@DFawkes The Shire thing is essentially just a different skin for the single map, but it is all nice and green and verdant instead of predominantly being made of cobblestones and dust. Like any compatibility patch or game update or whatever, I believe you can only join games where it is in use if you have it yourself. It is free, and quite pretty. I don't know if there are game fixes in the download, too.|
Ignatius_Cheese wrote:I have now tried to type out an answer to that question about three times, and each time I've ended up deleting it as confusing and unsatisfactory. I'm not sure the following explanation is going to be any clearer. It is a MOBA, but I'm still not sure that even means anything to me.
I can't even recommend playing the demo to find out, because it doesn't really go completely towards explaining what it is, although the training skirmish does give you a good impression of how the game feels, and there are 60 minutes of free 'real' playtime included in the demo. It's best to try and play these 60 minutes with other people so that they can explain to you just what in the hell is going on, hopefully.
Imagine you're watching a Real Time Strategy game played between two AIs on a top-down 2D map where all the units that fight each other are the same, and they are trotted out of preset barracks in opposing bases, along preset lanes, past preset defensive towers, to fight one another in what would be an unending war of attrition because without the presence of players, it's a complete stalemate. The single map is made up of three 'lanes' at the top, middle and bottom of the map, each lane has a barracks from each team to pour out little fighter men. The purpose of these fighter men is to approach the enemy base, fight the enemy's fighter men and destroy the defensive towers of the enemy that guard the lanes leading up to the base, the ultimate aim being to destroy the enemy barracks and single, target base tower.
Now drop in a bunch of five human (or AI controlled) super-players, or 'Guardians' on each side. Each one plays a hero character from Tolkien-land, and each one is a member of one of five classes that are essentially attackers, defenders, healers, support troops and people that blow up enemy towers or base buildings better than they do other stuff.
Each hero has a basic attack that varies in range and power based on what kind of dude they are - Gandalf whacks people ineffectually with his stick, Legolas shoots people from much further away with his powerful arrows and, erm, some dwarves smash people with hammers for lots of damage, assuming the targets aren't stood more than their diminutive arm-length away.
Each hero also has four 'powers' that do various things relating to their classes. Many of the powers do damage to enemy drones, or Guardians, or both. Some powers do healing to yourself and/or your chums. Some powers freeze the enemy Guardians in place, or drag them towards you, or push them away, allowing for a deal of tactical positioning in the way that fights between Guardians take place. Each Guardian has a very different balance of powers that is not quite the same as any other Guardian, and you cannot have duplicate Guardians on the same team, so you'll never see two Gandalfs on the same side, although there is nothing to stop opposing teams each featuring a single Gandalf.
At the beginning of each match, each player character is level one, and can gain XP by killing enemy drone fighter-men, destroying enemy towers or, more problematically killing enemy Guardians. As you level up to level 14, the maximum for a match, you also increase the potency of your four powers.
Each power has a cooldown period before you can use it again, meaning that the order you use them in, and the timing of their use are very important. Throwing up a shield that gives a defensive barrier to you and your nearby friendly Guardians seems like a no-brainer for the beginning of a fracas, but if additional enemy Guardians appear part-way through, you'll wonder if you shouldn't have waited to give this boost to save the lives of anyone whose health is suddenly taking a beating.
That is sort of the basics of it.
As you fight more battles, you raise your overarching player level OUTSIDE the battles on another ranking system where you start at one. This allows you access to things like equipping your Guardians with single-use potions, or special commands that allow things like super-healing or a powerful physical attack or the ability to see enemies that are hidden in bushes for a short time. These Guardian-spanning 'Commands' are very powerful, but also have long cooldown times that often number in minutes rather than the seconds of the Guardian Powers.
There is an additional layer of complexity as you gain loot in the form of gold and relics and gems, which RedSparrows details pretty succinctly on page one of this thread.
Yes, there is talk of a patch on the way to address the issues of having to wait a long time to be matchmade into a game and allegedly dealing with some of the lag, although it is often easier to find a game in Elite Battlegrounds than in the default Battlegrounds mode, especially with full parties of five people on your side.
Sometimes you just get games that don't lag at all, and are great. In fact most of mine have been predominantly smooth.
God, I'm still not sure any of that really helped.
#9233468, By agparrot Guardians of Middle Earth
agparrot 11,899 posts
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