Sins of a Dark Age mixes dynamic quests into MOBA formula

While most MOBAs (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena in full, or DotA Clone for short) have been content with copying the classic Dota design, Ironclad Games has tried to shake things up with Sins of a Dark Age. The Sins of a Solar Empire creator has added then later removed several RTS features, like base-building, and is now toying with dynamic 'Realm Quest' side-objectives.

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While most MOBAs (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena in full, or DotA Clone for short) have been content with copying the classic Dota design, Ironclad Games has tried to shake things up with Sins of a Dark Age. The Sins of a Solar Empire creator has added then later removed several RTS features, like base-building, and is now toying with dynamic 'Realm Quest' side-objectives. "This pioneering system fuses RPG-like quests and their resultant opportunities into the intense framework of a competitive MOBA game," Ironclad said in the announcement. "Imagine dealing with the threat of plague-infested vermin, welcoming the arrival of timely reinforcements, escorting a merchant convoy, racing to gain favor of a powerful ally or even working cooperatively with your enemy against a deadly common threat." An AI Quest Director will watch over the game and decide which quest to spawn, where, and when, Ironclad co-founder Blair Fraser explained to IGN. He also gave the example of a quest where a troll on a bridge blocks creeps spawning in that lane. It'll drop a big treasure chest when killed, but teams must slowly drag that back to their base to open it, sparking a capture the flag-ish battle. The FAQ also details a quest where teams can kill plagued creatures to collect their pelts and concoct a plague for the opposing team, or gather plague samples by killing infected players. Though astonishingly intricate, the classic Dota formula is remarkably lean, so it'll be interesting to see how additions like this shake things up. While Sins of a Dark Age will be free-to-play when it launches ("when it's done"), like with Dota 2 you can cough up a little cash for instant beta access and a grab-bag of goodies like in-game cash and character unlocks. $25 will get you in, but Ironclad's Founder program also has $55 and $125 tiers for the dedicated.

Kill this dragon to claim his fetching leather cap for your own wardrobe, probably

From The Chatty

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    January 9, 2013 9:00 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Sins of a Dark Age mixes dynamic quests into MOBA formula.

    While most MOBAs (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena in full, or DotA Clone for short) have been content with copying the classic Dota design, Ironclad Games has tried to shake things up with Sins of a Dark Age. The Sins of a Solar Empire creator has added then later removed several RTS features, like base-building, and is now toying with dynamic 'Realm Quest' side-objectives.

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      January 9, 2013 9:07 AM

      I can't blame Ironclad for trying to enter a lucrative market, but I would have personally preferred to see another RTS/4X game from them.

      I only have room in my heart for one DOTA game and its name is DOTA 2.

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      January 9, 2013 11:24 AM

      I can understand why due to the money to be made but i can not see why any one would be stupid enough to try now with Dota 2 coming out.

      Dota 2 will crush ALL once its out apart form maybe LOL but i would say that will suffer a large player drop.

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        January 9, 2013 11:30 AM

        That's like saying why would anyone play any FPS when Quake was such a masterpiece

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          January 9, 2013 11:54 AM

          That is not the same at all.

          Fps games over all are not the same as each other Stalker say plays nothing like BF3 or any MW game or Tribe's they all have there own style. I guess if you want to go to the most basic level they all shoot guns but its still not the same game.

          Dota games on the other hand all play the same and over all the only change is the gfx i mean Dota 1 HON and LOL all play 100% the same just a change to the GFX and tiny tweaks to each hero.


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            January 9, 2013 12:04 PM

            DOTA2 is the Quake of mobas: It's one of the first, and it's considered very good, but the genre is so new that there is TONS of room for growth and innovation.

            It's completely shortsighted and I daresay completely idiotic to say that nobody should even try to expand the genre.

            Plus not everyone likes DOTA2, so there's certainly room to create a different sort of game in the same genre that speaks to different players.

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              January 9, 2013 12:13 PM

              Agreed. A streamlined MOBA type experience is inevitable, most people don't want to feel nooby after a couple hundred hours of play.

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                January 9, 2013 2:30 PM

                I second this. The LOL community is so deep at this point, with such a hierarchy of skill that picking it up at this point is a painful experience for anyone but the most gifted of MOBA savants.

                I'm personally quite enjoying GoME, and Monolith has done a great job of streamlining the genre for console play, as well as introducing some innovations beyond this. The game's not perfect, though, but it's a step in the right direction toward expanding the genre's appeal and giving it more depth.

                Dota2 and LOL are a unique and elite pair, representing the pinnacle of difficulty/finesse in the MOBA scene. This has a lot to do with each effort's close ties to the original DotA, and I'd hazard that, ultimately, they'll be competing with each other, not with the genre as a whole. It's like F1 vs World Rally, Subaru isn't trying to beat Ferrari, but they're both racing cars.

                I applaud Ironclad for sticking their neck out here. Adding features like side quests and direct environmental obstructions will bring a lot of interesting depth to a genre which, at this point, still at the "Doom I/II" stage of its development.

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        January 9, 2013 11:58 AM

        I don't play DotA games because they're kinda boring. All the depth is in the combat and it just doesn't hold my interest for more than an afternoon.

        This game sounds more interesting (on paper). The format itself has more depth to it. If it has the same level of polish as LoL or DotA 2 then I can't imagine how I won't enjoy this more.

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      January 9, 2013 2:33 PM

      It's a shame that Ironclad are working on this instead of Sins of a solar Empire 2. :(