Is DOTA 2 the right MOBA for you?

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In the gaming community it is no secret that DOTA 2 is one of the most competitive games in the world. It’s competitions are on the same scale as Starcraft II, League of Legends, and World Series Poker. But with this game being so competitive is it still possible for average gamers to join the craze that grossed almost $80 dollars in 2013? Well the answer depends on a lot of variables but I am going to break the game down into 4 main categories: Time, Skill, Community, and Approachability, and how you feel about each category will help your decide
about whether DOTA 2 is for you or not.

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TIME
DOTA 2 is not a game where you can sit down and play a round on your bus ride home from work. To play a round of DOTA 2 you need to make sure you don’t have to be anywhere or talk to anyone for the next hour. A single round can take anywhere from 20 minutes to about 70 minutes so when you start playing DOTA 2 you need to be confidant that you will still want to be playing DOTA 2 in about an hour because once a round starts you can’t leave it without being penalized. If you abandon or disconnect from a game you are punished pretty severely. You are marked as a “low priority” player and you are only allowed to do random matches until you go higher up on the priority list. It almost feels like you are getting sent to a prison for players who aren’t dedicated enough to DOTA 2. This means if you have to answer the phone, if you have let out your dog, or if your house catches on fire too bad for you.

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SKILL
DOTA 2 can be played by anyone in all honesty, but you have to be decently skilled to win. There is also a pretty steep learning curve when you get to higher levels of play.
DOTA 2 is easy to learn in that the controls are simple, the menus are easy to understand, and gameplay is very straight forward, but character selection can be pretty overwhelming if you don’t take the time to look at all the characters and decide ahead of time. After choosing your character and getting into a game it is simple to learn but hard to master. Yes, it is easy to point and click the creeps to death but players can be difficult. Once you start playing it is a race to level up, buy the best items from the shop, and destroy towers so you can get to the enemy’s stronghold and destroy it. This is all simple in theory but players can be smart and a seasoned player know a lot of tricks for playing their character so skill is required to win. Now lets say you have played a few rounds and you know your character, the map, the shop, and how to level up. Welcome to the competitive DOTA 2 scene where players are vying for attention from the MLG or clans or their peers. Now you might have a few fun games but this is where the real game begins

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COMMUNITY
Let me preface this by saying that each person’s experience in DOTA 2’s community will be different and these are just how I experienced the community. DOAT 2’s community varies wildly. In one game me and 4 other strangers came together to defeat our enemy and after an 80 minute game we had successfully destroyed the enemy stronghold and won. The very next game my team started off by yelling at me for choosing a bad character and every time someone from our team die they called them a noob and insulted them. The one after that game one player decided he knew what was best for our team and tried to order us around the map and whenever he messed up it was someone else’s fault. In short the community can be great or petty so chat with caution.

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APPROACHABILITY
This game is only for a certain kind of person. For someone to enjoy DOTA 2 they have to be fairly dedicated to learning all the meta game, spending literal hours playing in rounds and trying different characters, and finally they have to be willing to deal with losing a game that you’ve spend almost an hour trying to win. If you think you have the chops to play DOTA 2 then go for it because DOTA 2 is fun once you get into it and clear your calendar for the next month. I mean the game didn’t make $80 million for not being fun.

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