Even before the internet, the first online games were taking place. They weren’t what we consider ‘online’ gaming today, but the idea of people playing together – from their own computers – came along soon after games themselves.
The world of online gaming has grown rapidly over the years, with various genres competing for the top spot. What customers are attracted to changes daily and if development companies want to stay competitive, they must be aware of popular trends. Some of the most popular online genres today are Shooters, RTS (Real Time Strategy), RPG (Role Playing Game), Sports, Racing and, one which has recently pushed its way into the top ranks, MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena).
Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) stems from RTS and is also known as Action Real Time Strategy (ARTS). It involves players taking control of a single-unit and joining forces with other players to achieve a team objective. The most common version of current MOBA games is a form of a team fight, where teams of players fight against each other in an attempt to destroy the other teams base.
The first game to bring MOBA into the world of competitive online gaming was DotA (Defence of the Ancients). Two teams of five players would fight against each other to destroy the other team’s Ancient. The popularity of DotA gave rise to other similar MOBAs. DotA 2 has since been released, due to advancements in technology – but the concept and game mechanics remained the same.
The rise of DotA 2 – www.dota2.com
When DotA was released, in 2003, the MOBA scene was relatively unheard of, compared to other genres such as RPGs and FPS (First-person shooters). This changed with DotA. The game brought a new aspect to competitive online gaming. People were able to enjoy the competitive and fast-paced action of shooters, with the story-mode and lore aspects of RPGs. This combination soon took the world of gaming by storm, and by 2018, the first and third most played games in the world are MOBAs – DotA 2 being third.
DotA, being the first of the genre, became outdated after many years. Their competitors were able to take all the aspects that worked from DotA and remodel it in ways that DotA could no longer compete with. There needed to be a drastic change if they were going to remain competitive. Their answer came in 2013 with DotA 2. A complete technological overhaul took place, leaving behind all the aspects of the original game that was obsolete and bringing in aspects that no other MOBA had to date. They did what the other games did to them – and brought out a game ahead of its rivals.
Since then the fan base for DotA 2 has grown significantly and it has become the third most played game in the world and is the most played game on Steam (a popular digital distribution platform).
Why is it popular
One of the main reasons for its popularity is the fact that DotA 2 was the original game behind MOBAs and was reliable from the start. DotA 2 is a game that combines action, adventure and fantasy. You have the capability to develop your character, by buying items – seeing the physical progression in the game, as well as the action aspect of fighting against the opposing team. This results in a game that is both competitive and addictive. Players are always trying to improve their knowledge of the various aspects of the game – trying to develop their characters as soon as possible, to try and get ahead of the opposing team.
There are so many aspects of DotA 2, which some criticise makes it too complex, but that is what most people love about it. There is always an area where you can improve. Even though a game is normally 40-60 minutes long, each game feels like a new story and a great war. You select a new character, choose a different role, buy different items and so much more.
There is also a sense of pride on the line, where you want to try your best to prove you have what it takes to beat the enemy team. Will you be supporting your friends? Or leading them to victory? Every game will be different and incredibly exciting.
Some aspects to take note of:
- Experience level & Stats– your experience and statistics are tracked via your account level, allowing yourself, and your friends, to see how you are progressing.
- Matchmaking – Whether you want to queue alone and find a team of people you don’t know, or queue with your friends, you can do both with the Matchmaking function in DotA 2.
- Armory – A place where all your trophies are stored. As you play more games you will unlock certain items and bonuses that will change aspects of your character in games. These are all stored in the Armory for you to go to and change at your liking.
- Guides – There are so many different tactics and roles to play in DotA 2 that you will never run out of new ways to play the game. By looking at guides in-game, you can even see what professional players think about various things and use this to make it easier when choosing how to approach each game.
DotA 2 is one of the most popular games in the world, and the father of modern MOBAs. If you are someone that is interested in combining strategy with action – you should be sure to check out DotA 2. With such a large community, you are bound to find other people willing to play with you and soon you will have a team of your own. Will you answer the call for the Defence of the Ancients?
League of Legends
If you are looking for an alternative to Dota 2, then check out League of Legends, who will introduce you to Dota’s fiercest rival – League of Legends. LOL was one of the first MOBA games to hit the online gaming market. It is much less complicated than Dota, but effectively has exactly the same set-up and the game’s objective is the same as Dota.