Dota 2, the father of MOBA's  

In 2003 on the World Editor in the Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne expansion, three designers made Defense of the Ancients (DotA). It was a mod for Warcraft 3 that became so widely popular, it eventually became the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) we know today, the monster that is Dota 2. 

 

Valve bought the rights to DotA in 2019 and one of the Core designers came along with it, IceFrog worked on the Dota 2 release while his design partner Steve “Guinsoo” Freak was hired to work on a rival MOBA called League of Legends. While there is a wide debate over which game is better, it cannot be understated that Dota came first, is more popular, and has a bigger online presence. 

What is Dota? 

Some say that Dota 2 is the most popular Esport to date, and they’d be right. While it was born from the britches of a Blizzard game, the Valve game took the world by storm, and quickly solidified its place as the Esport to watch, beat, and play. 

So what is it? Luckily it’s a MOBA which as of late has been the most popular genre of game with Dota 2 and LoL steadfast in their approachability for new players, and undying love, or addiction, for those of us who have been playing for many years. Even OverWatch, the most popular FPS game out in the last half decade, took a lot of ideas from the MOBA style game and implemented them in a fashion relatively fun and engaging. 

What is a MOBA? 

Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas are games that host a three laned map, outfitted with multiple defensive buildings in each lane, and a main base on either side of the map connected by the lanes and a neutral Jungle territory with creeps that offer gold and or experience.  There are two teams of five that all select from a pool of Characters to play. What makes Dota 2, Dota 2, is the huge variety of playable characters and the multitude of items able to be made, affecting various stats each character has. 

While MOBAs are all rooted in Dota’s ancestry, they all raise unique gameplay that is always somewhat different and relatively new because of the diversity. Even Dota 2 wandered off the beaten path of it’s father game, just a little less than some other MOBAs. The Objective of the game is to be the first team to destroy the enemy team’s base. It is one of the few games where the objective actually isn’t kill as many as you can. However the teamfights and solo kills add a lot to the excitement of the game itself. 

Many people forget that the objective is not to kill each other, it is to destroy the base, this is okay because it is all means to an end but still, remember that the objective isn’t whoever has the most kills wins. 

All the Characters in a MOBA have a basic attack and a kit of spells, three that are all pretty average and work well with a specific type of playstyle, and one ability that is often capable of the “game changing” title. Dota 2 is famous for its ability to have created so many Heros with very unique kits that don’t often overlap with other Heros. Yes some are always going to be similar, but Dota has really made this occurrence rare and when it does occur, they twist it a little bit to fit the unique category. 

The map is also littered with waves of creeps that are essentially players’ main source of income. Killing creeps gives gold which buys items to improve your Hero. Whether you are on the Radiant or Dire side of the map, you will be facing waves of creeps as well as the ones camping out in the neutral areas. 

What is the dfference between Dota and Dota 2? 

As with its predecessor, Dota 2 kept a lot of its initial Heros, unfortunately having to make its own lore and names for them as the original heros were based off of Blizzard heroes from the WarCraft lore. This is something that drew in a lot of new players, a new storyline behind the game that helps keep it afloat in terms of relevancy. Valve did it right with this game and we should all cheer them on to continue on this path. That being said, Dota 2 is unique in a lot of ways. 

There are a huge range of game specific items that you won't find in any other MOBA, from the Black King Bar to the Ghost scepter. This helps create a Meta that doesn't exist. As long as you build the right items on the right Hero, you can play them on the professional stage and wow everyone watching. Of course there are some things that are simply just so strong, and anybody who gets ahead enough over the enemy team can wreak havoc upon them, but there is always a way to stop that from happening and swing the favor of the game to your side. 

Along with many different Heroes and Items, there are a lot of play styles that compliment any player looking to play a specific way regardless of what their team is doing. There is also a buy-in system that allows for you to spend gold to come back into the game quickly after dying. While this is clutch in certain scenarios, as the game progresses the cost and cooldown of the buy-in increases making harder to use when you may need it most. 

How does it make money? 

Dota 2 has a host of skins and special effects that you can take advantage of via micro transactions. Some of these aesthetic changes are even referenced as being legacy effects or once in a lifetime availability and exclusivity. Luckily they also take advantage of the Marketplace on Steam and if you missed out on something you thought was super cool looking, you may just find what you’re looking for (at an unfortunately inflated price) on the community market. There are new waves of cosmetics quite often, and as the game is free why shouldn’t there be? If you haven’t found anything you like just yet there is sure to be something eventually that you can snag, and most of it isn’t all that expensive. 

Where do I go from here? 

Dota is the father of MOBAs and while it may not be the first born of all the Esports, it is the star child. If you haven't played it as of yet, there is always a first time for everything, and you won’t regret playing it once you’ve learned all the little ins and outs that come with the full experience of the game. Make sure to check out the rest of our guides when you’re looking to get a bit more serious about playing, or just learn to have fun with one of the most successful games ever launched. 

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