Hi everyone, I’m sure you’ve the 5v5 gameplay by now. Before we get into this, let me just say. Seeing the map play for the first time it seems… almost impossible. Nothing close to this has ever existed on mobile. But, initial shock at the scope, detail, and quality of the map aside, let’s get into some analysis.
Sovereigns Rise is a big map, and Iwon’t be able to get into everything. That said, let’s talk about what unique aspaects this map has to offer.
Compact size and shape
3 lane Moba on PC and Console have long existed. And while there is a lot of fun and strategy to be had, partly because of there massive size. I’m actually really pleased SEMC went with a smaller more compact map from a purely gameplay sense. This, combined with a longer but shorter shape. Make for a much more compact and action packed experience without I feel, sacrificing any important macro strategy you expect to see from a 5v5 map.
The flowing river
One interesting aspect of the 5v5 map, is the fact that the river flows outwards from mid lane. Cosmetically this looks stunning. (as does the rest of the map) But It actually increases your movement speed when walking with the current. This allows quicker rotations through the middle of the map. And specifically let’s the mid laner support the other lanes quickly.
Most MOBA have dragons as objectives. Initially I was disappointed at the seeming lack of creativity. But seeing in game how they look and play. I really like what SEMC has done. Blackclaw specifically is an insane objective. While he functions very similarly to the kraken, there are a lot more options to play around him. Because he only pushes down mid lane, it gives mid lane an identity as the main push rout. While top and bot are “flanks”. You can use him to “6 man” down mid lane, use him as a pressure point and split up to top, bot, or both, or throw him at the enemy to stall without risk due to his lack of a kill payout.
Ghostwing (GW) is a little more generic, granting a teamwide buff. But she still brings fairly unique mechanics to Sovereigns Rise. Health barrier generation (to a cap), health regen, and energy regeneration, make her ideal for setting up fights. And I’m really excited to see what teams do with this. There is a lot of “play” to this buff. Anything is possible, from diving turrets without minions, gaining an advantage in teamfights, or walking right up the river and grabbing BC safe behind your barrier.
These big little guys, are easy to overlook. But to anyone who’s experienced a lot of MOBAs. One thing that never changes is last hitting and wave management. What these guys do however is change a fundamental aspect of MOBA gameplay (not something you see every day). And take wave management to heights possibly never seen in MOBA before on any platform. Really excited to see how the top teams utilize this new… no other word for it. OBJECTIVE. #MinionLove
This is my biggest disappointment (get to healing buff later). Red/Blue buff exist in nearly every other MOBA. It gives the map a surface level of conformity and un-originality. That said SEMC did a lot to distinguish how they play from other MOBA. The buff camps placements in itself is very different from what you usually see. The actual buffs themselves are also a little out of the ordinary, with both amplifying damage of the that kind (if I understand correctly). This makes the crystal just as valuable as the weapon for damage, not just utility which is common. Finally when a hero carrying a buff dies, it drops to the ground, and can be picked up by any hero who walks over it. The healing buff is as far as I can tell is a normal Treant, however, sustain in 5v5 is much sparser. So it’s individual impact will be much greater.
Unlike 3v3, your bases in 5v5 are full of defenses and objectives. Again, SEMC went with something that on the surface looks a lot like the usual set up. In practice however, Sovereigns Rise beings a lot to the figurative MOBA table.
The vain crystal for starters fires back with 3 missles, which is reduced by 1 every time a Amdory is destroyed. The stun cascade I also think is a great mechanic because one slip up, and the enemy can take advantage and push back, which makes things a little less pre determined. Because taking down armories also reduces enemy minion strength, and increases yours. These are major adjectives that open up a lot of strategy. The optimal ways to bring down the enemy base? We don’t yet know, but it’s sure to be far more varied and exciting than the Halcyon Fold.
Jungle shops bring strategy and a point of contention to the map. But also make the game a lot more streamlined, meaning you don’t have do back every time you wish to grab an item. Recalling is still a valuable option, especially for “Far lane” as I’ll get to later.
This is something I think very few people understand about the map. So I’ll do my best to explain. Players from most MOBA are used to thinking of top, and bottom lane. However in Sovereigns Rise, it’s much more useful to think of lanes as Shop lane, and Far lane.
(Sorry for the low quality image)
As you can see, red teams bot lane is adjacent to there jungle shop, while blue teams top lane is closer to there jungle shop. I.E. Far lane fights the enemy shop lane, and shop lane fights the enemy far lane. The same can be said for the entire jungle and map layout.
Shop lane Is dinsitnguished obviously by being close to your jungle shop, however it’s also close to your crystal buff, and your healing buff. In fact, the healing buff can be taken from the lane itself. Additionally shop lane has a much safer layout, making it very difficult to gank, while providing brush for your team to gank from. This makes the lane extremely comfy, with built in sustain and shopping only a couple steps away.
Far lane, as the namee suggests is more isolated. With the only objective nearby being the weapon buff, additionally on the flipside of shop lane. The layout is unfavorable, letting the enemies sneak directly into your turret. Or safely wait to ambush you in shop lanes brush.
That’s the majority of what I would call the maps defining atrbutes. Beyond that I’d like to talk about how these aspects come together to create the dynamic of the game. And how the meta may shake out.
What I want to stress, is how dynamic the structure of this map is. SEMC has put a lot of work into not forcing any meta. I think this combined with how VGs heroes don’t fit into traditional 5v5 rolls. Will make the meta heavily fluid, and teams will have to balance compositional pressures (wanting a cc chain for example) with map pressures (last hitting, wave clear, rotating). For example. a full melee dive comp may lose out in early game lane exchanges. But in late game teamfighting, and objective taking maybe it works out. Is it worth having a CP Idris, if he won’t come online for 10m, and what and in which lane can you afford to lose? You may put Baptiste in far lane because your team has the “space” for him, even it’s not ideal to get your cc chain comp online. The next game however maybe you can put him in mid lane or jungle where he (presumably) works better. This is the kind of flexibility I expect. And while it’s impossible to glean specifics from 3 games, where the player themselves have not figured everything out. I think we can say, it won’t fall into the traditional meta you see in LoL. Maybe some games or comps this works, but with others it will certainly not. Just the captain himself will have a huge range of positioning choices.
That’s all for today folks, really excited to get my hands on 5v5 early access. (Spent 700 opals with no success) and it’s almost unbelievable what SEMC has created. Nothing close to this has ever existed on mobile, or for that matter on any other platform. And I think… Vainglory is on the rise.