Having played League of Legends for about 4 years, I was starting to get tired of it. Wanted a new moba. This really hit the spot for me.
The balance in the game is genuine and very good. Unlike League, or Dota, it's not the end of the world if one of your teammates goes AFK. I have already carried a game in a 4v5 and we won rather well. The lost teammate only made it slightly more difficult, but not a steam roll like other moba's.
If you like playing supports, this game is very support friendly in lane as well. Just being near the ally who last hits will net you half of the gold, while he takes the other half. This allows the support to harrass or play safe if need be without being completely punished. Additionally if you stay out of combat for a little bit, your hp and mana regen twice as fast. You may think this then turns it into "easy mode and turtle". That's not necessariy the case either, since the tactic simply changes from traditional moba's. Forcing the opponent to have to back to base, since sticking around would be too dangerous.
The real gem of this game though is the crafting. Take any moba you may know, and think of the items. At player level 4, you unlock the ability to customize the in-game items for added benefits and enchantments. You can customize any item in the game with bonus stats or buffs, but at a cost to gems, etc. you get after every game.
As a bonus.. all champions are free to play instantly. No grinding credits like in league of legends. They're all available at level 1. The credits and gems you get ingame go towards buying skins, or customizing an in house item to boost your favorite champ in-game with your personal playstyle.
The developers are being very generous with this game, especially since you can buy any skin ingame just by playing games. You can either purchase the skin for 1 day, or for a higher price permenantly purchase it. However, if you buy it for 1 day for say, 15 Gems, that cost is knocked off of the final price for permenant. How cool is that?
If you're looking for a new moba I'd highly suggest trying this one out.
I wanted to update this Review slightly and talk about the balance of Strife. I explained it below but it's broken up with other information so I'll explain it more cleanly here.
In League of Legends and Dota they have what you call the "Snow ball" effect. Essentially once you start winning, it gets harder and harder for the other team to stop you, unless you're playing evenly matched teams, and or it's a fair 5v5. In most cases this doesn't happen. As one team is always at some form of disadvantage. Whether it be a troll, afk, disconnect, or some other factor in many cases.
League of Legends "Snow ball" effect is softer than Dota's. In the form of the drake and baron. Drake giving permenant buffs to the whole team, while baron is the insult to injury final knock out.
The problem with these two monsters is it is very easy to disengange and re engage away from them, the laughably low damage of the drake especially literally allowing the winning team to fight while taking damage from them and still win the team fight against the enemy team.
In Strife, this can't happen. We'll consider the two mobs as the Boss and Super Boss. The Boss in Strife in comparison to the Drake in league. You must kill the Boss 3 times. After 3 kills you get 1 wave of super minions. Unlike League's Drake which buffs the whole team permenantly for a snow ball effect. You do get some global gold for every kill on the Boss, however it is a fair and even amount.
The Super Boss, in comparison to Baron, once you kill it you get an Ape which goes down the lane of your teams choosing. This Ape you must protect as it knocks down turrets and disables them. While it is a very powerful tool there is a catch.
Unlike League where even Baron is rather weak at higher levels, and the team steam rolling can easily fight off the losing team while simultaniously fighting Baron at the same time is far far less likely to happen in Strife. The super Boss and Boss in Strife scale much better than in League of Legends, creating a situatoin where if you even want to kill it at any level you need at least a minimum of 3-4 teammates there. All of them if you want to get out safely, even at max level, unless it's super late game where 3-4 teammates will suffice to safely secure.
This creates a very real possibility that the losing and weaker team can out play the winning team, and take the Super Boss from them. Since the Super Boss will be doing significant damage through all the levels to the entire team fighting it.
Even the way the Super Boss is positioned on the map is far more fair to both teams. Unlike League of Legends where the position of the Drake and Baron are more favorable to one side due to the positioning of the pits. The Super Boss and Boss locations in Strife are positioned in the middle of the map on opposite ends with the open part of the pit facing to the sides of the map, but not at any 1 base. Creating a fair entry point for both teams, without 1 team having to take an extra detour around a wall the other team didn't have to make, or forcing the enemy team needing to use flashes or abilities to jump the wall if they need to contest it quickly.
Dota's Snow ball effect is a much harder one. As you kill players you take a significant amount of their gold and add it to yours. This is a very hard snow ball effect as gold is everything. This is the #1 rule in Moba. GPM is everything to most players and most professionals in Moba. If your gold is literally being stolen at every oppertunity this creates a massive snow ball effect to the winning team as they continue to kill the opposite team and take all the gold. This results later in the game the enemy team not being able to win fights they may have had a chance to win otherwise in a vast majority of cases.
9/10 games in Dota 2 that I've had were a snow ball game, where 1 team got the advantage and steam rolled the other, whether it was my team or the other team. That's my personal experiences in Dota 2, and the logical mechanics of taking gold from the team for kills only supports the fact of the snow ball effect.
This of course as I explained above, doesn't happen in Strife either.
This create a situation in Strife that is both fair and balance through every stage of the game, while still giving boons and rewards to the winning team, but not making it so that it determines the outcome of the game, or makes it nigh impossible for the enemy team to contest you down the road.