The past two weeks I took some time in between games of Wild Rift to hop back into Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, thanks to the hype of the MPL-MY S7 playoffs and MSC 2021, and have been having a good time with the game again. Playing these two games brought to light the key differences of what I like about each game.
In addition to near-instant queues, thanks to the large number of people playing MLBB, games are much faster paced. It might not seem like a big deal at first, but I feel it contributes to how ‘addictive’ each session can feel – when one game is complete, you feel like you have time for another. It’s like playing a Turbo match in Dota 2. Wild Rift’s longer games feel like they take up more mental energy, and usually, after 2-3 games, I’m drained – similar to how I feel after a regular ranked Dota 2 match.
This speed also allows games to turn the tide quickly – in the late game, sometimes all you need to do is hold out for one good team fight to immediately end the game after – it’s much easier to destroy turrets in MLBB. In Wild Rift, I’ve felt that the game has very little potential for comebacks – maybe it’s just a problem at my rank, but a lot of times I’ve felt that a game was over and we were just going through the motions waiting for it to end. It’s easier to maintain a lead in the game. But thanks to MLBB’s faster pace, I’ve played many more games than WR and have graduated to Grandmaster, with Epic on the horizon. One thing I do like about Wild Rift is that loading into games feels much faster on average than MLBB.
In terms of gameplay, both games are great but have very different playstyles. Wild Rift seems a lot more static compared to MLBB, especially during the laning phase. People tend to stick to their own lanes until the first tower is down on the opposite side. In MLBB, it’s a lot more unpredictable and chaotic (which I enjoy). I also love the masks in MLBB, which allow support players to roam around different lanes and not steal experience and gold from your cores. When upgraded, they also provide very useful skills. I never bought these masks when they were first introduced, but playing with them now has taught me what I’ve been missing out on. It enables such a unique gameplay style where you can roam from lane to lane without being punished.
Playing more games means I gain more experience using a new hero in MLBB in the same amount of time compared to Wild Rift. I recently unlocked Jawhead after watching pros play and I’m in love with the hero! It’s like a combination of Gyrocopter and Tiny from Dota 2 – a match made in heaven! I’ve been having tons of fun learning and playing it over the past week.
I’ll be upfront – Wild Rift has a better user interface and experience outside of the game. The fact that the main menu is not a mess of notifications and buttons to press each time you log in to the game is such a breath of fresh air. It would be nice if more mobile game developers followed in their footsteps but I understand the reasons why they won’t. When you launch MLBB, you are constantly reminded of how many different pages you have to check out – and if you’re bothered by those red dots like me, you’ll spend many minutes getting rid of each one.
When it comes to the game itself, I like how MLBB labels the spells each hero has – when using a new hero, it’s easy to quickly tell which ability is a stun, blink or nuke and so on. In WR, I have to spend time reading what each skill does.
In-game communication – both games have pros and cons when it comes to their ping system, but I do like how WR‘s pings allow you to specify where on the minimap you want the alert to be. In MLBB, you’re stuck with pinging wherever you are unless you use the other ping option which requires you to do some fancy gymnastics with your right hand or to stop moving your character due to the position of the button and the map.
Wild Rift’s Rune Pages are superior to MLBB’s emblem system. I don’t agree with gameplay changing abilities being gated by spending currency. All players should have access to them and currency should only be spent on cosmetics. Different heroes/champions being behind paywalls I can understand, it also allows people to slowly learn heroes as they accumulate them, but emblems that can be used on all heroes should be as accessible as possible. I know that over time a player will unlock all of them, but it’s still unfair for newer players who don’t have their emblems upgraded or might not even have any idea about how they work.
Wild Rift letting you have an extra spell is great – MLBB’s one-spell limit feels restrictive, but then again, the game was balanced around that, so I guess they don’t want everyone to have a blink. It’s something I do miss when I play MLBB.
Personally, I feel that there is room for more than one MOBA in the market – they’re both fun games with different flavours and competition in the scene is always good. Sometimes you’re in the mood for one over the other, and that’s okay!
Each game has its merits and I’ll continue to play them both, but over the past week, I can understand why WR isn’t the most popular game on the block right now. It’s quite a challenge to move from one MOBA that you’re used to, to another. I honestly believe Wild Rift is worth checking out at the very least and though the learning curve might be difficult, you’ll have a good time.
I stream Wild Rift live occasionally on my Facebook Gaming page – do follow me if you want to catch me live. Stay tuned to eGG Network for all the latest esports coverage, and don’t forget to check out Soupykambing’s journey in getting good at PUBG Mobile!