It’s Friday Friday Friday. And its time to squad up and pwn some noobs. The outcome is not in question, it’s the delivery method. Do you go classic gamer mode with Defense of the Ancients (DOTA dos if you didn’t know) or open up to modern times and dip your feet into the League of Legends (LOL) arena. I feel your pain.
My first love, Defense of the Ancients, when did we grow apart? I remember encountering this game in college, and at the risk of showing my age, it was still a modification on the game play of the Warcraft series. Albeit a very clever modification!
The beauty of DOTA is also the reason it suffers in terms of popularity when compared to LOL in my opinion, and that is its relative simplicity of gameplay. Not to say DOTA is basic, there is definitely depth to the game, but it is a quicker study than League of Legends. The heroes are all available to play from the start, and the limited number of hero options allows for you to pick up on the strategies commonly used with these heroes at a slightly quicker pace. Simply select Axe, load up with double vanguards, and gg all over the place! The fact that Defense of the Ancients also has less items than LOL is something I think works towards a more relaxing gaming experience. You can spend less time worrying about the counter picks and vision control of the map, and more time pursuing enemy champions.
The final point I’d make on the benefits of DOTA’s gameplay, is that I think it is a good call to have less emphasis on the ‘jungle’ play and more focus on lane control. The very fact that LOL has a specially assigned position for the area has caused countless games to drop after prolonged arguing over who is banished to roam the map fighting computer opponents most of the game. Defense of the Ancients skips this problem all together, with your main focus being on securing Roshan (in terms of any type of jungle responsibility). That being said DOTA sacrifices some depth but provides a much more fluid balance between action and strategy!
League of Legends
Now after getting some of my frustrations out in reference to League of Legends, I have to admit that this is the game that stole me from years of humble service in the art of DOTA. And there are several key benefits offered by League that make this less shameful to admit. First and foremost, the bushes, the fact that the map is peppered with shrubbery that your champion can take advantage of to ambush,observe, or evade the enemy.
After that it really comes down to game traits that have earned LOL its fanfare and popularity as an esport. Mainly, the vast amount of heroes and items. If your looking for an MOBA that you can really sink your teeth into strategy wise, League will have you daydreaming of the endless team combinations and item buffs to apply to your champion. It really encourages attention to detail and constant vigilance to maintain map vision in coordination with your team on top of your champions personal responsibilities (top/mid/adc/supp/jg). Additionally, I have found the recent additions of the ‘berry’ fruits in the river, and ‘pollen’ flower vision thing that generates on river entrances to really add some diversity to the game. The plants that randomly generate in the river, drop green fruits that will replenish health and mana (great for avoiding going back to fountain), while the dandelion type flowers will set forth a wave of vision in the direction they are hit (get a look at whats going on in the river, or scope out potential ganks!).
So my take on it would be this. If your weekend is gonna consist of drinking and smoking “DOTA” fuel (as we used to say in college) with the crew, then you must follow the natural progression and defend some ancients. It’s more straightforward in the action and how its directed, and you will have an easier time adjusting to what comes your way. But, should you be thinking of a future in the world of esports, or perhaps are just looking for a deeper level of options in the strategy sphere, then join the League, and become a legend!
But what do you think is League a deeper game than Defense of the Ancients? The heroes from DOTA are close to my heart, but I just keep getting sucked back into LOL. Let me know! Also accepting comments regarding favorite heroes!?! In no particular order, Pudge, Axe, Sona, Scion.