Dota 2: second impressions review

Dota 2 is, without a doubt, the hardest game I have ever played. In 13 years of experience, nothing comes close to this (at least not in terms of difficulty.)

I'm not exaggerating. This is a seriously hard game, especially since Valve hasn't finished any new player tools (such as the tutorial or the mentor system from Team Fortress 2) yet. The game also hasn't been properly released, so the only people spending $30 on an invite (which can only be done from inside the game) would be people who love the game and want either their alternate account or their noob friend (most likely also taught by them) to have the game too. And even if you do have a friend willing to teach you the game, do not expect to get anywhere in your first few games - regardless of how much you play any other game in the genre.

The brutality begins right from the start of your first game - the picking interface could honestly be a lot better. And I know that it's possible to change from the scrolling list to a 'grid' system, but it goes back to the scrolling list between games. And since you can't go back to list form once you're in grid form, why not just completely remove the list? It was baffling design decisions like that that initially turned me off the game.

That said, it only gets even more complex once you get into the actual gameplay. If you've ever played another LPG (lane pushing game; it makes more sense than MOBA or Action-RTS) then you should understand the basic flow of the game. Here's the thing, though: this game will punish every single slip-up you or any of your teammates make. The shop is also a lot more complex - you lose gold when you die (part of how you get punished), so you can buy items while away from the fountain which are then added to your 'stash'. The courier, if you have it, can take items in your stash over to you. There are also some 'secret shops' scattered around the map which you have to have a spare inventory slot to use, since the secret shops aren't connected to your stash, and you have to pick the right moment to go to them or else you'll get ganked in the jungle or lose your lane and AAAAAAAARRRGH

Don't rely on your teammates to help out, either. Since all five 'heroes' are controlled by separate people, often their agendas won't involve occasionally leaving their lane to put pressure on yours, warding or checking the river for runes. They'll also probably wind up picking heroes which are well out of their league.[1] There honestly aren't a lot of 'easy' heroes, that is heroes you can be competent with without having played them to death before - Valve does have a list of them, but you only get to see it if you admitted you weren't very good on your first boot. And I didn't.

So, yeah, a lot of the difficulty comes from working out and memorising exactly what's possible with who and how to get the most out of everything. And that's definitely not something that everyone can do. I get the feeling that when the game's officially released, regardless of stuff like tutorials and mentors, a lot of people who start playing will give up in frustration. If you're willing to stick with the game, though, eventually you will figure out enough to be useful to a team at 'pub' level. And after that, who knows?

As for non-gameplay stuff, the more adaptive music is actually pretty good and while some of the voices or the things they say can get grating, for the most part it's not that bad. The interface could be better but doesn't take too long to get a handle on, and the in-game graphics are certainly a lot better than what LoL has. So if all you really care about in a game is graphics, then you probably shouldn't be playing Dota 2 anyway - as for everyone else[2], they're a nice bonus to a well-above-average package.

[1] Pun completely unintended, I swear.
[2] By 'everyone else' I mean 'everyone patient or masochistic enough to play more than a few games'. Which includes me, though I don't know whether it's patience or masochism that keeps me playing.

Just a heads up - Valves idea of a good hero for a beginner seriously makes me question whether anyone there is actually good at the game they are developing.

For example, Drow Ranger is recommended for new players. This is fucking stupid. Why? Because Drow Ranger is one of the worst heros in the game. I can't remember the last time I lost against Drow. Even when you get ridiculously farmed (something that won't happen if anyone in the enemy team has more than 2 wins) she is still massively inferior compared to other semi carries. Plus, being a hard carry is, well, pretty hard anyway.

tldr; don't pick Drow if you're new to DOTA. If you're not that new anymore, and you think you can handle a carry, don't pick Drow either, because she's bad.

Yea, there are loads of "options" aka "burden of knowledge" but with the implantation of MMR, people of your level (unless if they're paying 30 dollars to smurf) will generally have the same amount of knowledge you do, just in different areas. If you are starting to feel screwed, pit your knowledge against theirs and pull some cleaver shit out of your ass against an unsuspecting player. I think your gained knowledge will only continue to compete with other people's knowledge of the game, which means the difficulty should never really decrease. I play a lot and I still discover clever shit all the time used against me. I think a big part of the game is simply gaining respect for another person's creativity and cleverness, even more so if they are using it against you so you can feel the full extent of it. Of course another big part is creating your own cleaver shit, and pulling it out of your ass to save the day as well as the enjoyment of watching everyone's reaction when it all works out. Game's difficult but it's got better balancing than league, as well as comebacks are more often as it does not require the opposing team to go full retard as a means to catch up... Also (below) a team with 2 Type A, 2 Type B, and 1 Type C will generally reign supreme until the 45+min mark against a team with 1 Type A, 1 Type B, and 3 Type C given neither bases are on fire.

Totally off topic but...
From our last little chat, I've looked into the death penalty system and the dismantled it. I don't know a good way to explain this but I do know algebra so let's try that...

With X being levels and Y being gold, Heroes in DotA range from (numbers are not exact, and this is a simplified model.)

Type A : 150+15x+15y (dudes that are born awesome : early game)
Type B : 100+35x+10y (dudes that have awesome skills : mid game)
Type C : 100+10x+35y (dudes that require items/weapons to be even remotely useful : end game)

Now you have a way to shut down, or at least stall type C if you're a type A or B hero. Also a type A or B getting a kill is nothing compared to a type C, and in reverse, type A and B can die and it's no where as impactful as a type C's death. It's all about options, and choices.

Anyway I hope you enjoy your stay at DotA 2. Again, you can message me for advice if you don't be a troll. Also, thanks for not taking it out of your ass.

Yea, there are loads of "options" aka "burden of knowledge" but with the implantation of MMR, people of your level (unless if they're paying 30 dollars to smurf) will generally have the same amount of knowledge you do, just in different areas. If you are starting to feel screwed, pit your knowledge against theirs and pull some cleaver shit out of your ass against an unsuspecting player. I think your gained knowledge will only continue to compete with other people's knowledge of the game, which means the difficulty should never really decrease. I play a lot and I still discover clever shit all the time used against me. I think a big part of the game is simply gaining respect for another person's creativity and cleverness, even more so if they are using it against you so you can feel the full extent of it. Of course another big part is creating your own cleaver shit, and pulling it out of your ass to save the day as well as the enjoyment of watching everyone's reaction when it all works out. Game's difficult but it's got better balancing than league, as well as comebacks are more often as it does not require the opposing team to go full retard as a means to catch up... Also (below) a team with 2 Type A, 2 Type B, and 1 Type C will generally reign supreme until the 45+min mark against a team with 1 Type A, 1 Type B, and 3 Type C given neither bases are on fire.

Totally off topic but...
From our last little chat, I've looked into the death penalty system and the dismantled it. I don't know a good way to explain this but I do know algebra so let's try that...

With X being levels and Y being gold, Heroes in DotA range from (numbers are not exact, and this is a simplified model.)

Type A : 150+15x+15y (dudes that are born awesome : early game)
Type B : 100+35x+10y (dudes that have awesome skills : mid game)
Type C : 100+10x+35y (dudes that require items/weapons to be even remotely useful : end game)

Now you have a way to shut down, or at least stall type C if you're a type A or B hero. Also a type A or B getting a kill is nothing compared to a type C, and in reverse, type A and B can die and it's no where as impactful as a type C's death. It's all about options, and choices.

Anyway I hope you enjoy your stay at DotA 2. Again, you can message me for advice if you don't be a troll. Also, thanks for not taking it out of your ass.

Yea, there are loads of "options" aka "burden of knowledge" but with the implantation of MMR, people of your level (unless if they're paying 30 dollars to smurf) will generally have the same amount of knowledge you do, just in different areas. If you are starting to feel screwed, pit your knowledge against theirs and pull some cleaver shit out of your ass against an unsuspecting player. I think your gained knowledge will only continue to compete with other people's knowledge of the game, which means the difficulty should never really decrease. I play a lot and I still discover clever shit all the time used against me. I think a big part of the game is simply gaining respect for another person's creativity and cleverness, even more so if they are using it against you so you can feel the full extent of it. Of course another big part is creating your own cleaver shit, and pulling it out of your ass to save the day as well as the enjoyment of watching everyone's reaction when it all works out. Game's difficult but it's got better balancing than league, as well as comebacks are more often as it does not require the opposing team to go full retard as a means to catch up... Also (below) a team with 2 Type A, 2 Type B, and 1 Type C will generally reign supreme until the 45+min mark against a team with 1 Type A, 1 Type B, and 3 Type C given neither bases are on fire.

Totally off topic but...
From our last little chat, I've looked into the death penalty system and the dismantled it. I don't know a good way to explain this but I do know algebra so let's try that...

With X being levels and Y being gold, Heroes in DotA range from (numbers are not exact, and this is a simplified model.)

Type A : 150+15x+15y (dudes that are born awesome : early game)
Type B : 100+35x+10y (dudes that have awesome skills : mid game)
Type C : 100+10x+35y (dudes that require items/weapons to be even remotely useful : end game)

Now you have a way to shut down, or at least stall type C if you're a type A or B hero. Also a type A or B getting a kill is nothing compared to a type C, and in reverse, type A and B can die and it's no where as impactful as a type C's death. It's all about options, and choices.

Anyway I hope you enjoy your stay at DotA 2. Again, you can message me for advice if you don't be a troll. Also, thanks for not taking it out of your ass.

Yea, there are loads of "options" aka "burden of knowledge" but with the implantation of MMR, people of your level (unless if they're paying 30 dollars to smurf) will generally have the same amount of knowledge you do, just in different areas. If you are starting to feel screwed, pit your knowledge against theirs and pull some cleaver shit out of your ass against an unsuspecting player. I think your gained knowledge will only continue to compete with other people's knowledge of the game, which means the difficulty should never really decrease. I play a lot and I still discover clever shit all the time used against me. I think a big part of the game is simply gaining respect for another person's creativity and cleverness, even more so if they are using it against you so you can feel the full extent of it. Of course another big part is creating your own cleaver shit, and pulling it out of your ass to save the day as well as the enjoyment of watching everyone's reaction when it all works out. Game's difficult but it's got better balancing than league, as well as comebacks are more often as it does not require the opposing team to go full retard as a means to catch up... Also (below) a team with 2 Type A, 2 Type B, and 1 Type C will generally reign supreme until the 45+min mark against a team with 1 Type A, 1 Type B, and 3 Type C given neither bases are on fire.

Totally off topic but...
From our last little chat, I've looked into the death penalty system and the dismantled it. I don't know a good way to explain this but I do know algebra so let's try that...

With X being levels and Y being gold, Heroes in DotA range from (numbers are not exact, and this is a simplified model.)

Type A : 150+15x+15y (dudes that are born awesome : early game)
Type B : 100+35x+10y (dudes that have awesome skills : mid game)
Type C : 100+10x+35y (dudes that require items/weapons to be even remotely useful : end game)

Now you have a way to shut down, or at least stall type C if you're a type A or B hero. Also a type A or B getting a kill is nothing compared to a type C, and in reverse, type A and B can die and it's no where as impactful as a type C's death. It's all about options, and choices.

Anyway I hope you enjoy your stay at DotA 2. Again, you can message me for advice if you don't be a troll. Also, thanks for not taking it out of your ass.

Edit : sorry if there are multiple posts. Escapist is bugging out and it won't load so I'm opening a new tab and copy pasta.

 

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