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Monday Night Combat

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Kotaku



Fine. I'll Admit I'm Infatuated With The World Of Super Monday Night Combat. Super Monday Night Combat exists in a dystopia in which spectacle, corporate greed and marketing are the fundamental pillars that hold society together. The premise is this: there's a deadly organized sport—that'd be Monday Night Combat—where two opposing teams of corporate-sponsored clones duke it out for money and prizes by shooting each other in the face. Or, well, they shoot each other in the face while escorting robots to the enemy ‘Moneyball' in an attempt to destroy it. First team to destroy the Moneyball wins.



The thing about Super Monday Night Combat is that it's charming and personable, all while maintaining a playful tone. At first, there might not seem to be much to the class-based third person shooter beyond the mechanics—the way that Uber Entertainment develops the world is subtle. I like that about the game, too. It means that when Super Monday Night Combat delivers commentary that parodies serious subjects from real life, like politics or advertising, those who don't care aren't bashed over the head with messages or ideas they're indifferent to. For the rest of us, the MOBA shooter offers an absurd but smart and self-aware world to dig into. Sometimes, it'll make you chuckle, too.



This all happens under the watchful eye of a camera and announcers, of course: murder and mayhem needs a cheering crowd, TV ratings and play-by-play commentary.



Super Monday Night Combat exists in a dystopia in which spectacle, corporate greed and marketing are the fundamental pillars that hold society together.

With the type of circus the American media is famous for, it shouldn't be surprising that the characters in Super Monday Night Combat feel like the cast of a futuristic reality TV show. Y'know, if we had cloning and genetic engineering and if our animals had human-like sentience.



What kind of a society would create a sport like Monday Night Combat? Ours, probably! That's what makes Super Monday Night Combat's world so provocative. What it presents the player isn't particularly far-fetched, in some ways the world of SMNC is one that we already inhabit.



We come to learn of SMNC's world primarily through its announcers, who occasionally make quips about the insane conditions beyond the stadium stands. Not that the ‘real world' will get in the way of the blood sport, mind...just like, say, any of the wars we're engaged in in real life won't interrupt the next American Idol broadcast. The first Monday Night Combat was slightly better for this: Mickey Cantor, the announcer, had endless lines musing over the societal climate and the police state that created it. Some of my favorite lines from the first game:




"Hi, everybody. This is Mickey Cantor reminding all the fans in the upper deck to check their ticket stub against the results of our population control lottery after the game tonight. Hey, good luck, everybody. We hope we see you tomorrow."





"To the lucky fan seated in Section 313, Row 7, Seat 8...CON-GA-RATS! You've been chosen to donate a kidney to the member of the elite overclass. Please stop by the press box to make your donation, pick up your voucher for a free stick of butter and some pre-war tomato seeds.





"Hehe. Hey everybody, it's Monday Night Combat's loveable mascot, Bullseye! Kill him. Kill him NOW!"





"Achilles! If the mind is your enemy's greatest weapon, that's all the more reason to shoot them in the head."




Super Monday Night Combat continues to build on this war-state where food, population and food scarcity are a problem. Despite the dire war situation, this is a society that loves violence so much, they're encouraged to bring personal snipers to shoot the mascot during gametime. Presidents are dictators-for-life. Violating copyright law results in entire generations of your family killed. It's all ridiculous and I adore that. The new announcers—Mickey Cantor is replaced in SMNC—similarly chat about their crazy world, though to a lesser extent, as the developers have prioritized banter that guides players toward game objectives.



Fine. I'll Admit I'm Infatuated With The World Of Super Monday Night Combat.



Still, it's not just disembodied voices occasionally telling the player about SMNC's society. The world-building and commentary happen through the mechanics of the game, as well. Players take the role of specialized clones that have been manufactured to be athletes. Beyond being food for thought when it comes to the future of genetic engineering and sports, it also sets up player's ability to equip "endorsements" in the game. Endorsements are attribute-influencing ‘items' that double as advertisements. "The eye. The hunger. The attraction. The shot placement. Iturba by Martell Pierre" is a personal favorite, an endorsement that's meant to advertise a ‘classier' item to the player. There are also ‘products,' which function similarly to endorsements, but without any side-effects. Both of these can alter things like player accuracy, to bestowing the ability to drop bombs once dead.



SMNCembraces the possibilities of a future that's ludicrously overrun by advertisements. The announcers like to act as shills who will try to ‘sell' players on various products. Their ‘priming' works—if only because most of the products they talk about are kind of required purchases if a player wants to remain competitive in the battlefield. There's also special attacks, like "product grenades," that obscure the enemy's vision by overloading their screen with advertisements. These grenades are effective against bots, too.

Fine. I'll Admit I'm Infatuated With The World Of Super Monday Night Combat. When you take a look at any sport's playing field—or even the attire worn by players—this isn't really that crazy, is it? I mean, consider that the average person sees around 5,000 advertisements every day. All done to cover every possible base, as a company can't know where a possible consumer will be at any given time, so why not make sure there's no way one can avoid the advertisements?



There's subtle commentary in-game, too. All players start out on an equal playing field, and the only way to gain an advantage is to farm bots for money to purchase skill-upgrades. A player will live and die by the money available in her pocket. Without enough upgrades, the enemy team may become almost unkillable. Obviously, that's no good.



There's something poignant about having two teammates race each other for a small trove of gyrating coins left behind by enemy bots. Someone will bitch someone else out for hogging all the coins, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. The coins will be mine by any means necessary—even if it means walking in the middle of an active turret that may tear me up. I can't tell you how many times I've died because I felt I really needed that single spare coin, regardless of how dangerous the situation is. I never really need the dang coins. Compulsion gets the better of all of us, though.



SMNC knows how significant that coin is. The marketing copy for the game reads "Why fight for 'honor' or 'duty' when you can fight for the real American dream: cash, fame and endorsements?" It's not just just that you need in-game money to upgrade and win matches. Money is important, period. Games reflect this. There's a reason coins are so ubiquitous in games. Players aren't the only ones who live and die by what can be found in their pockets. This reality is what makes the idea of playing a possibly lethal game just for a shot at some cash so incisive and thought-provoking. And it's the American dream to boot!



Fine. I'll Admit I'm Infatuated With The World Of Super Monday Night Combat.



If there's one thing I bemoan in Super Monday Night Combat that doesn't work as well with the type world that the first game created, it's the loss of the twitch-based gameplay. There's something about the quick speed at which the first game operated that lends itself better to the idea of a society that functions too fast, and too indulgently for its own good.



Super Monday Night Combat
is a world that feels like it takes place a mere 10 minutes from now. That's scary, but it makes the game evocative, too.



Kotaku





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allowfullscreen="true">

The update live now for Super Monday Night Combat introduces Steam Trading (among other upgrades and fixes), which means you can pickup crossover costume items in both this title and Team Fortress 2 for the super low price of nothing.



Four items kick off the "Friendship is Sharing" campaign for Uber Entertainment, two for each game. You unlock the hats and uniforms by reaching certain levels in Super Monday Night Combat. Here is the lowdown.



• The Gunslinger Hat, worn by Sniper in TF2, is unlocked when you get Agent Level 5 in SMNC.

• The Engineer Uniform, worn by Combatgirl in SMNC is yours when you get Agent Level 10.

• The Soldier Uniform and Rocket Launcher is Megabeth's in SMNC once you get Agent Level 15.

• Finally, Pyro will get the Assassin Helmet if you can reach Agent Level 20.



More details, plus full update notes, at the link.



Rule Changes: 5 - 5/10/12 [SMNC Forums]


PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Super Monday Night Combat review">SMNC (5)



The original Monday Night Combat existed in limbo between the third-person shooter and MOBA genres, with the lane-pushing of Defense of the Ancients saddled onto shootouts between a scant six classes. Super takes everything that was good about the first game (constant activity, dynamic quips from a clichéd play-by-play commentator, and irreverent character design) but puts more of its chips into MOBA design.



This futuristic deathsport pits the five-man Hot Shots and Icemen teams in orange-versus-blue combat, each vying to reap the rewards of sieging the opponent’s Moneyball, an orb of coin deep inside each team’s base. Waves of bots endlessly spawn on either side of the three maps—it’s up to the players’ champions (Pros, as they’re known in this league) to turn the tides in their favor.







The shooter portion of MNC has been scaled back in this free-to-play edition—guns feel weaker, and like MOBAs, needlessly dying is the quickest way to give the enemy team a level advantage. To compensate for their diminished firepower, every Pro has three abilities that define their strengths and weaknesses—and believe me when I say that all the Pros are awesome. My personal favorite is Wascot: a costumed stalker who’s a doppelganger to SMNC’s real mascot, Bullseye, and whose main source of damage is putting Pros over his knee and spanking them into submission. Killing someone with this grapple never, ever gets old.



Except when it’s happening to you, of course. Grappling is a mechanic that may frustrate new players—getting tackled and losing control of your character as an animation plays out can get on your nerves, especially because opponents can chain grapples together. Skilled players are masters of this maneuver, and other feats like the Veteran’s ranged grab (like Blitzcrank in League of Legends, he can pull opposing Pros toward him) can toss you outside the arena boundary if executed from certain spots, instantly killing you without warning.







SMNC’s long beta period means you’ll occasionally run into players with months of experience that know the ins and outs of the game’s three arenas; the game’s matchmaking system doesn’t seem to do anything to hide experienced players from you. It does match you with similarly-sized groups, but doesn’t seem to take skill or games-played into account at the moment. Killing other players is the most valuable thing you can do, but SMNC does provide plenty of secondary ways to contribute: healing, buffing, bot farming, bot purchasing, and doing area-denial with turrets or knockback attacks all helps your team.



What's best about Uber’s second iteration, though, is that it hits all the notes that define a good MOBA—unpredictable back-and-forth battles of attrition and ambushing, constantly-changing objectives, and the ability to come back from a losing game with some teamwork and a little luck. The swingiest hotspot is the Annihilator, a $1000-per-activation button in the center of each map that fries every enemy bot on the field. Whenever the Annihilator’s open for business, a carnival of chaos breaks out between the two teams. And new announcers GG Stack and Chip Valvano are here to call out these highlights. I like the way lines like “I’ve discovered I enjoy wearing women’s hats” soften the seriousness of intense matches.







While most everything in-game is peachy, things get disheartening when you’re screwed over by the shaky matchmaking or lost in the labyrinthine menus. The store and “Locker Room” interfaces are a mish-mash of placeholder-looking buttons and oversized icons, and very little is explained to new players on how to customize their Pros with perks and stat boosts (in-game currency only, so money doesn’t buy power). Each Pro also has some slick item skins; individual pieces (like a horned helmet, or a golden weapon skin) seem overpriced, but the radical taunts and complete outfits (like Wascot’s horrifying man-baby getup) are worth every penny. Pricing each Pro based on difficulty-of-use is a good move on Uber’s part, ensuring that certain roles will await new players once they familiarize themselves with the game’s nuances.



SMNC will only get better with time, as more and more Pros join the roster and the menus get a much-needed makeover. But don’t wait—this game deserves to be played this instant by any fan of MOBAs, shooters, or merry-and-manic mayhem.

Kotaku

Super Monday Night Combat is a third-person five-on-five shooter that most of you can't play yet. It's been in private beta and has been updated more than 30 times since that all began in September.



The original MNC was on Xbox Live Arcade and PC. This one's only on PC and a little bit sillier. That's why you'll see someone play as a barrel-throwing gorilla and why we get a big exclusive announcement in the video here: the game's getting a deep-fried butter power-up.



Watch the video to see how the free-to-play game is shaping up. One important note: I describe the game as having DOTA or MOBA-like rules. For those who don't know the jargon, that means that players rely on waves of computer-controlled drones to funnel down lanes toward enemy bases. The job of the player is to protect those drones and fend off other players, as the drones assault the enemy base.



Check out the game's official site for more info.


Kotaku





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allowfullscreen="true">

Here's just a little bit more of Super Monday Night Combat, the recently announced, free-to-play sort-of-sequel to Uber Entertainment's Xbox 360 and PC game that (this time) draws a lot more influence from DotA-style gameplay.



There's more actual gameplay in this clip than Super Monday Night Combat's debut teaser. There's also some concept artwork strewn throughout and more facetime with SMNC's new characters, Combatgirl, Gunsinger and the Veteran. Maybe you'll come to understand a bit better how the new, PC-only Super Monday Night Combat aims to model itself after a Warcraft III mod and the MOBAs that it inspired.



For more, read Kotaku's preview of Super Monday Night Combat.




You can contact Michael McWhertor, the author of this post, at mike@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

This is just superEDIT: Now with trailer!

Monday Night Combat is getting a sequel and it’s going to be super. How do I know? Because that’s its name. Super Monday Night Combat>. Uber Entertainment are looking to go up against League of Legends and DOTA 2, emphasising the game’s roots. Most pleasing of all, it will be free to play. That means, for now, it’ll only be on PC because Sony and Microsoft simply won’t allow such generosity on their stationboxes. The release date is as vague as “the next few months” but some details are already available. Overall, Uber are looking to slow the game down, giving players more time to think and plot strategies. All sounds good and as soon as we know more, you’ll know more. Click for trailer and pics of the three new characters.

(more…)

Kotaku

As people play it in the beta, they'll notice some tweaks to the MNC format that the Uber guys say make the game play differently. As mentioned, the lethality of attacks has been diminished. All characters will have slow-down abilities that can decelerate the enemy advance while giving a time to converge for a group assault. Turrets that players build in the arena will now start with level-three shields, helping them last longer. And the grand prize that each competing team has their eyes on—the Moneyball—will be more valuable than ever because dropping its shields will be the action that spawns the mighty Jackbots into the Moneyball-attacker's parade of bots. In the previous game, those Jackbots simply showed up every five minutes. The new approach, Comes said, "helps push the end game. It helps amp up the action."



There will be new bots in the bot lanes of Super MNC, including a mighty Fujibot who leads the lane, shielding the weaker ones behind him (he is described as "a giant metal meat shield"). There is also a Shady bot who is small, like the Slim, but takes more hits before being destroyed. (Get it?)



Comes believes that all of these changes which toughen the lane of bots and keep the players on the battlefield longer, encourage more strategic play. "There are more tactics," he said, "less pray-and-spray."



The game won't have much of a single-player component. There won't be any in the beta when it starts, though the team is working on tutorials and training modes. There also won't be a Mac version, though Berry said that it is "on the radar." As for consoles, neither the Xbox 360 nor the PlayStation 3 support free-to-play games (yet). When asked of console plans, Berry demurred, saying, "None that we can discuss."



Get Ready for Super Monday Night Combat, a Very DotA Shooter That is Free to PlaySuper MNC is designed to rope in more fans than the first game did. It'll be free, so how could it not? And hopefully MNC fans will convert to the new game. "We will incentivize them to come over," Berry said. "You'll get exclusive content that nobody else can get."



Super Monday Night Combat encapsulates current PC gaming quite well. Shooters are always the rage, but right now, so too are DotA games and free-to-play. (Proof: the PC thought-leader Valve Software is doing these things, in their own ways, too.) This combo of PC gaming ideas and trends is the right one one, Uber says. Just don't call their manifestation of it Monday Night Combat 2. "It's different enough from the first game," Ekanayake said, trying to explain. "Super made it better."





You can contact Stephen Totilo, the author of this post, at stephentotilo@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.
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Product Update - Valve
PC Product Update 8

New Features
• Chickey Gear for all Pros
• Added timer countdown to two minutes until end game / Overtime

Balance and Adjustments
• Changed end game rules so that Overtime only triggers if both Moneyballs have the same health when time runs out. If Moneyball healths are not equal, whichever team has the Moneyball with higher health will win.
• Improved bot waves by increasing the speed of Blackjacks and decreasing the speed of Slims so that the Blackjacks will more often be in front of the slims, allowing them to take the brunt of the damage
• Reduced money players gain from kill streak bonuses
• Increased damage done to players by all levels of LaserBazer Turrets
• Greatly reduced juice given by LazerBlazer Turret fire
• Reduced the amount of damage reduction players get while juiced
• Reduced the fire interval bonus players get while juiced
• Reduced the critical hit multiplier players get while juiced
• All maps now start with two level two Rock-It turrets
• Award players who join a game in progress start money plus round money
• Increased chat character limit
• Removed All-Star display from Lobby and Scoreboard.


Bug Fixes
• Hit sounds are not played when shooting allied player or when shot by allied player
• Assassin cloak and uncloak sounds now only play for enemy assassins, allies will not hear these sounds
• Chat messages from WebAdmin no longer have [ADMIN] prefix so administrators can better customize the messages.
• Fixed WebAdmin's handling of player names and clan tags with invalid
...

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