Sunday, October 23, 2011

Last Hitting (and denying) in DOTA-like MOBA games

Last hitting in DOTA-like MOBA games is completely against the idea of a competitive player vs player experience.  It restricts players by making them spend more time looking at minion health bars than competing against the enemy players.  Not to mention the idea of denying, whereby players attack and kill their own minions to deny the enemy from doing it.  Both are unintuitive left-overs from the Warcraft III engine and its disappointing to see games such as League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, and DOTA 2 sticking with them.

There are better solutions that would allow players to focus on each other instead of minion health bars.  For example, there should be a radius around the minions in which gold is gained when the minion dies.  This way the focus for the player is to zone (aka push) their opponent out of the minions gold radius without having to then immediately stop focusing on the other player and return to health bar duty.  If players are unable to push each other out of the “gold radius” then they stay on par with each other.

Not only is this solution good for encouraging player vs player interaction, it also helps balance champions/heroes.  No longer does the speed of attack animations have to come into account for the sake of last hitting.  Also players can try new characters out without first having to spend practice games mastering attack animations;
which means the average player can more competently play more characters.

Removing last hitting also helps to speed up the rate at which gold is “farmed” which in turn cuts down the rather boring farming phase of most DOTA games.  This would then help cut down the length of the average match as players more quickly achieve their goals.

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