Dota 2: An Electric Valhalla, Pt. 1

By Quintin Smith on August 21st, 2012 at 2:00 pm.


Quinns has lost himself in Dota 2 as if it were a Minecraft cave system. Surfacing 90 hours later, we asked him what Dota 2 means. This is what he sent us.

For the last few months, Dota 2′s been wrestling with Team Fortress 2 for the title belt of most popular game on Steam. But really, the fight that hasn’t even begun, and when it does, it’ll be over in hours.

Today, Dota 2′s little more than an embryo. It’s a feature-incomplete beta, behind a paywall, without so much as a tutorial. When Valve flip that mad scientist-looking wall switch that gifts the finished, free-to-play Dota 2 to everybody with Steam, this game’s going to go supernova. It’s no joke to say it’ll become the biggest thing on the PC.


The greater Rock, Paper, Shotgun Community collectively raised its eyebrows when Valve began work on a sequel to Dota. As individuals, we should now take those doubts and put them in that battered shoebox labelled “IDIOCY ETC”.

Like hundreds of thousands of others, I’m addicted to Dota 2. It’s the first multiplayer game I’ve ever taken seriously, the first free-to-play game I’ve ever spent money on, and I’ve already lost more hours to it than every Mass Effect game put together. Gabe Newell has allegedly played more than 2,000 hours, which is a nice number, because it’s roughly how long a human will spend at an office job in one year.

You could swear off all us Dota 2 players as victims of some mass hysteria, of course. Ignore us, and just wait for the craze to blow over. Go home. Fix dinner, make love to your partner. But can you afford to take the chance?

Assuming your answer to that question is a fearful gulp and a resigned shake of your head, the following three articles will cover what Dota 2 means for gaming. For what the game actually is and why it’s fun, I’d point you towards my Eurogamer diaries, which critics across the internet are calling “pretty good”. They run along these lines:

This started in a pub. Of course it did. I remember agreeing to something about Dota 2 between a fourth and fifth pint of foamy lager.

The next morning I woke up to an email. It sat heavily in my inbox, like a gauntlet.

“Hello one and all,

“You’ve all expressed some interest in being part of an elite strike team attempting to learn Dota 2 and then actually beat some REAL PEOPLE at it. It’s going to be difficult. It’s going to be long. But it’s going to be fun.”

Are you in?”

Was I in? I was hungover. I felt like a dog raised on petrol station sandwiches. I felt like an obese kid who’d just been pushed backwards off a high diving board.


But here was a chance to do gamers a service. I could find out how long it takes to get competent at Dota 2, one of the least accessible games in existence, and tell people whether it’s worth it.

tl;dr: It was worth it.

So, what does Dota 2 mean? Well, we begin with this.

Dota 2′s Design Is Fucking Weird

Or maybe:

Dota 2 Is An Evolutionary Mutant

This cannot be overstated, both because it’s the reason for Dota 2′s success, and this weirdness has no end. To look at Dota 2 from a design perspective is like being hospitalised and seeing yourself in a mirror for the first time in a month. An overpowering familiarity, but hidden behind something lost, gorgeous and alien.

Let’s start with this: Dota 2 has one level.

I don’t mean it has one generic arena. Dota 2′s one level is ruthlessly abstruse. After 90 hours, I still couldn’t draw it accurately on a piece of paper. Within its asymmetric design are large bases, forests, roads, a river, cliffs and hills. Not only does it have shops, it has secret shops and side shops, and not only that, it’s so big that each team gets a courier to deliver their purchases. In fact, it’s so big that your team will have discussions over the order in which you’ll have stuff delivered.

But yeah. There’s exactly one field of battle for you to fight over, and whenever that fight ends – with glory, fury or shame – the land and combatants are restored for the next fight. It’s no more, or less, than an electric Valhalla.

Now, I want you to imagine a commercial game designer deciding to create a triple-A, action multiplayer game that has just one map. It’s counter-intuitive to the degree that they would never, ever go ahead with it.


(I say this knowing that some Pliny of a commenter is going to read that, their face will turn the colour of pizza sauce and they’ll immediately start typing exceptions in the comments, but hopefully the rest of you will get the point I’m trying to make here.)

All of Dota 2 is like this. Dota’s beginnings as a mod allowed it to evolve slowly, with years of passionate whimsy and expansive experimentation. The end result is mad stuff like Dota only having that one, perfect, map, or players being expected to slaughter their own armies to deny the other team the gold, or the concept of Carries, who are heroes who are radically underpowered when the game begins, and become overpowered by the end.

Some people don’t quite get how odd it is to play Dota. How much you need to both learn and forget. I’ve seen them palm off the above hyperbaton by calling Dota a simple blend of RPG, RTS and tower defense, which is technically accurate in the same way that Wikipedia can tell you that dancing is just moving you body rhythmically. It’s not wrong, but when it comes to performing, you’re going to look like a prick.


The first thing you actually have to do with a Dota 2 noob is to tell them to stop playing it like an RTS, RPG or tower defense game. Because despite using familiar mechanics, it plays nothing like any of those games.

You get noobs to stop attacking defenseless enemies because they don’t necessarily want to push a lane, and you teach them entirely new concepts, like XP radiuses and denying. And in doing this, you actually teach them an entirely new genre, a genre that’s obviously been adapted and, in some ways, simplified by the moba-alikes that came after Dota.

What this teaches us is the same heartening message we learned from Minecraft and Day Z: there can be tremendous commercial success within wholly new ideas.


But unlike Minecraft and Day Z, Dota’s design could never have surfaced from a commercial games development studio. Mostly, game development studios adhere to genre conventions, and we consider ourselves lucky when they work with no care for genre at all. But what they categorically do not do is go against people’s insticts. Nobody’s going to make a multiplayer game with one map, that takes an hour to play, that looks like an RTS but will fuck you if you try and play it like one.

Which is to say, it looks like Dota 2′s about to become the most popular game on PC. And it couldn’t have come from a professional games studio. That speaks of a strange inadequacy within commercial game design. But that’s not actually the depressing part.

As you read these words, a dozen professional studios around the world are racing to emulate Dota’s success. What’s going to be truly depressing is if of all the contenders in the brand-new moba genre, Valve’s curator-like porting of Dota 2 into the Source engine remains the most popular one. Not only could our games industry not have had this idea, they can’t even improve on it.

Which, for my money, is exactly what’s going to happen.


Mostly, what the success of Dota 2 means is (ARE YOU READY FOR THIS IS) what it means is to do with (NO WAY YOU ARE READY) it’s to do with (GET READY) its success it to do with maximalism. Much like how Demon’s Souls got everybody whispering about how gamers could – gasp! – react with glee to a bastard-hard game, one of the things we can learn from Dota 2 is that gamers aren’t just willing to learn something preposterously big and complicated, they actively enjoy it.

While this generation of game design has seen the gradual simplification of drop-in, drop-out multiplayer, Dota 2 demands its players sit down and fight for up to 70 minutes. As other multiplayer games worry about being intuitive, Dota 2 lets its community bicker over how to play the game, and scream at anyone who can’t figure it out. And then, of course, there are the playable characters. You get 108 heroes in Dota, any one of whom gets six item slots that can hold any one of 140 items (which, in turn, can be consumed, activated or used as components for other items).

All of which is part of the appeal. Discussing this stuff is the same as EVE pilots arguing about ship loadouts, or foot-to-ball fans pontificating on what kick is best to ensure a goal point.

Dota 2 isn’t a good game that’s a bit complicated, as developers around the world seem to think. To the Dota 2 community, the game’s depth and its entertainment value is one and the same. It’s not like they’re sat around bitching about how many items they get to pick from. Yet every single moba I know of that’s currently in development is trying to “correct” Dota’s single, big flaw by making something less demanding.

So! In summary, before we progress. What does Dota 2 mean?

Well, the bad news is, there’s something profoundly shambolic that what’s soon to be the most popular game on Steam, and probably the PC, couldn’t have been designed by the people whose job it is to make popular games.


The good news is, Dota 2 is more than just evidence that people enjoy different ideas. It’s evidence that even farcically complicated games aren’t beyond commercial success. I’d actually rather point at Dota 2 than Minecraft as proof that gamers don’t just want to be spoon fed another Call of Duty. Almost anyone can fire up Minecraft and gasp as they find a waterfall with a pig in it or whatever. Actively hunting out Dota 2 and bypassing its thorny husk to squeeze some fun from it speaks of a desperation for inventive design. We are HUNGRY. We are not getting what we WANT. We are feeding OURSELVES.

…the other bit of bad news is that the games industry at large appears to be missing this point. People see Dota 2′s invention of a genre as some gold rush to be exploited. And they’re not wrong, necessarily. But it misses the other, noisier point. The degree to which people love Dota for its complexity.

Speaking of degrees, in pt. 2 we’ll look at this secret weapon of Dota 2. The real reason people will sink hundreds of hours into it like coins into an arcade machine. It’s because you never stop learning.

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257 Comments »

  1. frightlever says:

    Anything for a casual player here?

    • doucheplayer says:

      if you ask a starcraft player he’ll say “lel dota, casual shit”. If you ask a LoL player he’ll say “gtfo, i like to have fun dota 2 hardcore”.

      • HexagonalBolts says:

        I’m a Starcraft player with 2500+ games and I find DOTA2 rather bewildering. You can get a hang of the mechanics, items and skills fairly quickly if you’re used to something like Starcraft or Diablo. But so many things are so thoroughly hidden away or bewildering that they can completely pass over your head. Get a mate / someone off RPS to play a couple games with bots with you and it should mostly become clear.

      • innociv says:

        Dota has more strategy, depth, and complexity than Starcraft by far.

        Starcraft is hard in that you need 5 times the APM of dota.

        SC and Dota are equally hardcore, for different reasons. Plenty of overlap, though.

        But to answer the question, you can play against bots.
        I would hope they’ll add some sort of “casual matchmaking” mode, too.
        It’s one thing to have a match making rating to match people, it’s another to have the option to say you don’t want to be matched with people that take the game serious.
        Even in low MMR you have people screaming acting like they’re good and telling people what to do, when they’re bad themselves or else they wouldn’t be low MMR.

        The question is sort of like acting if you can drive a car casually. Yeah, you can. But a car can also go really, really fast through twisty bits. The capability is there, but you don’t have to exploit it.

        • midwaslll says:

          Why hello, cute little Puck….come here, I won’t hur-FINGER OF DEATH!

          http://www.osnews.com/story/25469

        • Thirst says:

          To me that’s like saying checkers has more complexity than chess.

          And with apm you actually don’t need that much. In Starcraft there are a handful of players who win tournaments with an average of 120 APM and less, which is equivalent to the average APM of top MOBA players.

          And like Starcraft there is plenty for casual players, the only question is how much you like the game. There are plenty of beginner level players that have thousands of games played.

          • draakisback says:

            Know why this argument is silly?

            Its quiet simple. It all comes down to numbers. If you are to look at both games from an APM stand point, Sc2 wins hands down. It requires a lot more APM. if we are talking about different match ups needed to learn to master the game then SC2 has exactly 6 (or 3!) of which only 3 are really relevant to each player. Dota has a hell of a lot more (i don’t feel like doing the math if you want a figure just punch this into wolfram alpha (108!-107!-106!-105!-104!-103!-102!-101!-100!-99!-98!).). of course these numbers don’t include items for dota or units in the case of starcraft (In sc2 there are 14 units per race thats 14!*2 per match, including workers and non-attacking units.) That number still doesn’t approach the dota 2 number for hero combinations. So what about items then? that number would be even higher then the amount of hero combinations in a given match.

            Ok so we’ve done the hard math here. if course these numbers mean nothing in practical games of each of the games in question since most of the given unit compositions don’t work in sc2 and the hero combinations will never be used in Pro play for dota either. Also, certain heroes have specific items that are more suited for them. if i was to actually sit down to do that math on the current meta-games for both games I would come out with lower numbers for each game but i think the trend would stay about the same, with dota having more matchups and Sc2 being less so. But then again, sc2 has more maps then just one and Dota has a lot of different mechanics as well the fact that 10 people are playing the game at once rather then just 2.

            As you can see this is sorta a silly argument to begin with as It would be truly impossible to calculate the skill ceilings for both games given that people are playing them.

          • PAN_de says:

            Well in my case, I totally suck at multi tasking, so its impossible for me to concentrate on Building a base and controlling my army of over 100 units at 3 different spots on the map.

            Whereas in Dota i only need to concentrate on mainly one unit with a maximum of 4 extra units. While having an eye on the minimap, which to me is no problem at all.

            So for me Starcraft needs alot more skill in multitasking. Else you wont get anything done in Starcraft.

    • Kestrel says:

      Frustration and regret.

    • pakoito says:

      League of Legends is Dota minus player investment plus paywall. Fun to play, still, but if you are already invested it feels like playing basketball in the kid’s sized ones.

    • Timothy says:

      No. I mean, you can have fun quite quickly, but DotA is a game that rewards player investment greatly – any casual DotA play will be mercilessly beaten by people who know what they’re doing.

      It *can* be fun casually, but that requires you to have 9 friends with a similar level of incompetence to play with. So give it a go if you get a LAN going, but be aware that a casual player is always going to lose to a dedicated one.

      • SexualHarassmentPanda says:

        It should be noted that new players will be matched with new players, and due to the nature of steam there won’t be pros playing on “twink” accounts.

        • pmh says:

          Dota 2 is going to be F2P, so there’s nothing stopping “pros” from creating more accounts to smurf/slum.

          • draakisback says:

            there really isn’t a reason to smurf in Dota 2 because each person is given a question when they first make their account, What skill level do you think you are at. The system then accordingly matches you with higher skilled people from the get go if you say you are a veteren and lower skill if you say your are new. It will be rare to see a pro saying their are new to a game like Dota just so they can pub stomp on extremely low skilled players.

            Personally, I play at about a tad above average skill id say (been playing dota for 5-6 years, started almost at the beginning also the majority of my games in Dota 2 are rated at a high skill level.) I actually find it more frustrating to play with newer players then to play with people of my own skill. I mean seriously, playing on a team with 5 carries and no support is not fun at all especially when each person is just auto-attack all the creeps in their lanes and doing stupid counter-intuitive stuff (at least its seems stupid to me) and they come out with maybe 50 last hits by the end of the game and half an item build because they should be playing Easy Mode.

            I honestly think that when the game gets released and people start playing for their first time, they will be ok since the amount of newer players will be so large that they will never be matched with harder opponents unless they actually get better.

          • PAN_de says:

            In addition why should the pros smurf? I play dota over 7 years now, its unbearable for me to play against or with newbies(except im training them). I cant imagine any pro to voluntarily play on easy lvls. What good dota players seek is not winning, but mainly an awesome game, which as a pro player you wont encounter on low lvl games.

        • Ringwraith says:

          Although it is currently a problem due to being a closed beta behind a paywall or invite, thus there’s some population problems when it comes to having newbies.

    • djbriandamage says:

      I’d like to know this as well. I’ve piddled through LoL’s tutorials and tried some bot games and was absolutely disinterested. I loaded up DOTA2 for about 86 seconds before writing it off as the same thing. Competitive PVP doesn’t do it for me so I wonder whether I’m typecasting this game or if it has nothing to offer me.

      • pakoito says:

        There’s nothing else to it. You invest, you get a lot in return. You don’t (because you don’t like, don’t have time, can’t learn) then you won’t.

        In my first 3 months playing I broke two mouses and one keyboard out of frustration. And we were playing just Dota1 bots.

        • djbriandamage says:

          Thanks, it’s as I expected. I guess, like Eve, this will be another game I’ll enjoy vicariously through RPS’ enthusiasm.

        • Squirly says:

          Those DOTA 1 bots are assholes, though.

          • PodX140 says:

            Hard dota 2 sniper and razor would like to have a word with you.

          • Squirly says:

            Had a word with them last night. Murdered the crap out of them. *smug*

            To be honest, I think the new update changed the AI a bit for the worse because several of them would go on lone sprinting missions outside their base only to be hunted down by us and slaughtered like wayward chickens.

    • Kinth says:

      Ofcourse, The rules are a bit more complicated than something like LoL but unlike LoL you don’t have to spend years to get runes or champions. There is no rune system and every champion is unlocked for everyone. People can only buy vanity items.

      So while it may take a causal player a bit longer to learn than something like LoL, you also get to go to a much more even playing field straight away instead of having to grind IP for years just to get a rune page or buy that new overpowered champion. No more finding a champion you enjoy on free to play week then having to grind out the IP for that champion by playing another champion you don’t enjoy. The only difference between you and the enemy in Dota 2 is skill level. LoL rewards people who play more by giving them currency to essentially buy an advantage making it fairly anti-casual.

      I will likely get murdered for blasphemy by the Dota 2 community for saying this but, despite popular belief I’d say DotA 2 is a lot more casual friendly than a game like LoL. The rules are a bit more complicated but there is no advantage for having played longer than someone else. Playing the game more will not guarantee you’re better at it.

      You can watch tournaments from within the client, which is a great way to learn tactics. Plus the game already has proper information pages about each champion that gives you a good bit of information on how to play them. Dota 2 is something that you can get enjoyment out of by knowing just the basics but also has further enjoyment the deeper you dive and you can do this all at your own pace.

      I know it seems like I am bashing LoL, but I think LoL is a great game it just has some major flaws when it comes to evening the playing field.

      • Gnoupi says:

        “LoL rewards people who play more by giving them currency to essentially buy an advantage making it fairly anti-casual.”

        To be honest, if you take aside the actual levelling (up to level 30), there is not really a “grind for advantage”. Playing regularly, even up to the level 30, nets you far enough IP (influence points, to buy runes) to buy two full pages of runes. And you don’t really need runes before that level anyway.

        Runes are supposed to be. You are not supposed to run around at level 30 without runes. Doing so is giving you a disadvantage over the way the game is meant to be played.

        Runes are simply a tipping choice. Having a bit more armor, a bit more magic penetration at the beginning of the game. It’s anyway trumped by the items after the early phase. The point is to choose what you want to set as this “little advantage”. But honestly, never had to “grind” for them.

        So I don’t really understand your argument of “grinding gives you unfair advantage”. If anything, grinding gives you more possibilities (like buying more types of runes, and more rune pages to switch them in the lobby).

        Besides, from what I have seen and read about Dota 2, the learning curve is much more of a cliff, compared to LoL. It’s far less noob-friendly in its rules, or interface.

        That said, I’m quite curious about Dota2, and interested to try it out.

        • wuth says:

          You do have to grind for runes though, as runes often determine your role in the game.

          I cannot emphasize enough how important having the entire character pool available is in a MOBA. Locking people into characters they earn or purchase creates horrible conflicts of interest in the character select stage, and forcing people to choose between runes and characters to unlock is unfair.

          That being said, spending a little bit of money on a LOL hero is not a terrible investment, in my opinion, but DOTA is a significantly better game in very many ways. The complexity of the game seems to be emphasized here, but the game’s most major strength is the flexibility it gives players. Strategies and builds in DOTA are far more interesting than in LOL, and the laning phase is much more fun in regards to strategies and options for controlling your lane’s progression.

          Dota 2 has the same learning curve as LOL, and I would go so far as to say that LOL is more complicated in some regards, especially when it comes to the importance of runes, the way items interact with your character, and the inability to control your lane. Sometimes, when playing LOL, I get frustrated with the game’s randomness, and the unforgiving nature of certain mechanics. Without having played DOTA, it might be hard to visualize, but cheap deaths are far less frequent. People don’t escape ganks as easily in DOTA, the spells are far more lethal in DOTA, and you know what to expect from your opponents by analyzing their skills and their character, rather than their runes, masteries, or any other unforeseeable force in Valve’s game. Flash is bullshit and should not exist- I will take that opinion to the grave.

          I’m rambling, but the point is that LOL is highly dependent on outside variables and grinding in order to unlock the full experience. It also has far less forgiving mechanics, which are in place for beginners but are abused by veterans, and the game takes control away from the player in place of simplicity.

          • Brise Bonbons says:

            Lots of good points here, but one I didn’t see mentioned: I see myself as a casual DOTA2 player, and I think having every hero unlocked plays a huge part in my ability to enjoy the game casually.

            In LoL I feel the need to play every day (for the bonus) and for more games than I necessarily want to (to get more IP) in order to unlock new character and runes. In DOTA I just play when I feel like it for a game or two and I’m done. Further, I can random my character choice (or play excellent game modes like Single Draft, where each player must choose from one of three random characters they are assigned) and know that I might play a character I’ve never touched before – and that’s OK! In a mode like Single Draft, everyone knows they might wind up on a team with shit heroes, and they’re OK with it because they chose to play that mode.

            Being able to play in a game where everyone has *chosen* to play a semi-random character (that they might be terrible with) goes a long way to easing the pressure and the stress between players. In LoL I feel like I’m being a bad person just for wanting to play one of the characters in the free rotation that week – and how else are you supposed to choose which handful of character you want to unlock? But now because I’m playing a free champion I’m going to get flamed up and down the lanes because I’m not already perfect with my character when I go into unranked blind pick games. The gall on my part!

        • Edradour says:

          Ive already wrote this in caras lol article:

          The runes make for a pretty big gap between those who played 400 games ( like me ) and those who played 1k games+

          Yes i do have the recommended “standard” runes for the biggest roles ( Arpen, Armor, mres for AD/Mpen, AP, Manareg for AP ) but if i match with lets say a gangplank top who has crit runes+any additional optimal runes for that champion im horrible outmatched by default for the first 5 levels or so.
          Yes i can play alot more defensive but that hurts my farm.
          To get the same specialized runes for a few champs who greatly benefit from it you have to grind ALOT ( i dont know the exact hour played to ip ratio but every page is 6300 points equal to about 60 games on average maybe 50 games with the bonus every 22 hours and every set of 9 runes is something between 2000 and 5000 points )

          And even if you have these the biggest problem i got with them is that you dont see what runes your enemys got, you dont see his arpen value you dont see his crit value all you see is his movement/attackspeed, his ad and his Ap

          In dota if you played against a certain hero 1on1 a few times you get a feel on how much damage he’ll do to you at a certain point in the game and in return how much damage your hero deals at the same time.
          In lol you have to “feel it out” in every game as there is no way to know in advance which means you dont know until you start hitting each other

          €:kudos to the guy above me he summed up all the complains i got about lol far better then i ever could. My english just isnt good enough :(

          • Evilpigeon says:

            (Not all of this is aimed at you I’m just piggybacking a rant on the whole chain because the end bit is relevant)

            I hate it so much when DotA players talk about LoL, most of them have barely played/ have less than no understanding of the game or how it works (here’s a hint, every time you see the phrases ‘pay to win’ or ‘Riot releases OP champions to force people to buy them’ please instantly disregard the post because it was written by somebody who is completely clueless. Neither are at all true. You’d think that playing another very complex game would suggest to them that they aren’t going to learn enough about the details LoL to comment intelligently without similar investment to what they would deem necessary to have an intelligent opinion on the details of DotA.

            The most depressing about both these games is that the vast majority of players simply cannot intelligently comment on the balance state or complexity of either game because they are both complex enough that they simply don’t play on a level where they can understand. Fuck I’ve been playing LoL since 6 months before it was released, I’m 1700 Elo in two seasons on multiple servers and played competitively to a high level and that just leaves me aware of all the things that I stil don’t get that mean that I’m not good enough to be a top level player.

            By the way, on rune pages – you almost never need more than a few standards. Certain champions require specialist pages to make them work but you can cover most roles and most situations very easily one or two pages per role.

          • Ringwraith says:

            I was regularly playing with level 30′s when I well below their level, and only had a runepage less than half as good as most of the opposition (as the cheap tier one runes have just over half the stats as the pricey T3′s, but I didn’t have every slot for them unlocked), and I wasn’t really ever outdone by stats, but simply by being outplayed. Really the only role that relies on runes is jungling, and even then, a fair few champions can jungle without the ‘proper’ runes/masteries, and having the right ones can allow a whole host of people to jungle, which offers some nice variety.
            With runes and masteries, although they offer some pre-game preparations which some people may (rightly) dislike, they offer some crazy strategies too, like the surprisingly-effective Potion Master Garen.
            At the end of the day, it’s a preference thing, although LoL is the easier to get into of the two, and I don’t think anyone can deny that,

          • innociv says:

            I played 3800 games of LoL.
            I was in the top 250 on the ladder during season1.

            The game is awful.

            So much player control is taken away. It’s so dumbed down that you can hardly differentiate your play from anothers.
            The game is entirely about having better items, and right clicking. You can’t “click better” to win a fight like you can in dota. Once you get a gold lead you win.
            There was a post on Teamliquid that showed, based on data gathered from tournaments, that when a team had at least a 10% lead only 12 minutes in, they won 85% of the time. The game is entirely up to the first few successful ganks, first dragon, or one team being 10% better at last hitting.
            Look at a dota2 tourney gold/xp graph and there is wild splits up and down back and forth many times. Sometimes it’s far in one teams favor at the end still yet they lose.

            Many LoL pros will also tell you that the game is bad and that they only play it for the money. They’ve said it in interviews, they’ve posted it on reddit or 4chan with notes next to their awards.

          • Ringwraith says:

            Just because those stats hold up for competitive matches doesn’t mean they hold up for lower-tier play. I’ve had many a match where it was turned around from a bad start.
            Although still doesn’t remove the fact that if you enjoy playing it and prefer it to the alternatives you’re not right to do so.

          • Evilpigeon says:

            That the game works better when it isn’t played very well isn’t much of an excuse unfortunately. He’s right, the game is too snowbally. I disagree with a lot of the rest of it (no player control, what the fuck is that about O.o I lose plenty because people micromanage and position better than me, I also know that I can do it to a lot of people.)

            I’d be interested to see some of these interviews, I rather doubt it’s true, even if it’s only because saying that you game you play for a living is terrible is a great way to lose your source of income very quickly.

            It’s a problem with the game that needs fixing and there are a few. I’m sure DotA has it’s own list of problems as well. The difficulty with this being that being good enough at both games simultaneously to compare and contrast is fucking difficult and a huge time-sink.

          • Edradour says:

            “By the way, on rune pages – you almost never need more than a few standards. Certain champions require specialist pages to make them work but you can cover most roles and most situations very easily one or two pages per role.”

            Thats excactly what i said and its a horrible thing to have in your moba game even if its just a few champions.

            Nevertheless my main problem is that lol is a boring game for me after having played both hon and lol…At the early levels your heropool is way to small so that i got bored very fast, later on the metagame is incredibly boring and the laning phase well you know what i want to say about it…

            I guess im just bitter because i dont really like playing dota/hon pubs anymore and everyone i used to play with moved on so now im stuck with a few online friends who absolutly refuse to try out another moba ( though they said they will try dota2 )

            @Evilpigeon: He didnt say ( or mean ) no hero control but less hero control.
            I think what he was getting at is that you have way more options to manoeuvre around in dota with all the juke spots/ general faster movement speed/bligger/tp’s

            Of course there are exceptions ( like lee sin/kassadin/akali ) but well in dota you can out manoeuvre your enemies with every hero not just a few chosen ones.
            Thats especially infuriating with the ad carrys youre so dependent on your team defending you its not even funny

        • Kinth says:

          I have over 150 hours played in LoL I still only have 1 full rune page. Between wanting to buy heroes to try them and wanting to get runes it just became too much of a grind that after 150+ hours. I could still only play 1 role without giving my enemy an advantage due to runes. They may not seem like a lot but runes can I’ve you a huge advantage in the early game. They’re useless late game but in early game they are the difference between dying in that fight or getting the kill. Which will often lead to the killer snowballing.

          I can’t play the heroes I like unless I pay money or grind up 6300 IP which can take an age if you have a losing streak. So I have to spend at least 10-15 game splaying a hero I don’t like to get the one I do like or would at least like to try.

          Now imagine how it is to a casual player, It will take them months to get a single rune page. When it takes a player months just to get on an even playing field there is something wrong with the game.

          LoL gives even more advantage to people who already should have an advantage through time played.

          Un-even playing fields don’t make for fun in my book. LoL is a good game but their monetization and reward system is terrible. Plus I find the rune system incredibly boring, I’d much rather be in game than faffing round outside of it.

        • KazeKumo15th says:

          for my opinions…the difference between LoL and DotA 2 that makes DotA2 is much more fun to play and can be hard skill game because its using the original idea of dota in the first place. Its simple hard game to play. LoL more to complexity of rune and they change the map too….Although DotA was created before LoL…and people start to accept LoL when it came out and become such popular game…but now DotA 2(dota) start to getting its popularity back…….
          I wonder how about DemiGod,LOCO… or HoN?…btw, HoN almost just same like DotA but the hero name they change….Like Spectre in DotA…at HoN they call it SandWrath.

          sorry for my english…kill me if u want..

      • InternetBatman says:

        That’s a fairly inaccurate portrayal of the game. Leveling makes you fight harder players, not easier, so spending money on an IP boost is not really an advantage. You make enough IP to purchase a page full of runes and a few champions in the course of leveling up. The hardest champs take about a month to get, and while too many are appearing at such a high price point, they’re not un-reachable nor are they more powerful than the weekly picks.

        The real advantage people who spend a lot of money get is this: They buy new, unbalanced champions and two out of three times the champions are vastly more powerful than they should be for two weeks, till they’re nerfed back to par.

        • SugaSutA says:

          In my personal Opinion, we shouldn’t even bother comparing the DotA-alikes or games like Star craft and even try to put something along side this game in comparison to others.

          People will whine about how other games copied this, and this huge conflict over trademarks, which game is the best model, what’s the name we should have been using, etc etc etc… It’s honestly pointless and full of shit. Every fucking person have a differing opinion on this issue, and as we know it hundreds of thousands or even millions of opinions put together is simply a crap load of uselessness stuffed tight.

          The League has its issues but it’s success shows how many people enjoy casual gameplay that doesn’t punish or condemn. Sure it’s wimpy but hey, I constantly play games in DotA with foreigners coming to the SEA server and saying racist comments probably at minute one after they see a bad pick to their metagame. But to ours? That’s a whole different story. The best reasons to avoid this game, is essentially the worst problems we had when we started.

          This game is hardcore through and through. For people who know, minute 0 wards and smoke weren’t too common until recently. Have you seen a 3 minute gem as the first item to deward? Yeah I don’t even see that in competitions and I see them now. But for the players who know the game, a single game a day is just as rewarding as diving into tens of games in one day. It isn’t hardcore in a sense that you must play it for thousands of hours to have fun(admittedly I clock >10000 hours on this), but rather once you’re good enough you’ll have loads of fun already.

          Sadly, the learning curve IS too steep for many to accept, and the community blows despite many of the fans already trying to show a new side of the game to others. I mean when everyone has their Adrenalin pumped up and ready to go, what more are you going to expect? Valve is already trying to find solutions to this, whether finding experienced players to help or simply shut their mouths for once against the newbies, there comes a time where people will see the game in a different light.

    • DerNebel says:

      Hmm… This is hard to say.

      It really depends on how you want to define ‘casual’ in this context. DOTA2 rewards commitment hugely, but that doesn’t mean you HAVE to commit. It’s not just a game for the hardcore 5 games a day type of player. The real kicker here is if you just want to play the game and be instantly rewarded, feel satisfied and move on the next game, casual in this sense meaning low-commitment and high frequency of trying out new games. This won’t work for DOTA2 so no, in this sense there is nothing for a casual player here. The thing is, if you play it casually, at most a couple of times a week is enough, gradually picking up new knowledge of the game, and especially if you have friends to play with, it will become one of the most satisfying and fun games you will ever experience.

      So both yes and no. And of course, the bots are actually really fun to play with, especially if you are new to the game. The barriers are the previously unmentioned need to be able to take some abuse from random internet people and the more crucial necessity of sticking with the game.

      Also, thanks for the article Quinns, well written and hit the really key point about DOTA2: You always learn, you always struggle and you will enjoy it. it’s not always fun, but it lights a fire in you more satisfying than mere humour.

      • Brise Bonbons says:

        Very well said. I play maybe 2-3 days per week and a game or two a night in DOTA2, and feel that I’m improving all the time and not letting my team down – short of making a stupid choice. It’s a game about knowledge and critical thinking, so you don’t need to play all the time to master the technical details of your character the way you do in LoL. Also, while the game is unintuitive in some ways, I find DOTA tactical problems can often be solved just by applying common sense for a moment: “That guy is doing a ton of damage, I need armor” or “They are pushing down this lane, I should hide in the trees and ambush them from where they can’t see me”.

        There is a lot to learn, however, and some mechanical bits you’ll need to practice (such as courier control) in order to feel comfortable. I often have Tobi Wan or Purge commentaries running in the background when I’m on my computer, and I find that’s a good way to slowly absorb knowledge about the game without spending hours reading guides and forums.

        Also there are tons of new players in DOTA2 who make low level games very low-stress in my experience. It’s clear there are a lot of people still learning things and just banging around and having fun, and I never feel like I’m getting way behind if I spend some time looking at my items or running around the map experimenting with a new gank route.

    • nERVEcenter says:

      Assuming your definition of casual regards your lack of time to invest, you’re really only going to skim the surface of this game, and end up pissing people on your team off.

      Dota is the most fun when you begin to KNOW it, which takes a TON of time and energy. Having let my skills at Dota atrophy as my gaming habits “casualize,” I personally have very little desire to invest time in re-learning all those habits just to have fun with the game.

      So, it has an interesting experience with weird game design to offer a casual player, but nothing more. I’d recommend watching tournament matches to get the most from this game, if you’re short on time to invest.

      • Brise Bonbons says:

        This just hasn’t been my experience. Not saying you’re wrong, but I think it’s subjective and dependent on what precisely you want out of the game.

        If you are very competitive and want to be the best, yes, you better be prepared to sink your life into the game. If you just want to run around the map and have a relaxed team game which also gives you brain a good workout, I think you can put as much or as little time in as you want.

        At least that’s been my experience as someone who’s played a few dozen games over several months.

    • elfbarf says:

      The original DotA has “EM” (easy mode) which has higher xp/gold rates and weaker towers. This generally results in shorter games filled with new/bad players, though it also comes at the expense of not really helping you to learn how to play the real game. I’m not sure of how Valve plans to incorporate it, they may try something a bit different (and better) like HoN’s casual mode.

      Valve is also planning to have tutorials and a coaching system which is meant to help new players out.

      • pakoito says:

        The thing is, even at easy mode you have to invest in learning the game, and the heroes. EM develops bad habits on pplayers like recklesness being barely punished, and incorrectly elevating carries over the rest of the heroes. Switching from EM to NM is like coming from a different game, plus the bad habits.

    • dewey15 says:

      I was a casual gamer until I got into this beta… 700 hours later, I’m not sure what I am anymore.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Honestly? Get a bunch of mates and just play against bots and it’s a giggle.

      • Brise Bonbons says:

        I did this for some time, but I actually think player against players is less irritating and more casual friendly than bots. The bots are fucking annoying and have perfect stun timing, for example, whereas opposing casual players often do hilarious things like standing around and getting ganked or dying to creeps.

        Play some bot games early on though, until you have the mechanics down. You don’t want to spend 30 seconds figuring out how to put items on your courier in a game.

        • PodX140 says:

          I think the bad thing about bots is the crazy difference in them. Enemy bots are a co-ordinated MACHINE, perfectly working in harmony. You on a team of 4 bots feels like you’re the last hope of the team, and must do well in order to stand a chance.

          It’s not uncommon for enemy levels to be around 12-14, and your team bots to be at 7-9.

    • Malk_Content says:

      I would argue that I’m a fairly casual player. I play lots of games but I never play one obsesivelly. That is until DOTA2 came about. It has been my game for the past few weeks.

      For all the people saying it is difficult and hard, it isn’t too bad to teach yourself. Play a few 10 minute bot games until you find a hero you like, then play a couple of full bot games until you are comfortable. When you first go online, don’t be afraid to tell people you are a new player. I found if I played like a noob without telling people that I was, in fact, a noob I got shouted at alot, but with announcing the worst I got was silence and the best handy hints.

      I’m also willing to guide people through their first few games as well, so if you want some help I’ll drop my steam page here: http://steamcommunity.com/id/alderneyvamp/

    • PAN_de says:

      Yes guess what it is acutally pretty easy:

      I believe Dota has a bit more depth overall and is actually the easier game to play, I cannot agree to the fact that dota is in any means harder than LoL( despite last hitting ;) ). This whole thinking of dota being more complex and that LoL is so popular nowadays is all due to Dota 1. I believe if dota 2 got launched with LoL at the same time Dota 2 would win.

      Dota in general is considered hardcore bc dota 1 has been really unfriendly for new players, e.g. I needed at least 2 tools in the background runnning to play effectively on Bnet or Garena or other clients, auto update wasnt there, server lag issue, new versions of warcraft each week, no matchmaking system for players making it hard to play against players of your level, the whole wc3 engine is very unfriendly to any missclick you do(instantly lose control over your hero), hotkeys very hard to do, etc. etc.

      My point is it has been very hard to get into as a new player and therefore has been considered as hardcore or only for pros. The consequence was that dota 1 lacked new players, causing it to starve and dramatically increasing the average skill level(it went into an infinite vicious cycle).

      But dota 2 fixed nearly all these flaws with fresh players coming in every day. And im pretty sure that Dota 2 offers new players a good starting opportunity now(and will offer even more in the future when its released). And after all Dota isnt that complex as alot might think it is with all these improved or new features and the simple fact that you can play with players on your level.

      Last thing is to the bad habit and manners,
      1. Valve included a system to report them
      2. its pretty normal for this genre
      3. I played alot of LoL too and the community was just as bad as the dota community.
      4. Due to 2. just ignore it, bc you have to understand that even you will get mad at newbies if your high level and some guy just totally ruins it with some stupid mistakes all game. And when such a big number of players is playing this game its unevitable that some might flame ingame instead of just raging off in private.
      –> So just chill, bad habits is pretty common not bc the community is bad, but bc this whole genre can become frustrating if you lose some matches in a row, same with LoL or HoN.

    • joker101 says:

      Test post

  2. Ian says:

    Great read.

    I’ll almost certainly never play DOTA, mind, but I’ll enjoy reading about it I expect.

    • Monchberter says:

      /\ this all over. This will be the first Valve game I have absolutely no interest in beyond their craft in creating entertaining promotional material for it (that forthcoming film ‘The International’ looks interesting). Partially it’s down to my aversion to fantasy tropes, partially due to the poor perceptions of the community, and partially because it’s just too demanding of my time and learning an infinitely complex system.

      I prefer even my ‘hardcore games’ to have some element of ‘drop in, drop out’ to them to accommodate the rest of my life.

    • Conrad B Hart says:

      Exactly!

      I’ve left my hardcore gamer badge behind by now, but if this had hit some fifteen-odd years ago while I was in my teens, I’m sure I would have become tragically addicted to it. Now it definitely piques my interest and I’d love to be a part of it, but there’s no way I’ll have the time to learn the intricacies. I’m quite happy it exists and I’ll certainly watch it unfold from afar, but I’m very thankful for games that let you play in shorter bursts without having to learn an entire encyclopedia’s worth of stats and abilities.

      I actually read more about games than I play them, these days.

      • Rivalus says:

        Same here. Looking through the eyes of game journalist and community

    • brat-sampson says:

      Pretty much this. Sounds technically very interesting, but I’ll probably never even download it, let alone try and convince friends to try it.

    • Bluerps says:

      Yeah. I have no problem with complexity in a game. I just don’t like multiplayer.
      But reading about it might be fun.

    • AmateurScience says:

      Agreed, I shall watch this from the outside with some interest.

    • PAN_de says:

      You are missing out a lot :). Well I noticed that there arent much games that actually come close to depth like Dota. I feel like Singleplayer games just arent good at all these days. The last thing that was good was eiter Skyrim(with a bunch of mods) or Crysis.

  3. skx says:

    I love my Lion :)

  4. Mr. Mister says:

    Reason I don’t enjoy these no-time-to-lose competitive games: you can’t sit back on your chair and direct a calm, malicious grin of intelectual superiority to your opponents without them making 153 actions to destroy you.

    • Leandro says:

      I can’t play most RTS games for this reason (tires my brain and the clicking hurts my hand), but I love DOTA, it is not like those at all.

      In DOTA death is rarely a result of slow reflexes, more often you made a bad decision. It’s more about timing than speed. There’s also plenty of time to blow off steam and take a breath while waiting to respawn or when heading back to base. There’s little multi-tasking to be done for most heroes (you have to keep an eye on the rest of the game, but that’s it).

      Bottomline, don’t write the game off because of that, it’s great. The main impediment to me are the usual assholes (exacerbated since DOTA relies on teamwork so much), but I’ll be happy if I can play with my friends.

    • PodX140 says:

      I can’t stand RTS’s multiplayer for exactly the reason you state, but I love dota. It’s alot less harrowing controlling only your hero, and it does really allow for those evil grin moments.

      Insane APM is not only not cared about in the pros, but honestly? Completely inconsequential IMO.

      Though timing is a lot, not going to ignore that.

  5. Backov says:

    I find it hilarious that you think that a MOBA will be the biggest thing on the PC. Hilarious.

    Such an obtuse game design, with such a toxic community – there’s no way this is going to get any bigger than it already is (LOL).

    • Vorphalack says:

      ¬ ¬

      ….not sure if referencing League of Legends as the apex of Dota potential, or laughing at your own bullshit.

      • Mr. Mister says:

        He’s got a point, though. It’s a bit too obtuse/complex/demanding to be the biggest thing to be played.

        • Vorphalack says:

          There are no hard statistics on the subject, but one of the creators (Icefrog) estimated the global active player base for Dota 1, in 2010, to be around 15-20 million, and growing. Since the announcement of Dota 2 I can only imagine that has gone up. As Dota 2 is a very loyal port with vastly improved spectator features, I cannot imagine why Dota 2 would not gain the majority of that player base and become the largest PC game in the world.

          • PhiIl Cameron says:

            Exactly. And apart from that, if it really is at 15-20 million already, then it’s the most played PC game right now. Full stop. Dota 2 is going to do exactly the same, the instant it goes live. Hell, it’s already the most played game on Steam more often than not, and that’s beating Skyrim, Team Fortress 2, Call of Duty, all Counterstikes… you might want to dismiss it as obtuse, but the fact is that more than enough people are willing to get past that obstacle to make it obscenely popular.

            So yeah, it’s not only going to be the most popular game on the PC, it kind of already is.

          • socrate says:

            whhhaaat?…ok first of all TF2 is still the most played,then CS beta on second place then dota 2

            so plz stop throwing misinformation

            also you can’t see how much people that play that use other mean then steam so saying something will be the most player or is make no sense at all,and it never will because quite frankly other then stopping piracy and putting everyone in the same data sharing system aka impossible

            then you have the community spread of the genre with more and more MOBA(god i hate that dumb name) game coming out….its like LoL claiming its as a gazillion player when in fact i know at least 20 people that have at least 2 or 3 account each active…so yeah…company tend to always turn everything in their favour and make it look good when in fact it show a major problem

            also keep in mind that MOBA game aren’t really casual…even in LoL game tend to last 30 min and you can’t really drop out,unless you like getting banned or seeing as an untrustworthy player…dota 1 had blacklisting just to get away from these player….while in FPS….you tend to just join game in progress and not have to deal with gimping team by losing 1 player

            and again id like to point out that LoL doesn’t show ever active player,just look at people making guide for LoL about 60% of them i know for sure got banned with their guide posting account and are now playing with a different one…so they might claim 11.5 million player…but thats like saying i can beat the best SC2 player and i am one of the highest ranked in SC2….can you prove i am not who i say i am…anyway you get what i am saying.

            and from the real data that you can collect on the internet FPS are still the most played genre easily

            id like to still say Dota2 as alots of improvement over Dota 1 and is still quite a good game….what kept me away from it is basically the dumb chest and hat game that they made TF2…i HATE finding these damn chest…id rather get nothing they are annoying as hell and each time i view that VG cats comic about TF2 chest…this just tend to push be away…LoL at least offer it in a cool way and doesn’t feel like gambling…but also you can get some free stuff in Dota 2…still push me away though

            Dota 2 also have the much needed don’t queue with south america thing which is by far the most clever and awesome thing put in these type of game

          • innociv says:

            Socrate, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever half read on RPS.
            Couldn’t understand the other half.

        • bglamb says:

          It hasn’t been reported on in a while, but Valve have actually been doing a staggering amount of work on Dota 2. It’s not quite correct to say they’ve just ported it. They kept *extremely* faithful to the game design but they put their sizeable resources to work on creating a revolutionary community.

          They’ve not shown much of it yet, but last I heard they were attempting to create a community that would be both welcoming, and would teach people voluntarily. A herculean task, sure, but they’ve been plugging away at it for a long time now, and this is going to be the game they launch it with, exactly because of it’s community reputation.

          So don’t write it off just because it’s complicated and noob-unfriendly. It might be the most noob-friendly game we’ve ever seen!

        • innociv says:

          dota1 had about 50 million players and that was a WC3 mod.

          Maybe it won’t be the biggest thing in the USA, but there are still a lot of players of people with a comptuer good enough to run DotA2 in Russia and China.

          The game actually runs better than LoL.

          • GiantR says:

            It never had 50 milion people. Never even in it’s prime. At most 25, maybe even 30 if we are generous but 50 mil is just absurd.

          • zeroskill says:

            Let’s wait and see, shall we.

    • Arathain says:

      The whole thrust of the article, and its a convincing argument, is that it will be the biggest PC game, and it really looks like it will be, not despite its obtuse design but because of it.

      • Backov says:

        What’s convincing about the argument? All he’s saying is “it’s really good” [insert a bunch of kool-aid drinking blather about carries and denial and all the other obtuse crap that makes MOBAs so annoying.]

        And referencing LoL like I did is because despite what you oh-so-non-toxic DOTA fans might think, it’s very popular. And very profitable. And probably as big and as successful as it is possible for a MOBA to get, since it actually tries to be inclusive, rather than exclusive as the DOTA crowd prefers.

        • Burc says:

          The arguments in the article are not based on the quality of the game, but on the enormous DoTA 1 community and the fact that it’s already the second most played game on steam at any given time before being released and before being free.

          The rest of the article is discussing why that is weird.

        • hurtmypony says:

          You said: “I find it hilarious that you think that a MOBA will be the biggest thing on the PC. Hilarious. ”

          While it is beating every Steam game in terms of players, except the newly released Mann vs. Machine TF2 update. It is doing this without even being publicly released, yet.

          I think the argument that it will be “the biggest thing on PC” is a persuasive one, looking at today’s Steam numbers. Do you think that once it is free-to-play and available to everyone the numbers of “gamers playing” will shrink? I don’t think so. You can argue its supremacy might not last, but that would be abstract, and it is definitely going to be a huge hit upon release.

          I haven’t played it, nor have I played any of the other mobas, with the exception of Demigod. But even an outsider like me can’t deny the games’ allure to a large part of the PC gaming population.

          • DK says:

            Yes based on numbers that don’t include all other examples of the genre DotA 2 is the biggest MOBA!

            Unfortunately compared to the numbers of LoL, DotA 2 is small fry. LoL has bigger yearly prize pools, and more players than fucking WoW. Other MOBAs can’t compare.

        • TheTuninator says:

          He doesn’t NEED to be convincing, because it’s *already true*.

          Icefrog has estimated the global DotA1 community at 15-25 million players. People just don’t hear about DotA1 because it’s a game mod with no advertising which relies solely on word-of-mouth.

          DotA is already the biggest game on the PC; LoL might have surpassed it, but either way, that means a DotA-style game is the most played game you’re gonna find.

    • pakoito says:

      So much time spent correcting kid’s about LoL. It may be the most popular at events, internet and stuff…but Dota is and has always been bigger because of the Russian and Chinese markets. HUMONGOUS.

    • Squirly says:

      Well, it’s still in beta, and yet the last tournament over the weekend had a match where about 20 000 people were spectating.

      • DK says:

        That’s funny. 20k viewers.

        You know how much the latest lead-up tournament (not a final tourney) for LoL in germany had a week ago? 200k.

        • innociv says:

          200k? Funny.
          2 million were watching The International live last year.

          I don’t expect this years TI2 to break a million though, as last time it was the first look at dota2. But who knows.

          • MrMud says:

            200k concurrent users. LoL regularly has over 2 million total viewers for its major events (mlg, iem…)
            LoL also had over 32 million registered users about a year ago with steady growth, so it is surely much larger by now.

            Personally i have played over a thousand games of lol and used to watch competitive games but have stopped that in favour of dota2. That said i cant see dota2 beating lol, its game mechanics are simply to obtuse and unfriendly

    • TheTuninator says:

      “MOBA” is a terrible acronym. For the love of God, please stop using it. It sounds utterly moronic and is vague to the point where it tells you nothing about what specifically makes DotA or LoL different from other games.

      “M”ultiplayer-most games have this.
      “O”nline-Again, most games have this.
      “B”attle-The list of games you *don’t* battle in is a hell of a lot shorter than the list of games you do.
      “A”rena-This tells us nothing. A CoD deathmatch could be considered an arena.

      Compare this to, say, FPS or RTS. FPS tells you the camera perspective and that it’s a shooter, while RTS imparts knowledge about the game mechanics (real-time) and the type of game (strategy).

      MOBA is shitty as hell.

      Oh, and DotA & League both have millions of players worldwide already, so…

    • Vadrigar says:

      I find it hilarious that you think that “MOBA” Dota clones aren’t already the biggest thing on PC. What is more popular? WoW? It may be more profitable, but LoL is a lot more popular. Diablo? May be at launch, not any more…

  6. Reapy says:

    I think some people love complexity, if you take how people analyze mmo’s and even diablo 3 and those style games, there are min maxing spreadsheets and posts all over the place. I think on my end I dislike it, and I also dislike being glued in place demanding 45+ minutes of pure attention. This is something I would have liked when younger, for sure.

    • Askeladd says:

      If you are not willing to invest time into games like that you’ll never get anything from them back.
      I really like the arena feeling Dota 2 has. If you teammates suck and the enemys can farm. you’ll probably loose. But sometimes there are these certain moments: your team fights and wins against all odds.

      That is what every Dota 2 player is searching for. Easy wins are boring and disconnecters should burn in hell.

      • Brise Bonbons says:

        The most memorable DOTA2 game I’ve had actually involved the enemy team making a comeback and winning while down 2 player to our 4.

        We had one AFK, they had 3 (one came back late but never caught up enough to be a factor). The enemy Spectre, however, played so well mid-game, and carried so hard late, that he was killing our whole team single handed by the end; to which my team responded by laughing and joking about how they would tell their children of the DOTA2 game where they were solo’d in their own fountain by a lone Spectre after being up two players most of the game.

        That sort of hilarious and amazing situation is why I love DOTA so much. It makes the best stories!

        P.S. I no longer see many AFK players at all, so don’t take this story as an indication that DOTA is full of leavers. I think at that time I was so new I was in a bucket with unreliable players, as I saw a lot of AFKers my first few games, but it dropped off rapidly.

  7. destroyer661 says:

    Pedant

    the concept of Carries, who are heroes who are radically underpowered when the game begins, and become overpowered by the end.

    That is a terrible definition of Carry for new players. Carries have little-to-no correlation with early or late game power. Some carries are as effective at killing at level 4 as they are 25 because of their skill sets and are not item based. Most carries are most effective when they have a support hero babysitting them. The more proper definition would be something towards “Carries: heroes which, when played properly, can be give your team the winning edge once the dust has settled”.

    /Pedant

    • v00 says:

      For a new player the correct definition would be “Carries: The heroes you can play after you prove yourself.”

      • rakbanan says:

        That goes for every role, though.

        • pakoito says:

          You can fail as a support and still get carried, while playing safe yourself. You cannot carry unless you know what you are doing.

          The problem is that everyone and their mother wants to be the star, the supercarry that saves the day, and only a few are the chosen.

          Anyway I only play pure support, and if I get some kills it’s because I failed to give them to the carry. Or I’m rolling my face on the keyboard playing Sand King (support’s easy mode).

          • PAN_de says:

            Well well, depends on your general skill, I myself started with carryin pretty early, bc to carry is not that hard. All you need is a good support to let you farm all game, buy the right items, and rightclick lategame. Ofc you will need alot of analysing the situation correctly, but this you will get quickly after playing a few times carry. Whereas support is the most important factor in a game with high skill. Your carry can be god, if the rest of your team sucks and cant give him farm then it wont do. And trust me in mid-high lvl games they wont let your carry farm that easily. If you fail at supporting and your carry still wins the game, its bc the enemy totally fail picked or they are just bad after all.

    • JohnArr says:

      “Carries: heroes which, when played properly, can be give your team the winning edge once the dust has settled”

      So all heros then? Quinns’ definition is perfect for a brand new player trying to understand that there are roles, and broadly what they encompass. Of course there’s a lot more factors at play, but that knowledge comes with experience.

      Which carries are largely item independant btw?

      • xxomfg says:

        Lycan : Offering , Boots. Early game :)
        Night Stalker : Bottle, Boots. Early Game :)
        Shadow Fiend: Bottle , Boots , Blink. Early Game :)

        a carry doesn’t need to really be Item independent it depends on the support he/she has and how they play their supports most of the time.

        • Asuron says:

          Those aren’t carries in the typical sense. They are semi carries, heroes which fall off late game, but have massively powerful midgames and they use the advantages they pick up there to finish it in the late game.

          Carries , the true ones like Faceless Void , Medusa or Spectre are heroes which only come online late into the game with farm and once they do, its very unlikely you will have the firepower to deal with them.

          • xxomfg says:

            in that sense you mean Hard carries , which are easily shut down early game if your team has the sense to get some wards and gank.

            Lycan is a monster late game. – Bkb , hearts, abysal , assault , BoT , throw in a aegis or a satanic. try to stop that.

            but for the other two i would have to agree with you on that.

          • Askeladd says:

            The Doombringer thinks otherwise.

        • pakoito says:

          >Shadow Fiend: Bottle , Boots , Blink. Early Game :)

          So you have a 800HP hero by minute 30. That build is condemning you team to lose.

          • xxomfg says:

            didnt i state Early game? i could have easily gotten those items before the 15 min mark . and by then your raze should have already hit least lvl 3 which can kill if you manage to land 2 of those and get a hit in. why would i be a threat to my team when i have a blink early game? i now have regen(bottle) and a escape mech and i can initiate with the blink as well and tbh 30 mins is already quite late into a game and if you are getting those items at the 30 min mark , you might as well consider not using shadow fiend until you learn how to farm with him.

            How can a lycan be a semi carry but i have to agree with you on the other two.

          • Vorphalack says:

            Built for push and Roshan kills (Treads, Necro book, Medalion, late game AC) he is a semi carry. That seems to be the most popular Lycan build in pro games when he’s not banned.

          • pakoito says:

            Maybe chu´, Trixi and a couple of guys can pull it, but it’s not common for most players who are under a certain skill threshold.

        • PAN_de says:

          Mortred, can be dmg alot if used right early. Lanaya totally beast at lvl 9. SF is actually hard carry, but can do dmg if the enemy has no counterpicks(if they do SF is rather not so effective). Lancer deals some hard nukes.

    • SexualHarassmentPanda says:

      “Carries have little-to-no correlation with early or late game power.”

      Sorry guy, you are wrong there. The very nature of a carry is that they exist to be mid to late-game powerhouses. Whether they get that power through farming creeps or killing other players is simply up the carry type. You should realize the potential to kill other players is just a way certain carries farm(bounty hunter, nightstalker, etc), and without those kills the hero will not “carry” into the late game. Remember, towers win games not kills. Early game power is usually synonmyous with the ability to tower push quickly.

  8. Zankmam says:

    Good article.

    Reminded me of how GOAT DotA/DotA 2 is.

  9. BigBadB says:

    Is there any reason that this whole article is written as if the original DotA never existed and League of Legends isn’t currently the most-played multiplayer game in the world?

    • frightlever says:

      Because it’s common knowledge and this was an article about DotA 2?

      Do you want a reminder about Wolfenstein 3D every time there’s an article about an FPS?

      • BigBadB says:

        If the article made a big deal about how unique and unusual the game was, because it let you shoot people from a first-person perspective, then yes, I would ask why it didn’t mention Wolfenstein and every other major FPS since. =)

    • Unaco says:

      The article is about DOTA2, perhaps. And thus, it focusses on DOTA2.

      Edit: Also… I remember there were some (very, very large) numbers about LoL a few weeks ago, but did they show that it was the “most-played multiplayer game in the world”?

      • zairekaboom says:

        “As of November 2011, League of Legends had over 32 million registrations and averages millions of players per day, with the number of concurrent users online at any given time peaking over half a million, doubling its player base in 4 months.”

        Compared to that Steam has over 50 million accounts, but not everyone will be playing Dota 2.

        Edit: Of course the number of Steam accounts will probably skyrocket once Dota 2 hits.

        • zeroskill says:

          And you think numbers given out by Riot can be trusted? Good for you if you do. Also registered account’s mean nothing. I have 3 LoL accounts and really don’t play that game very often, if ever, then for a bid of mindless Dominion fun.

          Also, I need to have 3 account to play with friends, I have friends in eastern europe (where I live), in western europe, and in the US. SO I need 3 account if I want to play with my friends. Absolutely hilarious. I could play with people from all over the world years ago (2005) in Guild Wars, quick switching servers in second with no issues at all.

          • zairekaboom says:

            I don’t know where the numbers came from. That’s a copypaste from Wikipedia. I know very well that the number of registered people does not amount to number of people playing. I have registered and played less than 1 hour. I didn’t have some hidden agenda here either, just provided some numbers to think about.

          • Edradour says:

            “with the number of concurrent users online at any given time peaking over half a million”

            500k concurrent players i think thats the important number…free2play games will always have a lot more registered accounts than paid ones because well theyre free so alot of perople try them out but might stop playing after a few games.

        • pakoito says:

          >The list was prepared by extrapolating from actual usage data from more than 21 million Xfire members from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012.

          And I don’t want to be rude but Xfire users include the barrel bottom american kids of videogaming. Which are massively playing LoL and Diablo 3 apparently.

    • TheAngryMongoose says:

      This line is particularly odd.
      “People see Dota 2′s invention of a genre as some gold rush to be exploited.”

    • pakoito says:

      LoL is not the most played. Dota 1 is (even more dota1+dota2), but LoLers always forget to acknowledge it.

      Also, Ad Populum.

    • TheTuninator says:

      Icefrog estimates the DotA1 playerbase at 15-25 million.

      LoL might have more, but it’s damn close.

      • DK says:

        Known-to-Lie-Developer estimates own game has ludicrous player numbers. News at 11.

        Totally trustworthy.

  10. ezekiel2517 says:

    We got an RPS DotA 2 unofficial steam group going on for people who are too afraid of the game to even try it (and everyone else too). It’s been rather inactive, but just ask other members to play a few matches and you should have no problem getting started.

    http://steamcommunity.com/groups/RPSDota

    Would like to play with my team of friends vs your team of friends, Mr. Quintin. We aren’t a proper team, mind you, just friends who don’t like playing with randoms when we don’t have to.

    • Quinns says:

      A CHALLENGE.

      Sadly, my team have scattered to the wind since I wrote that Eurogamer diary. I’d be scratching together team-mates from whoever was online, which doesn’t strike me as particularly epic.

      • ezekiel2517 says:

        More often than not, that’s what we end up doing as well and it will likely get worse with GW2 coming up. The CHALLENGE stands for whenever possible.

    • PodX140 says:

      Aye, don’t hesitate to join and ask us to play, even if you’re brand spanking new! A lot of us sincerely enjoy helping out the newbies and I have 0 problems teaching you the importance of whatever role and whatever build/hero.

      Hell, I was brand new to dota 2 in december, and by now I’m on the upper end of the medium skill bracket, have 800 games, and 900 hours.

  11. Arathain says:

    It’s a tough one for developers, though, isn’t it? I’m not sure you can sit down and make a game in two years and have it end up like DOTA, which you then sell for money. DOTA itself did a lot of piggy-backing from Warcraft 3; not just in terms of assets, but also drawing on hero design and accompanying systems, and almost as importantly, the lore. WC3 was a very maximalist game, with a rich, everything-goes lore base, and the dozens of units and creatures to pull it off. Only a company like Blizzard can make something that rich and popular.

    It happened at the burgeoning of the mod scene (encouraged by Blizzard, who had the resources to provide modders with tools), when there were a lot of folk looking for something new and interesting to do, particularly on the competitive front. It had years to stew and refine its mechanics and personality.

    I wonder if it isn’t kind of a perfect storm, the like of which we will see rarely, and the circumstances for which cannot be created deliberately.

    Your point about gamers liking and craving complexity is well taken, and very often ignored by developers looking for that stripped down, reproducible perfect formula (which, to be fair, has produced some superb games). Complexity is a cruel and difficult thing to master, however.

  12. pakoito says:

    pakoito: Itemless Crystal Maiden Wardbitch FOR LIFE :)

  13. RedViv says:

    One day. One day they will have fixed my miraculous performance issues. Until then, I’ll only have one lane-y push-y role-y game.

    I wouldn’t really want to estimate anything else.

    • TheAngryMongoose says:

      “Lane-y push-y role-y game” – Coining it, new title for the genre.
      Lypyryg – It’s even fun to say, AND the welsh can pronounce it.

  14. ado says:

    Man that was a great read. The Demon’s Souls parable blew my mind with it’s truthy truthfulness. I am HUNGRY! I want my beta key already!

    A shame that the RPS gang is afraid of tackling DOTA2 like brave Sir Quinns did… Maybe they did tackle it but they sure are quiet about it.

  15. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Quintin, I get that you’re enthusiastic about DOTA 2, but this little piece was gushing. Like.. preaching the wonders of DOTA 2. Don’t do that again, it makes you look like a fanboy.

    • Jesse L says:

      No it doesn’t.

    • Backov says:

      Agreed. Whenever I see a piece like this somewhere other than RPS, I get suspicious.

    • Arathain says:

      I love experiencing the enthusiasm of others, particularly of excellent games I will never have the time to fully enjoy. Gushing is perfectly acceptable- encouraged, even. If you’re as good a writer as Quinns is please gush often.

      It’s not a review.

      • DK says:

        It is however supposed to be truthful and factual. This is not.

      • Hmm-Hmm. says:

        True, but it sounded a bit too full of “You guys should know how awesome this game is! Everybody will be playing it!” . I dunno, I suppose I’m just not used to this type of writing from RPS.

        • PodX140 says:

          It’s dota at work. You really get into it, and it seems to make no sense from the outside. Play a bunch of games though, and it all clicks.

          Was new in december, absolute fanboy 900 hours, 800 games later.

    • cyrenic says:

      Um, have you ever read stuff by Quinns before? That’s, like, what he does when he likes a game.

      • Hmm-Hmm. says:

        Not to my recollection, but that could be a misapprehension on my part.

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      Personally I love to see someone gush about a game as long as it’s intelligent and there is reasoning behind the praise rather than a lot of “because it’s awesome!”

      Especially for a game like DOTA, which has such an unfair (and baseless) reputation for being needlessly hard and unintuitive. I’d much rather he gush and be positive about the game than have a somberly reasoned academic essay refuting criticisms of DOTA’s design point by point.

  16. Hunchback says:

    We have a fledgling clan started on DOTA2, make sure to check the Game Clubs forums for more info. (Everyone’s welcome, casual or hardcore)

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?5745-Rock-Paper-Dota2

  17. RaveTurned says:

    I wonder if the difference between what games publishers are pursuing (the drop-in/-out multiplayer, spoonfeeding, “press X for Fun” etc) and what DOTA-clones provide is analogous to the difference between having a kick-around in the park with your mates (half an hour, drop in and out as you want, jumpers for goalposts, the more the merrier, casual fun) and professional league foot-to-ball (90 minutes, standard sized teams and pitches, dedicated players).

    Perhaps DOTA-clones couldn’t have evolved from the current gaming industry because competitive e-Sports are still very much in their infancy – the small number of popular games being variants of genres that also work as single-player or casual (i.e. disorganised) multiplayer experiences (i.e. FPS & RTS). Perhaps if organised competitive gaming becomes more mainstream and publishers start seeing it as a good way to generate revenue, we’ll see a bit more innovation in this area and see other genres appear that only work as competitive experiences.

  18. Rudel says:

    The main issue I have with all those LoL’s, Dota and such is that they have a steep learning curve where you will be shouted and cursed by the unknown people you play with. I loved Demons Souls, I love hard and challenging games, but I can play them in my own speed. If I die 25 times to those GODDAMN gargoyles, than it’s my own fault. Actually, there are people who will enjoy my failure when I need to buy a new PS3 controller because I smashed it to the wall (only happened once).

    When you start at i.e. LoL with none of your friends interested in playing that game, you are screwed. Everyone will kickvote you out asap, curse you for being such a noob and puts you on ignore. I stopped “enjoying” this kind of gameplay after trying some solo-rounds in L4D2. We now play only when we are 4 people, everything else sucks because of those dumb 12-year-old kids out there.

    • ezekiel2517 says:

      Try our group. It’s a few post above this.

      • Rudel says:

        Thanks, I might give it a shot. Unfortunately, I’m not a native english speaker, so maybe that will be a problem. We’ll see, I’ll keep an eye on the game. I have to stick to GW2 first. ;)

        • ezekiel2517 says:

          English isn’t my first language either and we will also be playing GW2. Join whenever you like, mate.

        • Brise Bonbons says:

          The universal language in DOTA is pinging the map, you will be fine. I recommend playing it if it seems interesting, as it is more accessible than people make it out to be – and the community is not nearly as bad as everyone says, either. Or I am very lucky, I guess.

    • xxomfg says:

      There’s always the AI mode although it might not be as challenging as playing with pubs , but it will make things clearer for you when you start grinding on those pub walls.

    • Kinth says:

      You honestly should just ignore the shouting. It’s unfortunately just the way the online gaming community is these days, everyone’s a stay at home pro people no longer play to have fun, they are here to get famous on the youtubes or be the best evar!, thats why you always see “OMG why you play that champion Mr famous player said they are useless and not viable” they’re all to busy trying be pro’s by copying the pro’s, that they don’t realise what makes the pro’s pro is that they don’t follow the rules, they set them. That’s a hard sentence to read ey.

      You could play extremely well and the guy who has been feeding the enemy team all game will start blaming everyone else for him being shit. Trolling is considered cool these days, the act of ruining everyone else’s fun just for your own selfish enjoyment is popular and something people do.

      The only reason it seems more prevalent in games like DotA is because people have the time to type.

      Honestly just ignore them or mute them and just talk to the nice ones you will eventually meet nice people to group with.

      Valve recently talked about a system of rewarding the nice players and punishing the dicks, it was often mentioned in the same breath as DotA 2. It was something a long the lines of giving the nice players free stuff while making ass holes pay to play. Whether this will come with Dota 2 I don’t know but it’s a great idea. It will either curb the assholes behaviour or they will stop playing win, win.

      http://unrealitymag.com/index.php/2012/04/26/being-mean-in-dota-2-might-cost-more/

      • Devenger says:

        It would be a very, very good day in the world of LPGs (lane pushing games) if Valve managed to make such a system work for the good of those of us who are as civil as we can muster (and as apologetic as is reasonable), but are so often seething with rage at the abuse we have to put up with. (I haven’t yet acquired the bravery to play Dota 2 alongside real players; my experiences with League of Legends make me very wary.)

        However, I remain sceptical that Valve are brave enough to punish players to that extent based on, essentially, community recommendations. Disincentives of the fiscal variety… that’s quite a can of worms to open. I’d love it if they tried it! … I’m just not holding out too much hope.

      • PodX140 says:

        As much as I’d love to agree with you on the shouty angry men part, I have to disagree on one point. do NOT ignore them. Hear me out.

        The vast majority of the people screaming at you? They’re screaming at you for a reason, and if they aren’t completely useless themselves, they’re screaming on how you can improve what you’re doing wrong. When the guy is saying “STOP GETTING OUT OF POSITION WHY ARE YOU ALONE IN THEIR JUNGLE”, he’s being rude as hell, but he has a point. Pay attention to it, grit your teeth and learn from it.

        Yes, they could be politer, and yes, there is no need for all the insane insulting and racism. I agree with that. I also agree that they could try explaining nicely, but do what you can. :/

        • Rudel says:

          The usual nerd response is more like “FU N00B!” and therefore less constructive than you think

        • BoZo says:

          While that is true they are also just plain wrong very often. A very common occurence is a player screaming at you for not helping him when he’s gotten himself into a very unbalanced fight and the only thing that would happen if you tried to help him would be getting yourself killed.

  19. Tacroy says:

    The problem I have with DOTA-likes is that the metagame is way too deep for a new player. Unless you get in on the ground floor, you’re going to be so incredibly lost when people start yelling at you.

    • milman says:

      The metagame is a terrifying beast for any new player, that’s why I spend most of my time in spec mode atm (which is glorious) hunting down tips/tricks on how not to be so awful.

  20. misterT0AST says:

    I’m afraid Dota 2 is not going to be played by people under the age of 18 Quinns. That pretty big share of demographic is strongly in the hands of Riot Games.
    Also, all those who only have a laptop, or have a slow pc will be stuck playing League of Legends, which runs smoothly even on the crappiest machines.

    • Asuron says:

      You underestimate the pull of the massive China community. If it takes off there , this game will be one of the most played of all time.
      Honestly I think people are getting sick of Riot and their approach to the genre, making you pay for heroes which are essentially cookie cutter in design, a stale metagame focused around one single strategy and lack of features that Dota 2 has in beta.

      It’s in Riot’s court now, although their strategy seems to be muscle out all competition by forcing organisations into contracts which only allow them to stream LoL and throwing as much money as possible to keep them there

      • Zepp says:

        “Honestly I think people are getting sick of Riot and their approach to the genre, making you pay for heroes which are essentially cookie cutter in design, a stale metagame focused around one single strategy and lack of features that Dota 2 has in beta.”

        Care to elaborate? What features Dota 2 has in beta that LoL lacks? About metagame: It’s not really focused on one single strategy… There are some torunament-level teams that break it.

        • pakoito says:

          If you are in the LoL community you see the subtle differences between some teams and others, but it’s nowhere as near as the variety in Dota/HoN. As someone explained don’t remember where, LoL games play pretty much the same because a lot of heroes are directly interchangeable, and only a couple of strategies have proved to be efficient enough to be used. You cannot gank because blink is free, and death does not punish enough. Towers are too strong for early push strategies. You barely see roamers. Itemles wardbitchs are inviable. Spell scalling makes comboing two lategame skills into a free delete in most lineups. The meta has been stale for a year for this reasons.

          In Dota we have had 10 years of constant changes of meta. Sometimes Icefrog decided to change a balanced item into a useless one, or one average hero in a beast, just because. One week it

          • GiantR says:

            It’s getting there it’s a bit stale right now, but what do you expect the game is new and we have had many iterations of the Meta.

            At the moment Korean teams are popularizing a pushing/ganking strategy.

            No two heroes are directly interchangeable that is like saying Sven and Skeleton King are interchangeable.

            Death is punishing though not at the same level as DotA. If you die in LoL you lose an objective because the battle is now 4v5. The objective is not a tower but a Dragon or jungle minion. Those things are much more important in LoL in comparison to DotA.

            While Roshan gives a very powerful item and some global gold, Nashor gives a team wide hp regeneration buff(Like a less powerful heart) and stats. until the buff wears off or you die.

            Also I like the fact that late game Mages are not reduced to CC machines. They can influence a battle incredibly well on their own via damage. They do scale more poorly than Carries, but them scaling is a good thing in my honest opinion.

            It’s a good game just like DotA is. Being easier doesn’t make it worse.

  21. golem09 says:

    Reads the article.
    Thinks “meh”.
    Opens Steam.
    Sees his buddy playing DOTA2.
    Clicks on DOTA 2, because, whatever.
    “You already own DOTA 2″.
    …what

    • shaydeeadi says:

      It lets you grab the client so you can spectate, but you need to pay the entry fee or get a beta invite at the moment to play the game. This happened to me saturday, I paid the £20.

  22. Zepp says:

    Ugh but LoL already has all and even more than Dota 2 can offer (being bland graphical update over original Dota). If any MOBA is evolutionary LoL is the game that should get this title. This whole article screams: I’m sponsored by Valve. :P

    Also: HoN is another Dota port-clone-whatever.

    What Dota2 offers exactly that isn’t bested by HoN or LoL? (besides fabulous graphics)

    • Asuron says:

      Is this a joke?
      It offers spectating features both games don’t provide and its amazing, you can watch people live in-game, you can watch replays with extensive information provided about player actions and action being taken around the map.

      Solid matchmaking and a system where you don’t have to buy heroes to stay competitive, stellar voice acting where heroes actively taunt each other when you kill them and animations which actually lipsync it in game to the acting.

      But most of all it offers Dota, a game which has more polish to it than HoN and LoL combined ,with features that the WC3 mod could never provide

      • Zepp says:

        That’s it? Spectating mode a little better than LoLs? Lipsync? Meh… So it is basicly Dota with some extras and better graphics. What’s so revolutionary about it?

      • v00 says:

        HoN has a spectate mode and replays. It also has a mentor system where an experienced player can watch a game from a beginner player’s point of view and give advice real time. It makes it a lot easier on a new player because someone can coach them through their first few games.

    • Arathain says:

      Did you read this?

      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/08/14/league-of-legends-guide/

      It’s a long time DOTA player’s take on playing LoL, which addresses, from a single player’s perspective, some of the questions you ask.

      • Zepp says:

        Yep I did.

        At least you’re not forced to install spyware (steam) to play LoL + LoL made some actual changes to the stale genre (runes/masteries) while Dota2 looks like copypaste with better spectator mode.

        • Asuron says:

          Ignoring the silly spyware statement, how is introducing masteries a good thing? It makes it so you have to grind for a long time to make your hero competitively viable. Noone can compete on a professional scale if they don’t spend at least six months getting the necessary runes.

          Besides that the only changes they’ve made are ones to simplify the game, often not understanding why those mechanics existed in the first place.
          Denying for instance they claim introduced passive play, when in fact it did the opposite, forcing ganks on the player who was denying well or the team would face one hero quickly growing under levelled and underfarmed, while the good player steadily grows out of control.

          Another would be Riots aim to make the game more aggressive, but makes towers hit incredibly hard, gives players a free blink and doesn’t make the dying player lose much of anything. All of that discourages aggressive play, because why even bother if its hard to do and there’s much more to lose than gain.

          It’s just a series of counter-intuitive design choices, they want a certain result, but do the opposite of what’s needed to achieve them. Dota’s game however is far from stale, there are multiple approaches to each game such as trilanes, pure push teams, 4 protect 1 strats, pure ganking strats and I’m not even going into how many ways you can get these things to work, hell I’m not even going into half the strats you can run. This also constantly changes, only based on what teams favour at the time.

          • Zepp says:

            Ok, I get your point. ;)

          • Steven Hutton says:

            I agree with what you have to say about runes and masteries. Forced grind sucks.

            Denying is something I can’t really get on board with but then I find the whole idea of creep farming a little odd and it’s something I prefer to avoid as much as possible. (I tend to play champs that can roam and constantly gank in DotA and just play really aggressively in LoL). Denying seems to make the game more about creeps and less about the other player and that’s just less interesting to me.

            As for the tower stuff, flash and easy escapes. I don’t agree completely. I think having a viable escape option and having a safe tower to run to encourages aggressive play to a certain extent. Because I can afford to take a risk. I can get aggressive because it’s not too dangerous to do so. A LOT of the time in dota if you’re losing early you can’t even risk getting NEAR the enemy because you’ll just get vapourised. At which point you lose even more gold and fall further behind. Meaning you’re forced into a passive game of creep deny and farm and asking your team for help.

          • Brise Bonbons says:

            This is an incredibly complex discussion to have, because so much of what goes on in a game varies based on the teams and the lineups and the strategies involved.

            In my casual experience (about 200 games of LoL, several dozen in DOTA2), I *tend* to spend less time stuck in lane and focusing on minions in DOTA. E.g. in DOTA ganking feels much more effective, since it can be used to basically wipe out a player’s work in lane if their gold is lost. In LoL if I roam and pull off a gank, it feels like I haven’t really done that much to hurt the player I’ve killed, and I’ve lost a ton of farm and XP myself (I know they can make this worthwhile in tournament games, but I’m talking about casual pub play). Furthermore, many lane matchups in DOTA encourage more aggressive early play, because more characters have powerful disables at level 1, and towers are much less dangerous.

            Obviously a lot of this is just down to your specific play style, though. Personally I always find myself very passive in LoL but quite aggressive in DOTA, but I’m not going to argue that I’m playing either optimally, and I have friends who play LoL very aggressively.

        • zairekaboom says:

          Have you checked your active processes? LoL installer installs Pando Media Booster without the users consent and it uses your computer’s resources without giving anything back. The first step after installing LoL is to uninstall PMB.

    • vee41 says:

      Wasn’t the whole article about how complexity = something people enjoy. LoL is definitively ‘dumped down’ vision of the game as it abandons most of that complexity in favor of approachability.

    • Kinth says:

      DotA offers some very important things over LoL.

      But most importantly it offers a level playing field for all players. Everyone has every champion and there is no daft rune system to give people who play more an advantage. Masteries and Runes are a grind system that is no fun for anyone. They dumbed down the game to make it more accessible then completely reversed that by adding in a grind system that rewards people just for playing more. Meaning anyone who plays the game casually gets shat on by Johnny no life and all his runes. Before you call me a casual, I’m a hardcore player. But I have no problem with casual players.

      I played LoL for a long time and I enjoyed it, but it is not revolutionary nor does it evolve the genre, it took the genre a step backwards and made it a grind instead of a pick up and play game. Punishing people for not having the time to play 10 games a day.

      Valve is copying Dota and making it playable they will innovate on it later. TF2 was originally just a graphical update to TF1. Now it has over 200 updates and barely resembles TF1 and is considered innovative by many.

      DotA 2 also offers a much better spectator client, that allows and encourages thousands of people to watch big tournament games at once with optional live commentary from within the game.

      Your posts scream “I’m sponsored by Riot” or ” I’m a LoL fanboy who cries every time another MOBA gets deserving attention” Oh and that you are an overly paranoid conspiracy nut.

      • Asurmen says:

        Why do people keep referring to LoL as a grind? Grind implies a dull repetative task for a goal, yet runes and masteries are not the goal, nor is playing the game to level up your masteries and get IP for runes dull and repetative. Masteries also form part of the matchmaking system by placing you in games with similar levels meaning everyone in the same game will have roughly the same number of mastery points to spend

        You don’t even have to play that much to afford a full set of tier 3 runes. Get some games in and buy some heroes you like. Avoid tier 1 and tier 2 and runes and voila. By the time you get to tier 3 runes you should have plenty of spare IP points.

        Last but not least runes and masteries are not game breaking. Player skill and item build will trump them any time. They allow you to vary your hero slightly towards your preference and only really make a difference early game.

        I also don’t understand the dumbed down argument people put forth. The only things that I can think of that LoL removed from the MOBA concept set forth by Dota is denying, which is a stupid counter-inituitive idea, and player death doesn’t cause gold loss which I agree with as a balance point otherwise the gap widens too quickly if someone gets a few kills in.

  23. EvilMonk3y says:

    DOTA (and MOBA games in general) have always been one of those things that seem to be impenetrable to me…I can get my head around most 4X, RTS and strategy games pretty fast, I mostly figured out Grand Strategy games, I have a grasp on playing Starcraft 2 and love to watch it…but despite giving it a go I just don’t ‘get’ DOTA.

    The amount of heroes and their difference for a start seems like quite the learning curve, it is not just about picking one, it is about not knowing what I am up against when I meet another player, anytime I have played I always feel that my HP melts compared to other players as I get snared and ultimately destroyed. On top of this you have a pretty complex item store system that I have next to no idea about. All of this while under pressure to play well does not prove a good mix, overall it just feels like I do not know enough to feel remotely comfortable.

    This has proved to be one of my big initial stumbling blocks and I know this is the surface. It doesn’t help that any guides you ever read about DOTA seem to just stress over and over again how bad you will be at the game and how hard it is rather than providing much in the way of useful info.

    Still…the article and piece on eurogamer has certainly piqued my interest despite reinforcing some of my previous thoughts, whenever people discuss DOTA or LoL I always feel I am missing out a bit on an important upcoming genre that is obviously a hell of a good time once you are into it, I may just give it another go…

    • ElvisNeedsBoats says:

      Agreed. Two things I can’t get over:
      1) you only want to attack if you can get the last hit
      2) if one of your mobs/creeps (I don’t know the term) is about to die, you kill him to prevent the other player from getting the experience.

      I mean I understand the strategy, but it seems a carry-over from the Warcraft engine and something that is detrimental to just getting in and having fun. I am in awe of those who can play this game, but I think I am too conditioned to just kill stuff without having to time it properly.

      • Cerzi says:

        Those two aspects certainly seem unintuitive and archaic at first, but trust me – they are hugely important mechanics, particularly for the early game. These are the mechanics that the “laning phase” revolves around.

        *Precision vs awareness: You have to be focused on the rhythmic decline of creep health to last-hit consistently, but you also need to maintain strong awareness of a)the enemy heroes in your lane and b)the state of the rest of the map. Too much tunnel vision on last-hitting will get you killed by enemy gankers, not enough and your gold income dwindles.

        *Supporting vs farming: the support player in lane tends to particulate in a battle with the enemy farmer (carry), denying them last-hits while your carry can focus on getting theirs. This is actually a complex mind game of feigns, bluffs and reaction speed that wouldn’t exist without these mechanics.

        *Lane control: Both sides in a lane should be concerned about where their creeps meet with the enemy’s, as it defines the location they have to sit in. If this location is pushed too far into enemy territory, you have further to run if you’re in danger. Killing your own creeps effectively pulls the fight back towards safety – but both sides will be trying to do this.

        tl;dr they are (like most aspects of dota) difficult mechanics that demand mastery over many hundreds of hours of experience. If you are better at it than your opponent, you’ll not only make more gold than them but also level faster than them. You can set them back so far that they might as well have been killed a bunch of times instead.

        • ElvisNeedsBoats says:

          Thanks, that makes more sense then. I watched one of the matches switching between user perspectives: the amount of clicking and maneuvering was dizzying.

  24. RagingLion says:

    Dammit Quinns, we’ve missed you. This article just reminds me how good a writer you are.

    As a non-player I think I’d just about grasped the basics of what DOTA 2 is from small scraps I’ve picked up on over a prolonged period but nowhere have I seen it laid out so plainly what the nature of DOTA is because those who are already in the know take the madness for granted and often fail to pick out the key qualities that make it so unique. You nailed it, it seems to me.

  25. Devenger says:

    Does anyone else find Dota 2′s visuals a bit too murky? I haven’t played the game beyond some idle experimentation with bots, but I’m finding it hard to ‘read’ the game state from the graphics. One of the reasons I adore Team Fortress 2 is the graphics that don’t shy away from showing you what’s going on, in vibrant and exciting fashion; I’ve always struggled with games where they seem intent on hiding the state of play behind a stylistic, but uninformative, dark and moody colour palette.

    I’m not talking about the visuals of all the heroes’ abilities (especially some, they look wonderfully clear!), so much as the positions and actions of more minor characters – the creeps and suchlike. To my eyes, everything but their health bars just blends into the background, on occasion at least. This is less than helpful when it’s vital to identify the type of creep (as different creeps have different amounts of health), and just makes tactical targeting more unpleasant than it needs to be. I’m sure that I could pick out the details faster with practice, but it’s not a layer of challenge that makes the game any more fun.

    Of course, it may just be that my vision is uniquely flawed. So: is it just me?

    • pakoito says:

      Everyone does for their first 10 games, then you get used to it. Also bonus, then you can watch competitive games and figure out what’s happening.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Yeah it just takes a bit of time to get used to really. After extended play you kind of filter out all the junk. You’re right though, it hardly helps.

    • Tuco says:

      I would say the exact opposite. In fact it’s probably the “MOBA” with the cleanest look around.

      • pakoito says:

        That would be HoN, where the effects have correlation with what the skills do. They are a bit more over the top sometimes, but you can figure out where most of them come from, and what they do.

  26. Demiath says:

    How did we get from laggy, anti-social and expensive Doom 2 modem deathmatches to DOTA’s level of sophistication/abstraction, dedication and sense of community? I mean, what went wrong?

  27. Trithne says:

    All I’m going to say is: Electric Valhalla. Band name.

  28. Network Crayon says:

    This article is military grade hype.

    Actually incidentally does Dota remind anyone somewhat of the Disgaea series? All the talk about depth and masses of heroes reminds me of disgaea’s appeal? or am i way off the mark?

    • rockman29 says:

      That’s OK, Quintin Smith already categorized you into ‘the people who will miss out on Dota 2.”

      If you don’t even try it when it goes F2P, you fail at gaming.

  29. Arathain says:

    I am rather looking forward to the release. Not because I intend to play online, as the game is intended to be played- I do not have the time to devote, particularly not in 1 hour+ uninterrupted chunks. I’ll be playing purely with bots.

    I’m looking forward to playing with one of gaming’s great toy boxes. So many heroes, and so much diversity of design. It’ll be a pleasure picking through them. I love games with a lot of toys. The last great one I played was Dawn of War 2: Retribution. So many lovely units to play with.

  30. rockman29 says:

    Read all your Dota 2 Eurogamer articles dear sir, when they were written, and they have been fantastic.

  31. Moni says:

    I got a key for Dota 2.

    A ship appeared from nowhere and killed me instantly. When I respawned at the shop someone on the other team exploded me immediately.

    I uninstalled the game.

    • Tuco says:

      No, you didn’t or you were completely drunk. Otherwise you would know that what you are saying it’s complete bullshit.

      • PodX140 says:

        Actually, I can sort of see this happening. Bear with me here.

        So, guy is in lane, low level (in comparison to others) of course because he’s new. Kunkka manages a great ship, stuns and then he cleaves, kills guy.

        Guy respawns, only to have the hyper fed zeus on the other team refresher + scepter ult him twice. Insta death.

        Verrrrry unlikely, and completely impossible in regular play, but with a brand new player I could maybe see it happening.

    • ShatteredAwe says:

      LOL. The same thing happened to me. It’s a character’s special ability…

    • rockman29 says:

      Send your invite to someone who will care then.

  32. wsjudd says:

    “moving you body rhythmically”

    Good article, looking forward to an actual description of the gameplay.

  33. Gnashy says:

    Just my take on DOTA, MOBAs and the near-future of the genre:

    I personally started playing DOTA back in 2004 or 2005 (the Warcraft 3 mod). I’m pretty sure I had played the original iteration of the Starcraft mod before this, but it didn’t leave much of an impact on me at the time.

    I got hooked by the game-play and the potential but discouraged by the skill level of the existing player base. I’m an adult with a career, a family and diverse interests, both in gaming and out. I decided I didn’t have the time to invest into a mod for an aging game and moved on (favorite character was the Pandaren Brewmaster).

    Fast forward to 2009 when I got accepted into the Heroes of Newerth beta. It was DOTA reborn and I got sucked back in. I spent several months playing it, before, once again, getting discouraged at the time-sink and the mechanics … and, as many of noted, the spirit of the HoN community, which is and was, anything but helpful. I moved on again, even though I did eventually buy the game when it released, just to support the effort.

    I checked out League of Legends when it came out, but the constant grind and lack of access to all characters repelled me. My nephews have invested hundreds of hours into it, but I never got past a few games. It felt like more of the same with less to offer.

    In January, I was accepted into the DOTA II beta. I’ve played about 40 hours since then. I enjoy the game, but in all honesty, I didn’t feel like it was much different from what I had experienced in Heroes of Newerth, even though I agree with Quinn that it will surpass LoL and Hon when it releases to the public. DOTA II is awesome, but to me it feels more like an upgrade to DOTA. It’s the difference between a graphical upgrade for Team Fortress Classic and Team Fortress 2. I loved TFC back in the day, but TF 2 is far and away the superior game. DOTA feels like an upgrade, not a sequel, and compared to the other MOBA games, does not stand out enough it’s own — even though the full hero selection is huge, and will be one of two factors (the other being Steam) that helps DOTA II surpass LoL.

    So a few weeks ago I check my email and see I have a request from Hi Rez studios to provide feedback on my Smite beta experience. I had applied for the beta when it was announced and hoped to get it in, because the scant footage and information made it look like an actual progression in the MOBA genre, not just another clone. It seems I had been accepted but hadn’t been mailed my key. I contacted HiRez support and had my key the next day. That was two and a half weeks ago.

    Since that time, I’ve played about 110 games. I’ve easily put in about 80 hours of game play. I love Smite. It’s got it’s flaws: limited God selection (only thirty when it goes out of Beta; I’m hoping it ramps up production after release), it seems to be incorporating the LoL character purchase mode (I hope it goes the way of DOTA II and HoN and allows full access to all Gods)… but in two weeks and a several days I’ve watched the persistent online player count rise from around 320,000 to 530,000 … it’s increased over 10,000 players a day, onlie, at once, regardless of what time I’ve played. I don’t see that trend changing.

    Why is Smite so engaging and why is it attracting so many MOBA players? Because unlike DOTA II, LoL and HoN, it has done something simple and different that changes everything about the way a MOBA is played, and that’s the third person/FPS viewpoint and combat control, which is vastly superior to the top-down style of other MOBAs.

    The difference is akin to the difference between playing the first two Grand Theft Autos and then playing Grand Theft 3. It’s the same game world with the same features with a vastly improved and more engaging experience. It’s far more immersive and engaging. Every second is intense and the skill required to survive and excel at battle not only relies on strategy but your ability to pull off tactics in the middle of a battle. It combines the best features of MOBA gameplay and First Person Shooter combat (it’s technically third person view, but for all intents and purposes, it’s FPS gameplay).

    So will Dota II become the most popular MOBA and/or PC game? Maybe. Probably. But right now the strongest contender for best MOBA of the future is Smite

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      Very good overview of why Smite is exciting. Unfortunately there are two things I see that hold the game back from surpassing DOTA (at least in the critical sense, if not the popular contest):

      Firstly, the LoL-style god unlocking system. I see this as a horrible design paradigm that will hamstring any game that doesn’t have the will to abandon it going forward, now that DOTA2 has blown the lid off this specific bit of accepted wisdom.

      Secondly, while I do like the 3rd person perspective in some ways, I think Smite uses it to become too much of an action game and not enough a strategy one. One of the things that makes DOTA so sophisticated and important is the way in which decisions often trump twitch play and combat in general, and the strategy-style overview is a part of this, as are the extremely complex items and the sophisticated strategies they enable. Furthermore, DOTA’s huge, complicated map models a number of non-combat behaviors, from clearcutting forests to allow movement and vision, to the logistics of moving items across large distances, to minutely controlling the ebb and flow of creeps around the map for strategic and tactical purposes.

      My impression of Smite is that it is really a game about brawling and character control, similar to LoL, and I’m concerned that ignoring the more subtle (and non-violent) mechanics in DOTA will suck a lot of the depth and complexity out of it. I do think it is an interesting step in a new direction, either way.

  34. daphne says:

    The issue I see with DOTA (and other MOBA games that emulate it) is that if you *are* a noob, then your incompetence will pretty waste the time of your non-noob teammates — and with games lasting around an hour give or take ten minutes, that’s that much time wasted for all of them. As toxic as the reactions to noobs usually are, the motivation cannot be faulted with ease. The complexity of the game will always act against the noob’s favor, and it’s also not something like a MMO raid in that encounters can easily be learned and/or people replaced with backup members.

    Note that I’m a noob myself. I played DOTA last in 2005-6.

    Hopefully, there will be sufficient resources for new players to get the hang of things. Being far too intimidated myself, I’m waiting for those community improvements and features aimed at new players.

    • TheTuninator says:

      While this was a problem in DotA1, I don’t think it will be nearly as bad in DotA2 thanks to the presence of an actual matchmaking system like LoL has.

      And, unlike LoL, you won’t be able to smurf to get to low levels and beat up on newbies, because it’s tied to your Steam account.

      • ShatteredAwe says:

        No, it’s still a problem. In LoL, for example, one bad player can mess up the entire team. Dota 2 is the same.

        • PAN_de says:

          ofc but look, you learn out of your mistakes, and if you dont you are not up to moba in general LoL DOta or HON, if you dont learn anything out of a fail dota match you wont learn anything out of lol or Hon either.

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      It’s a tough road, true. I think it’s complicated, also, because DOTA is actually more friendly (IMO) to a certain type of “noob” play. If you play a support character conservatively and hang back a lot, you can newb it up all day long – i.e. not get any kills, have no items by 20 minutes, be several levels behind – as long as you don’t feed their carry too much, you can still be useful to the team. I’ve been a no-farm, no item support Earthshaker and still gotten triple kills when the enemy team pushes too aggressively late game. This is a result of spells being extremely powerful and not scaling with items, if I understand correctly.

      In LoL I feel like a newb is truly useless, because even many support characters require items and levels to scale and be effective (There are obviously exceptions though, such as Alistar).

      Then again, if you know yourself to be a noob and try to play a difficult carry, I think your team has every right to feel frustrated with you. Even then, there are noob friendly tanky carries available…

  35. Cerzi says:

    Between DOTA, Starcraft 2 and to a lesser extent Tribes, big developers are finally remembering that gamers like learning to become true masters of deep, challenging gameplay. It feels like over the last 10 years the fictional characters we control have become more and more powerful, yet easier and easier to control.

    Now just a big-budget re-imagining of Quake 3 Arena’s physics, please.

  36. ain says:

    Nope. These aren’t business ethics I like.

  37. derbefrier says:

    I have had DOTA2 in my library for over a month now and have barely played it. I went through a LOL phase but certain things about that game bothered me. I like that DOTA2 has all characters for free but goddamn there are so many i am just lost and have no idea where to start . I have had a lot of fun with what little i have played though, I just wish I had more time to spend with it.

    • PodX140 says:

      If you have any free time and want to learn, add me up on steam, or join the RPS dota 2 group and I’m sure anyone else there would be happy to teach you.

      I completely see where you are coming from though. I was completely fresh to the genre in December, managed to get a dota 2 invite from the steam achievements, and now I’m completely hooked 800 games later and 900 hours later. Sadly I myself had 0 instruction, so my first 3 games I was completely unaware of last hitting.

  38. tumbleworld says:

    So, I understand that you’re excited about DOTA2, Quinns. I get that it’s not a Tower Defense, RTS or RPG game. But, uh, what in the nine hells of blazing blue armpits actually IS it? Most of what you were saying sounded extremely enthusiastic, but — as someone who has never had any exposure to DOTAs, MOBAs, LoLs, whatever — it was entirely baffling. I really hoped that when the article said that it would explain “what DOTA2 means”, it wasn’t lying.

    Oh well.

    • Talon says:

      He’s actually written about it, here:

      http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-07-10-the-dota-2-experience-part-one

      What it is, to paraphrase him, is fencing. It’s feinting and dodging and measuring out the opponent. It is a bit of this and a bit of that and quite possibly the pinnacle of modern competitive gaming. In Starcraft, you don’t have as much information and so are more prone to cheeses, in FPSes, it’s much more about twitch-reflexes. In DotA, it’s just about your knowledge of the game, your opponents knowledge of the game, and how you can deceive and outplay him.

      Oh, and, it’s also teamwork, and making sure that the whole is worth more than the sum of the parts.

  39. Ultra Superior says:

    So when CnC goes free to play everyone’s “oh noes, EA ruins everything!” but when Valve does it, its the BIGGEST THING EVER.

    Valve, a thievery corporation that equals pounds, dollars and euros and creates artificial oceans.

    The machine is winning.

    • zeroskill says:

      Ridiculous post of the day. Good job!

    • GiantR says:

      Are you dense? DotA was F2P in the first place. DotA 2 is the same you gain 0 benefit from playing 10 or 12 months you start at ground zero like everyone else, and you play at ground zero like everyone else.

      EA is notorious at being bad at F2P models, like look at Battlefield Heroes the game was almost pay to win.

      And by the looks of it Generals 2 will have a similar system to C&C4 in that you unlock units(that system flopped hard in C&C I think it’s worth the mention).

      Valve is doing a great job at being Fair to their freeloaders unlike EA.

      Also Generals being F2P means there will be no mods which in turn was one of THE BIGGEST THINGS Generals had to offer. I mean Shockwave, European conflict etc, etc. Those things do matter. Valve said they WILL release a SDK for DotA. That is good business model which is fair to the players.

      But if EA does not fuck up Generals i’ll be happy I’ll truly be.

  40. mod the world says:

    Not interested in investing 100 hours to learn the “metagame” and getting insulted by so called pro-gamers. Nice try, Mr. Salesman.

  41. Ultra-Humanite says:

    So in other words, I should avoid this like the plague. Thanks for clearing that up.

  42. Eversor says:

    It’s such a shame that this game hasn’t really evolved far from mod status. I just can’t get over the fact that Valve has been intent to make it as close as DOTA as possible, to the point where it essentially emulates Warcraft 3 engine with all its ups and downs. I’m sorry, but waiting half a second for my character to do a 180 turn is horrible. There is virtually no reason for something like this being in the game. This what made the game incredibly frustrating for me. Not the gameplay itself, the cliff faced learning curve or anything like that. It’s the feel of the controls.

    So, no. It isn’t an evolution at all. It’s stagnation out of fear that DOTA fans won’t like it, because that’s their market.

    • Brian_black says:

      While I agree there are several concepts that are outdated (UI choices primarily), the example you give of hero turn speed is a valuable tactical point to consider when skirmishing. If each hero could turn immediately, there would be less consequences when running from a fight to turn around to throw out that quick spell to kill or slow pursuers. Since that takes additional turning time to perform, you have to more heavily weigh risks/benefits to determine if it’s worth casting that spell or just juking into the jungle.

      • Eversor says:

        I’m sorry, I disagree completely. Lack of mobility is not a feature. If anything, the games actually become more interesting when it is not only about the macro tactics, but the micro-management of your units as well. Refer to Starcraft or, heck, even League of Legends if you need an example how fluid movement can not only have tactical decision making behind it, but also making such hit and run scenarios even more interesting.

        • Brise Bonbons says:

          It is a design choice, just as they could (I’m confident) have changed the value of the turning speed in the War3 engine if they wanted to.

          When units can turn and react instantly I believe it tends to make the game more about reactions, technical skill, and fast fingers. When you must operate around these sorts of limitations, it makes the game more about choices and consequences, and knowledge of the limitations of your and your opponent’s units.

          Not that one is better than the other, but you can’t just say “DOTA 2 sucks because they choose to set limits for what my units can do”. It might be a game you don’t like as much, but it is not objectively better or worse for such a decision.

          I mean, do you think Chess sucks because rooks can’t move on the diagonal? Or that Brood War sucked because Siege Tanks took a little time to switch modes?

        • Brian_black says:

          ^ As mentioned above, it’s a design choice. I would argue that because your units take time to turn, micro-management of your unit’s position is more important than if you could immediately reverse your direction- the delay needs to be factored in to your actions. Your personal preference may be against this, though I’m sure you’ll find your units in Starcraft still need to turn to face a target rather than immediately firing on units at their backs.

          A similar example that I’ve encountered with dota mouth-foamers is on the choice of obscuring enemy hero mana bars (which are visible if the enemy hero is selected), rather than making them visible below enemy health bars. If they were visible all the time, it reduces the enemy hero’s ability to appear threatening, since I can immediately see whether they’ve got the mana to cast that killing nuke or stun. On the other hand, it’s information that you can get by clicking on the hero, so why hide it behind a mouseclick?

          Arguments can be made for either case, and either position affects gameplay, just like turning rates.

          • PodX140 says:

            Agreed 100% that it’s a feature. Again, it’s just like Quinns said. Completely and utterly counter-intuitive to what anyone would want, but when you play it it makes SENSE.

            #2, there’s even a hero ability that reduces turn speed (batrider)

  43. nihm says:

    “It’s the first multiplayer game I’ve ever taken seriously, the first free-to-play game I’ve ever spent money on, and I’ve already lost more hours to it than every Mass Effect game put together.”

    Games journalists, for all their insights, rarely scratch surfaces. How can they on their schedules? As great as DOTA may be, I feel like part of Quentin’s enthusiasm must surely be attributed to the feeling of playing an mp game at mid-high level for the first time. That said, when Quentin fully gives him self to game (pathologic), he is my favorite reviewer. Howerever, a little perspective here would be nice to inform his opinions on the DOTA community.

    Incidentally it’s interesting when journalists don’t set their steam profiles to private (or if you are friends with them), and you can see their playtimes.

  44. Radiant says:

    No! can’t won’t will not.
    I don’t have the hours.

    I had to stop frozen synapse when I realised I had put 700 hours into it. No way am I putting my arm into the dota vortex.

  45. ShatteredAwe says:

    Alright, I’ve played 11 hours of Dota 2 and this is what I have to say about it.

    It’s an ok game, but I personally like LoL better. Why? In LoL’s overall more accessible and easier to play, whereas Dota 2′s ridiculously complicated, and lacks many things that I found very handy in LoL. (Surrender option, for example.) The community of LoL is more forgiving. LoL matches tend to be shorter. Dota is the clear opposite of that.

    You see, what i’ve basically gathered from playing both games is this.

    DOTA 2 is for people who enjoy being yelled at, and enjoy having to spend up to an hour to complete one game. I mean, it’s rewarding… sorta.

    LOL is for people who can spare about 30 minutes per game, aren’t pros, and don’t enjoy being yelled at. It’s also rewarding… sorta.

    TL;DR: Dota 2 is Hardcore. LoL is for casuals.

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      Interesting how different our experiences are.

      Game length seemed about the same to me. Community seems more prone to chatting and joking in DOTA, and less rage-y (I think because they’re not in a hurry to get the game over with so they can max out IP gain). LoL feels like there is a bigger barrier to entry because I don’t have any characters I like unlocked, and I can only test a few new ones each week while trying to find one I want to commit real money to.

      I think they’re both excellent games, mind. I personally like DOTA more, but LoL is quite good at what it sets out to do. But so much of our experience of both games relies on how the random matchmaking treats us, it’s hard to really talk about the games rather than our luck at getting decent teammates.

  46. Andrigaar says:

    And the community doth rageth here and there and everywhichwhere.

    This and HoN are fun time sinks with friends, but on the small chance anyone sees this among all the other comments: Try and learn with friends if possible, having at least one friend, bad or not, will make you stick around a bit longer. Keep solo queuing in any moba and you’ll quickly hate life.

    • zeroskill says:

      I solo queue almost exclusivly, sometimes I queue with friends but mostly they are much less experienced and I’m not a big fan of pre-mades.

      Then again I solo-queue in almost any online game for regular gameplay (if i’m not playing inhouses or other pre-made happening-things) and i’m used to it for many years now. Solo-queueing has something unpredictable and I like that.

  47. remoteDefecator says:

    Got into League of Legends last winter. Still recovering emotionally.

    Got into the DOTA2 beta a few months ago. Watched a few games. Still haven’t had the nerve to actually play one.

    • PodX140 says:

      If you’re worried about doing badly, or feel you don’t have the mechanics 100% down (watching pro’s is great and all, but even I’m not crazy enough to try some of their builds. Some of the builds they make are exclusive to pro play, sink or swim style), feel free to join the RPS dota group or add me on steam, and we’d be more than willing to spend some time teaching you.

  48. Cabble says:

    comment less pls. :D
    i have read all the ~20.000 words. it’s readable like a book.
    the good old fight – DotA vs. LoL – (HoN spectating)
    the first time i see this discussion without harsh flaming. nice one :)

    imo actually it’s pretty hard to join the game as newb. the tutorials, teaching system etc. is not released and i guess actually most players are dota1 veterans and so they are more experienced. this results in more games with noobs vs pros and the game feels harder. at least the matchmaking will do its job when the game is released because a lot of new players will play the game and the matchmaking will create better balanced teams.

    don’t be frustrated too early and maybe try to play first vs bots to learn how the game works. they will not flame :)

    some1 here wrote he doesnt want to learn 100 hours to get the metagame. you dont have to! there isnt something called metagame in my opinion. every game needs new decisions. no game is equal.

    i play dota since 2005 and its still interesting for me. its such a complex game. for me there is no better. i spent tons of hours playing dota 1 and dota 2. just warcraft 3 came close to it (non-dota).

    the community-thing is imo the biggest problem actually. there are so many ragers, flamers, etc..
    i think i needed 3 or 4 years to absolutely nullify my flame and raging. thats a very hard challenge but it also could have changed because i was 13 or 14 years old when starting dota. ^^

    you should just ignore the flamers and use the report button. it helps some times. the best but hardest thing vs flamers is to be nice to them. try it. you will be surprised. congratulate them for nice kills etc. and they will turn over 180° in most cases. problem solved.
    since dota is enormous depended to the players mood and mental shape a good and mannered communication in the team boots the performance of your team extremly. i played enough public games to verify this.

    tl;dr? ok.. then just skip this :)

  49. iainB85 says:

    So another person reviewing dota 2 that never played the original, or any other moba games in general. So sick of it, as you guys have zero clue what you are talking about.

    If you knew anything about the genre, you’d know that DotA 2 will not be an explosion or anywhere close to the biggest PC game ever, as it is 100% a remake of the classic DotA, and actually has nothing sequel about it besides a shiny new wrapper and features like spectating and the like.

    While I am sure there will be an influx of people at first, because it’ll be free, the population will quickly die off because the designers of “DotA Remake” as I like to call it, have stuck to all the classic hardcore annoyances from the original to a T… even things that were only the way they were due to engine limitations of WC3 have been recreated in poor states in a brand new engine! Pathetic, and lacking any creativity or adaptation to the ever evolving moba game genre, this game will quickly widdle down to it’s small, hardcore fanboy base, and other games will steam roll over it (no pun intended).

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      Actually these reviews are for gamers who haven’t played it either. So yeah, it’s okay that he hasn’t played the original…. that’s the perspective we want.

      • iainB85 says:

        Fine, then write about the game and it’s qualities… don’t go making outrageous claims like it’s going to be the biggest PC game ever without knowing anything about it’s competitors.