Dota (Defense of the Ancients) was a user developed mod for the game Warcraft III created in 2003 and was developed by a group of people that formed a studio name called Icefrog Studios. On June 21st 2013, the official Dota 2 blog that is managed by Icefrog studios announced that their game, that has been in development for over two years and has included an extremely long closed beta, is almost ready to open its doors to the general public. With that, it is almost perfect timing to see how far the game has come from its original state.
Dota 2, like its prequel, is a strategy/rpg game in which the player controls a specific “Hero” who’s objective is to destroy the “ancient” on the enemies side of the battlefield. The trouble comes when they must face the enemy’s “creeps” which are like pawns. Along with the creeps are the other heroes, which are played by other players, or can be filled by a computer, or even just left blank. And finally, there are towers that spit out a great amount of damage and protect the enemy territory, but alternatively, protect the player’s side of the field too.
Characters that are playable are varied in skills and abilities but all boil down to whether they are strength characters, agility characters, or intelligence characters. There are no advantages to one attribute over the other, but it definitely changes the type of game players would experience. Along with that, the experience could change based on whether the player chooses to play with a hero that is ranged or is a close combat type. Usually, the characters that are up closer naturally have more health so that they don’t die immediately, while the ranged characters do not have a lot so they have to rely on playing support, rather than going right in.
When Dota 2 was first released, it had originally contained 23 playable characters, and by the first tournament, it doubled to 46. Now, at the time of the launch, there are a total of 101 playable characters for the player to choose from, including 32 strength characters, 32 agility characters, and 37 intelligence characters, each having its own gameplay and strategy, which consists of 54 ranged characters and 47 melee characters. Along with this behemoth list, it is expected to have an additional 5 strength characters, 3 Agility characters, and 3 intelligence characters to boot. If there is one thing that this game does promise, it does deliver on variety.
The gameplay is confusing to anyone who is new, however it is not unkind. The developers have now added a tutorial campaign to the game for anyone who is new and needs to learn the ropes of the game. In it, it teaches the uses of items, which do prove necessary as the game progresses. Also it does provide the basic strategy of the gameplay, and anything else to teach the ropes of how to play.
After that, the fun begins as there is a matchmaking program. The issue was that the loading times for a compatible game was absurd. The average loading time for an upload speed of almost 30Mbps (Megabits per second) was over 3 minutes.
Aside from the loading, the game has been updated properly. The gameplay was smooth and is accessible on an older graphics card. The game looks nice while not compromising gameplay along the way. The difficulty curve is pretty violent but does not hinder players from the fun as they will learn quickly to be an efficient teammate. And with over 3 million unique players, you’ll never find yourself alone. The game is now allowing applicants to the beta for a fee of $9.99 for the standard set and $19.99 for the deluxe package. However, seeing that the beta is almost over and the game will be available to play for free, it would almost be wiser to wait. Also, the game is rumored to be playable on Macs so it is not hard to assume that the game will gain a much larger crowd of eager players. So jump on in to Dota 2 and join the fight for the ancients!