For the last five years, Dota 2 [official site] players have travelled far and wide to compete in The International. Now, Valve are launching a series of Majors, the first of which will take place in Frankfurt.
RPS Feature The artist hopefully formerly known as MOBA
Battle Arenas is a series in which Cara looks at Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games, and tries to answer why they might have become so popular. She used to play DOTA. A lot. Like, from back in 2003 when it was first released (she is old). Now DOTA clones are everywhere! THEY MUST BE EXAMINED. But first: a little musing on the intricacies of DOTA, the first, the best.
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Well, that was close. When last we checked in on Blizzard and Valve’s legal frontlines, the two were arming up for all-out war over the DOTA name. Blizzard was adamant that it owned the “Ancients” part of “Defense of the Ancients,” and therefore, Valve had no right to trademark “DOTA” for use in DOTA 2. Happily, however, neither side will be drafting up a legal defense (of the Ancients), as the PC gaming empires have called off their cold war. Hands have been shaken and babies kissed. So then, let’s have a look at the terms.
Well now, this is quite the thing. In its never-ending march to assimilate all the games, Minecraft has turned its gaping, block-toothed maw on DOTA. The resulting map (no mods required, amazingly) has it all: towers to defend, a colorful assortment of creep(er)s, and the single most overblown trailer soundtrack you’ll ever hear. The mere act of its war drums caressing my ear drums transformed my arms into swords and my legs into chain flails. I really wish it would’ve been the other way around, as I’m now functionally immobile. Anyway, you’ll find the absurdly impressive trailer after the break. Fair warning: side effects may include feelings of general inadequacy and the inability to ever touch the things you love again.
RPS Feature Counter-Defense of the Ancients
I was thinking the Blizzard/Valve cold war over DOTA had gone tellingly quiet of late. Here’s why – because it’s gone to the courts. Valve are, of course, gearing up to release Dota 2 as a standalone game of their own, but DOTA – or Defense of the Ancients as it was originally known – sprang to life as a Warcraft III mod. Valve were already facing a trademark-off with some of DOTA’s original team, but now, after some passive aggression in the media, Blizzard have stepped fully into the fray. They have lawyers. And they are contesting Valve’s registration of the Dota 2 trademark.
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Sometimes games brood, sitting in a corner and calculating their every internal component with a die that has unlimited sides. That can be agreeable, but it’s much more agreeable when a new game approaches wearing a jester’s hat and jigging merrily into view. Such is the case with Blizzard DOTA, the trailer for which has all the appearance of a wonderful parody. But this is reality and you will indeed be able to play a DOTA-styled game, pitching Blizzard characters against each other, with no regard for lore or legacy. It is to be an officially released Starcraft 2 mod, although you won’t even need to buy Starcraft 2 to play it.