Thursday, November 20, 2008

What is Dota?

Defense of the Ancients is a custom scenario for Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. The objective of the scenario is to destroy the opponents' "Ancient". The two teams' ancients are heavily guarded structures at opposing corners of the map. Players use powerful units known as heroes, and are assisted by allied heroes and AI-controlled fighters called "creeps". As in RPG's, players level up their hero and use gold to buy equipment during the mission.

Defense of the Ancients pits two teams of players against each other: the Sentinel and the Scourge. Each base is defended by towers and waves of units which guard the main paths leading to their base. In the center of each base is the "Ancient", a building that must be destroyed to win the game.

Each human player controls one Hero, a powerful unit with unique abilities. In Allstars, players on each side choose one of ninety-one heroes, each with different abilities and tactical advantages over other heroes. The scenario is highly team-oriented; it is difficult for one player to carry the team to victory alone. Nevertheless, some heroes, given enough time, can change the outcome single-handedly, while countering the opposing team's heroes. Defense of the Ancients allows up to ten players in a five versus five format and an additional two slots for referees or observers, often with an equal number of players on each side.

Because the gameplay revolves around strengthening individual heroes, it does not require one to focus on resource management and base-building, as in most traditional RTS games. Killing computer-controlled units earns the player experience points; when enough experience is accumulated, the player gains a level. Leveling up improves the hero's toughness and the damage it can inflict, and allows players to upgrade their spells or skills. In addition to accumulating experience, players also manage a single resource: gold. The typical resource gathering of Warcraft III is replaced by a combat-oriented money system; in addition to a small periodic income, heroes earn gold by killing hostile units, base structures, and enemy heroes. Using gold, players buy items to strengthen their hero and gain abilities. Certain items can be combined with recipes to create more powerful items. Buying items that suit one's hero is an important tactical element of the scenario.

Allstars offers a variety of game modes, selected by the game host at the beginning of the match. The game modes dictate the difficulty of the scenario, as well as whether people can choose their hero or are assigned one randomly. Many game modes can be combined (for example, an easy difficulty level and a random hero pick), allowing more flexible options.

In June 2008, Michael Walbridge, writing for Gamasutra, stated that DotA "is likely the most popular and most-discussed free, non-supported game mod in the world". In pointing to the strong community built around the game, Walbridge stated that DotA shows it is much easier for a community game to be maintained by the community, and this is one of the maps' greatest strengths. Defense of the Ancients has been credited as one of the influences for the upcoming Gas Powered Games title Demigod, with the video game publication GameSpy noting the game's premise revolved around aspiring gods "[playing] DotA in real life".

Post edited courtesy of Wikipedia.

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