Gaming

Battle of the Skins: Which MOBA has the Best In-Game Cosmetics

Gaming has slowly become dominated by one genre more than any other. MOBAs. Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas. This genre first came to fruition as a custom game mode in Starcraft, called Aeon of Strife. But it was popularised by the warcraft 3 custom game Defence of the Ancients, otherwise known as DOTA.

You will be aware of the popular Valve game DOTA 2. And the most popular MOBA on the planet, Leauge of Legends. But these are only the biggest two of what is now an extremely saturated genre.

One of the great things about this genre is the games tend to be free-to-play. This is because both DOTA2 and LoL are f2p which means any game hoping to compete will have to match this or fail. Save for a few exceptions such as Overwatch.

So how do these free-to-play MOBAs actually make money? It often falls down to cosmetics. In-game skins that let players change the look of their characters and weapons. But which MOBA has the best In-Game cosmetics out of them all? Well, we are going to take a look and try to narrow down that question.

 

League of Legends

League of Legends is, without question, the most popular MOBA on the planet. Its E-sports scene attracts more viewers than any other, and its annual player base dominates the other games.  And to go with that it is also one of the longest-running MOBAs. That also means it has amassed a large collection of in-game cosmetics for players to buy.

In fact, there are so many cosmetics that some have actually gone out of circulation, being classified as legacy skins. Within this massive catalog sits some of the most creative skins we have ever seen. You have everything from Gundam style robot skins to fairytale skins. Summer pool party themed skins to Halloween themed skins. If you can imagine it then LoL most likely has done it.

But quantity doesn’t always mean quality. Some of the skins are little more than recoloring, especially in the early days of the game’s life. But these days a lot of the skins are intricate and detailed, going as far as to change the abilities of the character as well.

 

DOTA 2

DOTA 2 takes a different approach to their cosmetics than LoL. In fact, their approach was eventually copied by LoL and other MOBAs. Rather than having one skin for an entire character, DOTA lets you unlock different items and parts of a character’s look. This essentially allows the player to play dress-up with their favorite heroes.

But it doesn’t stop there. Where DOTA took it to the next level is in the ability to equip cosmetics that change everything from the UI to the announcer’s voice. Having guest voice packs such as Wheatley from Portal 2 or Rick from Rick and Morty has kept the DOTA cosmetic shop fresh where other games stagnate.

Valva has always been known for its incredible graphics and attention to detail, along with stunning psychics engines. And the skins for DOTA 2 follow this trend. The cosmetics are often fully animated and varied, making them more than simple re-skins. They can change a character completely, including the visual effects for their abilities.

 

Overwatch

Blizzard was dominating the MMO market for years. World of Warcraft was seemingly unbeatable. So it came as a shock when Blizzard tried their hand in creating a MOBA. Enter: Overwatch. A fresh take of the traditional battle arena genre, Overwatch is an FPS MOBA.

The biggest draw of Overwatch was the varied characters. Each with their own unique visual style and fun ability to match, the game broke a lot of the stereotypes of a traditional fps. But what about cosmetics?

Overwatch has a wide variety of different skins available for their champions. But aside from a few that add costumes parts or change visual effects, most are nothing more than simple recolors. In fact, most have guessed that the reason Blizzard adds so many simple recolors is to pad out their loot box system and force people to gamble more money to get the skin they want. A horrid practice that is currently being heavily debated in courts around the world

 

SMITE

Smite is a lesser-known MOBA, but one of the oldest and most robust. It constantly maintains a consistent player base and some very unique cosmetics. The game stands out as it uses characters from real-world mythology such as greek and Norse gods.

SMITE has recently secured a deal with Nickelodeon to have skins from the popular Avatar series. With Avatar Aang and Korra now in the game, SMITE has seen a rise in their player base.

SMITEs skins are often detailed and well throughout. Featuring a lot of cosmetic changes and visual effects changes as well. And, unlike Overwatch, all of the skins can be purchased through normal means rather than loot boxes. It is no wonder SMITE has managed to thrive against the larger competitors where other MOBAs fade into obscurity and eventually shut down.

 

Overall, if it was up to us, we would argue that DOTA 2 has the best in-game cosmetics. We can chalk this up to Valves’ attention to detail and top-notch physics engine. But at the end of the day, it all falls down to personal preference. So, what MOBA has the best cosmetics in your opinion?

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How Churches Are Making Use of Modern Technologies

I worked in a cathedral for a large portion of my life. Not in the religious sector. I was employed in the customer service division, which was a subsidiary company owned by the cathedral. To me, it was just another job in events management and customer service.

But working in a cathedral environment for so long, you pick up on a lot of stuff. The dignitaries and honored guests don’t mind talking in front of the staff, as they hardly notice us. And the one big thing I picked up one is this. Churches are dying.

 

A Dying Breed

 

This might be an extreme way of saying it. What I mean is the number of donors and members of the church are dwindling. Thanks to modern technology and enlightened education, fewer young people are willing to commit to the church. And, sadly, a lot of the previous members of the church are now dying off.

It is morbid but factual. The rate at which the church is losing members and donors to death is far greater than the new intake of members. And this means less money overall.

Churches are greedy. This is something else I learned while working there. They love to hoard money, spend as little as possible, and then moan when they don’t have enough. Even though they always have more than enough.

So, in recent years the church has been looking for new ways to bring in younger donors and new members. So I want to look at one of the biggest methods the church is using to stay relevant. Technology.

 

The Pandemic

The first example of churches using modern technology to stay ahead has been forced upon them due to the global pandemic. But, its success means it will most likely stay in use long after we are clear of the virus. Sermons and services are now being broadcast online. Some churches had already implemented this feature before, but now nearly every major church is doing this.

And since they have started they have noticed a sharp increase in attendance numbers for their services. The main reason for this is the fact that anyone can tune in, no matter where they are. A lot of people no longer live in their home city or have the chance to visit their favorite town. So these services instantly allowed people to travel back to the churches they love. It was foolish of the churches to fight this advancement for so long.

 

Online Community

A big part of church activities involves the guests and members being able to talk to the priests and clergy. Asking their advice, seeking counsel, or just having a friend to chat with. Churches used to be the hub of societies. So it is no surprise people still gravitate towards them.

A lot of churches are now moving to online chat rooms and forums. Having dedicated clergy members online to have video chats with people or take confessions online.

This also allows churchgoers to communicate with each other in group settings, similar to how they would if they were attending in person. A lot of the older community that attends church do so because they are lonely. Going to church gives them a sense of purpose and allows them to be part of a community and meet others. By extending their reach online, the church is making sure these people are still supported.

 

Good Business

You might be shocked to learn that a lot of cathedrals have gift shops. And these often aren’t just little dinky gift shops like you’d find in a museum. Some of them are filled to the brim with quality products. Products like the besten geschenke zur erstkommunion für jungen, or DVDs of popular church sermons and choir concerts. Along with other fabulous gifts.

These shops were a good source of income for the churches. Day-trippers and those on holiday would always stop to buy a few trinkets. But thanks to dwindling numbers, and the pandemic, these sources of income are drying up.

Which is why a lot of churches are now setting up online stores. This idea is nothing new. Online shopping has been around nearly as long as the internet has. But a lot of churches simply didn’t have the infrastructure to support online shopping. And they wanted to have customers come on-site to make purchases, to encourage them to explore and hopefully join up.

With less through traffic on a daily basis, it makes sense more churches are now using top-tired courier services to offer fast delivery and a great range of products. And since more people are online shopping than ever before, they are slowly boosting their profits.

 

 

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Is the World of ESports Becoming Dangerously Over Commercialized?

The world of Sports was changed forever when Gaming became an officially recognized Olympic sport. E-sports, as it is more commonly known, can be made up of any competitive game that allows players to face off against one another.

No longer was sport simply reserved for those with the physical powers to play on the field. Suddenly a whole new generation of athletes was born. Athletes who battled in virtual worlds rather than physically.

But as it grew in popularity so too did the gaming industry as a whole. More and more gaming moved away from being an art of passion, with games being made by small studios who cared. Instead, we saw major corporations swing into the gaming field. Each run by investors who nothing about gaming and seek only to turn a profit.

The Slow Increase

With this trend towards money over art, we have seen gaming slowly become more and more commercialized. Only a few years ago a fully-fledged triple-A game would cost a maximum of $40. Now you would be lucky to get it for that on sale.

But how does all this affect the world of e-sports? Most of the games being played are often free games such as Leauge of Legends. Is the e-sports world about to fall victim to the issue of over-commercialization.

Our opinion is that it will. Already we are seeing the effects of it. More and more companies are throwing their hats into the ring. Hiring teams to represent them, rather than the teams being scouted independently. Soon we won’t be watching actual gaming pros face-off, we will watch as cooperate paid players fight on behalf of the company.

 

The Effects On Us

The increase in the commercialization of the gaming world isn’t all bad. It has allowed a lot of smaller, more independent services to flourish. You can buy pre-owned games easily. You can get an aimbot for valorant or gold boosting for WoW with ease. But these are all positives designed by gamers for gamers.

What we have also seen in a steady increase in the bad practices associated with the commercial world. Games being sold half complete with the rest sold as DLC down the line. Early access titles taking the money and never finishing. Major game companies forcing you to use online DRM and legally binding you to contract to ensure you don’t own what you pay for.

And this translates into e-sports as well. Soon ticket prices are going to soar. You will be forced to give your details over to massive corporations. The e-sports tournaments will be plastered with commercial advertising and the entire audience will be forced to watch adverts in between round.

 

Can It Be Stopped

There is always a way to hold back these swarming tides. The only way for it not to work is for the masses to stand up and fight back. And the only way to fight back in these modern times is with your wallet.

These companies rely on the new wave of gamers, those who only know the gaming world in the twisted shape it currently sits. They rely on them funneling mass amounts of cash into the system. So, if people want to stop e-sports becoming too commercialized they need to organize and stop attending the events.

Some e-sports teams have already considered starting their own official league sanctioned by players for the players. No corporate sponsors allowed. But as it stands at the moment this is nothing more than a pipe dream.

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Top 10 Mobile Games of 2019 to 2020

AFK Arena.

AFK Arena is a very popular roleplay game where you join factions and battle other players in order to earn rewards. This engrossing game is definitely worthy of a position on this list, offering medieval and fantasy style characters that can do battle against each other. Collect hero cards featuring high quality artwork to build your team and become a stronger player. Rewards can also be earned more easily by using AFK Arena Redemption Codes in order to redeem extra rewards such as hero shards and diamonds to help you progress quickly.

 

Angry Birds.

This timeless mobile game is one for all the family. Angry Birds combines engrossing challenges with physics style tasks where you fire animated birds into structures shielding enemy pigs. Each bird comes with a different ability and as you progress you unlock more and more birds to make the game fun and keep it interesting. This is one for the mobile gamers out there and can offer hours of pig smashing fun.

 

Fruit Ninja.

Fruit Ninja is another mobile gaming staple, this arcade game is a great time killer that can keep you entertained for hours on end. Progress in this game to make upgrades to your blade and compete in time challenges to smash as much fruit as you can. Why not give this great mobile game a try and take out your frustrations on some fruit! This game covers everything that makes a good mobile game, it’s fun, it’s great at occupying those dreaded train journeys and most of all it’s entertaining for all.

 

8 Ball Pool.

8 Ball Pool is a game that we’ve all gotten competitive about, whether you’re playing with friends and family or random online players we’ve all gotten mad at a loss on this game at one time or another. This game brings the classic game of pool out of all those pubs and brings the game to life in mobile capacity. Play with friends or online random players in order to win virtual money that can be used on customizing your pool cues or upgrading your game skills.

 

Crowd City.

Another great time killing mobile game would have to be crowd city, battle against others in multiplayer mode to race around different maps consuming members of other crowds in order to gain the majority and win the round when the game ends. The more wins you get then the more points you will have in order to climb the leaderboard and unlock more and more cutely designed characters to play with.

 

Candy Crush.

A staple in all of our mobile games repertoire is candy crush saga, one of the cutest games out there play in different stages that each get harder as you go further and match the different colors of candy. Clearing the colors of candy will make you gain points which contribute to your star rating out of three at the end of the round, aim for three stars and you will gain extra bonuses to play with in future rounds, hours of fun for all the family to enjoy!

 

Clash of Clans.

For those of you into your medieval strategy style games, Clash of Clans is the one for you, work to build up your village and its defenses by competing in raids on other villages in order to gain coins and elixir. Use coins and elixir to buy new soldiers for raids, extra buildings and walls and defenses to avoid the theft of your valuables. This game is extremely engrossing and if you give it a try your village will be your number one priority in life!

 

Mario Kart.

Mario Kart is a recent addition to the mobile gaming world and offers the nostalgic Nintendo game that we all know and love. Play in the iconic but freshly designed maps with all the updated characters and race online to show you’re the best player. With updates coming soon features such as multiplayer and expansion to maps and characters this game is definitely one to give a go.

 

Plants vs Zombies.

Plants vs Zombies combines military style tactics with amazingly animated and weaponized plants. Defend yourself from zombie attacks with an array of different mutant plants each with different abilities from firing projectiles to freezing zombies as you progress you unlock more and more plants to defend your garden from the ever increasing zombie horde.

 

Into the Dead.

Another great zombie game ( although a bit scarier) is into the dead, with amazing graphics and weapons style this runner game is extremely immersive sending players into the scary world of the zombie apocalypse. With story mode and free run either follow a gripping tale where characters must evade death running through fields or in free run compete on a leaderboard for the most kills.

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