Learning by Comparison: Lol vs Dota 2: The Finale

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Posted by Jazz (2365 posts) -

Okay disclaimer time:

If you want deep comparisons, you'll not find them here.

If you want anything but my own personal opinions, you'll not find it here.

If you want to be a dick..that's up to you, but it would be pointless.

I have a terrible sense of humour, you have been warned.

Steam ID is Jazz and my LoL ID is JazzGB or Ahriman Efreet

Gunslingerpanda's Twitch Stream - link

Lolking link to my profile - link

Dota2 profile on DOTABuff - link

Week 1 can be found here

Week 2 can be found here

Week 3 can be found here

Week 4 can be found here

Week 5 can be found here

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So..here we are. The end of a month (ish) of me trying to learn what the hell I'm doing in both Dota and League. I'm going to use this final blog, in the current series, as a retrospective. So let's get started:

  • Starting either of these games without any background was probably not the best idea. It's probably unsurprising that League became my defacto game due to it's relative simplicity. I emphasise 'relative' as it's still kicking my arse just trying to learn the little quirks it has.
  • Thinking back on it now I reckon it was probably a bad idea to call this blog League vs Dota as it's kind of a false equivalence and ever so mildly clickbaity...which was not really my intention. This blog has always been about trying to learn these games with the help of the local GB community while also laughing at my inability to click properly.
  • I cannot thank you guys enough for making it such a joy to write these blogs and generally messing around on League or Dota with a couple of you. Audience participation, as it were, makes or breaks these kinds of things..so, cheers.
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  • So here's probably the first Podcast of the tentatively titled series 'Learning League': Episode 1 - League of Space Puppies.
  • Joining me are Adam (Gunslingerpanda) and Chris (TBK) for a rather all over the place discussion of League, Dota, Warframe? and how much my animals hate me. I apologise for the audio - hopefully it will be fixed soon. edit: Embed fail.

You can download the mp3 here if you would wish. Any criticism must start with 'It doesn't sound like Feline Coitus but....' I'll also look into setting up an account for emails.

On to my very general thoughts about both games so far:

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  • Starting with Dota2 - damn this is an intimidating game. I've been vocal about the fact that I'm not a fan of the hero design in the game and that hasn't changed.
  • I also really don't like multiple shops and the fact you have to buy teleport scrolls. I guess B has spoiled me.
  • However I do like that due to it's rts roots Dota has a lot more in the way of lane mechanics than League. Denying via direct attacks on your own minions/towers is a far more interesting than just zoning the other team.
  • I'm currently ambivalent about the items in Dota. Adam (Panda) made a very valid point in the podcast about items in Dota taking on the properties of runes and summoner spells in League. He may very well be right about how this gives a greater amount of customisation in Dota rather than being locked in once you start a game in League. I don't think I've played enough games in either to make my own mind up about that.
  • Minor things but I really dislike the range of the towers and the fact you can miss attacks on an incline against a stationary object. Minor things but annoying to me.
  • As far as playing heroes goes - in Dota I'm fond of Huskar, Crystal Maiden and Windrunner..and that's about it. In time I'll probably find more but as I've said they generally just don't appeal to me.
  • Speaking of which Luna and Bane..especially Bane..are on the troll list. There was a point where I thought a valve employee had taken control of the Bane bot just to troll Panda. It was uncanny.
  • I really like the UI design and the general 'Valve Polish' of Dota compared to League..but then again I think even Riot prefer it as well. Also replays.

The fact that Steam absolutely refused to work for two weeks on my laptop did rather put a massive bullet in the head of me trying to play Dota for these blogs, but I think it probably worked out well in the end and to be honest there's more than enough Dota love on this website as it is..Don't get me wrong, I like Dota quite a bit..just not as much as I like League.

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  • Let's start with what I don't like about League. Ignoring the general public that play the game..I really don't like how the meta works. What I mean by that is due to the way the game has been tweaked I HAVE to take Flash apparently. Yes, I know..this is me beating a dead horse..but it's a symptom of a wider problem which has only really just become apparent to me (I'm slow like that). I don't like having the choice taken away from me - especially when I'm given a choice of spells that look like they'd actually have more utility than just escape or initiation. I don't mind being taught how to play a game but I don't like being told I HAVE to do something just because everyone else does. Childish..probably. This is where Dota's itemisation seems to give more choice and thus more options to play where you want and how you want. Eh, I probably didn't explain that very well but I hope you get the drift.
  • MID TOP MID I'M FIRST - seriously EUW? Sort that shit out please.
  • I've mentioned that I prefer denying to zoning, but I'm relatively happy with the lane phase (laning? Laneing? I dunno) in League.
  • I suppose the rest of my issues stem from the people who play League rather than the game itself. People barely ever ping (ss without saying which lane as well) and nearly nobody wards..ever. Playing support I do my best to try both but the frustration levels..ergh. It's worse of course when I'm not support - then there's nobody to do it.
  • Blaming other people for being shit and then wanting to surrender while everyone is in the middle of a team fight, so that bloody popup obscures what's going on and you die...happens all the time.
  • Surrendering is another thing I'm rather dubious of..learning to lose properly is generally as important as learning to win. Sure it saves time but..stop being a pussy and learn to lose.
  • I think my hatred for Blitzcrank..especially when he's on my team..is legendary by now. Yi is pretty close up there but I swear to god, if you play Blitzu on the team I'm on I will mute you and actively let you die because 9/10 you will be the one fucking us over. I apologise greatly to 1/10 who can actually play him.
  • Again it's widely recorded that I adore Lissandra, Lux, Morgana and I'm fond of Fiddlesticks. I'm not sure if it's the skillshots of these characters..it's certainly not the dumbass designs of the women..that leads me to enjoy playing them as much as I do. I think they all have decent CC abilities and when item'd up they can wreck all sorts of hell on the other team..Liss, especially, because generally people have no idea how to handle her at my level. I've never seen anyone play her apart from me.
  • I'm actually a big fan of the drip feed of Champions and the rotation aspect. I feel more attached to the champions I have purely because I earned them..sure I bought one and grind..grounded? the rest but it's given me the opportunity to become more familiar with my small circle available to me. Sometimes, at least in my opinion, too much choice can be a bad thing. Rengar should come up on sale tomorrow...hype.
  • Though I probably should have mentioned this earlier..having a new computer (thus not running at 29fps all the time) was made possible by my desire to play League (and Dragon Age 3) and to get better at it. It's lead me to actually become part of the 'PC Master Race' that Kieron Gillen kept waffling on about.

There's probably more I could say - but I think we cover quite a bit in that podcast.

Finally Adam and I had an..interesting game of League after we finished the podcast. Unfortunately (for us) Chris had to dash so Adam and I braved the world of unranked blind pick with Liss top and Zac jungling..things didn't go to plan. It's currently being uploaded so hopefully by the time you get here it should be up.

So all that's left now is to say thanks to all of you that have stuck with me through this madness. As I've said we'll be trying something new in the coming week so please take a look once that's up.



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#1 Posted by Jazz (2365 posts) -

oh for the love of pete. HTML is not my strong point. I don't seem to be able to embed the podcast and now it's gone and messed with the formatting for some reason.

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#2 Posted by Pessh (2528 posts) -

Will check out the podcast later if you can get it working. Hope you carry on with this in some form or another since its just about the only LoL content on the site >_>

I've found pings/ss tend to get better as you get higher in level. Wards...not so much. I really dislike the rush to call positions and theres always that premade couple who insist on duolaning. Thats why I tend to stick to draft games.

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#3 Edited by Jazz (2365 posts) -

@pessh: Yeah I think we intend to keep going, just in a different form..we could do with a bit more League content but it's understandable how it gets lost underneath all the Dota love.

Also premades suck so hard.

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#4 Posted by TobbRobb (6582 posts) -


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#5 Edited by Corevi (6796 posts) -

By the way Jazz, the GB forums don't support HTML.

I think this will be the last edition of this I read since you seem to have all but given up on Dota.

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#6 Posted by viking_funeral (2881 posts) -

It's been an entertaining read.

As someone who always wanted to get into DotA himself, but ended up playing League while waiting for a beta key, it's almost disappointing that you ended up favoring League. I think that's just because it confirmed a lot of my suspicions on the differences between games, and why I'm unlikely to ever get really into DotA unless I end up with some serious free time. Oh, well.

League is still a very fun game, despite its minor flaws. It was nice to be able to talk about League on GiantBomb for a while without getting flamed. I look forward to see where you end up going from here.

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#7 Edited by Yesiamaduck (2545 posts) -

I totally agree with you on the drip feeding of champions, it forced me to pick a couple of mains early on and stick with them. At first I thought that blew but I loaded up Dota and had no idea what the hell I wanted to play, with a desire to try a new champion the moment I had a bad game with the one I just played.... where as LoL forced me to pick a pool of champions earlier and because I learnt the champions strengths/weaknesses and skill sets I was able to focus on learning the game as a whole.

I remember the days when I only had: Poppy, Kog'Maw, Ryze, Taric and Lux and whatever was on rotation, I became a god damn monster on Poppy and Kog'Maw and I eliminated the need to concentrate super hard on how to operate a champion and thats half the battle when it comes to learning this game. I also grew really fond of Kog'Maw and became incredibly attached... something Dota and its character design flat out failed on despite 30hours of play time, by that time in LoL I had a handfull of champions I wanted to buy because of their character design... with the exception of Pudge and Whisp (because Jeff keeps on mentioning him) I honestly couldn't tell you another Dota champion... well I probably could say their name but I wouldnt remember what they looked like... I think the Dota character design is significantly more generic (excluding abilities) and the general tone doesn't appeal to me nearly as much much.. but this is personal preference.

Anyways who could say no this lil void puppy ^.^

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Also I really enjoyed reading your blogs these past weeks, good work.

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#8 Posted by cloudymusic (2122 posts) -

Thanks for the entertaining blog series! I've been trying out both games myself over the past few months, going through much of the same experiences that you did. While in the end, I came out leaning a little bit more towards Dota, I'm sure I'll still fire up League from time to time whenever I need a change of pace. Your experiences have generally of echoed my own in that even though the community surrounding these games has a bad rep, it's still pretty easy to come into them with no knowledge, learn the ropes gradually, and have a lot of fun.

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#9 Posted by GunslingerPanda (5263 posts) -

The blog may be coming to an end in its current format, but we'll always have Bane.

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#10 Posted by MalibuProfen (129 posts) -

I've been following up on your journeys into the mobalands every now and then. Your writing finally forced me to try out League of Legends to experience first-hand what the game is truly like and what makes it different from Dota 2 - the game that has sucked nearly a thousand hours of my life within the past year.

I had already forgotten how much new stuff there is to learn right from the start when picking up these games. Mostly my inner knowledge base has been void of nearly all of the various heroes and their own unique abilities. Just now I played against a team with some jester dude and a viking man both of who I've never seen before in neither professional tournaments nor in these pub games. Oh well, you live and you learn.

It is not my intention to play to LoL for much longer but it has been fun to see how the game functions even if I much prefer Dota. Nevertheless, I thank you Jazz for giving me that kick to try League out.

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#11 Posted by tbk (293 posts) -
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#12 Posted by Jazz (2365 posts) -
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#13 Posted by HelicopterSpy (172 posts) -

Welp. I made an account on EUW because you seem like cool guys I'd wanna play with. I live on the east coast of the US, so the ping is actually almost identical to the NA server, maybe 10-15 ms higher, but I've somehow gotten fairly used to a 100 ms ping. It's weird to be summoner level 3 again. I know you don't like having to take flash, but damnit, I want my flash now! I only have the free champs for now, but lemme know if you're up for some games.

I'm HashtagXtraGravy on EUW

Over on NA, I'm Helicopterspy

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#14 Posted by tbk (293 posts) -

@jazz: @helicopterspy: if this carries on arranged 5's are possible, can't wait to ruin everyone's games with my abysmally bad toplane.

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#15 Posted by Slag (8157 posts) -

I enjoyed the blog series @jazz, especially from a fellow Transformer fan!

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#16 Posted by EXTomar (5047 posts) -

This was fun to read but my eyes always glazed over at the LoL chatter. :)

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#17 Edited by Jazz (2365 posts) -

@extomar: You think that's bad..I have to write the stuff. Thanks for the comments.

@slag: bah weep grana weep ninny bon. Thanks for reading.

@helicopterspy: We'll be there, come join us in the losers bracket where we troll everyone..but mostly ourselves.

@malibuprofen: And this post made my day. Thank you for reading and I'm glad that the blog led you to try out League. It never hurts to see how someone else is doing something and the tribalism between the two fan camps can be a bit extreme.

@cloudymusic: Thanks for reading and I'm glad you've enjoyed it.

@yesiamaduck: I'm glad I'm not the only one of that mindset. I'm so much more attached to my League characters.

@viking_funeral: I had to pick one and tbh Steam made that decision for me..it was one I was leaning towards anyway but..I just don't have enough time in the day to do both and it's super tiring. I'm glad that this could be a minor bastion in the Dota love this website perpetuates..heaven forbid they can exist side by side.

@corruptedevil: Well..apart from the fact this is the last blog in this series (hence Finale) and the fact Dota got left behind due to Steam not working for me for about 2/3 weeks..err, I know there's a total lack of Dota content on the site so thanks for sticking with the blog as long as you did...and for that Strife key. We'll still play Dota now and again but I think we're past the 'which one should I pick to concentrate on' phase.

@tobbrobb: Then you become..part of the problem..dun dun durrrr. It's only annoying in solo q and you solo q when you don't have anyone to play with..CAPS.

I always do replies backwards don't I? Anyway thank you all again - we'll be back soon-ish.

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#18 Edited by EXTomar (5047 posts) -

I think if there was an issue is that the LoL talk got way out "in the weeds" of specific things. It would be like talking about post after post on Rubick against a team comp should steal this instead of that unless they another thing initiates then stealing a third thing would be better. It isn't that sort of discussion isn't useless or senseless but I know that anyone who doesn't play Dota 2 that it wouldn't make a lot of sense.

No big deal. It is part of the free formed discussion style promoted on message boards.

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#19 Posted by Jazz (2365 posts) -

@extomar: In the blog posts? Well..it really was just the stuff that I was dealing with at the time of writing - as a new player I thought I should just try and cover what I was trying to understand. Fair criticism though - can you point me to an example so I can make sure to improve on that part

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#20 Posted by Galiant (2237 posts) -

Thanks for a great series. Hope you get many more hours of entertainment out of LoL!

Meanwhile, I'll keep playing Dota 2...1100 hours and change.

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#21 Posted by Slag (8157 posts) -

@jazz said:

@slag: bah weep grana weep ninny bon. Thanks for reading.

Till All are One, Noble Autobot.

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#22 Posted by GunslingerPanda (5263 posts) -

@helicopterspy: I'll be playing a bunch today to try to get the IP for Gnar, so I'll go ahead and add you.

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#23 Posted by tbk (293 posts) -
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#24 Posted by GunslingerPanda (5263 posts) -

@tbk: I'm sure I'll fit some Warframe in, too.

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#25 Posted by GunslingerPanda (5263 posts) -

If anyone was a fan of last weeks podcast, second is being recorded here.

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#26 Edited by Bollard (8163 posts) -

Tips for League:

Play Draft not Blind, most people will honour pick order and not be assholes.

Being a dick to a Blitz for playing Blitz makes you the worst piece of shit. At least try even if the other people on your team don't. Letting your teammate die on purpose just helps you lose, and the only fucking point of playing this dumb game is to win. Don't be an ass.

EDIT: That probably came across harsh. I have a weird relationship with this game. I think MOBAs are dumb and pointless yet I keep playing it on and off. I don't know why yet.

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#27 Posted by Jazz (2365 posts) -

@bollard: A tad harsh, but I feel that sarcastic vitriol doesn't come across well on the internet. I wasn't being entirely serious..I'd never leave someone high and dry like that and I just wanted to vent. I just had enough of Blitz players on MY team helping the other team. Once is fine, twice is okay but 7 of the bastards in 2 days can get to you..thus that paragraph. You do have a point though and I can't really blame you for phrasing it that way.

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#28 Posted by Bollard (8163 posts) -

@jazz said:

@bollard: A tad harsh, but I feel that sarcastic vitriol doesn't come across well on the internet. I wasn't being entirely serious..I'd never leave someone high and dry like that and I just wanted to vent. I just had enough of Blitz players on MY team helping the other team. Once is fine, twice is okay but 7 of the bastards in 2 days can get to you..thus that paragraph. You do have a point though and I can't really blame you for phrasing it that way.

I understand your pain! Venting is fun, we should do it together some time again :P

What rank did you reach in LoL anyway? I'm finally closing in on 30, so soon begins the fun of getting #rekt in ranked.

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#29 Posted by Jazz (2365 posts) -

@bollard: Currently 14 as of today..so I'm still a long way to go.

New blog will be up in the next day or so.

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#30 Posted by dusker (236 posts) -

@jazz: One of the largest arguments I've seen for DOTA over League (besides maybe the F2P models) is that DOTA has been around longer, and thus is much more balanced (which might, I guess, make it feel more fair). Can you speak to this at all after your time with both?

Full disclosure: I play DOTA. However, I started playing MOBAs with LoL (but this was before DOTA 2 was released). I just became really good at Kassadin, bought him, and laid waste to mid in almost every game, haha. This was a very long time ago, so I have no idea what's going on in LoL these days and I don't really have an opinion on how they stack up (though I do know some people at Riot).

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#31 Edited by Jazz (2365 posts) -

@dusker: It's a tough one. I don't think I've played enough Dota to really be able to say but as I learn more about both games I'm leaning on the side of Dota probably being more balanced AFTER getting used to it's quirks and how to use items. League is more forgiving of new players and Dota is just..urgh. Fairness is also difficult. Is it fair when you get hit with Rupture and have no idea how to counter it? I don't think either of the games is particularly fair but if we're talking about character balance (re Kass who seems to waiver between OP and useless depending on the patch) then Dota probably wins that one due to it's evolved nature.

While that may not really cover what you're asking it's the best answer I can give at the moment.

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#32 Posted by dusker (236 posts) -

@jazz: Thanks! It's just really difficult to get any sort of unbiased view of the games from most people who play them, and your answer is fair. I think I only recently learned that, despite there being stronger heroes in DOTA, based on where the meta is at, no one hero alone is really OP. And it was only after this realization that I started to find the game fair.

Btw, use a TP to counter Rupture, if you hadn't figured that out yet, haha.

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#33 Edited by Jazz (2365 posts) -

@dusker: Yeah it can get a little tribal. I like both games despite some of my moaning to the contrary. I feel that once you understand what each hero does, then you can see where their weaknesses are and how you can adapt.

As to rupture..you've got to remember to buy a tp scroll all the time, can't just press B..sigh.

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#34 Posted by Jazz (2365 posts) -

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