Although I haven’t played Dota 2 as much as I would have liked, I really enjoy the time I spend with the game. The first version of Dota (known as Defense of the Ancients) was released as a modification for Warcraft III over ten years ago and the mod was so big, that it quickly surpassed the game it modified in terms of popularity. To celebrate the fact that we’ve had Dota for over a decade, I decided to work on a list with some of the features that make the game so popular and great. Of course, if you have ideas, make sure you share them in the comments below.
There’s always new content
Developer Valve releases new heroes, modes, balance patches, maps, special events and workshop items fairly often. So even if you haven’t had a chance to play Dota 2 in a few weeks or months, as soon as you launch the game, you’ll realize that there’s something new to discover. Dota 2 is one of those rare game’s that’s constantly evolving and most of the changes and additions aren’t just cosmetic, but decisions that affect the way in which you play the game.
Although there are a lot of MOBA games to choose from, it all comes down to the gameplay. Luckily, Dota 2 delivers in this particular aspect. The game’s extremely intimidating at first, but as you play matches, watch live tournaments, read blog posts and so on, you’ll learn more about the game. And once you are able to apply all that knowledge, there’s a sense of satisfaction that not a lot of games offer.
Runs on modest hardware
I know a lot of people will probably disagree with this, but bear with me. Most of the times, I’m playing Dota 2 on my laptop and even though the game doesn’t run as well as I’d like it to (I had to sacrifice some special effects in favor of better performance) I can play a few matches without hiccups. So if you want to buy a computer exclusively to play Dota 2, an integrated graphics card will do the job. At least for the foreseeable future.
There are thousands of people to play with
Dota 2 is an extremely popular game and I always find people to play with. Additionally, I always find people with a similar skill level and that doesn’t happen with most games. The servers are populated by a large and dedicated playerbase and not only can you play with or against them, but you can also watch other people play to improve how you play.
Variety of modes
I’m constantly surprised by the amount of content the game offers. Basically, as you progress through the game, you level up and the higher your level, the more modes you unlock. Modes include All Pick, Single Draft, Random Draft, All Random, Captain’s Mode, Captain’s Draft, Least Played, Limited Heroes, Ability Draft and the list goes on and on.
The game’s changing constantly
So do you think you’ve mastered a hero? The latest patch has changed the way in which that hero attacks and you have to learn everything again. Wait… the lake in the middle of the map is frozen? For the next couple of weeks, Dota 2 is a completely different game. What do you mean Roshan is stronger? You better come up with some new strategies to defeat him.
Dozens of heroes to choose from
As of this article, there are over 100 heroes to choose from and a few are expected to be introduced later this year. Taking into account that each of those heroes has different statistics, abilities and attributes, the game suddenly becomes more strategic. On top of that, you need to take into account how those heroes complement the playstyle of other players in your team and how to counter the playstyle of opponents.
I’ve been interested in video game tournaments for years and I’ve never seen anything similar to The International. As its name suggests, the top teams from all over the world compete in a multi-purpose arena to see who’s the best. The International 4 became extremely popular for rising a prize pool of over $10 million and the Dota 2 team who wins the tournament will be making more money than most soccer, football, golf and basketball players. Additionally, one of my favorite parts about The International is that you can watch it using the the game client and that’s much faster than using Twitch or any other livestream.
It’s completely free
Although there are microtransactions (Dota 2 is a free-to-play game after all,) you don’t have to pay anything to enjoy the game. In fact, I’ve played the game for dozens of hours and I’ve never felt the need to spend a cent. The microtransactions come in the form of cosmetic changes (such as costumes for the heroes, announcer packs, HUDs or loading screens) and most of them are really well designed.