This is the one game I want my friends to play! A blend of RTS, Hack'n Slash, RPG, online only and competitive only!
I have over 1600 hours of gametime. I took me 50 games to begin to understand the basics of a game. Another 50 games to begin to understand the different phase of a game. Another 100 to begin to know what I was talking about, but I was still a noob. At almost a 1000 games, I am an average player. I am familiar with playing half the heroes and master like 10 of them out of the current 102. I get annoyed when I lose because of new players and this happens often since the end of the beta.
For the LoL comparison, I don't see LoL better in any aspects... Dota is free, you don't have to pay to get FULL access to the game, which is not the case of LoL. Graphics are technically way better, though you may prefer LoL styling. The game is deeper and more complex, but LoL players see this as useless annoying additional mechanics. I see this as having more options and more decisions to take which can change the tide of a game.
To new players. Stick to 1 hero for your 50 first games. Choose a support preferably and not a carry or a ganker. Then a second hero for the next 50.
You will have a lot of things to learn, amongst them and in order:
1) Last Hit
2) Build your hero and items
5) Ward, sentry and dust
8) Not get caught out of position
9) Understand early, mid and late game
10) Understand Metagame
12) Stack and Pull
15) Runes Control
17) Solo Roshan
You will discover the expert and pro play by yourself! :P
So don't play a carry if you don't understand the first 15 concepts or you will get flamed inevitably! And always listen to your teammates! Don't be stubborn, or go play a solo game! Because this is a team game!
But really... This is a true Masterpiece. You'd be foolish to miss on this one if you like to play competitively! There's not perfection, but this one deserves an imperfect 10!