Steam’s DOTA 2 is about to make the action RPG a lot more competitive

There are two very different styles of action RPGS. The first, in the vein of Diablo and World of Warcraft, pit you mainly against a giant swarm of lesser enemies. There’s the occasional boss monster, but these games are all about destroying hoards of little guys. The other side of the coin is the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena), where teams of huge heroes are pitted against each other in a battle of titans.

DOTA 2 aims to take MOBA and bring it to a level of quality never seen before. By joining a team of powerful heroes called the Radiant and Dire, players engage in tactical combat. By coordinating assaults through multiple lanes of battle and various unique skills, players must destroy their opponent’s fortress in order to emerge victorious. As your character defeats enemies, they’ll grow more powerful during the game itself.

A free-to-play game along the likes of League of Legends, players will be able to accumulate abilities and currency while playing at no cost. Other characters, abilities, and outfits will be available for purchase for players who want a deeper experience more quickly.

The backstory to DOTA 2 is a deep and twisted one to follow. The original game, Defense of the Ancients, was a mod that was developed from the original Blizzard game Warcraft III. Years later, one of the original founders of the mod began to work with Valve on creating an official sequel.

Lawsuits flew between Blizzard and Valve for months, but at the end of the day, both teams will be making their own spin on the DOTA formula. Blizzard’s will be Blizzard All-Stars, while Valve retained DOTA 2.


While, in unfortunate Valve fashion, the release date for DOTA 2 has been pushed back to an unknown 2012 date, the game has been in beta since the end of last year. Despite not even being an official playable title, the beta build for the game was the second-highest paying competitive eSport title of 2011. We can’t imagine how big it’ll get when it’s released for free for the public to enjoy.

In the meantime, you can fill out a survey available on the main DOTA 2 website for a chance to receive a DOTA 2 invitation. If you’re interested in checking out the original Defense of the Ancients mod while patiently waiting for Valve’s official release date, you can get complete instructions here.