Groups

 

Multiplayer Online Battle Arena

Game genre concept

An action-RPG sub-genre, very similar to two-way assault mode in FPS games.

66
games
10
platforms

Alternate names: Aeon of Strife-type game, Defense of the Ancients-type game
Name variations: DotA-like, AoS-like

The first video game about Multiplayer Online Battle Arena was released in 2003.

dtp entertainment, Net Games Laboratory and Wyrmbyte has published most of these games

Common traits:
* Both sides have a Thing-They-Must-Defend (let's call it HQ from here on), destruction of that HQ signals victory for the other team.
* Levels consists of usually 3 main pathways to reach the opponent, these are usually called Lanes.
* The lanes are connected with each other via usually much smaller paths that have poorer visibility for various reasons.
* Each lane has about 3 defensive structures in succession that must be destroyed in order to be able to damage the HQ. Only one lane needs to be destroyed to damage the HQ.
* HQ spawns waves of AI controlled minions that fight alongside the players.
* Players control RPG-like characters selected before the game starts. These can't be swapped during single game.
* Players gain gold by killing enemies or destroying their structures, which they use to purchase equipment.

Games usually last from 25 to 45 minutes during which the player characters fully reach their level cap (somewhere near 20 usually).

Notes:
* MOBA is a name coined by Riot games, has limited recognition (Riot and S2 mainly, the two companies running currently [2012] most successful Dota-style games).
* Action-RTS is a name coined by Valve, and has gained some momentum because of marketing.
... however, the genre has little to do with RTS beyond originally being a mod for an RTS game. The genre is not so hard-set that it requires RTS-like top-down persective nor does it really have any elements of RTS games left in it. The game is actually much more comparable to 2-way siege/assault mode in FPS games.

Some strategy elements can be present, but this is usually from chosen character (minion controller) rather than the general design of the game.
Aeon of Strife was a custom map for StarCraft (presumably released late in 1998), which inspired creation of Defense of the Ancients, a similar custom map for WarCraft 3 (initially released in 2003).