Entering the wonderfully difficult world of Dota 2.

A few days ago I decided I wanted to try something new. I’d just watched a few of the older videos on Dota 2 by TotalBiscuit, and decided I wanted to try it out. I had played a bit of League of Legends (LoL for short)  some time ago, a game that is often compared to today’s topic. It never really got me interested enough to invest any large amount of time in the game, nor did it give me the drive to get good. Nevertheless, things are shaping up a bit differently for Dota 2: here’s what happened when I tried Valve’s take on the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) genre.

First of all, what is Dota 2?

Dota 2 is the direct sequel to the original Defence of the Ancients (DotA), the game/mod that started it all. The original DotA was a mod created for Warcraft 3 by the now legendary yet elusive developer IceFrog. After Valve hired him, he was put to work on the sequel: a standalone (updated) version that is now known as Dota 2. Played by millions worldwide, Dota 2 is now one of the top MOBA’s out at the moment. The competitive E-Sports scene does help in the popularity of course, with Dota 2 being one of the top games played competitively together with, for example, Starcraft 2.

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It’s a tough market though, with games like Infinite Crysis and Heroes of the Storm coming soon to shake everything up and take some of the delicious cash pie that Dota 2 and LoL are eating from at the moment. That’s for the future though: today, we’ll have a look at my first experiences in Dota 2.

Stepping into the multiplayer.

After I had finished the first few tutorials and played a couple of games against bots, I tried my first multiplayer game: a win, surprisingly. I had played as Riki, an assassin-esque character with an ultimate skill that leaves him permanently invisible. I hadn’t planned on playing him, but when I joined the game I soon realised that there were only 3 heroes to choose from (it was a limited character game). When I had bought my starting items and had picked a lane to start in, I killed the first few creeps that came up to me and all went well.

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That picturesque scene ended as soon as the first enemy players started appearing. The ganking phase had started and I, as a new player, was one of the first to fall to the slightly more experienced enemies. Not only  because I was still looking over the skills at my disposal, the main problem is that I’m just not that good in general and am still new. Luckily I was quick to adapt though, and I soon had my ultimate unlocked and was backstabbing anything and everything I came across. I had finished the game on a high note: first game, first win.

So, was it any good?

The answer to that is simple: I thoroughly enjoyed my first game, and I’m sure there will be more coming. I would recommend Dota 2 to anyone, as long as you have the patience to be able to understand the game and get used to everything. I can’t really elaborate on all the mechanics and strategy that’s behind the game, seen as I’m still in this learning phase. You can be sure of one thing though: once you invest enough time and effort into Dota 2, you’ll be left with a satisfying and immensely rewarding game that can keep you going for quite some time.

It’s best to find some friends to play with though. I realised very quickly that this was a game that was meant to be played with friends, not only because it’s alway fin to play with a friend but also because it’s hard to discuss your strategy via the in-game chat. Skype or Teamspeak are definite musts for anyone planning on winning a healthy majority of their games.

If ever you’re wondering what to play and haven’t tried a MOBA yet, make sure to give Dota 2 a try. I’m sure it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but if it happens to be yours you’ll never look back.

Happy gaming everyone,

Teague

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