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What is an MOBA? The rules and basics

What is an MOBA? The rules and basics

A MOBA is an online game that sees two teams compete in a closed arena. The objective is to reach the enemy base to destroy the main structure while preventing the enemy team from reaching yours. To do this, each player will play a character (usually called a champion) who will have different abilities to attack opponents. Your base will also send waves of henchmen at regular intervals to fight alongside you. By giving the last hit to the enemy's henchmen, you will raise money to buy equipment. To win, players will have to rely on the control of their champion but also on the mutual assistance and coordination of their actions.

The battlefield

The map is covered by what is called war fog: a kind of fog that obscures everything that is not in the character's field of vision. Thus, the player only sees what his champion or those of his allies can see. To keep a view of an area, it is also possible to place tags that have a limited duration in time. In addition to the main paths, champions can venture into a jungle that hides certain monsters that can bring money, experience and various bonuses to the team that eliminates them.

Generally, there are three paths that connect the two bases. On each of them, defensive towers are positioned. They attack henchmen within range as well as enemy champions who attack you or your allies.

Map MOBA
Representation of a classic map found in many MOBAs: in orange, the base of each team; in blue, the main structure of each team and the turrets; in yellow, the three paths; in green, the jungle. (Source)

The champions

The player must choose to control a character drawn from a large catalogue. This champion normally has a passive skill (understanding that it often brings a bonus for the character or his team just by his presence), two or three normal skills (attack, defense spell, healing...) and an ultimate skill that is normally more powerful and must be used sparingly. Indeed, the latter often has a high recovery time (understand that you sometimes have to wait several minutes before you can reuse it).

League of Legends Champions
An overview of the champions available in League of Legends, and new ones are released regularly.

These skills use a resource (most often mana) that runs out as you use your attacks and passively regenerates itself. If your character's mana reserve is too low, he will not be able to use his skills. Your character also has a life bar that drops when you take blows. If your champion dies, you have a malus that results in a certain length of time during which you have to wait for your character to reappear at the base.

Each character must collect money and experience by giving the last blow to the henchmen: this is called the "last-hit". The experience allows you to gain levels and strengthen your skills while the money is spent in a shop to buy equipment that will improve your power or defenses.

The different types of champions

There are several categories of characters that can vary according to the games but some stereotypes are found in most titles:

- : champion whose big damage comes mainly from his skills. He must remain in the background in the clashes because of his weak defence.

- ! Shooter, physical attacker: weak champion at the beginning of the game who draws his strength from the items he buys. Unlike the magician, he usually only inflicts physical damage.

- Tank: A resistant champion who inflicts moderate damage and whose purpose is to disturb opponents. They usually have crowd control spells, which means they can immobilize, stun or throw their opponents into the air.

- : Champion with limited damage who usually has defensive spells: healing, shields or reinforcements. They mainly assist champions who have to deal damage and are also in charge of providing vision to their allies by placing beacons.

In most games, champions are also differentiated by the range of their "automatic attack", i.e. the move that is given naturally when you click on an enemy. Some attack from a distance while others must be in close combat.

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