Valve has opened the Defense of the Ancients 2 beta to some players. Such as yours truly. So what makes DOTA2 stand out?
1) DOTA2 has a lot of personality. Valve knows how to inject life into a game with dialog. During a round of DOTA2, the characters will have little conversations and will sometimes quip back and forth. When Windrunner dies, a red headed archer, she whispers in her dying breath “Why do you hate gingers… so?“. I smiled the first time I heard that.
2) Until I played DOTA2, I wasn’t a huge fan of the less cartoony graphics. I really liked League of Legends’ graphics for being colorful enough that it’s easy to distinguish what’s happening in team fights. But the effects in DOTA2 are unique and interesting enough that I can still distinguish what’s happening in team fights. In fact, the effects for the spells are really cool.
3) I’m a big fan of bots. I want to be able to practice an online game offline. For a few reasons, not the least of which is avoiding embarrassment, I want to try new characters in private. To that end, the DOTA2 bots are pretty good. Well, the enemy bots are pretty good. The bots on your team work together, but they basically ignore you and what you’re doing. In a way, this improved my play faster than it would have if they were supportive. Hell, it might as well be simulating a pub game, so it’s still a win.
Next up: The parts of Defense of the Ancients 2 that have me on the fence.