Warcraft 3:Defence of the Ancients

Or: Confessions of A DotA Addict

Hi, my name is CodexMatt and I'm a DotA addict.

It started on Saturday night around 9. I was entering the 8th hour of gaming at the LAN party that I'd organized. Scenes from UT2004 and CS, displayed on the dozen-or-so screens in the basement hall of the restaurant I'd rented, began to merge together with the ones burned into my cornea and fixed in my memory. I shook my head and squinted my eyes to focus on the crosshairs of my MP5 (blurred by the affect of a half-a-dozen draft beer) only to recognize the HE grenade roll under my feet a second before it removed my lower extremities.

"Anyone ready for some Frozen Throne?" I asked the crowd, hoping to move to a more comfortable, and more forgiving, environment.

"How about some dota?" My good friend (HE grenade tossing) Bishop suggested. He had suggested it before"… a few months before, to be exact, during an MSN conversation when he was still away at college. At the time I had dismissed it as a fly-by-night "˜mod' to Warcraft 3, the kind I had seen before; choose a hero, buy some items, fight other heroes, level, money, items, fight, blah, blah, blah. I would rather play some D2:LoD again.

But Saturday, with another few hours (and brain cells) to kill before closing time, I said "Sure."

After that one seemingly innocuous word, the next few hours were a blur of frenzied hero management, creep killing, skill casting, and a good deal of swearing. I had become a DotA addict, and I loved it.

Warning: Slightly more serious review follows.

DotA is a custom map for Warcraft 3:The Frozen Throne with more triggers than an NRA convention.

Players begin by choosing a side before the game starts, either Scourge or Sentinel. These side are equal and opposite as far as gameplay is concerned. The only difference being what choice of heroes you have and whether the dead are buried or eaten.

Once the game begins, you notice that there are 2 buildings in the centre of your screen. Each one contains 12 different heroes available for purchase. You heard correct, you have a choice of 24 heroes. There is an option for the creator of the game to enforce random choice of heroes, but usually this will be advertised in the game name.

After selecting your hero, he\she\it will appear next to a fountain in the corner of the map. This is the spot you will return to for healing and buying items during the course of the game. There is one building shop and 2 merchants with items for sale.

At the start you will only have enough money for very basic items (like boots of speed). Some people get an item right away, some save for better stuff, it's a matter or personal preference and strategy. Once you aquire more cash, you will be able to buy high-power items, weapons, and armour. Eventually, you can combine items to create the uber-items. There are 3 units (peon, peasant, acolyte) standing near the spawn area that provide the recipes for these combos.

The objective is to move your hero from your start point in your town, to the enemy's town and kill his main structure (World Tree/Frozen Throne) while protecting your own. The enemy heroes are, of course, not happy about this and are likely to kill you any chance they get.

I could go into a more detailed explanation of how exactly everything works, but it's been said before and better, so I will provide a link to get you started and you can go from there. The best teacher is to just go online and get in a game. Or, you can download the map and play by yourself (AI doesn't work obviously) to see how the game works.

This game can be frustrating at times as well. The biggest problem is attrition. When one person drops from the game, it is unfortunately very likely that it will start a chain reaction that leads to an aborted game. People just hate managing more than one hero it seems. If this starts to happen in the game you're in, don't leave unless you are the last person. I have played many games outnumbered 2-1 and, win or lose, they are always fun!

Hope some of you try this; it is a lot of fun. Be aware that 90% of the games that go past the first 5 minutes last for over 45 minutes and upwards of an hour.

Feel free to post comments about the game, or critique my little write-up here.

DOTA is great stuff we should all play on teamspeak. I hadn''t played in a while since the later versions were unbalanced, but my friend says Allstars is fairly balanced.

Link would be nice

After seeing jakelegg's thread about the best indie games of 2006, which mentioned Dawnspire, a possible DOTA clone, and after thinking deeply about my favorite games after seeing Sinatar's thread for GWJ Choice best games of 2006, I was inspired to ressurrect this thread so that I can gush over a game that I haven't played in 3 years, but for which I still have lots of love for.

DOTA is really unique. DOTA is also incredibly fun. I'm still wondering why a developer hasn't picked up on DOTA's formula and released a commercial clone. This "mod" is actually a game strong enough to kick off its own genre.

Defense of the Ancients is a mod-map for Warcraft 3 that plays out in hour-long back-and-forth ground control games like Battlefield, with single-character control and levelling like Diablo. Oh, and it also utilizes all the cool spell effects that WC3's got.

In Diablo your character levelling is persistent; in a game of DOTA you'll reach the max level by the end of a one hour game, and the next time you play, you pick a new character and start at level 1 again.

The goal for each side is destruction of the other team's base.

From wikipedia entry on Dota_AllStars:

The basic game consists of 2 teams - the Scourge and the Sentinel. Each team has a computer controlled base on 2 opposing corners of the map. The objective of the game is to destroy the other teams' main structure, buried deep within their base, which is protected by many towers. Unlike a traditional RTS, players do not get to control buildings or create units, rather, a player selects (or depending on the game mode, randomly gets assigned) a single powerful unit, known as a 'hero'. There are over 80 heroes in the game, each with unique abilities. DotA allows for a maximum of 10 players (5 vs. 5). Some unofficial maps allow 12 players. It was announced that only 10 slots were allowed because 2 slots are for referees during tournament games. A typical game lasts anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes. There are a variety of game modes which dictate whether people can choose their own hero, get one randomly assigned to them, etc.

DotA also incorporates a money system into the game, whereby each hero earns money by killing creeps and other heroes, by getting the last hits, in addition to 8 to 16 gold gained every 7 seconds (depending on the game mode), and can subsequently buy items from various item shops and vendors across the map. These items can make the hero more powerful in many ways (adding damage, adding hit-points, or adding special abilities). Certain items can be combined together (in pre-defined 'recipes') to make even more powerful items. Buying the right items for the right heroes is an important part of the game and a vital strategy for success. Although any hero can benefit from virtually any item or recipe, certain combinations can make a hero far more deadly than one might expect.

This actually sounds like a fun use of Warcraft 3 (which I felt was no fun on it's own.)

Does it require the expansion?

I can't seem to visit the game's site at work.

Thin_J wrote:

This actually sounds like a fun use of Warcraft 3 (which I felt was no fun on it's own.)

Does it require the expansion?

I can't seem to visit the game's site at work.

I believe at this point, it does require the expansion. The expansion gives the creators a lot more content to work with.

Wow, it's been a loooooong time since I've played DOTA.

LobsterMobster wrote:

Wow, it's been a loooooong time since I've played DOTA.

It does sound really fun. But it still doesn't convince me to buy wc3 after it left me cold.

I play DOTA regularly (and very competitively) with a few buddies still. A friend is a hardcore DOTA player, and will be coming up and staying with the SO and I for a few weeks, and we'd be more than happy to host a few games a night and help a few GWJers learn the game. We can hit the GWJ teamspeak, or host a smallish TS or Ventrilo server if necessary.

www.getdota.com for the most up to date map builds. Always download the latest build - don't even both with the "league/stable" maps, unless you're just that good.

www.dota-allstars.com for forums and lots of hero strategy guides and introduction/item/creeping/micro guides can also be found there. There are also hundreds of replays posted that you can view, as long as you have the same map version as the demo/replay was recorded on.

Thin_J and Sku Boi, I had similar problems getting into the non-custom map side of WC3 . The introduction of the hero/levelling mechanic was too much for me to handle, and I never really got used to that.

MMM Buritos, I'm considering picking up the Frozen Throne so that I may take you up on that. It's odd because I'm sizing up the value of the expansion for what it brings to the table for most people; more campaigns, heroes, multi-player maps, etc. for the people who play the traditional non-custom map WC3. Looking at it that way, it's not worth the $20. If I just considered it a way to get back into DOTA, however, things look a lot different. I'm not totally sure it's worth it at that point, it's hard to say.

Well, War3 was fun. TFT was fun. Online play was fun. Those three aspects of the game kept me entertained for two or three months. Not a bad lifespan, all things considering. Then you look at the custom maps. I STILL play DotA regularly.. years after it was released. I still play mauls, I'll still go into a tower game from time to time, I'll pop into an RPG or zombie custom to check them out, and so on.

There are very few games I can recall spending so much time playing. Counter-Strike and Source are honestly the only ones that I can say have had the same sort of longevity for me.

If you can, check it out before you buy it. DotA is most definately not for everyone.. but for those that enjoy it, you'll always be able to find a game to join, and it can be almost ridiculously deep if you really want to delve into it.

Arise!

Does anyone here still play DotA? I used to have a number of regular takers for this, but recently all my friends have been having kids or getting married and vanishing or getting eaten by crocodiles. Anyway, our numbers have sunk to the point where we can usually only muster 3 for a game, which means having to deal with a random yellow and OJ, who are invariably godawful. Anyone want to join up with us one of these nights? We range from average to good, generally play all-random, and are usually low key (unless the Blizzard pathing gods are being particularly cruel, in which case breakable objects within my reach are in danger).

I've not in quite awhile but before WoW hit that's all i did.

I play still, been a few months, but I'd be game.

So...been a while since anyone posted in here...anyone still actively play? Some friends of mine and myself get together on a fairly regular basis to play casually and we ussually just play some random 'pubbies', but we'd like to play some more, I guess reliable would be the best word, opponents/allies. If you guys are interested let me know through this thread or on BNet. If you go to channel: Clan Somn and ask if people want to play DotA they would most-likely accomodate. My name is IDislikeUMildly if you would like to add me as a friend and whisper me when I get on. Thanks.

inspiringsn wrote:

So...been a while since anyone posted in here...anyone still actively play? Some friends of mine and myself get together on a fairly regular basis to play casually and we ussually just play some random 'pubbies', but we'd like to play some more, I guess reliable would be the best word, opponents/allies. If you guys are interested let me know through this thread or on BNet. If you go to channel: Clan Somn and ask if people want to play DotA they would most-likely accomodate. My name is IDislikeUMildly if you would like to add me as a friend and whisper me when I get on. Thanks.

I used to try and play this, but everytime I tried to get into a game to download the thing I got booted. On top of which I was always too lazy to download it from a website so when it comes down to it I never got to play this gametype. Now I have somehow lost my expansions disc, but I have the code so I may be able to download it from the Blizzard download site.

CrashedHardrive wrote:

I used to try and play this, but everytime I tried to get into a game to download the thing I got booted. On top of which I was always too lazy to download it from a website so when it comes down to it I never got to play this gametype.

Yeah, very few hosts are willing to let some download the map unless they personally know them ahead of time. Luckily, dota is so popular that they have a website at getdota.com that always has the latest versions of the map.

CrashedHardrive wrote:

Now I have somehow lost my expansions disc, but I have the code so I may be able to download it from the Blizzard download site.

Blizzard made the the latest patch that I know of so that you no longer need the disc to hop on, so you could probably get that off their site if that's what you were implying.

I play every once in a while. Decent but not a pro.

I used to play a lot. And I'd say I was pretty good, but that might be a lie

DotA probably has the worst of the worst of the BNet community. Everyone thinks they are gods gift to man-kind and if you do anything they don't like, you sure as hell can bet they will make it known.

Pubbies can be pretty annoying/obnoxious most of the time and part of them being the "worst of the worst" is because they have so much time either at the beginning of the game, running back to town or when they are dead to type. Most other maps don't give you that much downtime.

You know, WarCraft 3 never made it off of my "to be played pile" and now I wonder if I shouldn't kick that up just to see what I missed. I really enjoyed the previous versions of the game but don't know how poorly WC3 has aged or if playing through it would offer a nice diversion on rainy days.

What is DotA? I know the was called The Frozen Throne, but I am not familiar with this particular product/expansion/whatever.

WC3 is obviously not an HD game but the artistic style (much like WoW) has allowed it to age gracefully in my opinion at least. Lots of people didn't/don't like the hero aspect of the game and see the game as suffering heavily for it, but if you already have it it couldn't hurt to try it out.

DotA specifically is a custom map that is not done by Blizzard but rather other players. The expansion is Frozen Throne, and you would need that expansion to check out the latest versions of DotA. For a more in depth explanation, either read above or google/wikipedia it.

Dota is a game I catch myself returning to again and again eventhough it has THE worst and most immature community I have ever seen in my long years of gaming

Main gameplay problem is that unless you are on an organized team, if one team has more kills early in the game the winner is basically decided after 15minutes, the next 45min is just wasting time.

It is still a fun game though and I would love to get a GWJ game going, but I dont know how well the game handles 150ish pings, anyone have experience with that?

150 ping is a little high, but around 200-250 is where it becomes unbearable, and I would claim that Halo 3 is worse because actually having to listen to a 13 year old call me various derogatory terms over voice is sooo much more annoying than those same things typed out. But yeah, it is still kind of bad.

I've played with a Korean friend of a friend and he can still play with fairly high pings.

inspiringsn wrote:

150 ping is a little high, but around 200-250 is where it becomes unbearable, and I would claim that Halo 3 is worse because actually having to listen to a 13 year old call me various derogatory terms over voice is sooo much more annoying than those same things typed out. But yeah, it is still kind of bad.

I've played with a Korean friend of a friend and he can still play with fairly high pings.

I'd be interested in getting a GWJ game going.

I've got my laptop operational, but as mentioned in another thread my desktop isn't working right now. If you guys want to get together just let me know what day works best for you, I'm thinking Sunday night may work best for me.

Which version the one with the expansion? Or without?

With Blizzard letting us download the games i would be up for some of this. I use to play a ton back in the day, but pretty much quit after WoW released.

I once made my own DotA (OK, I stole one and added some stupid stuff to it) that had a giant hermit crab hero.

A bunch of us here at our university would play dota at our lan night almost every week. It's about the only way I will play WC3 any more.

ranalin wrote:

Which version the one with the expansion? Or without?

With the expansion are the most up to date maps and if you haven't played in a while it may be a bit of a shock to see how much stuff has been added/changed.