By Darren Henderson (DizzyPW), OnRPG Editor-in-Chief
For MOBA Players... and Luxor Fans?
Now that you have a feel for the unusual non-MOBA elements that set this game apart (Write-up Part 1), it's time to talk how it still fits into the MOBA realm. For starters, you can expect your typical 5v5 3 lane map to battle with the ultimate goal destroying your enemy's HQ. Yup you've got shops selling teleport scrolls and potions, a central untouchable part of your base that offers a full heal, and three lines of minions pushing down separate lanes. At first glance you won't notice much of a difference here than other MOBAs.
In the rare occasions you walk between lanes to gank, you can snag power-ups in the river.
Last hitting minions offers extra prime. No denying feature. Plenty of Prime infected monsters lurking in the 'jungle,' i.e. the span of space between lanes that makes a bit of a winding maze to confuse and lose pursuers in. You'll see elevation akin to Heroes of Newerth that can be used to block enemy vision and set up ambushes. Turrets that autoattack enemies that attack their allied heroes are present (and quite tanky!) Inhibitor like buildings within the enemy base. Blah blah blah let's move on to what's different now!
One of the first major changes you'll run into is the selection of your hero prior to queuing. It has the nice benefit of making sure that you get to play who you want to play every time while matching you with appropriate archetypes to create a balanced team. I can see the counter-argument that it takes away some of the cooperation element of deciding a team as a whole but given the current state of communities in other western mobas... let's just say I expect this to resolve a ton of toxic attitude problems in one fell sweep.
First this map is huge! That's key in a moba as it impacts a team's tactics greatly. You're going to have to be careful about ganking other lanes as it's a long walk between them. That said spotting a jungler on top lane when you're on bottom means it's highly unlikely that he'll be appearing near you any time soon. Warding also becomes a bit more challenging as there are just so many routes you can sneak between lanes that it's much harder to get early warning of a gank incoming, resulting in MIA calls going way up in value.
Native Terrain is a unique feature in Prime World. Basically flags set-up at various points of the map can be captured to push your team's terrain forward like some kind of glorified zerg creep. While on your terrain you tend to have skill benefits that make you slightly more powerful. This offers some interesting dynamics such as making it more dangerous to counter-jungle your enemy on his terrain as well as giving you a bit of an incentive to over overextend in the laning phase to try to maintain control of the flag in the center of the two outer turrets on each lane. Combined with the river creation elevation advantage for the team being pushed, you get a pretty cool set-up where you might want to consider if it's in your advantage to get pushed to your tower and use the elevation to your advantage, or clear enemy minions quickly to maintain control of the lane terrain for your side to bolster your skills' powers.
Next is the return to base skill. Like League of Legends, you have one. But now it's on a 3 minute cooldown. Beyond teleporting back to base though, it can teleport you to anywhere on your native terrain. This offers some cool options such as speeding up jungle clear by teleporting directly to your jungle mob location, suddenly appearing in a major laning phase team fight, or split-pushing and ducking out to immediately push a different lane after taking down an objective. It's also another hindrance to counter-jungling.
One other point of note is this offers a bit of a balancing factor when two heroes clash in the laning phase as the losing side will have a free teleport back to lane while the winning side will likely need to use their skill to return to base for a heal, followed by spending some of their hard earned prime to buy a tele scroll back to the lane.
Vampire is frustrated with the difficulty. Just look at that portrait.
So what about the Luxor players I mentioned? Well unlike nearly every MOBA I've dealt with before that forces one lane to be shared by 2 of the 5 members of a team, this game offers a fifth Prime source so you can essentially have a dedicated Prime stream coming in to every member of your team early game. This comes from a Luxor style mini-game situated within the safety of your base in which players compete to beat rounds of Luxor to level themselves with Prime while also earning scrolls that they can immediately send to any of their teammates to give them an advantage.
It has some boosted challenge though as when you burst paint combos, occasionally Prime crystals will drop that must be caught with your cursor or lost into oblivion. Also you can spend your Prime to activate powerful skills like an AoE paint burst if you're having trouble winning a map, but the question is always on your mind of 'was it worth it?' The scrolls are incredibly impactful on a match and offer the following benefits:
Birds= Area to increase strength and intellect of allies. Decrease of enemies
Sign of Priestess= Restore heroes health over length of time
Starfall Scroll= Deals Great Damage to Enemies Around Hero
Light Scroll= Blinds enemies around hero
Gemini= Creates Double of Hero
In other words, if you assume the Luxor player is less skilled than those out in lane fighting, you're underestimating the reaction time, skill shots, and overall map awareness required to successfully play this role. Not to mention knowing when to drop the mini-game and join the battle is vital and may depend on the skill level of the player since post Hero level 11, the Luxor mini-game becomes intensely hard and if you can't keep up, you'll only be hindering your team by not joining the fight. A truly map aware player might even drop a Luxor challenge in mid-game and teleport to lane to help their team win a close battle! Yea you'll see a lot of random teleports altering fights for that matter. This game is seriously unpredictable.