Why Dota?

by anbrewk

Alright, I’ll write an article. You twisted my arm with the weight of my burdens of responsibility.

A Game of DOTA in progress (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

I’ve been thinking about Dota (Defense of the Ancients) a fair amount lately. Mostly because I want to escape but also a little bit because of all the dota clones in the works that lead me to recall my past interest in the beast that is DOTA. Among the contenders for the throne are Blizzard and Valve among a bunch of  lamer gamers with their own shitty free versions.

If you are at all interested in why Dota is a big deal, read: Basshunter. O.K. now this is just a total aside but at one point in my life having babes watch me play Dota with a bunch of my dude friends would have been super great.  Or at least I would have perceived that as super great. That sort of ties into how I feel about the game in general. The appeal found within the idea of someone actually wanting to watch me play dota is the same illusory appeal that actually playing dota holds. Neither are actually appealing. They both just represent me and a bunch of other people wasting a lot of time.

As another aside, playing dota with an actual team of 5 players on a dedicated ventrilo (as suggested in the aforementioned basshunter music video) would be pretty awesome. Even if Dota sucks, which I’m vaguely suggesting it does, that again still appeals to me.

Back to the “article.”  As neither Blizzard DOTA or DOTA 2 are our yet, I don’t really have anything to review but the shitty free clones that exist and boy are they shitty.  But instead of just bash them, I’d like to briefly recount what it is about Dota that would compel me to waste any time thinking about it.  The most compelling thing for me that I recall was both the appeal of building a character over the course of a match and the sense of community that that character was a part of.  Unlike leveling up a hero against a computer player, I was directly competing with my hero against other heroes and thus leveling him up in a challenging environment where my decisions mattered for both me and my team.  And my team, which was always pubs because I never got into leagues, were always appreciative of good play. Even the most ardent hater on a Dota server would appreciate genuine sportsmanship and a sense of fair play (albeit ‘fair’ being defined loosely by the Dota community).

And that’s it I guess. Dota for me filled a gap in my games where I would play with a small group of people as a team. I don’t play team sports and I don’t play team games except when I played Dota. Every other game I play is always me in a crowd that’s on the same “team” but there’s no real team play. The closest thing could be tf2 and for anyone who plays pub servers of that they can recall how chaotic and random any one of their experiences in a server appeared and probably still are. But Dota matches were only won with good team play and always lost with bad team play. Or at least that’s how I choose to remember them.