Why DOTA 2 Needs To Change

I love competition. Always have. I love the feeling of winning, and hate the pain of losing. At school I played cricket, soccer, rugby, basketball, tennis and more besides. Most of these things I did badly. Some of them, I did OK. I don’t do any of them any more. But the love of competition hasn’t left me.

Now, I choose to compete electronically. The day a friend took me to a LAN cafe and introduced me to Counter-Strike, back in 1999, my world changed. Not long after my internet connection was good enough to play Starcraft on Battle.net. Next came Warcraft 3. Command and Conquer: Generals, Quake 3, Battlefield, COD. Then I was introduced to the king of them all. I was taught what ‘DOTA' stood for.

I learned to play at LAN parties with friends. Eventually we took things online, where we lost, a lot. I have now played DOTA and the other titles it spawned for close to 10 years.

The friends I play with have come and gone. Some of the hardcore from the early days have dropped off. Some of those who learned with me still play - and are great at the game. We recruited friends we found in other online realms: an old WoW guild master, a Starcraft buddy. They brought their friends, we built our little community. We play one or two games a night, most nights.

Recently my colleagues told me that if I had worked a minimum wage job for all the hours I have played DOTA 2, I would be $20,000 richer. I have spent a lot of time competing. I think that people who love competitive sports -- who play weekend rugby at a local club, or soccer at lunch with the guys from work -- I think that they would understand this. The feeling of camaraderie, the friendships you build -- the desire to win and the feeling when you do. If you could do this all the time, why wouldn’t you?

Well, I’m starting to think of a couple reasons.

The DOTA community is toxic. Valve has done a great deal to try to improve it, to weed out the trolls or discourage those who treat others badly, but it hasn’t worked.

Valve has built a system that tries to punish the worst offenders. Players ‘report’ anyone they find abusive, or tries to ruin the game for others. Those players are punished the only way the game can -- they are forced to play in a different matchmaking pool, filled only with other abusers.

What doesn’t the system deal with? Bullying, for one. If someone doesn’t swear at you, or deliberately try to throw the game, there’s not much you can do.

Recently I left a game halfway through, risked a black mark against my name for ‘abandoning’, because I couldn’t take the abuse any longer. Most days I’m strong enough to hit mute and keep playing. This game? I knew I was in bad form. I knew I wasn’t playing my best. I made plenty of mistakes and my team called me on them. They asked me what I was doing. They begged me to stop playing the game. Or to buy boots, or to click the right buttons at the right time, like it was that simple. They yelled at me and cursed at me and I told my friend I’d see him later, and left.

Bless him for understanding. For holding back his own criticisms. He knew I was having a bad day and playing like crap, and he understood that he didn’t need to remind me. He likes to win as much as I do, and I’m sure he was as frustrated by my performance.

What makes this environment so toxic? Why are team sports -- by contrast -- considered to build long-lasting friendships and valuable skills? Why they are viewed so positively, when DOTA (and eSports in general) has such a bad reputation? More importantly, what could be done to fix it? I lay in bed that night, unable to sleep, asking myself these questions.

I thought about how I learned to play DOTA. It’s not like I took lessons. I played a bunch of games with different heroes until I started to understand how they worked. I brought skills I had learned in Warcraft 3 and other RTS games with me I suppose. I knew some of the basics and my knowledge of the game grew from there.

But I never trained in any of this stuff. Neither did most other players.

If you can get better at DOTA just by playing it for thousands of hours, then you’ll get better. But that doesn’t work for everyone. You wouldn’t expect to become a great soccer player just by playing a game a day, or a great guitarist solely by playing shows.

In my head, it started to click. I was looking at DOTA all wrong.

The schedule for all the sports I played as a kid was generally an afternoon or two of practice, and one game on a Saturday, each week. In DOTA I do no practice and have game day twice a night all week. When I win, that’s the best feeling ever. But when I lose, there’s nowhere to turn.

If I’m not playing with four friends, my teammates don’t know me, so they don’t care about supporting me. They’re after the same high I’m chasing, and if they see me preventing them from achieving it, I’ll get the blame. Add to this internet anonymity, and you start to see unpleasant results.

But the internet doesn’t have to foster hate. Neither does online gaming. Some of my best online gaming experiences have been in cooperative games. Journey is praised because (among other things) it took out the communication tools to attack someone else. I love Diablo because I’ve only ever played with friends. World of Warcraft was amazing because it was so complicated you had to join a guild to get the most out of the game.

Wait a second, a guild? People building a network of friends in-game. People with similar interests, in a safe(r) environment. An environment where you challenge yourselves and practice and play and improve at the game you love. You’re a team, and you win and lose together. It’s not a perfect system, but I will cherish those memories and those friendships a lot longer than I will a game of DOTA where I got a great score, but played in a team of people I had never met.

Where are the guilds in DOTA? Why are teams only of five people and only for professionals? Where are the friendly leagues? Where is a team of people based in my city? I want to join a group of players that have my skills and my goals and my interests, I want to bond with them and I want to improve.

And I want to be able to do that in the DOTA 2 client.

Valve must build a community that nurtures new players and builds friendships through the game, the same way traditional sports have done for decades. Like gaming, sports compete for their audience. If DOTA wants to survive, if it wants to build a long-term place for itself alongside League of Legends, or Call of Duty, or Starcraft, it needs to build a community who won’t leave for the latest release in another genre.

Having friends to play with, or leagues to compete in, that’s one thing. But what do I do if I want to practice and improve?

DOTA has basic skills, just like any sport. People learn how to move: they practice juking, they practice staying in range of experience and out of range of enemies. Next, we learn to last hit, to deny, to stack camps and maximise farm. We learn where to place wards, how to initiate, how to support, how to carry. Finally, we can learn the intricacies of all the individual heroes. What are there, 100? A hell of a lot to learn on your own.

But a bit of last hitting practice one night a week? A drill to improve your reactions when you’re trying to avoid a gank? What about a set play with some friends? These things should be available to those who want to learn. And again, they should be available in the client.

Clearly, Valve agrees with me on some level. They just announced the Workshop Tools Alpha, which adds modding tools to allow developers to build custom maps. It’s a feature that has been demanded for years, and for a game born of the Warcraft 3 mod scene, it’s easy to see why.

Practice maps did exist in DOTA 1. Now, developers can build them again, and they can build ‘fun’ maps alongside them. They can build whatever they want. But more importantly, if Valve chooses to, those map makers will have access to a revenue stream.

Valve have long talked about wanting to involve more than just artists making hats in the revenue model for DOTA 2. Allowing the sale and purchase of maps might take a bit of getting used to, but it would continue to build the economy and player investment in the game. For DOTA to thrive, Valve has to do exactly that.

Let people quit whining about matchmaking and ELO hell. Instead, allow them to run drills and learn solid skills that will improve the way they play the game. Or, give them party maps and tower defences. Not everyone wants to end up a pro player, or to practice at a game they play for fun. I can understand that. I just want the choice.

I want an eSport where I can play with people mature enough to respect their teammates and their opponents. Where we can learn together, win together, and lose together. And I don’t want to be limited by the one or two real world friends I bring online with me.

Build me a real community, where people care for one another; where people aren’t so angry and obsessed with winning.

It’s not about whether you win or lose, it’s about how you play the game. I heard that a lot when I was playing sport as a kid. Why should that be forgotten online?


Comments

    Ok so first Kotaku has articles about how Dota is less toxic than LoL and now we have a huge whinging write up from someone who can't mute?

      Thanks for being Exhibit A of the articles topic.

      Last edited 11/08/14 1:39 pm

    Yeah.... Still never going to ever play a MOBA.

      Yet you read about them and comment about them.

        Wow..... That's seriously the dumbest reply I have ever seen.

        What was your point exactly?

          if you aren't interested in the game at all why bother reading articles about it or comment on those articles, is what my understanding is of what he said.

            I dunno...... ummmmmmm maybe it's called research into whether I would like it?

            Perhaps there have been some changes... But nope. So comment still stands and is valid.

            Last edited 11/08/14 4:02 pm

              but you had already made your mind up at least that what I get from what you said in your first comment

              "Yeah.... Still never going to ever play a MOBA."

                because people are not allowed to read articles on things that they have no interest in playing?

                i read kotaku here and there, but i barely play games these days. i just enjoy reading the articles, and keeping up to date with game related news

                Last edited 11/08/14 6:07 pm

                  well of course you are allowed to, no one is going to stop you, it just seems strange that you would read and comment on a story about a genre that you seemingly have no interest in.

                  Last edited 11/08/14 5:11 pm

                  the point is if he never had an interest in playing MOBAs then his sole purpose was just to come here to say that.

                I think it was more "yep, game devs still doing nothing to attract me to the moba genre" and not mpm singling out any one game.

                Sure, it's true that the community is pretty toxic but you really do enjoy those games you land in when everyone is on the same page and it's about enjoying the game, playing as a team, and winning or losing is secondary to everyone having a good time.

                It's just unfortunate that games like that are as rare as rocking horse shit which overall detracts from the game.

                The moba genre isn't alone though. Look at the online sports games. Up by 20 at half time and your opponent leaves. Down by 20 and you're a loser. If you're lucky, one in ten games will see you play against an opponent who isn't rude if they're destroying you or if the roles are reversed, won't leave.

          That if you had decided that you were never going to pay a MOBA, why would you read an article about them?

      Same. I quit sc2 after I was told how shit I was. I was told this by the winning team. I was playing a 2v2 with a friend. We got destroyed and then told how shit we were. Worse words than I used here. What a shit community. More than 2 years since that game. I doubt I will go play again. Do like the story and looking forward to the next expansion. Play other games online, every now and then.

        People do that in counter strike. Often its the worst/middle score players on the winning team who say that just to make themselves feel better. Not really an indication of anything. Sometimes they just want to shield themselves from appearing as an anchor so they try to shift attention to the other team. More often is the case that very bad individuals (ie badly skilled) who win a match are more likely to get excited or aroused, and this can manifest in trash talk (usually the idiots) or a celebratory gg (people with etiquette). My rationale for this is: when an experienced player starts to perform badly, attribution is most likely going to be on external points of reference (I'm experienced, I should be doing well. I'm not doing well, ergo its my team or other players). The point where they start to criticize others is probably the point where they have low self esteem due to lack of confidence in their abilities.

        Last edited 11/08/14 2:51 pm

    It's worth mentioning that Dota 2 does have a guild system of sorts. You access them through the giant chat window that takes up a third of the client (but is probably used by less than a third of players). From there, you can talk to the people in the guilds and get a party going so that you are playing with people you know aren't assholes.

    We have a TAY guild, it's fairly inactive.

    A lot of games like this rely on you building some sort of community to play with if you're unhappy with the single player experience. Dota 2 has some of the tools available (the guild system) but most of this is done outside of the game. Places like JoinDota, LiquidDota and /r/Dota2 do a lot of the heavy lifting for the community.

    A small note: DotA and Dota 2 are capitalised differently. Just one of those quirks.

      It seems like the author doesn't want to build a community of like minded individuals themselves; they've stated that the onus is on DOTA/Valve to do that for them.

      Why put in all that effort yourself when you can complain about it on the internet until someone else does it for you?

        I think what the author describes about like minded individuals looking to compete with each other and have fun based on the fact that you know these people is more an unconscious process. People may not realize why forming these relationships is worth the time to look for other groups outside the game environment. Because there are no immediate cues or points of reference for players to establish 'fun' on an enclosed community with people you know, people would be less likely to go actively looking for other communities or groups to play with.

        It's not exactly easy for people to go look for a random community via google and hope to find strangers to play with, but it is easier to find pick up groups from say, people you've played with or had fun with, or people within a real time chat group that is looking for a friendly match (the original WC3 DotA lobby system was pretty good for this - being able to name your game room where everyone can easily see it). The author then elaborates that this isn't only for the benefit of the individual, but for the game as a whole to foster player retention in the long run.

        Last edited 11/08/14 2:47 pm

    Pretty much the reason I've tried (at least a dozen times over the past ten odd years) to get into MOBA's - WC3 DotA, HoN, LoL, DotA2, etc and failed every single time. Even if you can find other friends to play with, to cushion the impact of playing with others, it's still a chore and a defining test of your 'off switch' on a regular basis.

    I want to play. I can see what the appeal is. I want to learn how to play - the terminology, how to play heroes, what items to purchase, playstyles, etc. But it's just such an elitist shitfest I don't have the energy. I honestly think even if I did get to a respectable level of play, it'd be easier - but dickheads will always be there, and inevitably ruin my enjoyment of the game.

    It's a bit of a shame, really.

    It does remind me of WoW PvP (Battlegrounds, primarily) a lot these days though - there's a similar mindset. You wait ten minutes, join a game and if your team isn't winning in the first 30 seconds - some idiot(s) starts yelling at everyone, telling them they don't know how to play, the ever-amazing 'kill yourself', 'delete your account' etc.

    Heaven forbid you play a game for the enjoyment, win or lose. Heaven forbid that you might have to actually work and fight hard to score a win, or even a loss that you fought tooth and nail for. I don't even mind losing - as long as people give it an honest go.

    What boils my blood is toxic arsehats ruining the game (any game) for everyone else because they're either not as skilled, having a shit day, are plain outclassed - or just having fun.

    Last edited 11/08/14 1:19 pm

      This is a lot of why I loathe playing any form of PvP stuff with randoms on the internet. I'm always fine with playing with friends or people I know, because I'm not friends with assholes that do that. I don't have a huge amount of spare time to devote to being the best that ever was or something, I generally play games to relax and unwind and enjoy myself. Actually getting to the point you can even really do that in a MOBA is hard, but the whole culture the game has built up around itself makes it utterly harrowing to try and break into it.

    Tf2 highlander is just as toxic.
    Wear gibus as engi and then get called hacker for killing some one with a shotty.
    Then if you layer on unusual hats and australiums and get called a tf2 junky.

    Last edited 11/08/14 8:34 pm

      I understood many (but not all) of those words. Not so much how they were put together. c.c

        Edited.
        Sorry bout that.

          Oh, it's cool! I'm sure the usage was correct, it's just that they mean literally nothing to me thanks to my unfamiliarity with that game mode. You might as well have been speaking Greek. :)

    It really feels like this is mostly a US issue. Quite frankly I have found the Au DOTA random q quite normal to even less abusive than any other game with similar multiplayer setups. CS is much worse to name one.

    Most of the players I've encountered have been fairly nice, and it usually takes some encouragement from the target to warrant abuse. Most of the time is people whinging in general frustration that they are on the losing side, it's not the healthiest way of dealing but it's not uncommon, even in RL games.

    Yes you get the odd troll, but that's the internet, doesn't matter how hard you try to fix things, trolls will be trolls.

      Something I've noticed is that the ranked queue is a lot more pleasant than unranked. The only reason I can think of to explain it is that so few people play ranked. Smaller communities tend to be less terrible.

      Don't be ridiculous. This issue isnt limited to one country.

    I remember back in counter strike days, that it was the greatest compliment to be accused of hacking.

    That always meant you were having a great day.

      I loved that game. Won $500 once in a tournament, felt like a god lol

    My biggest issue with DOTA apart from the terrible community is that the games last so damn long.
    If you screw up or start losing early it's still usually 30-40 minutes before the other team beats you. Unless everyone leaves you're stuck there for ages getting your ass kicked.

    If the game is partially even (eg, you have one terrible player so you probably won't win but you're still holding your own) the games can last 50+ minutes.
    you get a tiny bit of exp and a small chance at an item when you're done.

    I just don't see the appeal. I want to get better, stronger, improve etc. I can't do that when each game lasts almost an hour. There's no reward at the end. The satisfaction of winning a match pales in comparison to the last 40+ minutes of game time. I think it's usually pretty easy to tell in the first 20 minutes if you're going to win or not.... after that it's all a formality.
    That's what annoys the crap out of my and why I rarely play it.

    Even something like counterstrike where competitive matches can take upwards of 30min, you at least get individual rounds. If you screwed up, there's always next round. It's quick, it's fun and you're able to develop your skills every round. You don't get that in DOTA. If you fall two levels behind the other team, you'll start to get smashed very easily and it's a huge downward slide that's very hard to get out of.

      The reward is playing the game. You get better, stronger and improve by trying to get the most out of the map, even in adverse situations. Working out how to get map control and what to do with it (and also what to do if the other team has map control) is important. Finding space to farm and get levels is also a big thing.

      If you're treating it like a team deathmatch where both sides just constantly run into each other until the other falls over, the long games suck. A lot of new players fall into this trap. If you treat it like an objective based game and you're trying to work out how to defend your objectives and get into a position to challenge the other team's then you're in for a more enjoyable experience.

      Like all games, it's a lot about how you approach it.

      The long losing time for me was what put me off RTSes; Dawn of War was the last straw for me, especially with how critical the initial choices were. Screw up at the start and its just prolonged, drawn-out loss :/

      Agreed, the games too take up a lot of time, and losing badly can make that time spent seem like a real waste. This is pretty much the main reason I quit DOTA2 - time. I do also agree that sometimes you can tell in the first 10-15 minutes who is going to win (for instance snowballing heroes, feeding, afk players etc).

      That said, what I hate the most is players who just throw in the towel early and adopt a loser mentality. This kind of player almost always ends up in a self fulfilling prophecy and just drags everyone else down.

      I can stand any other kind of player, trolls, people queuing in wrong regions, people not communicating, but I can't stand players that just give up, those were the toughest players to deal with I think.

      That sounds awful. I think Dota 2 has a lot of advantages over LoL but this is one of the reasons I don't play it. Game is going terribly? Surrender at 20.

      Of course, there's always the times where the game is going terribly and your team doesn't want to surrender, which adds a whole other layer of complexity.

      TL:DR I don't surrender that often but I'm glad it's there.

        to be honest I'm glad there is no surrender option, I have had some of my funnest games that started with us being behind at around the 20 minute mark, then somehow after 1 awesome play winning the game, defs the most exciting games. winning a team fight because a few of them were out of place them pushing and killing their ancient seconds before they all respawn, while rare they are some of my favorite games.

    I first quit DOTA2 when I hit about 700 hours, I stopped playing for about 3 months and then returned. I have now quit again, after hitting the 1000 hour mark, I sold all my rares etc.

    This time I think I will probably stop playing for maybe 5-6 months, I might come back to check it out after some more updates and game mode additions/heroes.

    Sure, it can be toxic, but what online activity with strangers hiding behind anonymity isn't? For me taking a break from it cold turkey and coming back was actually a good way to detox myself in a way.

    Some good ideas there bro. DOTA could certainly benefit from some further development in the community dept. I like the idea I saw listed once where leagues, guilds, rooms, servers, whatever are setup that are invite only. You can continually add people who play nicely and continue to play against them. One strike policy... you decide to be a dick you get kicked. This keeps the trolls flamers, rage pausers out. Build a community of players who play well inside the bigger community.

    I feel like one of the biggest issues is that people go about this completely in the wrong way. There is nothing stopping you from making a community of people you enjoy playing with, it's called a friends list, use it.

    The idea of guilds does not make this better, it simply provides people with an administrator (guild master) to clean out who they feel doesn't suit their guilds idea of manners. You can do this yourself with a friends list. You have the ability to monitor, prune, add, and enjoy playing the game with those that you like, and ignore those you do not. If you want to play with buddies and not get abused, make a 5 man group and queue?

    Otherwise, use the mute and report buttons. They are there for a reason.

    The biggest thing this game needs is a "we give up" button for unranked play. Take a look at any tournament game, the second one team gets a 5 down wipe near a tower/barracks the failing team says "gg" and ends the game. I have no idea why this isn't a thing in a public unranked game. It would solve SO many bad situations.

    Dota 2 isnt my first competitive game but it is by far the most toxic and horrible environment to play in (I havent played LoL or other MOBAS)
    Never have I seen a game cause people to be so abusive to each other, but not only that, I find it causes me to take on that mentality as well - after a while i find I can too get abusive in the game.

    And when I think about it, the game just isnt really all that enjoyable in the bigger picture.

    I reckon they need to improve the matchmaking system. Players should be matched with players of similar skill and the same location. After 200+ hours of playing (which is nothing compared to others) I find a lot of the time winning or losing a game is determined by having either a troll, a noob or someone with 1000ms ping on either team.

    I dont mind losing games that are long and drawn out, because theyre evenly matched and are a close game.
    But I hate losing games when you know early on youre playing at a disadvantage because you have a player that keeps disconnecting every 5-10 minutes and keeps complaining about his ridiculous lag, or a player that just doesnt know what he is doing and has given the other team 10 kills for free.

    I think it's a direct result of the game format: very competitive, very dependent on teamwork, small teams and often played with strangers. Throw in 30min + games that are often decided in the first 10 and it's just a recipe for frustration.

    The games are built to be played by organised teams but 90% of people don't play like that. Imagine playing football by grabbing random people off the street - every game would end in a fist-fight.

    Better community tools would help but I think the genre also needs a game mode more suited to solo Q. Something between vanilla and LoL's Aram on the hardcore scale.
    And then maybe make the original mode only playable in pre-made teams of 5, like it is made for.

      Dota 2 has a few modes available. All Pick (the most commonly played mode and what most would consider the original mode) should be available to everyone. That's what it is made for. If you want the most common mode to be something else, then it's going to be a bit tricky.

      There are a range of different modes available in Dota 2. I can't think of anything that would replace All Pick as the default because anything that doesn't require something resembling a co-ordinated team of five players simply isn't Dota. It's an objective based game, after all.

      Captain's Mode is the one the competitively balanced mode. Several heroes are not available and there's a draft involving picks and bans. This is probably the one that you're thinking of when you're thinking of something that needs a pre-made team of 5.

      "Better community tools would help but I think the genre also needs a game mode more suited to solo Q. Something between vanilla and LoL's Aram on the hardcore scale.
      And then maybe make the original mode only playable in pre-made teams of 5, like it is made for."

      that last part is probably the stupidest thing I have ever heard, lock out a huge percent of the community from a core game mode, sound like a great way to stop people from ever playing the game again.

      solo Q is fine as long as you aren't expecting the same synergy as a 5 person team sitting in the same room would get.

      adding a mode like aram from LoL however I can agree with it would be quite fun and with the new modding tools this will probably has a huge possibility of happening.

      personally I want them to bring back that hero survival mode from when they released wraith king or any other sort of co op survival map they are awesome fun.

      i agree, the nature of the game is what causes such a toxic environment.

      the whole carry/support roles adds to it even further. you can support really well, but if your carry is no good, then sooner or later the other team should start taking over. likewise, it's frustrating being a carry with poor support.

      the early game/laning phase is also almost split into 3 separate games. theres not always a lot you can do when someone's not doing so well in a different lane, and their performance is in a way independant from yours. (sure you can tp or walk over there, and mid should help with ganks, but sometimes it's not always possible)

    @hyper1 @trjn
    Yeah but what I'm saying is that solo Q is not toxic simply because people there are jerks, it's because the nature of the game makes playing like that frustrating which leads to that toxicity.

    On an individual level I'd say if you don't want to deal with agro, frustrated players then don't solo Q.
    But if we are talking about what Valve can do about it then then solo Q itself is really what they need to examine.

      I think that basically any online competitive game will end up with toxic players. The bigger the playerbase, the more toxic players there are. It's just one of those things that happens.

      So I don't think it's a game design problem. I think that it's a community problem and Valve should address that instead of changing the game.

      Last edited 11/08/14 3:57 pm

        Sure any online competitive game has it but mobas are the worst by a large margin. And I think it is because the games are not built for casual play - they are designed and tweaked for the competitive, co-ordinated team level and trying to play that for 40 mins straight while relying heavily on some stranger is just going to cause friction.

        Play any shooter and you can find a server where you can just jump in and blast shit and win or lose it is no big deal because your team is not relying on YOU to not screw up ever and throw the game. And it's over in under 20 mins anyway so no big deal.
        Fighting games and RTS's are usually 1v1, so again not that kinda pressure.

        How about this:
        Take The Map, shrink it by 1/4 - 1/3, remove a line of towers each side and re-work the jungle to compensate. Then increase gold and experience gain and decrease re-spawn times.
        Bam: Speed Dota. The same basic 5v5 objective game but with the action, low stakes and fast turnover of an Aram.
        People won't be bitching about teamates because they will be too busy adding to the chaos they signed up for and it will done in 10 - 20mins anyway.

        Not instead but as an addition. Dota for when you just want to have fun, and leave vanilla style as the place to compete.

        Last edited 11/08/14 5:05 pm

          that actually sounds really fun, crazy and chaotic but fun.

          thats not a bad idea!

          ive always wanted to play a version of dota like that - a bit more chaotic and faster paced. more often than not, in a regular game, itll be over before you have the opportunity to get all the items you want.

          although, it does raise a few issues (that were present in some WC3 custom games). support heroes will become almost useless, as they taper off in late game once the carries start taking over. and quite a few carries get extremely strong when theyve got all their items.

          if you ever played custom hero line wars, or hero arena and similar custom games in WC3 - strength based heroes (and sometimes agility based) would always prevail. picking an int based hero was a terrible choice as the spells dont scale well late game, as opposed to an insane auto attack, hp, attack speed or armor which youd get from picking str/agi heroes.

            Good point. You could probably balance that by nerfing stats on some items for that mode though. Or something.

          This sounds like Smite's Assault mode to me (http://au.ign.com/wikis/smite/Assault).

          I haven't played much lately, but unless much has changed in the last 6 months, I felt that the Smite community was some of the friendliest MOBA players I have met.

          Of course a lot of people don't like Smite because of the viewpoint change and other gameplay mechanics, but I find the change quite refreshing and fun.

          I also enjoy a bit of Awesomenauts as well, which is a 3v3 2D platformer MOBA. It is definitely more casual though, or at least that's how I perceive it.

          You've basically just summed up "Heroes of the Storm".

          Been playing Alpha and it shares a lot in common with the kind of setup you described.
          I think a lot of people put off by standard MOBA's are really going to appreciate the game.

          I've seen matches over in as little as 8 minutes when one team dominates, while other games have gone to 30 minutes, between well matched teams.

          It's got a way to go (It is Alpha), but it's looking great so far. Playing daily and having a blast.

    I think it's hard to ask Valve to foster community between the five people who are selected to form a team for an hour. At the start of every game recently I've greeted my team and throughout the game I talk to them on the mic like normal people, asking them questions about the game and updating them on my situation. This has resulted in 99% of games being a team of five joking and laughing and having a good time for the whole game. Five people who were complete strangers before the game started.

    When you approach people like humans they are inclined to respond as humans. If you approach this as a video game and talk the bare minimum or not at all the other players are more likely to see you as just a name on a screen which makes it easier for them to take their anger out on you. We've all been frustrated at games, the amount of swearing and raging I've done at games like Super Meat Boy, Volgarr the Viking, 1001 Spikes and such is far worse than anything I've said in a Dota game but obviously Meat Boy and Volgarr aren't real people who get offended when I scream at them. The developers of these games aren't accused of creating negative environments so why should Valve? They can only control the human factor to a certain extent.

    The mute feature is also really important and you should use it in the eventual scenario where you are placed with a nutcase on your team.

    Personally I mostly play league, but I can relate to this article pretty well. Bullies and people that trash talk seriously affect the community. I remember one of my ranked team games were at the start we were being thrashed with the enemy team saying things like "ff20", "so trash". We continued to play the game nd in the end we completely turned the game around and won, and some of my teamates (sorry t say, myself included) trash talked them back, recieving only the reply of "shutup noob". We weren't anymore in the right in that situation, because we responded to their aggravation... but when we don't, it puts us completely in the bad light... making us fell forced to trash talk in order to not recieev hate from our own teamates.

    I'm a LONG time gamer and even I stray clear of MOBA's anymore - very overly competitive - not in a good helping team mates way - in a destructive "mine mine mine" or "that was your fault" manor.

    It's pretty disgusting - even compared to Call of Duty - From what I know It's mostly people who started with LoL though coming to DotA (the LoL communtiy hates itself - jumps ship to DotA2 and ruins that community too).

    *Walks on back to the humble TCG community*

    Dota 2 is best played with friend who know how to play and can take constructive criticism. Also practicing with new heroes vs the hardest bot setting helps learn to last hit, and yes playing against bots isn't the same as human but it helps you get use to the heroes. Remember this, If you are learning a new heroes playing with real people you will hurt the team more and deserve to be picked on for it.

    I played DOTA2 a few times.
    each time, there were people bragging about them bieng a level 25, but starting for the 3rd time to be a lower level.
    kinda defeats the purpose, they ahve much more experience and all, and just ruin it... cbf playing again, next time, it will be dota1 on a LAN with people i know

    Op is crybaby.

    So ironic that it's a TEAM game.

    Worst team game out there. There are SO many assholes. It's actually counterproductive to hate on and bring down your teammates when it would be FAR more useful to help them along with little tidbits of advise.

    That said, I can't stop playing...

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