Heroes of Newerth devs S2 Games declared their second wizard 'em up, Strife, a "second generation MOBA." (Don't confuse Strife with Smite, Hi-Rez's similarly-named wizard pusher.) With one Dote 'em up under their belt, the reasoning goes, they've learned from successes and mistakes of the wizard murder simulator genre. Yes, yes, but what's it actually like? We can now all see for ourselves, as S2 launched Strife into open beta testing on Friday.
You know the basics: two teams of five wizards are fighting each other for whatever reason, pushing down lanes towards each other's base, levelling up, buying items, and generally killing each other. That's a Dote 'em up all right. Here come the twists.
Wizards are accompanied into battle by a pet of their choice, critters sheep to crabs who have their own abilities and level up persistently along with your account. Wizards respawn quicker than other games and regenerate quickly out of combat, so they should spend less time dead or walking back to base to heal up. Last-hit gold is shared between wizards too. Strife's map also has a honking great neutral monster held captive somewhere, which players can free to send rampaging down lanes. Look, rather than summarise all these differences myself, I'll send you to this page doing just that.
Head over here to create an account and play in the open beta. Have a month-old trailer: