The Dota Thread

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by SnapSlav, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    Whether you're new to Dota... Whether you've played Dota the decade since its creation in 2003... Whether you don't even know what Dota IS and you're just curious...
    If you play the game, or even if you just love to watch... If you follow the professional Dota scene, or even if you've never heard of The International...
    If you love Dota, or if you're just looking for other, popular games... If you wanna talk about it, or if you wanna complain about assholes you met in the game (indeed there are many)...
    Whatever your interest at all remotely related to the subject of Dota...

    This is the Dota Thread!!!

    MAJOR DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a "Dota vs LoL" discussion thread! This topic holds that these are 2 separate games, and any and all comparisons between the 2 are no different than trying to compare Halo with Elder Scrolls, or draw comparisons between Fallout 2 and Diablo II, in that just because they appear real similar does NOT indicate any actual similarity between the two. Dota is an ARTS genre (Action Real Time Strategy) and LoL is a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena). Dota was created in 2003 as a spin-off of the popular Aeon of Strife custom maps made for SC and WC3, LoL was created in 2009 to copy Dota's success. Any and all discussions aimed at saying one is better than the other will NOT be tolerated. You're welcome to discuss mechanical differences, regional preferences, and events of historical significance, of course, however please try to keep discussion civil. And remember, this it the Dota thread, after all. =D

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Okay, prefaces finally aside, I wanted to dedicate a little piece of the forums to this topic, because I am a die-hard fan of Dota, and I didn't want to just needlessly spill over that love into every other part of NMA. =) I frequently mention that I'm "always" playing Dota in the "What games are you playing right now?" thread, but the subject of Dota is far more complex and diverse than a mere game that one such as myself plays time and time again. Looming just around the corner is The International 4, with a ridiculous prize pool of over $10million (Almost $5million for first place winners, no less than $20,000 for taking 14th place!) which is the biggest Dota event of the year, so the game will start crashing the closer we get to that. It's no joke that the stir for The International reflects worldwide fanaticism for Soccer during the World Cup (also going on right now). Dota is a career in China, and it's quickly rising to prominance as one of the most popular eSports in Europe. Every year the pro scene just gets bigger, and for the past 4 years the reward for winning The International was the largest sum of prize money in ALL professional gaming history!

    Since I live in the US, you'd figure I want to root for an American team, and this year I've got Evil Geniuses (EG), Natus Vincere: US (Navi.US or NAR'Vi), or Team Liquid (TL) to choose from. But the sad fact of the matter is... professional gaming is still largely laughed at over here in the US, with most sports commentators so embedded in their old guard that they can't recognize that "sports" doesn't mean "althetic", and that they can still keep their career in "athletic sports" while a community for "electronic sports" continues to grow. So, as a consequence of there being no cultural center that focuses on pro gaming in the US like there is in China and South Korea, the teams from the US are underdogs. If EG takes TI4 this year, then I'll be supremely proud, of course, but I just don't see it very likely.

    I'm a fan of team Na'Vi, though now that the organization has inducted an American team into its ranks, the use of the name is beginning to get confusing... XD I'm speaking of the Ukrainian team, of course, which has maintained a record of reaching the Grand Finals of EVERY TI thus far, winning the inaugural International tournament in 2011. During 2012 the scene was proliferated with Chinese teams, so I was rooting for Na'Vi to take 1st place in 2013, but the Chinese teams as a whole just fell flat last year, so those hopes were unnecessary. This year, Chinese teams have bounced back, so we may very well see them claim another International. I guess I just want a Western team to win, is what I'm saying. =)

    I could go on and on, but I'll leave more discussion on matters like The International to furthering discussion, assuming anyone else is actually interested. Of course, feel free to just discuss non-professional Dota as well. Games you've played. Heroes you tried out. Questions about mechanics, or builds, or etiquette. Or just bitch about the state of the community and how disturbingly volatile it has been and how it's mistreated you. While not all good things, God knows, Dota has it all! XD I've played Dota almost since its creation back in 2003, though I really only started liking it in mid 2006, forming a team to regularly play it with, co-founding a clan and becoming one of its officers, and ultimately determining to "quit" the game several years ago. So I've got a ton of history with the game... I only started following the global professional scene in mid 2012, but with recent documentaries like Free to Play from Valve, there's insight into the pro scene as far back as 2010. I love the game, I love the sport, I just love Dota. =D
     
  2. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    Well, I wanted to make this thread for a long time, but I long hesitated on that because I felt it was unlikely many people here at NMA would be interested enough to participate. Looks like that's the case (at least for now). But, I do want to reaffirm that this topic is open to more than JUST players who are already familiar with the game/sport. If you wanna ask about it, go for it! If you're unfamiliar with the pro scene and you're curious, ask away! If RTS and Tactical games aren't your thing and you just don't understand what makes this game, I'm more than happy to explain it. =)

    Today, The International has finally begun, and Valve has gone above and beyond to provide an abundance of Stream Channels for whatever your acclimation to the game may be. In particular, there's a very informative channel, the Dota 2 TI4 Newcomer Stream, which is narrated by casters known for their educational insight in the game, like Blitz, Purge, SUNSfan, and others like PyrionFlax for his self-effacing mannerisms that both entertains and educates without coming off as beyond the dota layman's understanding of what he's talking about. Right now the match being cast on the Newcomer stream is covering the game superbly while providing excellent informative, noob-friendly commentary. I high recommend it. =) These casts are going live right now, but they will be on replay in a few hours when these tournament matches have concluded for the day.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
  3. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    I just found this absurdly wonderful resource, Dota 2 Navigation, which is essentially [going to be] a full and comprehensive guide on all of the aspects of Dota, from details and terms for the beginners just getting start, to in-depth strategies and tactics to assist more seasoned players improve. If you know ANY of the names of professional players, you'd recognize the two founding contributors to the site, Dendi and Puppey, but for the unfamiliar, they're some of the best Dota 2 players in the world. Puppey can be ranked #7 in most categories, and Dendi is often times considered the best in the world. So these are descriptions and strategies and advice from worthy authorities. =D

    It's still in beta, and the full guide looks to be behind a pay wall, but there's still plenty of information available as part of the "tour". It didn't give off that same discouraging vibe like what you feel while browsing a porn site, however, because it wasn't hiding ALL of the goodies behind that paid membership. =) It also seems to have plans for different forms of membership, so for all I know there will be membership versions for the site that are completely free, and provide much more of the guide than what's currently available in the "tour". My present assessment of the site is just from a first-look's perspective, but so far, I'm impressed, and am really looking forward to what they're may come out with next. I'm not the type who pardons flaws in material because of the excuse "it's still in beta", but the fact that it is a beta and still offers so much is very encouraging to me.

    As an aside, I'm having fangasms at the prospect of so much as contacting legendary players like Dendi and Puppey through the site... XD

    Anyway, just thought I'd share that, if any of you have the slightest curiosity towards the game. I think what Dota 2 Navigation aims to be is a great resource for those completely unfamiliar with the game to understand what's so great about it. I know I lack the language to bridge the understanding gap for unaware players, so with any luck, this will provide just that.
     
  4. lazlolazlo

    lazlolazlo First time out of the vault

    39
    Apr 17, 2012
    I've just been introduced to DotA, and i like it, but don't really have the time to play it a much as i would like to. The only drawbacks are players that deliberately ruin others game experience by either sabotage the game by feeding/using hero skills like IO teleport, or Bane's nightmare on teammates, or players who seem to lack any sort of intellect.

    Also there is a huge difference between a game, competing and "Sport". You can compete in chess, video games, poetry and poker, but the very meaning of the word Sport, requires some degree of physical excersise.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  5. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    Actually no, not at all. "Sport" does not refer to physicality in the slightest. If you're "a good sport", that doesn't mean you performed some kind of physical task, it means exactly that you had a good and amiable attitude. If you're "a good sportsman", that means you were fair-minded and weren't bothered by loss because the competition was fair. The word "sport" refers specifically to mentality, not physicality. As such, what Dota represents is an "eSport", because the degree of physical effort in relation to the mental effort is not as pronounced as a game like football (soccer) or tennis. All sports have ample degrees of tactical elements, but the physical sports require much more athleticism in relation to their mental aspects. As such, what we traditionally think of in response to the term "sport" is more appropriately known as "athletic sport", because the level of physical athletics involved is much greater.

    It's nothing short of a myth that "sports" are all physical exercises. That's long been busted for the fallacy that it is. It's just certain old-guard types who refuse to acknowledge eSports as sports who wish to use the term "sport" (incorrectly) to refer to physical endeavors.

    ...

    As for the trolls..... Yeah, tragically, those come in any game with multiplayer. I still to this day remember one guy on my team in a 3v3 game of WC3 who built up this MASSIVE aerial fleet, but when the other 2 of us amassed our forces and attacked the enemy team (and squashed them) he took his fleet and started destroying OUR bases. While we won the battle against the enemy team, it still cost us losses, and our bases weren't "fighting back" because this guy was our ally, so rushing to defend our own bases we were destroyed by his perfectly-intact fleet. The enemy team, meanwhile, took the trolling as a blessing because they'd get to win if the troll destroyed all of our buildings, so all they had to do was stay in the game and get a free, totally unearned victory. Well we somehow managed to track down and destroy their last structure and win, but not because of that troll on our team. He ALMOST fucked it for us, and for what? Just his own childish amusement. There is NOTHING you can do against players like that, if you find yourself with the misfortune of being paired with them, other than sucking it up and moving on. I know that doesn't sound encouraging... and it's not... but that's really all there is to it. =(

    Dota 2's report system is pretty accurate, however, and if you get paired with a player who does obvious abuses, reporting them will cause them serious repercussions that they cannot avoid. The key to using reports is being frugal with them. You start off with 2, and every report you make costs a number, and you're only refreshed another 2 ever week. If you don't spend them, they stay at 2. The only way to increase the number of reports you can make is by submitting accurate reports. So if some guy loses you a game because he gave up too soon and just refused to try anymore, that's not worth reporting. Blacklist that player personally and move on. Meanwhile, if some guy on your team was hunting down every opportunity to use Tiny's Toss on you to send you into certain death, and they did so repeatedly, report their ass, and enjoy getting a new report to spend! ^^

    I personally usually have 3-8 Reports available at any given time because I don't waste my reports on petty players, I hold onto them for the trolls who deserve it. The fact that I ONLY have 1-6 more reports than the base means that I rarely have that opportunity. So, all in all, that reflects quite highly on the average incident of players being supreme dicks in Dota 2. Not that it never happens, but that it's really not nearly as common as you might think. It's actually quite rare. So, try not to let them get to you, the few times that it happens. Just take a break if you need to, and forget about them. After all, giving them attention is exactly what they want, so deprive them of that, and your games will be much more enjoyable! =D
     
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  6. lazlolazlo

    lazlolazlo First time out of the vault

    39
    Apr 17, 2012
    But this is your own definition of the word (Sport)rather then the real meaning of it. Here is the very defintion of "Sport"; http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/sport Pretty much every physical activity on a professional level requires immense mental focus and training. To be the best of the best, you need more discipline and ambition than the rest.
     
  7. BigBoss

    BigBoss Your Local Scrub

    957
    Dec 24, 2012
    You guys should play DotA on WarCraft III, like Snap said. That's where it all started, by IceFrog. I believe he wasn't the original "inventor" of DotA either, it was created by another WC3 map-maker back in the early Frozen Throne days, when WC3's B.Net was fresh with new map-makers constantly experimenting, releasing new, fun, fresh games. Then as time went on everybody learned all the tricks and everything was made to perfection until eventually you have bots hosting the same games over and over again, and nothing is original anymore, everything just an idea of an idea of an idea.

    EDIT: Just remembered, Guinsoo was the name of the guy who first made DotA into the legendary map it's become today. I remember reading in an old interview, this was back in 2008 I believe, with him saying how he had spent countless hours on DotA AS, before eventually deciding to quit making WC3 maps and attempt to start making games as a career (he was a laborer or something like that before he started making a career out of game design). He talked about grooming IceFrog to take over and a couple other things, including the creation of Clan TDA (where any kind of real DotA origins with a solid fanbase began, eventually leading to the creation of other elitist clans who I remember only wanting to take the best players).
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
  8. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    And to my dismay I'm told that dictionaries have adopted the new definition for the word "literal" to mean "figuratively and metaphorically speaking". What a dictionary says of a word means dick, I'm afraid. I already pointed out old-guards in sports coverage have been trying to stymie accepting eSports as a sport, simply because of tradition, not at all because of what actually makes a sport a sport, and a dictionary is no different in that regard. Besides, what I've said of sports wasn't MY personal definition at all, I just happen to agree with it, because it makes sense and doesn't conflict at all with the word's wide and versatile usage.

    I really hate seeing those myths perpetuated. You can check this video for all the abridged details, "Dota Development Lore in 1 Minute!", but essentially it was neither Icefrog NOR Guinsoo who created Dota. It was Eul, and it was in the RoC days, before WCIII's expansion was yet released.

    Eul made the map based on the popular AOS custom maps, Guinsoo made changes to the map and renamed it "DotA Allstars", Pendragon made the website, and Icefrog refined the game into a picture of perfected balance (relatively speaking). Each person took over from the last, but the reason Eul is still mentioned in Dota2 in the same way as he was credited in Dota1 is because Eul returned to help make Dota2, meanwhile Guinsoo and Pendragon did some really petty things to hamper Dota, Dota2, and shamelessly used all of Dota's popularity to promote their newest game, LoL. The Scythe of Vyse in Dota1 is referred to as Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse, but his name was removed from the description because of his actions against Dota when he departed the mod. Yet Eul's Scepter of Divinity is still named Eul's Scepter of Divinity, because even though Eul was off from the project for many years, he never actively tried to sabotage Dota at any time, unlike either Guinsoo or Pendragon...

    But everything else was pretty much the case. Back in the day, custom maps were made exclusively with the map editor which Blizzard provided as part of the game. But before long users started importing new textures into the map editor to re-skin heroes. Then they were importing their own code to create something that the normal engine couldn't. The WCIII line of Defense of the Ancient inherited ALL of the modding methods to create its massive roster of unique and interesting heroes, despite the WCIII core engine not being capable of these things on its own. Some abilities were triggered, some were imported code, some were as they came from the original game with altered attributes. Back when I was at my best at the game in 2007, I knew how certain abilities worked, for instance Bloodseeker's Ultimate summoning an invisible, invulnerable unit that hovered directly over the target of the spell, and the actual debuff was granted by an Aura, rather than the spell normally targeting the unit and applying the debuff directly. Not really important to know this at all for gameplay's sake, but I always enjoy absorbing trivia wherever possible! =)

    . . . . .

    I wouldn't say I've been recommending WCIII Dota at all, however. That involves buying a game just so you can play a mod, and nowadays I wouldn't support Blizzard if it could be helped. Meanwhile Dota2 is identical to the original in all the ways that matter, and it's totally free to play. Normally that kind of game model comes with a significant caveat that it sells convenience to players, but in my 8+ years of experience playing various F2P model games, I can say with confidence that Dota2's is the best. NOTHING is pay2win, 100% of all items you can buy are purely cosmetic, or tournament tickets. So you can fork over some serious cash to make your Terrorblade look really pimping, but it won't have any tangible impact on the game itself, unlike LoL's runes or their locked Champion list, or Rappelz's cash shop armor, or Vindictus's store scrolls, enchantment, and modifiers, each of which have totally optional cosmetic choices on sale, but plenty of items which directly impact gameplay, which I just don't like as a business model. The game should be unchanged by purchases, otherwise you just break the balance of the game. You couldn't get as far in Vindi if you didn't buy the cash items. You weren't as strong in Rappelz if you didn't get the cash gear. Etc etc... Point being, I'd recommend playing the FREE sequel over the original mod you've gotta buy a game to play. It's like saying you should totally play the original DayZ mod, without addressing that you gotta pay for $40 worth of game and DLC in order to use the "otherwise free" mod. =/
     
  9. BigBoss

    BigBoss Your Local Scrub

    957
    Dec 24, 2012
    I don't think I ever said either of them were the first map-makers. I was just saying who made it into the popular map it's known as today.
     
  10. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    Just to quickly address this before moving on:
    Not saying that you did, but you were inspecific, and those myths that I despise so strongly are often born from the misunderstanding of statements such as yours which come off vague though are never meant to be definitive, yet are interpreted to be more impactful than they were every meant to be, and thus the myths take on a life of their own. Many of them constitute in-jokes in one or both games, but the fact that those jokes are based on ACTUAL people totally misunderstanding things just pisses me off. Poking fun at stupidity just doesn't do it for me; cause the stupidity is still there. Thus, I'm very critical of all statements that tend to give new life to these misunderstandings. That's all. No harm intended. =|

    - - - - - - - - - -

    So..... WOW! Patch 6.82 came out just a few days ago, and it has been a revolution to the game! It's one of those patches that includes sweeping changes all across the board, so I won't list it, but for those who like reading them over as I do, you can find them here. The biggest deals were nerfs to particular favorite heroes of 6.81, a change to the fundamental formula for bounty rewards upon killing enemy heroes, and a new feature that refreshes base fortification whenever a Tier 1 tower is destroyed. Besides the myriad of other fixes and changes (and Terrorblade and Legion Commander getting added to the tournament roster), these 3 changes in particular reshape the manner in which the game will be played over the coming months, and it has already been dubbed "the comeback patch" as a result. Whereas 6.81 was dominated by momentum-based lineups which pushed lanes and took towers and won inside 20 minutes, now games are played more carefully, and pushes are being punished more severely. This will doubtless change as the weeks go by, but for the very brief time being, things are a delightful mess!!!

    I'm sad that they reworked Phantom Lancer, however. One of my favorite heroes, and one of my best back when I played Dota1, I even wrote my own guide for the hero, "Master of Misdirection", to aid others in learning the hero as I enjoyed him. But now he's changed into an unrecognizable shape. Sure, he still generates illusions, and he's still "elusive", but he's just not the same. My play with the new hero thus far has left me feeling like his changes are, overall, a mix of some decently good, with some appallingly bad. The short duration (4 seconds!!!) on his Juxtapose Illusions just makes his hallmark split-push technique impossible, and now you can't build up an army before a fight and enter into an engagement with illusions ready to join the fray. You have no escape mechanism (although you CAN "blink" across short distances, now) and he was given a passive chasing ability which the hero really didn't need. They took a hero that had qualities of all kinds of tactics and potentials and made him into a 1-note carry. A hero that fights. A hero that's gotta get those Illusions up when the fight starts, not a moment earlier. A hero that just doesn't really do anything special anymore.

    On the flip side, I LOVE the rework to Bloodseeker, and I couldn't really care less about the rework to Riki (though I wish that hero was "playable", and I don't think this has accomplished that). I've already joined heated debates with other, lesser players, who think that Bloodseeker was weakened, and that Riki was buffed, and my perspective couldn't be further from that. Bloodseeker had no teamfight presence before, now his contributions to the team are HUGE (literally, as the AOE on his new ability, Blood Rite, is a MASSIVE 1200 units wide- the width of the game screen!!!) and he's not all about passives that hardly kick in and don't matter if he's not killing shit. Now his former passive Bloodbath is a natural facet of his reworked Bloodrage and he gets scaling bonuses from Thirst instead of relying on enemies' HPs dipping below 50% (which grows more infrequent the higher skilled the players are). I think the changes have made him VERY good, not just "better", and he has rightfully been removed from tournament rosters in the meantime until his rework has been deemed "balanced" and ready for the pros to toil with. At long last, one of my age-old favorites has cause to be played again! =)

    More and more, I feel like the changes being made to the game are increasingly distancing it from its WC3 mod origins, which isn't necessarily a bad thing... not necessarily. Rubick clearly has the edge in Dota2 over his Dota1 counterpart, because his Spell Steal was severely limited by the WC3 engine. At the same time you could see (if you didn't have them memorized) the different damage tables in Dota1, whereas these are largely maintain in Dota2 as a legacy reason but cannot be viewed, so those who don't know the numbers have no means to see them. Dota2 is for the most part a vast improvement over Dota1, but I feel like the changes to damage types in 6.82, adding more heroes to the ever-increasing list that can exceed the physically possible max movespeed in WC3, are furthering the divide between the successor and predecessor, and I don't entirely like that. =/

    Oh well, change is inevitable... for better or for worse.

    For those (which I assume is "most here") completely unaware of any of these things, it might interest you to note that MANY of the sweeping changes made this patch (as well as others) were in an effort to make the game's skill cap more easily achievable. Or, in layman's terms: "make the game more newbie friendly". Lots more details are VERY easy to read and understand now, and there's a very detailed tutorial for every new player to quickly grasp the process of playing the game. So give Dota2 a try, I say, if you haven't already! =D
     
  11. lazlolazlo

    lazlolazlo First time out of the vault

    39
    Apr 17, 2012
    I think the new changes makes him more interesting, might not be for the better, but definitely open up some possibilities. Really don't get why they nerfed Sniper, he if any needs to get better, atleast Lion gained a minor buff which is nice since he is one of my fav heroes. Havn't played around to much since the new patch with WL2 being released.

    How bout Crimson Guard, is it useful? and have you tried scepter on Timber?
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014
  12. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    Yes to both questions.

    Crimson Guard's active costs no mana, and having a 100% 50 damage block on EVERY attack in the following 9 seconds is huge. It's not necessarily revolutionary, and I wouldn't say I'd prefer a Crimson Guard over a Mek or a Pipe anytime soon, but it's a potent item that gives a TON of much-needed utility to the otherwise much-overlooked Vanguard. I almost miss the days when Vanguard was a broken item that worked wonders on any and every hero because of how largely maligned it is most of the time. XD

    As for Scepter on Timber, it's nifty, but the mana costs for double Chakram (even if you're just using it to get 4 instances of instant damage instead of 2) are outlandishly demanding. I also wouldn't really consider it that important of a purchase compared to the rest of Timber's normal build. You still want the Arcane or Eul's, you still want the Bloodstone or Mek, you still want the Shiva's and a Heart, so a Scepter would come quite late into the game.

    As much as I agree that Sniper needs some love, I don't think his "nerfs" were a big deal in any way. His previous Headshot was just obnoxious more than anything else, so the change from stun to slow just makes it equally effective and just as annoying to deal with without an irritatingly luck-based interrupt mechanic. A few games just today actually showcased some professional-level Sniper drafting, so clearly he's still viable. It's just his inability to escape that's always held the hero down, so the change to his Headshot really isn't hindering the hero at all, thankfully.

    But Riki's "new style of play" just strikes me as hardly an improvement over his previous. If anything, it's weaker. Moving his Blink Strike to his Ultimate severely cripples his early game laning phase, while giving him Permanent Invisibility as a regular skill doesn't really offer him a decent escape mechanism, and even when you max it all that does is grant a mild convenience. It's like both skills were made worse than they were before, and somehow that was supposed to revitalize the hero? I just don't see how that works. <.<
     
  13. The Vault Dweller

    The Vault Dweller always looking for water.

    Aug 24, 2004
    After playing LoL for one year and being tired of it I played DotA2 for six months. I found it significantly better than LoL in every way except for the lack of new content. I stopped playing DotA2 after I played through all the support characters and tried to see how far I could go in ranked (barely above average).

    If the DotA2 devs added a new character or even equipment once a month I'd probably still play it. Currently I don't play MOBAs and I'm sort of hoping I don't come back.

    Sincerely,
    The Vault Dweller
     
  14. Akratus

    Akratus Bleep bloop.

    May 14, 2011
    I never saw the appeal of the moba genre, as some people call it.

    What are your reasons for clicking on this game rather than an rpg for example?

    (Not trying to dismiss it, just curious, fyi.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2014
  15. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    That's just asking too much. Dota2 isn't out to throw shit at players, it's out to provide a solid, balanced gaming experience. It does stir the pot plenty of times, but it does so in much more measured paces, usually every 3 months. Icefrog adds a new hero every 6 months, normally, and unlike in LoL these are refined and tested, fully-realized heroes, not broken messes. That's not to say that Dota2 NEVER contains examples of broken heroes, of course, but it usually takes unexpected and clever innovation on the part of the best players in the world, not just the testers who get betas approved, to discover means and tactics that break the game. Ember Spirit and Elder Titan were two such cases. On the surface they both seemed mediocre, but ingenuitive players discovered ways to utilize them that made them singularly unstoppable for a brief period of time, but these trends were quickly put to a stop to maintain the game's fine level of balance.

    Meanwhile the cosmetic side of the game is CONSTANTLY being added to, which I find delightful. When anxiety got to be too much of a problem for me to play several Dota2 matches a day and I took a break from the game, I never truly "left" it, as I was constantly dealing in the Steam Market to get the items I wanted, for free. Every once in a while I'd play a game and people would compliment me on my hero's appearance or how pimped out my courier was, and that always made me smile. These were personal endeavors of mine, after all, so the reward of compliments is always appreciated. =) Sure, these don't IMPACT the game, but they shouldn't. It's still new flare and "something different" coming along very regularly, and we see these things every couple of weeks! Well within once a month.

    The only thing I can think of that you might have been thinking about is the lack of different maps, and that's understandable. One map, always the same map, so until the map gets changed (and the latest patch, 6.82, DID significantly change the map, so there's that) it's all you have! At the same time, as with the character skill tweaking and mechanics refining is integral to the balance of the game, so is the familiarity of the map. A map that has been edited to, arguably, perfection, so simply throwing out more maps, while certainly revitalizing to the game, would simply do its level of balance a great disservice. I can totally understand and appreciating WANTING to see things like these, but I still understand why that's just not gonna happen. Either way, we get REALLY creative, completely different maps for short periods of time when special events hit, so I'm more than content with the variety I get. =)

    I don't see the appeal of MOBAs either. Now ARTS games like Dota2 on the other hand... =P

    Jokes aside, to answer your question: infinitely more enjoyability. Just like while Diablo II wasn't a more fulfilling RPG experience, the customization of your character offered a game that you could replay a theoretically limitless number of times. While the levels never changed (except when MAJOR patches came around, like 1.10) your approach to the game was always different for every new character. It didn't make the game a better RPG, per se, but it offered so much replayability and personalization, it was delightfully sensational. Dota2, as mentioned above, gives you that personal accomplishment feel of grinding a character in any MMORPG, yet in "bite-sized" doses of half an hour to an hour. As opposed to the online games where you grind your account for hours on end to achieve very little progress, in Dota2 that same amount of time rewards you with a complete "finished character" experience 10 times over, not to mention the exhilarating thrill of pitting wills and minds against other human beings inside a brilliantly-designed arena with endless strategizing and clever maneuvering. I love its complexity like a game of chess. I love its flare and personalization like I once loved D2. I love its challenge and endlessly high skill-cap like the best games I play which push me to my gaming limits. It simply offers too much in a single package that plenty of games don't offer a single scrap of.

    But of course that's just me. To each their own, as I'm sure others love it for very different reasons than my own.

    Besides, it's not as if your choice in gaming has to be mutually exclusive. You can do BOTH play a round (or several) of Dota2 and then lose yourself in FONV for a couple hours, if you so pleased. =) Playing one doesn't limit you from playing the other, really. This only comes into play when the games share enough similarities that you try to play one like the other, yet enough differences that this habit-forming nature only serves to fuck up one or both experiences.

    - - - - -

    UPDATE: Well, this is sad news... Last year there was a major controversy surrounding a player accused of rigging a match for his own personal profit off of game betting, and the alleged amount he received was $322 USD from the endeavor, which led to the affair as well as ANY interpretation of deliberately throwing a match to be dubbed "322" (pronounced three two two). Team losing a game? 322! That's a weird draft, think they're trying to lose? 322! It took MONTHS to get over the news, yet even still the meme hasn't gone anywhere, but at least it wasn't at the front of people's minds for a while. Then this happened. >_<

    Not only was there another rigging scandal, but EIGHT players are at the center of it. The worst part of this, for those who don't follow the professional scene, or understand how Dota is regarded across the globe, is that in the SEA region there's limited infrastructure to supoport professional players. Too few major paying local tournaments, not enough money circulating to pay for teams to travel across the globe. It's a major industry in China, and it's growing to that same level of appreciation in Europe and Russia, but SEA struggles in the professional scene because their players lack the opportunities to compete with OTHER best teams in the world. So a scandal of this magnitude, centered in SEA, is salt in the wounds at the very least. =(
     
  16. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    So let's talk about free to play games, cash shops, and microtransactions, shall we? Dota2 is an ideal game to discuss this within, because it has all 3, but I've played many games with different versions of each.

    One game I played started out as your "traditional" MMO with paid monthly subscriptions (but you could pay less in the long-run if you bought more months in advance in bundles) but then changed its model to free to play with microtransactions. One game was a free to play "knock off" of the first, and while certain items could only be generated by cash purchases, they could also be traded amongst players for in-game currency, so there was effectively a "currency exchange rate" in effect. This second game had "pay to win" items which affected your character, and going without them would significantly cripple your progress compared to having them, but because of the ability to trade for them with in-game currency, this wasn't necessarily a terrible thing, since these items remained "available for all".

    Yet another game was another free to play, and it too had a cash shop for items which had a tangible impact on your game, but unlike the previously mentioned, it GATED cash items from in-game items, as they were locked to your account, so not only were you crippled if you did not possess certain cash purchases, but you could only acquire them if you yourself bought them with cash; no trading allowed. On the plus side, it also offered completely cosmetic purchases with cash, which were unique (in my experience) allowing you to combine 2 items so the appearance of one item contained the stats and properties of another (this made for a thriving "cosplay" environment with knights decked out in heavy plate mail could stylize themselves to look like boy band members, or female characters using whatever outfits that were altered to look like cat girls, etc).

    Then I played games that were RTS in nature and offered cash purchases, on top of requiring entry purchase. I was okay with this, because they were cosmetic, and because almost all of them could be purchased with in-game currency you could earn through playing the game, and paying for them in cash was simply a means to "skip ahead". Again, as cosmetic, there was no paying to win, it was just paying for style sooner than earning style later. BUT they also snuck in seasonal content that could only be purchased during the seasoned event AND most times they required cash. This made for certain players owning "priceless" items because they bought them when they were available, and there was no way of acquiring this if you weren't there and didn't pay for it in cash when it was available. Still only cosmetic, but I didn't like the way they did that.

    Then there was a game which was always free to play, but it had the worst of almost all worlds in that you weren't required to pay for certain items but these were "pay to win" purchases that tangibly affected your account, so not buying any was strategic suicide, and its cosmetic purchases were so ridiculously expensive at the cost of in-game currency that most every player bought them with cash anyway. And a final nail in this game's coffin was zero trading; to own anything, you had to buy it. So despite being "free" its model all but REQUIRED you to buy multiple items, with cash, to be able to compete with other players buffing up their accounts AND buy yet more to look good doing it?

    This is where Dota2's model comes in as a breath of fresh air (to me, at least)...

    I first hated it, because Dota2 didn't give you any in-game currency you could earn over time to make your purchases in lieu of cash, and rather than their cash purchases consisting of buying credits to exchange for items (like XBox selling Microsoft Credits to be exchanged for games) it asked for straight-up cash purchases, so I saw cosmetic items being asked for $3 to $15 a piece! At first I was floored by this revelation and I thought it had topped all the rest as THE worst free to play model of them all! But a little time playing the game itself, and I learned better. For starters, Dota2's items were entirely 100% cosmetic; no pay to win here. There were level-up boosters, but matchmaking wasn't impacted by your level, you level simply impacted cosmetic item drops; every time you leveled, you received a drop. Secondly, cosmetics were separated into individual items- a helmet, a weapon, armor, belt, a shield (if it applies), etc -for any given hero, instead of full outfits, so there was the potential to pimp out your heroes in really specialized garbs of your own choosing! Thirdly, these items DROPPED in-game, so you had the opportunity to acquire them for free. But... with well over 100 heroes, and the potential for any given her to have upwards of 5 kinds of cosmetic items to equip, and several choices of each given item, this made for thousands upon thousands of different items, and you'd only get a single drop at random every once in a while. There was no way you'd get the custom outfits you desired through the drop system alone!!! But... you could trade them! Get helmet x for hero y but you're looking for weapon a for hero b, and it so happens another player has what you want and wants what you have, you can trade!

    Once I finally understood how all of these pieces perfectly fit together, I loved Dota2's microtransactions. You could buy full sets of cosmetic items if you wanted to avoid the hassle of tracking down each piece one at a time, and that was a pretty costly price, or you could take your in-game drops, trade them, and with enough time and patience acquire what you were seeking for free! Even better, you could sell them on the Steam Market for credit, and buy ANYTHING (including games) with that money! Spending years toiling away at the system, I grew totally enamored by it, and it just made me wonder why more games didn't do it this way.

    Then Valve decided to change things up.

    This is where this centers specifically around Dota2, not just discussing how Dota2 was one fine example of different ways to handle free to play cash purchases. You see, years of item drops and various events had gradually flooded the market with an abundance of particular items, making them so cheap, there was little incentive for traders to acquire them, and it was a harsh competitor for the cash shop itself, among other dilemmas. Recently, a few months ago, Valve decided to rework the drop system, to "fix" these problems, and that resulted in endless complaints from the players. Even I was none too thrilled about it. They took away level drops, and they removed single item drops altogether, in favor of adding full set drops, but at a much lower probability of ever dropping. So now you could get a full set in a single drop, but unlike when you might play 10 games in a day and get 2 items, now you could play 100 games over several weeks and still get NOTHING. The drop rates sucked, and the means to acquire anything, unless you had a head start like I did and already owned a flush inventory with lots of stuff to sell, was limited exclusively to cash purchases. It was a bummer.

    But earlier this week, Dota2 received a new patch, v6.83c, and along with a new hero, a new event, and some balance changes, it also included new drop rules to placate the fans and offer consolation prizes to those who had nothing to show for their time spent in the game. You could get single item drops once again, at similar rates as previously, but now they were untradeable. You could gift them (once) to a friend, so it was still possible for less rare item drops to allow for players to exchange what they have for what they want. They also added new systems to recycle unwanted items for a chance at really valuable items- again, untradeable, but giftable to friends once -so players had more outlets for their unwanted items than simply deleting them, if they were really unsatisfied with what they got and couldn't trade it. It's much better than what we had to work with a week ago, but not necessarily a better system than what we had to start with.

    So, what do you guys think? What free to play markets have inspired or impressed you? Do any of these tales about Dota2's markets make you feel like "striking it rich" and buying all your dozens of games at the next Steam Sale for free? =D Do you recognize any of the games I didn't mention by name based on my descriptions of their arguably-deplorable microtransaction systems?

    While I don't think it's perfect, and I feel as though it COULD potentially take some of the good aspects of the other games and add to its own, I do love Dota2's approach to its virtual economy. On top of a really excellent game to play, it boasts my favorite cosmetics market to date. =)

    Thoughts?
     
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  17. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    So, a record-breaking 200 minute (3 hours and 20 minutes) professional Dota2 match just ended earlier today. It was going on so long that the game itself was "breaking" and particles were exploding all over the place. The so-called "apocalypse bug" as many players like to refer to it. But despite how lengthily back-and-forth and stretched thin it was, thanks to the casters, it was easily the most entertaining game I've watched in the past several months.

    I'll be sure to post a link to it when it becomes available to watching on demand. It may not be available on youtube, since one of the casters very humorously injected some "epic music" when fights were going to break out, only to comment "No, no, reset, stop the music." each time it would fizzle out. So it's possible those would constitute copyright material that youtube gets really uppity about. Wherever it shows up (and it's a HUGELY record-breaking game, so it SHOULD eventually show up somewhere!) I'll be sure to link it here. =D
     
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  18. Mr. Grandma

    Mr. Grandma This ghoul has seen it all
    Orderite

    Nov 3, 2007
    Dota.

    EWWWWWW

    Don't waste our time and tell us when you hit gold or rock bottom and are floating around Vegas drunk like Nicholas Cage.


    Sorry I just don't get the appeal of Dota.
     
  19. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    @The Dopamine Cleric, it's a matter of "To each their own" at the end of it all. But I know plenty of people who "don't get the appeal of shooters", or others who "don't get the appeal of role playing games", or those like me who "don't get the appeal of sports games", and so on and so on. Defense of the Ancients is a very specific game which fills a very specific criteria and occupies a very specific niche of gaming that a great many people like. It's really hard to explain blanket reasons for why one should enjoy it or try it out or "get the appeal" of it.

    But, above I linked this article, titled, "Dota 2: Power Without the Grind" which detailed some of the reasons it's so fun. To paraphrase, if you like RPGs (the action kind, like Diablo or instanced based kinds, like Mabinogi Heroes or many MMORPGs) which involve largely building up an avatar to a grand level, almost always accompanied by ceaseless, brutal grind, then what Dota2 provides is a game that grants that same experience of starting out with a weak and vulnerable character and building them up to great strength and power, yet without any of the tedious grind, because each match takes an average of 45 minutes (hence why that record-breaking 3 hour 20 minute game was SUCH an amazing feat) so if you're on the go you can practically enjoy that same experience of making a badass and executing your enemies, and have the opportunity to repeat that process again.

    If you're the type of player who "doesn't get" rerolling, then perhaps the prospect of starting again from scratch at the beginning of every match has no appeal to you. But it provides a competitive platform where players all start at the same even level, and the only things that determine when or how you achieve your own glory is your experience and your skill. No paying to win. No stashing things away beforehand to give you that extra edge. Just like the RTS that it was originally based on, every player starts out with the exact same resources, and it's up to them to spend it wisely and triumph in the end. Only instead of the major difference between players being which of 4 races you play, it's which of over 100 heroes you play as. On top of being a very competitive game, it's a team game, so no composition of 5 heroes against 5 other heroes will ever be played out exactly the same. It breeds creativity and awe-inspiring play that- as long as you have a rudimentary understanding of what's happening -is absolutely fascinating and massively entertaining to behold!

    Dota2 is a game that inhabits the dubious esteem of being BOTH "hard to learn" AND "hard to master", which is something it shares with plenty of other great games, like the original Fallout (cause let's be honest... NONE of us knew what we were doing when we were using up out SPECIAL points and tagging our Skills and Traits... XD) so I wouldn't consider that a bad thing. However, it does create a massive gate to prospective players from trying the game out and enjoying it. There's practically a guaranteed several weeks of misery to plow through before you hit the gold at the end of the rainbow and find yourself really enjoying the game. But, by the time you get there, you REALLY enjoy playing the game, again and again. Not because of that same lame "little bit at a time" addicting formula used by smart phone games. Not because of the influence of the masses like WoW and LoL utelize, where you play because everyone else is playing. But because the game is genuinely fun, genuinely challenging, and feels genuinely rewarding.

    That, and it's REALLY pretty. And I've bought a bunch of games on Steam using the Steam Credit I made from selling Dota2 cosmetics, so I've effectively bought lots of titles "for free". AND it's hugely hilarious because of Valve's signature humor strewn about the entire game like delicious easter eggs to hunt down! XD

    Lot's of reasons to like it, really. But, again, it all boils down to "To each their own". If you find you don't like it, that's just it! =|
     
  20. Mr. Grandma

    Mr. Grandma This ghoul has seen it all
    Orderite

    Nov 3, 2007
    You enjoy dota all you want, but at this time it's not my thing.