“Doom clones” we called the rush of games which followed in the wake of Doom in the mid-nineties. It’s a daft and dismissive term in retrospect, though less clinical than “first-person shooter,” but, well, weren’t they basically just Doom? In the same vein, until newcomers start properly distinguishing themselves I’ll happily use “Dote ’em up” and “Doter” for DotA-y games like Dawngate.
You can now have a bash at Waystone Games’ free-to-play Doter by joining the open beta. What makes Dawngate different to the rest? Publisher EA will tell you it has “a flexible Meta that lets you play your way” but what does that collection of words even mean?
The general idea is that unlike other Doters, where you can do whatever you want but it’ll probably ruin the game for your team, you can do as you jolly well please in Dawngate and still win. I’m more than a mite sceptical of that. Unless games can be won by idly dicking about, which would make the whole MOBA thing a bit pointless, I’m not sure how teams without a balanced composition and clear strategy won’t ultimately fall apart. This may require investigation.
Dawngate’s more League of Legends than DotA but I don’t know what I’d do with myself if I started saying “LoLLer.” The map’s a two-lane affair, a bit like LoL’s Twisted Treeline. That we still directly compare levels between games means I’m almost definitely not being a bore with my nomenclature.
Here’s a recent developer playtest showcase video thing showing a sample match: