The Dota 2 Diaries: Introduction to Dota 2

Dota 2 (Roshan)

As part of my new year’s resolution, I recently started playing Dota 2 for the purposes of review. But since the review is going to take a while, I wanted to do something related to the game. So I decided to start working on a new feature: the Dota 2 Diaries.

As soon as I started playing the game, I felt intimidated. Although Dota 2’s concept is simple enough, there are convoluted mechanics and complex gameplay elements. On top of that, the steep learning curve and a hostile community makes Dota 2 extra hard. But at the same time, this is one of the most gratifying games I’ve ever played and as soon as I started getting good at the game everything that I went through felt like it was worth it.

So I decided to work on an article that focuses on the game’s basics. Since this is the introduction, I focused on some of the game’s most essential aspects, so while most experienced players are probably familiar with everything introduced here, more complex mechanics will be introduced in subsequent posts. In the meantime, let me know what you think about The Dota 2 Diaries in the comments.

What is Dota 2?

Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA for short) and sequel to Defense of the Ancients, a popular modification for Warcraft III. Originally released on July 9th, 2013 as a free-to-play title, Dota 2 quickly became one of the most popular video games in the world and as of this writing, almost 300,000 players are playing at the same time. Dota 2 is available on Steam for PC, Mac and Linux.

What do you do on Dota 2?

In the game, two teams of up to five players each control a half of the map (the teams are called Radiant and Dire.) Players assume the role of heroes who can level up, earn gold, perform special abilities and attack creeps and enemy heroes. Each side of the map contains a structure known as the Ancient. As soon as a team destroys the opposing team’s ancient, they win the match. But the Ancient is surrounded by defensive towers that attack nearby enemies.

Apart from the aforementioned characters and structures, there are neutral monsters that are hidden in the forest and a “boss” known as Roshan. After dying, Roshan drops some of the best items in the game and killing him can change the way in which the rest of the game develops.

Dota 2 (Push Mid)

What do I need to play Dota 2?

Below you’ll find the minimum system requirements for each platform courtesy of Steam.

PC System Requirements

Minimum:
OS: Windows 7
Processor: Dual core from Intel or AMD at 2.8 GHz
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: nVidia GeForce 8600/9600GT, ATI/AMD Radeon HD2600/3600
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Hard Drive: 8 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX Compatible

Mac System Requirements

Minimum:
OS: OS X Lion 10.7
Processor: Dual core from Intel
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: nVidia 320M or higher, or Radeon 7000 or higher, or Intel HD 3000 or higher
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Hard Drive: 8 GB available space

Linux System Requirements

Minimum:
OS: Ubuntu 12.04
Processor: Dual core from Intel or AMD at 2.8 GHz
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: nVidia GeForce 8600/9600GT, ATI/AMD Radeaon HD2600/3600 (Graphic Drivers: nVidia 310, AMD 12.11), OpenGL 2.1
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Hard Drive: 8 GB available space
Sound Card: OpenAL Compatible Sound Card

Where can I download Dota 2?

The game’s available on Steam as a free download.

Dota 2 (Push Mid)

How long are Dota 2 matches?

Usually, the length of individual matches depends on multiple variables. I’ve played matches of 20 minutes and matches of 60 minutes, but their length is hard to predict. Of course, playing with people you know represents an advantage in this regard, since each member of the team can select their heroes to fulfill specific roles, so you maximize your chances of winning (and doing it faster.) Nevertheless, if you’re going to play Dota 2, do it when you have some free time on your hands.

Do you know any games that are similar to Dota 2?

Actually, I do. I recently worked on a post that focuses on games that are similar to Dota 2.


Other resources:

On upcoming articles, I’ll focus on microtransactions, basic mechanics, items, types of heroes, game modes and more. If you want something specific on subsequent articles, please mention it in the comments below.