A mod that has managed to attract millions of gamers around the world, Defense of The Ancients (DOTA) has indeed become a phenomenon. Changing the initial mechanics offered by Warcraft III, IceFrog injects a thicker RPG sensation by carrying battle heroes as the main focus. No longer having to mess around with the strategy of building units, gamers are now brought in a fast, intense, and surely PvP mode – adrenaline rush. Focusing on building character with their respective roles and playing the best role in team battles, DOTA is even recognized as one of the competitive games that are often competed in the international arena. It’s not wrong if Valve is interested in acquiring this one name.
Valve’s acquisition journey on behalf of DOTA is not an easy matter. Having experienced a conflict with Blizzard as the owner of Warcraft III, this feud fortunately ended peacefully. Valve had the opportunity to continue this ambitious project, offering various modifications on the visual side and of course a more balanced gameplay mechanic. Entering the beta process and successfully capturing hundreds of thousands of gamers during this process, Valve is finally ready to get out of this one phase. A year since the release of Betanya, Valve finally officially released DOTA 2 freely to the public. While making sure this transition process will not interfere with their experience that has entered into the beta period, DOTA 2 is finally open to every gamer through the F2P system that he stretches.
Considering the end of the beta period and its existence as an official game that is open commercially, this is the right moment for JagatPlay to cast some of the impressions that we have caught, of course – over the past year. What has changed? Become better or worse? Or is he still unable to subdue the popularity of the first DOTA?
Adapting to the New Visual Side
Trade rights in the name indeed forced Valve to make some adjustments, considering that the first version of DOTA was built from character models from several iconic Blizzard games – from Warcraft III to Starcraft. To ensure that their latest MOBA game does not continue to go through the legal process, Valve finally changed some significant aspects, especially on the cosmetic side.
One of the most significant changes is the character model used. Even though it comes with a much different model with a finer character, you can still find some of the main characteristics of the character that are retained from the first series. This concept makes it easy for first DOTA gamers to adjust quickly, especially those who are not yet familiar with the new designs of existing heroes. Not only from the character model, Valve also injects a more “general” name to prevent further problems.
This change in visualization is also applied to a variety of item designs and weapons offered at the store. It does take longer for gamers who are newcomers or those who have tasted the first DOTA to master this aspect more deeply. Not just learning the design of items and recipes, fortunately, a little helps from the explanations that are still included when you hover on each item, you also have to memorize the location of items that are now placed in different categories. Each hero will also present an item recommendation to maximize his best abilities, help newcomers to be able to master this game more quickly.
Changes in visualization also have a direct effect on the motion animation of each character that exists. It doesn’t have a big effect on the new DOTA players, but this animated change will force veteran players to adjust the rhythm of the gameplay again. While those who grew up together with other MOBA games, DOTA 2 might feel slower. Why is animation so significant? Because motion animation and attack will greatly determine how well you appear in DOTA 2. You make it a foundation for effective creeping and of course, make a more skillful combination of skills.
Valve might perfect the visual side for DOTA 2 to ensure this series is able to perform with more up-to-date technology and quality. But on the other hand, the presence of this feature certainly forces gamers to make some important adjustments – especially those who had tasted the first DOTA. While for newcomers in the MOBA genre and making DOTA 2 the first choice and present without knowledge, this change on the visual side will not have a significant effect.
Communities that Remain Not “Friendly”
What makes a DOTA MOBA game like this difficult to capture new players who have never tasted this genre before? Ironic indeed, but the biggest responsibility lies precisely on the shoulders of the community itself. Valve does not hesitate to claim that DOTA 2 is currently the game with the largest community on Steam, but on the other hand, this fact is a double-edged sword. Its massive popularity will probably attract the hearts of gamers who have never tried the MOBA before. But instead of welcoming them with open arms, the DOTA 2 community must be admitted, not that “good” community,
Anonymity in cyberspace combined with gameplay mechanics that really depend heavily on team-play and individual performance of each member, DOTA 2 will be a very uncomfortable home for newcomer gamers. Valve himself has injected tutorial modes and “bots” to help gamers get the right atmosphere of battle, but unfortunately – it is not strong enough to represent the battle conditions when dealing with other users. When newcomers often die or don’t make a significant contribution to battle, then various invocations and various degrading sentences will glide so easily on your screen. “Noob”, “Stupid”, up to a few more harsh words become a familiar sight.
Some gamers may see this aggressiveness and behavior as a spice of competition that will make the adrenaline pump more and more fast. But this viewpoint is not in line with what Valve himself wants. To ensure a healthier and friendlier community – they apply a system of reward and punishment based on votes and reports from gamers participating in the battle. You can praise and give certain points when you feel that your team members have succeeded in showing certain gameplay qualities, or you can also give negative points in certain categories as a form of punishment for gamers who are rude, abusive, and deliberately appear bad in the game. Consequences for them? Valve will give penalties within a certain period of time that will make the automatic search process much longer and longer than the harvesters under normal conditions.
Unfortunately, a mechanism like this does not seem effective to network and produce healthier communities. Valve did claim that the number of reports from gamers has declined with the progress of the beta. But Valve himself seems to forget, that this decline does not always mean that the DOTA 2 community is getting healthier. It is also possible that reports like this have dropped dramatically because the community itself has begun to accept the conditions of the DOTA 2 community that are unfriendly or see the reports they make as being not as effective as imagined.