I played a shit ton of League of Legends during the late fall and early winter this past year, the cause of that spurt of non-stop playing is still as unknown now, as it was during the lonely nights playing it. Whether it was because I was injured, unable to play Ultimate at my college, finding a different competitive outlet, or because I actually enjoyed the game enough to spend god awful amounts of time playing it is still hard to decide, but nevertheless those long hours of getting lost in a competitive MOBA still absorbed my life for those few months.
I bring this topic up because I started playing MOBAs again recently when the long awaited DotA 2 finally came out of beta. The problem I have is that whenever I go on these binges of playing MOBAs, at some point I always become conflicted about them, unlike any other type of game I have ever played. There are multiple factors that contribute to this conflict, one being that I like the idea of them, I love being able to control a character with its own special abilities and lore, as well as being able to see my improvement when I play with certain characters. One of the best feelings is to find that one hero/champion that you understand the first time you play him/her as if they were made just for you to play them. Although, at the same time the learning curve is very steep, and people in game are usually no help at all, so it takes a good amount of playing to actually get to the point where you can play with a champion for the first time with no major problems. Time, both in the long and short term, plays a big factor in MOBAs because, in the short term, games are ridiculously long, and by the time you’ve played three or four full games you can end up playing four or five hours without even intending to, making me wonder what I’m really doing with my time.
That is the question that comes through my mind every time I play a MOBA for a long period of time. I am a relatively pragmatic person, so I always think about end results, as I don’t like to waste my time. This is another aspect of my conflict with MOBAs because I always get deceived when I start playing MOBAs thinking that the end result is winning games, but after a few games there is a shift that always occurs where I realize that there isn’t really an end result because there’s always more games to play. The only result that I can think of would be getting so good that you could make a living of it, but I don’t want to even know how long that takes. I never have this problem with other games because most of them have an ending, and usually, if I pick the right game, feel better from getting through it. Even other multiplayer games don’t create this problem because most of them don’t take so much time to have fun with or have such a steep learning curve. And having fun can sometimes be hard, depending on your personality, because both the community and game itself aren’t very forgiving. If there’s one thing I know about League of Legend’s players, it’s that they aren’t afraid to tell you that you suck, even if you only make one mistake in a game. Not saying that they don’t have that right, but it can get demoralizing if you are a sensitive person, making the mute button a pivotal part of the game.
Even after writing this post I still cannot decide if I like or dislike MOBAs because there are almost as many pros as there are cons for me when I look back at my experience in playing them. Will I continue you to play them?Yeah, probably off and on again, and since everybody and their mother seems to be making one of these I am sure there will be different variations that might fit my wants and needs than what’s currently on the market. I guess, as simple and obvious as it sounds, it really comes down to whether it’s fun, and maybe I am way over thinking this topic and I should just forget about amount of time it takes to play the game, and instead just enjoy it.