Posts Tagged ‘Dota 2’

Frostivus For The Rest Of Us: Dota 2 Holiday Event Returns

By Graham Smith on December 10th, 2013.

The Airing of Grief-ances?

Valve have learnt their lesson from Diretide: don’t deny the Dota 2 community their holiday celebrations. That means that Frostivus is back. The holiday event is traditionally quite lovely. Last year’s Frostivus started normally before being taken over by The Greeviling, an update and game mode in which players can use their Greevil a secondary hero. At this point, I’d normally make a crack about how I don’t understand any of this and don’t care, but truthfully, I do understand it. It’s just easier to be flippant than explain all the context. Instead, this time, I’ll take door number three and link to the Dota 2 wiki page about the Greeviling event.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

12 Comments »

Riot Changes Mind On Pro LoL Streams, But Issues Persist

By Nathan Grayson on December 9th, 2013.

The witch is dead, League of Legends pros can once again stream whatever they want, and eSports is saved! OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, but I really didn’t like the potential implications of Riot’s decision to contractually forbid its pros from streaming Dota 2, Hearthstone, World of Tanks, and tens of other extremely popular games. Fortunately, after copious uproarious outcry, Riot decided to rethink its portentously controlling decision. Now pros are able to stream whatever strikes their fancy or tickles their murder bones, though certain sponsorships/promotional angles are still off-limits. This is admittedly much better, but I’m still concerned about Riot’s position near the top of the eSports food chain. Allow me to explain why.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , .

25 Comments »

Why Riot Really Needs To Rethink Pro Stream Restrictions

By Nathan Grayson on December 5th, 2013.

When I wrote my Homeric epic about attending League of Legends’ Championship Series, one of my biggest fears was that Riot’s stranglehold on its own game’s eSports scene could eventually suffocate pros and the scene itself. A game creator, after all, will inevitably have different priorities than a dyed-in-the-wool sports organization – especially compared to the way eSports leagues currently operate. And yet, here we are. LCS season 4 contracts are now in the hands of pros, and they contain some sticky stipulations. The most worrisome among them? The one that forbids all contracted pros from streaming DOTA 2, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Heroes of Newerth, World of Tanks, and many more for the duration of the season.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , .

135 Comments »

RE: That Heroes Of The Storm Interview

By Nathan Grayson on November 22nd, 2013.

Well, my Heroes of the Storm interview ended on a strange note, didn’t it? You don’t know the half of it, either. You weren’t actually there. As I attempted to explain why designing female characters that look as empowered as their male counterparts is absolutely not about political correctness for political correctness’ sake, the room’s atmosphere seemed to me to become extremely curt. Browder seemed highly resistant to engaging on the topic, and sounded particularly severe when saying “We’re not running for President.” Because clearly, that’s the only scenario in which this sort of thing really matters. When you’re trying to make kissy faces at the camera and win hearts by pretending to care about The Real Issues.

Now, I don’t know if Browder meant for it to come across that way, and he could well have misinterpreted the bottom line of my questioning. If so, that’s fair and understandable, and I apologize for using him as an example. Also, I very much appreciate that he said he’d at least take the feedback to mind. But the attitude he seemed to express is an incredibly prevalent one both within the industry and among its closest followers, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t discuss it in detail.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , .

783 Comments »

Blizzard On Heroes Of The Storm, Female Designs In MOBAs

By Nathan Grayson on November 22nd, 2013.

Papa Blizzard, Papa Blizzard! Why are Aunt Kerrigan and Uncle Diablo fighting? No, seriously, why? I didn’t even know they were from the same side of the family. Or the same dimension. And yet, for all the “because why not”-ness of the game’s premise, Heroes of the Storm plays quite nicely, taking MOBA mechanics and sanding down the rough edges to a point of real intuitiveness – sculpting a svelte ice swan from a figurative iceberg. I discussed the surprise hit of BlizzCon with game director Dustin Browder, and we touched on everything from business models to plans for a map editor to whether or not Heroes counts as a “casual” MOBA. That was all delightful. Unfortunately, Browder’s perspective on the MOBA genre’s epidemic of absurd, hypersexualized female characters turned out significantly less so. 

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

237 Comments »

How A Single Patch Can Shake The Dota 2 Trading Market

By Cassandra Khaw on November 19th, 2013.

That cowboy hat and those two dogs? That’d have cost you $40,000 a week ago.

“Do you want a scoop?”

“Yes.” That didn’t seem sufficient. An emoticon — X and D get a lot of mileage from me — gets stapled on. “Yes, I do.”

Jing is my primary contact in the sometimes seedy world of Dota 2 trading. He’s an administrator at Dota2traders, a straight-laced gent with an encyclopedic knowledge of market prices. Which is invaluable in his field, really, because couriers in Valve’s re-imagining of the world’s most popular mod can fetch prices upwards of $10,000 dollars.

We start with the pleasantries. You know Dota 2 is getting a new patch? Yes. You know the thing about socketing and crafting? Yes. Well, traders are mad about it. Why? Because there’s a chance we’ve all just lost thousands and thousands of dollars. Amid my growing consternation, Jing goes on to provide an account of how one simple update could be held culpable for such staggering financial damage.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

150 Comments »

Dota 2 Update Adds New Heroes And Coaching Mode

By Graham Smith on November 14th, 2013.

Earth, Wind and Fire? I love their music!

Dota 2‘s latest update is a big one. Not only does it introduce the much requested Halloween event, Diretide, but it’s got three new heroes, a coaching mode, and a socketing system. A lot of people who understand what any of this means are very excited right now.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

37 Comments »

Impressions: Heroes Of The Storm Steals BlizzCon

By Nathan Grayson on November 10th, 2013.

After Blizzard’s own community invented what is now considered the MOBA genre, the lumbering blue giant finally has one of its own. Again. Heroes of the Storm was originally conceived as a StarCraft II map editor showcase, then reinvented as a slightly more robust standalone, then renamed, then consigned to more than a year of worrisomely silent obscurity. But now, at last, it’s slowly but surely trundling down the danger-laden lane to completion. And it’s good. Really, really good. Heroes strips the MOBA genre – or “hero brawler” according to Blizzard’s sweaty, desperate attempts at renaming the genre – down to its basest essentials, and they just… make sense. Matches are quick, convolution is minimal, and there are even some fairly unique heroes mixed in with a handful of DOTA/LoL re-skins. Read all about it below.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , .

103 Comments »

Bloody Wonderful: DOTA 2 Getting LAN Support, GLaDOS

By Nathan Grayson on September 21st, 2013.

It's like they say: you can't squeeze blood from a stone. You have to use a really, really big axe.

You might remember that DOTA 2 officially launched not too long ago. This may in part be due to the fact that it’s one of the biggest PC games ever, making it difficult to forget about in the same way that a herd of rhinoceroses just kind of hanging out in your living room would at least spend a fair amount of time in your peripheral vision. It is, of course, already quite good, but Valve plans to continue updating it until the Earth molts away its wriggly organic shell, leaving behind naught but dust and roaches. The first step in that process? A (very) soon-to-be-launched update fittingly titled First Blood. It includes LAN play! Also lots of other things, including Portal’s own wise-cracking cracker of psyches GLaDOS as an announcer. Details below.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

93 Comments »

Why Is Dota 2 The Biggest Game On Steam?

By Michael Cohen on September 11th, 2013.


This is the first part in a new series looking at contemporary multiplayer gaming and the e-sports phenomenon.

Since Steam’s inception, just a handful of marvellous gems have topped the Steam Stats page. Games like Counter-Strike, Team Fortress 2 and Sid Meier’s Civilization V have earned accolades, snared players in their thousands, and then hovered around the 50,000 mark. For Valve’s Dota 2, now just wrapping its beta period, that figure currently sits at 500,000 concurrent users (not including China and South Korea). Five hundred thousand!

More users play Dota 2 simultaneously than the nine other ranked games combined and it is only going up from there. Why?
Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

256 Comments »

No, Really: DOTA 2′s Beta Is Over

By Nathan Grayson on July 10th, 2013.

We live in strange times. Food chains are trying to poison us, we can probably save lives by putting heads on dead people’s bodies, and games can corral a million-gajillion players without ever being “released”. Madness. Nothing makes sense anymore. Civilization has been replaced by a steaming crater of contradiction. And while those first two things have much further-reaching, highly disturbing implications, this is a videogame site so let’s talk about the last one. DOTA 2‘s beta ran for two years. During that time, it dominated all lanes of Steam’s most-played list because people like MOBAs a little bit maybe. But now – finally, amazingly – Valve Time has aligned with Real Time for a brief, shining moment. DOTA 2 is out. Oh, but you might still have to wait if you want to actually play. Why? Because – as I said earlier - nothing makes sense anymore.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

118 Comments »

Stitched Up: Steam & Twitch Sitting In A Tree

By Alec Meer on July 5th, 2013.

I for one welcome our new cross-media overlords

In my day, kids used to actually play videogames, you know. Now they just sit around watching other people play them. Disgraceful, it is. They’ll never develop life-long RSI and lower back problems that way. They’ll probably still get the limited attention span thing, of course.

It’s going to get even worse now that Twitch, market leader of such inactivity, has officially gotten into bed with Steam, market leader of selling the games that people gawp at on Twitch. Now those kids don’t even have to load up two seperate services. They can just sit there, staring at the same webpage forever. Down the mines with them all, I say.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

20 Comments »

Permission To Learn: Dota 2′s Tutorial Widens

By Craig Pearson on July 3rd, 2013.

It's coming in to land.
Look at me, I’m a Dota 2 player! I just killed my first… Cara, is that a creep? Hooray, I killed a creep! And now I’m going to something something the other somethings. Oh, alright. You got me. I am a fraud. I’ve had Dota 2 on my PC for six months now, and all I’ve ever managed to do was watch a few matches and click around on the interface. It’s brick wall to me. A beautifully animated and intriguing brick wall, but nonetheless rather stubbornly impassable. But with Valve about to launch the game to everyone and anyone, they’ve just added an honest-to-glob tutorial, adding plenty more sections to the paltry single map that served as an introduction. Did Dota 2 just become welcoming?
Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

71 Comments »