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  • 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.

  • Next review

    7th Jan, 2016By Softmints

    It's been a while since the last update; just writing to say there'll be a new post up later this month.

  • Desert of Exile

    12th Nov, 2015By Softmints9 minutes

    Comfortably one of the most refined AoS experiences in the genre, Desert of Exile is 6v6 map built on the premise that simple, elegant systems can produce complex and engaging gameplay when their parts are allowed to interact.

    It is the first AoS to adopt this philosophy seriously, and it is executed with confidence and discipline. There are no half-baked systems, nor any peripheral mechanics that don't quite tie in with the rest.