3rd Aug, 2017By Softmints9 minutes

Keys of Sealing is a rare example of an AoS whose gameplay is formally divided into stages: imposing a structured path to victory rather than the blurred lines of "early-game", "mid-game", and "late-game". It also has a special victory condition that is more teamfight-oriented than the familiar "destroy the main base".

In this review I'm going to cover features from both early and later versions together, as there aren't too many differences.

4th May, 2017By Softmints

Hi folks, This project's still kicking! We should have some new content on its way in the coming weeks. In the meantime...

Material, Time, Quality was one of the most interesting articles on the site for me to write. It was an experimental topic, and I wasn't fully satisfied with how I was interpreting 'Quality' in lane-pushing games. I've now updated that article with my more recent interpretation that sees 'Quality' relative to the 'board state'.

It reads more smoothly now, and with the third piece finally in place, the framework is complete as a tool for assessing decisions and trade-offs which might otherwise go unexplored. Check it out!

10th Jan, 2017By Softmints9 minutes

The moba genre has largely settled on an equilibrium with two armour types: Physical Armour and Magical Armour. Why is this the case, and could expanding the use of armours or resistances lead to greater complexity and depth?

In this discussion we're focusing on armour types and resistances that players interact with. The rules that decide how much damage a ranged troop deals to a catapult are "environmental tuning", and aren't the focus of this article.

27th Oct, 2016By Softmints

During the summer I had the pleasure of being interviewed by esports journalist and writer Josh Calixto as part of a feature piece about the 'geography' of commercial mobas: addressing the question of how the ubiquitous "three lanes" layout evolved, and why it's been so enduring.

We also covered the evolution of various other map features, and mused about possibilities and constraints on where map designs might be headed next.

If you like the sound of that, check it the full article out over on Killscreen.

1st Sep, 2016By Softmints

Hi folks, I am acutely aware that I haven't been able to update lpg in a while (due to the demands of another project). Rest assured that my work here won't be left unfinished; I will get back to writing articles as soon as time permits.

17th Mar, 2016By Softmints8 minutes

Overdrive is one of those AoS maps which delivers a surprising amount of emergent gameplay by introducing a single twist.

The twist in question is using the Overdrive mechanic from Final Fantasy X to give heroes their ultimates, rather than the usual method of granting them at level 6 and having lengthy cooldowns.

28th Jan, 2016By Softmints8 minutes

Scars of War (Skar, 2009-2011) is an unusual combination of a relatively recent map using 2005-era scripting. It draws loose inspiration from DotA, and is mostly comprised of minor to moderate twists on familiar ideas. The map includes more features than it needs, and many of them aren't integrated well, but among the clutter lie a few interesting concepts.