Evercore Heroes may be the brainchild of some of Riot Games’ finest alumni, but in their new studio, Vela Games, the team is determined it won’t just be a different take on the traditional MOBA format. Instead, they want to carve their own unique niche that strays away from League of Legends and the like.
Vela is determined to create something we’ve never seen before with Evercore Heroes. Blending classic MMORPG tropes with MOBA-style gameplay, players are split into teams of four and race against one another to take down high-level bosses. The first to slay the final boss wins, and then you do the same thing all over again.
You may ask, though: “news writer lady, how does this format work? And is it not just League of Legends 2.0?” Well, I pitched those same questions to CEO and co-founder Travis George, co-founder and player content lead Lisa Newon George, and co-founder and narrative lead Brain Kaiser in an attempt to discover just exactly what Evercore Heroes is and how it aims to disrupt competitive gaming.
“[Evercore Heroes] is an amalgamation of a lot of things, and that’s why we don’t even try to put a genre label on it; we just describe it as its own thing,” says George. “Even as developers we like to think in patterns, existing genres, and blueprints, but sometimes you have to set those aside and just say ‘is there a better way to deliver on what players really want?’ That’s kind of where it starts for Evercore Heroes.”
Coming in and changing the game (ha ha) is no easy task, especially when inspiration like League of Legends and World of Warcraft have vast expanses of lore to draw inspiration from. What will make Evercore Heroes a quintessentially Vela experience?
“If somebody described Vela in the future as a company whose games we play and can go really deep with our friends on, then that’s a pretty good description,” he says. “At the end of the day Evercore Heroes really is about this competitive aspect, but the way to overcome that competition is together. It’s present in so many multiplayer games by definition, but we really just wanted to double down on that so much.
“The soul of the game is to work together to overcome all of the challenges that the game throws at you, and then work together to outplay the other teams who are also trying to work together.”
One of the positives of Evercore Heroes’ diverse range of influences is that no two teams will be the same. Players from a whole plethora of different genres are welcome in the world of Lumerea, and will in turn find their own unique way of playing the game.
“We’ve talked to upwards of 1,000 different players in different types of formats and tests. What we’ve seen, especially in our community tests, is that a random assortment of the players we’ve invited to test come from MOBA genres,” Newon George says. “They also come from MMORPGs, ARPGs, and roguelikes.”
“It has been really encouraging,” George continues. “We see different things that people love about the game when they play it based on their background.”
What this means is that Vela isn’t trying to directly rival League of Legends with Evercore Heroes despite their similarities; instead, it wants to co-exist and bring something new to the table.
“Our goal is really to build something that’s different,” George says. “We really don’t think of a lot of other games as competition – we’re not out to get anybody! If we could have the level of success of some of those games we’d be delighted, but we’re really just trying to build our own thing on the assumption that we can create a great new experience for players.
“When we look back to the last 20 years since we’ve all been gaming, the likes of World of Warcraft just took MMOs to a different place. The games that tend to capture the imagination of players are usually something new instead of a better version of an existing thing.
“We’ve got a long way to go,” he acknowledges. “But if we did get to those heights obviously that’d be a huge vote of confidence from the players. We’re more thinking about who wants to play our game as opposed to taking down someone else. There’s enough room for all of that to go around.”
The first pre-alpha playtest for Evercore Heroes takes place between October 13 to 16, and you can sign up to participate via the game’s official website, and join the EH Discord for all of the latest news. Until then, you can check out our list of the best fantasy games to get you in the mood, as well as the best MMORPGs to get used to the mechanics that inspired some of Evercore Heroes’.