Monday, August 15, 2011

DoTA 2 Trailer Puts Pretenders on Notice

Fare thee well, Heroes of Newerth and League of Legends

I am, how do you say, a fairweather fan of the budding RTS/RPG/Team genre that was born from original Defense of the Ancients (DoTA) mod for Warcraft III. In a sense, that original mod created this whole "Real-Time Hero Strategy" (RHS) that has ascended to stardom thanks to the free to play copy-cats, League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth, who then basically repackaged the mod and added a few respective "tweaks" of there own. 


They are incredibly addictive and easy to play, but the subtle nuances and strategy that separate the noobs from the elite take a good while to master. Therein was the problem for me while I was playing Heroes of Newerth: taking a while to master became more a matter of managing my levels of rage - and there are several key factors within the mechanics of these games that can turn a visceral and fun experience into a "everyone needs to die in a fire" moment.

Different levels of griefing, team-stacking, and general douchebaggery would ensue more often than not - with most of the ire firmly directed at the noobs (like me) trying to learn. I would play with my friends and it would be awesome even when I was happily failing, but trying to get better during the off hours became increasingly frustrating; don't get me wrong, being called a "fag" and "fucking moron" in garbled Korean/English was always amusing, but being left out to dry by unhelpful teammates was a pretty big turn-off.

Because both LoL and HoN  are free to play and created from start-up gaming companies, their customer service and ability to counter these issues at the core of the game and to promote a better community and team experience were and still are legendary in their amount of fail. Don't worry though peeps, because their answer is to just pump up the pro-gaming aspect and dangle gobs of money in front the masses to keep them slamming their heads into the keyboard. For more of the history of rage and hate in this world, there is no better place to look than my friends at

Ah, but finally the sequel to the originator Defense of the Ancients 2 is now on the horizon, and I can't be more excited. Backed by the geniuses at Valve who can do no wrong in my eyes (Half-life, Counter-Strike, Team Fortress) , you can bet that this will be a giant leap forward for the genre and the community that supports it.

I probably won't rage quit till a week after it comes out this time.

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