So i am not sure about the whole "dumbed down", aspect of this. Its not DOTA or League, and does not have those complexity's but it does have its own intricacy's. The maps all have different goals, much like wow type battle grounds, if you play like you play dota or League you will get curb stomped, its much more free flowing and the multipul objectives really make for a fluid game.
The charicter mechanics do seem "dumber" than your traditional dota a like, but other than the fact the game has lanes, its nothing like them. More a isometric WOW bg in a way - with a nexus/whatever at the end to blow up.
Enjoying it so far, it does run like shit tho; not sure it will have the legs DOTA/League have, but its certainly a shit load of fun - and actaully difficult to get good at, doesnt seen to have a meta per-say; very fluid and reactionary based on what the fuck is going on with the objectives.
I've had Alpha access to this for a while. Got up to account level twenty-something last time I played it. It has its advantages, and I can see it doing OK once it goes live. The talent system is a fucking mess, its littered with useless talents and getting a coherent "build" requires a lot of intimate game knowledge (both what your hero can do, and what you actually need it to do for your team composition). There are droves of useless talents as well, and many heros have keystone talents that if not picked, will cripple your teamfight.
Which brings me to point #2.
The game is advertised as a "brawler", not really a MOBA persay. Each map has some gimmick teamfight objective to it on top of neutral mercenaries, and these objectives all force teamfights early and often. As a result, if you have some derpy mc. derp on your team, you are 100% guaranteed to lose. While some heroes have a limited ability to carry games single handily, the truth is the shared XP system makes it extremely difficult for any one person to get ahead and carry a game. Combine that with the critical choices of talents, and you can easily just lose a game because a player grabbed the wrong ult, or was always 10s late to the objective fight, etc.
The game is still labeled as an alpha, so you can make some modest excuses for its performance, but it currently runs like shit and hero mechanical control feels very clunky and slow.
Oh, and the playerbase is toxic as fuck and has (last time I played) a huge AFKing issue because there were litterally no systems in place to address either behavior. As a LoL/DOTA competitor, it has a long ways to go and will rely heavily on milking the franchise IPs.
the intro movie is sub par
So i've been playing this for about a week or so now and i think its OK. Its like Hearthstone. Closed beta is on the 13th of Jan apparently.
I like it as a quick casual game that ticks most of the boxes that a game of dota or league would do for me.
I'm not sure how deep it really is, what its like at high level or how much i could play it - but if i want to get the doto/league experience in 20 minutes without too much hassle, its pretty good. Haven't had a game go beyond 30 mins. Can be quite close/tense.
Unlocking characters is kind of a drag and the cash shop is as expensive as hell but you get 5-7 a week to play for free. Game is relatively stable apart from the mines level (craps out on me).
I randomly noticed I had access to this just after christmas - it appeared completely unannounced in my bnet launcher, no email or anything so who knows how long I've actually had access for. Anyway, I've been playing the shit out of this, despite my original thoughts that it was a desperate omgcasual cash-in on a popular genre.
I come from many thousands of hours of dota, and I guess the reason why I'm enjoying it so much is just because it's so different. It isn't even really dota-lite or dumbed-down dota. For me it's more like they took Bloodline Champions (a game I fucking loved back in the day) and added creeps and lanes to it. As in, it's coming from the direction of a brawler rather than (like dota) an RTS. Gold/levels being reduced down to just team xp means that the game really feels even throughout (with a few exceptions when you're stomping so hard that you're 3-4+ levels ahead, which is rare), and every fight effectively comes down to the mechanical skills of the players involved. This isn't better or worse than dota (where a fight is often decided largely by relative farm levels on either side, as well as farm distribution), but different - and a welcome change.
Some of my original judgements vs my experience after about 75 hours played:
1)No gold and no items takes away too much: Actually, the talents each hero unlocks between levels1-20 are effectively little micro-cosms of item choices. Yeah, some heroes have a talent here and there that you basically always want to take (I suppose like some items are completely fundamental on some dota heroes), but there are also many talent tiers that require you to make an important choice. And will have a pretty significant impact on how you play as well asl 'active' talents that give you extra abilities along the lines of dota's item actives, from blink, speed boosts, crit, sheep, etc. There's even a way to unlock buybacks every 3 mins (which you don't actually pay anything for, except it's a lvl20 talent that you have to choose over what is basically an aghs upgrade, or other powerful stuff like multishot, blink, etc). Oh, and every hero has 2 different ults to choose from, each with an upgrade. So in total even with the relatively small hero pool right now, learning to play with/against all the different talents in the game isn't dissimilar to learning all the items in dota. If anything it's more to learn.
2)It looks like LOL, everything is nerfed into blandness and nothing is overpowered and fun like our lord and saviour icefrog provides for us: Movement is definitely more LOL-like (at least from watching it on twitch), in that you can change direction instantly with no turn speed factored in. I'm not a massive fan of this just because I think it looks a bit goofy, and the way you're always moving at constant speed while juking around just looks a bit bad. But on the OP front, there are definitely some crazy ultimate combos that will basically 1-shot entire teams, as well as heroes that are designed completely outside of the generic format. The big example is Abathur, playing him is more like playing an RTS (it actually feels a lot like playing the alien commander in Natural Selection), who sits around completely avoiding fights, but has a load of global abiltiies he can use to buff other players, push lanes, scout, etc. Then there are heroes that have different mana systems (fury) or no mana at all (Illidan, definitely my favourite hero). There's a hero soon to be added that is actually 3 separely controllable heroes, kind of a cross between Meepo and brewmaster's ult.
3)Shared XP, fuck that: As long as you have a guy in each lane soaking xp, your team is getting full lane xp, which means you have much more freedom to roam and look for ganks without completely falling behind. Right, I love the dynamics of roaming in dota, and how it's this gamble that needs to pay off with a kill, but with shared xp it encourages roaming way way more, so you basically get more fights. Like I said this is basically a brawler, so more fights is good. And because it's a brawler, shared xp just makes teamfights much more stable throughout the game - you don't get hard carries that can 1shot people with autoattacks, instead you get one side having a slight numeric advantage. Generally. Because it also gives you huge timing windows for teamfights, such as when your team hits 10 before the enemy, you'll all have your ults and they won't, so you have this huge advantage. This applies for talent levels too. So even though most evenly matched games won't see one team get more than 1 level higher than the other, it's about being really aggressive to push your advantage when you're level 10 30 seconds before the other team.
tl;dr this is actually really awesome fun, far more deep than I expected, and perfectly capable of co-existing with dota etc.
Last edited by Cerzi; January 11 2015 at 11:18:07 AM.
I hope I get an invite to this soon. Need something more casual and with shorter games as I rarely find time to play DotA the last few weeks.
Prolly fucked till the open beta ... going meh here, RNG no luck for me.
You can buy into beta now for 30 quid. It's a pretty shit deal as you get 3 very meh heroes (including diablo who is probably the weakest hero in the game currently) and a bunch of expensive skins. Plus 2.5k gold, which is fuck all. But if you really want in, now you can defeat your RNG with cash money.