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The De-Dauntifying: DOTA 2 Gets In-Game Tutorial

Even those who are less knowledgeable about MOBAs than they’d like to be but plan to rectify that as soon as humanly possible (IT’S ME, OK FINE JEEZ IT’S ME OH GOD I’M SUCH A MESS) know this much about DOTA 2: it’s the hard one. Thus far, League of Legends has paved my road to vague competence with copious pointers, helping hands, and utterly heroic shoves in the right direction, but DOTA’s idea of a red carpet involves my blood. Lots of my blood. So Valve’s decided to change that. Well, a little, at least. The storefront, hardware, and fuuuuuture creator that occasionally develops games has added an in-game tutorial to its arena battling opus. But this is just the beginning, and it wants your help.

The single-player tutorial, which stars Dave – sorry, Davion – the Dragon Knight, comes as part of this week’s patch. In short, it’s Valve’s attempt at making DOTA’s early hours less daunting and more entertaining, an intersection of intentions that just so happens to meet at Significantly Less Reading Lane. The mega-developer is, however, acutely aware that this is a work-in-progress, so it’s requesting player feedback:

“We’re sure that you’ll think of a million things that we’re not teaching new players yet, and you’ll be right. This is just the first step, and we felt it was important to ship it so that you could help us figure out the right next step. Bringing new players into Dota is something we’ll be doing in collaboration with you, combining single player tutorial adventures with features like the recently released Hero Guides.”

Promising! It remains to be seen just how effective the tutorial will actually be versus, you know, just diving into the deep end, but this is Valve we’re talking about. If it’s actually dedicated to the cause, it’ll certainly find an interesting (and hopefully workable) way to achieve it.

This week’s DOTA patch is actually quite a hefty one, and you can read up on it in detail here. So, right then, I suppose it’s time for a new spin on a debate that’s so ragged as to be nearly disintegrating from use: whose new player experience do you think is better at this point? LoL’s or DOTA’s? I mean that in terms of both short-term and long-term education, too. Especially in MOBAs, do you think a trial-by-fire is part of the experience’s appeal, or is it just a needless extra layer of complication?

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Nathan Grayson

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