Digital Media Concepts/Dota 2

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Defense of the Ancients 2
Dota 2 - cropped logo
Date releasedJuly 9, 2013
GenreMultiplayer online battle arena
Owned byValve
DeveloperValve Corporation
Game Designer/DeveloperIceFrog
GenreMultiplayer online battle arena
Field of ResearchVideo Games, Electronic Arts, New Media
DownloadableFree-to-Play via Steam Client

Dota 2 (Defense of the Ancients 2) is one of the biggest and most influential MOBA's in the 21st century. It was created and developed by Valve, an independent main stream gaming corporation. Defense of the Ancients 2 was inspired from a Mod called DotA Allstars, from the game Warcraft III: Frozen Throne. The mod developer Icefrog was eventually recruited by Valve as their lead game designer. Dota 2 is a Free to Play game, which could be downloaded via Steam. Currently it is available and accessible for all PC platforms including: Windows, Macintosh, and Linux. Defense of the Ancients is played in a match between 5 players in one side of the map, versus another 5 in the opposite end of the map. Overall it involves 10 players, 5 in each team battling for an economic and experience-based advantage to progress ones hero or character. There are 108 unique heroes in the game, each having a unique set of spells and skills which gives them their character and specialty. Character progression is not the only thing, thus the main goal of the game is to destroy the opposing sides Ancient- which is the key structure that both sides must protect their lives with [1]. This PvP, player vs player battle arena involves a plethora of strategies, that is why through the years it has expanded and grew as one of the world's most popular games throughout the world[2].

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

DOTA 2 logo

Dota 2 is often considered as one of the toughest games to learn. It is regarded to have one of the steepest learning curves as a player progresses in their skill rank compared to other MOBA's. An average match may last around 30-60 minutes, this is why winning a match may often feel quite rewarding. In the beginning of the match a player starts with what the community calls as a “hero” [3]. Dota 2 is composed of 108 unique player controlled heroes. 10 different heroes are selected in the beginning of each game. Two sides composed of five players control these heroes to perform in-game objectives such as earning gold and experience. Gold allows players to prosper and buy items [4]. Items are purchasable weapons/armor extensions to one heroes arsenal, they come in many different varieties. These items could be purchase in shops throughout the map- these equipment are acquired in the expense of gold a player earns. Gold could be obtained by the means of slaying enemy creeps, which spawn spontaneously every 30 seconds in the match. Another possible way is to confront neutral creeps, which are stationed monsters that guard the forests in the world of Dota 2. A player may also obtain the most amount of gold by slaying an opposing enemy hero or structure. The gold earned from these circumstances could be used to purchase items in the shop or the secret shop. In the later stages of the game, a player may also pay a sum to bribe them out of their death. This allows a player's hero to instantly re-spawn without the death timer, this is usually to protect ones base when it is in peril. Experience is another important asset in the world of Dota 2, it is what naturally increases the skill level of your hero. One may obtain experience by slaying creeps,heroes, and structures. In a match, a hero may level up till level 25- this is when one has achieve maximum potential. Eventually all heroes will reach this point later in the match, thus this stresses the importance of items and strategy [5] . A standard team is usually composed of different integral parts in order to achieve the end goal, which is to break the opposing teams ancient.[6]

History[edit | edit source]

Dota 2 is a game that was remastered from a mod called Defense of the Ancients. Dota began as an original concept of Eul [7] . Eul modded the game Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, in order to produce a custom map called DotA. Dota evolved throughout the years and gained popularity online across the world, gaining more developers to help out the expansion of the game. Eul eventually left the development team, leaving Steve Feak a.k.a Guinsoo as the new lead developer along with IceFrog. Both continued to make newer renditions of the game until Guinsoo decided to leave as well. Steve Feak abandoned IceFrog and started to work for an independent company called Riot Games, which developed a very similar game called League of Legends. By Eul and Guinsoo leaving, Icefrog who was second in command led the DotA team to its growing success throughout the world. IceFrog eventually was recruited by Valve, and bought the original Dota mod to be remastered. Valve called this remastered mod as Dota 2 [8]. Dota 2 ever since has been a worldwide sensation, inspiring gamer's, artists, and developers to expand its content through different media forms [9].

Map[edit | edit source]

The map of Dota 2 consists of 3 different lanes. THe Top lane, the Middle lane, and the Bottom lane- all of which have their distinct features and architecture.

Three lanes: The top being the offlane, the middle being the middle lane, and lastly the bottom being the safelane

Lanes[edit | edit source]

Dota is compromised of 3 unique lanes, all of which have their distinct features and architecture. Different lanes may work in favor to certain heroes, in the other hand it may work to another pool of heroes disadvantage. This overall sums up the dynamic nature of Dota 2, it involves a lot of strategy and lane switching. [10]

  • Middle Lane- one of the most complex, skilled based locations of the map. In most scenarios, this lane involves a player vs another player- where in they showcase their own mechanical skills, game knowledge, and timing communication. Losing this lane, may almost cause a sudden upsurge of power of the opposing teams middle lane hero. Losing the middle lane could cause the enemy team to "snowball" economically and experience wise, ultimately to destroy their opponents ancient with ease.
  • Safelane- a lane that gives a position advantage to carry heroes specifically. This lane provides the best economic nourishment for a heroes progression, gold and experience wise. An environmental advantage makes this lane a crucial lane for the opposing team to disrupt as much as possible. Leaving heroes unattended or uncontested in this part of the map may secure the late game or the later stages of the game easier for the opponent to win, due to an inflated economic and experience lead of the other team.
  • Offlane- the teams offlane is what connects their side of the map to the opposing sides safelane. The offlane is usually considered as the least important lane, although this is being changed in today's meta-game. The offlaners or offlaned positioned heroes main job is to disrupt the opposing teams economic progress. Hindering the opposing teams economic progress, may give your team the chance to perform better in most stages of the game.

Roles[edit | edit source]

Carry- is usually positioned in what the community calls as the “safelane”, which is the safest place for a hero to grow big economic wise and experience wise. This is favorable due to the environmental architecture of this area of the map. Carry heroes for the most part slay creeps and tries to earn the biggest economic advantage above all heroes. This is in order for them to literally carry the game in the later stages of the match. These heroes usually deal the most damage, and are usually the most fragile during the laning stages when one is trying to grow and progress. [11]

Support- a vital role that oversees specific tasks that carry players do. Without these heroes, a team may easily be disrupted in the growing phases of the match. These support heroes act as babysitters for Carry heroes to slay NPC's (which involve creeps, neutral creeps, and structures). Supports usually are the most economically drained heroes, thus they make sure that their team's carry hero gets all the nourishment he/she needs for the upcoming battles.[12]

Offlaner- a complex role that is usually positioned in the offlane or the hardlane. This is called the hardlane due to the complexity of ones job in this lane. An offlaner's job is to do one's best to disrupt the opposing teams carry hero. This is an offlaner's role, in order to slow down the progress of the other teams powers. A successful disruption of the opponents safelane may skyrocket one sides advantage, often leading to a Victorious match. [13]

Professional Atmosphere[edit | edit source]

The International 2011- the tournament that shocked the world due to its 1 million dollar prize pool.

The Beginning of a New Age (Pre-2011)[edit | edit source]

Ever since the beginning of Dota 2, during its early or Beta days; Valve has hosted a streamline of tournaments that encouraged competitiveness across the world. One of the first and one of the most historical events was The International 2011, which was hosted in Cologne, Germany. During this time, valve announced a shocking 1.4 million dollar prize pool- the winners in which take 1 million dollars, while the remaining $600,000 was distributed across the runner up teams. A total of 16 teams across the world, competed for a revolutionary remark in e-Sports history. This tournament was eventually taken by the Russian team named Natus Vincere in short Na'Vi, which eventually became one of the most legendary teams in the modern days of electronic sports. Na'Vi defeated team EHOME of China: 3-1 in the Grand Finals, upsetting the clear favorites of the event. The same year, Dota 2 flourished in the eyes of millions. This was the beginning of a new age not just in Dota 2 itself, but across the world of e-Sports.

Place Team Prize money
1st Gold medal icon Natus Vincere (Ukraine) $1,000,000
2nd Gold medal icon EHOME (China) $250,000
3rd Gold medal icon Scythe Gaming (Singapore) $150,000
The International 2015, Key Arena, Seattle, Washington D.C.

Golden Years of e-Sports (2011-Present Time)[edit | edit source]

Through the years, The International 2011 was followed by hundreds of smaller LAN tournaments mainly due to the games success. These smaller tournaments were sponsored by different organizations such as Logitech,Monster,Red Bull, etc. Years following the International 2011, the Dota 2 scene has inspired and influenced a larger group of audience. Because of this, The International 2011 was followed by: The International 2012 , 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and the most recent 2017. The tournament continues to dominate the e-Sports scene with a constant exponential growth of its prize pool. The games revenues mainly are gained through the players in-game purchases of hero cosmetics and compendiums.

Event Prize Pool Location Winners Amount Won (USD)
The International 2012 $1,600,000 United States Seattle,USA China Invictus Gaming $1,000,000
The International 2013 $2,874,380 United StatesSeattle,USA Sweden Alliance $1,437,190
The International 2014 $10,923,977 United States Seattle,USA China Newbee $5,028,308
The International 2015 $18,429,613 United StatesSeattle,USA United States Evil Geniuses $6,616,014
The International 2016 $20,770,460 United States Seattle,USA China Wings Gaming $9,139,002
The International 2017 $24,787,916 United States Seattle,USA Russia Team Liquid $10,862,683

Effects on society[edit | edit source]

Despite of of last years failures, iG was self-motivated; eventually becoming champions themselves.
Long hours of sitting may strain your body and could lead to other musculoskeletal disorders.

Psychological Impact[edit | edit source]

Positive Effects Self Improvement- Dota 2 has proven to be one of the most competitive games in e-Sports history. In many occasions, this has motivated players across the world to get better at the game itself. This motivation is stemmed by an increase in Dopamine release in ones system [14]. Dopamine is released when one is ecstatic and excited in a particular situation. This could mostly be accounted to one's joy in playing the game, thus there may be causal evidence that could correlate motivation and having fun with one's actions.[15]

Negative Effects Addiction- is one of the most common problems in mostly any game that is enjoyable. There are hundreds of accounts of Dota 2 addiction around the world, therefore the game has also ruined many lives of children and adults. It has been reported that millions of kids across the world suffer from addiction to video games. Addiction is not the main problem, but more so its adverse effects (more commonly known as side effects). Addiction may cause as little as increased temper, to constant display of violence. Addiction alters peoples emotions in real world tasks, often leaving addicted kids irrational at most times. The irrationality spurted from addiction could cause anxiety, depression, paranoia, and anger in general.[16] These effects often lead to misunderstanding, quarreling, and unfortunately physical affliction. This sparks the controversy about video game violence, thus video game violence is often related to unwanted murder's and school shootings in this present time.[17]

Health Related Effects[edit | edit source]

Positive Effects: Dota 2 specifically as being a challenging game, improves ones coordination, problem-solving skills, and memory. Studies showed that playing video games stimulate high brain activity across the brain. Constant stimulation may increases neural connections between neuron channels. An increase in connections may results to quicker response time not just within the video game, but even during outside scenarios.[18] One of Dota 2's most important aspects is its in-game communication. Communicating allows a group of five players to be able to coordinate across different game scenarios. In order for a team to be successful, a team must be able to have clear-cut roles and actions. This is why communication through a microphone or by typing through one's keyboard may enhance ones social and communication skills.

Negative Effects: there are many detrimental effects of gaming that are often not even related to the game itself. Sitting for long periods may cause muscle stiffness across the body. There are reported cases of paralysis [19] due to gaming for extensive numbers of hours. The inactivity of ones body may also lead to an eventual increase in weight and body mass, likewise the growth of gaming is often being linked to the increase of obese people around the world. Having a general sedentary lifestyle has sparked outrage among many, thus others abhor video games despite of their other positive benefits.[20] Physiological issues such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and Tendinitis are very common musculoskeletal disorders among gamers.[21]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]