LoL-cloning should be amusing

Attempting to clone LoL has been the FOTM in the gaming industry ever since Riot started seeing it’s amazing success. Luckily for most dev studios LoL is not an MMO, but the fact that it is a PvP game will expose lesser games faster than creating yet another fantasy PvE MMO. While an average game could get away with just copying basic PvE concepts and have the players catch on slowly (or not care), PvP is a different animal.

You can’t slip ‘just ok’ design by PvP players. You can no longer ignore the top 5% who clear your PvE content in a day using some class/talent combo you did not plan for, because now that top 5% is exposing your flaws to everyone, and everyone can follow along and exploit an imbalanced champion or build. Whether the results are the same or not is secondary, as the perception of a problem is enough to leave a bad impression or cause a forum shitstorm.

Another factor to watch will be the business model. League of Legends, currently by far the most popular MOBA title, does not sell power. Titles such as World of Tanks do, and its popularity shows that there are plenty of gamers who don’t mind their wallet factoring into who wins a game. As the flood of me-too MOBA clones comes, it will be interesting to watch how many games cave into the lure of the gold ammo/character cash grab.

One factor that may influence the business model is the rise of competitive gaming. Valve is running a million dollar DOTA2 tourney right now, and Riot has trumped that with a 5 million prize pool for season two of LoL. Games that sell power are excluded from competitive play for obvious reasons, but will we ever see a game REMOVE power items from its shop and adjust design to try and solidify themselves as a truly competitive game? If prize pools and viewer numbers continue to increase, we just might.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in DoTA, League of Legends, PvP, RMT. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to LoL-cloning should be amusing

  1. epic.Ben says:

    More than any other competitor, I think that Riot needs to fear Valve. Dota2 looks extremely slick from the recent Gamescom screencasts, and they have the needed talent to make Dota2 the preeminent MOBA title. PR know-how, distribution through Steam, an existing network within the competitive gaming circuit – and cash. A lot of cash, apparently, with a prize pool for a single tourney in the 7-digit category.

    Least likely contender for LOL? Whatever the hell Mythic/EA did with WAR. I’m appalled by that.

    • SynCaine says:

      My only concern for DOTA2 is they are bringing over some of the champs from DOTA that have some pretty serious design flaws. I wonder if they plan to rework those, or just leave em as is.

  2. Ravious says:

    Given Valve’s tendency to play and iterate, I would doubt it.

    Anyway, I wanted to comment that Valve is shelling out 1 mil for an unreleased game, and Riot is shelling out 5 mil for a whole season of a released, profitable game. Not quite comparable. If anything, I’d say Valve is trumping Riot.

    I signed up for the beta (since I use Steam all the time anyway), but the new LoL map looks sweet too. /popcorn either way.

  3. Straw Fellow says:

    “Anyway, I wanted to comment that Valve is shelling out 1 mil for an unreleased game, and Riot is shelling out 5 mil for a whole season of a released, profitable game. Not quite comparable. If anything, I’d say Valve is trumping Riot.”

    Even if Valve was shelling out 5 million to match, they would still be trumping Riot, if only because they have the financial backing to do something like this. If some previously unknown exploit or some other technical disaster befalls Riot, they can’t recover quite as well.

    That being said, I am excited for these types of competitive games and contests. The shoehorning of PvP into PvE games (due to balance issues, it will always be shoehorning) made the WoW tournament for me rather boring. But LoL and games like it rightfully remind me of RTS days where teamwork and choices mattered. Trying to make it into a kind of spectator sport is just a plus. There are a good number of people who enjoy watching competition rather than participating, it’s a underdeveloped market.

  4. Anonymous says:

    funny since lol is a clone

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