[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/map_of_moba.png]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Typical map of a MOBA. [[MemeticMutation Mid or I feed!]]]]

-> '''Erik:''' Seventeen years of nothing, and they bring us back for a MOBA! Ha, figures.\\
'''Baelog:''' It's not a MOBA, it's a ''hero brawler''!\\
'''Olaf:''' Hero brawler herba heybee, you made that up!\\
'''Erik:''' Nope, but [[TakeThatUs Blizzard sure did!]]
-->-- VideoGame/TheLostVikings, '''''VideoGame/HeroesOfTheStorm'''''

The Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA), also known as [=ARTS=] (Action Real Time Strategy)[[note]]increasingly rarely due to the rise of FPS or Third-person [=MOBAs=][[/note]] or Hero Brawler, is a relatively new game genre popularized in the first decade of the 21st century. [[TropeMaker The first MOBA game]] was ''Aeon of Strife'', a map for ''VideoGame/{{Starcraft|I}}''. It gained popularity and, when ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'' with its powerful {{Hero Unit}}s and amazing map editor came out, [[FollowTheLeader spawned a lot of similar maps]] which were referred to as [=AoS=]-style maps. Amongst others there were D-Day, various [=AoS=] direct ports, and ''Defense of the Ancients'', developed by Eul. One of its own spinoffs, ''VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncientsAllstars'' developed by Guinsoo, became the TropeCodifier by virtue of its astounding popularity, with a non-negligible fraction of ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'' sales driven ''solely'' by people who wanted to play ''[=DotA=] Allstars''.

The heart of the MOBA genre lies in several basic qualities. First, it is relatively easy to play, being (typically) controlled through a point-and-click RealTimeStrategy interface but giving the player control of ''only one character'', with four or five skills, instead of a massive military-industrial complex. The player is assisted by a computer-controlled base and its minions, as well as four (sometimes two) PlayerCharacter teammates, with the opposition consisting of the same. Second, it has LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters, making it easy to learn but difficult to master; not only is each character unique in its skills and abilities, but the large number of characters results in unique team compositions, with varying levels of synergy between them. Finally, no single character is ever allowed to be equipped in a way that they can win the game single-handedly; each character (or player) is deliberately limited in what elements they can contribute to the victory (crowd control, damage output, tanking, healing, etc), especially once the teams start aggregating for five-on-five brawls. The result is a high emphasis on skill and teamwork, where communication and intelligent gameplay inevitably wins out.

[[folder:More detail!]]
The genre is largely defined by its setup: each team (typically consisting of 3 or 5 players) has a single base which they must protect at all costs. If their base is destroyed, [[InstantWinCondition they instantly lose]]. This base also serves as a center of operations, containing a shop, a "safe zone"[[note]]usually the spawn point protected by a DeliberatelyOverpowered turret[[/note]], a rapid healing location for heroes and the point of return for [[WarpWhistle "recall"]] spells. This base is protected by a series of "towers", defensive buildings set out in lines radiating away from the base. These towers deal considerable damage to any enemy which comes within range and grant allied players vision over that portion of the battlefield. In most games, there are 2-4 rows of these "towers" protecting each base, resulting in the towers gradually moving closer together the nearer they are to the base [[note]]they become more easily defended the more towers are lost at the cost of map control[[/note]].

As the game progresses, AI-controlled minions (sometimes called "lane creeps" or just "creeps") spawn at each team's base and proceed along pre-programmed paths ("lanes"), traveling from allied tower to allied tower before assaulting the enemy towers. These minions will attack any enemy they come across such as opposing minions, opposing towers and opposing players. There are almost always fewer lanes than there are players - three player games typically have two lanes, while five player games typically have three lanes.

In-between these lanes is a region known as "the jungle", containing un-allied units (referred to as "neutral creeps" or "monsters") more powerful than minions which attack any unit from either team they come across - however, as these units remain in the jungle, they almost only ever encounter the players[[note]]coming into contact with minions is generally attributed to GoodBadBugs[[/note]].

Many games also include several powerful monsters in the jungle, weaker than a player character but dangerous to a badly wounded hero. Killing these monsters give [[StatusBuff some bonus]] for a short amount of time. One or two monsters in the jungle which are considerably more powerful than any hero, requiring coordination from the entire team to take down but grant large team-wide awards for killing them.

In most [=MOBAs=], each player on a team controls a single [[HeroUnit "hero" character unit]]. This character is considerably more powerful than any minion and the normal creeps in the jungle but less powerful than any tower, meaning it is easy for them to kill minions but assaulting a tower on their own is suicidal. Every hero unit has a unique set of abilities and statistics. A team is usually only allowed a single copy of any given hero. As a result, teams have a diverse membership of heroes, each filling different roles.

Hero units in the game grow inherently more powerful over time. Towers are either exempted from this or grow at a slower rate, meaning that the towers will [[DeathOfAThousandCuts inevitably be brought down by damage from both the minions and heroes]]. Player heroes gain power by killing enemy minions, neutral creeps, towers and enemy heroes. In many games, [[LeakedExperience merely being around a killed enemy unit gives a hero]] ExperiencePoints and/or money but directly killing a creep will either give them a resource they don't gain passively (usually a StatusBuff) or more of that resource - usually money. This mechanic makes up the core of the gameplay. The opposing heroes want to do the same thing, trying to kill the allied units in order to accumulate experience and money[[note]]some games allow [[BadBoss killing of your own minions]] to deny the enemy their rewards[[/note]]. Due to the lanes, allied minions will always go directly into contact with enemy minions and there are only a limited number of neutral monsters in the jungle to kill, forcing players to inevitably come into conflict with each other.

This conflict is accentuated by three additional factors. First, heroes are extremely valuable to kill, granting large amounts of money and experience. In many games[[note]]but increasingly being dropped due to the popularity of VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends[[/note]], this is doubly harmful as the hero who is killed outright loses money. Secondly, if an enemy hero is killed or forced to retreat, there is no opposition to killing enemy minions, racking up high amounts of money and experience. This also denies the enemy hero the opportunity to do the same, damaging their ability to accumulate power and resources. Thirdly, if a lane is left undefended, it is easier to "push" the lane (leading allied minions in an attack on an enemy tower)[[note]]this is very important because towers usually preferentially target minions, allowing the hero to damage the tower in relative anonymity[[/note]].

As a result, a great deal of the interplay between the players and the teams comes from risk and reward; being more aggressive may make it easier to kill lots of enemy units, drive off enemy heroes, accumulate money more quickly, and damage enemy towers, but it also may leave you more vulnerable to counterattacks from enemy heroes, and may leave you vulnerable to an ambush from a hero who is not in a lane but is instead in "the jungle", who might emerge from the jungle to attack you at any moment. It should also be pointed out that the InstantWinCondition involves demolishing the enemy’s central building; killing enemy heroes makes this easier, but is not an objective in and of itself. (Indeed, the "backdoor" tactic involves bypassing the enemy team entirely to BackStab the central building.)

As heroes accumulate experience, they typically passively gain extra HitPoints and Mana, as well as deal additional damage, but also usually gain other benefits as well, such as gaining access to new abilities or more powerful versions of the abilities they already possess; in many games, the player gets to choose which ability to make stronger at each level. However, the really critical resource tends to be money; while levels are very important, money allows a hero to buy items or other upgrades, which make them more powerful and sometimes grant them additional speed or special abilities they would otherwise lack. Unlike experience, money can only be spent when the hero returns to base (or respawns at base after their death), meaning that heroes must periodically retreat from the front lines in order to buy items or upgrades at their base, leaving temporary holes in their teams' defenses, but making them more powerful and better able to kill enemy minions and fight off enemy heroes.

Many [=MOBAs=] have a few well-defined roles for heroes:

* The Carry: A character, typically a GlassCannon, who deals out an immense amount of damage in a short period of time. They are named after their responsibility for "carrying" their team to victory in the late game after their early-game frailty has been mitigated. By the end-game, these characters may be capable of killing multiple enemy heroes in a single fight or bringing down a tower quickly. Some carries are also considered "assassins", who are focused on covertly (and quickly) killing off specific vital enemy targets that are considered a threat.
* The Caster: Frequently acts as a secondary carry of sorts. Tend to be reliant on their abilities to do damage, but they can place [[StandardStatusEffects debilitating penalties upon enemy heroes]] or [[HerdHittingAttack control the battlefield]] in such a way to make it harder for the enemy to bring their power to bear. Like the carry, these characters tend to start out weak but end the game with a great deal of power. Unlike carries, they may be poor at destroying towers due to their main damage coming from their abilities, which (in some games) towers are immune to. They can also be foils to the DPS-type heroes, who rely more on basic-attack damage output as opposed to a timely yet rewarding ability burst.
* The tank, a character whose purpose is to draw enemy aggression. They're typically good at forcing enemies to fight with them, either stunning, immobilizing, trapping, pulling in, or taunting enemies into attacking them, allowing their teammates to kill them while simultaneously being able to take a lot of punishment.
* The support, a character whose job is to grant some sort of buff or healing ability to the rest of their team, keeping important characters (such as the caster and the carry) alive, helping characters stay "in-lane" longer while taking damage, and otherwise boosting the abilities of their team. In five-player games, these players tend to be the one forced to double-up in a lane with one of their teammates and allow their teammate to accumulate the bulk of the money, forcing them to find other ways to be useful which don't involve them having high durability or damage. Dedicated support players are often called upon to master the largest variety of characters, as the "support" role can also involve offensive operations such as running interference for the damage-dealers or even setting up opportunities for them.
* The jungler, a character whose job it is to wander around in the jungle killing neutral creeps. Unlike other heroes, these characters may fill any of the other roles on their team (though usually not support), and also are usually expected to act as assassins, trying to gang-kill ("gank") enemy heroes - not only the enemy jungler, but also the enemies in lanes. They also are usually expected to stand in for allied heroes when they're killed or forced to retreat from a lane in order to keep the lane covered at all times. In many games, the jungler is also expected to act as reconnaissance, either directly keeping an eye out for the enemy jungler to ensure that they don't ambush their allies, or leaving "wards" around, which are sentry type units which may or may not be possible for the enemy to attack but which grant sight to allies, giving them warning if an enemy is trying to sneak up on them.

Aside of these generalized roles, MOBA characters and items can have similarities a lot they make up their own archetypes within the genre. Check [[Analysis/MultiplayerOnlineBattleArena here]] for such occurrences.

Late in the game, after heroes have accumulated significant amounts of experience and money, they will typically take a more aggressive stance and start actively trying to destroy enemy towers, as well as try and gang up and destroy the special, more powerful monsters in the jungle to gain team-wide bonuses; frequently, this forces the enemy team to deploy against them in response. These situations where whole teams come into conflict are known as "team fights", and can frequently vastly shift the balance of power as multiple heroes from one team might be killed and forced to wait to respawn at base; a decisive team fight, where an entire team is trapped and eliminated, can frequently cost the eliminated team the game. Many games increase the amount of time a hero is forced to wait to respawn after they are killed later in the game, making such losses even more painful.

Because of the way many of these games are designed, they almost invariably suffer from UnstableEquilibrium in some form or another; early-game mistakes can result in one team or another gaining an early advantage, which makes it easier for them to win later confrontations, giving them a larger advantage with every victory. As a result, games can often be decided long before either base is in even remote danger of destruction. Even worse, because hero characters are (deliberately) limited in what they can bring to the table, a lack of teamwork can spell disaster. You might play a perfect game, execute everything correctly, avoid needless damage, get a ton of kills… and still lose, because someone on your team dropped their responsibilities. Even worse, if your team doesn’t plan to do what you want them to, you might not be able to play your game ‘’at all’’; you may be forced to use your character to do things s/he isn’t good at or even ‘’is designed to be bad’’ at, leaving a sour taste in one’s mouth—even if said non-cooperative teammates go on to win the game (or perhaps ‘’especially’’ if). The end result is that people can get ''really'' angry when playing a MOBA.

As you can imagine, MOBA players are infamously [[SuffersNewbiesPoorly hostile towards newbies]] and [[IneffectualLoner weak team players]]. Many of these games have devoted communities to which the game in question is very much SeriousBusiness, and due to the inherent difficulties in measuring the contribution of individual players on teams, matchmaking between individual players for pick-up games tends to lead to much more varied skill levels of players on a given team than for games with more individually tailored rating systems, especially in games with five or more players on a side. All of this is a recipe for {{GIFT}} and {{Griefing}}, and all of the DOTA clones, due to the relatively long matches and similar game design, suffer from this to a great extent.

To mitigate the problem of having highly competitive people of variable skill levels, some of the newer [=MOBAs=] have tried to adopt different systems with varying levels of success, either by making it easier for the losing team to catch up or by making it so that matches end more quickly when one team gains a large advantage; both solutions are intended to give players less time to be unhappy with each other and to spend less time playing games where the outcome is already clear. In addition, most if not all the current [=MOBAs=] have some sort of player score-based matchmaking system, where all players have a personal score -- usually known as "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elo_rating_system Elo]]" from the old days of ''LeagueOfLegends'' or "matchmaking ranking" (MMR) from present day ''[[VideoGame/{{Dota2}} DOTA 2]]'' -- and joining the matchmaking queue will in principle match you only with players with a score similar to yours, in order to guarantee to some degree that both teams will have players of more or less the same skill level.
[[/folder]]

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!!Games in this genre:
[[index]]
!!! The Progenitor
The games that started it all.

* ''VideoGame/HerzogZwei'' (A UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis game that contains elements of team fights that would inspire the creators of the game below, particularly the 'Fight till you destroy enemy base', and 'Your hero always respawn after death')
* ''VideoGame/AeonOfStrife'' (VideoGame/{{Starcraft|I}} GameMod, where the setting and concept of the game is first defined (control single heroes, three lanes, etc))

!!! The Grandfather
The game that eventually grew too popular and launched the genre.

* ''VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients'' (''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'' GameMod, improving further of the concepts of Aeon of Strife and having its own dedicated patch team to ensure the game continues as a success. Has many iterations until the ''All Stars'' subseries becomes the standard map.)

!!! The Juggernauts
Currently considered the cream of the crop and the most played games, more likely to get a lot of streamers on the video or rated as the best [=MOBAs=] to date, and more likely to have E-Sport presence.

* ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' (A MOBA developed by several of the team who worked on ''[=DotA=] Allstars'' (including Guinsoo) and currently rated as the single most-played PC game in the world, thanks to being the first to come up with matchmaking system, simplified mechanics to attract the casuals more and an actually deep lore to keep the fans attached to the characters on more personal levels, and since it has less competitors during the time it took stride.)
* ''VideoGame/{{Dota 2}}'' (Sequel of ''VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients'' created by both Valve Software and one of the original's team, [=IceFrog=]. Aside of polishing up the looks, it revamps the heroes into more original characters rather than copy pastes of Blizzard's properties, making it a more standalone game. Also retains the extremely high learning curve of the original)
* ''VideoGame/{{Smite}}'' (Made by Hi-Rez Studios, who made ''VideoGame/GlobalAgenda''. Notable for putting the action in over-the-shoulder 3rd person for a more action-packed experience, while still sticking faithfully to the genre formula. Based around mythologies from all over the word where you take control as gods such as Thor, Hades, Ra and many more.)
* ''VideoGame/HeroesOfNewerth'' (Originally developed as a direct port of Dota All-stars to a new engine, since the Warcraft 3 engine was woefully out of date, it has over the years grown to be different in many respects. Most notably the larger part of heroes developed directly by S2 Games but also several nuances have been changed that Creator/{{Valve|Software}} would not dare touch for fear of [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks upsetting fans of the original mod]]. However, as of time, it is starting to fade in popularity.)
* ''VideoGame/HeroesOfTheStorm'' (A MOBA made with Heroes and characters from [[Creator/BlizzardEntertainment Blizzard's]] [[Videogame/{{Warcraft}} popular]] [[Videogame/{{Starcraft}} three]] [[Videogame/{{Diablo}} properties]] (and [[Videogame/TheLostVikings at least one of their older classics]] so far), and eventually [[VideoGame/{{Overwatch}} their newest flagship one as of 2016,]] crossing over and battling in new and original maps, each with their own objectives and twists. Short and quick matches that are simple and easy to get into, removes items entirely in favor of "Talents". Was originally called Blizzard Dota (Changed after a lawsuit with Valve), and then Blizzard All-Stars, before settling on the current title.)

!!!The Fledging Ones

These MOBA are very much playable and have a chance to be a fan favorite, except they tend to lay kind of low, either not attracting E-Sport scenes, or they're not out of alpha/beta phase yet. But they still live.

* ''VideoGame/AdventureTimeBattleParty'': A free-to-play game featuring characters from the show ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime''.
* ''VideoGame/ArenaOfFate'': An upcoming game being developed by Crytek, featuring characters from mythology (Fenrir, Achilles) fairy tails (Red Ridding Hood, Alice) and history (Nikola Tesla, Joan of Arc).
* ''{{VideoGame/Awesomenauts}}'' (A 2D Sidescrolling game following the [=DotA=] formula)
* ''VideoGame/{{AirMech}}'' (Also a RealTimeStrategy in the vein of ''VideoGame/HerzogZwei''.)
* ''VideoGame/{{BattleTanks}}'': A less well known ''Warcraft III'' Game Mod where the heroes are tanks.
* ''VideoGame/BloodlineChampions'', which does not follow [=DotA's=] formula at all
* ''VideoGame/ChaosOnline'', dubbed as 'Korean DOTA' at first, but has more similarities to VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends (though the map is designed like southeast-northwest as opposed to the typical southwest-northeast). Gains its notice when not only they feature crossover from Japanese games, so far ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'', ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' and ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'', it is also imported to Japan (under the name ''Chaos Heroes Online''), dubbed with NamesToKnowInAnime, and those crossover characters get RoleReprisal by their original actors. The English version lived under closed beta, managed by Aeria Games, and ''yes, the crossover characters get carried over'', until Aeria Games closed it down. However, it's still going on in Japan and Korea.
* ''Videogame/{{Clonk}}'' scenarios "Tower Attack" (focusing on the base and mook elements) and "Keepers" (with less RealTimeStrategy elements and more action combat and RPGElements; freely combinable skills depending on class instead of fixed skillsets).
* ''VideoGame/{{Crasher}}''
* ''VideoGame/DarkNexusArena'': A ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' MOBA game.
* ''VideoGame/DungeonDefenders'' 2, a sequel to the original VideoGame/DungeonDefenders which [[WhatCouldHaveBeen was]] going to have a Dota-like mode with many heroes and a third person camera, but was scrapped in favor of sticking to the original formula
* ''VideoGame/FatesForever'', a MOBA made exclusively for tablets (as of the time of this writing, iOS only).
* ''VideoGame/FatPrincess'', a hybrid of the genre with top-down ActionGame.
* ''VideoGame/{{Gigantic}}'', a third person MOBA by Motiga with a distinct cel shaded art style. Gigantic eschews the normal jungle based combat with various side arenas which spawn minions for the team that controls them, as well as being based around the gigantic beasts who replace the normal crystal at the end.
* ''VideoGame/GuardiansOfMiddleEarth'', featuring characters from Franchise/TolkiensLegendarium.
* ''VideoGame/HeroesOfOrderAndChaos'': a MOBA for your phone!
* ''VideoGame/MondayNightCombat'', a hybrid of the genre with Third Person Shooter.
** Its sequel, ''Super Monday Night Combat'', follows the formula more closely, but still blends it with a Third Person Shooter.
* ''VideoGame/OrcsMustDieUnchained'', an evolution of a Third Person Shooter and Tower Defense hybrid series into a competitive multiplayer direction.
* ''Paragon'' (Recently announced as a shooter-MOBA much like ''VideoGame/MondayNightCombat'', made by Creator/EpicGames of the VideoGame/UnrealTournament fame, as well as running on the Unreal 4 Engine)
* ''VideoGame/PrimeWorld'' (An upcoming game that seeks to integrate Facebook and the ability to play support with a Zuma-like mini-game if a player isn't that good with [=DotA=]-style games)
* ''VideoGame/RealmOfTheTitans'' (Was supported by Creator/AeriaGames for about a year or two, support in the US has been dropped, but continues to be played in East Asia)
* ''VideoGame/SinsOfADarkAge'' (An upcoming game made by [[SinsofASolarEmpire Ironclad Games]] that mixes things up by introducing randomly selected quests during the match, each of which comes with a unique reward in addition to building an overall quest completion reward list. Up to 5 quests can occur per match, with a current pool of 10 to select from.
* '' [[VideoGame/StrifeMOBA Strife]]'', a MOBA developed by the same people who brought you Heroes of Newerth. While introducing player customization such as custom recipes, the game is also balanced to reduce the distinction between roles by giving shared creep bounty, adequate scaling to all heroes, and even removing wards.
* ''VideoGame/SolsticeArena'': a trend-breaker in several ways, being published by Zynga (!) exclusively for [=iStuff=] (!!). It's described as a "speed MOBA" and does away with {{mook}}s entirely.
* ''VideoGame/StormOfTheImperialSanctum'' (''VideoGame/{{StarCraft II}}'' GameMod)
* ''VideoGame/TidesOfBlood'' (Another ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'' GameMod)
* ''VideoGame/VainGlory'' (A MOBA based around destroying the other team's Vain Crystal, surprisingly taking over the Tablet/Android scenes in a surprising pace and starts to have its own solid e-sport scene, which might make this game join the ranks of the MOBA Juggernauts above)
* ''VideoGame/{{Vorp}}'' (An upcoming [[RecycledInSPACE Space MOBA]] game)
* ''VideoGame/TheWitcherBattleArena'', a free-to-play game based in ''Franchise/TheWitcher'' universe

!!!Shut Down MOBA

The genre turns out to be a very harsh competition between producers, so there are some that ended up having their plugs pulled. For whatever reason. Some of them managed to make themselves known before being put down though.

* ''Videogame/{{Dawngate}}'' (An fleeting game by a new company called Waystone Games that changes things by removing the standard middle lane in favor of a massive jungle, and adding "Resource Nodes", which are automatically mined by minions when captured and give resources to the team. While it became something of a fan favorite, EA say decided to shut down Waystone Games and closed the Dawngate along with it.)
* ''VideoGame/{{Demigod}}'' (A particularly high-budget attempt at the genre, with incredible graphics and sound and a lot of creative new mechanics; sadly it failed to get off the ground and died in short order)
* ''VideoGame/InfiniteCrisis'': A MOBA set in the DC Universe, with the premise of numerous alternate universes colliding. [[TooGoodToLast Its creator, Turbine, announced that it'll be shut down at August 2015, six months after its release.]]
* ''VideoGame/RiseOfImmortals'' (Lasted around 2-3 years, had a short relaunch as [[FunWithAcronyms Battle for Graxia]], but the service was cancelled in June 2013 )
* ''VideoGame/UniversalMonstersOnline'' (a MassiveMultiplayerCrossover starring Universal Horror monsters, has been discontinued as of 2013)
* ''Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes'' (A game that ''was'' being made by Bioware, did moderately well, but failed to meet expectations, and was canceled before it left beta)

[[/index]]
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!!List of tropes prominent in the genre:
* AcceptableTargets: It's no secret that this genre is practically bred to cause emotional angst. However, nothing sets the playerbase off more than saying you are Brazilian or Russian. Mostly in [[VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends LoL]] and [[DefenseOfTheAncients DotA]] respectively.
** Or Pinoys and Chinese (From china) for South East Asian players.
** Also, extend the hate towards Russians to any even remotely slavic nationality. If you speak a slavic language in a game, you will be called a Russian and hated for it, unless you manage to play competently.
** [[VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends LoL]] actually implemented a South American server to separate the Spanish/Portugese speakers from English ones. Of course, seeing a Brazilian on the NA server gets a response along the lines of "why aren't you people gone yet?"
*** Granted, most Brazilians and Russians on ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' and [[VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients DotA 2]] are just {{Troll}}s - it's ''notoriously'' easy to create a SockPuppet account free of charge.
** There is only one sole exception in this rule: In ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'', if your purpose of saying "Brazil" or "Huehuehuehue" is to poke fun of the MemeticMutation surrounding [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vD8tHh9-nbw the champion Mordekaiser]], then you may be able to instead generate a grin.
* AdaptationDisplacement: [=DotA=]: Allstars is more popular and well-known than any of its predecessors. Very few people know about Aeon of Strife or Eul's [=DotA=].
** Likewise, Guinsoo's tenure at the helm of Allstars is more historical compared to Ice Frog's tenure, due to Ice Frog maintaining CompetitiveBalance.
* AscendedGlitch: some of Warcraft III engine limits and glitches made it into metagame and are copied in other games. Notably, the concept of denying your own friendly creeps to "deny" XP and gold from the enemy.
* BossBattle: The heroes may be considered Bosses. In addition, some [=MOBAs=] also include a powerful Neutral enemy which is difficult to face alone, but usually yields a powerful reward ([[VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients like the]] [[VideoGame/{{Dota2}} ability to]] [[AutoRevive revive from death once]]).
* CantCatchUp: Players intend to invoke this. In many [=MOBAs=], there are many heroes who can't do much after a certain point in the game thanks due to lower scaling abilities/stat growth. In addition, by then, heroes who succeed in getting enough gold and experience [[MagikarpPower will start to painfully maim their past predators]]
* CastOfSnowflakes: This is a standard feature of this genre. The characters have to be distinct and easily-identified in a chaotic teamfight.
* CharacterTiers: These are frequently debated by the various communities and monitored closely by the developers; due to the competitive nature of these games, heroes are frequently made more or less powerful in order to bring them into better balance with one another, with varying levels of success. Some heroes are generically strong, some can be used in multiple roles on a team, some excel at specific roles, and some may be [[CripplingOverSpecialization useful for exactly one thing]] and completely useless otherwise. The tiers change frequently in many games due to constant small adjustments to various heroes, with older heroes tending to settle out to relatively stable positions while newer heroes tend to be more varied in usefulness as they are rebalanced as players learn how to use them to deadly effect, or counter them and render them almost entirely useless.
* ComebackMechanic: In many games, if you kill a Hero who is in the middle of a KillStreak, you get a big Gold bonus, not to mention a huge psychological boost. However, this is all too frequently [[UnstableEquilibrium subverted]].
** See also the various other metrics of success. New players typically assume that leading in killscore equates to victory, and it certainly does up your chances... but "CS" (creep score), the number of {{mook}}s you've killed--and thus the ''amount of Gold'' you have--is critical too, because that results in better items. The number of demolished towers are also important, because it lowers the enemy's map control and makes it harder for them to farm safely. Finally, there's typically some sort of BonusBoss (Roshan in the original ''[=DotA=]'') that grants some sort of [[LastDiscMagic mega-buff]] when slain. In the semi-final round of the 2013 ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' world championship, a team that was behind in kills ''2 to 1'' nonetheless managed to keep equal in Gold and items, and snatch said mega-buff. It was enough to turn the game in their favor.
* CompetitiveBalance: you can have {{Physical God}}s and {{Badass Normal}}s in one setting, but they must be equal in power.
* ComplacentGamingSyndrome: Being a PvP game, par for the course.
* [[FanNickname Detractor Nickname]]: Haters prefer calling the genre "Aeon Strife-Styled Fortress Assault Game Going On Two Sides", a not-inaccurate description that has the amusing side-effect of [[FunWithAcronyms shortening to "ASSFAGGOTS"]].
* DifficultButAwesome: Sure, it can take a long time to adjust to even the basic mechanics of the game, even longer to get a firm grasp on the flow of the game, but if you can get past those (and the community), [=MOBAs=] can be a very rewarding experience for some.
* DoubleStandard: The person on ''their'' team disconnects? They'll pause and wait for them to come back. When the person on ''your'' team disconnects? They'll force-unpause the game and use this as an advantage to come ahead.
* DynamicEntry: Pretty much every MOBA has at least one character that can use "stealth" or turn him/herself invisible before landing the first attack.
* EntitledBastard: A lot of people will constantly ask you to help them out, refusing to help you back, and do ''not'' expect a "Thank you" if you do save them.
** For games that have a recommendation system, it is not rare to see the winning side coming and begging like [[VideoGame/{{Dota 2}} "Commend plz"]] or [[VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends "Honor plz"]] on the basis that they just won, even if their contribution is minimal or more likely to just show off how much better they are to the losers.
* ExcusePlot: Some games just think "Pick these people, now go fight."
* FakeDifficulty: In the form of GuideDangIt. If you're new to the genre, then don't expect the in-game tutorials to help since they rarely explain more than what the controls are. They do not tell you details of the metagame--the popular / [[ComplacentGamingSyndrome successful]] trends that everyone follows and expect you to be up-to-date on. Matches vs AI (if they exist) can help you catch up, but not by much. And forget TheWikiRule: they may provide documentation, but rarely provide strategy, partially because it constantly changes and partially because [[SuffersNewbiesPoorly MOBA players don't like sharing]].
* FanDumb: The number of accusations about DOTA 2 having copied [=LoL=] or [=HoN=] is frightening. You'd think the 2, combined with the unfamiliar title, might've prompted them to do a ''touch'' of Google-Fu to find out what Dota ''1'' was.
* FollowTheLeader: The standard 5-on-5 three-lane map described above has been implemented in almost ''every'' clone, to the point that players can be surprised if certain minor features aren't in the exact spot they're used to finding them in. However a couple games have decided to diversify the genre by adding different game modes... and have been criticized for ''not'' being a near carbon-copy of [=DotA=], interestingly enough.
* GameBreaker: par for the course, due to new heroes being released on a regular schedule. The developers ''try'' to balance them, but with so much new content, it's inevitable they miss something.
* GameplayAndStorySegregation
* {{GIFT}}: In the form of StopHavingFunGuys, SeriousBusiness {{Scrub}}s, SuffersNewbiesPoorly, UnpleasableFanbase, SmallNameBigEgo, ArrogantKungFuGuy, and EntitledBastard. Basically, MOBA games have a ''terrible'' reputation for having communities full of people on their absolute ''worst'' behavior.
** The only gaming communities considered worse than MOBA communities are ''some'' fighting communities. Aside from that, the fanbase of many a MOBA is a WretchedHive, so much so that self-policing organizations existed for Dota and official bans and punishments for poor behavior exist in many modern games.
*** Even then, some ''[=LoL=]'' players were surprised when Riot Games actually banned a professional player for being an asshat. And not even youtubers that make videos that attracted many players to their games are safe if they screw up on their unbridled trashtalking, like LetsPlay/{{Videogamedunkey}} learned the hard way.
* HeartIsAnAwesomePower: Many players will think that [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway being positive]] won't bring victory; what brings victory is tremendous skill, so much that people will justify their jackass, toxic actions with their skill (and if they are argued upon, they will challenge their arguer to a [=1v1=]). However, truth is, having skills alone is not enough, being negative will actually ''decrease'' your winning chances. The team who kept their wits together, staying positive and never once insult others in bad times, will have increased chance of winning. Thus, having positive attitude (instead of being negative and [[SmallNameBigEgo justifying on skills only]]) is usually the key to victory.
* ImNotHereToMakeFriends: Given that some of these games show up in e-Sports and have official tournaments, you can definitely spot the people who are clearly ''not'' here to make friends, they're just here to win.
** Even in standard play, people have pointed out the guys having the ''most'' fun are the ones who aren't there to win and don't give a hoot about their statistics; they're just there to play games because they think it's fun. But for a [[TheGadfly few]] [[{{Troll}} others]], sometimes it's more fun for them just to hear [[UnstoppableRage others throw tantrums]].
* InternetToughGuy: Some people who take everything personally or can't cope with losing.
* InsultBackfire: Calling someone "fat" usually was meant literally and an insult, especially to ladies. In this genre? Calling someone "fat" is more along the line about acknowledging how dangerous that someone has become (through a good amount of farming or getting fed with enemy hero kills) and probably would carry their team to victory. So, "fat" here sounds more like being acknowledged as a {{Badass}}. The worst interpretation is that you just put a 'kick me' sign in your butt and one time you die, you give a good amount of reward for your enemies that may become just their key to make a comeback.
* ItemCrafting: Introduced in [=DotA=]: Allstars. Everything is sold in the shop, but high-tier items are built out of mid-tier items, which themselves might be built out of low-tier items. This is meaningful because ''War3'' only gave heroes 6 inventory slots. Forcing you to save up for the InfinityPlusOneSword would basically doom your team to failure, since anyone who went for an InfinityMinusOneSword would have it half a game earlier--and that edge, tiny though it seems, matters ''a lot''. Hence item crafting, allowing you to suck less by building two -1 Swords and combining them into the +1 later.
** Actually averted with VideoGame/HeroesOfTheStorm. There are no items in this game, but there is the ''Talent'' system to compensate, which allow players to customize the abilities of their heroes to an extent.
* IThoughtItMeant: Prior to the naming of this genre, it was a common sight to see people refer to these as TowerDefense games.
* ItsUpToYou: [[AvertedTrope It's not]]. Nobody can win a game single-handedly if he is the only decent player on the team. Good teams, however, may utilize a 'four-protect-one' strategy where one of the players runs a phenomenally powerful damage dealer that the rest must sacrifice life and limb to build up for the endgame.
** Well, actually, when the MOBA is more like [=DotA=], some characters, given enough time to get the money for their items, actually CAN win the game single-handedly, however it is very hard and doesn't often happen.
** It's more of a zigzagged trope. Although there are absolutely no popular games that allows a player to OneManArmy the enemy easily, there are strategies that can rely heavily on a single player doing his job rather than the team. The most common one is called "backdooring," in which a StealthBasedMission targets the base to exploit InstantWinCondition, but there are others.
* LevelGrinding: 'Laning' and 'Jungling' are the prime sources of ExperiencePoints for essential skills and gold for key items, even with the much larger individual bounties for hero kills.
** ForcedLevelGrinding: But it doesn't often take much.
* LimitBreak: the ultimate spell which is more powerful and unique than any other spells, and it can be afforded by reaching a certain level.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: [=DotA=] has 112 as version 6.76, with only 1 hero not playable in ''Dota2'' yet, ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' has 123 and is still going with no indication of ''ever'' stopping, although it ''has'' slowed by a bit (one champion every 3 weeks, rather than every 2) while [[VideoGame/HeroesOfNewerth HoN]] has 125 even though it slowed the production to an average of 2 or 3 new heroes per 6 months some time ago. Even new MOBAs come with at least a dozen or two characters to begin with.
** When a MOBA goes on enough, they get this. This is in fact one of the draws of the genre - unlike other genres with this trope, you can actually log on and see more than five characters being used.
** This is arguably one of the main reasons poor ''VideoGame/{{Demigod}}'' failed so badly: it launched with eight characters. ''Eight.'' Admittedly, the nature of the game meant each one of them had far more depth and variety than the average character in most [=MOBas=] (some of the had ''entire skill trees'' you could end a match without using) but it was still a crippling omission. The developers patched in 2 more after launch, but it was too little, too late.
* OneManArmy: DownplayedTrope. Certainly the average playable character is this compared to the average (unseen) denizen of the gameworld, but compared to other playables, a character may only become a One Man Army if his/her/its leveling and farming is successful.
** Most {{Bonus Boss}}es are this. usually it takes several high-level heroes with several articles for beating a BonusBoss.
* PickUpGroup
* PlayTheGameSkipTheStory: Being a multiplayer game; whenever a game attempts to have a plot, it's ignored.
* SeriousBusiness: This is par for the course in ''any'' PvP game, but practically a genre trait in MOBA games.
* TheShepherd: Some people genuinely ''do'' want to help newbies get better, and will give them advice and encouragement.
* SmallNameBigEgo: Most of the jerks on these games really don't have the skills to back up their TrashTalk...
** ArrogantKungFuGuy: But a few ''[[OhCrap do]]''.
* SmugSnake: It's very often in a game that you see an allied friend who's all boast, then ending up performing sub-par, or becoming an ArmchairMilitary guy who issues orders that doesn't do good in the long run, yet they WILL blame their teammates as noobs and the reason why they're defeated. Put them in the winning side, and they'll start boasting that they carried the game and the game was 'ez', even if someone else carried the game for them. And if ALL CHAT is activated, then they sure as hell will abuse it for the latter, rubbing off their superiority over the opposing side. Comebacks are possible, and if you do that against them, ''boy is it so satisfying''.
* TheSocialDarwinist: ''ESPECIALLY'' prevalent in the various playerbases of these games.
* SockPuppet: A few games are ''notriously'' easy to make a SockPuppet account for.
* SuffersNewbiesPoorly: Some people who treat you like crap when you're starting might be perfectly reasonable if you play them after getting better. And then there are...[[{{GIFT}} others]].
* StopHavingFunGuys: This too, though it's more endemic in "pro" environments like ''[=DotA=]'' or Heroes of Newerth. Course, if you manage to play any MOBA game and not run into these guys, then you are BornLucky. The very conventions of the genre tend to encourage this behavior as ''any'' deaths ''will'' make the opposing team stronger ('feeding') and experimenting or fooling around can be lethal. This is why most newbies, or experienced players experimenting with something new, are encouraged to start with bot games. (As a bonus, you're a bit more likely to find TheShepherd there, if for no other reason than players are a bit less cranky when the CurbStompBattle is basically guaranteed.)
** ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' and ''VideoGame/{{Dota 2}}'' are actually taking measures to avert this. ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' has a system called the "Tribunal" where players vote whether or not a player should be punished, as well as an "Honor" system where you can upvote people for being [[LoveYouAndEverybody friendly]], [[TheShepherd helpful]], [[TrueCompanions communicative]] or a WorthyOpponent. ''Dota 2'' is adding a system to temporarily remove players' abilities to chat or voice-chat if they can't stop trash-talking. Both were incredibly GenreSavvy.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: These games tend to be patched often, leading to this reaction in fans often.
* TheyCopiedItSoItSucks: {{inverted}}. Games will often get flak for ''deviating'' from the established formula. (It can also be suicidal because it reveals how much of game balance is circumstantial. ''League of Legends'' has four whole maps--three more than ''Dota''--and many of its characters have ''wildly'' different positions on the CharacterTiers depending on which map you're playing on.)
* TierInducedScrappy: Because of the team-based aspect of these games, this mostly happens with low-tier characters. It's not unknown for people to RageQuit because somebody on their team chose a character perceived as being underpowered. Likewise, in [=DotA=], which doesn't allow [[MirrorMatch both sides to deploy the same hero]], people might rage-quit when they saw that the other team had managed to nab the latest GameBreaker.
** Developers of games are constantly trying to avert this trope so people actually ''will'' try to win with their favorites, not just picking a hero declared "OP."
*** Especially since "OP" is not a relative term in these games. The original [=DotA=] only lets one team pick any given hero; {{Mirror Match}}es are forbidden. And there were some characters that were ''so'' {{Game Breaker}}y that the whole game was decided by the question of which team managed to click on him faster, a process which took five seconds. The thirty or forty minutes of gameplay that followed were largely a formality.
* TotalPartyKill: "ACED!"
* UngratefulBastard: ''LOTS''.
* UnsportsmanlikeGloating: Try to buck yourself up if you lose and then your enemies go "Ez". You get this a lot, because [[ItsAllAboutMe these are the kind of guys who'd]] [[SmugSnake gloat on victory]], [[NeverMyFault but blame others on defeat.]]
* UnstableEquilibrium: Dying to the same opponent three times or even ''twice'' can basically hand them the game. This may seem ridiculous, but look at the advantages he gains from just one kill:
** He gains Gold and ExperiencePoints, not just from the kill but because you have to respawn and return to the fight, a time during which you are not LevelGrinding and he is.
** While you are absent from lane, he has a window of relative calm in which he can grind, set up ganks ("gang kills") on your beleaguered teammates or achieve other objectives (towers, the BonusBoss, etc), solidifying his team's lead.
** Finally, the original ''[=DotA=]'' and some others would penalize ''you'' by ''taking Gold away from you'' every time you died. Depending on circumstances, it was completely possible to be reduced to 0 G. This is the one most likely to be removed by spinoff games, as it's just a bit too harsh, and even the StopHavingFunGuys don't complain about its absence.
** Actually averted with VideoGame/HeroesOfTheStorm. It differs from the rest for the fact that it has no items at all, exp earned is shared equally between the entire team, everyone levels up at the same time, its matches are rather short, and it has currently nine different maps, each with its own ''unique'' objectives that are too powerful to ignore and can change the gamestate quickly. And players will never run into a situation where they're miles behind and dragging their team down because of it.
* UnstoppableRage: The playerbase for just about every one of these games.
* Ur Example: ''VideoGame/HerzogZwei''
* WeakTurretGun: DoubleSubverted. Early-mid game towers are very dangerous and can kill heroes in only a few hits, but they don't scale according to hero levels, so past a certain point towers stop being a formidable threat. Their main Late-Game use is as glorified stealth detectors.
** However, played entirely straight and justified gameplay-wise with some heroes who may be able to summon turret guns.
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-> '''Baelog:''' [[TheStinger Ugh, you guys are so getting us fired, do you know that?]]