MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) Games are renowned for their ability to thrill and entice gamers of all ages and proficiencies. From a decent set of rules to brilliant gameplay design, two MOBA heartthrobs seem to be aggressively competing for space in the hearts of gamers. Our two contenders are Blizzard’s "Heroes of the Storm" and Valve’s "Dota 2."

Both games are designed much like a fantasy chess game, and five players on either side take up arms on a map divided into three lanes. Each team has the extra support of non-player “creeps” that manifest every now and again to take the fight to the enemy’s “creeps,” keeping the match going.

Towers in each lane add to the excitement as players fight smart, and often brutally, to raze said towers, get past creeps and enemy players, and attack their main base. At this “mothership” location stands other buildings and towers by way of added protection for the one building that, if destroyed, ends the game in favor of the first team to do so. Between the sheer entertainment value and the vast quantity of cussing and name-calling that transpires during a heated match, there’s little wonder why MOBAs are also called “E-Sports.

Be sure to check out the YouTube video links provided in this article, specifically the beginner tutorials.

'Heroes of the Storm' – Patch 28.5 and gameplay expectations

With "Heroes of the Storm’s" latest patch update, simply titled 2.0 (its official tag is patch 28.5), there are several advantages and a fair amount of downsides. Blizzard seems to have pulled yet another “balancing act,” trying to keep some of their characters from getting too over-powerful and spoiling the fun for thousands of players.

October has sizzled to a close, and the Hallow’s End event has ended while heralding a new set of patch-additions to Heroes of the Storm 2.0.

According to the patch’s latest review on Heavy (Nov 3, Derek Krater), massive changes have been rolled out for your top hero-favorites like Tychus, Zul’jin, Jimmy Ray-Ray, Junkrat (the new hero on the block), and Valla.

The supporting cast also seems to have received the once-over. Heroes like Zagara, Leoric, Muradin, and Azmodan have experienced some heavy-hits, and not in the thrilling sense.

Cursed developer patch alterations aside, the characters have been rounded off to a decently fair gaming style, making them more fun for new players seeking their shot at fame and glory. Players are almost-constantly live-streaming their matches on Twitch (and alternative video hubs), granting newbies and professionals alike a keen glimpse of progress in varied matches.

The game has seen a colossal influx of players from all over the world. It follows in the rich tradition of MOBAs everywhere, and provides top-notch matchmaking entertainment that will keep you glued to the screen for hours; if not days.

Speaking of insane digital addictions, let’s explore a bigger just-as-desirable game in the e-sport family.

'Dota 2' – Patch 7.07b and gameplay expectations

Known for its rich array of characters as much as for an OCD-like tendency to keep patching its game files, "Dota 2" is a brilliant mix of high-value digital matchmaking and unforgettable well-paced gameplay design. Not a week has passed since the 7.07 patch (aka Dueling Fates) and Valve has already come up with another (simply titled 7.07b) aimed at balancing things out.

According to the patch’s latest review on The Flying Courier (Nov 6, Victoria Rose), the usual suspects have been at it again – suggestive coughs to Anti-Mage. It’s tricky, in "Dota 2," to confirm if a player is really as good as all that or if they have a program-advantage via an improved win-rate, courtesy the developers.

The two new heroes added to the roster – namely Pangolier and Dark Willow – are doing great, on and off. Valve certainly altered some of their attributes, to “balance” their in-game strengths and weaknesses. This was apparently required because Willow seemed to be showing signs of over-powerment whereas Pangolier was waning in that scale.

The “touch-up team” did not forget some old favorites. Tweaks have been performed on characters like Tiny (who ended up feeling quite the opposite), Kunkaa (the Captain went down a ship), Morphling (the river seems to have broken the dam), and Medusa (just when you though the snake-lady couldn’t be made stronger).

Why are there so many patches?

If you are already an avid subscriber to either game, you can check out their detailed patch notes to understand just how the developer-doctors went about performing surgery on your favorite character.

Hero abilities are often the primary focus in such patches. The developers perform these alterations to ensure a balanced gameplay and fair hero-specific strengths/weaknesses so players don’t feel overwhelmed or dissatisfied.

According to Compete (Nov 7, Eric Van Allen), e-sport jargon comprises words like “buffing” (strengthening) or “nerfing” (weakening). You know a character is buffed or nerfed based on the aftermath of a patch; the notes say all. Van Allen goes on to write that while buttons and combinations remain familiar, you can see different means to the same end; following a new patch. Popular heroes are “balanced” to make gameplay fairer. The entire game feels practically new – if a patch is done right – and there’s a palpably fresh feeling of excitement and discovery.

These patches are outstanding ways to introduce fresh players to the heart-racing world of MOBA gaming while sometimes putting a slight frown on the faces of seasoned professionals. You know what they say, all is fair in love and e-sports. If you’re feeling left out of the MOBA-loop, download and install your preferred multiplayer. Dota 2 (released on July 9, 2013) is an older favorite but Heroes of the Storm (released on June 2, 2015) is fast catching up to its popularity.

Final warning

As for those of you who are already in on the glory, it’s time to stop reading this ultra-basic “orientation for e-sport dummies.” This mini-intro has been written for those who have no real clue what all the fuss is about concerning “patch anxiety” and strategic “kill or be killed” tactics in the world of e-sports.

Let's not forget your ability to swear when things do not go your way. Honestly, you can't program such spontaneous rage. This is for those noobs-among-noobs looking to take their first step into the royally marvelous realm of awesomeness that you have already been indoctrinated into. So go queue for another match, Hero-mongers, and Dota-crazies, and may the odds be ever in your favor.