Honor of Kings (王者荣耀 in Chinese) is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) developed by TiMi Studio Group and published by Tencent Games for the iOS and Android mobile platforms for the Chinese market. Released in 2015, it has become the most popular MOBA game in mainland China. Nowadays, the game has more than 100 million daily active players. However, as a phenomenal game in China, it is largely unheard of in the rest of the world.
Link to the official website: https://pvp.qq.com/
Link to game play demo: https://youtu.be/JGBojVkNE-M
Lens #9: The lens of Elemental Tetrad
The sophistication and variety of skins form a major part of the game’s aesthetics and also play a crucial role in generating revenue. The most representational example is the skin of Zhao Yun (a famous military general who lived during Three Kingdoms period of China) raises 150 million RMB within one day. Originated in China, the design with oriental aesthetics perfectly integrates with Chinese traditional culture and history, bringing in visual enjoyment to players. The very fast update of skins provides players an extremely large number of appreance choices and lots of freshness. The skin design competition improves the player participation and involvement in creating a skin of their interest, maintaining high player stickiness.
The most popular mode is the 5v5 player versus player matches. The basic gameplay involves controlling a hero with unique abilities to kill non-player characters and opponents to gain experience and gold, with experience used to unlock their character’s abilities or further augment the ability’s power, and gold used to purchase items at the shop (which change specific attributes depending on the item bought).
The teams start on opposing ends of the map, with the victory conditions either being to destroy the enemy’s core building or the enemy team surrendering. To destroy the enemy Nexus(core building), teams must destroy defensive turrets, which are situated on the 3 main routes(top, middle, bottom) used to reach the enemy base.
106 Heroes are categorized into 6 types: tank, assassin, warrior, support, archer, and mage. Players adopt various strategies in the picks and bans of heroes and collaboration within the team.
Honor of Kings has a rather complex storyline though many players are attracted by its game mode to a larger extent. The heroes usually originate from folklore, mythology, or mythical creatures, with others coming from works of literature, movies, and even other in-game heroes. This greatly enriches the diversity of the game’s story and increases the player’s familiarity with the game characters.
As a real-time MOBA game, the requirements for back-end servers and networks are very demanding, and higher requirements are placed on cloud service providers. Frame synchronization technology is utilized to ensure low latency of game. Also, the development of the mobile Internet and the popularity of smartphones have contributed to the success of the game.
Lens #27: The Lens of Time
The average time taken for one game is 15-20 minutes. Not-too-long game duration makes it easier for players to open the game in various scenarios. On the streets of China, you will see people of various occupations playing this game with friends during their work break. Commuting on the bus and subway and waiting for food in restaurants is no longer so boring with this game.
At the same time, the gaming duration is not too short as well. Players will experience all stages of the game, feel the visible progress, the improvement of the character level, the gradual destruction of the turrets until the final breakthrough of the Nexus, which can bring players a rich game experience within only 20 minutes.
Lens #45: The Lens of Competition vs Cooperation
The special region-based ranking system motivates competition among players. The system indicates a player’s ranking in his home street, county, city, province, and even the whole country. It encourages players to achieve a higher ranking in their own region, and then enter a higher level to compete with players from all over the country. Meanwhile, it does not discourage players too much because players will always find a suitable level and achieve a higher ranking.
Honor of Kings encourages the players to cooperate with teammates and defeat the opponents. The design of 6 hero types is an excellent example, 5 players within the same team are supposed to choose heroes of different roles to form complementary abilities and improve the overall strength of the team.
Lens #46: The Lens of Reward
Throughout the game, players get various kinds of rewards which brings lots of sense of achievement.
Experience value and gold are the two most important resources in the game, player gains them by killing heroes, other characters and destroying turrets. Resources lead to the higher value of attributes and better weapons, improving the power of the hero.
The unique sound and light special effects：
Players get special effects and sign on top of the screen when they achieve a killing spree. Compliments from teammates and loss of opponents greatly bring satisfaction to the player.
The player gets a buff, which is a status effect given to the hero that gives it a beneficial boost to their performance. The increase in power makes it easier to get the victory and the special appearance of a buff is another kind of reward to the player as well.
Lens# 96: The Lens of Friendship
Relying on WeChat and QQ, two billion-level communication tools, players can easily team up with real friends by logging in through WeChat or QQ. The process of playing together helps strengthen friendship and forms a community of Kings of Glory. Matching with unfamiliar teammates also allows players to meet new friends and form a larger social circle. Playing the game together rapidly breaks the ice among people and creates more possibilities for a closer relationship with other players. Convenient sharing of the game in WeChat moments and Qzone increases the game exposure and improves the discussion of the game among friends.