Blizzard DOTA In 2012 After Scrap & Reboot

By John Walker on August 22nd, 2011 at 10:46 am.

I found this image on Dota Utilities, you know.

In the Great Battle Of The DOTAs, Eurogamer reports that Blizzard’s own version, made as a mod for Starcraft 2, won’t be with us until 2012 now. Because they scrapped the version now assumed to release near Heart of the Swarm, and started over. The version shown at last year’s BlizzCon is no more. The reboot will apparently aim to make the game more accessible to newcomers, which it’s hard to believe isn’t a reaction to Valve’s DOTA 2. There are lots more details in the EG story. So, two DOTAs due to arrive next year, from two of the most powerful developers in the world. Now, if only I liked DOTA games.

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95 Comments »

  1. skinlo says:

    Well being a slight Valve fanboy, I hope they win ‘the battle’. However, I to don’t have that much interest in either of them unfortunately.

    • Carra says:

      I”m a Valve and Blizzard fanboy.

      I’ll just have to buy them both.

    • icupnimpn2 says:

      Or not, if Valve DOTA is f2p.

    • Atic Atac says:

      Moot point. LOL has won the battle. The rest can fight for the scraps.

    • Xocrates says:

      Speaking of buying, this raises a few interesting possibilities from Blizzard’s side. While I believe the currently announced plan is for their version to be a free mod for SC2 (so not fully free), they could in theory make it available through the starter edition and make it effectively free to play.

      Of course, Blizzard being Blizzard, I would not be surprised if they used it as a “killer app” for their upcoming map marketplace.

    • Bantros says:

      @Atic Atac, you must be joking, Dota 2 going to be huge. I’ve never played Dota, League of Legends or the other one but because it’s Valve and the fact they put on a massive $1.6M tournament I can see myself playing this.

      I, of course, am not the main target for this. Valve is literally going to be Steam rolling through Asia when Dota 2 comes out

    • Atic Atac says:

      Not joking. 80 minute games with old school designs will not be penetrating the public. LOL is not just popular….it’s fast approaching insane popularity which has thus far only been games like Wow and Counter-Strike. It’s close to getting to that status. If conquest mode is succesfull I can easily see that it will.

      It was pretty easy for them to throw 5$ milllion to tournaments in response to Valve.

    • StenL says:

      The 5 million dollars is for an entire season, which lasts for at least a year. LoL is nothing in SEA and Russia, the really big markets for DotA. As with all casual games, it is most popular in America and western Europe. The DotA tournament peaked at 1.5 million unique viewers, LoL did so poorly that they had to use faked pictures from a SC2 tournament to cover their asses and openly badmouth Valve and Dota 2 on the forums and on their official twitter.

    • mindlessrant says:

      @Atic Atac: I dont agee. First off, im tiered of all those LoL vs HoN vs Dota nonsense. The more games, the better for everybody, especially us gamers. Second: Valve has technological superiority. Source engine smokes all the other MOBA games by a long shot, not only visuals, but replay functions and how open the engine is to modding, client side and server side. And of course they have Steam, with all its advantages when it comes to multi player games. But, if they really want to stomp the competition big time they add variety to the game. Thats the biggest downside of LoL. And dont forget mod tools. The community will be all over it if they release them for Dota 2.

    • Dragatus says:

      I wouldn’t say LoL has won, but it I do think it could come out on top. From what I’ve read Dota 2 will have the exact same gameplay as DotA and imagine Blizzard DOTA will be quite similair as well. LoL on the other hand stands out as the most different from the entire lot of DotA style games, especially now that Dominion is coming out. So while Valve and Blizzard are fighting for the fans of old DotA, Riot is targeting a whole new audience.

      LoL is also a more casual so it has a larger potential audience and from what I read it has a faster pace as well which promises to become even faster with the introduction of Dominion. For most people a simpler game with more action is more fun to watch so that makes it a more attractive e-sport for viewers.

      As for LoLs 200k viewers versus DotA’s 1.5 million viewers, keep in mind that DotA has been around for 8 years while LoL has been around for only 2 years and it’s growing fast. The player base is now 5x as big as two years ago when the game launched. If this kind of growth continues LoL will in 6 years have 125x as many players as now. Assuming the same proportion of viewers would watch the matches that would yield 125x 200.000 = 25 million viewers. So DotA having more viewers doesn’t really prove anything in regard to long term success.

    • Prime says:

      Good grief. will gamers never tire of “My random thing is better than YOUR similarly random thing!” It’s like being back at school.

      But my Dad could so take yours in a fight.

    • goodhegood says:

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  2. Anjiro says:

    With League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth and DotA 2. Do we really need more MOBA’s? Especially one that most likely won’t be as good as any of the ones mentioned above.

    • Mattressi says:

      If someone would make one with a different setting or even *gasp* slightly different gameplay or more than one map (with the same structure as every other MOBA’s only map) and possibly even more than 5 per team, then I might understand why people keep making them. What I saw of Blizzard’s original mod, it seemed reasonably different (it didn’t even have a fantasy setting!), though it likely would have had extremely similar gameplay.

      Hopefully Blizzards might offer some innovation.

      Not that I’d be able to use it, what with my lack of ownership of any of their (recent) horrible locked-down products.

    • Azradesh says:

      LoL is a little different and has more then one map.

    • wonderpookie says:

      What’s a MOBA?

    • godwin says:

      Google/Wikipedia says: Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, as coined by Riot.

    • ArcaneSaint says:

      According to Google, MOBA stands for “Museum of Bad Art”
      ;)

    • IDtenT says:

      I could have said the same about FPS games about a decade and a half ago.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Whaaat? 15 years ago we had quake…. surely you don’t/didn’t think that life would be better if unreal had never been created? Or that quakes maps were samey?

    • ArcaneSaint says:

      And then came CoD, CoD 2, CoD 3, CoD 4, CoD Number+1: Generic Subtitle, and all the expansions. Surely you don’t think these were all the same? They are/were all very original and unique gameplay experiences!*

      *Gameplay experience meaning: “mind-numbing repetition” and original and unique meaning: “we upgraded the graphics… a bit”

      EDIt: Oh, and all the other generic man-shoots-other-man games, of course.

    • formivore says:

      The Museum of Bad Art is awesome. http://www.museumofbadart.org/coll1/image01.php

      Someone should make a twee indie game based on this aesthetic.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      I don’t get why the all have hundreds of ever so slightly different heroes and 1 map. Demigod was far better for having only 10 heroes but plenty of different maps.

    • Calneon says:

      All the heroes are very different from each other (in Dota/Hon at least, not sure about LoL). Also, there is only one map because that’s all you need. The game isn’t focused around the map, it’s focused around the heroes and gameplay, and having one balanced map is better than lots of bad ones. HoN has tried implementing new maps but people just don’t play them and revert to the one they know.

    • Stupoider says:

      I don’t know about you, but I’d rather play chess on a chessboard than on an innovative wonkey board; look! A third dimension!

  3. mechtroid says:

    I’m actually happy for this. I play LoL, used to play DotA, and I’d love to see Blizzard’s take on “accessibility”.

  4. Icarus says:

    Blizzard and Valve, the two developers with the biggest reputation for polish in their finished products, going directly head to head, and almost certainly making each other up their game? This is going to be veeeerrry interesting.

    As John said, if only I liked DOTA games.

  5. Mike says:

    Apparently the market for these games is larger than I thought?

    Blizzard are possibly the only company who could do a better job of making a game accessible than Valve, but I think DOTA is a lost cause. The whole essence of the game is partly wrapped up in how impenetrable it is.

    Like trying to make a casual version of EVE Online.

    • pakoito says:

      The appeal is both it becoming an e-sport equal to SC2 with royalties, sponsors and showcasted matches; and the already existing HUGE (tens of millions!) playing community in Eastern Europe and Asia (not very represented in RPS).

  6. KikiJiki says:

    Unless Blizzard fix the enforced command delay in SC2 caused by the battle.net architecture there is no way their version of Dota will compete with any of the others.

    The fan made version (SOTIS) is godawful because of this.

    • Tei says:

      Maybe you are talking about this.

      I can imagine 400 ms builtin lag would be something pros don’t like.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Now, i’ll preface this by stating I have never played games of this type yet – but 400ms, thats a big deal for any player not just pro’s – From what ‘ve read you’re saying that from clicking to a unit responding to your commands, there is nearly half a second lag…. That’s massive and an absolute cause for complaint!

    • KikiJiki says:

      Yep Tei, that’s exactly it.

      You can’t play a Dota style game with command delay like that – it just doesn’t work.

      Lag is one thing, enforced command delay is another.

    • Bilbo says:

      I found Starcraft 2 annoying for this exact reason, and can agree that if it isn’t addressed (which given the current state of blizz I’m loath to believe it will be) they’re going to have big problems, no matter how many characters from blizzard IP they shove into it – and I’m not sure who exactly they’re doing that for, either.

  7. FakeAssName says:

    I still don’t understand the draw of these things.

    they’re cool and all, but how the hell do people throw away so much time on them …

  8. The Army of None says:

    “Now, if only I liked DOTA games.”

    This :/
    I appreciate the skill involved, as other competitive games like Street Fighter or vanilla SC2, but I can’t bring myself to play more than a few games of any of this genre.

  9. Azradesh says:

    John you should try LoL Co-Op vs Bots. It’s free so you have nothing to lose and in bot matches people aren’t twats. (most of the time)

    • mindlessrant says:

      I tend to agree. I never was into the whole Dota thing, but with Valve picking it up, I thought it might be worth trying to see what all the fuss is about. Co-op vs Bots is very newb friendly and you get some time to lern you character. I was surprised how skill based this game is actually. And its amazing how satisfying kills are in this game. Thats what surprised me the most.

    • Azradesh says:

      Yeah, the DOTA games are very hard to *get* with out playing a little.

    • Milky1985 says:

      Is there any way to get the bots on somethign other than “beginner” difficulty if you play alone?

      Also is there any way to get other bots other than the standard ones :p

  10. Aemony says:

    It’s important to note the differences between them, so while it will be interesting I doubt we’ll see a similar result from both companies. Dota 2 is supposed to be an almost exact copy of Dota, only bringing along few innovations around the unchanged core of Dota. Blizzard’s Dota mod has the potential to be so much more, simply because it isn’t supposed to be a direct follow-up to the original Dota mod.

    In terms of accessibility Blizzard has the potential to make their mod as accessible as League of Legends, which Valve hardly has since they’re primary concern is towards the current and past Dota players, and not the newcomers which LoL has gained. Making Dota 2 as accessible as LoL would most likely piss of a lot of the current Dota/HoN community.

    It’s because of these reasons that while I’m somewhat interested in Dota 2 I’ll probably keep on playing LoL. Overall the game is more accessible, interesting and fun than Dota or HoN, without the constant rage community (it still exists, but in a smaller scale). Blizzard’s take on the Dota genre are more interesting as well due to this, as I can see it become rather accessible without losing much of the core gameplay.

    • godwin says:

      I think it’s also probably meant to be for SC2 what DOTA was for WC3; in that they’re not trying to compete, but innovate. If it becomes a phenomenon as the original did, it might very well boost sales of SC2. It’s all business.

  11. Tei says:

    Blizzard has come to the party very late…. I don’t think we will see this DOTA in 2 or 3 years.

  12. jellydonut says:

    idk. It’s not the kind of game where you can enjoy more of them, really.

    It’s the exact same map layout, the exact same gameplay, everything. They could add different heroes, but that would just be annoying for those who actually want to be good at the game as they have to learn even more heroes.

    I’m not sure, it just seems like redundancy. Only one of these games will gain any traction. Unless Blizzard decides to one-up Valve with the tournaments and money prizes. Whichever game is used in the leagues will be the de facto standard. Valve having pledged to run a $1 million tournament every single year has easily laid the groundwork to become the standard.

    • Azradesh says:

      They could, and may, make it an offical game mode in Starcraft 2 with matching making, achievements and more. That alone would make it big.

  13. Moni says:

    Seems like a logical move. With Dota 2, League of Legends, and Heroes of Newarth all free-to-play Blizzard would probably go relatively unnoticed, so they might as well go in a different direction.

  14. staberas says:

    Blizzard sorry but … Very late .

  15. Batolemaeus says:

    It’s highly doubtful they’ll be able to change the hostile community built around these games.
    So scrapping for accessibility seems to be a weird decision, unless they also plan to rebuild the community of the game or outright replace it with more pleasant people.

  16. Pointy says:

    Having never played any of these games, I have a question :

    Was Demigod any good?

    I have respect for Mr Taylor because of Total Annihilation.

    • Azradesh says:

      It was ok, but a little buggy on release. It didn’t have very many heros and I don’t know if it’s still played or supported.

    • SwiftRanger says:

      Demigod had serious online problems for the first three months and debuted as a €40 retail release. That killed the game but it got patched and it even received two new Demigods for free from Stardock/GPG. Fun stuff. It’s fine now but it should have gone free2play a long time ago. It is also the prettiest DOTA-clone by far if you ask me and the only one I could play online without getting scoffed at.

    • d3vilsadvocate says:

      We discovered it on lan parties and then everyone went out and bought it. Fun game, still no superb online lobby unfortunately. But great for local games if you ever happen to be on a lan party again ;)

      Also, the game is only available via Impulse, that’s a major turn-off. I hate Impulse.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      By having less heroes and more maps (about 10 of each) it made it much more accessible and fun, I think bugs on release ruined the community before it got going though.

  17. kwyjibo says:

    This isn’t a battle for you or me. This is a battle for China. Those guys are fucking mad for this shit, probably because an exciting e-sport would involve guns, and this be censored by the all knowing party.

    This is about getting tens if not hundreds of millions of users into Steam our Battle.net.

  18. Lemming says:

    This whole thing seems so cynical and depressing. Perhaps it’s better for all of us if they both flop?

  19. Mikko-Pentti Einari Eronen says:

    DOTA first-person or third-person game could be interesting if they made if enough smooth and large.

  20. Velvetmeds says:

    This is the only DOTA i’m ever gonna play.

  21. markcocjin says:

    Valve’s reason for making Dota 2 is love for the game.

    Blizzard’s reason for making Blizzard Dota is Pride and Ego.

    • Azradesh says:

      I wish I could read minds.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      Only when you want to or just so that you hear everyone’s thoughts all the time? The latter would drive you insane very quickly I would imagine and to be honest I’m not sure the former would be beneficial for your state of mind either…

    • Azradesh says:

      I’d say the former.

    • lightstriker says:

      …uh… lolwut?
      This is based on what exactly? As Valve certainly hasn’t displayed any “love for the genre”. Steam isn’t hugely successful internationally, relative to its success in the US. Why? Because they had no free to play games.

      So, let’s recap: Just after Steam launches the free to play section, it launches a giant tournament for what is essentially an EXACT DUPLICATE of a game that’s hugely popular in areas that traditionally love free to play games.
      hm…

      Now, I’m not going to say I’m not excited, or that I’m not happy valve is doing this. But please don’t pretend this isn’t a very intelligent business decision, or that Valve’s motives are somehow incorruptible and pure and everything they do is made out of love and puppies.

  22. IDtenT says:

    MOBA is the new FPS. Oh, how I hate thee, Industry!

  23. ReV_VAdAUL says:

    Meh, I’m wating for Paradox to release a MOBA for Crusader Kings II

  24. Pictoru says:

    my question(s) is…how will they deliver the game ? will it be a star 2 mod ? so you have to buy star 2 ? but which one ? heart of the swarm ? wings of liberty ? both ? all 3 ? diablo 3 ? you can see where this is going

  25. danimalkingdom says:

    “Now, if only I liked DOTA games.”

    Snap.

  26. skyturnedred says:

    I would love a MOBA that is not pure fantasy. Sci-fi setting would at least make it different visually, even if the mechanics are largely the same. Better yet, gimme some proper steampunk!

  27. StuffedCabbage says:

    I guess they need more time to implement an always on DRM and an auction house for the game. Take your time Blizzard, we’re all playing Valves’ version anyways.

    • MrMud says:

      LoL showed that there is a large market for a more simplified and casual MOBA and I dont see why all of these people (who would also be attracted by the blizzard dota) would play the incredibly hardcore dota2. Watching some of the games during gamescom I see absolutely nothing in that game that tells me that they have made any concessions to the new player.

    • Bantros says:

      @MrMud, Gabe has already stated several times one of their aims is to make it casual and new player friendly but keeping the hardcore element at high level play. After all there is going to be a LOT of new Dota players who have never touched an action RTS before

    • MrMud says:

      I understand thats what they have said. But looking at the game they are actually playing, I see nothing in the game design that speaks to that. This leaves me having to either believe the spokesperson for the company selling the game or what I get to see when they play it.

    • Stupoider says:

      MrMud, I’m sure EVERY game at a competitive level screams helpful hints and pointers at the player.

      DoTA2 is aiming towards coaching and tutorials right?

  28. Deano2099 says:

    I like the concept and loved the DotA style map in the WC3 campaign, but have no interest in competitive multiplayer.

    Where on earth is the single-player, story/campaign drive, persistent hero/army upgrades version?

  29. the_fanciest_of_pants says:

    Now, if only I liked DOTA games.

    Pretty much this.

  30. Ultramegazord says:

    Too late Blizzard.

    Will be interesting to see what happens now that Valve has a proper engine to make Blizzard kind of games, can’t wait to play the first Valve action RPG.

  31. 0mer says:

    Valve shits down Blizzard’s throats in video game design. Look how bad SC2′s single player game was and compare that to Portal 2. Valve puts the care and effort into every aspect of the game, not just multiplayer.

    Blizzard is riding on reputation right now. If the Blizzard logo wasn’t behind SC2, the game would have flopped hard.

  32. cjlr says:

    Now, I’ve played a good bit of Dota over the years. I got pretty good. Maybe because after years of RTS games it turns out keeping track of one unit is dead easy. All my friends play LOL now, except for the ones who were big into Dota, who play HoN. So mostly LoL. I cannot muster enough shits to get any good at that game – either game – or even really play them much. Being good at DotA involved learning the ins and outs of every damn hero and item. I don’t feel like learning new rosters, ones that are entirely too big to keep tightly balanced. I don’t feel like learning items and build trees. Did it once, and it wasn’t particularly rewarding. Who has the time?

    So that’s part of the appeal of, say, Men of War. It doesn’t take a lot of work to know that a bigger gun has more power than a smaller gun.

    The reason people don’t want new maps is because they’re unimaginative dolts. How many counterstrike maps were ever really common? de_dust will be lurking in the back of my brain until I die.

  33. aircool says:

    ooooh, what a suprise. Blizzard promising to release a game, showing screenies and the like, then shelving it for a few years whilst they actually make the game.

  34. Hoaxfish says:

    one’s a full game, one’s a mod of a game from a company that’s removing modability from one of their future releases… ye, I’ll go with Valve. I’m expecting much better support for it as a game in it’s own right.

  35. zevs018 says:

    I am disappointed in dota that valve is creating and dont expect new blizzards dota to be any better. They both will just make bad copy of great game. Just look at hero design that valve did 60% of them just suck and dont even let me start on magina (they totally destroyed that hero). Someone that destroy heroes like magina, terrorblade,abadon don`t deserve to get any respect… I am big fan of dota.. i actualy played almost al dota clones to (lol,hon,avalon heroes,bloodline champions), i still didnt try Rise of Immortals and Realm of the Titans tough. I hated S2 for sleazy greedy attitude but it starting to look like they are going to be lesser evil compared to valve and blizzard (and i was fan of blizzard wtf are they starting to do)
    Looks like greed got best of them so instead of continuing to make great games they just make games that sell SO DISAPPOINTING

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