Publisert: 14. november, 2014
Alright, listen up. Instead of being sarcastic and writing a funny review that jabs at russians, I'm going to tell you how Dota 2 really is at it's core.
In a nutshell Dota 2 is a great game, but a terrible experience at the same time. You want to keep going back to it, but you also hate to go back. Why? One word: community. Dota 2's community is for the most part rude and hateful (and undeniably filled with russians who refuse to speak any other language than that of their own), sapping the joy out of this otherwise polished and addicting MOBA. It's unfriendly to beginners and the basic mindset is to belittle anyone who makes a mistake. Make one wrong move and you are called a noob right away... at the best of times. Often it's much worse and I would prefer not to go into the details. Sometimes you get a crapstorm of hate and blame even if you haven't actually done anything wrong. Occasionally, though, you come across friendly players, and when that happens, the game is a pure joy to play. However, since the game is 5v5, coming across four nice players at the same time (if you're solo queueing) is a rarity.
Why then have I played the game for over 2000 hours? The sensation of winning. Your determination to keep playing, despite of the discouraging community, is fueled by the fantastic sensation of a glorious victory. That sweet moment when you see the enemy Ancient blow up and look back on the match, remembering all the plays and teamwork that lead you to victory is ever so gratifying. But even a victory can come with a grain of salt. Many times you have rude teammates that rage in the chat even when your team is winning. There is a mute option, but that doesn't stop the bad manners that extend outside the chat. People can intentionally feed the enemy team, ignore their own team, teamkill with some abilities and just generally be a bad player. It's really frustrating and the worst part is it happens all the time.
Going ranked doesn't really solve the problem either, at least not completely. Ranked matchmaking is a more serious type of mode in Dota 2 that ranks you based on how well you do and finds opponents of equal skill. It feels much more professional and "tryhardish." Although you meet nice players more often, nothing stops the rude players from jumping over the fence and playing ranked aswell. Having played some matches in ranked, I can say the mode isn't "hate free." I had some of the worst matches in regards to teammates in that mode. Another problem with ranked is that, like I said, it's more "tryhard." Many just want to play the game casually and not have to worry about ranks and the "this is ranked, you better be a damn good player" mentality.
But don't get me wrong, Dota 2 is a great game in itself and that's why I keep going back to it. The core mechanics are spot on and gameplay flows well. No technical issues to speak of (not counting the occasional missing texture bug or so, of which I have had none myself). Graphics are great and have a subtle water painting type feel to them. All the various spells and abilites look great. The game is very deep and complex with tons of items, skill and item builds and strategies to learn. It can be a bit terrifying to beginners, but once you get the hang of things, it's engaging. All the playable heroes are well balanced (although there is always some debate on a couple specific heroes being "OP") and free to play from the start. That's another thing the game does right. All the heroes are free and playable from the start, unlike Dota 2's undeniably very successful competitor, League of Legends. Dota 2's microtransactions focus on purely cosmetic stuff, which means there are zero "pay to win" elements in the game.
It really falls unto you to decide whether if you want to suffer the rude community for the sake of playing this brilliant game. If you're one of those people who can just calmly ignore everything rude being said at you, you have a better chance of not finding Dota 2 so terrible. To put it roughly in perspective: Playing Dota 2 is like playing Skyrim, but having someone stand next to you the whole time yelling at you for every mistake you make, calling you a "fooping idiot" every time you miss an arrow or fail a quest objective. Failed to kill Alduin? "Uninstall Skyrim, noob." Don't know how to make dragonbone armor? "Learn to play, tard." It would just completely sap the fun out of your epic adventures, would it not? Sadly that's how Dota 2's community is.
Having played the game as long as I have, I would say that you are better off not playing Dota 2. The game is fun when you're winning (because people tend to rage less when your team is doing fine), which is 50% of the time (and sometimes not even when you're winning). It isn't the losses that make the game unpleasant, it's the unfriendly people. Often your day will just be worse after playing Dota 2, instead of it cheering you up as games do. People will tell you that Dota 2 is great, but that greatness comes with a price.
Do take in notice that this is all coming from a solo player point of view. This review is meant mainly to those who are likely to play the game alone most of the time and want to know what it's really like, not just the great things. If you have four friends who you can play with on a regular basis, then you're good to go. The game is at it's best when you play with friends and don't have to worry about getting "a stick in the mud" player on your team.
Great game with bad community.