Blizzard hits reset button on DOTA mod

Studio says it has "completely rebooted" the game from what was shown at last year's BlizzCon; accessbility a core concern.

Valve caught most of the industry by surprise last August when it first indicated its plans to create a game based on the popular Warcraft III mod Defense of the Ancients. Warcraft III creator Blizzard Entertainment was among those caught unawares, and the studio responded in no short order at that year's BlizzCon, with its own version of DOTA (which it calls Blizzard DOTA) running on the Starcraft II engine.

What's the difference between Blizzard's DOTA and Valve's Dota? Capitalization protocols, for one.

And with Valve's Dota 2 marching steadily toward release, it appears as if Blizzard DOTA has hit a snag. Speaking to Eurogamer, Blizzard senior game designer Jonny Ebbert said that the studio has completely scrapped the version of Blizzard DOTA that was shown at last year's BlizzCon. Instead, the studio is progressing with the mod in a new direction.

"What we showed at the original BlizzCon, we've completely flattened it since then and completely rebooted it because we just thought, there's more we can question on this," Ebbert said. Challenges that Blizzard is facing include "getting it right and just meeting the Blizzard quality bar, and questioning a lot of the assumptions behind the genre, which is what we do at Blizzard," Ebbert explained.

Blizzard's executive VP of product development Frank Pearce went on to note that the team behind Blizzard DOTA is aiming to make its version of the game more accessible.

"One of the important things to note with that space is the DOTA everyone plays on Warcraft III is not particularly accessible to the novice," Pearce said. "One of the game development philosophies we have at Blizzard is, 'Easy to learn and difficult to master.' That mod for Warcraft III doesn't really fit that description. That's a big challenge for us: taking this concept that doesn't really fit that philosophy and adapting it to a philosophy that's important for us."

Blizzard DOTA is being built using Starcraft II's in-game level editor, just as the original DOTA was built using the mod tools included with Warcraft III. A release date has not yet been set.

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57 comments
Sythion
Sythion

@zoey You can eat trees to ambush. You're making my point exactly. The only path to destroying your opponents base in DotA is feeding your carry. You're mistaking knowledge for depth. Again. I'll use go as an example. Extremely simple game. Extremly low knowledge ceiling. Extremely deep.

zoeyleft
zoeyleft

@Sythion dude, you have no idea what you are talking about. first there is no tree ambushes in dota/hon. there is bush ambushes in lol, however. second, getting your carry fed is not a strategy. the "strategy" part that you refer to is not getting your carry fed. that is like saying collecting resource in starcraft is a strategy, or making goals in soccer is a strategy. it is understood that collecting resources (or getting your carry farmed, or making the goals in soccer) is something both teams have to do in order to have a chance at winning. and third, do you play kids games? no? well exactly, because those games got a knowledge ceiling that you already surpassed long time ago. you have no challenge playing them. So a game provides a very high ceiling of knowledge and suddenly people who loves it do death are considered elitist jerks because they spent time learning it? right, just like doctors are elitist jerks because they spent 7 years studying. and i can tell you that dota/hon does have tens tons more depth than lol. in dota/hon you can place a top rank player with 4 newbies and he will not be able to carry them if the other team is average. in lol, if you place a top rank player with 4 newbies, he WILL carry his team even if the other team is average. so where do you get all this you are saying from?

bonzibuddyxxx
bonzibuddyxxx

great job valve stealing dota from warcraft 3

jasonzilla11
jasonzilla11

I love how Valve and Blizzard are sharing a game universe. But if DICE and Infinity Ward tried this and Activision found out, they'd be so screwed it would almost be funny. :lol: I am really glad that there are some developers out there willing to be willing to share stuff. :D

Draken_Domingo
Draken_Domingo

This is just a bad idea on Blizzard's part. Valve is gonna have a monopoly with Dota 2 and that's the way it should stay in my opinion.

PopeChadII
PopeChadII

HAHA Lol this ones gonna be a fail, how many dota rip offs do there have to be? Dota, Hon, LoL, DemiGod, Dota 2 and now this? not gonna work out dudes, just concentrate on Diablo 3 please its been like 11 years in the making now, gosh... i have a feeling the only difference between the blizzard version is going to be that (knowing blizzards history) there just going to milk as much cash as they can out of it like they have all there other games. Prepair yourselves kids you are all literally going to pay out your **** for this one. have you ever tried to take a dump after eating like fourty BigMac Meals? Well imagine that times a thousand, good luck guys this ones gonna hurt

Link3301
Link3301

@flashn00b Yeah, its pretty complicated. Valve has the intellectual property for "Defense of the Ancients." The makers of Dota Allstars then went and reserved the intellectual property for "DotA" to protect it for the Blizzard community. So basically anyone can make something with "DotA" in its name, but only Valve can make something with "Defense of the Ancients" in its name.

Sythion
Sythion

Also, I would like to point out the misconception that complexity = depth. Complexity does not equal depth. Complexity can add more variables, and can add depth, but it can also remove depth. More complex games are harder to balance (there's more to them), and so there is typically fewer dominant strategies. Take the Lol vs DotA/HoN example. DotA and HoN are more complex games. There are more options to them (tree ambushes, exploiting WC3 pathfinding issues with vision, etc). Unfortunately, they are less deep than LoL despite this. In the DotA gameplay world there is, and will always be, a single dominant strategy: play super safe, deny your opponent in lane, farm as much as possible, try to get your carry as farmed/fed as possible because he (and he alone) will win the game. Players who understand these concepts will perform better than those who don't, but it is not because of strategy of the player or depth of gameplay that will cause a person to win. It's only knowledge of the game. Basically, gameplay is not about decision making because anyone who knows the game well would make the same decision. And, whenever you have gameplay that's based off of knowledge you're going to have elitist jerks.

Sythion
Sythion

Dear MotorXD, You argue with fallacies, and so I do not respect your opinion, and find myself swayed the opposite direction. You also appear too threatened by a changing game market, losing even more respect.

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

@nurnberg You realise everything in LoL can be bought for free though? Other than skins (completely unnecessary to gameplay) you can buy the runes, characters, rune pages etc. with IP which you earn for just fighting and not putting your hands in your pockets if you don't want. I'll say it can take way too long though, at the moment you get about 100 IP for a fight and it cost me around 11,000 just to finish 1 of my 3 rune pages so that was 110 fights just for that.

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

@GGCrew_basic I'd say LoL is the stand out game, it's easier, more intuitive (last hitting minions less awkward), there's less micro management of minion waves and slow farming due to the ridding of the horrible 'deny' mechanic, it added brush to hide in (others have trees but they work in a different way, e.g. harder for you to plan to attack incoming enemy cos you can't see them either with the trees in HoN and DoTA), the characters are more varied and the map is slightly different even though still similar. The problem with HoN and DoTA is that they're very similar so it's an 'either or' thing in my opinion but LoL is trying to be different a little and becoming it's own game with modes like Dominion too. Riot games simply has a better idea of how to carry on the game whereas DoTA 2 and HoN seem to not change the genre any way from the original mod. As for the 'overwhelming selection of heroes', I think that can't be stopped. In the end the more the better as it can be a bit intimidating but the more choice there is the better in my mind and it's the best way to keep long time fans still interested.

motorxd
motorxd

Dear Blizzard, Your new business model using the buzzword of Accessibility as its only guiding light is destroying games that used to be made for gamers. How long before Starcraft devolves into Angry SCV's in which all we do is fling the units at Zerg bases via slingshot on a smartphone? Maybe I'll watch an episode of Dora's Diablo Explora.

AzatiS
AzatiS

Im really curious about Blizz DOTA. It will come with the old heroes and if it comes with old what will be the main difference with DOTA 2 then? So whats the big deal and difference vs DOTA 2. Why someone play Blizz DOTA when DOTA 2 is out. I dont get Blizzard but its Blizzard so lets see.

cephas90
cephas90

1. I don't like the idea of them making DOTA "accessible". I know that sounds blunt, but just like spies vs mercenaries, or even AC:B multiplayer, there was just an inherently challenging quality to learning the nuances of the game, but I find it rewarding. In addition, Activision-Blizzard has a tendency of DUMBING down and STUPIFYING content to make it more accessible to the masses. I played WoW, and I watched success and striving towards goals become something dross and meaningless. 2. The fact that they are using the SC:2 engine and that they scrapped their old DOTA plans makes me think one thing: that Blizzard went "Oh crap, DOTA 2 is coming out, we gotta jump on that bandwagon!" 3. I can already imagine the restriction to the modding community that ACTIVISION-Blizzard will impress, in addition to TAXING THE CRAP out of whatever creativity they community brings forth. I supported Blizzard. I do not support Activision-Blizzard.

flashn00b
flashn00b

I thought Valve bought the Intellectual Property, unless i'm mistaken.

Otaku313
Otaku313

Let me get this straight. Since Valve decided to release DOTA 2, Blizzard responded by announcing its take on the same mod. Why are you going to release the EXACT same game? This is f'n retarded and shows where this industry is headed.

Daian
Daian

Diablo 3. Release it. NOW!. That is all.

Die-Hard
Die-Hard

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

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

I agree with @NoDzombie, WarCraft IP is more powerful than DotA IP, If Blizzard could made proper WarCraft games, I believe It'll become a new Brain-storm hit, I never considered World Of WarCraft as part of the WarCraft games though.

nemesis4x
nemesis4x

@GGCrew_basic thanks for showing me that there is no word limit on the comments!!!!

GGCrew_basic
GGCrew_basic

I believe that many of the DotA "assumptions" need to be questioned. Things like: - the same map in nearly every DotA variant - "light" vs "dark" and unique heroes for each side - hidden vendors/pickups - leetspeak/slang by the announcer/in-game status text (eg "pwned", "schooled") - overwhelming selection of heroes - WarCraft III inspired art style - fixed overhead camera It's hard for "noobs" to see meaningful differences between DotA, LoL, HoN, RoI, and DotA 2 - they all have similar maps, art styles, perspectives... These titles are fighting for the same pool of hardcore players - none of these games are particularly friendly to the neophyte (and neither are their communities). The original DotA players were infamous for booting anyone who didn't already have the map. These newer titles are designed to attract those same players. Don't just be a DotA clone! Give us different maps, and not just maps designed for 5v5! Maps for more than two teams! Opposing sides can pull from the same hero pool (good job, LoL), but also offer a few unique heroes! You can use other settings/eras - it doesn't have to be "fantasy battle in the woods"! This applies to anyone thinking about making the next DotA-inspired game, not just a message to Blizzard. Show some imagination, and make something that stands out from "me too" crowd. (Another Kudos to the LoL for their upcoming Dominion mode - they're trying something new with the burgeoning MOBA genre.)

megakick
megakick

Thats good if i want to play Better graphics DotA I can just play HON. The Valve DotA is just Revamped DotA with new PVP options.

Frosty192
Frosty192

@Robo13x Activision doesnt care about money? Please where have you been. Valve will make the better game like they always do. Don't argue with facts so just move along.

Robo13x
Robo13x

I think it is wise, that blizzard wants to create dota too. Because valve doesn't really care about the game, only the money. For example look at the heroes. Those are so retarded, every one of them (magina, sven, vengi, sand king, lion, stormspirit are worst). I don't know, who could design like this, but this is embarrassment. Furthermore, I hate that announcer is a woman. It is akward to hear moms voice, when you're on killing spree. Plus, why heroes shout "Deny" when they deny creeps? Then you don't want to deny in order to not hear him saying that. Valve didn't screw up only with hero skills, so I'll give them that. All in all, whole game needs to be remaked.

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

It's pretty interesting that Blizz is taking direct interest in this genre now after giving the DOTA creators the cold shoulder all those years. They had a burgeoning community they all but ignored for several years. Honestly, I hope Valve's version kicks their ass. I'm a big Blizzard fan, but I really have respect for the way Gabe Newell stepped in and gave those guys a project when Blizz could have easily thrown them a bone. So far, DoTA2 looks like a hell of a lot of fun.

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

What's up with all the fascination with DoTA all of a sudden? I don't care about DoTA one way or the other but don't these guys have anything else to be working on...like maybe a new IP from Blizzard and Episode 3 from Valve? Are both these companies suffering from a lack of creative direction?

NoDzombie
NoDzombie

why dont Blizzard leave DOTA 2 to Valve, and put their effort into making a proper Warcraft game instead, that would be far more usefull, instead of 2 different companies trying to make effectively the same game?

OJ_the_LION
OJ_the_LION

Not a fan of DoTA myself. That said, despite niggling complaints about DRM that was probably pushed on it by Activision, Blizzard has never released a game that I wouldn't want to play even now. That's not to say I'm okay with some of the recent Diablo III announcements, but Blizzard has built a reputation on crafting quality games no matter how long it takes. Valve also has that reputation, but I'm not particularly happy with Valve for getting distracted with a million projects besides HL2 Episode 3, and I haven't heard a great defense of L4D2 as a full priced game either, so neither company is perfect.

SamirSoormally
SamirSoormally

@ChaosUndivided & snaggleoooo Blizzard do take a ridiculous amount of time making games, but its hard to complain; I can't think of a game they've released that I wouldn't enjoy playing again even now.

stEElyDaN909
stEElyDaN909

Well, Blizz had their chance to make a DOTA 2 long ago. The mod has been out forever and they never took the opportunity to contact Icefrog (the maker of DOTA) or any of the other devs behind it, even though DOTA fans asked and pleaded for them too.

ChaosUndivided
ChaosUndivided

When 2 companies try to make the same game it starts to give you the impression that they are running out of (or can't come up with) ideas. Both companies only have 3 good titles between them that they have repeated or made mods for, for the last 15 years.

King-gamer
King-gamer

Never really understood why people liked DotA

snaggleoooo
snaggleoooo

So Blizzard might do a good job, but knowing them, it'll be about 5 years away from release.

TheTrueMarik
TheTrueMarik

Valve Dota won't even be worth playing. Why pay for it when there are so many clones out there for free, let alone the experience you get by playing the version that's going to be on Starcraft 2, making it more worth your money since you can play the single player, player the other custom games and play the melee as well. I like how much effort Blizzard puts even into their custom games, that they make sure it's done correctly before releasing it. Not a whole lot of game companies do the same. Actually, only Sony's first party game companies and Blizzard are the ones who care enough about quality to do something like that nowadays. The rest only care about income. It will also be good to see the game become more accessible, but still have that high end player skill involvement that is tradition with Blizzard games. Me not being a huge DOTA fan, Blizzard DOTA is starting to look like the only DOTA game I'll play because of how Blizzard aims to make it. I once had a friend who tried out a DOTA game but didn't know very much about it. When he asked for help, his teammates told him to uninstall the game. If thats the type of people that are going to be playing, then I wouldnt pay that game if you paid me, because those same people are going to be playing DOTA2 from Valve. With more accessibility, the community will be larger, and yet it will still be exciting. Little things like that is why Blizzard > Valve, or just about any dev at the moment.

FMD129
FMD129

"...that the team behind Blizzard DOTA is aiming to make its version of the game more accessible." Hmmm... were have I heard this before? maybe right before every major sequal before it utterly fails? Its funny how Valve (who honestly have not created a single flop yet) does what they have to do, and Blizzard, who is slowly becoming baby Activsion, tries to come back in with something that Valve will definantly accomplish because they KNOW what players want. Sorry Blizzard but your time passed about a decade ago when you stranded everybody and then pumped out a 3 part sequal geared toward Egaming.

DennisWZH
DennisWZH

do the guy who created dota get any money out of this? cause if yes, he'll be swimming in cash right about now.

BlackWaltz_No_3
BlackWaltz_No_3

Blizzard, Warcraft 4 or HotS please. Valve, Episode 3 please. We have enough DOTA-like games out there, stop wasting resources on those games.

SerOlmy
SerOlmy

Hah, way to be tardy to the party. I rarely say things like this, but I hope it fails as hard as Cataclysm.

nurnberg
nurnberg

I am looking forward for this new dota version. I am a fan of Starcraft 2, and I would rather play this than the micro-transaction scam that is League of Legends.

spOOoOOn
spOOoOOn

How is it a win-win if blizzard puts significant effort in pushing out a game Valve will probably nail (from what i've seen)? I'd much rather see them invest in warcraft 4 or some original IP. The MOBA genre (HoN, LoL etc..) is getting just as flooded as FPS in the past 3 years. I'd rather have 1-2 quality choices than 8 clones

AzatiS
AzatiS

LoL and DOTA 2 is enough i think. What blizzard does here? Revive the already revived DOTA ( with DOTA2) and named it Blizzard DOTA. Dont get it. But oh well. Its blizzard they can do what they want.

Shoaka
Shoaka

I wonder how much money blizzard will make off Valve's dota, it seems like it'd be easy to secure a sizable payment from them.

KaBo0m
KaBo0m

It'll be free ya goon. The whole point of creating a great dota mod is so that people will buy SC2 to play it. The truth is that DOTA is waaaay more popular than WC3 itself

ghost870
ghost870

I'm beginning to get sick of hearing people say the term "Drop the ball" ... lol Sounds great, I don't care that both Blizzard and Valve are competing on a similar game. I know I'll have two quality games to choose from and I'll just play the best one. It's a total win.

dark_surge
dark_surge

It seems like Blizzard was taken aback by the quality of Valve's rendition of DOTA. This is a good thing, in my opinion, as it will likely encourage Blizzard to create a better end product. It's a win/win situation for us all.

Zero5000X
Zero5000X

I wonder if its going to be free or if it'll cost money. Maybe it will be microtransaction based like DOTA2 is rumored to be.

baal46
baal46

I've been wondering how it is that Valve is able to release a "DOTA 2" that seemingly includes Blizzard-related characters while Blizzard is itself planning to release its own version of DOTA. Is there no copyright infringement issue here? Kinda seems like Bliz-legal may have dropped the ball on this one.