If you're new here, you might like to check the Reading List, which introduces some of the important concepts on this site.
  • Keys of Sealing

    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.

  • Cyclotrutan

    12th Jul, 2017By Softmints18 minutes

    Today: a special feature! Martin 'Cyclotrutan' Schwesinger, the developer of Darkening of Tirisfal / Crimson Coast (2009) joins us for an interview!

  • MTQ Update

    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'.

  • Armours and Resistances

    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.

  • MOBA Geography

    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.

  • Brief Note

    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.

  • Ultimate War, Part 2

    19th May, 2016By Softmints5 minutes
    We continue from Part 1, exploring hero design, obelisks, and deities.
  • Ultimate War, Part 1

    12th May, 2016By Softmints7 minutes
    A chaotic co-op survival, where three lanes swarm with over a hundred varieties of demons.
  • Overdrive

    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.

  • Scars of War

    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.