HEY! This is going to be (mostly) jargon free, so people can enjoy it! Yeah! Also, possibly not factually accurate, as I am still ‘newer’ at the game! Deal with it!
Forty two hours. That is how long I have been playing DOTA. Despite the Steam summer sale, despite a growing backlog of games, and despite exercise and a social life (just kidding!) I have managed to cram so many hours into playing this game. There is a lot to love with it, and I think a lot of it stems from knowledge and learning. See, I finished learning things for school about 4 years ago, and finished learning new skill sets for work about 2 years ago, and I just clearly have a hankering to figure out how something ticks. To this end, I have been sinking hours into watching pros play DOTA, playing the game myself (6 for 8 in pub matches, yay!), reading up on the game, learning the mechanics, the whole ten yards.
In my research, one of the biggest things that I found that I love about the game, is that it doesn’t care at all about how complex it is. In my mind, I wind up drawing a parallel between DOTA and Magic the Gathering. In MtG, you only have so much space on a card to print rules. You have to make it so that each card is easily understood so that you can draw in new players, and generally the most confusing ones are either the very rare, or the very old (not mutually exclusive). So generally, the mechanics never get too complex, it is how you use the set of basic tools at your disposal. Then you look at DOTA and realize that they just don’t care. If something is crazy complex, it is just expected that players will either learn it, random it, or not play it. I wanted to write this up to try and explain 5 of the most balls to the wall insane characters that they included in DOTA 2.
Character 1: Io the Wisp Winning the competition solely by being an enormous ponce
Out of all of the 100+ characters in the game, Meepo is the one that astounds me the most. Sure, Invoker may require technical skill, Io can bring an ally to any spot on the map, Spectre can frighten an entire team, and Tinker can dominate an entire map by himself. But Meepo? Meepo stands alone.
Each character listed above requires you to focus on your character’s position on the map, the enemies position, where the creep wave is, if you should be farming in the nuetral camps, how much health you have, what your mana consumption is like, all that good stuff. Meepo (potentially) forces you to make all of these calculations and observations five times over. How? Again, in the power of the ultimate: Meepo’s ultimate is that there are an increasing number of him, to a maximum of 5. Meaning that your character is now equal size to your team at the start of the game.
This means that at any point, you could be managing last hits in a lane, jungling nuetral creeps, setting up ganks, and attacking a tower...simultaneously. Two big deals: All Meepo’s share experience and gold, and if one dies, they all die. Huh. I, uh....I never want to randomly pick this guy, huh? Because while I am having an ADD nightmare, I am sure that at least one of me will die. Except that (yet again), every single Meepo can teleport to any other Meepo. This also does damage. Well that is a nice skill, what else can he do? Each Meepo can throw a net, stunning the enemy and completely disabling them. This lasts for 2 seconds. Per Meepo. 10 seconds, assuming perfect play, where the enemy can do absolutely nothing except get attacked by at least 4 heroes, and up to 8. Wut. I repeat: wut. Even if they do manage to escape the nets, he has a passive ability that slows enemies while dealing damage over time, so it quickly becomes a hazing ritual of five Meepos bashing your butt redder than an embarrassed ape.
Throwing out one more thing (which I believe to be true): Auras are stacked on all Meepo clones. The Assault Curiass gives an aura graning +5 armor (five times) and an Aura of -5 armor (five teams) to all enemies. Certifiable bananas.
Finally, for those who are curious (no one), no particular order I am finding I really enjoy Centaur Warrunner, Pudge, Vengeful Spirit, Earthshaker, and Lich. I also played my first game where we had 5 languages between 5 teammates - English, Russian, Spanish, French, and (what I assume to be) Chinese. Good times.
So, experts of DOTA, do you agree? Who would you include? Newbies, want to add anyone to the list? Participants who don’t care about DOTA, are you curious now, or just plain scared?
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