MOBAs all have the same core ingredients; three lanes, two bases, a jungle on each side, and a river separating the map right down the middle. The primary goal of the genre? Destroy the enemy’s main structure, while protecting your own.
Even Heroes of the Storm contains those very same core ingredients. Yes, Blizzard continue to mix them up and throw in their own flavours, but their final products tend to stay the same – gain enough momentum to push out a lane, and crush the enemy.
Overall, it’s an addictive formula, and one that works. Back in 2011 though, Riot thought they’d try break it a little, and add some variety to their MOBA, League of Legends. They introduced a new mode called Dominion.
Dominion is a capture mode, and it kept the 5 v 5 format. Players didn’t have to secure lane momentum to ensure victory however. They had to worry about controlling 5 capture points instead. Having control over more points than the enemy slowly drained life from their Nexus, and winning required getting it down to 0.
Dominion is, or rather, was a fun distraction from the typical MOBA formula. Sadly, Riot have made the decision to retire it.
We launched Dominion more than four years ago as an alternative game mode designed to challenge players with fast-paced skirmishes, capture-and-hold gameplay, and different skills to master. Back then, we truly believed the mode would introduce new players to League of Legends and provide current players with an experience as captivating as Summoner’s Rift. As League continues to evolve, our vision for the core game becomes more and more refined, and, after years of learning, it’s clear today that alternative game modes work better in short cycles rather than as standalone queues.
We’ve learned a lot from Dominion and the costs associated with maintaining a fully separate game mode with balance changes, bugfixes, and item updates. We’re considering other ways to use the Dominion map (as a featured game mode, for example) but nothing is set in stone. We’re retiring Dominion to focus on our vision for League moving forward: we’ll concentrate on the core League game while supporting alternative experiences which deliver consistent, competitive gameplay with healthy queues and appropriate matchmaking (ARAM and featured game modes are good examples of this).
So yeah, Dominion will be no more. It’ll be officially disabled on February 22. The reasoning is that not enough play it lately (just 0.5% of players), and as a result, Riot never gave the mode much attention.
If you’re a fan of Dominion, I’m truly sorry for your loss. Knowing Riot though, I’m sure they’ll bring it back in the future. Bigger, better and for a short period of time! Are you going to miss it?
Last Updated: February 11, 2016