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 Post subject: Dropzone
PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:49 pm 
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Has anybody else been following Dropzone? I hopped in when it went Early Access, but it's slated to launch in its final Free to Play format next week. I've had a bunch of fun with it, but figured it's kind of a dick move to try to hype people into buying in on an Early Access game when if they wait it can be free, so I hadn't really been talking it up.

It's from a chunk of the team that made Rise of Nations, and it's a MOBA that tries to shake up the MOBA genre a bit. It's primary ladder mode is 1v1, for starters, and instead of micromanaging one hero unit, each player is tasked with directing a customizable squad of three heroes (called Rigs, after the mechs each hero pilots). The goal of the game is to score points by either completing up to 3 mix-and-match objectives that change from match to match, or by beating up zerg-esque NPC alien critters' hives to get at the "cores" they each protect, and then taking those cores to a central point on the map to upload them, scoring points upon a successful upload.

True to MOBA fashion, beating up on the aliens gives you xp (but enemy rig kills don't, it should be noted; so while killing the other players' rigs can often be an important tempo win for you, if you focus too exclusively on it you might find yourself getting outpaced in level), which you then use to level up the rig of your choice when you've collected enough. Each level unlocks new abilities (which are highly customizable during your squad creation based on what gear you use to equip the rig), etc. etc. Where it breaks from other MOBAs, though, is the focus on 1v1 play and splitting your attention between your three rigs. In this, the game can approach more familiar RTS territory, in that it's often beneficial to split your rigs up and have them cover more ground, letting the AI handle itself (without using cooldown abilities) while you're actively managing other rigs.

Oh, and matches run a fixed time limit of 15 minutes, which is an incredibly welcome thing for my schedule these days. They manage to cram a satisfying arc into those 15 minutes, I might add.

The game's got a few other modes, too, like a cooperative team vs. waves of aliens survival mode, 2v2 core battles (teams of two players with three rigs each), and a newly added, more MOBA-standard 3v3 where each player controls a single rig. Ladder matches allow for drafting pilots (with no duplicates) and gear sideboards, interestingly enough, though, again, that's a brand newly implemented feature I haven't yet played with.

It's an interesting game, and the gear customization brings a lot of interesting depth to explore. It goes free to play on the 12th, but until then, the early access deals (which unlock all the launch pilots and their gear without having to earn them) are half price ($10 or $18 for the deluxe early access, which will also grant five additional characters to come) until then.

Go read about it on PC Gamer, they've written a few articles about it that go into better depth, and named it their game of PAX West last year.

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