Defence of the Ancients 2: A Valve game by Icefrog
With the imminent official release of DOTA 2 upon us, it's about time to bring to light this magnificent piece of work that has defined its own game genre, as games such as DOOM and Wolfenstein 3D defined the FPS genre in the early 1990's. So a big welcome to one and all; to the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) world of gaming and particularly to it's founding father, Defence of the Ancients!
The History of DOTA:
Defence of the Ancients was originally a custom scenario map made for Warcraft 3, inspired partially from the original map 'Aeon of Strife' from Starcraft; that was created in 2003 by Eul. With it's popularity came a few versions of the map including the all time legacy version: DOTA AllStars - developed by Steve 'Guinsoo' Feak. After version 6.01 Feak handed over official development to the new author ' Icefrog'. The DOTA clan TDA, with Steve 'Pendragon' Mescon created a website for dota players to congregate called dota-allstar.com and by the end it had over 1.5 Million registered users.
With the close of development of DOTA:AS.
Steve Feak and Steve Mescon went on to develop League of Legends, whilst Icefrog kept the rights and development of DOTA to himself: Upon the investment of Valve, with close overseeing by Icefrog; DOTA 2 was born - a pure stand alone version of the original.
Whilst there have been many stand alone games to rise in the MOBA genre, including; Demigod, League of Legends, Heroes of Neworth (and 3rd person versions such as Smite or Monday Night Combat) - these games have always been described as: DOTA-esque or Dota-clones, with DOTA holding the legacy of the genre in itself, the one single game that all others were made from. However League of Legends has gone on to set itself apart from DOTA and stands above the rest, as it's own corner of the MOBA genre, whilst the other's have remained heavily in DOTA's shadow.
DOTA 2: The Gameplay
Originally Posted by ”Wikipedia: Moba Games”
There are two opposing teams whose goal collectively as a team is to destroy their enemy's base to win. Typically, there is one main structure which must be destroyed to win, though destroying other structures within the opposing team's base may confer other benefits. Defensive structures are in place to prevent this, as well as relatively weak computer-controlled units which periodically spawn at each base and travel down predefined paths toward the opposing team's base.
A player controls a single powerful in-game unit generally called a 'hero' or 'champion'. When a hero stands near a killed enemy unit or kills an enemy unit, it gains experience points which allow the hero to level up. When a hero levels up, they have the ability to learn more powerful skills and abilities. When a hero dies, they have to wait a designated time, which generally increases as they level up, until they revive at their base.
Each player receives a small amount of gold per second from their base. Moderate amounts of gold are rewarded for killing hostile computer-controlled units and larger amounts are rewarded for killing enemy heroes. Gold is used by heroes to buy a variety of different items that range in price and impact. For the most part, this involves improving the combat viability of the hero, although there may be other items that support the hero or team as a whole in different ways.
Members of the genre do not feature several other elements traditionally found in real-time strategy games, notably base management, and army building. The RPG genre has a much closer resemblance to the gameplay, only limited to an arena.
Heroes in DOTA 2, fall within a few categories - the most prominent being their main attribute - Strength, Agility, Intelligence.
These defining attributes typically define the generic ideas of heroes within these categories, strength being health and armour; agility being damage and mobility and Intelligence being spells and support. However the heroes are broken down into 'Role' categories which define their generic usage, the main focus roles being: Carry/Pusher, Durable/Escape and Support/Disabler.
Carry or Pusher: These are heroes that have high damage abilities that can be used to kill other heroes, or kill non-player targets easily, basically offensive heroes.
Durable or Escape: These are heroes that are either tougher to kill based on being bigger and more resistant to damage - or being able to escape situations where others may be trapped.
Support or Disabler: There are heroes that have supportive abilities such as slows, healing, buffing or enabling abilities or disabling abilities such as debuffs, stuns or removing high threat heroes from combat.
Heroes within DOTA2 may fit either roles, or multiple roles base on their style or gameplay mechanics. Usually making deadly combinations with a variety of skills across the board and fitting complimentary roles with other team mates. BE WARNED, for every hero there is a counter hero – with abilities and styles that may wreck havoc on your game.
With all these things come...
DOTA 2 also has a variety of features within the game, especially the ability to watch replays and other games - There are also options to watch high profile matches, and competition games to see how competitive DOTA is played - or you can rewatch you old matches to see where you went wrong.
Then also comes the workshop - an ingame store where you can purchase items for heroes, custom UI's, custom couriers and a variety of other items in the game. There is also 'loot' dropped when you level up or maybe at random, where you have a chance to win items, that can be traded with friends to fully kit out your heroes as you see fit. The Workshop is as much in the game as it is out - and there are options to create your own items to be included in the game (if your good enough!), vote and rate other people's work if you think it deserves to be available within the game! This huge crafting community is hard as work trying to make the best and fanciest and shiniest stuff just for DOTA.
Speaking of community! There are also the ability to create custom teams, with custom up-loaded emblems! After creating a team, you can now play against other teams in minor league matches through the purchase of league invitations - once you team is all assembled into the same group, DOTA will automatically detect you, so you can play games against other teams in a more competitive environment to gain a rating that is used to determine some of your matchups!
The Guild system within DOTA 2 is being developed and rolled out in the next few patches – this in turn will offer more features to easily team up with guild mates and view games.
TOG: DOTA 2
For members of The Older Gamer, we have the DOTA 2 Forums
- where you can come hang out and get help, information and more from other players. You can also join the TOG guild in DOTA 2, so that you can have matches with other Toggers, without having to have 50+ people on your friends list (like me
So come join us now and see what all the fuss is about! The laughs, the crying, the jokes, the taunting, the hair ripping and gnashing of teeth; the death and despair of total obliteration; the guts, glory and POOOWWWAAARRR of total victory... and always the shiniest of shiny loot. DOTA 2 is a strongly competitive game, you'll love it, you'll hate it... it's the ride of a lifetime!
Here are some video's to peak your interest!
See what excellent gameplay looks like:
Art of DOTA ep.1
Art of DOTA ep.4
Or see what it's like to be the victem of bad gameplay:
Dota Fails of the Week 55
Dota Fails of the Week 35
Article contributors: Primexes, 5plinter