Awesomenauts and its Unique Take on Character Design

Apologies to anyone who hasn’t tried out this game yet – it’s a great title and it deserves a bigger audience that it has at the moment. I highly recommend playing it. I’ll outline two builds for a single character in the game that might give you some idea of the mechanics and variety this game offers.

Find it here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/204300/

Awesomenauts is an attempt by Ronimo Games to capture the aggressive nature of the MOBA genre (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) which already stars games such as DotA (Defense of the Ancients) and LoL (League of Legends). It’s a 2-dimensional platformer that applies itself to the MOBA game in the most obvious, basic way possible – minions and towers. It pits you against another team of the same size as yours (three players), with minions and towers which you need to destroy in order to win the match.

It might just seem like a silly iteration of those juggernauts on the outside but Awesomenauts takes some greatly progressive steps to set itself apart and give this player/writer some hope for the future of the MOBA genre.

Awesomenauts has eleven characters and counting but happens to have a crazy amount of variety for each character. The game gives each character three abilities and a jump/mobility mechanic, most of which are unique to the character. Each ability available has six upgrades that can be chosen to be available going into every match; three can be chosen per ability. I’ll take a deep look at one of the characters : Voltar the Omniscient. Voltar is the game’s resident support that has a few interesting mechanics and upgrades that make him the most unique support I’ve had the chance to play in any MOBA title.

Voltar is the only character so far that plays entirely as a support. This doesn’t mean that he can’t deal significant damage when necessary but because his standard attack happens to be a heal-beam he will always have some level of support capabilities. He has three abilities available to use, each with six possible upgrades available to use. To see all of his abilities click here: http://awesomenauts.wikia.com/wiki/Voltar_the_Omniscient

Classic Support Options:

Leveling up his healing for the heal blasts, his healbot, and the blind on his suicide bots is the most obvious way to build him as a traditional support.

You can choose to level up the range of his heal blasts and give it a knock back if you have ranged characters on your team to keep the enemy away from them. This is extremely useful against a character like Clunk who uses a close range explosion ability that your team absolutely needs to stay away from. This upgrade is important for any player using Voltar who might be in the front lines at any point in the match. You can also upgrade the healbot with a knock-back ability which turns out to be massive, as the range of the healbot is impressive. You can also level up the amount of credits you get when you successfully heal and ally – this means you don’t need to kill enemies to get credits/points. The amount you gain is percentage based as well so upgrading the amount you heal increases the amount of credits you get back.

Speaking of the healbot it’s important to upgrade it’s cooldown for any play style to make sure there’s a constant AOE heal on the field of battle, and the upgrade helps that by a significant amount. At max you can upgrade the bot to have an 8 second cooldown with a default life time of 6 seconds. Increasing it’s heal amount and giving it a knockback makes it a pretty great safe haven for the entire team no matter the make up of it.

Finally the suicide bots are the most unique ability to a support in a very long time. Most games will combine a stun with a small amount of damage, or maybe a silence/blind. Those abilities in traditional games have a linear upgrade path that don’t allow players to usually give that ability the chance to shine as a damage-dealer. Each bot does damage on it’s own, and can blind enemies with every shot. Not only that, on a right click the bots will fly towards enemies or fall to the ground and cause AOE damage on contact so leveling up the amount of bots you spawn automatically increases your damage potential, significantly. Because there’s only one true support upgrade for the support bots (the blind) increasing the amount of bots you spawn can be a great way to give your team some extra damage.

Overall this build can be extremely traditional but with some nice burst damage/interruption that can turn around almost any fight if it’s used right. The knock back on the standard attack and the heal bot can cause a ton of trouble for enemy bruisers and also push enemies away from towers or even into them if used properly. Boxing enemies in beside your tower in the first two minutes of the game is incredibly satisfying and gives your team an upper hand – ultimately the role of any traditional support.

Aggressive/Damage Build:

Because his standard attack always heals allies it’s important to upgrade it with some heal to make sure it doesn’t go to complete waste. Giving it that knock back that’s optional on the traditional support build however is pivotal. If you can kite enemies so you deal damage to them when it’s only useful for you and your team that’s the best thing you can hope for. Increasing it’s range and giving it a knock back is important, and so is the heal amount. However, you can also give Voltar’s healing blasts a credit reward every successful heal which makes it way easier to rush the rest of your build.

The healbot needs the cooldown, no matter what. It can also be upgraded to deal a large amount of AOE damage and like mentioned in the last build can provide a secondary knock back. Of course giving it a knock back can make the damage go to waste, but that’s something that is decided upon the situation more than anything. I would suggest going with damage, cooldown, and heal amount. This makes it a great place for your team to be, and a poor place for the enemy to be. Not to mention you can spawn it every 8 seconds.

Suicide bots are far too much fun with this build. You can increase the rate at which they spawn, the number you can spawn, and the damage they deal when they suicide into enemies.

While the general play style of this build isn’t much different from the classic support style, it changes the way the enemy team has to react to you. This is pretty damn important in a fast-paced MOBA title.

All together Voltar can be played like a traditional heal/support but can also play as an aggressive interruption support. The best part about Voltar is that both builds can be combined with each other to make a hybrid character that supports and does massive AOE damage when necessary.

Voltar is only one of eleven characters each with their own abilities and unique upgrades for those abilities. I highly suggest checking this game out as it’s only $9.99 on Steam and $19.99 for a three-pack if you plan on making a team. If requested I’ll make more of these articles to outline the other characters in the game and their builds.

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