Early Access: Realm of the Titans Pre-CB Preview Part 1
By Darren Henderson (DizzyPW), OnRPG Editor-in-Chief
Hey OnRPG viewers! My apologies for the lack of updates over the weekend. I have once again gone to Santa Clara to meet with Aeria Games for an early press preview of their upcoming MOBA, Realm of the Titans.
For those few who are still in the dark about Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas, I say to you.. for shame! MOBAs are built around short session combat in which two teams duel it out to kill each other and, ultimately, destroy the enemy’s base. Along the way you earn gold to purchase various items that add a real strategic feel to the genre unlike anything else offered in the MMO world. The easier way I can explain it to someone not in the know is that it feels like you are a powerful minion in a 2 sided tower defense game.
As for the viewers that are already in the know, I’m sure by now you are getting tired of my rambling and just want me to answer the question, “Does Realm of the Titans stand on par with League of Legends?” My answer is yes.
Graphics Burnt into my Retinas
Realm of the Titans, much like Aeria’s previous release Eden Eternal, is heading towards launch with a powerful weapon at its disposal. It has already been launched in China and has gained a lot of tweaking, balancing, and bug fixes prior to seeing the light of day in America. In fact I found no bugs or glitches in my entire afternoon playing the game. The game is also highly polished graphically, bringing in beautiful maps, well defined unique looking characters, and clear cut skill animations that never leave you puzzled over what happened in an intense team fight. The special effects in this game are dazzling from moment to moment, but the ultimate skills left me in shock and awe.
Diversity is the Spice of Life
Besides polish and looks, Realm of the Titans is using its Chinese release to one up the competition in the realm of content. Although their homepage only shows 13 Heroes on display, this is pure trolling. At the press event there were closer to 20 Heroes available for use, with a grand total of 59 Heroes existing to be released. As Associate Producer Travis Hawk assured me, Realm of the Titans is looking to follow a 2 week continuous content release starting from launch. That means new champions, new skins, and constant feedback, tweaking, balance, and bug patching to keep the game feeling fresh and dynamic.
The same is true for of the items on display on the website. Though they show quite a large variety of items on the homepage, it’s not an accurate depiction of the sheer variety of items and builds you can create on a game to game basis. The items also feature diverse build paths that result in a variety of end game items featuring powerful active abilities that also freeze, cc, and other side effects. Oh having 8 item slots to work with doesn’t hurt customization either!
Now my first reaction when I learned of the 59 total champions was ‘why not release them at launch?’ Travis Hawk had a satisfying answer to my outcry. Turns out there is a very strong fan base for MOBA games among the Aeria Games staff. As such, when they got their hands on the heroes they soon realized that there were some heroes seriously lacking in usefulness and some that were intensely overpowering. Thanks to Aeria’s close relationship with the developers, they are able to delay the release of these champions and address directly what needs to be done to prepare and balance the champions before going live on their servers. Maybe it’s the cynicism I’ve developed towards MMO games over my lifetime, but I find it easier to sleep at night knowing that the publishing company of a game is acting as a firewall between me and the developers so that only tested and approved content makes it live on the game servers.
Features Features and More Features
Realm of the Titans really has the full features at the ready to make this game an ideal candidate for Esports. Wish you could catch a glimpse of the pros in action while having your morning cereal? Realm of the Titans has a fully functional and detailed observer mode that will be ready at launch! This mode allows you to sit in on a game with a 5 minute delay to avoid cheating. While sitting in, you can observe both teams or set fog of war up to keep things mysterious. You can view personal stats of each hero, the overall gold acquired by each team, the skill and item progression of each hero, and even the current cool down timers limiting that hero’s skill use!
But why stop there? Realm of the Titans is dedicated to make itself as Esport friendly as possible. They are implementing a 1 or 2 man ‘Referee System’ in which neutral parties can place themselves on the map in observer mode but view the battle live. This is an ideal system for youtube enthusiasts and live streams of tournaments alike!
If you’re interested in a more active feature, you’ll be happy to know that bot games exist in Realm of the Titans to help players hone their skills. But these aren’t your grandma’s wimpy autofeed bots you have gotten so used to from other MOBA games. Set the bots difficulty to hard and you will find yourself fighting for survival as the bots acquire experience gain bonuses and use them to pounce and punish any player caught out of position.
Overextended Noobs Will be Punished!
Maps and Missions
At the press event, there were two maps available for play. They are called Titan’s Eye and Omeka Divide. Omeka Divide is your standard 3 lane map designed for 5v5 combat albeit with one of the most winding and confusing jungles known to MOBA games. The goal of the map is also pretty typical. Push the enemy back to their control points, statues that occasionally spawn minions on steroids, then turn these control points on your enemy and destroy their base core to win. But for those looking for something a little more unusual, Titan’s Eye is for you.
Titan’s Eye Mini (mega) Map
Titan’s Eye breaks the norm by introducing a mission aside from the main quest to destroy the enemy’s base. A total kill count goal is set at the beginning of the game based on how many players are present within the game, with the maximum being 66 for 5v5 and 15 for 1v1 matches. If your team reaches this quota before destroying the enemy base, you win! Of course it is encouraged that players win by this kill based quota, and so respawn times following death are reduced by roughly 90% to keep the action constantly flowing.
If you’re looking for even more of a whacky goal to shoot for in a game, take a look at Realm of the Titans’ achievement list. Here you will find some off the wall challenging goals to aim for in a game such as earn 6 kills in 30 seconds or go 20 minutes in a game without buying boots of speed. Some of the more difficult achievements will even unlock special titles that can be worn above your head in-game to intimidate your foes. Of course this led the press to question if these achievements might cause people to throw games while pursuing their non-win related goals. Travis assured us this would not be an issue because your achievement is voided out if you earn it but lose the game.
Supports.. the new Carry
In part 2 of this column I will be stepping away from the overarching concepts of the game to give you the juicy details of the Heroes, Titan Skills, Titan Skill Amping, and map layouts. Expect to see it before the end of the week! Until then, Dizzy’s Early Access is signing out.
Edit: Be sure to check out Aeria’s new Realm of the Titans Titan’s Eye Preview Video!