DOTA 2 (Defense of the Ancients 2) is a multiplayer online battle arena or MOBA for short which was released in July 2013 across multiple platforms including Windows, Linux, and OS X. Developed and published by Valve Corporation, Dota 2 has become one of the most popular MOBAs out there and numerous tournaments are held each year with millions of dollars in the prize pools.
Dota 2 is a MOBA in which two teams of five players each go up against each other with the goal of completely destroying the enemies main building called “the Ancient” which is located deep in the center of the enemy base and protected by numerous towers. The battlefield consists of three lanes (middle, safe lane, and off-lane) and each of them has its own set advantages and disadvantages as well as three defensive towers. Between the lanes are located two jungles, each one providing and advantage to a different team and both populated with neutral NPCs which will attack any player who dares to engage them. Each team has their own shop located in their bases where they can purchase various items and upgrades in order to become stronger. Additionally, there are also two secret shops located in the jungle which can be used by everyone. The winner is the team who destroys the enemy Ancient first.
As far as combat goes in Dota 2, each player will start at their chosen lane and while every hero can technically play on any lane, there are those whose skillsets are better tailored to a specific lane and who will benefit on those lanes more than others. On each lane, a few minions will spawn at a regular pace. Heroes are supposed to eliminate those minions in order to gain gold and experience while trying to deny the enemy the same by eliminating their own minions.
While each hero starts the game on their chosen lane, depending on the situation and the enemy’s strategy, things will escalate very quickly and moving from one lane to another in order to tip the scales of battle in favor of your team will become imminent. This is why tactical thinking and strategical positioning are very important so knowing when to engage when to retreat and even when to sacrifice yourself to save somebody else are the key to winning a match.
Dota 2 has a roster of over 120 heroes to choose from and while each hero has unique spells and abilities as well as playing style, they can be grouped up into three large categories based on the role that they play in a match.
Carries are heroes that are great fighters and are able to deal with very large amounts of damage to the enemy heroes.
Tanks are heroes whose defensive abilities are increased compared to other roles and they are usually the first ones to initiate fights and bait the enemy heroes to attack them thus drawing the attention away from their teammates while soaking most of the damage.
Support heroes are those who have the ability to heal and protect their teammates, usually staying on the side in large-scale battles and provide vision and other necessary items for their team.
Since Dota 2 was released way back in 2013, the graphics are a little dated compared to today’s standard, but being a MOBA, they are not of any particular importance and are good enough to make the game enjoyable and not feel old.
In conclusion, Dota 2 is one of the best MOBAs that you can play and it using a free-to-play model makes it all that much more appealing to players, however, there are a few things that could potentially deter players from it.
With such a huge roster of heroes, so many items and each hero having their own set of spells and abilities, it is almost impossible to play the game casually. In fact, until you learn the abilities of most popular heroes and learn the ins and outs of your few favorite ones, you might not even enjoy the game. Dota 2 is a huge time investment, but once you get a hang of things, and start developing your own strategies, it is an extremely fun and challenging game to play and every game will be different no matter what heroes are at play.