There isn't a gamer alive who hasn't heard about DotA. If, by any chance a couple of them slipped lets take a minute to explain what's it all about. DotA (Defense of the Ancients) is basically, pick a hero and try not to lose... Fighting across 3 lanes, killing creeps and other players all the while getting gold to enhance your hero with items to achieve a greater goal. Killing the opposite teams Tree of Life (Sentinel) or The Frozen Throne (Scourge). As most of you who played the game know, including those who haven't, DotA itself is not a game, rather a custom map for the aged Warcraft III. The game gained popularity very fast when it came out and pulled in millions of players. Ever since, many have tried making DotA clones. Some of best examples we can see are Heroes of Newerth (HoN) and League of Legends (LoL). HoN's first goal was to save the original DotA gameplay experience with a touch of graphic improvement, trying to make it overall a better game. Legue of Legends however leaned towards a more casual gameplay style. So, with these new clones coming out, a lot of DotA playerbase except for the die-hard fans, has moved on and switched to these new games. The reason behind that is very simple if you think about it, DotA is limited and restricted by the old and outdated WC3 engine, and the new games coming out have offered something that every player wants - leaver protection, and ability to track individual performance aka scoreboard of some sort.
At first glance, the only question troubling you is how the hell did it become so popular. What is so great about DotA? Well, it's very easy to learn and pick up the pace but very hard to master, not to mention the simple, yet catchy and adictive gameplay. Why is it so hard to be a pro in DotA? Mainly because your actions have to be flawless. You get penalized hard for your mistakes but thats not proportional to the reward you get when executing everything the right way. This makes you strive for perfection which is, well hard. You also have 4 other teammates, with which you have to be in perfect sync to exploit a combo spell that is overpowered and such. And because you have to know when to go in battle and when to retreat, that is why most competitive teams play it very careful, delaying fights, looking for that one particular moment where everything sets in place and you win the battle. A single moment in DotA can get you a victory and likewise a bad move can cost you the same. This makes very coordinated team fights but on the other hand it takes too much time to end.
Since i dragged out too much, lets take a look at DotA 2! Can't help but notice i wrote too much about the original DotA but it was neccesary to grasp it before we go on to the sequel. Yes, most of us has seen how it looks, and yes it looks very promising. Valve spent a lot of time and money trying to improve all the while keeping the feel of "old dota" and it seems they pulled it off quite frankly.
DotA 2 will bring back the 100+ heroes we have seen in DotA Allstars. Hero models are designed well and are much lifelike which was expected. The skills of the heroes will be better (graphically) than those in the Allstars, but nonetheless, everything will be familiar to veteran gamers. Sometimes you will get a feel that they overdid it on the spell effects, making it hard to see what is actually going on except being blinded by the fireworks. There will be some new ingame features. You will be able to suggest tactics/items etc.. for the starting players so you could actually get rewarded by helping outsied of the game. This is very nice, since it encourages you not to trash talk noobs which is a common thing these days. The map remains unchanged in structural meaning of the sentence. AI bots will also be on the standby once one or two (or three) players gets out of the game. The bots will be taking over the disconnected players so the players left will not be greatly affected and the gaming experience will not change.
So what do you think about DotA 2? Does it live up to your expectations? And will you migrate to DotA 2 or will you stick to your current game?