DotA which stands for Defense of the Ancients is a custom map for the real-time strategy video from Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos and its expansion Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne. Dota have its roots from a custom map called ‘Aeon of Strife’ from the original Starcraft and has evolved to a game that requires really good teamwork in order to achieve victory. The game is composed of two factions (The Sentinel and The Scourge) in which they both try to destroy each others ‘Ancients’ to claim victory. Each faction can have as much as five ‘Heroes’ to help destroy the opposing side. These heroes are controlled by players in which they try to level them up to become stronger by killing ‘creeps’ (AI-controlled units for each faction), neutral creeps or by killing opposing heroes.
Defense of the Ancients pits two teams of players against each other: the Sentinel and the Scourge. Sentinel team players have their base located at the southwest corner of the map, and those on the Scourge team are at the northeast corner. Each base is defended by towers at designated areas and waves of units called creeps which guard the main paths leading to their base. In the center of each base is the ‘Ancient’ which is the ‘World Tree’ for the Sentinel and the ‘Frozen Throne’ for the Scourge, this is the building that must be destroyed in order to win the game.
Each human player controls one Hero, a powerful unit with unique abilities. To date, players on each side can choose one of ninety-seven heroes, each with different abilities and tactical advantages over other heroes.The game requires teamwork and cooperation. Nevertheless, some heroes, given enough time to farm, can carry the team to victory single-handedly, while countering the opposing team’s heroes. DotA allows up to ten players in a 5 versus 5 format with an additional two slots for referees or observers, often with an equal number of players on each side.
Gameplay is focused mainly on strengthening each hero in order to participate well in combats. The levels attained and the items that each hero has acquired has great effect on the outcome of the game. In the end, actual skill and coordinated play is what really carries the team to victory. DotA makes use of both fog of war and terrain in its gameplay in which players can use them to their advantage. Having vision of what is happening around the map greatly increases the potential for having hero kills and avoiding tricky situations which might be disadvantageous for the team. DotA has a very steep learning curve and may take a lot of practice to really enjoy the game but all efforts are worth it for those that are patient enough to learn the game inside out.
Each hero in DotA has unique abilities and can learn their respective ultimate spells at certain levels. Heroes are categorize on what they can do for the team mainly the support type and the carry type.
Support type heroes like Crystal Maiden (her abilities are based on ice) for example are heroes that do ‘ganking’ (term used when they try to roam the map with the intent to kill the opposing side’s heroes), warding (obtains certain terrain vision of the map for a limited time with the use of an item) and babysitting/supporting the main carry/attacker heroes. Support heroes do a hard job in order to outplay the other team and help the carry hero farm gold.
Carry heroes are those that possess abilities that makes them formidable during the late stages of the game in which most of the time they farm gold during the early phases of the game to buy items.An example of a carry hero would be Faceless Void (hero with the ability to manipulate time).
There is also this type of heroes that do ‘pushing’, a term used when heroes destroys towers and pushes to enemy territory to destroy the Ancient. Some heroes like Broodmother (has web and spider-like abilities) excel well in pushing and have abilities that really aids them to take down towers easily.Each team usually uses a combination of these type of heroes in order to have a balance and powerful team but it really depends on the actual strategy and tactic on what heroes are used. There is really no specific team line up that can win the game automatically, it really depends on how well coordinated a team is and how well they outplay the other team. Outcomes are not easily predicted since the game can have comebacks and even multiple comebacks.