EA joined the bandwagon last week with the announcement of their upcoming MOBA Dawngate and one could instantly feel the collective groan of a thousand gamers. Obviously, the question was never “if” EA would make a MOBA, but “when” EA would do so. I think the most surprising aspect of the announcement is that it took them this long to do so.
There weren’t many details available for Dawngate when the website went live, but a new video from Machinima gives us our first look of the mechanics within. Some of the highlights of the video include a heavy focus on lore, only two creep lanes, secondary objectives, regenerating towers and evolving minions.
Secondary objectives come in the way of spirit wells which are situated off the beaten path and serve as capturable points which produce minions that harvest resources much in the same way workers in a traditional RTS do. These workers produce gold for your team and can be killed by the enemy in order to disrupt the flow of income. If no workers are left the enemy can then capture the point and begin producing income from that spirit well.
The minions and towers are also becoming less static in Dawngate. Towers which are called “Bindings” in Dawngate, serve as both traditional defensive installations and inhibitors. If an enemy’s tower is destroyed a specific allied minion called a Strider (essentially the tank unit of the creep wave) powers up and gains additional stats and abilities. This can happen multiple times as Bindings are taken out putting increased pressure on the respective lane. However, Bindings slowly rebuild themselves overtime which will allow players to regain some control over a lane and “rebind” the Striders, removing their unlocked power. Hopefully, this leads to closer games and fewer runaways which are often caused by one team’s early game dominance.
All these things sounds fine and dandy, but whether these changes amount to a new MOBA experience players want to play is another discussion point entirely. Personally, I feel as though the controls and responsiveness of the characters is a key part of a MOBAs success and something most new MOBA developers (SMITE withstanding) do not give enough attention to.
I suppose we won’t have to wait too long to find out how it plays. The beta is set to begin this Friday, May 24th. If you wanted to sign up for the beta you can do so here.