Valve Announces Dota 2

If you haven’t heard already, the last two months of fighting against Riot Games for the DotA trademark, Valve has come up as the victor and is ready to develop. Apparently they have hired the DotA team to make sure things are created as the original team wishes it to be. I hope. Only time can tell on the rest of the developmental process, but knowing valve, they will develop the game to the ends of the earth before it’s released. (Which will come first? Duke Nukem or Half-Life 3) :3

For those of you that don’t know, DotA is mod for Warcraft 3 that has been a huge part of global professional gaming for many years. Standard games rules pit 5 heros against 5 other heros. There are “good” and “evil” heros but regulation generally allows freedom to pick from either side no matter what team your on. The point of the game is to reach the other team’s base and destroy their powersource. (Life Tree or Frozen Throne, depending what side you’re on.)

There are 3 lanes, and on each lane spawn waves of “Creeps”. I want to call them cannon-fodder but they are so vital to understand in game play that I can’t use that term. These creep waves are spawned continuously from the start to the end of the game and are the game’s indication of how far you can push into a lane. Within each of the 3 lanes are 3 towers per team. The towers are very powerful defensive structures that prevent creeps from over-running them. At early level it is vital to use these to defend yourself or to protect yourself from other heros. In the later levels you can pretty much write the towers off as cannon-foodder or useless with the exception that they provide true sight(Show invisible) around it and make that lane’s barracks invulnerable until destroyed. There are two barracks per lane for your team(Melee and Ranged), destroying your opponant’s barracks will generate “super” versions of the creep type of the barracks you destroyed. Destroying all of your opponent’s barracks generates MEGA CREEPS in all lanes, at this point you can almost say the game is over.

Now to the heart of the game: Heroes and Items. There are 3 categories of heroes, Intelligence, Agility, and Strength. Intelligence heroes usually have lots of disables and high direct damage and excel in the early game. Agility heroes are usually the middle of Strength and Intelligence except that they tend to have more combat or movement based abilities, these are your end game closers. Finally we have the Strength heroes which offer nothing more than being massive meatshields/tanks, being incredibly annoying and more often than not, deadly to any enemy they can outlast. There are some heros that stick to this mold tightly and then there are many heroes that seem to be mixes of both classes or just totally unique.

Items, love em or hate em, you –NEED- them in order to survive. They do all sorts of things from increasing stats to more HP/mana to having special abilities. Certain items work better with certain heroes due to skills and general gameplay.

Food For Thought: There is a current argument about the game being balanced by being unbalanced. There are several horribly overpowered heroes that can single handedly take whole teams down on their own if they get fed(extra gold through kills) enough where some other heroes still would have trouble taking down 1 hero with double the feed… The community is heavily divided on this subject; the center of which, is teamwork.

DotA summed up in one word is “teamwork”. Without it, even the best hero is useless. Although the DotA community tends to be a very rageful “pro”-ish community full of people with hot air, there are some very awesome individuals that make the experience of many games much more bearable(when losing) or enjoyable(all the time). So for me, the community is very hit or miss depending on how lucky you are or if you play continuously with people you know/a group of friends.

Icefrog stated on his blog that he will be doing a Q&A to ease some doubts and shed light on various issues. It’s pretty certain that DotA, the Warcraft 3 mod will continue to be developed in tandem to Dota 2… At least that’s how the updating pattern has gone so far. I haven’t seen any slow down or “breaks” In the updating format in both the blog and the game, despite IceFrog having talked to valve quite a while ago.

Current announcements state that they plan to port almost all 100+ of the heroes and make the map the same as the current updated map. There is currently a “sizeable” art time cranking away at producing models and other art. Some of the current artwork is pretty breathtaking. I hope the models look just as good :)

A few things on the current wish-list are the ability to mod or create within the game, Voice chat within game(update: announced it may be included), and a commutative list of guilds, groups and in-game stats...and achievements :)

If anyone else has more information on this, feel free to comment below!

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