Dota 2 is a free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game developed and published by Valve Corporation. The game is the stand-alone sequel to Defense of the Ancients (DotA), which was a community-created mod for Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its expansion pack, The Frozen Throne. Dota 2 is played in matches between two teams that consist of five players, with both teams occupying their own separate base on the map. Each of the ten players independently control a powerful character, known as a “hero”, that each feature unique abilities and different styles of play. During a match, a player and their team collects experience points and items for their heroes in order to fight through the opposing team’s defenses. A team wins by being the first to destroy a large structure located in the opposing team’s base, called the “Ancient”.
Link to the game website: http://blog.dota2.com/
Gameplay demo: http://store.steampowered.com/app/570/
Lens #2: The lens of Surprise
There are around a hundred different characters, or “heroes,” to choose from, and each is uniquely balanced. There are different types of character, from support to full-on attack, and then there are different types within those types. Some are unique in stats and skin only, while others are wildly unlike anything else in the game. Each hero has their own set of moves, and leveling up those moves and using them appropriately is key to winning. Learning how to use various characters and the best path to upgrading them is an important part of MOBA, and it’s the difference between victory and failure. Playing as part of a team is equally vital, and communication is constant and not always flattering.
As there are many heroes with different items combination based on the current situation of each game, there are countless possibilities of how the game will proceed every single minute. There are always surprises in every DOTA 2 match. Each game is unique and will bring different situations to the gameplay so that you will not feel boring doing the same repetitive thing over and over again. In DOTA 2, there’s no guaranteed winning even if one team is significantly doing better than the other. Just simply a few combats or strategical plays or individual brilliance can reverse the situation.
Lens #27: The lens of Skill
In DOTA 2, constant practice is required to further improve your skill especially when you just start playing the game. If one puts in a sufficient amount of time to further improve his skill in playing DOTA 2, he can find great joy seeing himself improving from times to times and learn new things along the way. I started playing DOTA 2 4 years ago and i was not good at it in the beginning. However, with constant practice and patience, I’ve found myself improve along the way a lot and now even though I am not the best I could say that I am a pretty decent player in this game and I am happy about it as my effort has shown its worth.
Besides that, one can also improve his/her teamwork skills in order to reach the higher level of DOTA 2. For highly skill games, DOTA 2 players are required to learn how to collaborate in a team to achieve their goal of defeating the opponents. A team with less individual brilliance but with better teamwork is the one with the higher chance to win the game against a team consisting of multiple brilliant players but with bad teamwork. Once you learn how to play well with your team, the whole DOTA2 experience will transform into a more enjoyable one.
Lens #6: The lens of Problem Solving
DOTA 2 may seem to be just a game to someone, but for me playing DOTA 2 is like solving a problem. You will encounter many problems occurred during your match : the combat may not go as well as you think it will, the match is progressing in a way you don’t expect or your team is losing the advantage, .etc. In order to solve all these problems, you will need great problem solving skills. Some of it will come from your own experiences with the game, that’s why you can see during professional games, the more experienced team will be better in handling unfavorable situations and being flexible in their strategy change in the middle of the game. There’s also a research paper on identifying patterns in combat that are predictive of success in MOBA games. Basically from the abstract from the paper said: “We model combat as a sequence of graphs and extract patterns that predict successful outcomes not just of combat, but of the entire game. To identify those patterns, we attribute features to these graphs using well known graph metrics. These features allow us to describe, in meaningful terms, how different combat tactics contribute to team success. We also present an evaluation of our methodology on the popular MOBA game, DotA 2 (Defense of the Ancients 2). Experiments show that extracted patterns achieve an 80% prediction accuracy when testing on new game logs.” This is one study to show that playing DOTA 2 is actually trying to solve problems, if you find the solution or any part of it, you’ll have more advantages in winning the game.
Lens #5: The lens of Endogenous Value
DOTA 2’s main endogenous value lies on its cosmetic items. You can get skins for your heroes either by playing or buying from the steam market. Although skins only affect the cosmetic look and in no way affect the heroes’ abilities or empower the player, it is one of the most powerful features of DOTA 2 that keeps the players interested in the game. Some skins will not only grant different to the heroes but also has new, more flashy looking visual effect on the heroes’ skills. There are also Steam Workshop where you can design and submit your own items/heroes design to Valve and let them assess your design too.
Lens #3: The lens of Fun
DOTA 2 is an extremely fun game. It is the most engaging game that I’ve ever played for such a long time. And most importantly, I do not get bored of it. There are just countless possibilities for every single game. A person who has never played DOTA 2 would say that the game sounds repetitive since your only objective is the kill the opponent’s throne for every single game. However, due to the uncertainty of every game, it’s always fun to play DOTA 2.