MOBAs are traditionally 5V5, sure. But why? No reason, really. That’s just what DOTA started with and here we are.
As has been noted many times, HOTS is a lot more team centric than DOTA or LoL. This means that ‘Solo Queue’ is orders of magnitude more punishing in HOTS, which creates a very toxic environment in general. The most popular HOTS streamers are often tilted, angry, critical, and otherwise ornery – and while I love HOTS as a game, I have to say I get that way too when playing…far too often.
How easy is it to find a solid team of 5 to Queue with on a consistent basis? Um, lol…unless you’re sponsored/getting paid in some way, basically impossible. So the majority of HOTS players are experiencing a team centric game in a manner in which they are ‘teamed’ with people who they’ve never met before, probably will never see again. That’s not a team.
This is the primary reason HOTS was doomed from the start. Without the ability to solo “carry” among random teammates
It might seem crazy, but I swear this fixes HOTS’ primary problem. It’s far easier to find 2 other people to play with than 4, an individual has a bunch more affect on the game in a 3V3 match than a 5V5, and while at first thought you might think, “but we made all the maps and mechanics with 5V5 in mind…”, I don’t think it matters. Everything will work just fine, games will take a little longer on average, but not much, and both teams have the same relative handicap.
Even on large maps like Cursed Hollow, a 3V3 could end up being really fun. In fact, I daresay there are even more strategic options open because the amount of things you can accomplish on the map at any one time is diminished (thereby meaning you actually have to choose which to do instead of ‘do it all’)
What’s the downside? Considering you can still keep 5V5 if you want, basically nothing, but I’d bet that 5V5 would die in the fact of 3V3 – and that’s not a bad thing! Here are some advantages off the top of my head:
- Less burst, chain stunlock, etc. = more skill and fun
- Many more heroes, if not all, become viable depending on matchup
- PvE type ‘junglers’ gain lots of value, setting them on par with the others instead of a highly situational afterthought
- Opens up many more team ‘comps’ such as no support, no tank, and so on
- Individual play matters more, making solo queue much less toxic
- Individual play matters more, which means more accurate ranking/matchmaking
- Far easier to find 2 friends to play with than 4
- Hero draft synergy matters a lot more, putting more heroes into the mix
- More relevant choices in-game concerning what to do at a given time, as well as more meaningful talent choices / counter-picks
- Reduced queue times!
If you’ve read this far, I’m sure you’re already thinking of many other ways 3V3 would be superior for HOTS in particular. Or, can you think of reasons it wouldn’t work? Let me know – I honestly can’t think of any except for general ‘it’s made for 5’ arguments that don’t hold up if I think about how matches might play out on all the different maps.
Let me just say I think HOTS at its core is an awesome, awesome game. One of the best out there, really. It just has this unsustainable factor of basically forcing people to be at the absolute mercy of unknown teammates most of the time they play, which no game could survive no matter how good.
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