I've made a huge mistake.
I've gotten into DOTA 2
After hearing Brad Shoemaker of the Bombcast go on and on about, and seeing the recent hype surround the International and how it's just the right time for new players to jump in
, I got a little curious.
Then I made the mistake of watching the Dreamhack tournament finals the other day between teams Quantic and Alliance. I don't know anything about those teams, I couldn't follow very much of what was happening and why, all I know is that it was exactly the kind of thing I love to see in games.
There is a complicated series of drafts, bans, and counter-drafts that precede tournament DOTA
apparently, and while I know nothing about the game, the commentators did a fantastic job of quickly summarizing each hero and their role in the meta game, the likely strategies they'd be used for.
Quantic organized a fiercely aggressive line-up. Lots of lane clearing AoE, tough ganking heroes (characters that specialize in taking out enemy player heroes), with solid mixed support.
Alliance on the other hand picked out a motley crew. Judging by the commentators, it seemed like they had been a little screwed by the draft bans and were scrambling to come up with a backup plan. They organized a team of traditionally weaker units. Lots of strong support like the fragile Wisp, and a bizarre Cleric character called Shen that works as a odd support character that is capable of converting hostile NPC mobs to his side.
By the commentary, it seemed like the game had already been decided. That Alliance effectively committed suicide on the character select screen and barely stood a chance against Quantic's roster of heavy hitters.
Then the unthinkable happened. A total blow out. Alliance started off cautiously, but soon began a steam roll the likes of which you only see in the lowest dredges of pub games. The freak team of glass cannons and oddball support units took down one of the strongest teams WITHOUT A SINGLE DEATH.
It was insane. Like I say, I don't know jack about DOTA
, but I know that was amazing. THAT is the kind of thing that gets me pumped for a game. When unconventional strategies can trump cookie-cutter builds, when even at the top level of play there is room for major upsets and dramatic wins.
So today I spent hours pouring over newbie guides, setting up hotkeys, and picking out a few interesting heroes on the DOTAwiki.
The scope of the game is staggering. Intimtading. One of the first resources I stumbled upon was Welcome to Dota, You Suck
, an introductory guide that's straight up honest about what a new player is getting into. Hundreds of heroes to learn, thousands of abilities and items, countless match-ups and strategies, and an entire language of jargon and slang that has to be penetrated to even know why your teammates are screaming at you.
It's intense. But it's also the sort of thing I can see myself getting lost in.
So farewell everyone, it's been nice knowing you. I think I'm going down this rabbit hole, and I don't know where I'm going to end up.
* - Spec Ops took on some very ambitious issues. I'm not convinced it really made good on the lofty aspirations, but I appreciate that they even tried in the first place.
* - If you aren't sleeping with Garus Valkarian, you're playing Mass Effect 3 all wrong. Dat voice... Oh yeah, Elsa also takes a pretty intelligent look at the various portrayals of women in the ME series, but whatever. Dat voice...
* - I don't think Nintendo is in as bad a shape as LordPsyBorg does, but the ship does need some straightening. I was really hoping they'd come out strong this E3, right now it looks like noone is at the wheel.
P - Self-fapping is a shameful act, but it's hard for me to stay mad at someone who posts vintage sci-fi UFOs.
P - More podcasts for your ear diet! If you like Phantasy Star, or games in general, you should check em out.
A - The next-gen looks great for every system. TroyFullbuster is looking forward his impoverished game-filled Christmas.
D - REZZED! Our favourite brit GlowBear is going to be getting her journalism on at Rezzed this weekend! Sounds exciting. If you're also going be sure to drop her a line, Dtoid gatherings are always a magical thing.
T - If I stand for one thing in this world, it's fantasy rosters for fighting games. Dapper Blanka has his wish list for Smash Bros all ready to go, King K. Rool is an inspired choice.
R - A solid necro-review for Zelda: Oracle of Ages that avoids all the usual pitfalls these blogs usually fall into. This is how you do it people!
T - Watch_Dogs might be the poster child of the next-gen systems pretty graphics and huge memory capacity, but is there a chance the best way to play it will be on the humble Wii U? SamWHYZ makes a decent case for getting your paranoid espionage on with the Wii U's unique touch screen controller.
? - Who doesn't want to sleep with Holmes?
V - Oldschool SHUMPing with Crisis Force.
F - Barely relevant YouTube spam.
F - Put some effort into it, write a fucking blog, introduce yourself, comment on other blogs, don't just spam an embedded video and call it a day.
I hear Meepo is the most difficult to hero to master because of his weird cloning ability. He's also the most rad.