Super Evil Megacorp had some of its marketing team tour around the world to tell us about the exciting news of their mobile MOBA, VainGlory, regarding the big jump to making the 5v5 format available. The Regional General Manager, Taewon Yun, had personally presented to us the details of what they currently had going on and what they actually weren’t 100% sure about doing yet. Of course we also asked them questions about the game and concerns regarding the local scene for the near future. All that and more is what we’ll be sharing with you today, so let’s go from the game’s technical specifications down to the questions we had asked our esteemed guests.
VainGlory, being known to be the most graphically impressive MOBA on mobile, has worked on improving the engine it’s running on. They plan to do this by rebuilding the currently operating engine from the ground up. They’ve gone so far as to remodel every asset from the currently active roster. This was necessary as the new 5v5 mode would more than double the current polycount, from 1.3 Million to over 3 Million polygons all actively being rendered by your phone at any point in time. That world will have about 200 active actors, and the also plan to have the game be able to support to upto 120 fps. They also demonstrated an actual fog of war in operation, instead of the usual detection ring that most mobile MOBAs employ.
With what appears to be a lot of heavy lifting to be done by your mobile device, Taewon Yun has ensured that one of their goals with their engine rebuild was to make it as efficient as possible. They plan to do this in order of making the game playable on as many devices as possible. In fact it is currently known that graphic settings can be adjusted units running on the Android OS.
While we asked what their ideal minimum requirements would be, they responded by saying that they can’t give an accurate answer on that with their current build. They did however point out that they were going to demonstrate the new game mode to us using iPad Air 2s, those units were able to handle the stably on 60 fps.
New Game, New Rules
Having more players active in the field, SEM has increased the number of objectives you can go after. Starting with the previously mentioned 2 additional lanes making the map completely reversible. There are also expanded jungle areas that which have been split between the lanes. At the end of each lane is looks like the Dota 2 counterpart of barracks for VainGlory. There also appears to be more areas to farm the jungle with, but perhaps the biggest surprise is the existence of the two new dragons.
Black Claw and (presumably) Red Claw are the equivalent of their VainGlory’s own version of map bosses. But defeating either of them actually has different effects. The red one will give you and your surrounding allies a buff, while the black one will fly into the clashing point of a lane and wreak havoc on your opponents and their base from there. What makes Black Claw stand out from the Kraken would be how it actually has a set of abilities it can do. It can make wide swipes on the lane to attack what’s around it, or it can breathe fire and deal some real damage to enemy structures. Now for those who have to deal with Black Claw, being careless means getting caught in Black Claw’s attacks, making it easy for whoever’s watching to pick them off easily as dragons apparently really pack a punch. These beasts aren’t immediately available at the start of the game, but a map announcement will the fact that they’re almost ready will be made.
Adjustments For Two New Additions
SEM has also announced that they will be watching community feedback closely to make adjustments necessary to keep the game balanced. This will be ranging from tweaking numbers on heroes and possibly even items, in fact they have already employed the use of ‘cameras’ that are meant to scout areas of the map freely. And are already currently making several iterations of it to check for what would really work for it.
Also, they are going to introduce a new way of controlling your camera within the game. Giving you the freedom to scroll through the map freely, instead of automatically centering it on your hero all the time. This gives you the ability to survey other parts of the map you’re in, also making it possible to use global abilities with more accuracy. This brings it closer to the PC counterparts that SEM claim that they are competing against.
When asked how the competitive scene next year will look like, Taewon Yun responded that they will definitely be looking into making the new 5v5 mode be part of the competitive scene. He followed that 3v3 may still be around but this will hugely depend on the response of the community and the professional teams. Considering that there will be considerable differences between 3v3 and 5v5, it is unlikely that the same players will be playing on both modes. Taewon Yun also noted that it would probably be best to focus on one rather than divide resources on supporting two separate game modes.
SEM has stated that they intend to release the game early 2018, hopefully with enough time left in the year to launch its own competitive scene.