DoTA 2

A new genre of gaming is killstreaking its way to the forefront. A mix of real-time strategy games and player vs. player battlegrounds, multiplayer online battle arena games such as League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, and Defense of the Ancients provide the competitive fix frail, gangly nerds simply cannot find in their real lives. The game that first created this genre, Defense of the Ancients (DoTA), was a modification of Blizzard’s real-time strategy game, Warcraft 3. Created by fans of the hero characters in Warcraft 3, DoTA strips away the players’ control over the basic fodder units, leaving the player control over only the hero character. The player uses that hero to kill computer-controlled units (called creeps), accruing experience for leveling up and gold for upgrading weapons. Five of these heroes face off against five other heroes in a team player versus player clash. League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth both took this basic game formula, but each tweaked the game mechanics to create very different games. For one, the matchmaking system in Heroes of Nations hammers new players because everyone starts in the middle of the rankings, meaning that people who have been playing the game for a long time scream and flame every beginner. The biggest difference between the two, though can be summed up with one mechanic: denying. “Basically, denying is when you kill your own creeps or turrets, which prevents your opponents’ from getting money,” senior Spencer Davis said. Heroes of Newerth has many aspects passed on from DoTA that don’t make sense and are simply cumbersome. The business models the two games use are also vastly different. In League of Legends, the game is free to play, and everything can be bought with in-game currency (collected by playing matches) or real money. Heroes of Newerth has a one-time fee of $30 to play, and it also charges cash money for killer costumes. Valve, the company behind the acclaimed first person shooter series Half-Life, Counterstrike, Portal, and Left 4 Dead, has decided to cash in on the surging popularity of this genre and is creating DoTA 2, which will essentially be a more polished DoTA using Steam’s Source engine. The beta for DoTA 2 launches in a few weeks, and you’d be a fool not to try this explosive genre out.