This post is part of a series about the Vainglory. Read Part 1, our look at how Vainglory on-boards both newcomers and MOBA veterans, here.
Vainglory is a game with lots of depth - there are many ways to play each hero, countless possibilities for combining and upgrading items, and strategies that have to be mastered before one can raise into the ranks of a top player.
In the previous part of this series we looked at how Vainglory introduces the basic gameplay concepts to both new and veteran players. This part focuses how players can learn to get better at the game and what Super Evil Megacorp is doing enable that.
The Vainglory Academy
The first stop for learning more about Vainglory's mechanics can be found right in the game: The "Academy" tab contains videos about the basic aspects of playing. While this will make sure players can understand the core game mechanics, it doesn't explain how to get the most out of each hero.
!(/content/images/2017/03/vainglory_online_academy.jpg) The Vainglory Academy contains strategies and background information about each hero.
A more comprehensive guide can be found on the official Vainglory website and is, surprisingly, also called Academy too. This is where you go to indulge all the specifics: It explains most game mechanics in detail, e.g. the targeting behavior of the turrets that protect the lane and the base of each team. From what we can tell, this information cannot be found in the game but only here.
In addition to the game mechanics it contains pages about each hero that explain their strengths and weaknesses and also how players with other heroes can effectively fight against each hero. Vainglory's marketing puts a heavy focus on playing together with friends, and the first question when doing that usually revolves around assembling a powerful and well-balanced team - thankfully the Academy also provides good guidelines in this regard too.
It's unfortunate that these resources aren't available directly through the game yet. They are immensely helpful to everybody who's serious about getting into this MOBA. However, seeing the Academy section it seems likely that this content will find it's way into the game eventually.
Third-party resources: Necessary and encouraged
It's pretty common to see a plethora of third-party wikis and strategy guides crop up for games like Vainglory. While it's only been a short time since Vainglory's public release, there are already great resources to share and discuss the game.
First and foremost there is VaingloryFire, a community to discover and share guides for playing each hero, discuss different play styles, items, and everything else Vainglory. VaingloryFire is officially endorsed by Vainglory's developer Super Evil Megacorp, who point their entire "Hero build guide" forum section to it and link to it throughout the Hero guides on the Academy website. The people behind VaingloryFire also run highly popular knowledge bases for both League of Legends and Dota 2, which speaks for the importance of third-party resources like this.
!(/content/images/2017/03/vainglory_vaingloryfire.jpg) Super Evil Megacorp encourages players to check out the community-curated guides on the third-party site VaingloryFire.
In todays gaming environment it's more important than ever that games are not just limited to one medium, but are encompassed by an ecosystem that supports, encourages and educates players and of course also ties them closer to the game. By encouraging the use of communities like VaingloryFire Super Evil Megacorp makes it possible for players to become teachers for less experienced players, and also keeps players involved with Vainglory even when they're not actively playing themselves.
Another aspect of staying on players minds when they're not playing are competitions and live streams, both very popular with other MOBAs as well. While no competitions have been announced yet - the game only launched in Europe and North America last week - it seems like Super Evil Megacorp is trying to establish a presence of Vainglory on the popular game streaming portal Twitch by doing live streams with the developers and high-profile Twitch streamers.
In the next installment we'll look into Vainglory's initial monetization strategy and where it could lead in the future. One thing is clear: they'll have to be vigilant to not give players the impression that they can pay to win. Stay tuned!