Vainglory (video game)
Vainglory is a video game developed and published by Super Evil Megacorp for iOS, Android and PC. The game is a version of the MOBA genre wherein two opposing teams of three or five players fight to destroy the enemy by controlling the path between the bases, which is lined by turrets and guarded by AI-controlled enemy creatures. Off the path, players battle for control points that provide resources. The game was released for iOS in November 2014, after being soft-launched for over half a year, with the Android version being released in July 2015. A Mac and Microsoft Windows version of the game was released in July 2018. Through cross-platform play, players on all four platforms can play together simultaneously.
|Developer(s)||Super Evil Megacorp|
|Publisher(s)||Super Evil Megacorp|
|Platform(s)||iOS, Android, Microsoft Windows, macOS|
July 2, 2015
Windows And Mac
July 29, 2018 (Alpha)
February 13, 2019 (Full)
The game's development started in 2012 upon the forming of Super Evil Megacorp. The game was unveiled at Apple's September 2014 iPhone 6 announcement event to demonstrate the platform's Metal graphics API. Super Evil Megacorp attempted to make a game that would entertain players for hours and encourage in-person multiplayer experiences similar to that of a LAN party.
Vainglory received generally favorable reviews. Critics praised the game's graphics, characters, and level design, but criticized its lack of team communication features. Reviewers disagreed on the game's degree of accessibility to newcomers, which was part of the reason why it received mixed reviews.
Vainglory is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game similar to popular MOBAs like League of Legends and Dota 2 designed for smartphones,tablets and PC. A standard for the genre, two opposing teams fight to reach and destroy the enemy's base while defending their own in a tug of war for control over three paths, the "lanes", which connect the bases. In addition, there are "jungles” between the lanes, which contain creatures and objectives that can be killed or captured.
In Vainglory, teams have five players who each control an avatar, known as a "hero", from their own device. Weaker computer-controlled characters, called "minions", spawn at team bases and follow the lanes to the opposite team's base, fighting enemies and turrets en route. Lining the lanes are turret towers that repel the flow of minions and enemy heroes. The player's objective is to destroy the enemy turrets and ultimately the "Vain crystal" in the enemy team's base.
As of Update 3.9, you can earn stars and mastery points on heroes by playing matches with them. By playing any match, you can win hero mastery points. The first star of hero mastery is unlocked at 1100 hero mastery points. When a match starts, other players can see your hero mastery in the loading screen. All matches give you points as rewards, but Standard 3v3 and 5v5 give you bonus points. Note that you will receive same points as reward even if you lose or win.
In Ranked mode, players are matched by a ranking system. Commonly referred to as Elo/ELO in game chat, the rank points you earn from match wins will go up, and so as you improve, so will the skill of your opponents. Elo is named after Arpad Elo, the mathematician and chess grand master who invented the rank score system that may be at the heart of rank scores in Vainglory.
As of March 10 2018 (Update 4.0), there are 47 hero options. The developers of the game continually add new heroes, each with different skills but balanced for fair play. For example, a hero may have high damage but poor mobility, or strong melee abilities but no ranged option. Players choose between three abilities that upgrade via a common technology tree. There is a set number of heroes that are free to play, with the free to play roster being renewed every week.
The game uses two main in-game currencies for in-app purchases: Glory can be earned through normal play and completing missions, and ICE (Immensely Concentrated Evil) can be purchased with real-world money. ICE can also sometimes be earned through game interactions, but it is a much less common reward. Players can unlock additional heroes for a certain amount of Glory. Skins, which change the appearance of heroes, can be unlocked with ICE or by collecting blueprints from the Market or in-game quests. Crafting a skin via a blueprint also requires Essence, obtainable through reward chests or acquiring a blueprint for a skin that a player already owns. Special Edition skins may only be unlocked through Opals, obtainable through reward chests or frequent in-app purchase bundle packs. Update 1.18.0 introduced "chests," which provide another way of obtaining any of these currencies; chests become available after completing a certain action (e.g. win 5 games).
Vainglory offers five main modes of in-game communication: team emoticons, strategic pings, static chat lines, party voicechat, and in game chat (introduced on Update 2.6, 3.6, and 3.10, respectively).
Update 2.5 introduced Talents, collectible hero upgrades exclusively for BRAWL game modes (Blitz and Battle Royale).
Update 3.4 introduced joystick control.
As of April 17th 2019 (Update 4.2), there are 4 constant game modes.
1) 3v3 (Ranked or Solo with Bots)
Here teams of 3 heroes battle on Halcyon Fold, the map with one lane and one jungle. Matches usually take 20 minutes to complete.
2) 5v5 (Casual, Ranked or Solo with Bots)
Here teams of 5 heroes battle on Sovereign's Rise, the map that was added in Update 3.0, with 3 lanes and 2 jungles. Matches usually take 25 minutes to complete.
3) Blitz (Ranked or Solo with Bots)
Here teams of 3 heroes battle on Halcyon Fold. Matches usually take 5 minutes to complete. Teams need to get 15 points, by killing enemies (1pt), crystals sentries (3pt) or destroying turrets (3pt). After 5 minutes, best score wins,or the first team with more than 15 points. If there is a tie, the team with the next point scored wins. This is a brawl mode, so talents can be used.
4) ARAL (Ranked, 3v3 map)
Here, everyone is given random heroes with an option to reroll the given hero with ice. Only playable area is the lane, and you can't recall back to base nor walk back into it to heal.
- ) Here we include Tutorial.
Event game modes / one time only game modes:
1) Onslaught (As of Update 2.11 - 3v3 Map, 5 rounds with a best of 5 where a different talent must be chosen for the rounds. The map becomes smaller and smaller, until one team wins or all enemies die. Was a one time only game mode and as of March 10 2019 hasn't been brought back as an event mode.)
2) Rumble (As of 3.9 - 3v3 Map, 5v5 match on the Halcyon Fold, start with accelerated levels and gold.)
3) One for all (As of Update 4.0 - 5v5 Map, all team members have the same hero, e.g. 5 Celeste vs 5 Saw. Same objective as in a normal 5v5 casual or ranked match)
4) ARAM (As of 4.0 - 5v5 Map, Everyone given random heroes, playable area is the mid lane.)
5) 3v3 Casual (As of 4.0 - 3v3 Map, Teams of 3 battle on the Halcyon Fold)
Vainglory started with seven heroes: Catherine, Glaive, Petal, Koshka, Ringo, SAW, and Adagio. As of April 17th 2019 (Update 4.2), there are 49 hero options.
|Avatar||Hero Name||Release Update||Release Date||Role|
|Krul||1.0.12||July 15, 2014||Jungler|
|Joule||1.1.0||September 24, 2014||Jungler|
|Taka||1.1.2||November 1, 2014||Jungler|
|Skaarf||1.1.5||December 9, 2014||Carry|
|Ardan||1.1.7||January 30, 2015||Captain|
|Celeste||1.2.0||February 26, 2015||Carry|
|Vox||1.3.0||April 1, 2015||Carry|
|Fortress||1.5||May 27, 2015||Captain|
|Rona||1.6||June 29, 2015||Jungler|
|Skye||1.8||September 3, 2015||Carry|
|Phinn||1.9||September 29, 2015||Captain|
|Blackfeather||1.11||November 18, 2015||Carry|
|Kestrel||1.12||December 8, 2015||Carry|
|Reim||1.13||January 11, 2016||Jungler|
|Ozo||1.14||February 1, 2016||Jungler|
|Alpha||1.16||March 29, 2016||Jungler|
|Lance||1.18||May 23, 2016||Captain|
|Lyra||1.19||June 20, 2016||Captain|
|Samuel||1.21||August 15, 2016||Carry|
|Baron||1.22||September 13, 2016||Carry|
|Gwen||1.23||October 10, 2016||Carry|
|Flicker||1.24||November 7, 2016||Captain|
|Idris||2.0||December 14, 2016||Carry|
|Grumpjaw||2.2||February 28, 2017||Jungler|
|Baptiste||2.4||April 24, 2017||Carry|
|Grace||2.6||June 20, 2017||Captain|
|Reza||2.7||August 8, 2017||Carry|
|Churnwalker||2.9||October 11, 2017||Captain|
|Lorelai||2.10||November 7, 2017||Captain|
|Varya||2.11||December 4, 2017||Carry|
|Tony||3.1||March 14, 2018||Jungler|
|Malene||3.2||April 14, 2018||Carry|
|Kensei||3.3||May 14, 2018||Carry|
|Kinetic||3.4||June 10, 2018||Carry|
|Anka||3.5||July 9, 2018||Jungler|
|Silvernail||3.6||August 8, 2018||Carry|
|Yates||3.7||September 5, 2018||Captain|
|Inara||3.8||October 17, 2018||Jungler|
|Magnus||3.9||December 12, 2018||Carry|
|Ylva||3.10||January 23, 2019||Jungler|
|San Feng||4.0||February 13, 2019||Carry|
|Caine||4.2||April 17, 2019||Carry|
|Leo||4.3||May 20, 2019||Jungler|
In February 2012, game developer veterans from Rockstar, Riot, Blizzard, and Insomniac founded Super Evil Megacorp in San Mateo, California to make a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game for tablet devices, and thus began development on their first game, Vainglory. Apple chose the game to demonstrate the graphics capabilities of their iPhone 6 and Metal graphics API at the iPhone 6's announcement event. The game was soft-launched for six months prior to this September 2014 event, and was released on November 16, 2014.
Kristian Segerstrale, the founder of Playfish and former head of EA Digital, joined Super Evil Megacorp as its COO. Segerstrale expected Vainglory to popularize the MOBA genre like "Halo did for first-person shooters". Segerstrale stated that he hoped Vainglory would become something players "will organize their lives around" rather than something to pass spare time. The game is designed for tablets, which the company felt was the most fitting platform despite its lack of "core games" (games that rewarded "teamwork and strategy" over thousands of hours of play). They told Polygon that tablets were "inherently social", "less alienating to new players", and "possibly the best space for multiplayer play". Super Evil Megacorp CBO Bo Daly said he saw PC MOBA games as solitary experiences and thought tablets could make the experience better for groups as a reinvention of the LAN party, where players share a common gaming experience in the same shared physical space on separate devices. The company also intended for the game to become an esport. European esports tournament organizer Electronic Sports League announced the Vainglory Cup, a set of Vainglory competitions, to take place in June 2015 and elevated their partnership with ESL in Summer 2017 for organizing Vainglory 8 NA and EU.
On March 5, 2015 at the Game Developers Conference 2015, it was announced by Super Evil Megacorp that Vainglory would be getting an Android version. After undergoing a closed beta, the game was fully released on July 2, 2015 on the Google Play Store.
One of the most impressive features of Vainglory is its artwork, which is produced by a team directed by Carlo "Chainsaw" Arellano. Players are also invited to guide the development of Vainglory by interacting with the developers through live streams on Twitch.
Update 2.8 (September 2017) added Keyboard and Mouse support in addition to Samsung's partnership with SEMC for Samsung DeX, a docking station for Samsung S8/S8+/Note 8 to connect listed device to a PC.
Super Evil Megacorp announced in early 2017 that a 5V5 mode was under development. The mode was released on February 13, 2018.
The desktop version has been released on steam for pc users. It has mappable keys and similar mechanics to other desktop MOBAs. The players using the pc client compete in matches against mobile users as well as fellow desktop players, making it a cross-platform game.
The game received "generally favorable" reviews, according to video game review score aggregator Metacritic. Reviewers praised the game's graphics, characters, and level design, but criticized its lack of team communication features. While IGN's Mitch Dyer wrote the game was accessible to newcomers, Matt Thrower of Pocket Gamer felt otherwise. The Guardian named Vainglory the "best" iOS game of 2014. The game was one of ten Apple Design Award recipients in 2015.
Matt Thrower of Pocket Gamer noted how the PC-based MOBA genre has had issues adapting its precise controls to the mobile platform, but that Vainglory trimmed features in the right areas. IGN's Mitch Dyer wrote that the game was its own "scaled down, rather than scaled back" version of the MOBA genre, and not an attempt to "approximate" League of Legends and Dota 2 experiences for mobile devices. Dyer praised the game's character and map detail, and wrote that all ten of the heroes had "fun" designs and were enjoyable to play. Thrower felt similarly about its graphics as most reviewers did. Dyer praised the iPad controls, but felt "cramped" on the iPhone 6 Plus. TouchArcade's Ford described the controls as "flawless" and felt that the game's tutorial was among the best he had seen in iOS MOBAs. He added that he considered the game's in-app purchases "very fair" and not "pay-to-win".
IGN's Dyer reported his games to be about 21 minutes in length and noticed that they tended to snowball out of balance by the time the Kraken creature appears at the 15-minute mark. Dyer added that the advantages of in-person team communication made games feel "lopsided". Pocket Gamer's Thrower wrote that the game's "depth" was in learning how to use the individual characters, and that beginners were subject to an "impenetrable learning curve", especially without organized teams. Ford of TouchArcade said his only issue was with players leaving their play session while the game was still in action, but felt this was mitigated by the game's "Karma" matchmaking system. Ford otherwise reported that Vainglory played well as a whole as "probably the best MOBA on iOS".
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- Dyer, Mitch (December 10, 2014). "Vainglory Review". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on December 11, 2014. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
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- "VAINGLORY SUMMER 2017 SEASON KICKS OFF TOMORROW ALONGSIDE UPDATE 2.6". Super Evil Megacorp. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
- Dunsmore, Kevin (March 5, 2015). "Vainglory Brings the MOBA Experience to Android Today". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
- Vainglory Casual (January 16, 2015). "(1/16/15) Dev Livestream - Now with more ChainSAW - Part 1" – via YouTube.
- "Vainglory to Introduce Mouse and Keyboard Support with Samsung DeX". Super Evil Megacorp. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
- Fahey, Mike. "Mobile MOBA Vainglory Upgrades To 5V5 Next Week". Kotaku. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
- Filippidis, Katrina. "Mobile MOBA 'Vainglory' is coming to PC". Engadget. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
- Dredge, Stuart (December 23, 2014). "The best iPhone and iPad games of 2014". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Archived from the original on January 12, 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
- Sarkar, Samit (June 9, 2015). "Apple Design Awards 2015 honor seven games, including Crossy Road and Vainglory". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on June 10, 2015. Retrieved June 10, 2015.