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Post by trog @ 02:39pm 16/07/13 | 47 Comments
After a long "closed" beta period, Dota 2 is finally out, so if you lived in a cave and couldn't find anyone to give you an invite, you can now sign up for free and play it. While reviewing a game that, realistically, has been out for ages might seem like a weird thing to do, I still meet a lot of people who have no idea what it's about and whether they'd be interested in it, so I thought I'd take a crack at explaining the basics and why I play it to the exclusion of anything else.

If you're a PC gamer and you take your multiplayer games seriously, then you probably want to check this game out. But be warned - it has a steep learning curve, and with the average game time around the 45 minute mark, it is a huge time sink. But it makes the joy of executing the perfect team fight with your friends all the sweeter.

Check out our Dota 2 review for an in-depth look at this excellent free-to-play PC title from Valve Software.



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Latest Comments
carson
Posted 02:56pm 16/7/13
179 wins? You are noob scrub. Get on my level bro.

Otherwise good review. Dota is pretty much the only game I had been playing for a year, until this steam sale, and once I've finished everything I've been playing I'll be back on dota.

The competative scene is the first competitive scene in ANY sport/esport that I have been interested in. The personalities are great and Valve are doing magic with how they are making it work with the pros and fans.
DeadlyDav0
Posted 04:03pm 16/7/13

But the games that are good - they're really good. With so many combinations and different ways to exploit them, the level of satisfaction when you're playing with friends and manage to co-ordinate a five-person push on a tower, laying down that perfect combo that takes advantage of all your abilities, wiping out the other team.... well, that's what keeps me coming back for more.

So true.

I really hope matchmaking improves so games are less stomps and more evenly matched.
Nukleuz
Posted 04:36pm 16/7/13
Couldn't get into it. Uninstalled it after 4 hours the first time. A friend of mine encouraged me to try again. Got to 11 hours and I still couldn't find any enjoyment in the game and it was gone again for the second and final time.

The review is dead on in highlighting those particular negatives which, for me were just too much to get over. This is definitely going to be one of those games where you either love it or hate it, with no room for anything in between.
konstie
Posted 04:45pm 16/7/13
nice review :)
DeadlyDav0
Posted 04:56pm 16/7/13
Honestly Nukleuz, if you didnt spend at least a few hours playing with bots and a mate then jumping straight into pub games is gunna suck. At least you can restart a bot game if you play poorly.

Ive taught a few friends to play and for each of them i played a number of games 1v1 mid lane to teach them the basics while talking to them over voice comm.
glynd
Posted 05:01pm 16/7/13
I look at DOTA like golf. It''s frustrating as all hell but it's that one great shot that brings you back for another round. Eventually you get a good groove going and can enjoy the game. It's a game of excessive highs and excessive lows....but I love it all the same.
Nukleuz
Posted 05:42pm 16/7/13
I gave the bots a go and had a few games with said friend of mine who encouraged me to install it again. Read a few guides on ideal starting characters and strategies. In the end it just wasn't the game for me.

Who knows, I might knock my head on something one day, and find myself inspired to install it again. By then it just might be a game that's a little less overwhelming for someone who never played DOTA 1...
Eorl
Posted 05:47pm 16/7/13
My boss has played more Dota than I have, what an odd thought heh. Honestly I love the MOBA genre, its a great investment and offers a huge amount of playtime. It is a love/hate relationship with some days offering me fun, enjoyable times while other days I'm raging at my teammates for being stupid.

It takes time though, which can be one of the bigger problems (but at the same time a good thing in weeding out those not wanting to put in the effort) for players but you will get a lot out of it for doing so. I've played at least 300 hours of League of Legends and countless hours in the original Dota, both of which have offered me a huge amount of fun and enjoyment.

Spot on review.
kos
Posted 06:17pm 16/7/13
Great review, covered my concerns perfectly.

Personally I'm not a fan of the RPG elements, but the length of games is what really bothers me about this gametype. In Starcraft, games can end up going for as long or longer than mentioned, but you can really be a master of your own destiny and force a shorter game by playing different styles, which isn't really an option in DotA.


Also, toxicness isn't a word, it's toxicity! :P
Viper119
Posted 06:41pm 16/7/13
Thanks for this, I have NFI what DOTA2 is, will read and check it out.
Obes
Posted 07:02pm 16/7/13
Having tried HoN, LoL and DOTA2.
For "noobs" (and I am a noob) LoL has the easiest curve, and the best community, DOTA2 to me seemed to have the most keyboard ragers. LoL is slower paced and doesn't even have the concept of denies and items builds are a lot easier. It probably implies that the meta game is more complicated in DOTA2 but ... not good enough to know.

I remember 1 game where the match maker failed and put some first game person in the match. He told everyone it was his first game (A good idea).
(Surprisingly to this forum) I tried to give him tips and help him, but 2 people spent the entire match hurling insults at the guy.
At the end of the match he left saying he was uninstalling (NFI if he did or didn't).

Keato after 5 matches of HoN refuses to even try DOTA2 or LOL purely because of the community.

Dota2 OSX support is in beta.
LOL is on live.
HoN has Linux and OSX.
carson
Posted 07:58am 17/7/13
Nukleuz it's not for everyone and it is overwhelming. The thing that, for me, really makes this game strong is finding 2-3 friends to play with. I think solo playing is a painful experience and I avoid it at all costs.

I think the perception that the community is toxic is way over represented. I've made some really good friends through the game, and like any game, you have d*******s who will be d*******s. I find they are few and far between though.

Unfortunately because of match making and how it works for new players, your first 10-20 games will have people who are not that great to play with, after that you generally end up being paired with people who are more fun to play with.
Eorl
Posted 08:05am 17/7/13
Unfortunately because of match making and how it works for new players, your first 10-20 games will have people who are not that great to play with, after that you generally end up being paired with people who are more fun to play with.
That or you get matched with smurf accounts who expect you to be the best in the world.
trog
Posted 09:24am 17/7/13
Keato after 5 matches of HoN refuses to even try DOTA2 or LOL purely because of the community.
It has definitely improved. There are still asshats but people seem a lot more careful now. The first sign of idiocy these days I mute, report, and move on with my life - then a few days or weeks later I usually get a popup saying they've taken action against someone I've reported.
Dota2 OSX support is in beta.
Apparently they're still having performance issues - 25fps sounds like the most they're getting out of it. Hopefully they sort this out soon.
Obes
Posted 01:30pm 17/7/13
Apparently they're still having performance issues - 25fps sounds like the most they're getting out of it. Hopefully they sort this out soon.

Yeah TBH it felt better when I dodgied it up in wine and wine bottler.

Can always bootcamp or fusion.
Dan
Posted 02:16pm 17/7/13
Does Dota 2 attempt to address the end of round issue at all? Most RTS have that awkward point of no return where the match has already essentially been won, but the winners have to continue chipping away at the loser's base to claim victory, but it was particularly lengthy and boring in other MOBAs I've played, and bailing during that time would reflected poorly on your game history.

Is conceding/bailing at that point generally accepted in d2, or do you still have to just sit around at spawn awkwardly waiting for all your s*** to hurry up and get trashed?
Crash
Posted 02:30pm 17/7/13
Is conceding/bailing at that point generally accepted in d2, or do you still have to just sit around at spawn awkwardly waiting for all your s*** to hurry up and get trashed?


I've had plenty of games where you think there is no way you can win the game, then it turns around within 1 team fight. I had a game recently where we were up by 20 kills but still lost because our carry refused to push and just kept wanting to farm. I would hate for them to put a surrender button in. Its not over until the ancient drops. For people that disconnect and leave during a game they get put into low priority queues.
trog
Posted 04:54pm 17/7/13
Yeh, what Crash said. I had one of my best games ever last night; they'd just pillaged most of our barracks and towers and were generally looking like they were dominating us. They got a few cheap frags camping the spawn (my pet hate) and eventually we killed a couple of them and they went back, presumably thinking they'd have us in one more push.

I was playing Doom and just got Refresher Orb. They turned back up and I'd Doomed two of them and everything else just went our way in the teamfight; we smoked them all and went and won before most of them were back. They almost certainly could have won if they'd pushed the Ancient - and we would have been tempted to end much earlier on.

Another pet hate is those people who, 10 minutes into the game, are like "gg, it's over". Then inevitably we come back and win. It's just another delicious layer of satisfaction.

That said - there are definitely games that are so one sided and you just want to leave. I think overall though, the benefits of not having a quick out are worth it.
carson
Posted 06:55pm 17/7/13
They will never, EVER, put a surrender button in. They've said it more than once.

I've had games turn around, but most of the time now a days if it's a loss and without trying hard to win it wont turn around, I just let them finish.

I've had a game where I won when we lost all our rax and were facing mega creeps. I've lost games when we we destroyed 2 sets of the enemy rax, but one team fight went s*** and we lost. The real point of no return is when your ancient is dead. If your team has a good composition, you can turn it around. It all comes down to the heroes.
koopz
Posted 12:13am 19/7/13
If you're a PC gamer and you take your multiplayer games seriously, then you probably want to check this game out.



ta for the recommendation.


Dave, people make YouTube vids now when they want to explain something.


Stop being lazy dude - get some vid editing skills and make your boring posts matter. Hopefully your staff will follow your lead.


tldr: your smart, but your lazy, pull your finger out. This is supposed to be entertaining.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 08:36am 19/7/13
My only issue with Dota2 is that because the minimum round time is really 15-20mins, average about 45min and a long game can go for 1.2-1.5(epic) hours, I find that if I play 2 or 3 rounds of Dota, I run out of game time. It just gets smashed away with that game. If you have 2 bad games in a row, it can be a rather disappointing gaming session.

d^
Posted 09:20am 19/7/13
DeadlyDav0
Posted 10:10am 19/7/13
Who is the dave koopz is talking about?
reso
Posted 10:27am 19/7/13
trog I assume.
DeadlyDav0
Posted 10:28am 19/7/13
lol, I did not know trog's name was dave. thx.
arkter
Posted 04:09pm 19/7/13
Superform
Posted 08:33pm 20/7/13
You are currently 55041 in the Launch Queue
You will be notified by email when the game is ready for download.
infi
Posted 09:26pm 20/7/13
I tried LOL and just couldn't see the attraction. COH2 all the way.
trillion
Posted 09:27pm 20/7/13
his name's David Harrison

aka troggles. :)
Raider
Posted 07:00pm 21/7/13
Queue times really aren't that bad, i wouldn't have even made them an issue.. I regularly queue 3-5 people and never waiting for more then 3-4min.. which when you're talking on vent / skype / whatever.. is irrelevant especially when you can alt tab and hear the ready button while tabbed out.

As for game time and people saying you can't control it... you very much can control it by how you pick... Certain heroes need more times before they become completely dominate and destroy in a 35min + game... by picking a more aggressive team which don't require those items to become the real nightmare you're able to force the pace of the match... it's not uncommon for pro games to be gg'd in the space of 15-20minutes.. or even pub games if you're playing with some mates.

Steep learning curve is true, each moba community doesn't seem to like each other i.e. dota 2, hon, lol... the communities themselves are normally decent, you always get a*******, in every online game you get a******* so the community is no different from any other online game.

Overall some people love or hate the genre, there doesn't really seem to be a middle ground.
rrrocket
Posted 07:32pm 21/7/13
this game is boring.
DK
Posted 08:22pm 21/7/13
this game is boring.


Agree. Play smite
trog
Posted 10:03am 22/7/13
Queue times really aren't that bad, i wouldn't have even made them an issue.. I regularly queue 3-5 people and never waiting for more then 3-4min.. which when you're talking on vent / skype / whatever.. is irrelevant especially when you can alt tab and hear the ready button while tabbed out.
I didn't make them an issue in the review and agree that 99% of the time it's not a big deal. I would say my average wait time experience is 3 minutes which is fine (although, I would note that a decentralised server system would probably lower those waiting times :)
this game is boring.
If you don't have the patience to make it through to the actual fun stuff - which as I noted, takes a while - then yes. It's all about pushing through that part and getting to the hardcore multiplayer action. I think hardcore oldschool PC gamers should really dig on this more than most other groups because it really has that deep arcane technical aspect to it (i.e., knowing all the right combos and having the micro skills to bust out moves at the right time).
Superform
Posted 10:29pm 22/7/13
still 55k in the queue to download...
straw hat hippie
Posted 07:24am 23/7/13
Kunka is the coolest. That is all.
qmass
Posted 04:23pm 25/7/13
I am still terrible at playing carries but it sure can be fun sometimes.

Lithium
Posted 03:00am 24/7/13
I stopped playing a few months ago but will prolly get back into it eventually.

Call me immaature but this video gets me everytime

DeadlyDav0
Posted 07:53am 24/7/13
^
Yeah, i watched all his vids, awesome, just like that farming game vid.
Superform
Posted 05:58pm 24/7/13
4 days later and now i have moved up 5k places
trog
Posted 09:13am 25/7/13
4 days later and now i have moved up 5k places
I still have no idea what you're talking about dude. You must be getting a completely different experience to everyone else because you're in NED?
Khel
Posted 10:00am 25/7/13
Hes in the queue to download it, not to play a game, I think Valve was restricting how many people could get it and play it to stop servers being flooded and overloaded or something?
trog
Posted 10:27am 25/7/13
Hes in the queue to download it, not to play a game, I think Valve was restricting how many people could get it and play it to stop servers being flooded and overloaded or something?
oh right - yeh probably just part of their global roll-out still being in progress. I suspect if you copy the files from someone else that has it you can probably get right into a game..?
DeadlyDav0
Posted 10:48am 25/7/13
Why wait til its available for all? Not like beta invites were hard to find. Id much rather get into a game before all the other noobs decide to check it out when its finally released.
Zapo
Posted 11:22am 25/7/13
Well it was pretty f***ed for several hours last night. When it is working (which it usually is) I'm finding it much quicker to find games now. So bring on more peeps :D
trog
Posted 09:14pm 25/7/13
Just had the worst game I've ever played; we lost like 30-something to 3. Didn't think we were going to even get a single kill. We were so hopelessly outclassed it wasn't even funny. Of course the other team were spawncamping towerdestroying object coveting jerks, so the game took 10 minutes longer than it needed to, because instead of destroying the ancient they screwed around trying to get cheap frags.

They need to have a sub-30-minute achievement to stop that sort of idiocy.
qmass
Posted 09:39pm 25/7/13
Just buy a quelling blade and hide in the trees.
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