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Dota 2 Review: The new MOBA reference?

After two years of Dota 2 beta is now open to all interested players on Steam. In our extensive testing, we explain to you not only the most complex game mechanics, but also clarify whether it can accommodate the promising title of MOBA genre Valve with the rival League of Legends.

Dota 2 Logo

Dota 2 in the test: Defense of the Ancients 2 is finally the successor to the legendary Warcraft 3 modification Defense of the Ancients - DotA short - started. But instead simply pass on the baton of the genre Primus, developer Valve is facing a major challenge: A few years ago brought the competitor Riot Games MOBA titles (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) League of Legends on the market, which follows the same gameplay. Riots DotA variant was right from the start so successful that there are now over 70 million LoL accounts and operate the Californian developer their own e-sports league. Dota 2 but must not hide from LoL, after all, is Half-Life Erfi Direction Valve with the download platform Steam, as well as the mysterious developer Icefrog behind it - one of the founding fathers of the genre. Icefrogs real name is not known, but the fact is that the developer decisively contributed to the success of the Warcraft 3 mod and now for some years working on the successor. So what are the chances of success of Dota 2?

The same roots

First, you have to hold: Basic are aware of the structure of game Dota 2 and League of Legends very similar. Two teams with multiple players compete with their heroes on a map against each other. The objective of the game is to destroy the enemy base. Both sides are supported by computer-controlled non-player characters (Creeps), while tower positions facilitate the defense. Most are on the cards for a few monsters that can be killed in between, in order to level up their heroes. Because each player controls only one character per game! So not too boring, the characters always have multiple skills that can improve with each crested development stage. The fourth skill of each character is so-called Ultimate, which is a unique effect of a temporary invincibility to a time loop in which all the captured enemy must endure for a few seconds is sufficient. A hero dies, it will be revived after a penalty on the base and you can engage into battle again.

Every MOBA game is divided into three phases, the most fluent merge: the early, middle, and that the final. While you are in the early phase (Early Game) mainly engaged in equipping his own hero with high quality items and to level, one works in the middle (Midgame) towards the enemy base, and shall first team battles between the heroes. The endgame (endgame), however, is strongly influenced by team fights and here at last decides which of the two bases covered. The gameplay sounds simple, the growing community for over a decade but keeps in line. And the number of players and MOBA games is growing from year to year! Since the basic principle is so irresistible, all development teams - even Valve - it remained. At first glance, Dota 2 and League of Legends differ only in nuances. But who delves into Dota 2 for a few months, learning the differences in the details to appreciate soon and feeling can not help but to have a much different game than League of Legends on.

Dota 2 Wallpaper

Dota 2 better than LoL?

Dota 2 is not only different, but also better than League of Legends? This can not be answered in general, since it depends on several factors here: how experienced you are in the MOBA genre, and is preferable to a more realistic look or the comic look of LoL? You'd prefer a beginner friendly game or one that asks the player extremely from the beginning? In terms of easier accessibility LoL has for years been a prime example. Thanks to the tutorials and the opportunity to test themselves once against computer controlled opponents to League of Legends, sat opposite the about the same time appeared MOBA game Heroes of Newerth by quickly. However, such access aids are no longer a unique feature in the MOBA genre. Valve has learned from the development and offers in Dota 2 is also a tutorial on, which gives the basic knowledge required.

Based on four integrated training courses you learn the game, which is a so-called load-hit, for example, how to use the abilities of the hero properly and how to buy essential items from the merchants in the game. These episodes last only a few minutes and prepare a first round against the computer controlled opponents. Here, too, Dota 2 is beginner friendly, because you can choose between four different AI levels. At the highest level of computer opponent is quite clever, so that even experienced players like to play an AI game times to test about a new hero. If you want it easy, which makes the AI ​​opponents to "passive", so you can all play around in peace. Although the tutorial is just the first step in a long learning curve, the game started going well out of hand and therefore Dota 2 does not need to hide from League of Legends. Who wants to be a rounder, however, the need for training outside of the game, where he studied streams of professional players or fan forums. To master the 100 heroes and dominate the game umpteen different situations that arise in team battles, it takes months to years.

Dota 2 Wallpaper HD

The art of denying

One of the major differences between Dota 2 and League of Legends, Dota 2 that allows the so-called Deny technology. Deny is translated from English "refuse" and among other things this means in plain language that you can deny the opposing team important game progress by, in rare cases, even extinguishes own creeps, towers and heroes. Here, therefore, the principle of the "scorched earth": If the enemy about to destroy or kill your creeps one of your towers, you destroy it rather himself before he does it. Although the creeps or the tower are still lost a bit faster, but the opponents miss valuable experience points and money, because it was not his kill. Beginners, however, are well advised to concentrate first of all on their own character-progress because the Deny technique is difficult to master and is usually applied only by experienced players. To prevent in Dota 2 that newcomers meet professionals, developers Valve has a corresponding matchmaking naturally built that holds in the background, how many wins and losses you've reached.

For this purpose, each player outside of each lot a classification level of the player, which reflects the player's level of experience coarse. Whether and how the player level affects the matchmaking, about the developers mention pending. The fact is that it never occurred in our test rounds that a level-1 player had to play against an opponent to the 30th level. About the level system, there is however no way to improve outside of games. A parent or Rune Mastery system, as it offers League of Legends does not exist. This increases the fairness in Dota 2, because a bound account progress in the game, as it exists in LoL, granted experienced players from the first second of each batch at an advantage. In Dota 2, however, one level up mainly for their own ego, even if it is with every Ascended level nice items. But they are only cosmetic.

Dota 2

Small and large differences

At one point, the different ways of playing the Dota 2 - heroes and LoL significantly from each other: The Dota 2 characters have on average less active, but more passive skills than their LoL counterparts. To have the Dota 2 characters on less energy, so they can use their skills and even more rarely. It follows that one must, in clear tactical and less Valve MOBA proceed gur centered on their feature fi to succeed. Who internalized rapidly, has taken an important step toward success. Also important: In contrast to League of Legends, the various heroes in Dota 2 are not slavishly chained to certain roles and positions on the game map. While the LoL champions always in a particular strategy Corset - called to the scene metagame - are pressed, Dota 2 allows more flexible and varied approaches. So you can, for example, pre-interpret his game out already in the middle game phase or only in the endgame to win.

To go shopping

Just like in most other MOBA games also, you find at the two starting points per a game shop in which the own hero can buy new equipment. This earned her the gold, as already mentioned, by their enemy towers, NPCs and heroes destroyed. However, still four more shops on the map, where you can purchase additional items. This is another difference to League of Legends, where shop space is limited to the starting areas. Tactically, the Dota 2 variant is more ambitious, since you have to take higher risks when visiting a shop located in the field. Also the consumer in the shop are something more diverse than in League of Legends. So you can teleport not only on the game map, but also disguise themselves and related allies, so that the enemy recognizes only one up close.

Or to order an NPC courier who delivers a transversely across the battlefield items from the shop. This appears randomly in two places on the battlefield on one of five different Runes that grant the hero temporary buffs (buffs). League of Legends these benefits are tied to specific AI monsters, always hanging around in the same place. The hunt for buffs is so predictable in LoL. And finally: death of a hero in Dota 2, the player will lose gold. Virtual death be punished by Valve that is slightly heavier than in LoL. This may not sound serious, the pace of games, however, this changes significantly.

Note: For the time being we do without a final rating. Finally, a complex online game like Dota 2 needs at least a few weeks of testing time.

Dota 2 Heroes

Conclusion - Dota 2 is not better than LoL, but slightly different

Dota 2 is better than League of Legends? Not better, but something different. Both games have many similarities but also some differences in the playing style. Hardcore fans of the original 3-Wacraft Modifkation Defense of the Ancients definitely feel at home because Dota 2 is practically only a technical remake of its predecessor. But even those who have over the years played League of Legends tired and looking for a new challenge in the genre, will find pleasure in the game. Genre newbies may also take a look, especially since Dota 2 is Free 2Play. Beginners should expect moments of frustration when it comes to the first games against human opponents but despite the solid tutorials. Only if some experienced players tre equal each other? Ase, Dota 2 unfolds its full potential fun.

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