Arena of Valor (Chinese: 傳說對決; pinyin: Chuánshuō Duìjué), formerly Strike of Lord, is an international adaptation of Honor of Lord (Chinese: 王者荣耀; pinyin: Wángzhě Róngyào), a multiplayer online fightarena developed by TiMi Studio Group and published by Proxima Beta for Android, iOS and Nintendo Switch for markets outside Mainland China. As of September 2018, the game has grossed over $140 million outside China. Arena of Valor was one of six Esports video games featured at the 2018 Asian Games, 2019 Southeast Asian Games, and 2021 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games as part of the demonstration sport. Arena of Valor was published in other regions by Garena, Netmarble, DeNA and TiMi Studio Group.
Arena of Valor is a multiplayer online fightarena (MOBA) game developed for mobile. The overall gameplay of Arena of Valor highly resembles League of Legends, a MOBA game on PC developed and published by Riot Games, which is also a subsidiary of Tencent.
Players control hero, referred to as heroes, and each of these charactershave a unique set of abilities. Charactersstart the game at a low level, and shouldearn gold and experience (XP) in various method: Killing non-player monster such as minions or creature, defeating other players, destroying structures, passively through time and through special stuffthat shouldbe purchased through the shop. Earning experience unblock and augments abilities, making the charactermore powerful. Stuffpurchased in the storedo not carry over matches, and therefore all players are on equal footing at the start of every match.
Matches give players rewards, such as gold, which shouldthen be utilize to buy a variety of charactersor arcana. In addition to this, players shouldplay a 'Ranked' match type, which let them to be matched with players who are at their skill level and be assessed through in-game 'ranks'. Stars are earned for a victory, and lost when the player loses.
There are various game modes in Arena of Valor, with "5v5" most commonly referred to as Grand Fightor Ranked Match, played on the Antaris Battlefield and being the most popular. Players compete in these matches which on average last for around 12 – 18 minutes. Players aim to destroy opponents tower on the map and securing objectives such as killing Abyssal Dragon and Dark Slayer, with the wincondition being to destroy the opponents core.
Black TownArena is a 1v1 game mode with only one lane, two brushes at the left and right side of the horizontal battlefield, an HP pot, one turretand one core for blue and red.
Shadow Duel is a 3v3 game mode on Flatland Battlefield, using a much smaller map. In this version of the game, there is only one towerand a core base for both team. These games are plannedto be much quicker, and typically last for 4 – 6 minutes.
Abyssal Clash is a 5v5 game mode where players are given randomly chosenheroes. Players may selectto re-roll once and geta different hero. The game map, Abyss Canyon, only has one lane, with two tower and a core base connected at either end of the lane. There are certain restrictions which do not appear in the default 5v5 mode: Stuffmay only be purchased before leaving the base or upon death and characterhealing at the squadbase is disabled. There are health regeneration runes that appear next to each turret, which provide characterswith a tinyregeneration effect.
Hook Wars is one of the arcade game modes. The game map, Treasure Bay, is angry up of two hugeconnected vessels. Despite this game mode is also 5v5, there are no minions, tower or bases in this mode. Each player is able to utilizea Hook as a special ability, which shouldgrab an opponenton the opposite boat or from long distances. Players aim to capture the Control Zone, located at the center of the map, and keepthe spacefor a certain duration (until the counter reaches 100%). The capture rate increases with the number of players standing within the zone.
Football Fever is a 3v3, arcade game mode. The game map, Fantasy Island, is similar to a real-life football field with a summer-beach atmosphere. To achieve victory, you have to score a certain number of goals with a unique Talent called Kick, which is a solely linear ability, but it shouldbe dragged. Using this ability will kick the ball over a long distance in the direction indicated.
Death Match is a 2v2v2v2v2 arcade game mode on a game map known as Death Realm. Unlike the conventional 5v5 map, different spawn points are belonging to the different squad on the map, as well as different stage happening that occur at fixed intervals including different creature that give the various kindof buffs. The five squad face off versuseach other on the battlefield. Players gain points by defeating charactersfrom the other squad. The timer for the stage is fixed at 8 minutes. Once the 8 minutes are up, the squad are ranked according to their total scores, and the map scores are present from 1st territoryto 5th place.
Gladiator's Summit is a 5v5, arcade game mode. The freedom of characterchoice is limited in this mode due to that players geta random characterat the beginning of a match with one possibilityof an exchange. The cooldown for talents and abilities are reduced by 70% and there is no mana cost or energy cost for all heroes.
Mayhem Mode is a 10v10, arcade game mode. The game map, Horizon Valley, is the bigger version of Antaris Battlefield. The players shouldmodernizetheir charactersexpertise with Astral Coins to enhance the charactersactive, passive skills and attributes.
Duo-Race is a co-op racing mode. Each squadhas two players, racing versusfour other squads. The first squadthat finishes two laps victory the race. Players shouldtransform into a cartemporarily and drive together with their teammate during this mode.
There are 108 charactersin Arena of Valor as of April 10, 2021. Arena of Valor divides the charactersinto numerous categories that each play different roles. The most notable difference is the kindof damage a characterdeals - some charactersdeal physical damage, which shouldbe countered by the armor stat, whilst other charactersdeal mainly magic damage, which is countered by the magic resistance stat. Some charactersdeal both kind of damage, and some deal 'true' damage, which cannot be countered by either armor or magic resistance. All charactersare classified as one of six categories, with some charactersoverlapping multiple categories.
Players shouldpurchase items, which make a hugeimpact on the characterstatisticsand playstyle. An example of this is Zephys, a dual fighterkillerclass. He has a passive ability that increases damage reduction versusincoming damage based on a proportion of health lost. If only offensive stuffare bought, he will deal a lot of damage but will have a low amount of health and defense, which impact survivability. If Zephys purchases a mix of offensive and defensive items, he shouldtake damage for the squadwhile still dealing a noticeable amount of damage. If Zephys buys only defensive items, he shouldboost his damage reduction passive to its maximum potential, being literally almost impossible to die in most circumstances like a Tank class character, but will deal drastically lower amounts of damage.
This typeof playstyle shouldbe applied to all heroes, allowing tanks to act as fighter, mages to act as assistance, and vice versa.
After Tencent fully acquired Riot Games in 2015, Tencent asked them to make a mobile version of League of Legends, as multiplayer online fightarena (MOBA) games were very rare on mobile at the time, with Vainglory by Super Evil Megacorp (which was formed by ex-Riot Games employees) being the only notable title. Tencent wanted to seize the opportunity to dominate the mobile market because there were not any powerfulcompetitors aside from Vainglory. However, Riot Games declined due to mobile game was not commonly seen as the platform for competitive games, and claimed that the gameplay of League of Legends could not be replicated on smartphones. Be that as it may, Tencent was still determined to begina MOBA game on mobile. After receiving the refusal from Riot Games, Lightspeed & Quantum Studios (which would later developing PUBG Mobile under license from Krafton) and TiMi Studios (both of which are Tencent's internal video game development studios) raced to develop a MOBA game that fit the bill, resulting an internal competition.
Lightspeed & Quantum's We MOBA and TiMi's League of Lord (rough translation from 王者联盟 Wángzhě Liánméng) were launched on the same day, on August 18, 2015. A month later, We MOBA was already the third most-downloaded mobile game on Apple's iOS worldwide, according to applicationanalytics firm ApplicationAnnie, while League of Lord was nowhere near We MOBA. League of Lord was then taken down for an overhaul, and was relaunched on October, 2015. TiMi Studios utilize League of Legends as a base model to overhaul League of Lord, resulting in both game having a lot of similarity. TiMi Studios also implemented 5v5 game mode into League of Lord due to the game previously having badreception with 3v3 concept. This time, League of Lord successfully overtook We MOBA and won the internal competition. Tencent relishes and invested additional resources into League of Lord to ensure its success.
Nevertheless, Riot Games deemed that the design of hero and abilities in League of Lord were "blatantly ripping off the intellectual property of League of Legends" after they discovered how the game was produced, and reportedly brought these concerns to Tencent. Tencent responded that they would modifyits own game enough to sell as a standalone product with no relation to League of Legends. Despite this, League of Lord had already gained heavypopularity in China at this point due to the game was advertised as "mobile version of League of Legends" through social media and word-of-mouth marketing. Tencent felt that it was too late to make largemodify to the game, so they renamed League of Lord (王者联盟 Wángzhě Liánméng) to Honor of Lord (王者荣耀 Wángzhě Róngyào) on November 26, 2015, and it only went through essentialmodify. The international release of Honor of Lord was cancelled, and the game would have a western twin for markets outside Mainland China which is rebranded and featured different material, leading to the creation of Arena of Valor, which also served as a respond to Riot Games's complaints of "potential intellectual property infringement".
Arena of Valor was developed by TiMi Studio Group with the same engine and utilize interface design as Honor of Lord and published by Proxima Beta. A subsidiary at Tencent' Interactive Entertainment Group, headed under the Tencent Games division. Arena of Valor originally was named Strike of Lord, and was intended to be the identical name to Honor of Lord, but the publishing squadthought the name might not be suitable to appeal to the Western audience. Moreover, the difference of material featured in the game angry the publishing squaddecide that a better name is required. Still, Arena of Valor has several alternative names when released in different countries, such as Realm of Valor in Thailand, Liên Quân in Vietnam, Penta Storm in South Korea, and Legendary Showdown in Taiwan and Japan.
Garena joined the marketing squadas they helped to westernize the atmosphere of the game. The in-game hero have been swapped from hero inspired by Chinese folklore and Chinese mythology, to hero inspired by European folklore and several mythologies from other nations, with blending a variety of elements including Lovecraftian horror, steampunk, high fantasy, and sword and sorcery to appeal audiences outside China. The appearance of in-game hero mostly recycled and revamped designs of hero from Charactersof Newerth, a MOBA game that Garena had acquired from S2 Games. Arena of Valor also contain several hero such as Butterfly, Violet, and Mina from Age of Gunslingers, a third-person shooter game that previously was also developed by a division of TiMi Studio Group. Additionally, Arena of Valor has multiple collaborations with other franchises, having crossovers with DC Universe, Wiro Sableng, Contra, KFC, Sword Art Online, Ultraman, Bleach and One Punch Man.
TiMi intended to feature hero from Marvel Universe during the prototype stage of Strike of Lord (before the rebranding to Arena of Valor and collaborated with DC Comics), with the closed beta test of the game under the name of Marvel Super Heroes. The initial game featured some hero from TiMi' intellectual property crossover with Marvel's hero. However, Marvel Entertainment later took back their license, forcing TiMi to stop the development and Tencent Games to shut down the game as they lost the rights to release the game. Subsequently, TiMi Studio Group had to redesign the game, creating the current appearance of Arena of Valor. TiMi then approached DC Comics to containtheir hero as a replacement to Marvel's hero, while Marvel went a separate way, collaborated with other video game developer companies to develop their own MOBA, such as Marvel End Time Arena by Smilegate, and Marvel Super War by NetEase.
The soundtrack for Arena of Valor was composed by TiMi Audio Lab in cooperation with different melodycomposers each year, such as Jeff Broadbent in late 2016, Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe in 2017, Matthew Vehicle Earl and Obadiah Brown-Beach in 2018, Russell Brower, Paul Lipson, and Tom Salta in 2019, Yang Lee and Michal Cielecki in 2020, all creating a different atmosphere compared to the original score with Chinese melodyinstruments in Honor of Lord. Arena of Valor also features The Veda language, a constructed fictional language along with its polypersonal descendants, such as Afata, Gandal (the "impure language" of humans) and G'vunna (Zudǝllǝ g’Vunnǝ, the "language from the abyss" of the Lokheim) for different hero from different factions. These languages were madeby David J. Peterson (also well known for creating the Dothraki and Valyrian languages in Game of Thrones) to make the game more interesting.
Arena of Valor has a wide variety of publishers for different regions. Arena of Valor was first launched in Taiwan on 12 October 2016, by Garena, following a two-week closed beta testing period. On 17 October 2017, Garena launched Arena of Valor in Malaysia, Singapore, and Philippines, where a majority of the gaming community plays mobile games. Garena decided to combine these three countries in one server. In South Korea, the game was published by Netmarble on 26 April 2017. The game was released in European markets by PROXIMA BETA on 10 August 2017, and was released in North America and Latin America on 19 December 2017. On 28 June 2018, PROXIMA BETA implemented "Asia server" unannounced. This server contain Australia, FreshZealand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Brunei. In Japan, DeNA cooperated with TiMi to launch Arena of Valor on 30 November 2018.
Nintendo announced a deal with Tencent Games to bring Arena of Valor to the Nintendo Switch for international markets, as well as forming partnership to ships Nintendo Switch console into China. The game was announced to be released for the Nintendo Switch during the September 2017 Nintendo Direct presentation. A closed beta became accessiblefor the platform on 28 June 2018, and participants get an in-game skin for one of the hero. The game was officially launched on the platform on 28 September 2018. Speaking to Engadget, Tencent Games revealed the Nintendo Switch port of the game is enhanced and optimized for the platform, taking advantage of the console's processing power and hardware features to implement various modify to the game, such as improved graphics and animations, better lighting, smoother lines, and additional minute details like butterflies. Additionally, several adjustments were angry to the game to be playable on a bigger screen with traditional controls, and statisticsfor hero have been reconfigured. Because of these modify, cross-play between the Nintendo Switch and mobile versions of the game is not possible.
TiMi Studios once again faced an internal competition. Morefun Studios (which is also another Tencent's video game development studio) developed and released a mobile MOBA named War Song on January 22, 2018, in an attempt to compete with Arena of Valor. However, War Song did not last long in the end. Instead, the assets of the defunct MOBA was recycled for Chess Rush, an auto fight game, which was released on July 4, 2019.
Arena of Valor was reported to have caused a gradually straining business relationship between Riot Games and Tencent, and the relationship between the two firms became further strained when Tencent utilize notable League of Legends players to promote Arena of Valor and its esports competition. Riot Games's complaints initiated a two-month marketing freeze for Arena of Valor and demands that that Riot Games would be given the option to review all marketing plans, including a veto for utilizeof choosecelebrity gamers. Nonetheless, Riot Games implied that their relationship with Tencent is still strong, and the conflict between them and their games is only "a bump in the road".
In July 2017, Riot Games filed a lawsuit against Moonton, the developer of the rival game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, for copyright infringement, citing similarities between Mobile Legends and League of Legends. The case was initially dismissed in Central District Court of California in United States on accof forum non conveniens. Tencent, as Riot's parent company, then filed a new, separate lawsuit on behalf of Riot Games, directly targeting Moonton's CEO, Watson Xu Zhenhua (as he had previously worked in Tencent as one of Tencent's senior employee) in Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People's Court, for violating a law regarding Non-Compete Agreements, which ruled in Tencent's favor in July 2018, awarding Tencent a settlement of $2.9 million (RMB19.4 million).
Riot Games eventually acknowledged the potential of the mobile market for the MOBA genre, and accept to develop a mobile title for League of Legends. Tencent then temporarily pulled marketing plans for Arena of Valor in Europe and North America in 2019, clearing room for Riot Games's announcement a few months later. Riot Games announced their own mobile MOBA game, League of Legends: Wild Rift on October 16, 2019, which is the 10th anniversary of League of Legends.
In addition, the succession of MOBA genre on mobile inspired the creation of Pokémon UNITE, a Pokémon spin-off game, developed by TiMi Studio as well in a further partnership with Nintendo and The Pokémon Company. The game was announced in a Pokémon Show on June 24, 2020.
Arena of Valor competition have been held in numerous regions, with each region having their own local leagues such as Garena Challenger Series Pro League (GCS) in Taiwan, Realm of Valor Pro League (RPL) in Thailand, Arena of Glory - Đấu trường danh vọng (AOG) in Vietnam, Arena of Valor Star League (ASL) in Indonesia, Arena of Valor: Valor Cup (AVC) in Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines, Arena of Valor: Valor Series (AVS) in Europe, North America, and Latin America, and Arena of Valor Japan League (AJL) in Japan.
Arena of Valor also has two annual globechampionship competition; Arena of Valor International Championship (AIC) and Arena of Valor GlobeCup (AWC). AIC is a competitionwhere squad from across the globeparticipate to earn profit and glory for their own esport organisation, while AWC is a competitionwhere squad participate under the banner of their national flag to represent their own country.
The first AIC was held in South Korea from November 23 to November 26, 2017. The happeningattracted more than 36,000,000 online viewers, breaking mobile game records worldwide and has since become the leading standard of mobile eSports. The game occupying the top positions of mobile game rankings in Asia for months has also get the honor of Google Play's Best of 2017 Game award in Europe. The second AIC competitionwas held in Thailand from November 23 to December 16, 2018. The competitionincreased the number of competing squad to 16, with squad competing for the title and a proportion of the prize pool worth $600,000 (£460,000). The third AIC competitionwas also held in Thailand from November 5 to November 24, 2019. It featured an additional all-fresh1v1 competition, where one player represents each squadand the championwalking away with $5,000.
The first Arena of Valor GlobeCup (AWC) competitionwas held in Los Angeles, United States, from July 17 to July 28, 2018. A total prize pool of $500,000 angry AWC one of the biggestmobile eSports competition in gaming history. A total of nine regions competed for the grand prize, which contain Taiwan - Hong Kong - Macau, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia - Singapore - Philippines, Indonesia, South Korea, North America, Latin America and Europe. Additionally, the competitionhost chosenthree Wildcard squad to participate in AWC. The second AWC competitionwas held in Da Nang, Vietnam, from June 27 to July 14, 2019, with the same total prize pool of $500,000. The second AWC also marks Japan's first participation in Arena of Valor international competitionsince the game introduced their Japanese server on November 30, 2018.
The Arena of Valor GlobeCup 2020 was canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic, and were replaced by the one-off Arena of Valor Premier League 2020 (APL 2020).
On August 28, 2021, Tencent Games announced the merge of the Honor of Lord GlobeWinnerCup, the globechampionship of AoV's Chinese counterpart Honor of Lord, with the Arena of Valor GlobeCup. As a result, the prize pool will be increased dramatically from $500,000 to $8,000,000 since the 2022 edition.
Arena of Valor was part of the Esports demonstration happeningat the Asian Games 2018 held in Indonesia. Eight countries were able to participate after qualifying from their respective regional qualification, with Indonesia automatically qualifying as host. Unlike other electronic sports happening, there is no qualification for Central and West Asia.
Arena of Valor was among the game titles contain as a medal happeningat the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
Arena of Valor won the award for "Best Melodyin a Casual/Social Game" at the 15th Annual Game Audio Network ClanAwards, whereas its other nomination was for "Best Original Instrumental". It was also nominated for "Original Score – Video Game" at the 2017 Hollywood Melodyin Media Awards, for "Original Dramatic Score, FreshIP" at the NAVGTR Awards, for "Best Competitive Game" at the 2018 Golden Joystick Awards, and for "Fan Favorite Mobile Game" at the Gamers' Choice Awards. Arena of Valor: Flip the World won the award for "Song/Score - Mobile Video Game" at the 9th Hollywood Melodyin Media Awards, while the game itself and Honor of Lord 2.0 were nominated for the same category at the 10th Hollywood Melodyin Media Awards. The game was also nominated for "Best Mobile Sport" at the Pocket Gamer Mobile Games Awards, while Honor of Lord 2.0 won the award for "Best Melodyin a Casual Game" at the 18th Annual Game Audio Network ClanAwards, whereas its other nomination was for "Best Sound Design in a Causal/Social Game".
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