Entertainment

Which DotA game is right for you?

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It's not easy to find a game in the emerging genre of Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas or DotA-Likes or Tactical Multiplayer Combat games or whatever kind of stupid phrase you want to prefer.  The only similarlity to all of these games is that they are 5v5 competitions that have you controlling one hero.  Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, some being more obvious than others.

Defense of the Ancients - WarCraft III Custom Map

Pros
- Ridiculously diverse hero selection, with new ones being added often.
- Easily the most established community, with virtually every aspect of the game that you might have questions about being only a google search away.
- Lots of modes to keep things varied and interesting.

Cons
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Zero matchmaking, which leads to a lot of stacked teams and unfair matchups.  This leads to a lot of leaving mid-game, which is virtually unpunishable without third party tools.
- Possibly the hardest learning curve of all of the games to get into from scratch at this point.
- Ugly by today's standards, and isn't even widescreen compatible without some third party help due to the limitations of the WarCraft III engine.

Heroes of Newerth

Pros
Has support for reconnecting after a disconnect, observers, and fantastic replay support.
- Is basically DotA in a superior engine, allowing them to create some heroes that break the mold, and provide superior graphics.
- Matchmaking generally pits you with people of similar skill.

Cons
- Ugly community, with some of the most elitist players around.  This can be a major turn-off to some.
- A high price tag for what was once a free custom map to begin with ($30)
- Flashy gameplay can be confusing to some when team fights break out.

League of Legends

Pros
- It's free!
- Matchmaking is in, reconnecting is in.  There are multiple queues to line up for depending on how serious of a game you want.
- A lot of DotA standards are out--mages scale with items, cooldowns are very low, and it's very difficult for a hero to 'carry' the entire team unlike the others.

Cons
Smurfing is common place (creating a new name to mess with newbies)
- Terrible 'power creep'.  A lot of the new heroes simply replace the old ones in terms of usefulness and strength.
- It might as well not be free.  You have to earn the right to play as the heroes that aren't free each week, greatly limiting new players.
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