After DC DOTA, A Magicka MOBA: Wizard Wars

By Adam Smith on March 25th, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

Moments ago, Warner announced the existence of a DC Comics MOBA called Infinite Crisis and Paradox have now announced the existence of a Magicka MOBA called Wizard Wars. Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to learn everything there is to know about the genre in between those announcements so I’m just going to copy some words from the press release and pop the live action trailer below.

In Magicka: Wizard Wars, two teams of four wizards each will go head-to-lightning-bolt on the field of battle, wielding a wealth of magic spells as players adapt their tactics on the fly in response to their opponents. In true Magicka fashion, victory will go to the team whose wizards can combine the craftiest casts – and who can avoid the most friendly fire.

Element combinations are still the basis of spells, which means comically misplaced explosions should be par for the course.

‘Generic Monarch’ provided my first proper smile of the day and then I realised how late in the day it was and became grumpy again.

Paradox aren’t just the publishers for Wizard Wars – it’s under development at Paradox North, a new internal studio.

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55 Comments »

  1. zind says:

    So, it’s Magicka multiplayer arenas? (I did not watch the trailer, and thus do not know if there are different classes or any of that sort of thing that I generally assume makes a MOBA a MOBA.)

  2. Chalky says:

    Paradox are one of my favourite developers out there, but do we really need any more DOTA style games? This feels like the next gaming gold rush, like we had with MMORPGs.

    • Feferuco says:

      You know I’ve been mostly ignoring the dota craze but this one made me interested, IF it means no classes, no jungling or whatever, nothing too complex, just spell combos, friendly fire.

      • El_MUERkO says:

        I like MOBA’s but it took three/four months before the LOL community broke my will and four games of DOTA2 before I vowed never to go near them again.

        What’s going to happen when people can do more than spout racist homophobic abuse and/or rage quit! I’m not going to buy it but I look forward to the replays on youtube :D

    • Tacroy says:

      Honestly the problem with MOBA style games is that people take them too damn seriously. If Magicka can fix that, I’m all for it.

      • Apocalypse says:

        Don´t ask what magicka can fix for you, ask who needs fixing with a thunderbolt!
        The fun to deal with not funny team mates alone is worth to buy the game and spend some time with it!

      • Serpok says:

        You can already play magica in Dota2 – just make all 10 players pick an Invoker.

      • Platypus says:

        I find that hard to believe :/ Imo the possibility of friendly fire will lead to trolling and flaming. I just hope they can make it work and I don’t have to shed too many tears.

        • Phasma Felis says:

          Exactly. The uptights who think video games are a God Damn religious calling will get pissed off and leave, and the rest of will be allowed to actually have fun.

          It’s why TF2′s online community is (relatively) nicer than the typical military shooter’s. All the douchebags who want to think of themselves as serious, stone cold killers couldn’t get off to it and left. One of my fondest memories of TF2 was all the moaners who quit after the Sniper/Spy update because they couldn’t bear the indignity of getting hit with Jarate.

    • Yglorba says:

      I think the fundamental problem with DoTA games is the focus on XP and gold. Those two things completely distort the gameplay, because they mean that even a very small slip-up at any point in the game can rapidly lead to one side getting an overwhelming advantage (and can make the game totally unfun for the team that falls behind.)

      Worse, they compound the impact of having one bad player on your team (since they’re not only failing to contribute but are actively making the enemy stronger.) This makes the game higher-pressure and more newbie-unfriendly.

      I assume that a Magica-style game wouldn’t have those (and even if they let you buy weapons, staves, and magicks, those are mostly sidegrades or very minor buffs — a wizard who’s coordinated, clever, quick-to-react and slightly lucky can totally win against the best gear in the game even using starting stuff.)

  3. luukdeman111 says:

    That’s actually finally a pretty interesting addition to the moba genre… the Magicka spell system would probably work great in MP

    • Screwie says:

      Yeah that’s an interesting selling point. I wonder how the MOBA side of things will work if they keep the insta-rez spell in the game (and conversely how fun the random accidental deaths would be if there’s a forced respawn timer).

    • Reapy says:

      I always casually think about game design ideas i wanted to see, and right around when I heard about magica, I was thinking of a similar game, having spell elements then combining them in interesting ways, throwing out spell components etc etc.

      Though in the game I was thinking of, it was an arena style battle rather than the co op fest. I think it would be VERY interesting to duel with a magika style system. If they stick to that and avoid creeps, towers, and leveling up, I would be very interested in this game.

      • Sian says:

        Erm… Magicka already has arena-style maps just for blowing up friends and enemies . No mobs or anything, just wizards blowing each other up – and themselves.

    • solidsquid says:

      It’ll be interesting to see how that works, if they’re using the same multiple narrow paths to the enemy location that others do then couldn’t your wizards just lock those down with a shield spell? And what if you just get everyone together to do one massive beam attack at the same time, could you quickly clear a path for a counter attack which does huge amounts of damage or is the res time as fast as in Magicka and so able to counter this? Do you even respawn, or do you have to rely on allies to raise you? The spell system is so contrary to anything currently in a DOTA game that it could be pretty impressive

  4. FriendlyFire says:

    While this may be another MOBA, it’s perhaps the first one I’d actually be interested in playing. Fucking up would be part of the game, so I wouldn’t suck!

  5. Revolving Ocelot says:

    Considering my experiences in Dota 2 have a lot of sabotage by my own team (Hello Tiny – please stop tossing me, the super-squishy Lich, right at the angry Troll Warlord), it seems only natural to make it a core part of the gameplay experience. I approve!

    • DerNebel says:

      Another golden one is precision forcestaffing. No need for Recall here Kotl, you just need to be really, really good at predicting your allies movement, so you can get that perfect forcestaff up unto the hill they can’t get down from. The good thing is, you can do it with every hero!

      Or you can do it on the enemies I s’pose. If you’re boring.

      And Tossed Lich is a goddamn cuisine in the dota world, just so you know. Serve with ice.

      • Revolving Ocelot says:

        Winner winner, Riki dinner is my personal preference for feeding on. (Until they learn how to purge Dust of Appearance of themselves, that is)

  6. x1501 says:

    Dungeon Defenders, Magicka… The genre is spreading and eating away at regular co-op games like a goddamn virus. Call me old-fashioned, but I’d rather just see Magicka 2.

  7. mehteh says:

    sigh, another MOBA…

  8. KevinLew says:

    I’m hoping that developers aren’t saying, “Well, free-to-play MMOs are getting boring, let’s now make free-to-play MOBA games.”

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      You’re too late, this has been going on for a few years now. Personally, I don’t understand the fascination at all.

      It sort of reminds me of the tower defence craze, where people starting churning out loads of Flash games which copied the basic formula almost exactly, with minor tweaks. i want more interesting things that don’t fit into neat little subgenres focused on a cargo cult imitation of success.

  9. MadJax says:

    Oh good, I’m NOT the only one sick of MOBA’s and the (generally, not always) toxic communities they attract :)

  10. darkChozo says:

    So it’s basically gonna be 4v4 all-Invoker?

  11. Wurstwaffel says:

    I can’t stand that term “MOBA”. It tells you nothing about gameplay, other than it’s multiplayer. Also the genre itself tends to be casual shit

    • Magnusm1 says:

      Woah, aren’t you a dangerous badass.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      MOBA might be a bad name, sure, but “casual shit”? Somebody’s a sore loser and got his arse kicked a few too many times at “casual” DotA or League.

      • zin33 says:

        well i wouldnt say “casual” but i wouldnt say “hardcore” either. most of my WoW friends also play dota and i wouldnt consider WoW hardcore by any standards
        besides team based multiplayer normally is a little casual (people just feels better about themselves when they lose since its probably their teams fault right?? right??) so it is more aproachable
        also friends that failed at sc2 found dota to be enjoyable so yea..

  12. gjrud says:

    I’m sad because this game is not called “Magicka: Online Battle Arena” =(

  13. jrodman says:

    It seems lke Zany + Co-Op = Laughter, while Zany + Competition = Annoyance.

  14. caddyB says:

    I always thought Magicka needed something like this.

  15. Muzman says:

    Don’t Arrowhead really need to be involved in this for it to be any good? (give or take nightmare buggy release).
    I know Arrowhead don’t want to be making Magicka stuff forever, but for once it’s a developer’s own damn fault: the magic system in Magicka is goddam genius.

    • Wut The Melon says:

      I second this. I don’t play MOBA’s, but I’d be interested in anything Magicka. Question is, how Magicka is this game if it’s not even made by the same developers?

      • MrUnimport says:

        Presumably the existence of silly wizards, not-vampires, and an elemental-combination keyboard-Twister magic system.

  16. Koozer says:

    Er, not sure how this is a MOBA. From their website:

    Fight intense 4-on-4 team battles by combining your own dynamic spells and wielding humor as a weapon

    Adapt your attacks on the fly to counter your opponents’ tactics and show your skill in fast-paced action

    Friendly fire is in full effect, staying true to the Magicka tradition of “accidentally” killing your friends

    Hardcore game mechanics, instantly approachable chaotic gameplay
    A new approach to PvP that only Magicka could create

    Indulge your wizard pride and get your Robes, Staves and Humor of choice ready!

    Reads like an arena deathmatch type thingum.

    • floher says:

      From the exact same page, just one paragraph above your quote:

      “…, Wizard Wars gives both novice players and experienced MOBA veterans a unique tactical depth in every encounter.”

      Sounds like MOBA to me.

      • Muzman says:

        Maybe when they say “experienced MOBA veterans” they don’t mean the game is a MOBA, but that it can appeal to supremely cranky propellorhead types.

      • darkChozo says:

        The way Magicka multiplayer works actually seems pretty suited to MOBA systems. You could have level ups unlock spell components, and maybe even component slots (ie. you can only use one component at a time unless you put levels into them). “Items” would be weapons/staffs and spells. Hell, you already have a boots equivalent; just make Haste cost a bit more than your starting gold. And if you were really clever, you could have neutral creeps that grant powerful spells temporarily; what if Rosh/Baron dropped Vortex?

  17. Droopy The Dog says:

    I love how they went as far as to make their made up gibberish largely consistent across all their dialogues.

  18. Josh W says:

    so I’m just going to copy some words from the press release and pop the live action trailer below

    Noooooo.

  19. MiloticMaster says:

    Those Game of Thrones references… :::D <- smiling and crying at the same time

  20. Zankmam says:

    I really don’t care if it is a arena, MOBA, DotAlike… Whatever you want to call it, I just want a Versus Multyplayer focused Magicka.

    The game has so much potential. The gameplay mechanics of the game – the spell casting, wand + offhand and robe customization – really should have made Magicka a popular E-Sport, for crying out loud.

  21. Sythonz says:

    Friendly fire in the hands of the ARTS/MOBA community sounds like a great idea. /sarcasm

  22. vivlo says:

    as a Magicka and MOBA genre fan, i can say i have had feverish freams of that thing happening.

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