Posted by FreezyFrog (120 posts) -

My friends are into League of Legends, their mostly PC gamers who play LoL religiously alongside the occasional MMO or PC game. Over the past few months they've tried time and time again to convince me to jump onto the PC bandwagon and join them in their nightly sessions of LoL. I was tempted so much so that I looked into building a gaming PC and even put together a basic idea of what components and parts I'd need for the rig. But before investing the money I thought I'd better give PC gaming a try, at least for a week, to ensure I at least enjoy gaming on the platform. Rather than League though I decided to give DOTA 2 a try, I find the hero purchasing of LoL off-putting and was more drawn to DOTA for some particular reason. So I installed DOTA 2 last week and today I uninstalled the game.

It's not that I didn't enjoy the game, far from it, I spent 14 hours according to Steam playing the game in the last week. I achieved 6 victories, 4 defeats, found one or two characters whose role I liked, learnt some basic MOBA strategy, avoided the trolls who plague the genre and discovered I hate playing as Zeus. So now you might be wondering why uninstall the game? In short, I do not want a game this complex and addicting that is as large a time investment per game as a MOBA in my life.

DOTA is not a simple game. It's a game that you must learn, research and practice if you truly wish to succeed. It takes time something I discovered having spent only a week with the game. Sure I only played 10 matches but I also spent time researching characters and strategies and watching players better than I playing the game in order to improve my skills with the handful of characters I'd tried and taken a liking to. On top of that there's also the item shops and the crafting which is strategy all within itself, once more research is required on when and what to buy with each specific character or role. Even having gained knowledge on which items to purchase with each character and role you still must consider team and character selection and then level, money and skill management within the game. Granted it becomes more streamlined over time as you become more and more experienced and familiar with the game but it's overwhelming and jarring for beginners. With the only method of streamlining the process being to research, practice and experiment the hours just keep on adding up and even then it's likely that your only experienced with a handful of characters.

It's also a very addictive, no thanks to Valve and their meta-game of items, markets, leveling up and random item drops. Your always encouraged to play one more game be it in hopes of obtaining that random rare drop, in order to level up or even just to see that new item equipped to your favorite character. It's an addictive game built within an addictive game with the azure of selling items for money to either reinvest in the game or purchasing other games, which would be fine if a match lasted 10 or 15 minutes but they don't. Your average match might last 45 minutes and simply sitting down to play a few matches can destroy an entire evening of gaming. Play a handful of Street Fighter matches, put another hour into that RPG and finish off with a game of Halo or play 3 (maybe 4 if one was quick) games of DOTA.

The truth is that I loved my time with DOTA 2. I understand how people can delve deep into the genre and believe that I've gained an appreciation for the genre as a whole. It's a great game but when I consider the time required to play the game, the other games that I want to play and invest lots of time in and the direction that my life is heading (I'm about to enter the first year of university this September) I can regrettably say that DOTA is a game just not one that I want to play.

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Currently playing:

#1 Posted by TobbRobb (4852 posts) -

@skrunch: Yeah this is something I've been thinking of as well. Though I came to the conclusion that I would play less other games and put more times into moba instead. It's one of the more fulfilling ways to spend gaming time for me. "Hopefully not an excuse for hopeless addiction". But if you value other games highly, get out while you still can. The genre takes a grip and doesn't let go easily.

#2 Posted by ottoman673 (578 posts) -

It seems like there've been a few of these topics lately, and I've been interested in trying DOTA again as well. I'd played a few matches, watched a few of Brad's streams, but uninstalled it because at the time I had a lot going on and it seemed a bit overwhelming.

I reinstalled a couple days ago and have struggled, once again. The community is just so toxic.. I'm not sure if the game properly surfaces what level you are/how much you've played, but as a new player you need to learn. Most players first bit of advice to me is that I'll suck at it, and I do, and that's fine... But I'm not okay with a bunch of keyboard warriors screaming at me at the end of a match because my k/d was negative, or my laning process wasn't perfect, or I did such and such wrong, etc. I'd never had this problem when playing league, however, and that's why I just can't get into DOTA.

people have suggested bot matches, and those are fine for learning how abilities work, but the bots in MOBAs don't accurately recreate player activity (jungling, ganking, split pushes, etc.) So it's almost tough to learn to play in that fashion as well.

It sucks, because everything about DOTA looks totally cool, but the community makes me not want to play.

#3 Posted by Corevi (5096 posts) -

@ottoman673: Play with some duders, there's a GiantBomb chat channel where you can easily get a 5 stack.

#4 Edited by Midjet (136 posts) -

I don't understand the complaint about the community honestly, you should only be playing with friendly people on your team, or mostly friends if you can't wrangle up enough people from the Giant Bomb chat. There are a ton of groups out there devoted to connecting new players so they don't have to deal with the dregs of the player base. Not just that but you need to make liberal use of the mute button. Ignore people as soon as they say a single assholish thing (even if they're right). Hair trigger on your ignore makes the game go from unbearable with randoms to almost okay with randoms.

Your concerns with the matchmaking are pretty fair, I think its very difficult for Valve to know if you're a new player or just a smurf, the matchmaking though just gets better and better as you play because of it constantly re-calibrating with a larger data set.

I don't think you need to play dota a lot to enjoy it, it's just that you probably will 'cause the hooks sink in deep.

@ottoman673

Please check out the Welcome to Dota, You Suck guide, it was my jumping off point and boy was it helpful. If that's not enough check out the threads where people are offering coaching or looking for newer players to play with. Having someone learn the game along with you, or teach you is a massive boon and can make it go from a month to get comfortable with the game to a week.

#5 Edited by FreezyFrog (120 posts) -

@tobbrobb: I'm glad I'm getting out while I still can and so can focus on the other games that I want to invest time in.

#6 Posted by TobbRobb (4852 posts) -

@ottoman673: I'm not sure if it helps or not, but from what I've seen, the loudest players are often not good at the game. Some of the time you might even get yelled at for something they perceive as wrong, but is actually right.... Just don't take it to heart I guess. The mute function is there for a reason.

#7 Posted by Jazz (2322 posts) -

Will this be me in a week? I hope not.

Great read..I can see the time sink factor being a big problem given how long the matches are. Have yet to have any negative community problems because..well I'm learning with bots first.

Online
#8 Posted by Hone_McBone (184 posts) -

@tobbrobb At least now you're probably at a decent knowledge level to enjoy the international.

#9 Posted by TobbRobb (4852 posts) -

@hone_mcbone: I'd hope so considering the time I've put into it. :P (Thousand hours, 2 years)

#10 Posted by jayc4life (132 posts) -

I've only really started playing semi-seriously since the start of the International 4 qualifiers, and I'm sort of in the same way. There's a ton of games in my backlog that I want to try to get through before the year's done, or at least before AAA primetime rolls round again (or the GTA V PC release, whichever's first) - but I can't get DOTA out of my head. It's got the hooks in deep, but what's putting me off is that, while I started off with the Compendium, and getting tons of XP boosters, I'm at Level 10 now, with a 50% win rate after 44 games played, and I'm getting put in matchmaking against people who've played 400+, and in no situation is that fair and balanced. It's starting to put me off a game that I sort of do want to invest the time to get to know it, and it's a shame.

Thing is, having some trust issues makes it sort of hard for me to want to jump in on people on the GB chat channel's "lf mm" requests, because they've always played far more than I have, and even though they come carrying the flag of a place that I love, there's no guarantees that they're gonna be the same people that'll flame you out for every and no reason at the same time that you get in solo matchmaking.

I watched most of ESL One the other weekend, and I can sit around and watch DOTA till the cows come home, but having those one or two matches where it all goes wrong always makes me just want to rage-uninstall, and I can't ever bring myself to do it. I have to keep reminding myself that videogames are supposed to be my stress relief, and not my stress cause, which is what DOTA does more often than not.

#11 Edited by Hone_McBone (184 posts) -
#12 Edited by chiablo (1000 posts) -

Chiablo's basic rules for new players:

1. Get a microphone, if you don't already have one, and use it. It's particularly important as a new player to be able to ask questions and get immediate feedback. Even something as simple as "Where would you guys like to have wards placed?" and getting a ping back, showing you where.

2. Play through the tutorial in it's entirety. The last stage is to play 10 games using a limited hero pool with other new players. Don't feel bad about feeding or screwing up so badly that you lost the game for the whole team... this is how you learn. Getting experience in-game is the only way to get better.

3. Join the GiantBomb channel and say you are a new player looking for "LL MM" (Low Level MatchMaking). A good 80% of my friends list consists of awesome Duders that I met on the GB channel. Even if you're not a spectacular player (yet), being friendly will help build a core group of friends to play and learn with. You should avoid playing solo if at all possible, this is where the toxic players reside.

Extra homework: This video series is spectacular and probably the best introduction I've found: DotA Adademy.

I usually disourage people from watching videos from Purge or other pro-gamers because you will get inundated with terms and acronyms that won't make any sense until you have a few dozen games under your belt. Alternatively, watch some of the early Daily DotA videos... seeing Brad evolve from a really bad DotA player to an almost-competent one is what gave me the courage to dive into DotA.

If you want some coaching, feel free to add me on Steam and ask for help: http://steamcommunity.com/id/chiablo/. I'm not the greatest player in the world, but I'm friendly.

#13 Posted by FreezyFrog (120 posts) -

@hone_mcbone: I guessed when I originally saw your comment and yes I can safely say that I've gained an appreciation and understanding of the game that will make watching the tournament much more interesting than it would have otherwise been.

#14 Posted by Crysack (348 posts) -

It seems like there've been a few of these topics lately, and I've been interested in trying DOTA again as well. I'd played a few matches, watched a few of Brad's streams, but uninstalled it because at the time I had a lot going on and it seemed a bit overwhelming.

I reinstalled a couple days ago and have struggled, once again. The community is just so toxic.. I'm not sure if the game properly surfaces what level you are/how much you've played, but as a new player you need to learn. Most players first bit of advice to me is that I'll suck at it, and I do, and that's fine... But I'm not okay with a bunch of keyboard warriors screaming at me at the end of a match because my k/d was negative, or my laning process wasn't perfect, or I did such and such wrong, etc. I'd never had this problem when playing league, however, and that's why I just can't get into DOTA.

people have suggested bot matches, and those are fine for learning how abilities work, but the bots in MOBAs don't accurately recreate player activity (jungling, ganking, split pushes, etc.) So it's almost tough to learn to play in that fashion as well.

It sucks, because everything about DOTA looks totally cool, but the community makes me not want to play.

The community is awful, I agree. The best way to play DotA is exactly as Brad does it - find a group of friendly people who have a similar skill level to yourself and just 5 stack. If you actually want to learn the game, it's worth finding someone local who understands the game to teach you. That way, you can play a couple of games in the safe lane, using an easy hero like SK or Sven while your experienced buddy supports and explains things as you go.

#15 Posted by Dizzyhippos (1575 posts) -

I honestly dont have as much of a problem with the Dota community as most people seem to (granted I have been playing since '06 so I may be a bit numb to it, or my time with LoL might of made me realize it could be much worse). But ya Dota isn't for everyone but at least you tired it and can state why you don't want to play it which is more then you can say for most people that don't like it.

I think the biggest problem most people have going into it though is they think of it as a video game, which by definition it is but when you really start to dig into the strategy or current meta game you quickly find out its much more like Football or a similar sport. There are hundreds of things going on at any given moment and sometimes its just impossible to keep track of even if you have been playing for 8+ years.