Pure PVP (player vs player) games are not generally my forte… simply because, well, I tend to find that there is a general lack of sportsmanship behavior among players.  People just simply tend to take things far to seriously than they really need too (forgetting the major point that it’s simply a game).

For example, League of Legends is well known for having a toxic player environment due to foul mouthed (would text be foul fingered?) players that sling racial and sexual orientation slurs on the drop of a hat… a huge turn off for me in PVP games. To Riot’s (League of Legends’ development team) credit, they have taken large strides to correct that”image” problem by letting the community judge toxic players’ behavior outside of the games (sometimes resulting in long/permanent bans for extensively poor behavior), which is good.  Regardless of these bad vibes, I tend to dip into PVP games every once and awhile, and Valve seems to have made a pretty decent one with DOTA2.

Ursa goes "RAWR!"
Ursa goes “RAWR!”

Way back when, I used to play a lot of custom mods.  Defence of the Ancients was one of these custom mods developed by a game designer, nicknamed IceFrog.  The idea of the game is simple.  You chose a hero, then go wreak havoc and destruction on your enemies.  Like League of Legends, the game is a mash-up of both a tower defense game and a champion beat down mode.  Pick your character, then help your legion of minions to destroy the enemy base, all while preventing the opposing team from destroying your own.

The game caught on with a lot of players, and indeed it had a good system.  There were lots of heroes to choose from and an assortment of interesting maps.  After Warcraft 3 fell out of the spotlight to make way for Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, the mod lived on in its own circles of dedicated players.  One of the great mistakes that Blizzard had made was not picking up this mod for deeper development.

However, where Blizzard/Activision failed to see a profit in the realm of PVP arena battles, Valve was (sort of) quick on the jump.  They offered Mr. IceFrog to tour their facility and then ultimately hired him to develop DOTA 2 for steam.  This all came about between 2005 with the release of DOTA that was developed to just a few years ago in 2013 with the release of Valve’s DOTA 2.

A big fight can be chaos on the screen
A big fight can be chaos on the screen

There are many delightful innovations of DOTA 2, many of which are relics from Vavle’s other games brought over and implemented into DOTA 2‘s overall feel and gameplay.  One of my favorite things is that the champions randomly talk to each other in the classic Team Fortress 2 style call and answer AI.  Characters will call out sayings and then other characters will answer back with their own witty retorts.  This is even at play with characters commenting on certain item purchases.  [su_spoiler title=”Spoiler Scenario” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron”]If you do play DOTA2, choose the Venomancer and then purchase the “Orb of Venom”… freaking hilarious.[/su_spoiler]

E-sports like DOTA2 are a big deal
E-sports like DOTA2 are a big deal

One major issue, however, is the pathing AI. It’s rather clumsy.  And by clumsy I mean… well, you have to click multiple times to get the hero to move where you want them to move and in the manner you want them to do so.  I tend to die most when I’m running away from an enemy player that is chasing me.  I’ll click and indicate to my hero to move and instead of fleeing, he’ll sporadically charge my foes… not good when you’re the squishy mage type who’s not supposed to be in the vanguard.

If you are a fan of fast paced strategy based player versus player content, I would highly suggest DOTA2.  It is a mostly unique experience (save for the bits mentioned above that were copy and pasted from League of Legends).  I would recommend giving this title a look through, especially if you haven’t gotten into Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm.







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