Most gamers may recognize the name DotA, or Defence of the Ancients, while many may have played it, many have not. Well DotA was a map for Warcraft 3 based on a Starcraft map named Aeon of Strife. I can’t really remember who created the first version of it, but once IceFrog took over the development, the map got known around the Warcraft 3 community and the interest in it grew. At this point the major events got their eyes open for it as well, and DotA turned into a competitive eSports map, DotA has been a featured game at tournaments like World Cyber Games and BlizzCon. DotA is the basic foundation to every MOBA game around, and it created a new subgenre to RTS games.
Even though DotA and any other MOBA game isn’t truly an RTS game as such, it still requires you to be a special breed of gamer to get really good at it, this due to the incredible variety of outcomes depending on lineups, situations and itembuilds. Appart from that we have the individual player skills like last hitting and denying creeps as well as map awareness and so on, the list could be made long. But the bottom line is, not everyone can make it to the top in MOBA games regardless of how much time you put into it, it’s not like I’m trying to discourage people to try, but just keep in mind that if you don’t have it, you just don’t have it.
Well, then came the glorious day when DotA 2 was announced, and I sense a full community was shouting and crying in joy (I exaggerate for a fact). Well what many had been waiting years for was finally within reach, and from trying out the beta quite a bit, I must say that I’m pleasantly surprised, the same feeling is still there, although I kind of prefer the retro Warcraft 3 layout to the DotA 2 graphics and texture layout, but one can’t get everything. Yes of course there are minor differences between DotA and DotA 2, but that can’t be avoided, and if there weren’t any differences there would be no need for a sequel. It feels a little like Valve were fishing for people when they announced their first 1 million dollar tournament, but I have a feeling there was no need for that, they had a fanbase waiting for the game already. In retrospect it may have damaged the community a little bit, as in a sense the DotA community have been more mature than that of say Heroes of Newerth or League of Legends.
I remember I began playing DotA back in 2003 or 2004, but back then IceFrog was not the one developing it, and the community wasn’t that large, but as the community grew, so did my love for the map, I am one of these people who have been around MOBA games for so long that I still consider DotA to be the best MOBA game out there even to this day. Heroes of Newerth could have been a worthy successor, but the direction S2 pushed it does not go along with my view of it. So one could say I was truly hyped when I heard that they will be releasing DotA 2 after all these years. I can not really tell yet if Valve being involved is either good or bad, but I can say this, this is a game the community have been waiting a long time for, and regardless if it may or may not measure up to DotA Allstars I am sure that the community is relieved that it is finally here.