Dota 2
Dota 2 > General Discussions > Topic Details
Firespite Apr 2, 2013 @ 9:16am
Concerns/Impressions - Please Tell Me I'm Wrong
LONG POST (Looks Longer Than It Is [Okay Maybe Not]):

As a person who has never played the original DOTA (Warcraft 3 wasn't one of my most played games back then), and having played a number of DOTA type games in the past half decade (Heroes of Newerth, League of Legends, the frankly horrible Rise of Immortals, etc.), there are several things that don't make sense to me from a basic game flow / design standpoint, along with things I do like very much, which while not a long list, it's often true there's more to explain about what is disliked than what is liked.

What I Like:

1.) The courier.
I like it, it makes getting items from the store a snap and you don't have to leave the battle.

2.) The map. It has verticality, destructibility, a giant river in the middle which slows progress which can be strategically jumped over. I love the map, it is excellent.

3.) The UI and Voice Callouts.
The top portion of the UI is great, showing all the hero faces, colors, and death timers, and hearing each hero callout what they're doing, and reporting about battle situations is great and other MOBAs could learn from this.

4.) The Heroes
Great variety, some really cool choices, very different than the rest of the DOTA-likes out there.

What I Don't Like (and this unfortunately overpowers the things I do):

1.) The secret store.
I really don't like this at all. It's like the real store, only with more expensive stuff and positioned right next to Grandmother's House! It's busywork for no discernible reason other than A.) it puts heroes in danger by entering the jungle to do their shopping and much more importantly B.) the original DOTA had secret shops.

2.) The stash.
First, the stash is a great idea. Second, when at the store itself, buying items sometimes results in them being put in your stash and not your inventory despite having the required space. Don't forget!

3.) Minion denials.
Again, this is busywork. Rather than focus on wiping out the enemy, added to a hero's to-do list is the slaughter of friendly troops. First, what kind of commander slays their own soldiers, and second, why ask a player to waste time on this? The activity comes off as purely spiteful and was no doubt devised by original DOTA players making use of WC3's attack target function and was never removed.

4.) The UI.
League of Legends did something really cool in that they put hero faces on the Minimap. They also, instead of just saying so-and-so killed so-and-so for X gold, will show a popup in green or red, showing a successful friendly or enemy kill and against whom. Easy, instant information.

5.) Hero visibility.
Namely, they aren't visible. Some are more visible than others, big horses stamping around, etcetera, but the reason they aren't as visible as they could be is not only due to their comparatively diminutive size (Sniper is tiny, unobtrusive, yet extremely deadly), but DOTA 2's rather excellent graphics. Games like LoL and Newerth very deliberately use Warcraft 3 graphical stylings, which puzzlingly is something DOTA 2 decided not to. Heroes are larger in these games, minions are not the muddy brown and green we get in DOTA, and they are often colored to contrast strikingly with the background. These games also show enemy mana bars below their health, which is something no minion possesses, making it easy to pick a hero from a swarm of minions. Even in other MOBAs you can lose track of events in the chaos of big battles, but events conspire in DOTA 2 to make this even easier to do. Worse, most weapon impacts lack audible punch, making it less instantly recognizable that you've pulled off your move. Probably, to call on League again, some of the most recognizable sounds are Garen's charge, which bathes him in a golden glow with the loud SHIIIING sound of a drawn sword, with a huge magic sword falling from the sky to explode on the enemy when it hits, and Tryndamere's rage ability, similar to the warrior class in World of Warcraft, which causes him to emanate a dangerous red aura which thrums a low vrrrrrmmmmm sound. Very visible, unmistakeable. Even Tryndamere's sword makes a unique impact, an extremely heavy slashing sound when he brings it down for repeated critical hits. You can hear it, you can see it, and you can see he has a red rage bar below his health which sets him apart from the minions.

6.) The announcer.
Lots of initially humorous voices call out information, like Unreal Tournament's announcer (why?) shouting First Blood! Double Kill! And Portal's GLADOS saying “silenced” when you can't cast a spell. At first took me repeated presses of the button to even figure out what it was saying.

7.) Hero movement.
Excuse me while I turn around. One moment. Almost there. This certainly stems from DOTA's RTS roots, most similar to how the rickshaw unit (on wheels and with a guy pulling it) in Total Annihilation: Kingdoms had to wheel around, and is worlds apart from standard aRPG gameplay where the hero moves when and where you tell them to. Which has been around since Diablo I and copied thousands of times because it's _worth copying_.

8.) Unit selection.
It is entirely possible to select the courier or the dangerously incoming Sand King, and realize you can't move because you haven't selected your character. In a game where the only character you can control is your hero. Back we go to Warcraft 3's dated mechanics. Easy to avoid, but it doesn't make sense. Similarly, to use a potion you must click it twice, alternatively clicking it and then clicking yourself. Why? Can you use a potion on someone else? No? Well then does that not warrant this item being an exception to the point and click rule?

9.) Quickslot items.
Items are placed on hotbars, which are traditionally accessed in games A through Z by pressing the number keys, but DOTA has decided to link these not only to an arbitrary string of letters which begins with Z and ends with N, but you'd better be sure you've actually pressed Enter to chat before pressing any of those letters lest you activate an item accidentally. Considering the function keys still select heroes and the number keys are still free, I don't know why they did this except Warcraft 3 did it to make room for unit group commands.

It feels to me like DOTA 2 may have forgotten some of the things that made Warcraft 3 great in the first place while not realizing the RTS and MOBA genres in general have made dozens of advancements it failed to pick up on. It has way too many callbacks to the older portions of Warcraft, from the lack of information in the UI to dated gameplay features. These can certainly be gotten used to and help set it apart from similar titles (being the sequel to the one, the original, MOBA). I like how it looks, how dynamic the world is, the freshness of it, in theory.

In practice, battle becomes a muddled mess of samey colors and underwhelming spell effects that typically can't touch Arthas' distinctive beam of holy light which issued whenever he healed a unit, first seen in _2002_. Doing simple tasks involves needless micromanagement, the courier is missing a much needed “Just Do It” button to replace the six it already has. You try to buy an item from the secret shop and it says Requires Secret Shop. Well go to the secret shop you ridiculous flying donkey; you're not going to find that sword under my bed.

To me, this isn't the same kind of satisfaction at playing a suitably complex old-school RPG or roguelike in comparison to the very simplistic titles coming out today, even though I enjoy both in equal measure. It's not like being able to apply a cream pie to your face or turn a medusa to stone by showing it a mirror in Nethack, DOTA 2 seems to incorporate complexity for the sake of it, failing to innovate more thoroughly because to draw inspiration from modern titles would mean to expose itself to even more direct competition with those same games. I don't know how this will change in the future, or what updates DOTA will implement in the coming months, but for now, what is fun about the game is frequently marred by what is frustrating and unnecessary. In short, other MOBA games are about the strategic implications of sending two groups of heroes at each other to see who wins in a direct contest of strength. DOTA 2 feels like it wants you to fight more with your worldly possessions, where you put them and how they're shipped, how your character traverses the battlefield, and the enemy team's purses as you kill your own minions for sport rather than crossing swords with your opponents.

I don't want to feel this way. I learned my friend had 6 beta keys and persistently asked to have one, but this isn't nearly as fun as I thought it couldn't fail to be. I want to be proven wrong and learn how to get past these things, but I'm not sure DOTA is catering to players like me.
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Showing 1-15 of 25 comments
3) it isn't busywork at all, in fact being able to deny your own creeps means you can deny the enemy gold and some xp, it has value if the winning team is usually the one with the most gold and xp advantage. Something raw beginners really don't seem to see the advantage to.

Not to mention the early laning phase is about farming if you're a carry and denying/harassing if you're a support. Other roles can fall in between or even trilane to try and farm an early hero or push an early tower (again, all about the gold and xp).

It's good metagame strategy to always deny creeps when you can. It keeps the creep line from pushing if you don't want to push as well, balancing it out.

5) this was a problem for me too at first, but it's something you get used to eventually and you no longer have any trouble seeing exactly what's going on in a messy teamfight. I actually like the fact that you can't see the enemy's mana bar, it would be too easy for others to initiate if they could see that you couldn't defend yourself.

8) Yes actually, you can infuse an ally with a potion.

9) You can actually rebind the keys to however you feel is the best.

Last edited by CryHavoc&LetSlipTheCreepsOfWar; Apr 2, 2013 @ 9:38am
dubesor Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:10am 
About denying it's a very important mechanic. You say which commander would slay his own units. Well don't think about logic. You are playing a game were an Elk humanoid can summon trees, teleport through space and time and shoots lightning beams. Don't play dota if you are looking for realism. It's a very important mechanic and removing mechanics like this only dumb down the game. dota/dota 2 isn't a watered down and dumbed down version for casual players.
If you want that play LoL. dota 2 requires skill, timing, strategy and awareness.

I played LoL and was bored during the laning phase watching my creeps die without being able to deny when there isn't anything to lasthit in that second.

as for hero movement and turning speeds etc I played dota until 2008 then took a break. later I played HoN and last year switched to dota 2. believe me hon is soo much faster when I swapped to dota2 initially I felt like watching a replay in 0.5x speed. turning speeds, and general gamespeed felt so awkwardly slow and it took a ton to get used to but, again it makes a lot of sense. 2GD summed it up pretty well imho a while back:
Last edited by dubesor; Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:10am
SomeGuy Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:10am 
It is entirely possible to select the courier or the dangerously incoming Sand King, and realize you can't move because you haven't selected your character. In a game where the only character you can control is your hero.
"Select courier" and "Select hero" hotkeys. That's why you should use mouse with more than 3 buttons.

Why? Can you use a potion on someone else? No?
Yes you can.

9.) Quickslot items.
Change hotkeys

“Just Do It”
It is already here, just no default hotkey. Keep looking in options.

Stop calling it MOBA, this is wrong name for genre.
10/10 would read again
Zefar Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:24am 
1: The Secret store isn't much of a problem. It just makes so that you don't need to flip through even more pages of items which is something LoL makes you do. It gets to the point where LoL has too many items. So many that are not worth getting too. Dota2? Not so much of a problem with that.

2: Items are only put in stash if you're out of range of the shop. But it's easy to notice if you have something in the stash as well. It's hard to forget an item imo.

3: Please don't complain about this. In LoL you do so little it gets boring. Also you kill your own minions you need to press A which is the attack order and select a unit.
If you get good at this you'll make it a hell for the other player. Some heroes are better at it than others are due to attack speed and projectile speed.

4: Hold Alt to see the faces of the heroes on the minimap. The reason faces ain't shown is because they are at the top and making a huge face on the map would just clutter it up. You can see every heroes color at the top of the screen.
It really isn't hard to remember the colors of the heroes of the enemy team.
Also holding down Alt while pressing on the minimap will send a ping. Something LoL needs do.

5: After some time you'll be able to tell the difference between Minion and heroes because Minions will always look the same. Heroes also have HP bars above them.

6: Announcer is still fine for me.

7: Turning around is there because there are some heroes that have skills that affect it and it adds to the gameplay. Turning around doesn't need to be instant.

8: If you have selected any other unit than the Courier or one of your own summed/controlled units you will always get control back to your main hero with a single right click and it will be a move order.
So clicking on Sand King won't be much of a problem because you just need to right click to get back to your hero.

9: You change these keys to whichever you want. Head into the option(Upper left corner). I have my inventory from 1 to 6 but I only have a few activated type items which are always on 1 to 3.

The game has more depth than Leagues of Legend has, far more. It's faster and the damage numbers are easier to see. Combat only get chaotic if you have several spell users and it's the charm of it. Some of those spells are there to cause chaos.

To control the courier can be sent you to rather quickly. I think you just need to press a single button for it to take all the items from stash to you and being boosted. Or it's just the last 3 buttons that you need to use.
Keledril Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:33am 
tldr it all but two things: check your facts straight some and some of your concerns will be removed. second thing is you can't do anything about the game mechanics you don't like, it s evolved into this in years and most of the community like the game as it is. Have a good day
Xiane Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:37am 
Only problem I have with DotA2 is the derpy AI pathing. Oh look you clicked over there we'll walk back towards what you're trying to escape cause the AI pathing determined that path was 'better' for you.

I've lost count of how many times I've tried to quickly get away from a gank and have my hero suicide rush in the wrong direction. ;)

If (Enemy hero on suggested path) then
derp along that path as you please
Firespite Apr 2, 2013 @ 1:15pm 
Fernie & dubesor: I know denial is imperitive to the way this game is built. The core philosophy behind it still bothers me, but maybe that will go away in time.

Hipster: MOBA. I agree with the rest of what you said, but the last part is your opinion and personal preference. MOBA.

Zefar: I don't mean to say combat is more chaotic in DOTA than in other games, just it's harder to see what's going on due to a distinct absence of information. I still maintain the deselection of your main hero is unnecessary and potentially threatening on the rare occasion you're caught with Juggernaut selected at the wrong time.

I also acknowledge it's mostly the horse units which turn slowly. Mirana though... She's on a tiger, turns horribly slow, and the leap ability is not a point and click. Why not be able to point and click target where you want it to go when your hero gets in range rather than counting the seconds while it turns around. Everything else is automated with pathfinding. This feels hardcore just for the sake of it, because it's what Grandpa's DOTA did back in the day. Busywork.

Furthermore, she's on a tiger. It turns slow but doesn't go faster, so it's an artificial hinderance for no gain.

I'm sure now that I'm wrong about the mana bars thing.

Also minimap faces can be exactly the same size as the current minimap indicators. A toggle in the options menu would be fancy rather than extra keypresses on top of the existing superfluous keypresses.

I've been in the shop and it's put freshly purchased items into my stash that I forgot to drag to my inventory before I left, and on top of that, you can't sell items when you're dead. You can buy when you're dead, but you can't sell when you're dead. It's basically, you're dead for 30 seconds but we still want you to waste time getting your affairs in order when you come back. So add 5 to 10 more on top of that, and then forget to pull your items out of the stash that should have been put into your pack.

Keledril: I didn't express a desire to change the game, the post is titled Concerns/Impressions and my final sentence imparts I don't think DOTA is catering to players like me. There are things I am uncomfortable with in how the game plays that I would like to understand better and see why I'm wrong.

My main issue is feedback and visual distinction. The game doesn't give enough, passing obtuse lines of text across the screen that are easy to look over in the middle of a large battle.

Xiane: TRUE. That will hopefully be worked out by the time the game goes live, though.
Last edited by Firespite; Apr 2, 2013 @ 1:19pm
Yield Curve Apr 2, 2013 @ 1:40pm 
About what you don't like :

1 - the secret shop adds a layer of complexity and strategy to the game as you can't get the best items without exposing yourself. Furthermore, it's a logical : the best arm dealers will arm both sides of the conflict to sell more and more equipement.

2 - I never had this problem with the stash.

3 - it's the classic scorched earth tactic which has been widely used since the start of warfare. The Russians kept doing this to invaders like Napoleon or Hitler.

4 - just press alt to make the faces appear or change it in the game options.

5 - Heroes are very visible and the size variety doesn't change how easily it is to target them.

6 - Maybe you're not a native English speaker ? I'm not but I had no problem understanding their sentences.

7 - Turning around speed is pretty important in most strategy games like starcraft and it's a real plus in a game where you mostly control one hero. It would be so bland and unrealistic without it.

8 - If you select another unit you just have to click to go back to yours, unless it's a controlled unit (HotD, courrier, shared control). In which case you should already have keys for unit control and will be able to easily get back to your main char. And of course you can use a potion on someone else.

9 - just look at the game options and edit your hotkeys ;)

At max resolution and all, battles are beautiful and not a mess at all ^^
Shegzor Apr 2, 2013 @ 1:43pm 
Not sure if trolling, or genuinely ignorant.

Every single one of your points has obvious flaws in it that just seem intentional trolling to me.
Can't use potions on others? Have you tried?
How are number key any diferent from keys if you opened your chat? You'll still type numbers. And how the heck can you "accidentally" press enter when you're pressing keys *on the left side of your keyboard*.
No sound feedback? Pretty much EVERY spell has a unique animation and a sound associated with it. Fresh meat anyone? Global silence? Or, I dunno... a GIANT FLAMING GOLEM landing on top of your head?
There's also health (and, for allies, mana) bars overhead, and they're bigger and more flashy for heroes.
Denying has nothing to do with being spiteful and everything to do with slowing down your enemy's progress.
There's hotkeys for selecting heroes - and you CAN use other units than just your heroes - couriers, dominated creeps, summons

I won't even bother systematically answering all of your points, because you look like a troll with too much time on your hands, and I won't waste mine for that wall of text.
A well written post though. I'll give you that.
Originally posted by Firespite:
Fernie & dubesor: I know denial is imperitive to the way this game is built. The core philosophy behind it still bothers me, but maybe that will go away in time.

They're video game minions, not people :P
Xiane Apr 2, 2013 @ 1:58pm 
Minions are people too! Except NP's. Those minions are trees! Shouldn't kill them either unless you want hippies chaining themselves to your treants....
Firespite Apr 2, 2013 @ 3:02pm 
Shezgor: I'm comparing DOTA to other games. Comparatively, DOTA has a more muted color pallete and less extravagant spell effects by far, which I'm not used to. DOTA does not in any way have the sound and visual impact of League of Legends, for instance. Some of the most recognizable spells in DOTA are the hardest to miss anyway, like Sand King's burrow you can't walk past and Chimera's super deadly long range carpet of ice and flame ultimate.

Also I'm a newbie to the game itself, I just got a beta key from a friend. If there are inaccuracies in what I say it's because I haven't been playing long, and the purpose of this thread is to voice what I've found to be good and bad about the game, and to hopefully learn how to fix my issues.

As for the native english speaking thing, GLADOS saying 'silenced' in her singsong voice was hard to understand at first, and I posit hearing GLADOS say anything at all in a fantasy setting is out of place anyway, which is why I complained about the UT announcer.

Fernie: I just don't accept sacrificing assets like that. It feels like I'm being stolen from by a crappy player who's only good enough to shoot his own troops. It has a strategic effect in the long run, but it's not as satisfying as positioning your pieces in chess, it's indirect combat, war of attrition, etc. I can get behind that. It still sucks though.

Shezgor again: I'm not even going to decide who I want to be, Stallin or Hitler. This is just a game, and I've played plenty where I've done silly things like send my nuclear-powered commander to the enemy base to be exploded, or send dumb charges of millions of tiny units at the enemy base just to see what kind of reaction it has.

For the same reason people get upset at killstealing in other games, constant and repetitive loss of enemy minions because your opponent is slaughtering friendly forces is frankly upsetting as one of the DOTA uninitiated. There has to be a better way of creating a strategic advantage for a lane than wiping out potential damage dealers and tower killers because you can't let another player have 40 gold.

Which adds up to 400, to 4000. Obviously, as the game is constructed there is a point to it, but I've never encountered it before.
Last edited by Firespite; Apr 2, 2013 @ 3:03pm
Originally posted by Firespite:
Fernie: I just don't accept sacrificing assets like that. It feels like I'm being stolen from by a crappy player who's only good enough to shoot his own troops. It has a strategic effect in the long run, but it's not as satisfying as positioning your pieces in chess, it's indirect combat, war of attrition, etc. I can get behind that. It still sucks though.

That's where I think you're wrong, there's nothing more satisfying than denying your enemy a lot of farm and watch them snowball in the opposite direction (weaker =easier to kill and so perpetually weaker). I just played a game as Silencer where the Nightstalker I was laning against left the lane and started raging to his teammates because he was being totally dominated in the lane (Silencer will do that to ya). When that happens you know you're doing your part well :D

If you want skill based positioning, you should try playing ganking Pudge. Positioning is crucial to landing good hooks, and I guarrentee that you'll miss way more than you land at first until you practice long enough. Forget the creeps then, try to just farm them until you reach level 6 and then try to farm only heroes, it's a risky strategy however since if you don't get kills you'll end up way behind and can actually be a burden to your team).

All the positioning stuff you mention comes later in the, after you've farmed up some basic build. If your team can reach that point before your enemies then it's better.

Last hitting and denying creeps is the safe way to play, and if you're playing a carry who needs to farm safetly then it's just essential. It's a way you can pull the creep line to safety if your enemies aren't denying theirs themselves.

Anyways denying is just part of the game, it isn't something that happens much anyways in the beginner's tier where people just autoattack creeps anyways like there's no tomorrow (which is rather pointless since then you just end up pushing the line to close to the enemy's tower where it's safe for them to farm and for you it's near impossible). You don't just deny your creeps, you deny your towers as well, and should if you want to lessen your enemy's chances of winning.
Last edited by CryHavoc&LetSlipTheCreepsOfWar; Apr 2, 2013 @ 3:20pm
dubesor Apr 2, 2013 @ 3:28pm 
Firespite clearly has no idea how the game mechanics nor the metagame work. he comes from LoL, gets a$s kicked and wants everything he fails to do removed. Seriously. You have 2 options. #1 man up, get skilled and keep playing dota the way its meant to be played or #2 pu$sy out, feel overwhelmed and go back to casual easy mode League of legends.
Last edited by dubesor; Apr 2, 2013 @ 3:28pm
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Dota 2 > General Discussions > Topic Details
Date Posted: Apr 2, 2013 @ 9:16am
Posts: 25