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What Is Dota 2?
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What is Dota 2?

Let the Adventure Begin

Your friend messages you constantly everyday, talking about this game called "Dota 2" and how he got an invite to the beta. He has even kindly offered you one of the free invites he can send out to his best buddies but you're probably reluctant to try it out. You've heard whispers of how bad the community treats the players, especially newcomers and how much information you need to learn before you even start playing against people online. You've even heard that some people play this game as a full-time job and could easily win a game with their skill alone. With this article, I hope to explain what Dota 2 actually is, where it came from, and what to expect before you step into the world of Dota.

What's a Dota?

Now for the complete newbie out there, they might be asking what exactly Dota 2 is and why one should be interested in playing it. It is based off it's predecessor, Dota (Defense of the Ancients), which is an action real-time strategy mod for Warcraft III and it's expansion, The Frozen Throne. The primary goal for the two teams of 5 players is to destroy the opponent's "Ancients", which are fortified buildings in their corresponding bases. In order to do this, each player controls a Hero that can level up, learn several abilities, get gold and buy increasingly powerful items to aid in the defeat of the enemy team and eventually their Ancient.

Much like the mod for Warcraft III, Dota 2 (which is being developed by Valve) will be using a free to play model. Unlike traditional RPG's where you would focus on one character or a group of characters, each game is played as a separate instance from the last. For any WoW players out there, I would compare it to the Arena and Battleground system for PvP. At the start of each game, the hero is level 1 (max level of 25), has a bit of gold to buy some starting items, and has the ability to choose from 3 spells to learn (for most heroes). Players will choose one of 3 "Lanes" to go and farm their gold and compete against enemy heroes. As the game goes on, players will use their heroes to earn gold by killing NPCs, killing enemy heroes, destroying towers, and eventually win by razing the enemies' Ancient . Again, I would draw a comparison to a 5v5 arena with a primary objective of destroying the opposing team's Ancient.

The main draw that Dota 2 has over many other competitive strategy games like Starcraft 2, is the strong emphasis around teammates and coordination. If you find yourself attracted to games where you enjoy playing with other people and working together to succeed, I think you'll find this is right up your alley.

Newb-Friendly

One of the big reasons new players are hesitant to try a game like Dota is the huge learning curve required to compete even at a low level. Most people would rather just step right in and start off on the same footing as other players but in a competitive setting, this won't be the case. With some players having years of experience, one can't really expect to be on the same level just starting out. To aid new players with the steep learning curve, Valve is developing a system that will allow experienced players to mentor new players and teach them just like a coach might in baseball or football. People will be able to create guides and submit content that will also assist other players in becoming better.

Conclusion

As I try to wrap this up, I'd like to encourage you to keep looking into Dota 2 if you are even a little bit interested in wanting to play. Being the new guy always sucks but always remember everyone once was in your spot. If you are somebody who enjoys competition, working with others, and gets a sense of accomplishment from being challenged and overcoming it, I would highly recommend you to try it out. With all the noob friendly features Valve is working on implementing, I can give you my 100% assurance that come launch day you will have no problem jumping into the game ready and eager to learn.


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