Got Need Got Got: Dota 2 International 2014 Compendium

By Alice O'Connor on May 12th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

NEED DENDI

Dota 2 and the International turned my Dotachums into schoolchildren last year. “Dendi. Have you got Dendi? I need Dendi,” would come the Steam messages desperately seeking a picture of the Ukranian player’s face for TI3′s Compendium, a sort of Panini World Cup sticker album for Dota. “I’ll swap you ixmike88 and ChuaN for Dendi!” Valve launched this year’s new Compendium on Friday and it looks like it’ll be ruddy huge, as sales have added over $2 million to The International 2014′s prize pool.

To explain to non-Doters, The Compendium is a £5.99 mix of sticker album and lucky bag. It tracks all the teams, players, qualifiers, matches, and stats for July’s big Dota 2 tournament, and comes with shiny prizes like rare cosmetic items for your wizards. More goodies are up for grabs through completing challenges like predicting results, watching The International matches, and collecting those player stickers (awarded by random at the end of matches, then swapped on the virtual playground).

Deviously, Valve are this year selling ways for players to directly unlock more Compendium prizes, with ‘Compendium Points’ to boost your book’s level. It’s a bit gross but sure to be a smash. If one can admire business without feeling a bit weird and gross, this Compendium’s a masterpiece of making players spend money enthusiastically on free-to-play games rather than begrudgingly.

The Compendium also boosts The International’s prize pool. Valve put in $1.6 million at the start, then adds 25% of all Compendium sales (books and Points) on top. As I write this, it’s at $3,644,860. Gosh. The pool has ‘stretch goals’ too, with bonuses like giving all owners more shiny cosmetics or, curiously, unlocking new modes for every player. The All Random Deathmatch goal has already been hit, while 1v1 mid-only matchmaking will come when it inevitably hits that goal.

Bringing together the world’s top Dota 2 teams (though some take issue with Valve’s selection process), The International 2014 will run July 17-21. All games will be streamed free through the in-game spectator system. 11 teams have been invited, while the final five slots will be filled through qualifiers which kick off today.

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40 Comments »

  1. Myrdinn says:

    I’m broke, but I NEED THIS! I don’t even play Dota anymore, just want to make sure I can watch the TI4 because last year was a blast!

  2. SploogeKing says:

    P U R P B O Y S
    ALL THE PURPLE
    CANT STOP THE PURP

  3. Terrestrial says:

    Maybe now people will stop moaning about League of Legends having more coverage than Dota2.

    • Malarious says:

      I don’t know, I mean, we’re dealing with the largest e-sports prize pool in history, right now, over half of which was directly raised by the playerbase. 6 million is where the stretch goals end, and it’s pretty clear we’re going to reach that (though maybe not before July). Once we do, TI2014 will literally have more than twice the prize pool of any e-sports tournament before it.

  4. AngelTear says:

    I have a question: more than a year ago I tried Dota2 and although I liked it, the overwhelming complexity and the amount of unexplained things that went on (despite reading guides) made me stop playing. Then I approached LoL (which definitely eases you in the game much better, with limited champion pools and AI games) and now I can say I’m decent at it, and I’ve certainly grown accustomed to all the objects, the map, the champions, laning, jungle, vision control etc (I play at high silver/low gold). My main weakness is definitely mechanics, whereas my strengths are game knowledge and strategy.

    Would it be worth it to swap to Dota? Does Dota require more or less mechanics, or does macrostrategy matter more or less than in LoL? In short, how do the two compare if you could be fairly proficient at both?

    • almostDead says:

      I thought you kept saying you need to spend less of your time on needless things.

      • AngelTear says:

        *edited out for passive-aggressiveness*

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          YAY for needless things :)
          I don’t know much about DOTA, but I am a class A procrastinator *high fives* 0^0
          Though I recently bought Scania Truck Driving Simulator and am actually dangerously close to learning an actual skill. I’ve also become a dreadful truck spotter. Sigh. Single for a bit longer then …

    • SillyWizard says:

      From what I understand, it might be worth it to switch to Heart of the Swarm or whatever the Blizzard one is calling itself. I take it that it’s supposed to be much more accessible than the existing alternatives.

      • AngelTear says:

        From what I’ve read, HotS is even *too* accessible and streamlined… LoL level of complexity is absolutely fine for me, I guess what I’m asking is how much more complex Dota actually is once you’re used to the format, and if that added complexity is worth it, and if it requires more strategy or more mechanics.

        • Zankmam says:

          My suggestions are Dawngate and DotA 2.

          Dawngate is *very* similar to LoL, intentionally so – but it’s already blatantly clear that it is a well/better made game that won’t, like LoL, become a boring and stale mess in a few years.

          So, if you are fine with LoL and it’s level of complexity, try Dawngate. You *won’t* regret it.

          If you feel like you would be fine with a game with much more complexity *but also much more depth*, go for DotA 2.

          At the end of the day, DotA 2 will *always* be the best long-term solution. It has infinitely more depth, it won’t/can’t get boring and once you ease into the game the business model will start to benefit you.

          • AngelTear says:

            Mmmh. The overwhelming majority of the answers seem to point to the fact that I’d enjoy Dota more (more depth is a great thing in this kind of game), although at the same time mechanics are my weak point. Even in LoL I can’t play the most mechanically-intensive champions that well, so I’m a bit scared about that…

            I don’t know, I’ll think about it.
            But thank you all for all the answers, and for not turning it into a “X is best, Y is for noobs” contest.

          • mechtroid says:

            Mechanics wise, you might be a bit better off in Dota 2, as there’s FAR fewer skillshots required. It’s much more about cooldown, health, and mana management then learning how to hit skillshots.

        • Dragon Master says:

          Think of it as driving a car. You might plan your route, your rest stops, heck, your piss stops but something at some point WILL happen that would force you to react on the spot. And unless you know why and how to respond chances are, you’ll drop out. And there’s a HUGE know-how with many exceptions in dota you need to acquaint yourself with to react, at the very least, in a way beneficial to your team. But that’s slightly high-level play. So if it’s casual play you’re after, mechanical debility won’t hinder you(in a game-breaking manner, at least most of the time) if, as you say, you are decent at strategising and planning ahead.

      • Moraven says:

        I like Heroes due to shorter game length and the games feel action heavy the entire way. Focusing on Hero fights and different map objectives freshen up the genre.

        I just got bored of the laning phases and laning duels in LoL.

    • SploogeKing says:

      Go for it. I used to play LoL a ton, and didn’t really stick to Dota 2 the first time I tried it. The thing about Dota is that theres a lot of game knowledge you need to know before you can really get “good”, stuff like blink daggers hidden range, day and night cycle, Roshans spawn time (which is still confusing after 800 hours of play) and how stats effect characters. Just remember that Dota 2 is a more complex game than League, because of how things interact and because of how many exceptions there are (IE skills don’t scale with stats, but there are skills that bypass that rule). But yea, take the dive. It can’t really hurt.

    • Stupoider says:

      Yes, DOTA2 is mechanically more challenging. I think they’ve added a tutorial for last hitting and denying creeps. But there is a lot of stuff you won’t learn until you’re a couple of matches down the line.

      I played DOTA2 for the longest time against Medium/Hard bots, I would hit random and learn that hero in that game then move on to the next one, and learning everything was fun enough to keep me interested. One thing you could do is the A-Z challenge, playing the entire roster of heroes in alphabetical order. Or just dive right into the game itself and pick a hero you’re good at. The game is very tame in the early stages.

      • nmarebfly says:

        >a far more diverse and flexible ‘meta’ game where far more heroes are viable

        This for me is one of the most important points. There are very few heroes in Dota that are completely nonviable competitively. Some are much more situational and some aren’t available at all — heroes undergoing massive tuning aren’t in what’s called ‘captain’s mode’ which is used for tournaments. That’s a pretty small minority, though. 6, I believe?

        In Lol, for a few reasons, has a lot more similiarity between heroes. You usually have your nuke spell, your gap closer, your steroid and your ult. In part because of this, at a professional level the only thing that matters are the numbers involved — so plenty of time there are heroes that are straight up better than others in most any circumstance. It’s not completely set in stone, but in general you see a lot less variation on hero picks in high level play compared to Dota.

        I think this is a huge strength of Dota’s way of balancing heroes, and leads to a lot more interesting matchups. In pub play you get all sorts of bizarro laning setups and teams that on the face of it shouldn’t be able to do crapola but end up winning. Heroes don’t have linear power curves like they mostly do in League — sometimes you have a lady like Medusa who’s crap for the first 30 minutes of the game but if protected and allowed to farm she’ll turn things around all by herself. A hero like Axe is the opposite — terrifying for the first 20 minutes, but unless he does REALLY well his threat drops off substantially.

        Lol’s easier to learn and might be more fun to play for some people because you don’t have to worry about the bizarre shit that can go down in a Dota match. That doesn’t make it worse, just different.

    • Dijeangenie says:

      Without wishing to start a ‘Which is better’ post – I play dota so I am biased and personally think it is a far better game.

      Dota is a more complex game with more mechanics, a steeper learning curve and from a professional point of view; a far more diverse and flexible ‘meta’ game where far more heroes are viable. These things are personal preference and Lol is a better game to play casually for sure. The only concrete advantage dota has over lol is my opinion is that dota is literally free to play – there is absolutely nothing you can ever buy to get an ingame advantage, all heroes are free etc, only cosmetics are available.

    • Vandelay says:

      I must ask, what exactly was overwhelming complex? I’ve been playing DOTA2 for quite some time (about 250 hours according Steam, which is a lot for any game for me,) but the assertion from many that they can’t get into it because it is too complicated still bemuses me.

      Of course, at high level play there are a lot of little techniques that you can use that are beyond anyone when they are starting, such as pulling or creep stacking, but those are not necessary in pub games. Heck, even warding is a bit of a luxury, despite what many of the wannabe-pros that play might say.

      There are plenty of places that recommend the easier heroes and there is also a mode that will limit the selection pool to the heroes that are new player friendly. If you are struggling with selecting skills or items, then there are plenty of guides in game that show you what to buy and which order to select your skills, often even with a little explanation as to how to use them.

      I will say that the UI is horrendous. These are likely hangups from the mod days, which are probably not going to change, as there would be uproar from the dedicated. Things like getting the courier to buy an item from the secret shop and bring it to you are needlessly complicated and unnecessarily disrupt the entire team (I think each person should have their own courier really; buying an item when you are out of range should automatically send it over.)

      You should definitely give it another go and I am sure there are players here that can give you a hand if there are particular things you are struggling with. DOTA2 really is the best of those sort of games.

      • Stupoider says:

        Courier buying stuff from the secret shop isn’t that disruptive, as long as you’re aware of the pecking order of your team. Carry has priority on the courier, unless mid has a bottle in the early games. As long as you’ve got wards along the river where your secret shop is you can access it to your heart’s content, unless the enemy prepares a smoke gank.

      • AngelTear says:

        Well, when you have never played a Moba before, even though you may be familiar with RTS, there’s just so many things going on that you get lost. Even last-hitting is weird at first. Then there’s the courier, and the shop, and the secret shop, and items are a mess because there was (is?) no filtering, so every time I shopped it took me 3 minutes to hover over every item and see their stats, and then you can kill trees so the jungle doesn’t really have fixed routes like in LoL, there are 100+ champions unlocked from the start with very little explanation as to what they do before you actually play them, you don’t know the meta and who goes in what lane and why.

        There’s no single aspect of it that is “impossible”, but there are so many things, so many possibilities and so much going on that you need to keep track of, that it’s daunting at first, and it’s easy to be put off because you can’t see yourself, I won’t say mastering but at least being familiar with all those things for months; not to mention that DotA does a terrible job at easing you in or explaining, so it does feel overwhelming, because there’s too much going on that you don’t understand.

        As an aside, I don’t know about DotA but if you told me that warding was a luxury in LoL, I’d very strongly disagree with you. Even as a midlaner, I end up buying at least 10 wards per game.

        • Vandelay says:

          Fair enough. And I hope my post didn’t come across as snarky, as it was a genuine question. I had only played Awesomenauts before playing DOTA, but maybe even that is enough. It has many of the mechanics of a MOBA, even if they are much more simplified and the real focus is on skill shots. Perhaps that was enough to get me over the initial hurdle.

          As I say, the UI is a complete mess and that really doesn’t help you learn things like tiers of items and which are best to go for. There is some rudimentary grouping with columns, but they are not very well done at all. Also, the fact that items occasional have active abilities adds to complexity, I suppose.

          However, a lot of this really is ignorable at low levels. I avoided items with active abilities for a very long time, never having more than 1 or 2 at once. Even then, I probably wouldn’t ever actually use them. I think there is this perception that you have to be playing at the top of your game all the time whilst playing DOTA and that is something the more obnoxious elements of the community likes to foster, much like there are people who love to go on about the difficulty in the Souls games. In reality, most of people you are playing with and against will screw up numerous times too, so don’t worry too much about it. Just don’t charge in willy nilly to fights and you should be fine. Also, don’t assume that a support is the easiest role to play; they are probably one of the hardest, as you normally will have a lot less money than everyone else.

          Also, I’m not sure when you tried it, but they have done quite a bit to ease new players into the game. I still generally just follow the in game guides, which are normally pretty well done.

          As for wards, they are definitely useful from time to time, but I honestly don’t think a lack of them will generally be the cause of you and/or team members dying. I also don’t think I have ever lost a game and thought that we would have won if we had of had wards. People are reasonably good at announcing when someone is missing from their lane (press Y and move the mouse to right – one of the first things you should learn to do,) and that is enough to know when you should be careful. It can be useful to use wards on cloaked enemies, but there are plenty of other ways to decloak them, so they aren’t a necessity.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          Dota definitely requires learning things bit by bit. Don’t listen to the people telling you “Oh its so complex you need to be a brain surgeon to play it”. Dota is a complex game, in reality that just means that most people are worse at the game than they would be at others, even if they think otherwise.
          Focus on learning one thing at a time. Start with learning a small number of champions until you know what you are doing with their abilities automatically. Get a build off the internet and stick to it so you can buy items quickly and not waste time/XP/gold. After you are comfortable with the champion and a core build you can start working on other stuff like when to vary your build, all of the extra stuff like creep blocking etc. Firstly just learn how to play solidly and don’t worry about the extra stuff until you are comfortable.

          Mechanically Dota offers different challenges to LoL. I wouldn’t say one is more difficult than the other, I think those saying such are just “Dota is L33T!!!1!” fanboys. Dota doesn’t require the same level of skillshot harassing that LoL does due to high mana costs and long CD’s etc, so your aim is actually more important in LoL for example.

          However Dota has a lot of champions that require micromanagement of summoned creatures etc, which adds a different kind of complexity. Dota is defintely more strategic, being out of position probably means you are dead due to the lethality of the cc in the game, whereas in LoL you have more of a buffer due to higher mobility champions and flashes etc.

          Just try not to be overwhelmed by it all, doing 10 different things badly is pointless. Just focus on learning your hero and on good positioning to start with. Learn the other stuff once are comfortable.

        • Banyan says:

          I highly recommend playing the Limited Heroes mode, and turning on one of the popular guides. You can practice CSing and learning the map and how play differs from LOL without freaking out about some of the weirdness. At every stage of figuring out the game – whether basic map awareness or knowing the right item to counter an opposing hero’s abilities – I’ve always felt like I was able to pull off some awesome gameplay (for my level) and always felt that I was barely touching the depths. You’re always making choices that matter in Dota 2, which is amazing. (That may not be as true for hard carries that need to farm in lane for 20 minutes before they stop sucking, but that is why I play support/utility heroes that are good to go from the start.)

        • Kakkoii says:

          When about did you last try to get into Dota 2? As they’ve improved it quite a bit for beginners. There is a lengthy tutorial, and you will also be suggested to play in “Limited Heroes” mode to start, so that you aren’t so overwhelmed. The finding match screen also has a mini-game for you to learn what items build into what.

          As for the shop menu, it can seem a little disorganized to new players, but you just need to understand what the icons at the top mean. The first page is consumable, the second is items that give you base stats, the third has a Sword/Shield icon, meaning Armor and Attack increase, and the fourth is the Arcane section, items that change other stats or do other magical things.
          All four of those are in the base item menu, meaning nothing builds into them, but they can usually build into something else. If you click on an item, you can see what it builds into, or what built into it.

          But at the end of the day, the shop isn’t even used for much, most of the time what you need for a hero should be in the panel beside it, in the “recommended” items, just like LoL has the recommended section. The difference for Dota 2 being though, that there are in-game guides that get updated regularly by active players, so you know they’ll be decent, not just what Valve thinks.

          Being able to destroy trees allows the game to be a bit more dynamic, it also changes up jungling a bit, as you can create quicker paths. And heroes like Nature’s Prophet can even turn a bunch of trees into minions to control. In Dota, you can blink or use various other skills, to land inside of trees areas, so being able to destroy trees is important to counter-player.

          I can see how it’s daunting, but learning is part of the fun. Seeing yourself grow and increase your knowledge is great.

    • noilly says:

      Mechanics wise vs LoL, Dota has denying (really only important in laning stage i.e. first ~10 min), higher turn rates and longer cast/attack animations in general, and way more actively cast item effects.

      On the other hand, Dota spells generally have higher impact and higher cooldown so hitting spell spam/comboing is less important than timing and positioning.

      There are a lot of mechanical tricks and hero-specific tricks, but none of them are important when you’re new to the game. I’d say give it a try… you can practice solo in private lobbies against bots or coop vs bots. You can also use cheats in private lobbies if you want to try different things without having to play through a game.

      • Kakkoii says:

        You can deny towers and allies (under certain spell circumstances) as well, so it’s not only useful in laning phase. If a tower is about to go down, if you have the opportunity to, it’s always best to deny it so the enemy gets a lot less gold. And if you deny your ally, the enemy gets nothing from the death.

    • cyrenic says:

      Try Dota out for a while and then play whichever you like best. The games have many similarities but they play a lot differently when you get into them.

    • Boarnoah says:

      I am not too good at Dota 2, its definitely a game to play with friends. Never played a game of Dota alone yet, and so far its good.
      Having tried LoL as well, I would prefer Dota just for that extra complexity.

      • Fiyenyaa says:

        This I agree with completely.
        I’d never played a Lords Management game before, but I had a group of a few people who started at a similar skill-level to me (i.e. zero). Now I’m over 1,200 games into the game and I’ve still never played a solo-game.
        If I didn’t have a group, I don’t think I’d play because the amount of horror stories I’ve heard of people being awful to each other in solo-games is really distressingly high. I mean, when a team you’re playing against smack talks or is horrible offensive it’s bad enough; to have to play with those people? Not for me.

        Just as an aside for the OP: I started Dota 2 with zero moba experience and I’m at least ok at it now. I think that now you have experience you’d probably be completely fine, although you’ll have to make sure you pick out the differences and adjust playstyle accordingly.

    • Graerth says:

      Why the need to “swap”, i mostly play dota2 out of those 2 games these days but there’s no real need to ditch one game or another.

      There’s some annoying parts in the learning (“Omg, how do you get hooked by pudge, do you eat all blitz hooks too?”, when you’re not used to the spell and movement ranges of heroes), but taking some of the simpler but effective heroes can do ok surprisingly fast. A lot of the complexity is just the ego and elitism going on from players, it IS a complex game, and has some silly mechanics “because it’s always been like this”, but it ain’t rocket science. If in doubt on what works? Take more crowd control, it never hurts =).

      Jump into forums and mumble, i’m sure someone will help you in a bit (the matchmaking does mean that if you’d join a full team the game might be really rough on you when everyone else in the game would know all heroes and you’re all “Wtf does that demon do? da fuuuk?”).

      EDIT: Also, the suggestion to try Dawngate isn’t bad, it it’s bad game either even if i do prefer dota2 usually.
      Also first tip for dota2: Mana is precious, most heroes do not use abilities to kill creeps. Often your main nuke costs 100 mana or more, and you regen between 1 and 2 mana a second. Qute a few guys can’t even cast their main spell twice without regenning mana for 20 secs or more so if you use your nuke, enemy laners will just smack you silly as they know you can’t cast anything.

      • AngelTear says:

        Well, I don’t know how you play but LoL already eats most of my gaming time, to the point I haven’t played many other games in months, because it’d be a shame to lose all the training and the knowledge, and fall one or two patches behind and not know what works and what doesn’t anymore. With time investment comes emotional investment, and I don’t like giving that up.

        I’m not gonna be a pro gamer and I don’t even want to, but I like to play seriously as far as I can within my possibilities, and I’m also a bit of a perfectionist, so the amount of time and energy required to know and keep my knowledge updated on both games, read and understand patch notes etc. would definitely be too much. I won’t be playing one game a week, or something, when I get into something I really get into it, I want to know “everything”, and considering I don’t want to dedicate my entire life and my whole time to gaming, that means one or the other.

        • Graerth says:

          I used to play more LoL and less dota2, I played LoL quite a lot 2 years ago or so but then it became a “game or 2 a day”, then something else. I’ve just popped my self to gold every season for free rewards (free jarvan was nice in S4 :p), but never took it more seriously. Right now i’d be a bit rusty on it but you’d be surprised how fast things come back in these games.

          Anyway, maybe pop on rps mumble&forums, give it a try. Personally i do want to be good in any game i play (obscure stats and mechanics in rts? I’ll learn ‘em), but i still love testing new stuff quite often too.

          It literally doesn’t cost a thing anyway to test =)

    • vivlo says:

      i wanted to answer “ye sure go dota it’s better” but then i saw everyone posting that same kind of comment, so i’ll jsut emphasis on them :x

      on a maybe more useful note : it’s really easier to jump into dota once you’ve made your first steps with another moba – that’s what i did, had begun with SotIS (now Aeon of Storm – a starcraft 2 fanmade Dota-like map) and a little LoL, then Dota ; it’s with Dota i begun to understand core mechanics of that type of game, get more invested and interested in improving.

  5. lucasp318 says:

    Funny thing is that I got a dendi card from TI3, not being a fan of TI3 probably because of the fact that I joined literally 2 days before the finals, so as a newb not knowing what the shit TI3 or dendi meant.. Now that I know both a I feel and would’ve felt sorry for you no Dendi’ser?

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