Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sins of a Dark Age - anticipation

... and what I'm anticipating is that the next two posts referencing this game will be tagged " - letdown" and "- disgust".

Anyhoo, here's wikipedia's list of AoS games. I am still refusing to call them any acronym which includes "arena" since the focus on idiotic dick-measuring over 1v1 fights and kill/death ratios is what ruined the concept. It should be a warzone, not an arena.
Looking at that list, there's really no hope in sight. Half of the existing attempts are even deader than Demigod. Of the three major ones (DotA2, HoN and LoL) only League of Legends made at least the minor improvements to gameplay over DotA to make it somewhat worthwhile. Aside from that, there are some upcoming games but I have no faith in the likes of Turbine or S2 to churn out anything but leet-kiddie-friendly DotA copycat drivel.
I love the basic game concept, but there's just no worthwhile representation of it on the market.

Except maybe Ironclad's upcoming attempt...
Sins of a Dark Age looks good... not great, not Demigod great, but good. It's a sad compromise, mere baby steps beyond League of Legends as LoL was only baby steps beyond DotA. Instead of throwing out the despicable pitfalls I enumerated here it only dampens them somewhat, for example by giving some (presumably almost none) of the gold from minion lasthits to surrounding teammates.
This is sort of Ironclad's style, if I can judge them from Sins of a Solar Empire, a 4x RTS. They're not willing to take chances, but they do take some steps toward the most blatantly obvious fixes to how the most popular games on the market do things. There are a lot of companies like this, and it's not to be discounted. After all, this middle of the road approach (patching without innovation) is what in other genres has brought us Civ 4 or Dragon Age.

The biggest problem with Sins of a Dark Age is the lack of teamwide resource investment. No way of improving or affecting your team's AI units, no talk of resource nodes to control, etc. They're sticking with DotA's three-lane (and presumably five-player) duel-oriented setup.

The best info comes from this quite extensive Gamespot video. It looks like a more sedate, more mature... DotA clone, sadly. Of course developers like to hint at future game modes, etc. but let's face it, once you give players something familiar you're going to wind up just feeding that familiarity. It reminds me that LoL's additional game modes, instead of adding to the complexity of the game, were even more simplistic more-instant-than-instant gratification.

So yeah. I'll be playing this, and I expect to be disappointed. Being the best AoS game on the market will still only amount to being the best of the worst.

There's still no Demigod 2.

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