From Warcraft 3 to Major League Gaming the player created custom map DoTA (Defense of the Ancients) has become the highest form of competitive play between PC gamers. Since then a new moniker for the game style Massive Online Battle Arena has been shortened to MOBA.
In 2003 the first version of the now staple map was released. The game entails the simple concept of a five player team which joins in combat against another five player team in order to destroy the opposition’s main structure and claim victory.
In recent years MOBAs have become one of the highest forms of competition in online gaming. Games like Smite, Heroes of Newerth (HoN), and League of Legends (LoL) sprouted from the original DoTA formula and entranced players into the tri-laned combat arenas.
That is until Valve Corporation combined with Icefrog (One of the designers of original DoTA) in 2010 to create a brand new stand-alone DoTA game subsequently named DoTA 2.
The appeal of DoTA 2 lies in its similarities to the original Warcraft 3 counterpart.
The nostalgia players get when they log on for the first time and can pick some of their favorite heroes like Phantom Lancer or Clinkz the likes of which were no where to be found in some of the other DoTA clones released in recent years.
The map is essentially the same as the original, outfitted with three lanes each with a jungle, secret shops, and creeps in the woods. The new timer that sports a gauge to indicate when each minute is about to count down makes it easier to stack creeps in the jungle.
There are currently 101 different heroes in DoTA 2, most are copies of original favorites from original DoTA, while a select few are new releases created and balanced by Icefrog.
With the amount of heroes comes an almost equal amount of items that help turn the tides of battle. Favorites like the “Blink Dagger” and “Dagon” showcase an entire arsenal that may cause any opponent roll up into the fetal position and cry.
Graphically the game ranks in the top of the MOBA category equipped with a polished finish that stays true to its origins of Warcraft 3. While some heroes have gone through a bit of a rework the abilities remain true to their namesakes.
In comparison to the competition DoTA 2 is at least on par. It is a bit slower paced than HoN, but is quicker paced than LoL, a feature which is helpful to beginners and veterans alike.
DoTA 2 aims to reclaim its dominance from all the clones released after Warcraft 3 became irrelevant. In order to rival HoN, LoL, and Smite, Valve has decided to make DoTA 2 free to play to match the cost of its competitors.
The growth of DoTA 2 has been immense, the main website boasts that there have been over two million new accounts this month alone. In addition the current international prize pool payout is close to two million dollars.
DoTA 2 has made a push into relevance using Valve’s name, which has had success with the popular “CounterStrike” franchise in order to promote the resurgence of a once dominant franchise.