Dominion Will Be League Of Legends Made Faster, More Accessible

Lately, Defense of the Ancients-style games have exploded in popularity. Valve is working on DotA 2, and has already held their first international tournament. Meanwhile, Riot Games is releasing an update to their widely played League of Legends called Dominion.

Yesterday at PAX I grabbed Riot Games' senior producer Travis George to chat about Dominion and the general state of the DotA-style genre.

"We were the first ones to do it, but there's other interpretations," George said. "And we sat down and we said, 'You know, we could make a new map in a similar style, but what's the best case scenario? The best case scenario is that we have a map that our fans like a little less than one or the other.'

When I asked George about how similar so many DotA-Style games look from the outside, he equated the genre to the early days of FPSes. "Dominion evolved from this desire to create a different experience within the genre. MOBAs [Riot's term for DotA-style games]are like first-person shooters. Like, when Doom came out, everything was kind of like Doom or Wolfenstein. Everyone made deathmatch. But then someone said 'Hey, you know what? We could do, say, a tactical shooter. And now 'first-person shooter' is this huge genre with tons of variation in it that has all these successful things that are not just deathmatch."

Leage of Legends and its ilk have a reputation for being deep and complex, and not particularly welcoming to newcomers. With their newfound popularity, plenty of folks are curious about the games but intimidated about diving in. I asked George whether or not Dominion would make League of Legends more welcoming to the uninitiated.

"The reason that a newcomer would want to play a game is that it's a different experience," he said. "When I say that it's about 'Capture and Hold,' that's understandable on a high level. Try to explain classic League of Legends and it's like, 'Well, there's these three lanes, and they're these minions, and there's bases, but then there's a bunch of other neutral monsters, and then there's another team… [Dominion]has all of that, but when I say, 'Capture and Hold,' you know exactly what you're doing. It's just set in the MOBA space.

"One of the things that we wanted to be sure to do was not to dumb down the game," George was careful to assure me. "We just wanted to make the concept more accessible."

Dominion will also dial up each match's pacing compared with League of Legends. "The pace of the action in Dominion is consistently high," George said. "In classic League of Legends you've got two phases of the game. If you get into a fight in the first fifteen minutes, it might be an accident, or a rarity. Whereas in Dominion, if you're not team fighting someone in the first 30 seconds, you're doing something wrong. The games average 20 minutes. The longest game we've ever seen investing is 31 minutes."

I asked George what he thought about a studio with a reputation like Valve releasing DotA 2, a game that will be in direct competition with League of Legends. "I'm a huge fan of Valve," he said. "But at the same time, we've got a lot of people playing our game already."

George explained that Dominion was certainly not a response to DotA 2, since it has been in development since well before he and the team at Riot knew anything about Valve's game. In the end, George said, competition will be good for the genre and for the industry, and should push developers to improve and expand their games to stand apart.

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    Gotta admit that I am tired of Riot making the game more accessible, last time they said that they cancelled the removal of flash and then chose to add some of the least balanced hero mechanics (vlad, trynd's cc proof ult, shen's "my allies don't have a care in the world" ult").

    How about they add things that they said they were going to do a LONG time ago like magma chamber, a fix for some of the pathing quirks and the graphic update.

      Flash does the opposite of making the game accessible. Just saying.

      Whilst tryn is OP, he is very susceptible to CC. It's the only way to keep him around long enough to actually kill the bastard. And shen? please, what a derpy champ to have on your team anyway.

        I mean pre ult buff, back when he needed to pop it between burst cc otherwise he was toast and that meant that he had to actually take the time in choosing targets.


        But it has become the staple get out of jail free card when a lot of heroes don't have ways of getting over walls, I would rather have it more like dota in the way that you could destroy parts of the jungle in order to make juking a lot more tactical rather than "get to point A where trees are thin enough that you can teleport through".

        Besides that I feel that the game has become a lot more noob friendly with changes to things like blitz' over drive and not being punnished for doing that used to result in things like suppression being broken by team mates (Nether grip being broken by an ally who head buts the enemy out of range). Certain mechanics should be reintroduced for the sake of shaking up the game play a little and making people pick up their A-game instead of just playing heroes that are considered top tier.

    I love how they've completely shifted the focus from magma chamber, to this. Almost everyone I know is completely apathetic towards dominion, while waiting in anticipation for magma chamber.

      You DO know that Magma Chamber has been effectively canned, right?

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