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Preview: Infinite Crisis Tries New Things for MOBAs

Leah B. Jackson | 17 Jun 2013 16:15
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Doomsday Devices and destructible terrain are new things for the MOBA, but can Infinite Crisis Pull it off?

Infinite Crisis, the new DC Comics MOBA from Turbine, is still only in very early beta but has already seen a lot of success. Thanks to their partnership with Major League Gaming, fans of the genre have been more curious than ever about what makes the title different than other popular games like League of Legends and Dota 2. At E3 2013, during a closed doors demo, I was able to find out.

Currently, Infinite Crisis only features one map called Gotham Heights that's extremely derivative of League of Legends' Dominion mode. What many gamers don't realize however is that Turbine is hard at work creating new maps that are completely original. The second map they're working on, Coast City, is one example.

Coast City, home of the Green Lantern, looks and feels much different than Gotham Heights. While Gotham is dark and dirty, Coast City is a bright sunlit map where anyone looking for a beach vacation would be happy to go. The two goals with the map, according to Turbine's Director of Digital Communications Adam Mersky and Infinite Crisis Executive Producer Jeffrey Steefel, were to explore destructive environments, and offer a more traditional way to play.

The map itself is a two-lane circular map with one lane on top, one lane on bottom, and a massive jungle area in the middle. To win, players have to take out the other team's base. Each lane has three towers and there is a power relay on each side of the map that players can capture for additional buffs. The main gameplay mechanic of the map, the Doomsday Device, is located in the center.

The Doomsday Device offers a new type of gameplay that hasn't been seen in competitive MOBA play before. When the game starts, players can race to the center of the map to try and capture it. To do so, teams have to destroy a tower and the first team to take it down gains control of the device.

One person on the team can channel and pick it up, and if they do, they basically earn a second tier ultimate attack to unleash on enemies. When used, the Doomsday Device blasts an area, dealing damage to every character inside a wide range. The closer players are to the center of the blast, the more damage they'll take. The Doomsday Device can also be used to target and bring down towers. Once used, the device goes on cooldown for 6-8 minutes and can then be captured all over again. The longer the game goes, the stronger the device becomes, and by the end it can even one shot towers.

When a player is holding on to the Doomsday Device, their character gains a spell effect around them so that other players know to watch out. If the character with the device is killed, the device drops on the ground and anyone can pick it up. The device doesn't offer any sort of buff, so if a squishy character grabs it and then easily gets picked off when running to a location to use it, the other team can easily gain the advantage.

Aside from the Doomsday Device, Coastal Heights also features a large enough jungle for two characters to easily farm at once. It will be interesting to see what method teams will use once the map is out, as there are a ton of different viable strategies. Should teams go straight for the Doomsday Device, utilize two jungles to maximize farm, or split up and push the lanes? Each of these are great tactics according to the developers, and they're excited to see how players will react.

The developers also stressed how important destruction is on Coast City aside from the Doomsday Device. Players can pick up all sorts of new items with the Super Strength stolen power, like Humvees, trucks, and even taco stands. By picking up and destroying pieces of the map, new areas open up and offer different ways for players to go to attack the enemy team.

For now, the developers are hoping that matches on Coast City will last between 20-30 minutes. They also mentioned that they're developing a traditional three-lane map, but it won't be out for quite some time. Coast City on the other hand will be ready for beta sometime this summer.

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