Are You a MOBA Noob? Don't Play Dawngate... Yet
You've probably heard a lot about Dawngate, EA's venture into MOBAs. It was heavily featured at PAX East (you can read more of GameSkinny's PAX coverage here) and I keep seeing the ads for it around my favorite gaming sites.
As a five-year veteran of League of Legends, I'm always excited to try out new MOBAs, so I recently downloaded the Dawngate beta - something that is open for everyone at the moment. After a few hours of downloading and installing (silly American slow internet), I played my first few matches of the game... with varying results.
What differentiates this game from other MOBAs more similar to League of Legends is the ability to choose any characters (called Shapers) and make them into any role you'd like. No longer are you limited to your game role by the character you pick, now you can choose any character you'd like, and make them fit the role you want to play.
It's an interesting concept, and part of the reason the tagline of Dawngate is "Break the Meta." However, in the few games that I played, it appeared as if a meta hasn't actually materialized yet.
Beta players coming from more traditional MOBAs such as League of Legends or DOTA 2 (like myself) are frequently confused by the 2-lane map of Dawngate at first, feeding while getting used to a new environment.
Once you've mastered the map, character mastery is still shaky as you must learn acquaint yourself with both particular Shapers and particular roles simultaneously - forcing a steep learning curve on dedicated beta players.
Finally, if you've managed to master the map, your character, and the role you've selected for yourself, there appears to be no rhyme or reason to how everyone else is playing. There is no discernible meta, and games currently play like a strange free-for-all. Each game is a new chaotic mess.
Don't believe me? Watch this video of people playing 6 hours after release.
Do I think Dawngate has the potential to be an interesting addition to the MOBA genre once players have worked out the game? Absolutely. The innovations fo the game have the potential to change the way we think of MOBAs. Should you play it right now? No. Wait until the professionals have worked out the kinks and the devs manage to make a tutorial for the game.