Defence of the Ancient 2, more popularly known as DOTA 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena video game. The core of the game involves two teams of five players, each side fighting to penetrate the stronghold of the opposing team, and to ultimately destroy their ‘Ancient’ building in order to seize victory (hence the title). The individual players each picks and controls a unique ‘Hero’ character and focuses on levelling, earning goal, purchasing items and last not but not least, fighting the opposing team.
Game website: http://www.dota2.com
Game play demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc9SsckCf_w
- The Lens of Surprise
DOTA enables players to constantly surprise one another through game mechanics such as fog of war, in which vision of the enemy team is always limited, for example, I would not be able to see an enemy unit if it is on a higher ground or say behind a tree thus allowing players to do things such as sneak up against each other, or even discreetly ‘farm’ for gold then emerging suddenly with crazy items.
- The Lens of Fun
To me, DOTA has been one of the most engaging and fun game I’ve ever played. It’s complex game mechanics allow endless possibilities and playing styles, such that every game I play is always at least slightly different the previous ones, involving different players and different situations that arise from decisions of these players. This ever changing and surprising game play never fails to keep me entertained and engaged. Being able to collaborate with people also adds into the fun, especially when we successfully gang upon an enemy hero.
- The Lens of Curiosity
While playing DOTA, we are presented with many different scenarios in which we have to constantly question ourselves in order to make what we deemed as the most appropriate decision. Questions like, “am I about to be sneaked upon?”, “is it save to take this route” often run through my head repeatedly. I feel that the game designers had been very successful in forcing us into asking these questions as by experience, failing to so would lead to multiple death of your ‘Hero’ and hence great frustration, also coined as the term ‘feeding’.
- The Lens of Endogenous Value
DOTA has a number of things that carry endogenous value, one which has significant endogenous value is gold, which is extremely pivotal in the outcome of the game. How fast you can earn gold determines the speed of you obtaining your necessary items in order to achieve an edge over the opposing players. Another example would be ‘hero’ kill score, while not directly resulting in the winning of the game, since game is not won by kill counts but the destroying of the ‘Ancient’, having a high kill count usually is a very accurate indicator of how well your team is doing, higher kill count also means higher revenue since each ‘hero’ kill earns a bounty. A high kill count also gives a sense of satisfaction and achievement, as mentioned in my above game experience.
- Elemental Tetrad
- Mechanics: I feel that DOTA has great game mechanics that while the main goal of the game is to destroy the opposing team’s ‘Ancient’ building, it still leaves plenty of room for players to explore and try different things.
- Story: DOTA has a short background story but does not quite matter at all, I doubt many actually knows the story behind the game.
- Aesthetic: DOTA 2 is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, a great step up from its predecessor DOTA 1. It even has a marketplace where new skins can be found and equipped onto ‘Hero’ characters.
- Technology: There is nothing special about the technology of DOTA 2, since it is designed to work on even not so high end computers, graphics in DOTA 2 can even be scaled down such that it could run on slower computers.