29th Sep, 2013By Softmints2 minutes

PerSonas and its sequel Arkana are a pair of maps which both implemented a very clever mechanic called the perSona switch. At the start of the game, players pick two heroes; each is called a persona.

At any point during the game, pressing 'Q' will activate a perSona switch, instantly replacing one persona with the other. Switching preserves life and shield percentages, while removing buffs and disjointing projectiles, so the ability has intrinsic value.

25th Sep, 2013By Softmints4 minutes

Water War - Submerged was one of the earliest maps to do something different. The game consists of two warring factions of amphibious creatures, Clan Aqua and Clan Marine, battling it out across the ocean between their island encampments.

The factions are completely identical, right down to the unit models and colours. The game is a 4v4 matchup over three lanes, but this is about as non-standard as three lanes gets!

19th Sep, 2013By Softmints3 minutes

Players will tell you that they don't like it, but on-the-fly random number generation (rng) is seen in almost every match in the three biggest MOBAs (League, Dota2, and HoN). Why is this?

Firstly, I want to establish that randomness in games isn't a problem on its own. Card games like poker hinge on it, while still being enjoyable and competitive. The problem is that in a card game, players are betting on their ability to read their opponent. In an RTS, players are betting on the rng.