I really like MOBA games like DoTA and League of Legends but I gotta tell ya, the artistic style of these games totally sucks ! Ironically, the most popular game, LoL, I find the most repulsive - the strange semi cel-shaded mixed with the hero design is just terrible! All the heroes are goofy/cute/weird and there is no thematic unity among them.
I mean, MOBA games are so brutal and intense, why aren't more of these games gritty and violent? These heroes are dying over and over again in some weird mythical arena. . .
I suppose the art style initially came from DoTA & therefore Warcraft III - but the art of that game is what initially led me away from it (and kept me playing Starcraft). Which is exactly the MOBA that I've been playing - a Starcraft 2 user made map called Storm of the Imperial Sanctum. It's a classic DoTA-style game but it uses Starcraft characters and for me that is awesome
But currently only 1 person is developing it and I'd really like to find a stand-alone game.
I find Heroes of Newerth a little better than LoL because it is slightly more naturalistic but its light-hearted fantasy "world", again, just doesn't seem to fit the gameplay.
Bloodline Champions has a unique, kind-of-tribal design and unique gameplay but I have yet to try it out.
Rise of Immortals seems to have the best art-style so far. It still uses a mythical/fantasy theme but has a more traditional fantasy RPG/Tolkien/D&D look and the heroes actually look cool! This is one I might be able to pick up.
So let's discuss MOBA game style - perhaps there is a game out there I'm missing that you all may know of that has a sense of design and is just what I'm looking for. Also, is there something about MOBA games that causes them to gravitate toward a fantasy world or is it just the lineage from DoTA? What about scifi, post-apocalypse, WW2?
And a 2D MOBA would be freaking cool . . . just throwing that out there indie devs.