The lights are on
rumors and speculation can cease. Valve is making Dota 2, we've played
it, and it's already amazing even though it's not coming out until next
year. And we haven't yet laid eyes on Dota 2's biggest innovation: a
radical approach to integrating the game's community back into the
gameplay itself.What's a Dota?Dota
2 takes its name from the Warcraft III mod Defense of the Ancients, a
drastic change to that stock real-time strategy title, which pits two
teams of five players against each other in highly competitive,
40-minute or longer matches. Unlike most RTSes, DotA has each player
controlling a single hero who levels up and stockpiles gold to purchase
powerful equipment and consumables. As computer-controlled armies
continually spawn and rush the enemy's base, players are responsible for
using their powerful heroes to turn the tide of the battle in their
favor.DotA quickly gained massive popularity on Blizzard's
Battle.net service, with the growing community utilizing user-created
channels and the rudimentary custom game browser to connect players. As
mods tend to do, it branched into several variations as time passed.
Eventually, one rose to the top: DotA-Allstars, originally created by Steve "Guinsoo" Feak (now employed with Riot Games designing League of Legends). Allstars is currently maintained and updated by IceFrog (who declined to give his real name), who was hired by Valve in 2009 and is now working on Dota 2.
enjoys such unprecedented popularity for a number of interconnected
reasons. The game has a skill curve as long and as wide as
Counter-Strike or StarCraft; expert players dominate matches with
lesser-skilled individuals solely through manual dexterity and hard-won
knowledge. Extensive upgrade paths allow players to combine items into
more powerful versions, gaining thousands of hit points or powerful
life-stealing attacks. Team play is hugely rewarded; though the map is
large enough for all ten players to spread out and fight creeps on their
own without anyone engaging anyone else directly, late-game play is
almost invariably centered around giant 3v3 or even 5v5 team fights. The
mod has benefited from excellent, long-running support in the form of
constant updates that add new content or address balance issues. Said
balance is good enough that no dominant team composition or strategy has
ever taken hold for long. The heroes are varied enough that a match
featuring different team rosters can take on an entirely different
character from the last.The enormous following generated by
DotA's deep gameplay is unprecedented. Today, years after its release, a
third-party site hosting an update can get hammered by more than six
million downloads in a day. The mod spawned a new subgenre, commonly
referred to as "action-RTS," that contains two successful commercial
games in League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth (and the unfortunate
flop Demigod) as well as DotA-Allstars itself. Valve Corporation, the
company beloved for its Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Team Fortress, and
Left 4 Dead series as well as its outstanding Steam digital distribution
and matchmaking platform, is making its entry into this still-growing
genre next year with Dota 2.
Email the author Adam Biessener, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
LOOKS LIKE A PRETTY COOL GAME.
Wow that took a while for DotA to become its own game. Before Starcraft 2 I would go on WC3 on Battlenet and 87-91% of the lobbies set up were some variant of DotA.
I have been a player of DOTA for many years now. I am very excited about this announcement and can not wait until the game goes live. I just had a few questions for the GI staff. Since Blizzard is releasing their own DOTA custom mod for Starcraft 2, do you think that Blizzard loyal fans will stick with that since it is created by Blizzard? Plus, if someone has already payed for Starcraft 2, how many people do you think will spend the extra money for Valve / IceFrog's version even though it, from what I have been reading, seems a lot better than Blizzard's? I have been waiting for this day for years and I really hope that it isn't a flop.