More For Your MOBA: Prime World

By Jim Rossignol on April 15th, 2013 at 8:00 am.


Russian talents at Nival are throwing their gauntlet into MOBA world with an impressive offering: Prime World, which blends in alternative game modes (to that standard three-lane thing) and adds castle-building and RPG bits. Your management of your hometown will directly influence your powers as a fancy hero: “In the castle, players can build various buildings (from mining facilities to decorative structures), create new talents, and select sets of talents to equip their heroes with for upcoming battles. The construction and infrastructure of this town is an important gameplay element in Prime World. A good town results in a combat advantage.” Somehow I think I’d rather play with that castle-building tool than actually get stuck into the MOBA, but I am an old man, with many troubles.

There’s a video below, which announces a closed beta sign up.

Bombastic, I would say. The beta sign up thing is here.

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71 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    So wait this is just an RTS, right?

    • Mr. Mister says:

      But with a hero, I guess. Think Age of Mythology with an Egyptian god (or a Greek one if it’s team based).

      • misterT0AST says:

        Or, you know, Warcraft III, since it basically IS Dota + units. Or rather Dota is a modded Warcraft III – units.

    • Sergey Galyonkin says:

      Well, not really. It kinda breaks down into three key gameplay elements: building an economy, acquiring talents (think of them as item in your average MOBA) and fighting on arenas.

      It’s more like HOMM + MTG + DOTA.

      P.S. I work for Nival :)

  2. Droopy The Dog says:

    All those jump cuts in time with the beat in that trailer gave me a involuntary twitch.

  3. Shiny says:

    Too bad about the MOBA bit. I’d be interested otherwise.

  4. Punizher says:

    its RUS then expect pay to win… NEXT

    • Don Reba says:

      I think it depends on the company. WOT is not too pay-to-win from what I hear. Allods were ok when they were Nival’s, then went bad after being acquired by Mail.ru.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      it’s RUS so expect MOCKBA

  5. Kollega says:

    And again, the game art (specifically, the video’s thumbnail) commits the sin of a guy in full armor standing next to a woman in a bikini. I tend to be too lazy to actively campaign for women’s rights in games… but seriously. This cliche should just die already. Going into battle with only your underwear is ridiculous, no matter which sex you are.

    What i want to see is a high fantasy or military sci-fi game that pulls a Metroid and makes all the resident knights/space marines female, but doesn’t tell you about it untill you are a few hours in.

    • Jamesworkshop says:

      http://www.atlanticrow2013.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/3003.jpeg

      Pants are a perfectly acceptable military uniform

      • Barnox says:

        Those Spartans don’t really apply to this situation: Their abs are made of CGI-enhanced Plotonium, the strongest of all armours.

        But dammit game-people, what criteria do you grade armour by? Defensiveness for males, midriff and thigh for females? She is literally wearing a G-string in a combat situation.
        For sanity’s sake I’m going to assume someone stood up against it. What happened then? “Sorry Dave, but scarlet G-strings and battlebras are what people are asking for/fit our image better/make us more likely to be published by Deep Silver.”

        • Don Reba says:

          Maybe no one objected, because guys simply prefer scantily dressed girls and girls prefer guys in armour?

          • Premium User Badge

            Gap Gen says:

            Or maybe this isn’t marketed at women at all. Just spitballing, here.

          • Don Reba says:

            I do think it is marketed to women, though, except that both bikinis and bulky armour sets are there for their sex appeal.

          • Premium User Badge

            Bluerps says:

            I know a guy who doesn’t prefer scantily dressed girls in every situation.

          • Premium User Badge

            Gap Gen says:

            I’m not convinced that guys in full armour is a female sexual fantasy, but I’m kinda scared to Google for a more authoritative answer.

        • Jamesworkshop says:

          you clearly haven’t seen what females draw on deviant art

          • Premium User Badge

            Gap Gen says:

            This is a good point – if you want to find out how to attract women with sexy guys, this is probably not a bad thing. Alternatively, if you’re a reasonable-sized developer, you can probably afford to do a focus group test or two.

        • Ringwraith says:

          Of course actual Spartans also did not wear armour, so there’s that.
          They didn’t have walls around Sparta either, kinda their thing.

          • Premium User Badge

            Gap Gen says:

            Do you have a source for the no armour thing? As far as I can tell, they wore the same armour as the other Greek states of the same era (more or less).

          • Ringwraith says:

            Eh, possibly I may be confusing it with things. Though they were practically that “we are WARRIORS” stereotype personified.

          • tormos says:

            you are both kind of right. Spartans were at their prime in the age of phalanx warfare, which did not generally entail much armor. so they would be lightly armored, but no more lightly than, say, Athenians.

      • Kollega says:

        Let’s admit that even though movies have their share of awesome musclemen parading around in the buff, this tradition finds surprisingly little crossover with games. I don’t think i can remember many game protagonists styling themselves after Conan the Barbarian – which, on reflection, is a little strange.

    • Premium User Badge

      HighlordKiwi says:

      But inevitably the reveal would take the form of a space marine taking her armour off with a series of camera angles that makes it look like a strip tease.

    • Sergey Galyonkin says:

      Well, we do have half-naked guys

      http://gyazo.com/024137daa80f96cdacffdc4d93caef5c

      And ladies in full armor

      http://gyazo.com/99adba597b14ba74ded82df883e47ddb

      Also, this lady is also playable

      http://gyazo.com/2af45512bb2ae40fe66273afc5aaad5b

      I will not deny – we do have our share of half-naked female characters, but we do have diverse set of heroes in game, not just cliched “Men in full armor” and “Girls in chainmail bikinis”.

    • Sergey Galyonkin says:

      Hm, RPS blocks my links, so I’ll try it again

      Here is a half-dressed guy

      http://gyazo.com/024137daa80f96cdacffdc4d93caef5c

      • Kollega says:

        The half-dressed guy isn’t half-dressed enough compared to the chainmail bikini chick, i call foul :P

        Although seeing as the game has an old lady as a shaman (?), i guess i can give the art design a chance. I’m just tired of seeing various styles of chainmail bikini in the games. I grew out of the age when tittilation was more important to me in fantasy armor than practicality and diversity, or at least i’d like to believe that.

        • Sergey Galyonkin says:

          We just want different characters in game, that’s it.

          Here is a bit more naked one, although this isn’t a final art, just work in progress.

          http://gyazo.com/465346afa1029f4bc13955f99dee6b7f

          Here is for example another playable hero.

          http://gyazo.com/a9041a8b56d2f4a658a5850f734eba15

          • Kollega says:

            Okay, the Einstein guy is unusual for a fantasy game. I give it 4 out of 5 :P

            Also, i’m no marketer, but i think the divesity, if it exists, should be played up in advertising. RPS audience isn’t the only one that rolls eyes at chainmail bikinis. Although again, i’m no marketer, so perhaps sex DOES sell. I’m just throwing in my two cents.

          • Premium User Badge

            Gap Gen says:

            Or you could go for the classical Greek art depiction of men in battle and just have them completely naked.

            The problem is that even if the depictions are equally naked, the role of men and women in society is not. So if you want to promote gender equality, then removing the clothes of both sexes isn’t enough. It’s a difficult problem, though, and the simplest option is just to desexualise both genders.

            That said, I understand that as a developer capturing the hormonal teenage boy market is important, so you might be less inclined to take this into account if it means less people are likely to pick up the game.

      • Ultra Superior says:

        Her armor truly is FULL.

      • Sian says:

        Sorry, Sergey, but that armour still presents a very obvious target for any pointy bit of metal with that cleavage. Here are some women in sensible armour:
        http://womenfighters.tumblr.com/

      • Premium User Badge

        Malibu Stacey says:

        A lady in full armour is Brienne of Tarth in the Game of Thrones TV series (she shows up in Season 2).

        This is close but no cigar.

        • Premium User Badge

          Gap Gen says:

          Game of Thrones has some of the best depiction of women that I’ve seen in the genre, though I’m not that well versed in fantasy in general.

    • Sergey Galyonkin says:

      This old lady is also playable

      http://gyazo.com/2af45512bb2ae40fe66273afc5aaad5b

      I will not deny – we do have our share of half-naked female characters, but we do have diverse set of heroes in game, not just cliched “Men in full armor” and “Girls in chainmail bikinis”.

      • Geewhizbatman says:

        Yeah sorry, you’re not going to win this one. I was looking through the character roster and could only find one female character that didn’t seem to have an emphasis on her nudity or sex. It was the Priestess/Healer. Now, even she is in stupid heels for the battle field, but it’s otherwise understated and sure she’s not wearing pants but she’s not in a micro-skirt. She has a kind of “Healer McBeal; Independent Priestess,” thing going on.

        Then there was the questionable Maiden/Nymph. They were rather tame, I mean really only because of how utterly exposed other characters were. For me it’s a hard call though. They ARE riding unicorns. Which, ya know–You can only see if you’re a virgin and has some weird connotations revolving around that. Especially since one of her skills is actually called “Shield of Purity,” as well as Bewitch. So, while the design is pretty good–slapping her on top of a unicorn makes it sort of weird for me. It’s basically saying the only reason she gets a top that doesn’t need to be painted on is because she’s not been “defiled” and her powers come from her pseudo-”Alluring Purity,” which is a gross thing to say in a design.

        But I will say I love that you’re trying and from your posts here this issue is important to you. You made it clear you want there to be an image of this game as diverse and non-exploitative. My advice is always to tell your designers to set gender last. It’s almost always the first thing someone starts putting down when thinking of a fictional character. The problem with that is it then colors every other step in the character creation process with their bias. So when you put “Fire Mage….Female,” You immediately create a certain mental image which changes how you start writing their story. Whereas if you wrote a character bio about a fire mage who struggled and scrapped to get by, using their powers just to get by before becoming enraged at the injustices of the world and seeking revenge—Oh and she’s a lady, you generate a very different response.

        • Sergey Galyonkin says:

          Yes, this is in fact important thing for us. We only have basic heroes on our site, not skinned ones. I think we should fix it obviously, but meanwhile I’ll keep posting those images here :)

          Also, our character design team is almost exclusively female including team lead.

          As for unicorn-riding lady – I actually prefer this version of her: http://gyazo.com/665fd97b7eb52ddd9e3b6dde2b3763a1

  6. jellydonut says:

    But why though. The genre is already saturated.

    Besides, these are competitive games. The community has already found its darlings. It’s not going to step away from LoL or Dota 2 now unless riot or valve fuck up immensely.

    • misterT0AST says:

      Smaller games like Smite and Awesomenauts have found their happy niche in the market, despite the 2 big ones.

      • Baines says:

        Awesomenauts looks like a different game. It is a side scroller action game with guns and such, even if the core mechanics are essentially the same.

        How successful is Awesomenauts, as well? It presumably gets some traffic and notice from console offerings. But is there much console play? Is there much PC play?

        As for MOBAs in general, how much does it cost to run and maintain one? We’ve seen companies try to carve a niche in the MMO pie, and seen subscription dying off and previous pay games move to free-to-play. We’ve seen companies pumping out FPS to varying degrees of success and failure (and seen their online fall dead). But I’m not really sure what a MOBA needs to achieve.

        • misterT0AST says:

          The worst sin it can commit is having heroes/champions too similar to existing ones (fans hate that), assuming there will be many people playing (the only MOBA with a waiting time consistently lower than 2 minutes remains LoL), assuming people will stay for the “progression system” if the gameplay is not fun.
          It needs something that makes it stand out not only in gameplay but also in setting/background, style, skill required to be successful.
          I direct you to Smite as a successful small fish MOBA. People actually spend money to buy skins, games are fun, abilities and items do straight-forward and easy things.
          The waiting time is 2 minutes (a bit more than Dota 2, but not really noticeable) and the different perspective and WASD movement makes it feel more actiony.

    • Knufinke says:

      Because the two big ones are so much alike, to the untrained eye they might as well be the same game. And few games add something to the concept, it’s basicaly always the same map with the same mechanics.

      Demigod was a really good example how to improve MOBAs by adding some interesting element. Sadly it wasn’t successfull at all.

  7. Zeewolf says:

    Nival made some good games, back in the day. Especially fond of Blitzkrieg and Silent Storm. They lost me when they went MP-only.

  8. Premium User Badge

    PoulWrist says:

    So it’s like Sins of a Dark Age, but without dropping all the extra stuff?

  9. Rollin says:

    Unless I’ve misunderstood, the hometown building aspect is essentially just a visualization of persistent talent trees, and the game itself is just a generic moba? Does it bring anything new to the table?

    • Sergey Galyonkin says:

      No, castle is a part of a meta-game.

      What’s different about core Prime World’s gameplay is it’s focus on meta-game.

      For example, you don’t buy your boots or armor in store during battle – you can buy wards and potions, but everything else you equip between battles.

      You have 36 slots for talents for each hero and it’s up to you what to equip. During the battle you only unlock stuff you’ve already equipped – a little bit like MTG, only not that random.

      That gives us several opportunities: we can have a lot of talents (we currently have around 700) and still keep learning curve manageable.

      Every hero comes pre-equipped (like a starter pack in, again, MTG), but you will want to change his talents to suit your play style.

      Also, we have six different game modes (three radically different ones and three “mods”), persistent leveling and talent upgrades.

      It’s un-DOTA in every sense – it’s not about cybersport, it’s about macro-management as well as micro, it does have clans system and so on.

      • Rollin says:

        Thanks for the response, I’m interested in any game that shakes things up and does something a little different from the crowd.

  10. pakoito says:

    The moment there’s persistence in your character is not a MOBA anymore.

  11. porps says:

    this looks like pretty interesting, will certainly be giving this a look at the first opportunity

  12. Geewhizbatman says:

    So, there’s this interesting little line in the website, “Lords and Ladies choose for themselves whether they want to Fighting side by side, players of different genders receive big bonuses. For example, a mortally wounded female hero becomes impervious to any damage for a limited period of time, when next to a male player’s character.”

    Now, I’m not exactly sure what that means. Mostly because they had some trouble with gender possession in the last sentence. Switching from Female Hero to Male Player’s character. So, is it when an in game female character is next to an in game male character–or when the characters of players with separate, registered genders are next to one another regardless of avatar gender?

    Because I think the latter would be a sort of interesting mechanic dealing with the real world gender demographic of video games. Obviously it’s not like every female registered player is going to actually be female but it does put this certain importance in at least perceived diversity in the game. Otherwise it’s still something, giving people an incentive to keep an open mind about the genders of their game characters. Something that I thought everyone was comfortable with but I was surprised it makes some people weirded out to play as a video game character of, gasp, the opposite gender! I imagine it only gets more complicated given the lack of gender neutral options out there.

    I mean that or it would just be a really great way to manipulate their demographic data. I wonder if other games have thought of that, because it’s pretty clever. “Did you know that 67% of our player base is female? Clearly our game says something important to women, there’s no reason we should address our gender stereotyped female characters given this show of female support.” “But–you made registering as a woman give special in-game incentive so maybe we can’t really say,” “67%!!!!!!! Thanks ladies. We think you’ll like our upcoming champion, ‘Bosom McSlapnTickle: Forever Youthful She-Demon Witch of Bonettopia!’”

    • Sergey Galyonkin says:

      This gender ability requires some explanation and understanding of our talents system, so forgive me for talking through this first.

      Each hero in Prime World has 36 slots for talents – like cards in MTG. Every hero comes pre-equipped with exclusive (white) and common (yellow) talents. And one uncommon (blue) talent – gender shield, that will protect hero of a different gender nearby.

      When you’re a newbie, you’ll keep this talent in your deck for sure – it is quite good even if you intend to play in same-gender team.

      It was designed to help couples get into a game, but it’s not powerful enough to keep it after you’ve upgraded your hero to blue, violet or orange talents. So, there is no point for hardcore gamers to lie about their gender – they’ll outgrow this advantage pretty fast.

      We did have another system in place to prevent fake registrations – Facebook connect. But it is optional now, because people aren’t comfortable with it.

      I’d estimate that of 15% female gamers in Russian PW only one tenth is fake.

      • Blackseraph says:

        Some males actually prefer to play games as a female character, you do know this right?

        Calling it lying about their gender is fairly silly.

      • dE says:

        What? How and why is it even remotely important if the players are “really” male or female?

  13. alilsneaky says:

    If the game is as bad as the music… holy shit.

    Also: you know what would make dota better? Grinding!
    -Said noone ever

  14. iridescence says:

    Will there be a single player mode? Game looks interesting but if the community ends up anything like League of Legends I want no part of that.