Solstice Arena: The World's First "Speed MOBA"

Solstice Arena: The World's First "Speed MOBA"

Zynga's Solstice Arena will do away with minions and farming in order to focus on nothing but fast-and-furious fighting.

The multiplayer online battle arena is a tough business to break into, but Zynga hopes to make a go of it with Solstice Arena, an iOS-exclusive MOBA designed for short, quick battles of just five to 12 minutes each - hence the term "speed MOBA." The focus is on three-vs-three battles but the game will offer single and multiplayer coop combat against bots as well, with a matchmaking and queue system designed to put together players based on their skill, level and hero abilities. Ten customizable heroes designed for different styles of play will be available at launch.

But the big twist is the focus on quick, intense battles. Farming and minions have been eliminated from the equation in order to put the focus squarely on combat, which Zynga described as "a deliberate design choice that we believe transforms this genre perfectly for the demands of mobile and the average player's busy lifestyle." And while players will be able to spend money on "extensive customization options," a big effort is also being made to avoid the pay-to-win situations that plague so many free-to-play multiplayer games.

I don't play MOBAs myself so I have no idea how this one is likely to fare; maybe the iOS exclusivity will help and it's perfectly possible that the focus on speed will actually be a real game changer. But given the recent unfortunate fate of Battle for Graxia, which Petroglyph Games announced will be taken offline at the end of June, I have to think that it has some pretty big hurdles ahead of it.

Solstice Arena is available now for the iPad and iPhone.

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Y'know, if I were asked to list the companies I'd trust to build a new popular MOBA, Zynga would not have made this list. Is there any company which MOBA gamers like LESS than Zynga?

I thought the point of a MOBA was the slow build up that at the start that requires a lot of strategy and risk taking to gain an edge later. This looks like a run out and spam all your skills on the closest target until someone loses kinda game. I also love how they don't even attempt to make it look different then League, keeping the same kill message and art style.

Andy Chalk:
But the big twist is the focus on quick, intense battles. Farming and minions have been eliminated from the equation in order to put the focus squarely on combat, which Zynga described as "a deliberate design choice that we believe transforms this genre perfectly for the demands of mobile and the average player's busy lifestyle." And while players will be able to spend money on "extensive customization options," a big effort is also being made to avoid the pay-to-win situations that plague so many free-to-play multiplayer games.

Ahh... that is the big twist? So basically they took the Dominion map, simplified it, took away the minions (that didn't mattered anyway) and that is the big twist?!

So unimpressed. Especially because creepless ARTS have been with us since Warcraft III modding days, they are around 7-8 years late to the punch.

Minions are kind of important, for several reasons.

1) They help make sure the towers don't two-shot you.
2) They dictate lane control. A lane left completely alone, and minions will sometimes down towers for you. The enemy team needs to be nearly blind, but this happens.
3) Eventually they cluster up and make great AoE farms which gives a boost in experience and gold. This has numerous strategical values.

Taking all that out, you might as well not have turrets. Or bases. Just have a PvP Smash 'em up.

No minions or farming and faster gameplay?

If I could play this on my mac rather than it being iOS exclusive, I think I'd be up for giving this game a try.

 

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