Different Roles in MOBAApr 28, 2015 | 1 Votes
Massive Online Battle Arena (MOBA) is one of the most hugely popular game genres in recent years, especially within the community of competitive gamers as well as in the popular gaming phenomenon, eSports! There have been plenty of players who went on to becoming professional gamers in MOBA games, like Defense of the Ancient 2 (DotA 2), League of Legends (LoL) and SMITE. However, in order to be remotely good, the first things that you should know are the role that your character should/can play in a match and how well you cooperate with your teammates… it is, after all, a team-based game. This article will attempt to introduce you to the various different roles that heroes, champions or gods can fall into and how to effectively play them.
The most common role you’ll encounter in MOBA games is “carry”. “Carries” are heroes who are weak early in the game, but will eventually become stronger in the late game, especially with high-value items. However, in order to have a chance to shine, other players will have to “carry” this particular hero by helping him farm for gold, such as giving him the last hit. If the farming is successful, he/she will return the favor by “carrying” the rest of the team to victory by facerolling through all the other enemies. Although powerful, “carries” are usually fragile and has low health or armor or both. They cannot take on a lot of enemy heroes by themselves. Instead, “carries” need to depend on their team to distract the enemy from targeting them while they are dishing out a steady stream of damage upon the enemy team.
Another role that you’ll encounter in MOBAs is the annoying and pesky “gankers”. Gankers are like ninjas or assassins – they move quickly and silently through places no one would think of paying too much attention to and deal massive burst damage to take down an enemy hero. They are usually masters of the jungles (along with the “jungler”, which will be explained later) on the map and frequent the many smaller paths to catch a fleeing hero by surprise! They also usually have some way to rapidly immobilize or stun their opponent. Gankers are usually pop out to harass players who are too comfortable laning (meaning “guarding a lane while killing creeps”). Sometimes, when the time is right, the ganker can even coordinate with his/her fellow teammates to get an easy kill.
Among the popular roles, “tanks” can be considered as among the top 3. “Tanks” in MOBAs do not refer to the bulky and slowly moving armored vehicle, though the armored part is right. Heroes, who have high armor and health with good damage output, as well as skills, like damage reduction, stuns or charge, heroes can be considered as “tanks”. Due to their skills, armor and health, they are the perfect hero to take/ deflect most of the damage and be able to disrupt a group of enemy heroes enough to allow their teammates to deal damage safely.
“Tanks” are one of the most difficult roles to play and it requires some sort of coordination from your teammates. Since you’ll be the first to jump right into the fray, you can expect to die a lot, but if your teammates follow you and managed to kill the whole lot of them, then your sacrifice will be a gain for your team. However, the danger here is that if you have unskilled teammates or if you’re unskilled and died too quickly, the “initiation” process will fail and your team will be the one sucking your wounds in return.
Furthermore, the healers or buffers in the game fall into the “support” role. This role is hard to play due to their heavy reliance on having teammates around. However, if your team is a good one, playing as a “support” can be truly enjoyable and rewarding. You can, in fact, single-handedly turn the tide of the battle if you’re good enough! Support heroes usually have a variety of buffs, such as reducing damage taken, increasing damage output and even creating an invincibility shield around allies, or healing abilities. They are not too squishy but they are not a damage powerhouse either – they are somewhere in the middle. They also need to be highly mobile as they will need to move around a lot on the map to assist a fellow teammate who needed some help standing against the enemy. Due to their need for mobility, in MOBAs that require the placing of wards, support heroes are the best to carry out this duty.
The least known roles in MOBAs include the “jungler” and the “pusher”. “Junglers” are heroes with higher survivability and has very little reliance on their teammates to keep themselves alive while killing creeps. They tend to have low cooldown and low cost (mana cost, that is) abilities that they can use to kill creeps without having too little health left after the fight.. However, due to their good sustainability, they will instead go into the jungles on the map and kill the creeps there, hence, giving his teammates more lane creeps to kill. They do have at least 1 skill that can disable enemy heroes that they may encounter while jungling This role can be a difficult to play as you need to be able to keep up with their teammates in terms of hero level and help out when a gank is in progress.
The “Pusher” is a hero that can take down waves of creeps very quickly, either via an area of effect skill or through rapid attack speed. They excel early on in the game where they can surprise the opposition by pressing an attack on the enemy tower and if the enemy cannot react in time, they may even manage to take down a tower or two early in the game. However, pushing too early may be unwise as you’ll be too far from your teammates, opening yourself up for a gank. In the late game, “pushers” will still do their thing and try to take down towers, especially when the enemy apparently has left a tower unprotected. This role can be hard to play as well since you’ll need to know when to retreat and when to press forward.
Lastly, do take note that players can play more than one role at a time, for example, a ganker can be a jungler and vice versa. Now that you know about the many roles, hopefully, you can use the knowledge imparted to up your gaming skills in MOBAs. Who knows? One day, you may just be good enough at these games to rise to the status of “Pro Gamer”!