Welcome to Sins of a Dark Age, a unique evolution of the Action-Strategy/Moba genre.
Sins of a Dark Age is a competitive online game in the growing MOBA genre. Like in many other MOBAs (or Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas), each team is tasked with slaying their enemies and destroying a structure at the center of their base, called a Keep. Destroying the enemies' Keep will win the game for your team.
In Sins of a Dark Age you control characters called Heroes. Hailing from a variety of backgrounds, each Hero brings unique weapons and skills to the battle.
The game's Heroes control like units in a traditional RTS. Move your Hero by right-clicking terrain or a spot on the minimap. To attack, right-click enemies. You can use your Hero’s special skills, or abilities, by pressing the corresponding keys (Q, W, E, or R), then left-clicking a target. Alternatively you can press the four large ability buttons at the bottom center of the interface.
The Sins of a Dark Age map consists of two bases connected by three lanes, commonly referred to as Top, Bottom, and Mid. These lanes are home to a series of towers that attack any enemies who come near. Most Heroes cannot defeat the towers without the aid of allied soldiers (otherwise known as minions) who emerge from each team’s base and automatically march down the lanes. Players cannot control these minions, but can use them to their advantage. Towers always target a minion first, though players can draw aggro by attacking an enemy Hero when a tower is in range, or by wandering beneath a tower before it has targeted a minion. When you are under attack from the tower a target will appear over your head and you'll hear a distinct audio cue. Broken weapons and arrows on the ground indicate the boundries of the towers' range.
Between the lanes is the jungle, a wild and unpredictable swath of the Sunken Forest, full of neutral monsters that can buff the player when killed. The jungle can also be used to ambush enemies, from a variety of chokepoints and hiding places as well as special terrain called Brush. This bluish plantlife can also be found at the fringes of each lane. Heroes and minions inside of it remain invisible, until they use an ability or a basic attack. At night, additional 'moonbloom' brush will appear. Heroes who choose to specialize in the jungle should consider buying special items like Hunter's Spear, and Nerroth's Fangs, Hide, or Eye. Certain glyphs like Slaughter and Offering also support jungle play. You can learn more about glyphs below.
At the end of each lane defended by a tower are structures called rune stones. These mystical structures are often all that prevent demons from escaping into the mortal realm. Destroy your enemies’ rune stones and demons will attack them—though over time the stones’ magic can be restored, and the demons banished back to their realm.
Each team’s ultimate goal is to destroy the enemy’s Keep, a castle built upon a nexus of power at the center of their base. Each Keep is protected by two additional towers, which must be destroyed before it can be attacked. Players can return to their Keep at any time by using the Recall spell, mapped to B by default. There they can heal and regain mana in a pool of holy water.
In addition to destroying the towers and rune stones that guard the enemies’ Keep, players can choose to tackle a variety of quests over the course of each match. Teams that do not heed the call to adventure will often find themselves overwhelmed, as many quests provide rewards of gold and powerful quest items. Completing quests also earns players a permanent buff called Adventurer's Bounty, which grows more powerful for each quest completed. More details on quests can be found here.
As players complete quests and fight each other and enemy minions, they earn a steady supply of gold that they can use to buy items from a shop near their Keep. Items give bonus stats and abilities to Heroes, and are often constructed from weaker items purchased over time. Weapons, armor, boots, consumables and more can all be found in the shop. Deciding what to buy and when forms a large part of each player’s strategy.
Players earn experience points and levels as they defeat enemy Heroes and minions. Each level allows players to unlock new abilities, or to strengthen abilities they already have. Heroes have five abilities total, an innate ability that is inherent to each character, and four active abilities that can be triggered directly. One of these abilities is the character’s ultimate, an extra-powerful attack or spell with a lengthy cooldown. The three ranks of each Hero’s ultimate unlock at levels 6, 10, and 15. Other abilities can be purchased at any time, to a maximum of four ranks.
Players may choose to mark their Heroes with glyphs. These glyphs provide characters with additional abilities that can be used to fight, traverse, and survive the battle for the Sunken Forest. They are purchased using glyph points, which players earn every other level, and may be customized with upgrades.