There’s a new ‘Moba’/’Dota-style game’ coming up called Strife, and I was eager to check the game out and see how it measures up to Dota 2. I can tell you right now, it’s really bad.
Over The Line
The entire point of the game is to create a casual orientated game that’s easy to get into, with less negative interactions from other players. The problem is, they take this way too far. You can’t see how many kills each team has, you can’t see you allies skill builds, you can’t even see you allies’ cooldowns. Can you imagine playing a mid hero who is ganking a sidelane, only to find out half way through the fail gank, that your Alchemist doesn’t have stun leveled. You just wasted all this time. Being able to see your allies skill builds let you know what they are capable of. This allows you to see your kill potential, which is very critical to the decision making process.
It just takes a large chunk of strategy out of the game. So many things are up in the air and unknown, that it becomes impossible to make informed decisions. If you were in a 5 stack all using voice chat, you can tell each-other all sorts of things. But in your standard pub, people tend not to communicate as much, which makes it harder to play well when you require them typing something in chat to make a good decision. Which people honestly aren’t going to do over and over again.
And that is what games in this genre are. They’re a giant arena where you have to consistently make decisions on the fly. Preferable you want to make decisions that give you the best chance of succeeding. By making it impossible to acquire information on your own, it makes it impossible to make sound decisions on your own. How many times do you look at the team kill count in a game? or look at allies abilities, or cooldown? Do you really want to start a fight, only to discover that your Ravage is only 15 seconds off cooldown. In fact, you have no way of even checking how long the cooldown is – which is another thing entirely (if you’re in a game, the only way to find out what skills do, and their cooldowns, mana cost, etc is by alt-tabbing into a web browser).
It makes it harder to work effectively as a team, but it also just makes the game harder, without actually improving the strategy. There is some of this in Dota, but not to the scale of that in Strife. The game just makes it impossible to make good decisions, which makes it more of a real time gamble game, than a real time strategy game.
I’m not even going to go into the rest of the game, because it really doesn’t matter. The withholding of information puts a sour taste on the game for anyone who actually likes to be good at the games they play. Because its makes it basically impossible to perform well at. Not knowing everything is not a deal breaker, but there are certain things that are too important to the decision making process to remove. Something the developers of Strife fail to understand. Strategy games like ‘Mobas’ are just games of real time decision making, you need information available in order to make decisions. Strife simply does not provide enough information for you to make sound decisions. I guess this makes it great for people who just want to plop around for 40 minutes, but for people who want to actually think, you’re better off with another game in the genre.