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24 Hour Time Limit - DOTA 2: A Beginner Begins

Updated Sun, Dec 08, 2013 by Lewis B

In this new feature I'm titling 24 Hour Time Limit, I'll be playing a random game of my choosing over (you guessed it) a 24 hour period to give you a run down on just what I think of it during that window of play. If the game peaks my interest and warrants further play, I'll grant it a “Time Extension” where I'll then play and cover it until I see fit. First up is DOTA 2

In this new feature I'm titling 24 Hour Time Limit, I'll be playing a random game of my choosing over (you guessed it) a 24 hour period to give you a run down on just what I think of it during that window of play. If the game peaks my interest and warrants further play, I'll grant it a “Time Extension” where I'll then play and cover it until I see fit. First up is DOTA 2

WildStar Engineer

When it comes to MOBA's I know sweet FA. Before the weekend, I'd never set foot in DOTA 2 or League of Legends and knew absolutely nothing about either product. I still know sweet FA about DOTA 2 but thankfully a little more than I did 24 hours ago. 

For anyone new to MOBA's (multiplayer online battle arena), the premise is 'relatively' simple. Two teams of 5 must battle it out across an map to defeat the opposing teams “Ancient”. Invulnerable until certain objects are completed, you and your team must also fight against A.I controlled opponents and the opposing 5 Heroes. Throughout the match you'll level up your Hero, acquire new skills and obtain new items to improve your strength, with each Hero having its own positives, negatives and role. 

By now your heads probably already melted and you'll be as confused as I was. It gets even more complicated when you begin to discuss specific Hero roles and the fact that there are dozens of them. Covering roles such as Pusher, Disabler, Jungler and Durable (I still don't know what the purpose of each is) it all boils down to helping your team mates overcome your enemy, with coordinated attacks.

Thankfully DOTA 2 is forgiving enough that it provides you with a tutorial when it boots up. Perhaps a little protracted and lacking in voice-over, it serves its purpose in learning what creeps are (they're the AI controlled enemies that help your team) as well as the basics of upgrading yourself. The game is visually stunning and it's full of life, yet the control system is really something I wasn't expecting. Using click-to-move feels really cumbersome and although traditional to the genre, I can't help but wonder whether a control system such as Alien Swarm with WSAD to move and your  mouse acting as your line of sight would work better. That aside, I stuck with it and it does become manageable fairly easily. 

Something I found interesting was the fact that before each match, you and every other Hero starts at level 1 and throughout the course of the match will gain in levels and power. It's a total opposite of the Torchlight or Diablo dungeon crawling model where you gain in strength throughout your adventures and instead, each game should be seen as its own universe. It does tend to feel like wasted effort yet on the flip side, oddly addictive. The early levels and beginnings of each map are fairly muted because everyone lacks skills but given a few minutes of skirmishes, creep killing and tower battering and Heroes are quickly levelled up. 

What's apparent even in my brief play is the fact that DOTA 2 is layered heavily with tactics. From the timing of your skills, to the interception of enemy creeps and heroes as well as the depth surrounding item combinations and purchases, there's a real time sink here. It doesn't matter that your character wipes after each match (though there is account wide XP) it's the rush of each map that makes it addictive. 

I can't even begin to say I've scratched the surface of DOTA 2 and that's primarily the reason for this feature, to discover games that were not on my radar (and not necessarily on yours), to give them a try and hope that I click. Luckily for me DOTA 2 has all the makings of something I could spend a worryingly amount of time in. 

After only a few hours play I decided to grant DOTA 2 a “Time Extension” for the need to know more at not only a basic level, but one of greater strategy and finesse when it comes to movement and tactics. If for nothing else, the micro-transaction store looks like it warrants its own coverage the number of Heroes and the potential balance problems that that may cause is also of interest to me. Considering most 

To finish off this first installment of 24 Hour Time Limit, I was perhaps fortunate to have not yet encountered any of the notorious community members who vilify anyone who isn't worthy of their standards. Not once, despite my repeated errors did anyone point me out. Oh there's absolutely time for that yet, but I'm hoping I can dodge such behaviour for a little longer. Perhaps I avoided such scathing attacks because I wasn't half bad, either that or my entire team was carrying me. You'll find out tomorrow. 

WildStar Engineer

In this new feature I'm titling 24 Hour Time Limit, I'll be playing a random game of my choosing over (you guessed it) a 24 hour period to give you a run down on just what I think of it during that window of play. If the game peaks my interest and warrants further play, I'll grant it a “Time Extension” where I'll then play and cover it until I see fit. First up is DOTA 2

When it comes to MOBA's I know sweet FA. Before the weekend, I'd never set foot in DOTA 2 or League of Legends and knew absolutely nothing about either product. I still know sweet FA about DOTA 2 but thankfully a little more than I did 24 hours ago. 

For anyone new to MOBA's (multiplayer online battle arena), the premise is 'relatively' simple. Two teams of 5 must battle it out across an map to defeat the opposing teams “Ancient”. Invulnerable until certain objects are completed, you and your team must also fight against A.I controlled opponents and the opposing 5 Heroes. Throughout the match you'll level up your Hero, acquire new skills and obtain new items to improve your strength, with each Hero having its own positives, negatives and role. 

By now your heads probably already melted and you'll be as confused as I was. It gets even more complicated when you begin to discuss specific Hero roles and the fact that there are dozens of them. Covering roles such as Pusher, Disabler, Jungler and Durable (I still don't know what the purpose of each is) it all boils down to helping your team mates overcome your enemy, with coordinated attacks.

Thankfully DOTA 2 is forgiving enough that it provides you with a tutorial when it boots up. Perhaps a little protracted and lacking in voice-over, it serves its purpose in learning what creeps are (they're the AI controlled enemies that help your team) as well as the basics of upgrading yourself. The game is visually stunning and it's full of life, yet the control system is really something I wasn't expecting. Using click-to-move feels really cumbersome and although traditional to the genre, I can't help but wonder whether a control system such as Alien Swarm with WSAD to move and your  mouse acting as your line of sight would work better. That aside, I stuck with it and it does become manageable fairly easily. 

Something I found interesting was the fact that before each match, you and every other Hero starts at level 1 and throughout the course of the match will gain in levels and power. It's a total opposite of the Torchlight or Diablo dungeon crawling model where you gain in strength throughout your adventures and instead, each game should be seen as its own universe. It does tend to feel like wasted effort yet on the flip side, oddly addictive. The early levels and beginnings of each map are fairly muted because everyone lacks skills but given a few minutes of skirmishes, creep killing and tower battering and Heroes are quickly levelled up. 

What's apparent even in my brief play is the fact that DOTA 2 is layered heavily with tactics. From the timing of your skills, to the interception of enemy creeps and heroes as well as the depth surrounding item combinations and purchases, there's a real time sink here. It doesn't matter that your character wipes after each match (though there is account wide XP) it's the rush of each map that makes it addictive. 

I can't even begin to say I've scratched the surface of DOTA 2 and that's primarily the reason for this feature, to discover games that were not on my radar (and not necessarily on yours), to give them a try and hope that I click. Luckily for me DOTA 2 has all the makings of something I could spend a worryingly amount of time in. 

After only a few hours play I decided to grant DOTA 2 a “Time Extension” for the need to know more at not only a basic level, but one of greater strategy and finesse when it comes to movement and tactics. If for nothing else, the micro-transaction store looks like it warrants its own coverage the number of Heroes and the potential balance problems that that may cause is also of interest to me. Considering most 

To finish off this first installment of 24 Hour Time Limit, I was perhaps fortunate to have not yet encountered any of the notorious community members who vilify anyone who isn't worthy of their standards. Not once, despite my repeated errors did anyone point me out. Oh there's absolutely time for that yet, but I'm hoping I can dodge such behavior for a little longer. Perhaps I avoided such scathing attacks because I wasn't half bad, either that or my entire team was carrying me. You'll find out tomorrow. 

gabe.jpg
The Steam Machine is in the hands of the masses and David "Xerin" Piner takes a look at why they are not necessarily exciting, revolutionary, or realistically noteworthy.
Features, Opinions
Tue, Dec 24, 2013
Xerin
Dota2
If you haven't been following this new feature, you can find the first and previous entries at the bottom of this page. In simple terms, I play a game I have never played before over a 24 hour period. If I like it enough, I'll grant it “Time Extended” coverage until I feel satisfied that I've uncovered all that it has to offer. Today, my Time Extended with DOTA 2 comes to an end.
Features
Wed, Dec 11, 2013
Lewis B
Dota2

If you haven't been following this new feature, you can find the first and previous entries at the bottom of this page. In simple terms, I play a game I have never played before over a 24 hour period. If I like it enough, I'll grant it “Time Extended” coverage until I feel satisfied that I've uncovered all that it has to offer. This week my Time Extended is still continuing with DOTA 2 though I sense it could be coming to an end...

My greatest concern when first playing DOTA 2 was the confusion as to how Valve can possibly balance a game with dozens of unique Heros. Considering massively multiplayer games tend to struggle in the balance department with only a handful of classes, in such a competitive game as this it seems odd that Hero numbers continue to grow.

Features
Wed, Dec 11, 2013
Lewis B
Dota2

I joined some friends in DOTA 2 this evening. Bots are generally fine though a little twitchy, but unfortunately I don't imagine they give you a buzz like you'd get from killing or being killed by a real player (while being abused by team mates of course). This evening then, I joined a couple of friends for a few games of random drought to really see what all the fuss is about. 

Features
Sun, Dec 08, 2013
Lewis B

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