision to include a forfeit feature in their MOBA


The debate between MOBA studios rages on
Apr 17
// Chris Carter
Right now, there's a debate going on within the MOBA community regarding a forfeit feature. Currently, Dota 2 does not have any forfeit mechanic in place, among other titles like Heroes of the Storm, which Blizzard says ...
Not the mama photo
Not the mama

Magicka: Wizard Wars releasing April 28, gets 80's power ballad


Not Magicka 2
Apr 09
// Steven Hansen
I think calling a trailer, which is a kind of montage, a montage trailer kind of does disservice to the idea of a montage, as we typically expect it edited into a more traditionally continuous work, but fine. The ballad is f...
SMITE bans photo
SMITE bans

Pro SMITE player gets one-year ban


Account sharing is apparently frowned upon
Apr 09
// Laura Kate Dale
If you're into the professional SMITE eSports scene you might notice a couple of names you recognise not being around for a little while as five professional SMITE players have just received a series of bans ranging from a fe...
Xbox One  photo
Xbox One

Xbox boss: 'Xbox One preview is going to get interesting'


Also preview rewards!
Apr 07
// Jed Whitaker
When asked on Twitter what to expect in the upcoming Xbox One preview update, head of Microsoft's Xbox division Phil Spencer replied "Preview is going to get interesting in the next few months. The members do a great job wit...
Blizzard photo
Blizzard

Blizzard announces 'Heroes of the Dorm' college tournament


Heh
Mar 26
// Chris Carter
Heroes of the Storm manages to keep my attention week after week, and Blizzard is going to new methods to promote the still-in-beta MOBA. On April 26 in Los Angeles, they'll host a "Heroes of the Dorm" tournament, featur...
Kill Strain photo
Kill Strain

Kill Strain, that MOBA shooter from Sony, will have an Early Access period


Forgot about this one
Mar 24
// Chris Carter
Remember the PlayStation Experience last year? Remember Kill Strain? Me neither. At least, I needed a quick refresher before I recalled my initial thoughts on it, which basically consisted of "it's a free-to-play game from So...
Three-hour Dota match photo
Three-hour Dota match

Record breaking competitive Dota 2 match lasts over 3 hours


The last Hobbit movie was shorter (and less entertaining)
Mar 22
// Nic Rowen
Dota matches have a reputation for becoming grindy slogs, but I'm pretty sure they aren't supposed to resemble the intractable grind of WWI trench warfare. On Friday a qualifying match between competitive teams Cloud9 and SFZ...

Gigantic made me gigantic in the pants

Mar 16 // Jed Whitaker
Gigantic centers around two teams of five players battling to kill the opposing teams guardians. Guardians are gigantic monsters that will advance to attack the enemy guardian once powered up, temporarily stunning it to allow your team to attack. Powering up guardians is achieved by capturing locations on the map or by scoring kills. Each guardian has three sections of health and whichever team can take down the opposing team's guardian first is crowned the victor. Unlike other MOBA-style games, Gigantic doesn't have waves of enemies to kill and grind, nor does it have a store to buy items. All skill management is built into a tree-like leveling system. Need more damage? Then upgrade an ability that allows 20% more damage. You can earn XP from kills, assists and helping to capture points -- basically anything that helps the team. The short amount of hands-on I had with the game had me playing as Voden, a character that looks like a combination of a fox and a gazelle. Voden bounds around the map with ease as he not only has the default sprint and dodge that all characters have, but can also a super jump off the healing pools he can drop. Bow and arrows are Voden's main weapon. He also has a decoy he can drop that attacks, a pool of acid that damages enemies and allows him to shoot poison arrows, and giant roots that hold enemies in place for a brief period so teammates can deal damage. Bouncing around the map and poking enemies for damage was a ton of fun, and had me smiling the whole match even though we lost. I seriously can't wait to play the game again. I've been obsessively checking my email hoping for a closed alpha invite (which you can sign up for here). Gigantic is free to play and expected to launch later this year exclusively on Windows 10 and Xbox One. It will feature optional crossplay between platforms as Microsoft is publishing the game. For now I'm going back to refreshing my email, hoping developer Motiga hears my prayers.
Gigantic Preview photo
It has been far over four hours; I need a doctor and an alpha invite
At PAX East this year I walked past many of the larger booths and gave them little attention, as I am typically more interested in indie games. I got invited to a press-only demo for Gigantic -- a game I only knew of by ...

SMITE's Xbox One alpha is off to a great start

Mar 12 // Chris Carter
While many of you out there probably dislike the lack of ingenuity when it comes to SMITE's roster, I must admit I still love the gimmick of tapping into existing spiritual and celestial beings. SMITE has playable characters representing Norse, Greek, Roman, Hindu, Chinese, Mayan, and Egyptian mythology, and odds are you'll recognize at least a few faces in the crowd. I'm addicted to scrolling through the little bios for each character, like binge-reading a series of Wikipedia entries. Hi-Rez has done a great job making them their own aesthetically. For those who aren't familiar with SMITE, gameplay comes in three varieties currently with the Xbox One alpha -- Arena (5v5 all-out combat), Siege (4v4 with two lanes, the most traditional MOBA experience), and Joust (3v3 with just one lane). Assault and Conquest from the PC version are currently not enabled, but the three aforementioned Xbox modes have a "first win of the day" bonus that grants you extra currency. It's a smart move, as it encourages you to boot up the game, relax, play a few matches, then retire for the evening after getting your bonuses. Heroes of the Storm and many other MOBAs have similar practices, but it feels especially at home on a console for me. The alpha currently does not allow you to connect your existing PC account (although it is promised for the future) or purchase "Gems" (the premium currency), but it has a decent selection of free characters at the moment, as well as the ability to earn "Favor," which allows you to "buy" characters by playing the game. I expect Gems will be sold by way of Xbox Live, and so far, the interface isn't confusing -- all of the cost info is right up front. Currently the going rate is roughly 400 Gems for $8, and each character in the alpha costs 200. The good news is that you can earn about half of the roster by buying each character with Favor, with the earn rate working out to a little less than a week of casual play. It's a little on the high side, but I've seen worse. Plus, the free rotation has been generous so far. [embed]285826:56801:0[/embed] Surprisingly, it controls great on the Xbox One. Everything is extremely easy to pick up, including movement, aiming, and getting to know all four of your character's abilities, which are mapped to the face buttons. Line targeting and even area-of-effect (AOE) powers are easy to aim using both sticks, and I had very little problem getting my powers where they needed to go. Since basic attacks are all done manually, a controller lends itself well to the action-oriented scheme, and using some character's dodge abilities felt more natural. Having the rumble feature go off when a queue is finished pre-match is a nice touch. Currently, the user interface needs a little work. It's a bit dated, and can stand to look a lot sleeker with its console debut. There are also a few minor issues with the current build, like the lack of indication that you're holding down the left trigger to "prep" your currently equipped items. Often times I'd need to use an item like a speed boost in a sticky situation, and it wouldn't go off because I apparently wasn't holding the trigger correctly. So far the visuals are very smooth, even for an alpha, but this is a testing phase after all so everything didn't go off without a hitch. My first match was rocky and unplayable, constantly lagging and counting back the game clock -- I tried to leave, but I couldn't jump into a new game until it was completely finished, which took a fair bit of time. I must say though that nearly all of my matches were very smooth, with little lag involved at all. This bodes well for Hi-Rez considering that it's still early in the console version's life cycle. If Xbox One owners are willing to take the plunge on SMITE, Hi-Rez stands to make quite a bit of money from daily players. The studio is going to have to stay on its game this year however, as there is plenty of competition as more and more developers are jumping into the space. While SMITE still isn't quite at the top of my MOBA list, I think I'm going to make an effort to play more when it arrives on the Xbox One later this year.
SMITE on Xbox One photo
Hi-Rez's MOBA has transitioned well to consoles
There aren't a whole lot of fully featured MOBA games on consoles. While a handful of them exist, some faring better than others, there's going to be a bigger push this year with games like SMITE and Gigantic headin...


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