Why I can’t be arsed with MOBAs

Thursday, 15th May 2014 09:46 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

MOBAs like League of Legends are massively popular, and thanks to the dawn of eSports, they draw huge numbers of people into the fold. So why can’t a fantasy fan like Stephany Nunneley be arsed to play one?


“I liken it to apes going on killing sprees for fun; hanging out at respawn points just to gank a player waiting for their health to regenerate.”

While games like League of Legends and Valve’s Dota 2 helped bring MOBAs into the gaming spotlight, you can blame or commend Blizzard for ushering in the genre as far back as 1998 with StarCraft. The strategy game’s editing tool StarEdit gave regular Joes the ability to create custom maps which led to a modder creating Aeon of Strife.

Now, 16 years later, MOBAs are being churned out left and right by indie, browser-based and triple-A developers. MMO players who relished in PvP now have a genre outside of a subscription plan to bask in an unrelenting PvP battle system with other players. Their own arena to fight, humiliate and scream in glory when victorious.

Despite the popularity of the genre and the fact online friends are constantly badgering me to play one with them, I can’t be arsed. Here’s why.

I don’t like large-scale PvP

I’ve played PvP in MMOs, and I hate it. I absolutely loathe it. For one thing, there is generally never fair play involved. I liken it to apes going on killing sprees for fun; hanging out at respawn points just to gank a player waiting for their health to regenerate. If you think this doesn’t happen, you’re wrong. I’ve had it happen to me numerous times, and while many MMOs have put code in place – or however they do it – to stop such keyboard smashing situations, it left a horrible taste in my mouth.

I suck at it

I have no problem admitting this. I honestly suck at it. While I can handle myself rather well mano-a-mano, I don’t do well in situations where groups are trying to wipe out another massive group of players. Granted, MOBA team sizes are much smaller than teams in MMO PvP, and it could be that I have been grouped with people who don’t have the slightest clue what they are doing or how to organize themselves. While that may be the case, I would probably still suck balls at it if a seasoned vet was leading the group. I just can’t hang.

It’s full of assholes

Other than the reason I pointed out in my first entry, we’ve all heard of cases or seen videos where players just have a complete meltdown and start screaming obscenities at their own teammates. It’s like Xbox Live on steroids with its users shooting up 400mg of testosterone daily instead of the recommended every two weeks. I just can’t be bothered playing with a bunch of assholes barraging each other with insults and virtual threats of anal rape. I deal with enough fuckwittage in real life as it stands.

They’re too overwhelming


I have a hard enough time playing games which need endless macros assigned, or numerous F1-F12 key presses to pull off combos or hits. I like simplicity, and while there are a few out there which are more user friendly, it’s just too much work trying to perform ranged, AoE, and bash attacks at the same time. It makes my brain hurt. Give me something more streamlined and then we’ll talk. Then again, maybe not.

Unless you’re already playing it’s completely pointless


MOBAs can be beyond intimidating to newcomers. There are too many seasoned veterans around who have no desire to help bring newbs into the fold. Many of these games also contain a steep learning curve, which can frustrate players who wish to try their hand. Turbine and Blizzard seem to have the right idea with Infinite Crisis and Heroes of the Storm, respectively, as both are aimed at bringing new players in slowly and into an environment where assholery is not tolerated. I’ve played Infinite Crisis. It’s fun, user friendly, and not too terribly busy, and I suspect HotS will be somewhat similar. Valve has also done a rather great job of curbing toxicity as well with Dota 2.

There’s too much going on


Have you seen some of the battle videos? There’s so much going on it would give even a normal person an epileptic fit just trying to keep up with all the spellcasting, particle effects and explosions. It makes my head hurt. I’d get five minutes into it and my brain would force a hard reset, shutting my body down in the process until I am a drooling, vacant pile of limbs on the floor. I just can’t handle constants: there has to be a bit of lull someplace. I guess I’m just not “hardcore” enough.

No one over the age of 30 gives a fuck


Seriously. Unless they are single, have loads of time on their hands, and don’t have to deal with responsibilities in real life, people don’t give a toss. Between work, being a “good wifey-poo”, car payments, stressing over bills, taking care of a clowder of cats, two dogs and the occasional stray which finds me no matter where I go, I just don’t have the time. I rarely have time enough to play regular games or my beloved MMOs as it stands. I can’t remember what a social life is, my Mom thinks I am dead half the time, and I haven’t seen my brothers in ages. I am sure there are many in my age group who just can’t find the time to get into MOBAs despite the fact arena fights last no more than 30 minutes, tops. There are always exceptions to the rule, but the majority of players are males between the ages of 20-25 with the ages of 16-20 rising. What 30-something wants to play with a massive group of people 10 or 20 years younger than them unless they are a habitual masochist?

Flame me all you want, but I just can’t be bothered with MOBAs. If you play them and enjoy them, I commend you for it and I sincerely hope you derive enjoyment out of it. That’s why video games are so awesome: there is something for everyone out there, but this particular genre is not for me, and I’m okay with it.

Cool old people not giving an F



  1. dazedonthemoon

    Hey I’m 26 and can’t see to get into them either. You are not alone!

    #1 7 months ago
  2. Stardog

    The entire gameplay concept just seems boring to me. I have no desire to play it.

    #2 7 months ago
  3. aseddon130

    best headline ever!

    Yeah i agree, i can’t be arsed with them either.

    #3 7 months ago
  4. Obernox

    I agree that the community is very toxic. I kinda like MOBAs but the the majority players are a bunch of dictating jerks that believe you should use only one build all the time.

    #4 7 months ago
  5. Patrick Garratt

    I can’t play them. I just saw my life ending one frame at a time.

    #5 7 months ago
  6. Gheritt White

    Fuck MOBAs and fuck people who *play* MOBAs,

    #6 7 months ago
  7. Judicas

    I started with dota in wc3, hated it. Every other one I’ve tried is really not fun and the communities are dogsh*t. I’ve been in infinite crisis testing since it started and can’t force myself to load it up after installing. Was looking forward to the transformers mmo until they decided to change it to a moba, promptly unsubscribed. Will try heroes of the storm when blizzard launches it, strictly because I love certain chars they have made even if the company has turned money hungry and no longer give a sh*t about gamers, but doubt it’ll make me think much differently about mobas.

    #7 7 months ago
  8. fihar

    I joked to my friends one time by saying that MOBAs are the videogame equivalent of daytime soaps.

    It wasn’t a joke actually.

    #8 7 months ago
  9. Johnnymaxx

    I have never stopped to think about it, but after reading this, I’ve noticed that I was a huge LoL fan, than changed it to HoN and really crunched my teeth on DotA 2…. untill I turned 31 and got engaged to my soon to be wife. Now there is simply not enough time to get into all that drama.

    And yes, I do have longer than 30 to 50 minutes gaming as one MOBA fight usually takes, but it is not only about the time spent… is about the quality of that time. MOBA players are so full of s***, so annoying, that every time I tried to play a match in the most recent months I felt like wasting 30 to 50 minutes of my life that I could have spent in a more enjoyable way by farming my crafter in a MMO or something.

    Now, I’m just into the whole International competition that Valve holds every year. This is amazing. So, I could say that MOBA is for me almost like soccer : I love to watch the greatest competitions, but I never play it myself.

    Anyway, cool article! Sharing in my favorite social media channels to my friends! ^^

    #9 7 months ago
  10. deathm00n

    I don’t know how it is in the rest of the world, but here in Brazil, if you say you play games, you HAVE to play either LoL or Dota, else you are a loser. It’s really annoying, and they try to convert you to the genre, with more enthusiasm than most religions out there.

    I have the same problems you described, the main one being too much happening at the same time and being overwhelming with it’s controls. MOBAs are the twitch shooters of the RPG genre.

    Let me cite Obernox here ” the majority players are a bunch of dictating jerks that believe you should use only one build all the time.” this really bothers me too. I hate games where if you don’t use the overpowered build, you are a noob. FFS let me play the way I want without saying you will sexually harass my parents.

    #10 7 months ago
  11. eTitan

    This article is so much bullshit and, you’re doing nothing but insulting one of the largest gaming communities. How much have you played MOBAs? Its not easy to learn but you say it like its impossible and anyone with a life can’t and shouldn’t play it.

    Please don’t write anymore articles about esport ever again, doesn’t matter if its a mobs or other genre. You clearly know nothing about esport.

    This article loses all credibility when you liken an organized matchup 5v5 in a game made purely for that purpose vs ganking/griefing,in MMOs. Just stop.

    #11 7 months ago
  12. deathm00n

    @eTitan Thanks for proving the points about toxicity. By the way, have you even read the whole article? Have you even seen the last pragraph?

    #12 7 months ago
  13. Darkfield

    Trust me Steph you’re not alone. I have DotA 2 on steam, LoL on my laptop and I gave the genre fair amount of time and I didn’t like it, I might give Blizzard All-Stars a try, on the account of having my favorite characters in a mush up in there but I’m sure I end up bored to death in the first 20 minutes or so.

    #13 7 months ago
  14. schnide

    I installed League of Legends, I tried it out, I didn’t see the enjoyment at all.. but I wouldn’t want to stop anyone playing them, and they’re great for developing countries because of the lower barriers to entry. COD has a ton of infantile manchilds on there but I wouldn’t say that the FPS should be abolished.

    VG247 seems to have a lot of these opinion pieces lately – are you trying to be like Kotaku? First the swearing creeps in to half your articles, then it’s more opinion pieces. I actually made VG247 my regular games site visit because others were lowering their standards (and I won’t say which it was).

    #14 7 months ago
  15. dizzygear

    Whats up with these “witty” lists on the VG247 lately? did i miss something?

    What pisses me off with MMO PVP is that you need to grind eternity just to get the right PVP gear that keeps you getting one-shot.
    I think Aion forever cured me from MMO PVP with the nonstop ganking and PVP that purely hinges on how awesome your gear is.

    #15 7 months ago
  16. Hcw87

    MOBA’s are for a select few people with the patience of a saint (to play a shitty repetitive and beyond boring game), and the millions of fangirls worshiping everything they do.

    So community-wise they’re bound to suck.

    #16 7 months ago
  17. eTitan

    @deathm00n The only part about my post that was “toxicity” was that I said it was bullshit, and it is. I stand by the word, the MOBA communities aren’t worse than any other. I’m surprised she tolerates all the toxicity and kids in MMOs (you won’t get away from stupid, assholes and kids unless you go top-level in MMOs).

    Yes, I read it all. It’s filled with ignorant statements about something she barely knows anything about. “Hey look, I tried football once but I hurt my knee and one of the guys said I should just man up, so the sport, fans and everyone involved in it have no life, are idiots and suck”

    The hate that MOBA receives in this comment makes me sad to be on this website, it’s not even justified or reasonable “dislikes” about the games. It’s just ignorance and stupidity in the majority.

    I’ve played MMOs from everywhere to casual and to top 100 guilds in WoW. I play MOBA’s on a casual level and I’ve also played it on a competetive level. I enjoy single-player games as well, especially some specific RPGs. But this article is an insult to me and everyone else who enjoys spending their free-time in front of dota (not matter how often you play it, a few times a week or a few times a day).

    You’re free to not get into them, I can understand that if you really wanna enjoy some of the MOBAs (especially dota 2) you have to put more time into it because it’s quite a heavy learning curve. But to completely bash the whole genre just shows the ignorance behind this.

    The fact that you’re also saying that Heroes of the Storm and infinite crisis are doing it “right” shows even more ignorance. Isn’t that completely up to the developer and who they want to aim the game for? Heroes of the Storm suits you because it takes a much easier approach and never really gets advanced, it keeps the simple. From the start to the end. You’re the toxicity of the gaming community. Trying to force your “casual” (in a non bad way) playstyle upon everyone who wants more of a challenge.

    You’re entitled to your opinion, but saying all this like it’s a fact and insulting one of the largest gaming communities in the process really makes you look unprofessional.

    I shouldn’t even have bothered to write this post, because from the look of earlier comments I’ll get no proper response.

    #17 7 months ago
  18. JB

    I don`t play them either, but they seem to attract and keep a lot of players that would otherwise annoy me greatly in other online games, so it`s a win/win.

    #18 7 months ago
  19. Stephany Nunneley

    @eTitan That’s fine. But don’t tell me not to get my knickers in a twist or call my intelligence into question when you are clearly the one whose panties are bunched up. If you can’t discern how firmly my tongue was placed in my cheek, that is your problem. I didn’t “insult” an entire group of gamers, just the inconsiderate children – which I would have no issue calling out at all in ANY gaming genre. And I said nothing disparaging of the sort regarding the eSports scene. The only time I even mentioned it was to say it was popular. Also, if not enjoying something that stresses me out to the point I want to bang my head on the desk until I am unconscious makes me ‘casual’, well then I guess I am ‘casual’. I shared my personal experience with the genre, tried to be a bit humorous about it. That is all it was. Hope the rest of your day goes peachy.

    #19 7 months ago
  20. digmouse

    The only reason MOBAs are on the rise is because people wants a way to be silly and yell at other ppl to cover their ass up. In other words, there are only two kinds of people in MOBAs: highly competitive and highly incompetitive, and what they have in common? Being assholes. Yes I’ve seen and met good people who play MOBAs but the majority (read: like 99%) are just impossible to deal with as a more mannered person. In China we have a saying “League is the game for elementary kids”, while not entirely true, the fact that if you queue during public holidays or summer/winter school break the amount of stupid people you encounter skyrockets kinda proves that.

    #20 7 months ago
  21. _LarZen_

    I think MOBA is for children. I think it looks dumb and boring. And just not worth my precious time.

    #21 7 months ago
  22. Telepathic.Geometry

    MMOs are completely out of the question for me, and MOBAs are even more so.

    It’s important for me that a game have a conclusion, that there be an end-game, a final goal, a completion target.

    I would be surprised if anyone with a job, a significant other or any kind of time constraints could enjoy a MOBA to be honest…

    #22 7 months ago
  23. YoungZer0

    Amen, sister.

    You’re definitely not alone here. Multiple people approached me, co-workers, etc. telling me how great MOBA’s are and I could not give a single fuck. It looks like the most boring gaming experience I could have, apart from sports games. Which if you think about, it actually is.

    I find it fascinating that there are already so many MOBA’s on the market and they all look the same. If there was at least with a none WoW-inspired art-direction, I would be thankful. But I’ve yet to be persuaded.

    #23 7 months ago
  24. AJacks92

    @Stephany Nunneley @eTitan I’d have to agree with eTitan to an extent. I, myself, am an avid League player. While I’m not as irate as eTitan, I at least agree with a bit of what he had to say. Unfortunately, this website lacks true coverage over MMOs. Granted it’s a lot to cover since there are more MMOs coming out than console and premium PC games nowadays but, nonetheless, you shouldn’t put such a vague, blanket statement over your own personal experience and state it as fact. While some of your points are valid, it holds just as much weight as any other accusation to another gaming community. I have my own personal reasons for not playing games like CoD anymore, but I wouldn’t be so ignorant as to state my opinions as fact nor to grab hold of the facts and blow them out of proportion just to make an article sound humorous. No offense, but this article itself is childish and holds no professionalism at all. It’s one to make a humorous post, but it’s another entirely to be humorous while insulting a genre. League, by itself, is the most played game in the world right now. You should probably do more research before insulting the largest gaming community out right now. There’s a reason why it is too. And even if you may not agree with it, you should at least respect the genre. I expect at least that much from an (until now) unbiased gaming new website. Represent VG247 better.

    #24 7 months ago

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