Blizzard DOTA Hands-On

We check out Blizzard’s own take on the popular Defense of the Ancients mod.

One of the many surprises at this year’s BlizzCon was the unveiling of Blizzard DOTA--Blizzard’s own Starcraft II mod based on the Defense of the Ancients mod that was originally developed by the Warcraft III community. First, let us provide a little gameplay background on DOTA. The mod lets you take direct control of a hero character as you try to infiltrate an enemy’s base and destroy its ancient--in this case, a huge tower structure. To accomplish this, you’ll be assisted by constantly respawning AI allies that will take different paths that lead into the enemy base--one group goes left, another goes right, and the third goes up the middle. You can move along with these units, kill enemies, and gain levels in the process. When you level, you can add more special skills to your hero’s repertoire, some of which can aid your AI allies by healing them while others might give you additional attacks.

Defend those ancients!

There’s also some light resource management in Blizzard DOTA. Resources aren’t used to build structures and units as they typically are in real-time strategy games. Instead, you can use resources to buy various upgrades and items for your hero. These include things like weapon and armor upgrades, as well as items like health packs, but the trick is that you have a limited number of slots to equip these upgrades and items. You can take some out of your skill bar to make room for another upgrade, but the key is really finding a combination of items and upgrades that work for you and against your enemy.

Death doesn’t mean that you lose the match, but your hero will respawn back into your base, which may or may not be far from where you were killed. However, this is good thing because the only time you can purchase items and upgrades is if you’re inside a specific zone in your base. Once you’re outside that zone, you’re out of luck.

Your overall strategy in Blizzard DOTA depends largely on the skills of your hero, and there are 12 of them in the mod. Naturally, they’re all based on popular characters from various Blizzard games, so you’ll see Starcraft favorites like Jim Raynor and Kerrigan or Sylvanas from World of Warcraft. There are even a few more wacky characters like Grunty the murloc space marine, as well as L80ETC (also known as Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain). Because Raynor has incredibly effective sniping skills, we found it useful to stay near the rear of the groups of AI characters where he could deal quite a bit of damage without taking hits. Conversely, a character like Grunty is better taking an even greater support role because many of his attacks and skills are designed for that.

A lot of familiar faces appear in Blizzard DOTA.

Unfortunately, there was just one map available at BlizzCon, and it took us on average about 20 or so minutes to get all the way through and destroy the enemy base. If you’ve never played DOTA before, you can think of it like a reverse tower defense game where you’re the one running the gauntlet trying to destroy the towers as opposed to building them. When you throw some Blizzard characters into the mix, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

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Discussion

73 comments
milen_petrov
milen_petrov

Tried DotA, but there are just too many haters, which ruined any possibilities of fun for me. After that I tried LOL, still playing it. I don't know if it's better or worse (don't care, really), at least in the beginning you hardly meet anyone, whose sole purpose in life is to play this game all day and troll everyone (but their number gradually increases as you progress, sadly). Thought about trying HoN, too, but I changed my mind after hearing about the community there. When this and DotA 2 come out, I'll try them out, but their probably going to have the same problem. Simply put: Whether it's F2P or not, whether it's "childish" or for "pros", there are still going to be a s**tload of haters ruining the fun for everybody else. Also, for whomever it may concern: Not everybody likes the same games that you do, so please stop posting comments telling others the game they play sucks, or at least put it in a way that won't insult every living person playing it. If you like DotA best, play it. If you like Hon or LoL more, play any one of them, I don't care. Just stop wasting you're time trolling others, seriously, nobody thinks it's cool.

edmond_villamor
edmond_villamor

Oh come on Rikstah! If you want to play HoN, might as well play DoTA. It has almost the same gameplay and the only thing it has better than DoTA is shiny graphics. Other than that, I'd say DoTA is still better at item management as well as number of characters to choose from, more official tournaments and cheaper too. You also get the whole Warcraft 3 pacakge. I'd suggest to people to stick to the original, at least it can play even at the most crappy computers and it has a decent AI to play with if you're tired of being bashed at by people who have nothing to do but play all day. Honestly guys, I don't see why "PRO" players kept on bad mouthing people who makes mistakes in this game, all it does is makes the players rage quit after feeding leaving you at 4v5. I hope Blizzard does something to correct this coz I'm so getting Starcraft when the MOD comes out, maybe even before.

valent1n
valent1n

@Knetog: i agree with you ! LoL may look different than the other titles, but it remains free as in "play it, enjoy it, no $$$ for it".

valent1n
valent1n

@Rikstah, then after your beliefs there are more than a million "noobs" in LoL; while HoN has less than 20.000 "pros". Well I am starting to think that there is something wrong in this math equation. All these arguments for LoL versus HoN versus DotA (original scenario) is just a flame war that the producers enjoys it, and we the players, hate it/live it. I propose to you and all the others just to let this go, and enjoy any of these games....

Rikstah
Rikstah

Look at all these typical gamefaq noobs hating on HoN and praising LoL? who cares who made it, LoL is still and always will be the noobs version of dota

davilexbr
davilexbr

@advocacy Valve is handling a Standalone version of DOTA, this is a custom map for StarCraft II. BTW, I hope it's as good as the Warcraft 3 original version. (:

advocacy
advocacy

Isn't Valve handling this now?

Heczko
Heczko

Say what you want but i was playing dota for 4 years and now that i play LoL i have no intention to play dota again. HoN is crap, its dota in new graphics, thats all. LoL has items that make casters stronger, and i like it, there is no late game imbalance. Dota and HoN is for carries.

Hugomanen
Hugomanen

This thing was posted two days ago and theres still a major spelling error in it? Just not good enough.... "Conversely, a character like Grunty is better taking an even greater support roll because many of his attacks and skills are designed for that."

solatron
solatron

DOTA = Don't Own The Abomination.

auron11022
auron11022

If the community for this new DotA is anything like the community for HoN then I hope it never sees the light of day.

Ironbar
Ironbar

"Conversely, a character like Grunty is better taking an even greater support roll because many of his attacks and skills are designed for that." ROLE not ROLL! C'mon, that's a super-noob journalism mistake!

imyourdaddy
imyourdaddy

@Poki3 What does a PSP Go have to do with anything with DOTA, HoN, or LoL? Your insult is lame and LoL is for kids like you. And YES DOTA 2 will be the REAL upgrade because LoL is garbage and WC3 DOtA is outdated. Although I respect the original makers of DOTA, nobody really cares who makes a new DOTA or something like it, just as long it's good. For example, Call of Duty Black Ops isn't made by Infinity Award (original makers of COD) and that game is going to be the best selling game of 2010 mainly because of its name. So yea, REAL UPGRADE because it has the DOTA name and its going to use the same exact heros (same names and spells) from orignal dota formula plus whatever extra they add to make it a sequel. Your PSP Go comment makes no sense at all because the company who made Playstation 2 and the original PSP also made the PSP GO. Please try again.

Rox-pox
Rox-pox

@Pete5506 Or alternatively play HoN. DoTA is a bit outdated.

Pete5506
Pete5506

Sounds neat but if I want to play DOTA Ill just play Warcraft 3

Poki3
Poki3

@imyourdaddy The REAL upgrade? Oh yeah, that game that's the exact same thing, made by the guy who took over dota after the people who maintained it for the longest time went on to make LOL? Yeah, really good upgrade. How your PSP Go holding on?

imyourdaddy
imyourdaddy

Like somebody mentioned before, League of Legends (LoL) is for little kids and people who don't want to pay. RIGHT NOW, a close upgrade to DOTA is Hereos of Newerth (HoN), which is pretty much a clone except it has better graphics and it's faster paced but you will have to deal with the horrible elitest community who bash noobies and dish out $30 bucks. If you want to play with the Big Boys and PROS then HoN is where its at. I played LoL for awhile and it's pretty much a kids game, not to mention you can't deny creeps (although they might have changed it). Although I will give props for LoL for trying to do something new, it just doesn't really grab me a person who has been playing WC3 Dota for 4-5 years. I would say DOTA 2 is were most of the DOTA, HoN, and LoL regulars would go. It's going to be a REAL actual upgrade to WC3 Dota.

MCCHA
MCCHA

How do I get this?! Will this be found under custom games?

Knetog
Knetog

@mrandersen87 Dota is the original and the best, HoN is the same but with way too many huge flashy animation for spells, as for LoL, it does look childish, but yea, it's free... I just can't wait for dota 2 :)

cytheh
cytheh

But there's already a fan made dota-like mod for sc2 and it is pretty good already.

mrandersen87
mrandersen87

why all the talk about Lol? its like dota for kids... check out Heroes of Newerth instead. Alot better

valent1n
valent1n

dota rules, LoL rules, this might rule.....

Wylen0
Wylen0

So basically this is blizzard being butthurt about Valve making a DOTA game? XD still probally good though

Link3301
Link3301

Sweet! WoW and Sc characters in one game. My favorite Wc 3 mod just became more awesome.

ihaveabu
ihaveabu

if this doesn't have the persistent stats and what not that lol has, i don't see how this mod will have lasting value. especially considering valve is making a standalone dota

angry_roman1011
angry_roman1011

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Quiley
Quiley

@ BotZakafein the reason HoN lost people is not only because its pay, but also because the community is horrible graphics doesnt really matter much in these games

BotZakafein
BotZakafein

and LoL is overated. i mean for a 2009 game the graphics are only slightly better than WCIII's DotA. and the reason why there are fewer ppl playing HoN is because u have to pay.

BotZakafein
BotZakafein

WHERE DO I DL??? i have wings of liberty

blackfray
blackfray

I bet this is gonna be a lot better than Warcraft 3's Dota but considering that Valve is also making an upgraded version of the mod for Warcraft 3, it's hard to say the same thing for that too.

MXVIII
MXVIII

@tenz01 uhhhh....this mod is free....

supdotcom
supdotcom

meh. LoL is overrated. one match and I went back to playing dota. There's nothing better than the original. I think valve will pull off dota 2 fairly well, as I have yet to be let down by them

maki1300
maki1300

Its good for the community , more moba games are spawning. No one complained when FPS titles grew. moba games: blizzard DotA DotA2 DotA League of Legends Heroes of Newerth BloodLine Champions Demigod (fail) Diablo 3 PvP Arena (special mention :D :D :D) Im currently playing LoL and occasional DotA sessions with friends. Lastly, Im more excited at Diablo 3 PvP Arena over Blizzard DotA

maki1300
maki1300

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

x-TwilighT-x
x-TwilighT-x

@gplayer5 I do like the SC2 DOTA, but LoL is awesome! @TzUgArT Go IceFrog :D and Yea Aeon of Strife was the original SC Version of DOTA (b4 Wc3 had the idea ever) I just don't like Valve myself. But we'll see!

gplayer5
gplayer5

league of legends is still way better. look it up.

TzUgArT
TzUgArT

Hmmm This should be called Aeon of Strife instead of Dota I gonna bet on Valve's Dota 2 besides Icefrog is working with them anyway

aots_twilight
aots_twilight

@Exorte - I don't even get what you just said nor how it is relevant to what I mentioned earlier. aots_twilight: "This should be called Aeon of Strife. It is Starcraft after all." exorte: "In the Panel they said they want it to feel all games matters. That is why the towers in the game comes from Chess peice." Unless of course, you didn't know or forgot about "Aeon of Strife". Which was a custom game of the first Starcraft where it was the inspiration for "Defense of the Ancients" on Warcraft 3.

tenz01
tenz01

No thanks Blizzard. No thanks Valve. League of Legends is by far the best succesor to DOTA. Created by the creators of DOTA. The game has 3v3, 5v5, solo, pre-mades, ranked, practiced, normal, and did I mention 60+ heroes? Why would I pay for a small SC2 version of DOTA or why would I pay for a fake Dota2 clone from Valve when League of Legends is already out and its FREE.

Poodger
Poodger

I think I will probably just wait for Valve's DOTA 2

slipricrock
slipricrock

DotA(defense of the ANCIENTS) is funny in star craft cuase' It's high tech.

lannyboy334
lannyboy334

@angry_roman2011 The Rylai model is that of Jaina Proudmoore, who I would assume will be in the game as opposed to Rylai...

BigStik
BigStik

I'm putting my money on DotA 2.

wegotlemonade
wegotlemonade

there is a free game on the internet called league of legends which is made by the creators of DotA on warcraft 3 but has its ow unique look and engine.

Exorte
Exorte

The develeopers said they are actually working on more than just 4 maps, but only these four are already.

Exorte
Exorte

@ aots_twilight In the Panel they said they want it to feel all games matters. That is why the towers in the game comes from Chess peice. @ X-7 It is a free map... They siad that already. They already release 50+ custom map for Warcraft 3 for free. I don't find it hard to believe or anything.