Hate on Zynga all you want: they know how to capitalize on popular gaming trends, which is something semi-commendable in this uncertain economy. And when the most popular game in the world happens to be League of Legends, it was only natural that Zynga would develop a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game of their own.
Enter Solstice Arena, set to release for tablets and mobile devices “very soon.” Designed with speed and accessibility in mind, creators Team Solstice say that the game will do away with farming and make for a streamlined experience that can be completed in 10 minutes. Solstice Arena also promises to be “fair to play” in that players will be able to purchase skins and armor to customize their champions, but not boosts to help aid in combat.
“Solstice Arena is free-to-play and fair to play,” reads the Team Solstice blog. “Above all, we want to preserve the core progression of MOBA competition.”
This is a really smart move, addressing the lack of paid boosts, as the decision to include them would have killed Solstice Arena before it even hit the app store. Assuming good game balance, Team Solstice has all but guaranteed that skill will be paramount, and not who has the biggest wallet of disposable income.
As to how the game plays, I’m interested to see how MOBA combat translates to a touch interface. Removing “creep waves” for farming means fewer targets to click on, meaning targeting accuracy can probably be a bit more forgiving. Time will tell if hardcore MOBA players will favor the mobile platform when the game is released.