- Release Date: 2012
- Publisher: Blizzard
- Developer: Blizzard
- Genre: Strategy
Blizzard DOTA is a multiplayer-based competitive game for StarCraft II, and it is inspired by the Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) custom map for Warcraft III. The game, universally accepted as blizzard’s brand, is now becoming Valve’s trademark DOTA. According to our earlier report, Valve will roll out its DOTA 2 in 2012.
In May 12, 2012, Blizzard DOTA was officially changed to Blizzard All-Stars under a dispute resolution over the trademark of Dota 2 and Blizzard Dota. Blizzard All-Stars will be a free to play stand-alone MOBA.
Dota 2 and Blizzard Dota are quite different games, and Blizzard made a number of changes to its DOTA. Blizzard seems to be trying to make games simpler, shorter and more fast-paced. The towers have ammunition that can run out and the creeps attack towers before heroes and other creeps. So the towers are designed to fall quickly. This also keeps teams from doing TOO much ganking, as exposed towers are much more vulnerable. Blizzard’s game will also have fewer items, and heroes can carry fewer items, a major simplification. IceFrog, currently employed by Valve Corporation as the lead designer for Dota 2, is helping to make Dota 2, an independent client for the exact same game.
I remember the first announcement of Blizzard DotA was made at BlizzCon 2010. After a whole silent year, it finally once again came into the public view, still at BlizzCon event, catching the eyes of MOBA fans immediately. At the very convention, we saw a debut trailer of it, learned certain particulars about contents, and even tried a few matches. Here I’d like to voice pieces of thoughts based on my own experience and impression on it.
Far from being an experienced player, I know no more about MOBA than the basic gameplay. We need to send off heroes to fight all the way until destroying enemy’s camp; and to that end we have to eliminate the turrets beside the lanes, kill endless waves of minions, battle monsters in the bush and finally defeat the rival champions. Besides, it’s almost impossible to fight alone, and cooperative teamwork is a must.
Basically, Blizzard DotA follows the established format. And the very first thing to do is to create heroes. In the game, 12 champions are offered and categorized into four classes, that is, Kerrigan, Nova and Zeratul for DPS, Arthas, Muradin and Stitches for side tank, Warfield, Witch Doctor and Zagara on the seat and Tassadar, Thrall and Uther as support. An all-star cast of the Blizzard universe, quite cool, right? And the user interface is clear and crispy, directly conveying the needed information. Just take the character creation scene for instance. It has the 12 champion icons listed on the left side, three in a row, leaving the rest to the demonstration of larger images.
Choosing the champion of Stitches, I set off with four other players as a team, starting our adventurous journey. The map we entered was typical in terms of layout: several lanes lied ahead, flanked by turrets here and there; and bushy jungle scattered around with neutral monsters lurking inside. After choosing one lane, we thrust into fight immediately, taking down defensive towers, seizing monster camps, and killing creep minions and enemy heroes. Fighting all the way, I felt a great sensation to see my own champion excising different skills, such as the Shockwave to inflict damage with a dazzling cone-shaped effects or the Hook to hilariously pull enemies near. It’s great fun even when I fight alone, needless to mention when there are teammates covering your back. Maybe that’s what the moment-to-moment battle is really like.
During fights, I noticed something different about Blizzard DotA from other MOBA games like the League of Legends.
First of all, you don’t have to really hit an enemy minion to earn gold. Only if you are nearby when an enemy minion die can you get a certain allocation of the rewards, which is equally split to all present allies there. So the last-hitting doesn’t get you more gold; rewards like magic ball to help recover HP and MP will be given though. Then, another difference lies in the monster design. To capture the monster camps in the jungle will supply new minions to our side. And that’s not all. Monsters defeated won’t die but convert to your helpers in fight. Moreover, compared with the various challenging monsters (some of which can not be knocked down by one single player), turrets are relatively easier to demolish, with limited amount of ammunition to them, especially in prolonged siege. In fact each round of match is quite short, no more than 25 minutes at most, which all the more intensifies the fierceness of combat.
Under the slogan of “Hardcore game for everyone”, Blizzard DotA is easy to learn but hard to master. Personally not a hardcore player at all, I was ill at ease to head into the game in the beginning. But the informative interface and engaging play immersed me soon. Besides, both heroes and items are designed concisely, without the usual long lists of ability or attribute description. To speak of the item design, the game also breaks loose from the standard format of MOBA by simplifying the enormous items into two main categories of items: statistic boosting and specialty. Of course, another innovation in the game that cannot be missed is the mount system, which not only shortens the travel time but also makes my champion more handsome.
The release data of Blizzard DotA is not confirmed; nor is its release channel. While it is originally developed to be an internal mod of StarCraft 2, players of StarCraft 2 should surely be able to access to it. Yet the developer also promised to offer a free-to-play version for all, even those who don’t own StarCraft 2. Only that how such schedule is going to be carried out is not figured out. According to Blizzard’s common practice of publicity, it’s hopeful that its beta information will hit the market soon.
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