DOTA 2 is brilliant

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  • Post category:MOBA / PC / Reviews
DOTA 2's lobby reminds me of how used to be

I’ve logged about 13 hours in DOTA 2 beta in the past couple of days.  Without a doubt, this is a quality production.   The feel of DOTA is there, and when I say DOTA I actually mean Defense of the Ancients and not “MOBA.”  There are a few beta-like glitches with sound, but for the most part the entire game feels remarkable polished.  A few traits stand out.

Steam Integration

There’s something to be said for the truly wonderful multiplayer experience Valve has crafted.  It feels like the original and in many ways looks like it too.  Your Steam friends are listed right on the UI and those playing DOTA are highlighted separately.    Forming groups and/or inviting to games is also seamless and equally spectacular because of Steam.

Graphics and Performance

The game is beautiful and runs how I wish every game would run.  It even ran remarkably well on the four year old rig I have back at home.  The game feels polished — you know that ‘feel’ I’m talking about?  It’s like a tangible psychological feeling… like a warm blanket of fuzzy awesomeness that envelopes you and imbues you with mental clarity.

The art design is spot on.  Valve went with their classic stylized graphics but captured what I remember about DOTA from Warcraft 3’s engine.

Hero modernization

Valve did a great job implementing the heroes currently in the game.  There is some artistic license at work with some of the heroes and some of the abilities look and behave slightly different from how I remember them in DOTA1, but for the most part it only took a couple of hours to feel right at home.

DOTA 2 is easily going to take the crown for best MOBA game.  I’m extremely curious to see what Valve does with their TF2 style itemization as well as their payment options.  Valve has the ability to take this game places that other MOBAs have not and cannot go, because they are Valve.

  • I’ve played it, and I dont think its better than LoL. I mean, why did they bring back denying creeps? Its so stupid. TBH, I felt it was boring, its all the old heroes all over again, and its the same old map all over again.

  • From what I’ve seen the spell effects are great but the overall look was very dull, as if the backgrounds were deliberately washed out to create greater contrast with the avatars which were otherwise not too impressive.

    And on a small point I saw the following message on the screen:

    “X got pwned by Y”.

    If they are going to use horrendous internet slang in the messages themselves then I think they set a poor standard from the outset.

    And yeah I could not believe they used the same map once again.

    DoTA was a mod done by a small team (or just 1 person?) but this is a full game being designed by Valve so I expected a lot more progress.

    Plus points: the lobby seems great.

  • Hmm I got into LoL and tried other moba (HON) and honestly not that impressed with HoN which I heard is similiar to Dota. LoL has more fun gameplay ,crisper controls , better pacing and has a lot going for it (~100 champs huge community)

  • I’m shocked to hear you say DotA 2 is brilliant (in its current state). There’s something seriously wrong with your taste if you really mean what you said…

  • Apparently a lot of people here don’t like someone’s opinion. I have been in the beta also. Brings me back to the old days by the feel of it. Trust me when i say that this will quickly replace the top teir of Moba’s. Wondering why? Here is the reason.

    Prize pools. This game will bring in bigger prize pools then LoL or any other moba. So most top Moba pro’s will quickly switch to this that go to tournaments. Lower tier players might like LoL more as a game, but sadly pro’s play these games for the money.

    Personally with LoL booming they will probably be hosting and increasing their prize pools also. Dota2 did it to get attention and LoL needs to take it back to make sure it keeps the top spot. LoL currently has 11 million active players. That should be more then enough to make sure Dota2 doesn’t crush them, but I know a lot of people who tend to follow their favorite pro’s within games.

    Its basically a wait and see what riot does for me. LoL is a great game, has great pacing, works on anyones computer (so does dota2), and is its own game. Dota2 has the classic feel that most Moba pro’s love. I know quite a few of them are going to switch over thinking its going to over take LoL. I personally think this will be a battle between the two for top spot. With HON sitting in the corner “Forever Alone”.

  • So you think the pro players decide which is the most popular one? They are less than 1% of the playerbase. They are nobody. They dont draw any players away from anything. If you really think that, more players would be playing CS, than modern warefar or BF3

  • ” most Moba pro’s ” – “pros” may like it but general public does not . HON supposedely has same feeling as DOTA and look where it is. LoL has tons and tons of champs with a lot of skins (that what general public likes) the moba mechanics are inane enough in either case , but they are outright hostile in dota.

  • @G-Man only 1 person essentially attacked Keen’s opinion from a total of 4 comments prior to you, so not sure where you are getting your conclusion that “a lot of people here don’t like someone’s opinion”.

    I don’t have any problems with Keen’s opinion which is grounded in a lot more experience of the game than mine, I just expressed my own opinion based on what I’ve seen and my own tastes.

    I liked Keen’s post and will be giving the game another look if they give me a demo offer someday – but I quit HoN after one game for being ugly and using the word “pwned” and might do the same again with DoTA2!

  • How can any1 have a problem with an opinion? I just feel he’s wrong, thats all, ofcourse he can feel however he wants. Its kinda rare, thats there really any right or wrong, offent just opinions

  • I think denying creeps adds great depth to the standard lane pushing. A good deny’er can out level and out farm their opponent, whereas without it exp gain is generally equal among opponents who stay in a lane.

    The graphics are stylized, and I love the style. Not much to contend on that point. The map is also a huge part of what makes DOTA 2 work. Change the map and you risk changing the game drastically. That’s not to say that Valve hasn’t done some great things with it. The jungle and fog are fantastic.

    @Intruder: The ‘slang’, verbage, and overall vibe to their kill spam is throwback to the original. I didn’t even notice it.

    @Bruce: without expanding on what you mean, and why you think differently, your comment is not constructive nor does it carry any weight — even with anyone who might agree with you.

  • Slang: yeah I guessed it was when I saw it in HoN and then DOTA2 – I never played DOTA1 myself. I hate it and so notice it 🙂

    Regarding the map I’m sure Valve could beat it or at least offer some alternatives: as long as they are symmetrical and follow the basic rules of the “Classic” map they should not struggle too much.

    I played WoW for a time and very quickly got tired of the one-map paradigm. Ah well this is why I’m not a DOTA player!

  • Sorry Keen but after a similar amount of playing I feel the exact opposite. I never loved denying in DOTA, but after playing LoL then trying Dota 2 for a bit I actually found it immersion breaking and annoying killing my own minions.

    Second off the hero design feels like a re-balance not a remake. You still have a lot of abilities that are on a long boring cool down or are completely passive. Compared to some of LoL’s characters they are actually dead easy and unintuitive to play with a low skill cap.

    Look at Nocturne vs Specter, Nocturne has Shadow Reach which is basically identical to Specter’s Spectral Dagger, Where Specter has the passive Desolate, Nocturne has an active form of crowd control that requires skill to land (Unspeakable Horror), where Specter has another passive, Dispersion, Nocturne has a passive with a built in active that blocks one enemy spell and rewards a successful block.

    Both have a fun and interesting Ultimate, Specter can Haunt every enemy Hero on the map with images of herself then teleport to the image of her choice, Nocturne blacks out the map for all enemy champions then can teleport to one of them causing damage.

    Still Nocturne is a well fleshed out Hero while Specter is a two trick pony that gets old fast.

    Frankly I think DOTA 2 is too stuck in the muddy waters of PRO [email protected] gaming to appeal to most people. LoL is like WCIII in that it dose a really good job of being accessible to both. The learning curve in LoL turns a lot of people off and DOTA has a learning cliff that makes Eve’s look good.

  • I totally agree that LoL is more mainstream. DOTA2 is a more difficult game. But I think it’s better off because of it. I also think DOTA 2 is way more polished and of higher quality design.

  • We are going to have to agree to disagree then Keen because frankly I’m going to keep playing LoL unless the Dota mechanics get a lot more user friendly or the heros get a lot more interesting.

    I don’t have five hours a day to master fiddly mechanics and I certainly don’t have the patience to put up with the thousands of people who HAVEN’T sunk way more time than they should have into RTS and MOBA games like I have. It takes a decent RTS player maybe 100 hours to get “good” at LoL as compared to say 2 or three thousand to get “good” at Dota.

    Furthermore never underestimate the power of the Dota community, if LoL has a rotten community Dota’s is rancid. A lot of newbies are going to make a mistake (or twenty) in the first three minuets and get the time honored: “Go back to LoL.”

    Except this being the DOTA community it will probably be more like: “You stupid [email protected]& swilling piece of %@#*, what the @#$% do you think your doing? Go back to LoL you [email protected]#$ing [email protected]$$ot, and tell your sister I’m going to #$%& her doggy style, you little [email protected]#$.”

  • I can barely get my friends to kill creeps in LoL, there’s just no way they’d ever be able to handle denying the enemy as well.

    DotA2 will definitely not cater to the “casual” gamer. Not to mention the community difference between LoL/DotA. DotA hasn’t ever been “New User” friendly.

  • @Rawblin Agreed. I can understand why Keen likes DOTA 2, even if I don’t agree with it, what I don’t understand is why he thinks it is going to be successful and “take the crown for best MOBA game”.

    All the highly successful competitive games that have been released in recent times have followed the Blizzard model of being accessible to the casual crowd and yet deep enough for the Pro’s. Dota 2 is about as accessible as an armadillo’s belly button and twice as hard to get into.

  • Whew, look at all those LoL fans. I won’t try to convince you guys. I’m openly a Valve fanboy when it comes to quality. I’m also a lover all all things that are designed to promote connecting players with the game and their friends. Valve’s DOTA 2 lobby system works so well. Valve is like Blizzard in that everything they release is a step above the rest in quality and polish.

    I like denying and I prefer the feel of DOTA over LoL. It’s just more fun for me. Since DOTA 2 excels at being the best DOTA we’ve had yet, it is, in my mind, the best MOBA I’ve played. I know DOTA 2 has a lot of fans and I know Valve’s track record. I believe DOTA 2 could easily take the crown for those reasons.

    One thing I will take a stance on and tell you to your face that you’re wrong is when you try to say that the LoL community is any less vial. ALL MOBA communities are horrible. There is no exception.

  • The good thing about DOTA2 is Valve. You just know they are never going to do anything haflway, its going to be quality all the way. Not saying LoL is bad, but its clear what they earn money on. And its not new maps, replay function or observer slots, its skins and heroes. Its not that big a problem, but I remember that the servers were very iffy for a long period (I live in EU, so dont know if its the same case in US). Chat not working, getting disconnected from games etc.

    Still LoL just feels like the way forward, getting rid of stupid mecanics (denying creeps) and adding fun stuff like the bush! Making a copy, more or less, of the old Dota map from WC3 just feels uncreative and a like a step backwards to me. And they found a F2P model that actually works! Thats pretty rare, and then its a bit harder to blame ’em for the lack of observer slots and stuff like that.

  • @Keen I’m absolutely not just fanboi’ing LoL. I love Steam, and by association Valve. You are absolutely right that they release polish and quality. So we are totally in agreement there.

    I was simply saying that my friends can barely kill creeps like they are supposed to in LoL (the only reliable way to earn gold). Adding Denial on top of that would render them utterly useless (and most likely frustrated). And since I game to play with my friends, or hang out with my friends to play games (not sure which is more accurate tbh), I don’t see myself playing DotA2.

    As far as someone being a clear winner for taking the MOBA crown, I doubt anyone will. DotA is popular, LoL is popular. DotA2 will grab the same playerbase DotA has, LoL will maintain its own. I find the two games different enough that neither will “take the cake”.

    Besides, we all know the cake is a lie.

  • I’m with C3PO et al here. Riot did a lot with League of Legends to present a user-friendly environment to play the game in. The map is bigger and the town portal/”blue pill” ability is built into every champion. Creep and tower denial are impossible. The shop is far, far easier to browse and understand in LoL…and there’s only one of them. All abilities have cooldowns, making for more steady, bursty game play that isn’t a constant spam-fest.

    Here’s DOTA2 trying to bring that all back. Probably some hard core DOTA players out there who will welcome this change, but I’m honestly surprised that Valve went that way. Somethings LoL did were good ideas; DOTA2 should’ve maybe gone that same way.

  • I will add that there’s one thing Valve did very well, and that’s the interface and presentation of the game lobby. Considering that Riot threw theirs together in a pinch and Valve has a full-time staff and complex library devoted to the task of GUIs like that, it’s a silly comparison to make, but it’s certainly there. I really, really like the Steam interface and the way it integrates with Valve games. I’d like to see more of it.

  • @Rawblin: Along the lines of accesibility and defining clear lines between those players who can’t kill creeps let alone deny, I think it goes back to what I have always supported. I’m oldschool in MMO’s and like death penalties. I like barriers, consequences, and permanence. It’s the same with DOTA.

    I don’t like how LoL has neutered a lot of mechanics to make it easier — it diminishes the experience for me. That doesn’t mean it’s any less enjoyable to someone else, though.

    The combination of Valve and what they can do with a property, vs. a company like Riot, gives me reason to believe that DOTA 2 will go places that LoL and other MOBA’s will not.

  • Keen I understand where you are coming from but I think you have forgotten the key elements to making a successful mainstream game, Accessibility, Content and Polish. Marketing and Brand name recognition certainly help but it is those three things that separate the World of Warcrafts from the Warhammer Onlines.

  • Comment got cut off :/. Right now Valve have Polish, Marketing and Brand name recognition on their side. I think the content is slightly lacking and I know for a fact that the accessibility is COMPLETELY lacking, remember that 90% of the gamer population has played a lot less than you and isn’t going to wet themselves over hardcore old school mechanics the way you are.

  • @Holgranth: I guess I just disagree. What do people think about SC2? EVE? Counter Strike? None of those games are friendly to new players. They’re punishing, in fact.

    Honestly, just because you have to practice a game doesn’t mean it’s bad.

    A game doesn’t have to be uber accessible to be successful.

  • Wow this is on the cusps of being a LoL vs DOTA fanboy argument.

    I have not played DOTA, DOTA2, or HON. I played SC2 DOTA at the 2010 Blizzcon which was the first time I had ever played that type of game. I do however, or did, play LoL. It’s easy to get into and offers alot of room to grow and get better. A few friends, who convinced me to play LoL, have tried DOTA2 and said it’s terrible. That’s good enough for me to not try this game. If I’m going to play I may as well play LoL with my friends.

    Valve is a good company though. I have faith in them, but Riot has nothing to prove to me because they are already doing the job and hosting the game that Valve is trying to convince us they can do.

  • Until Valve gets a super cute spokewoman to show us all the fancy fan art creations that came out this week, I can’t see them going anywhere with this game.

  • Well I think SC2 is too bad on new ppl, you get placed in a league suited to your skills. Counter strike is pretty straight forward…i’m a bit unsure why you pull that up, ’cause its really easy to learn. Hard to master yes, but very easy to learn.
    Eve is popular, but its not a giant, you think Dota2 is gonna be in the Moba genre, what eve is in the mmo genre?

    For me a good game is something thats easy to learn but hard to master. CS is, and I think SC2 is as well. Buy guns, run out and shot ppl. Thats pretty much it. SC2 is only as hard as you want it to be, and you can practice offline where no1 will bother you. Eve is pretty hard to learn at first, which is why it will allways be a niche game among mmo’s but that does not make it a failure, but i’m pretty sure Valve is aiming for more than just to be a niche game.

    You cant practice Dota2 offline, you just get thrown into it, and the other players are brutal. And the game is brutal, you quickly get left behind and it can be really hard to recover.

  • @Cthreepo: I find DOTA just as easy to learn as Cstrike, and despite SC2 assigning leagues it’s still easy to get completely thrashed in a matter of minutes.

    DOTA is quite easy to learn in the grand scheme of things. It’s 80% or more the same as LoL. It’s the fine details like denying, the different forms of jungle mastery, and the hard carry.

    You CAN practice Dota2 against some amazingly realistic bots. I’m not sure what you’re talking about there. There will also be tutorials and the coaching system.

    Essentially your argument boils down to thinking that you can’t learn a new set of skills or that if you have to it means DOTA 2 is somehow inferior. It’s a more difficult game, but also more rewarding as a result.

  • The main reason I believe DOTA2 will perform better than HoN, but not anything close to LoL, is because LoL fixes the main issues with DOTA, while DOTA2 just continues them, albeit with a new coat of paint.

    Hard carries are bad design (in terms of 10 people all having fun in a game), denying is bad design (counter-logic), most passive skills are bad design (power without gameplay), long cooldown abilities are generally bad design (do-or-die impact).

    Now, all of the above make DOTA DOTA, and those who absolutely love that formula will be happy.

    Unfortunately for Valve, that formula has issues (most of which Riot attempted to fix), and those issues ruin the game for many. One person being a god and killing the entire enemy team is great for that one person, and the hardcore will accept it, but the casual player won’t, and hence won’t play DOTA2. The pros who really are about the money will go where the money is, and if LoL has 15m+ players, and DOTA2 has 1m, it’s not hard to see where the money is going to be. Pro players make most of their money off streaming (ads), not tourneys, and so the total player pool is far more important in that regard.

    (Arguing that LoL is ‘easier’ than DOTA is pointless. Both games are PvP games, and if you find a game ‘too easy’, you should be moving up in the ranks until it’s no longer ‘easy’ for you)

  • I believe the carry system has merit. Without a team backing up a hard carry, they’re mostly dead weight for 30 minutes. It’s a strategy to play 4v5 while the 5th guy bulks up.

    Bottom line, I’m not trying to convince people to stop playing LoL. They are very different games. I’m saying I believe DOTA 2 will go places Riot can’t take LoL. Valve’s ability to take DOTA and expand it, while innovating on the MOBA formula will be far beyond the ability of other companies.

  • Okay, just so I don’t get permanently branded a DOTA hating LoL fan-boy this will be my last post on this issue. I agree with Syncaine completely, I think DOTA 2 is going to be a bit of a storm in a bottle for the reasons he points out.

    Keen I think you are forgetting how hard DOTA is on people that know NOTHING about it. Never forget most original DOTA players had already played Warcraft three offline, then online before they discovered it. Most of us already had hundreds or even thousands of hours on RTS games which made a transition easier.

    I could teach my casual gamer girlfriend how to play LoL, (if we ever had time), as long as you have decent mouse control and a willingness to learn you can play LoL. I know of my four real life friends that currently play LoL only one is actually good enough to play DOTA and he won’t leave the others.

    I see a lot of Valve fans that have NEVER played a MOBA very hyped up about DOTA. “Its a Valve game! I love Valve! I’m going to love this game!” All I can think is, “I’ll find a nice piece of dirt for your poor mutilated corpse.”

    I’m going to leave it by countering your comment that “Dota 2 will go places Riot can’t take LoL.” Uh Keen? They aren’t going anywhere. They are rehashing a mod they liked. They aren’t trying to innovate, they aren’t trying to take the Genre anywhere. They are making DOTA with better graphics and balance. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with you enjoying it. But don’t try and crown the Ur example of the Genre King just because its got a new coat of paint.

  • I think LoL is just as hard on the people who know nothing about MOBAs. LoL and DOTA 2 play identically. It’s only in the details that they differ. Granted, those details lead to a breadth of options that can make DOTA more skill-oriented and difficult to master.

    Valve launched TF2 in 2007. Look where the game is at now. Valve has said more is to come after they release the current version. I highly doubt, and strongly disagree with you, that this is just a “rehashing mod”. You realize LoL’s map is 90% identical, right?

    I won’t bother belaboring this point anymore than it already has been, but it’s the checkers vs. chess argument.

  • I agree with keen, making the game simpler so more people can play it in my opinion is bad especially for those who CAN play the harder game. There is no denying that DOTA2 will be a harder game then LoL and in turn harder to access but I think this makes the game better and more rewarding. When I win at a game that any random can play well I don’t feel particularly good, on the other hand when I win at a hard game I feel like I’m achieving something.

  • @syncaine- well thought out and written post.

    Am I the only HON fanboi here? I hear that dota2 is like playing in molasses compared to playing HON.. wish I had a beta key to see for myself.

    I am used to the whole deny creeps from HON but I do think it is a counter intuitive design and probably should be removed. I heard that the only reason it was in DOTA1 was because of a flaw in the WC3 engine which made this happen so the devs at the time just incorporated it into the game. Funny how it is now a core thing in HON and DOTA2.

    I feel dota2 will become more popular than LOL over time only if it is free to play from the start. Just the sheer number of Steam users will push that game so far.

    As for competitive pro players they go where the money is and it is not from streaming but tournament prizes. Right now DOTA2 has already payed out more in beta just from that 1 million $ tourney than LOL or HON all year! If Valve uses a great observer/replay tool for casting and watching DOTA it will move it to the top for the competitive scene for sure.

    As for myself, I wish they would add something different in terms of heroes or maps or new mechanics but I am sure over time patches will come out with all this stuff. Another key thing is proper balance of heroes. HON has been criticized like mad on this due to new S2 designed heroes with perceived crazy abilities just overwhelm some original dota based heroes. From what I hear dota2 is well balanced already.

    I will definitely play DOTA2 and HON(unless hon dies away)

  • I think HoN faces the greatest loss potential. LoL appeals to the free to play, slower pace (if you think DOTA is slow…) simpler kind of play whereas HoN is literally S2’s recreation of DOTA. The S2 heroes are ridiculously unbalanced, as you said, and since DOTA 2 essentially remakes DOTA… but better… there’s no reason to ever play HoN again.

    I’ve said it a dozen times, but DOTA 2’s future is really what makes me believe it will ascend to the top of MOBAs. Valve’s implementation of new maps, skins/hats/costumes, new game modes, and Valve’s naturally ability to continue developing and supporting their products AND INNOVATING WITH THEM for years is really something I haven’t seen other companies do.

  • “(Arguing that LoL is ‘easier’ than DOTA is pointless. Both games are PvP games, and if you find a game ‘too easy’, you should be moving up in the ranks until it’s no longer ‘easy’ for you)”

    Anything can be competitive. Doesn’t mean I want to get good at competitive cup stacking or rock paper scissors (not saying LoL is that simple).

  • Keen, my man, haven’t read your blog before but in my desperate attempts to find any and all information on DOTA 2 that I can, I was brought here by the almighty Goodle.

    Let me start by saying I support your efforts thus far even though they have been met with some beligerence from onlookers. I have played all 3 of the big ARTS titles (lets not start a debate about the genre as well aye fellas?) and I constantly found myself gravitating back to Dota itself. Even after playing many many hours of HoN and enough games of LoL to know that there wasn’t enough in Riot’s version of the game to keep me interested. I don’t think it’s worth debating with any of you why that is the case, just leave it at personal preference.

    I agree with your views on Valve’s proficiency when it comes to taking a mod and turning it into a wholistically comsumbale product in it’s own right. Examples have already been stated but lets review shall we?
    Counter Strike. We are about to be introduced to the 3rd iteration of this franchise. THE 3RD. May I remind all of you that there are likely to be NO MAJOR CHANGES to how this game will play. As the old adage goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And this more so than ever applies to DotA.
    Team Fortress 2. See that? It has a 2 after it. It’s officially a sequel and it’s own game and there has even been games that have borrowed a few ideas from this (Monday Night Combat for starters).
    Portal. It was also just a mod which was turned into a game just to add into the Orange box and turned into a runaway success! AND it has it’s own sequel that is a good contender to be Game of the Year according to reviews I might add.
    Alien Swarm. This is another little side project from God knows where that was turned into a cult hit over the course of a single weekend when it was released on Steam for free.
    I would also like to point out that there aren’t that many titles being worked on by Valve as they seem to prefer the quality of quantity approach much like Blizzard who have inadvertantly given birth to this game and it’s offspring by simply creating quality games with good modding tools.

    It was noted above that DotA originated on Starcraft and while this is true I don’t think that environment really enabled the game of DotA to grow in the first place which is why it was moved to Warcraft 3. The fact that the game has moved house again is only a sign of more growth. I have been playing DotA for more years than I care to count and it’s growth and change has been exponential even in the time it spent in Wc3. I can only expect more growth under Valve’s name and guidance. I also don’t think the setting of far future really suited it either but again that’s just personal preference. I’m sure it could work with the proper development of lore to suit.

    TL;DR There is no way any of you naysayers have thought about the possibilties that have been opened up now that DotA is under the focus of a proper development company. The best is yet to come.

  • Well, I’ll be watching the stream if I get chance. Now I’m off to look up what “Creep Denying” actually is since I know it causes huge arguments.

  • It’s the ability to last hit your creeps to deny your opponent from being the one to last hit them. This reduces their ability to earn gold.

  • Keen, In hon’s case not sure about dota it also reduces their xp earned if you deny a creep. Hence “winning” a lane mid is not always killing the hero but just getting a better creep score and you will out-level your opponent and of course have more gold.

  • Keen, you are playing both sides of the fence here. On the one hand, DoTA2 is great because it’s more like DoTA than LoL, on the other hand you argue that DoTA2 will be greater than LoL because Valve is going to evolve the DoTA formula more than LoL has. Which is it? Great because it’s like DoTA, or great because it won’t be like DoTA?

    Right now, Valve is banking on being great BECAUSE it’s JUST LIKE DoTA. I believe that’s a mistake, as I’ve explained. I’d be FAR more interested in DoTA2 if Valve mixed things up even more than LoL did, and got it to work. As we’ve seen from the other MOBA titles out though, that’s a lot harder than it seems.

    Finally, people are acting like LoL is tic-tac-toe and DoTA is chess. If you believe you (anyone here) can learn the game and jump right into high-end play, please do try. Surely the slower pace and more basic game mechanics will result in quicker mastery, right? (Of course not, because while the initial learning curve might be lower, and the do/die mechanics of DoTA are more limited, it’s still a skill-based PvP game with basically a limitless ceiling)

  • I don’t disagree with you. What I’m saying is that I believe Valve -will- mix things up and introduce more changes. Heck, they’ve said they will.

    The foundation DOTA 2 sits on is already stronger than DOTA and HoN. What valve does with DOTA 2 will determine how far it goes beyond LoL.

  • @Syncaine – GTFO of my head… 😛

    I really latched on to this quote: “I’m saying I believe DOTA 2 will go places Riot can’t take LoL. Valve’s ability to take DOTA and expand it, while innovating on the MOBA formula will be far beyond the ability of other companies.”

    Hasn’t Valve had years to innovate and expand the DOTA forumula… and what we’ve been given is DOTA2, which is pretty much just like DOTA with a fresh coat of paint? I’ll have to disagree with you here, Keen because I’m not seeing enough evidence of it.

    You are right in saying LoL faces a great challenge here because they must delicately balance high ELO gameplay with low ELO gameplay. So far, Riot has done a pretty good job, but there’s always room to improve. However, if DOTA2 wishes to cater to the widest audience possible, it will face the very same challenges. If they choose to cater more to the hardcore crowd though (awesome if they do), they will add accessiblity barriers to their casual crowd. This will push them away from the mainstream. They’re in a bit of a catch22 situation imho.

    I can certainly understand why someone would appreciate one game more than the other. That’s great and it’s why we have variety. But I just don’t see how DOTA2 is going to become king of the MOBA genre when it has such fundamental accessibility issues.

    Lately, I’ve started to appreciate just how much effort Riot puts into their “anti-fun” design philosophy. They don’t always hit the mark, but at least they try for the sake of all their players – not just a select few. People whine enough about “U fed Akali newb – GG!” in LoL… I can’t imagine what those people will feel once they’ve experienced DOTA2’s super-carries.

    Attitude-wise, this entire genre has the scummiest player attitudes in all of gaming, so LoL won’t be any better or worse than DOTA.

    And for the record, I’m not a complete Riot fanboy. I have a lot of issues with LoL and I don’t feel like their bi-weekly new champion model is even remotely sustainable. At some point they’re going to have to mix up their revenue model or find a balance of content to development costs because few will be interested in a LoL with 150+ champions. Talk about a major barrier to entry… leading to stagnating growth and player attrition.

  • @Squeak – I don’t think anyone can argue what an awesome company Valve is, and I completely agree with you on the “if it ain’t broke…” adage. If they can take DOTA and make minor tweaks here and there to make it the best DOTA there ever was, kudos to them. Many DOTA fans will be happy.

    On the flip side though, DOTA isn’t the most casual-friendly game out there and it doesn’t appear that DOTA2 will change that. I’m a firm believer in games of all shapes and sizes. We’ve got Farmville and we’ve got Super Meatboy. Everyone has a place to call home.

    I think the biggest argument people are making against Keen’s comments is that we just don’t see DOTA2 taking the MOBA crown away from LoL because LoL is simply more accessible. That doesn’t mean one game is better than the other (that’s a personal taste thing), but from strictly a numbers perspective, I think LoL will keep its crown for some time to come.

    Why? See World of Warcraft. See Star Wars the Old Republic (soon to come). See Farmville and Angry Birds…

    If DOTA3 comes around and makes great strides towards accessiblity, well then, we have a contender for the crown.

  • You guys are shortselling the impact of the super carry model.

    ‘Steal’ a kill from the super carry? WTF NOOB IDIOT DIAF [email protected]!!!

    Die to the super carry? GG [email protected] NOOB FEEDING THE CARRY!!!

    ‘Feed’ the super carry (die twice)? IM GOING TO RAPE YOU IRL GOOGLING YOUR IP NOW (might be serious)

    Play the super carry and not dominate? WTF PICK A CARRY AND SUCK IDIOT NOOB KILL YOURSELF!!!

    Don’t play a carry? Enjoy being the sideshow of the 1v1 match of carry vs carry. Don’t do the above!

    LoL has a trash community because it’s a MOBA game and has 15m or whatever players. The community would be 10x worst if it also had DoTA-style anti-fun design, and this is coming from someone who played TDA DoTA at a pretty decent level.

  • In my opinion, you’re sensationalizing the super carry model. It’s a strategy like any other.

    As I’ve said all along, to each his own. You guys love League of Legends. Enjoy it. Continue to enjoy it. The fact that it may not be the ‘best’ should not change your enjoyment factor, nor give you cause for justification of your enjoyment.

    To each his own on this one. We shall see if I am right about Valve and DOTA 2 in due time.

  • Wtf keen? How can you say “The fact that it may not be the ‘best’ should not change your enjoyment facto” so what your saying is “Enjoy your lesser game, i’ll enjoy my better game” How can you say each to his own, and then afterwards call it a lesser game?

  • And any game that is designed around a carry model where 4 players is basicly slaves to 1 guy, and the tactic is to let one man have as much gold. xp and kills as possible is a bad game design in my book.

  • Those crazy games that emphasize one person. You know, like Baseball’s pitcher and Football’s QB. Completely unheard of, right?

    It sounds like you’re relying on what others say about DOTA 2 and not anything from personal experience. Time to move along, threepo.

  • Baseball and Football means nothing to me. No1 plays them here. We are more into team sports you know? Soccer where every1 is equally important. But sure, trash my opinion instead of giving a real answer

  • I don’t think you thought about your soccer example either Cthreepo. Lets analyse soccer and Dota for a second.

    Strikers are usually at the front scoring goals yes? They are carrying the team by socring those goals. They are chosen by the coaches to be in this position because they know goals will come from them being there. It’s not unheard of for others to score but it’s not as likely as they aren’t in the correct position to make it happen as often.
    The defenders are usually at the back of the field, trying their best to ensure the opposing teams strikers don’t score.
    Carries are usually at the top of the score board making the most kills. They are chosen by the captains to be in this position because they know kills will come from them being on the roster. They are carrying the team by making those kills. It’s not unheard of for others to get kills but it’s not as likely as they aren’t in the correct position to make it happen as often.
    The supports are usually at the bottom of the score board, trying their best to ensure the opposing teams carries don’t make any kills.

    This is a very loose analogy as the actual gameplay of the 2 games differs greatly as I’m sure you’re aware, but they are essentially the same thing!

    Backtracking a little, I would like to comment on this whole “X is better than Y” debate, no matter how futile it is. Dota has a massive following. The fact that it was picked given the People’s choice award at Gamescon should give you a rough idea of just how massive.
    “Following the first public showing of Dota 2, it won IGN’s public opinion-based People’s Choice Award, defeating other anticipated games, including Battlefield 3, Diablo III, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Guild Wars 2.[21]”
    That is a direct quote from Wikipedia. The information was taken from massive public event.

    Lets analyse numbers related to this quote. Skyrim beats Modern Warfare 3 for players on steam on a daily basis. So do a few other games but that’s not the point. Modern Warfare 3 managed to make shit loads of money on it’s first day of sales because it is so popular. Dota was voted above Skyrim on a public forum, not to mention that it beat all the other games on that list. There is a distinct possibilty that Dota will have a massive amount of players once it is released.
    It wont be expensive (if it isn’t made free to play but I don’t think it will be) so price will not exclude the players from China, Russia and a lot of the South East Asian areas.
    Valve has also just made a deal with a Russian e-money company Xsolla, as deatiled in this link.
    That I can expect was done to prevent the loss of sales in Russia due to people not using credit cards or debit cards in the country.

    In summary, I don’t think it’s fair to say that Dota 2 is a better game, but by the Power of Atheismo it’s going to give LoL’s numbers a run for their money.

  • My biggest issue with DOTA 2 is that its a clone, an exact clone. They are doing nothing with the fact that DOTA is free of the WC3 engine. They are keeping all the retarded “game play features” that were in fact just limitations of the old engine. DOTA2 will be for the hardcore DOTA faithful only and I doubt it will see much more success than that of HoN.

    Meanwhile League of Legends will be over here just steam rolling the genre with a much cleaner and less boring presentation of the DOTA-type MOBA.

  • Honestly, I think it’s fine if more people play to LoL than HoN/DOTA 2. DOTA 2 will still exist either way and just have less noobs that play it.

    As for the community, I found that LoL had worse players with worse attitudes. There’s nothing worse than someone who has little experience with a dota-style game yelling at other people about how bad they are. That was all over in LoL. The player base is just SO BAD. HoN and DOTA attract the more hardcore, better gamers.

    LoL is just littered with a bunch of people that are totally new to the genre and think it’s a godsend, when really it’s just dota-lite. LoL players go into DOTA and just get embarrassed.

  • Its stupid how people mentionthat Dota 2 is just a dota clone with better graphics, the game is in beta mode ffs. How can u expect them to add new content when tyhe original content is not even halfway complete! There are still like 50 heroes to add and if anyone knows how icefrog works you would know new content will be a sure thing. The guy just keeps adding items and heroes always making the game more fast paced. Im not even gonna discuss LOL fans, they are nothing. If only DOTA players end up playing DOTA 2(which will not be the case at all) then so be it, tired of all these LOL players calling Tiny unbalanced because they rae too stupid to get bracers or turn their agi treads into str treads, damn it i ended bashing LOL players oh well I tried.

  • I’m sorry if I’m a little late to this conversation but I just had to stop by and post my mind. All I see are League of Legends players who, frankly, have very shallow arguments at the most.

    1) Dota 2 is just a clone of Dota 1.
    This has to be the most moot statements I’ve seen in the comments by far. The reason is quite simple. Why was Dota 2 conceived in the first place anyway? Does anybody here know why? – Valve’s Eric Johnson and a bunch of their employees had been long time Dota fans. They picked up Icefrog after hearing his aspirations on where he wanted to bring Dota into the future. The rest is history…

    To put it simply, Dota 2 was designed to be a continuation of especially Icefrog’s work on the 10 year old mod that up until Dota 2 was stuck on the heavily limiting engine of Warcraft III. Valve’s financial backing and expertise combined with Icefrog’s passion and experience in working with the mod, alone, is a deadly combination.

    You know what? Opinions are like assholes, everybody’s got one and they all stink to each other. There are naturally going to be people who will like and those who will dislike anything in life. Games are no exceptions! Facts matter, opinions matter too… but don’t carry as much weight as solid facts. In the end, it is the community’s opinion that matters overall and not just one or two of you.

    Given their track record, do you honestly think Valve would be stupid enough to just invest all those millions into Dota 2 if they personally don’t think it will be even moderately successful? Given how much time and capital they have invested and used up, don’t you think they can see something in the game of Dota 2 that motivates them? Gabe Newell has said that Dota 2 is probably his and his employee’s most played game while being developed and that he has spent so much time playing and experiencing the game. They have every right to because even I can see past this idiotic statement that Dota 2 is nothing more than a clone of Dota 1.

    Lastly, if Valve wanted to completely change things – they would either have done that by now or perhaps after the game is relatively stable enough. What ain’t broken does not need fixing.

    2) “I’ve played it and it felt boring”…
    For every person who has said this, there is another who genuinely enjoys the game. Opinions alone are not a very good indication of how good a game is simply because everybody’s got one and we’re too proud to give into an opinion we don’t agree with.

    Personally, I have played Dota for nearly 6 years and LoL for 6 months. That’s more than enough time spent in order for me to at least gauge how the 2 games are like overall. Of course, my opinion won’t matter to those who disagree with it. That’s only natural. (Yes, I’m talking about you LoL players >.O)

    What some find fun, others find boring etc. This is nothing new.

    3) Dota 2 is not innovating (eg. keeping stupid mechanics like denying)
    To be honest, the only thing I hate about denying is that it makes me feel like a traitor to my dear lane creeps. Other than that, denying is a useful game mechanic that gives you an option to outshine your lane enemies. In the end, it is not completely game changing and if it were to be removed, I wouldn’t quite mind. However, there is more reason to keep it in than take it out. Tri-lanes, dual lane mid? Denying isn’t just for supports and babysitters, but they are the ones who should excel at it. Reducing potential enemy gold and xp is part of the ultimate goal of this game: to overcome enemy towers and heroes to destroy the ancient fortress. It’s just a minor thing that helps you make enemies weaker. Isn’t that something you’d want?

    There are some archaic mechanics like creep stacking, creep pulling etc. These may be a little annoying to play against, but it adds flavour to the game without breaking it. As for the whole attributes argument. There is just nothing to argue about. Dota isn’t just a game that all of a sudden emerged one day, it was built and maintained over the course of nearly a decade. To be honest, Dota has an incredibly rich and reactive item design. There’s just a whole lot more variety out there. I’m not too keen on picking flash and ignite or whatever summoner spell makes sense before a match. I would rather reactively earn them through active items, and there’s a whole lot of variety there.

    LoL added the concept of runes & masteries. Overall, they are for the most part nothing but stat boosters, akin to LoL’s items. If I wanted to mess with glyphs and masteries – I would play WoW or some other RPG. What makes a game genuinely balanced is that everybody is at least theoretically on the same boat at the start of a game/match. Runes & Masteries contradict this, albeit by not too much – it’s still a difference even before the match begins.

    In conclusion, I’d like to refer back to Riot’s mentality of adding and balancing around the concepts of “burden of knowledge” and “anti-fun”.
    – A friend jokingly said to me one; “You wanna know what’s a burden of knowledge? Knowing how much IP I’d need to unlock just all of the 6300 IP champions and all my relevant rune pages”. I replied “Well, nobody’s forcing you to unlock them all!”. Here’s a contradiction: People always want to have more. More is better when it comes to variety. He replied: “Oh… and you wanna know what’s anti-fun? – the number of games I’ll have to grind through and how long it’s gonna take.”.

    What makes a better game isn’t just related to its gameplay and production quality – the 2 most important factors to consider are 1) how much it keeps you wanting to play again & 2) whether or not the game will be around by the time you lose interest in the game(if at all). League of Legends may be a decent game and may keep you wanting to play again and again… but it has yet to prove its longevity. Dota on the other hand has proven it all. It’s fun, addictive, intense, and quite satisfying and replayable. Granted, these may also apply to LoL – Dota also has more options/variety in terms of heroes, item design, and offers more of a challenge ironically by its more punishing and competitive nature. Throw in the added features like spectating, replays, etc. and you have yourself a complete game. LoL has been around for over 2 years and yet still does not feel complete.