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The Dawngate opens...

Dawngate was a MOBA developed by Waystone Games. First released mid 2013, the game has since entered open community beta a year later.

Pitting two teams of five "Shapers" against each other, Dawngate seeks to "break the meta" with the inclusion of such features like the role system (Gladiator, Tactician, Hunter, and Predator), a two-lane map, and objectives like Spirit Wells. Instead of a defenseless objective you must destroy to win, you work to defeat the enemy Guardian, a powerful titan who can almost fend off an entire team without assistance, and easily sway the outcome of a fight with its damaging area-of-effect attacks. Items are very neatly categorized and Color-Coded for Your Convenience, and only offer passive effects so players don't forget to use an active effect.

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Shapers are creatures who are bonded to a Vitality, or spirit. The Vitality a Shaper actually binds to is generally determined by their personality, philosophy or occupation. Relevant abilities are bestowed.

The game's story is called the Living Lore, literally written by and for the community. The creative team at Waystone gather stories written by fans of the game and have the community vote on which outcome they most prefer. Great efforts are taken to avoid Gameplay and Story Segregation; a character will generally only use skills and abilities that are represented in the game, and the cast of Shapers is presented to have varied, but equal strengths and utilities.

Dawngate was downloadable at Waystone's main site. Fan-made resource sites such as MOBA-Champion and The Shaper's Guild also exist to better explain the game and its intricacies.

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Despite a healthy player base and an ongoing tournament, Electronic Arts cancelled the project on November 4, 2014. In February of 2015, the servers were shut down — the Dawngate closed.


Dawngate provides examples of the following tropes:

  • An Adventurer Is You: Character archetypes combined with the role system allows for many diverse set ups.
    • For archetypes:
      • Carries rely mostly on autoattacks for their damage, and scale so that most of your damage output in the lategame will be coming from them. They can't take many hits, and often must be the focus of attack when fights break out.
      • Bruisers also generally have strong autoattacks, though not as powerful as a regular carries. However, they are much more durable and most are surprisingly mobile.
      • Assassins generally have very powerful burst damage and good mobility, but don't scale as hard as the carry and don't have the inherent durability of a tank or bruiser.
      • Tanks build to be incredibly durable. Most tanks also come with excellent teamfight and utility abilities that forces the enemy team to focus them first, which, because of their natural toughness, they can usually survive.
      • Mages provide a plethora of abilities, ranging from strong disables, to powerful burst damage, to long-ranged sustained damage. If left alone during a teamfight, mages can cripple the opposing team with their magical output.
      • Supports possess excellent utility spells, be they offensive or defensive in nature, and often safeguard the carries until they are self-sufficient.
    • For roles:
      • Gladiators make the vast majority of their vim (gold/money) income from killing lane minions.
      • Tacticians are generally supports, and gain bonus vim from damaging enemy Shapers.
      • Hunters make their money from jungle monsters, and generally move about the map to enable ganks.
      • Predators get a huge boost to experience and vim when they slay an enemy or assist an ally with a kill. They also tend to Harass spirit Wells, since killing Well workers grants them bonus vim.

  • Announcer Chatter: Whether it be the default announcer, or one of the character announcers, you'll be definitely hearing a lot from them.
    • Believe it or not, the announcer is its own character, albeit a relatively minor one. "The Curator" is a creation of the same man who made the Dawngate, and his announcements are made while he observes battles by the Dawngate.
    • Many of the game's characters have "Announcer Packs" you can buy, to replace the Curator with one of the playable Shapers, to comedic effect. Fan favorites include Zeri, Zalgus, and the King of Masks.
      Zeri, when an allied Spirit Well is taken: Go find your own Well! ... I mean, not ours. Somebody else's!
  • Arch-Enemy: Several champions in Dawngate have enemies, such as Fenmore and Freia.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: Features like creep-denial, losing gold on death, and RNG-based effects are not present.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Both Guardians are operators of the larger Dawngate...except that Eidolous didn't program them all that well, and they both think the other is a threat. Cue MOBA.
  • Blessed with Suck: Voluc. He is the host to the spirit of Consumption, which makes him very strong but subsequently forces him to kill everything against his will and constantly tries to make him get close to his family so it can force him to kill them, too.
  • Bonus Boss: The Parasite is a powerful creature, that, when slain, can provide the team with bonus vim, powerful buffs, and heavy Striders that siege enemy Bindings (towers).
  • Cast of Snowflakes: As of Patch 35, all 33 Shapers are remarkably unique in appearance and play style.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Shapers tend to colour-coordinate themselves to a degree with their Spirit, which is almost always a ghostly entity of a singular colour (known exception is Zeri's, because true to her being a painter it's practically a rainbow-coloured spirit). Additionally, the icons used for items use colours based on the stats that particular item gives, such as green for power, red for health, and blue for haste.
  • Downer Ending: For the game itself. It was announced that EA will not develop it further and shut down servers in near future.
  • Eldritch Location: The Dawngate is one itself, a living gate to the Spirit World. In the process of destroying itself (see A.I. Is a Crapshoot).
  • Fusion Dance: Most Shapers were rather mundane folks who bonded with spirits or "Vitalities." All Shapers count for this trope, however.
  • Grapple Move: Kahgen's ultimate can do this, as can Marah's Q. Also Moya's ultimate, which grapples a single enemy.
  • Grim Up North: The North frequently has raiders attacking monasteries, and The Nine burning down villages.
  • The Gunslinger: Varion.
  • Improbable Weapon User: While most Shapers have expected weaponry (swords, axes, spears, magic bolts, elemental powers, guns, warp blades), many characters fall squarely within this trope.
    • Mikella is a ranged carry who shoots people with coins, which she can summon at will thanks to the Vitality of Fortune.
      • A new cosmetic skin for Mikella replaces her coins with bullets. That she throws at people.
    • Kel is a tank. He is also a shepherd. He throws a sheep he has on hand [then can dash to pick it up again], slows people by *blowing at them with a sheep's whistle*, knocks people into the air by hitting them with his crook, and (in an admittedly less improbable weapon usage) throws himself at enemies to stun them.
    • Moya is an otterkin smuggler, bonded with the vitality of Motion, that attacks people by whacking them with an electric eel, dashing at them, and carrying them into the air .
    • Vex is a ranged carry that shoots spines at people Hydralisk-style.
    • Zeri uses paint, and a butterfly that she claims can eat your face. It actually grants a portion of her bonus stats to allies or herself.
    • After losing his arm in a construction accident, Petrus Shaped a prosthetic out of stone. It packs enough of a punch to launch an enemy Shaper against a wall, damaging any of their allies as they fly.
    • Kahgen uses a giant hook that can belch fire and haul many people to him (or his team) at once.
    • Renzo's ultimate summons a giant statue of himself that knocks enemies into the air.
    • Desecrator was bound to the Vitality of Decay as he was being Buried Alive as punishment for a particularly heinous crime. With this new power as a Shaper, he has control of his own tomb, and uses headstones, noxious fumes and reanimated corpses to fight.
    • Tess uses a gun that she can also ride as a motorcycle, and has her pirate airship fly over the battlefield, dragging its inexplicable anchor to crush and grind enemies into the ground.
  • Lady Land: The North is this, with men rarely being accepted as warriors and normally married off politically in the upper echelons of society there.
  • Leave No Witnesses: The reason Freia's village was razed by Fenmore
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Nissa saves her tribe from an attack by an Atali and is Exiled because she fused with a spirit to do so.
    • Happens again when she chooses to save Freia's life by allowing Fenmore to escape. Freia slaps her in the face and charges off, preferring to have been sacrificed for Fenmore's death.
  • Non-Action Guy: Averted for the teams' respective Guardians. Unlike most other games in the genre where the final objective is defenseless after the protective towers fall, the Guardian can competently hold its own against an entire enemy team while its allied Shapers respawn.
  • Personality Powers: The spirits seem to attach to characters who already have personalities that suited their spirit. Kindra bonded with the Spirit of Shadow and The King Of Masks has been imbued with the Spirit of Madness
  • Plot Armor: The internal lore primer released after the game's cancellation discusses this point, in that through the entirety of the chronicles all playable characters are never truly at risk. The proposition was instead to give focus to the non-playable supporting characters, who could be legitimately threatened and killed if the story called for it.
  • Random Drops: Though a bit different with the Roll and Karma systems. After a match, you are given points based on match duration, whether you won, a frustrating RNG roll, and Karma (awarded by other players for skilled play or good behavior.) More scoring criteria are expected to be added, likely evaluating the specifics of a player's performance and contribution. The more points you get, the higher tier of reward you receive. Rewards can contain Destiny (in-game currency), Sparks and Spiritstones for your Loadout, and even Shapers if you're able to cap out the score value.
  • Standard Status Effect: Par the course for a MOBA. There are slows, roots, silences, stuns, suppressions, shields, and steroids. Knowing which enemy to disable, or which ally to save, can make or break a team fight.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: There's a surprising amount of banter that goes about during a match. Teammate banter with each other, especially if they're friends (or enemies) in the lore. There's even interactions that friends have when they find themselves on the opposite team. And, of course, emotes like /joke, /taunt, and /dance.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: No shirt could possibly contain the raw, overwhelming machismo of Renzo.
  • The Un-Reveal: The released lore primer enlightens planned and never-before shown information on all the characters we know about so far. But information on "The One", leader of the Nine was deliberately removed from the public release (it even says so in the document itself). If there's one thing they want to hold from the public for if they ever get a chance to tell the story again, it was that.

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