This isn't your daddy's DotA game. At least, that's what Blizzard wants you to think with this new and fresh look at the genre. Blizzard is challenging many of the cornerstones of modern MOBA gameplay with some rather interesting choices. Let's go over some of these below.
- Mana or ammunition based towers: Towers have a finite amount of mana or ammunition during a given period of time that slowly regenerates. What does this mean for players? You cannot simply hug your tower indefinitely – once the tower runs out of ammo, it goes inactive. This tweak is designed to reward team based agression and feels "more heroic".
- Mounts: Instead of the very common boot items that increase your speed and have other effects, heroes in Blizzard DOTA will charge into battle riding on their own mount. This allows them to quickly join fights, chase down opponents with low health or move quickly from lane to lane.
- Stats in general have been consolidated into three catigories: damage, health and mastery. Similarly, items have also been consolidated into simple categories of stat boosts, consumables, items and articfacts. The reasoning behind this is so you don't have to memorize long item lists and recipes, you can easily wrap your head around which items you need, without using outside help or websites. Instead, you are allowed to focus more on the action.
- Abilities are quick to understand without complex math. For example, you won't have things like abilities that buff your attack speed and so on.
- Four Hero Types: Tank, Support, DPS and a new one to the genre Seige. The first three do what you would expect, but Seige heroes easily outdistance things like turrets and must not be left alone on a lane or they will easily push.
- New Map options: Instead of buffs that you get for defeating large creeps, you get to enlist the monster you defeat such as the Stone Zealot, who will push a lane with you and is quite powerful on his own, able to outdistance towers and will easily push a lane. In addition, there are mercenaries you can recruit by clearning jungle camps out, able to be deployed at any time you feel your allies need assistance. Lastly, there will be more than one map for Blizzard DOTA.
- To rectify the social tension that runs rampant in this genre Blizzard has attempted to do three things: Takedowns count for every member in range of a kill, not just the person with the last hit, thus rewarding team play. They have made the map so that games tend to last 10 to 20 minutes instead of 30 to 40 by making towers fall easier. And lastly, Blizzard has attempted to reward unselfish play, making characters who's primary role is to buff their party, rather than damage others.
Before we take off here, we have a list of the playable characters thus far, in addition to what type they are. Of course, this should be added to before even beta launches.
- Arthas – Warcraft
- Stitches – Warcraft
- Muradin – Warcraft
- Uther – Warcraft
- Tassadar – Starcraft
- Thrall – Warcraft
- Nova – Starcraft
- Kerrigan – Starcraft
- Zeratul – Starcraft
- Witch Doctor – Diablo
- Za'gara – Starcraft
- General Warfield (in his Seige Tank) – Starcraft
Will all of this add up to a game that's more competitive than either League of Legends or Heroes of Newerth? Only time will tell, as the beta for Blizzard DOTA starts in the next few months.
Dustin Steiner is GameZone's eSports Correspondent!