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How DoTA Has Affected the MMO Market

  • Date: 06-26-2010 Views:

    KeyWords: Defense of the Ancients,DoTA,MMO Market,World Cyber Games,Blizzard Entertainment,LOCO,Avalon Heroes

  • Summary: Defense of the Ancients, better known as DOTA, is a custom scenario for WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos and WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne. The game was originally by "Eul", who based the scenario off of the "Aeon of Strife" Starcraft map. More popular than the original DOTA is DOTA: AllStars. DOTA: AllStars is a highly successful game.

Michael Fuchs

How Defense of the Ancients Has Affected the MMO Market

By Michael Fuchs
Michael Fuchs has been playing MMOs for over 8 years. He has a strong passion for the competitive side of video games. Besides video games, his passions include reading, writing, and roleplaying. He currently attends the University of Wisconsin - Waukesha for a degree in Communications.

Defense of the Ancients, better known as DOTA, is a custom scenario for WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos and WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne. The game was originally by "Eul", who based the scenario off of the "Aeon of Strife" Starcraft map. More popular than the original DOTA is DOTA: AllStars. DOTA: AllStars is a highly successful game. It has become a feature of many worldwide tournaments such as Blizzard Entertainment's BlizzCon and the Asian World Cyber Games. The game is largely considered to be a well-established E-Sport, with tournaments that hold large cash prizes for the winner.

Now, many years after the original DOTA, the genre is picking up speed, with many DOTA themed games being released. This is having a great effect on the competitive gaming MMO market, and I believe it to be for the better.

What Makes a Game Part of the DOTA Family

Before I can tell you why this is, it is important to establish what a DOTA themed game is, compared to a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game. MOBAs are often confused with DOTA themed games, and they are completely separate genres.

For a game to hold the DOTA themed title, they all must have certain characteristics:

  • Players must each control one individual champion (at a time)
  • On the map/playing field, there must be (at least) two teams facing off against each other
  • The goal of the game is to destroy the opposing team's base
  • Along the way to this base, there are towers that your team must destroy. They cannot harm the base until these towers are destroyed
  • To help players push their "lane" (the path that leads to the towers and base), there are "creeps" present.
  • As players kill creeps, they gain both gold and experience
  • As players play their match, they will level up, allowing their hero to grow and learn/level up a skill per level (There is a level cap around 18)
  • Items can be bought which help to make your hero stronger
  • Once a game is over, you may start a new game, but your hero you chose starts at level 1 again (Games are session-based)

While there are many other features that make a game DOTA themed, these are the main ones. Popular games that fit this mold are Riot Games' League of Legends, S2's Heroes of Newerth, WeMade Entertainment's Avalon Heroes (called Avalon Online in Asia), and Danal Entertainment's LOCO.

MOBAs, on the other hand, usually pit teams of players against each other. And while they may hold feature #1, #2, and (maybe) #8 and #9, they don't fit the DOTA model. This does not mean they are thought of any less of an E-Sport. For instance, IO Entertainment's Lost Saga recently held a tournament for the World Cyber Games.


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