Dota 2 vs LoL?
And the time has come to pick one. They are both free, and you can’t possibly think that you can play both, do you? I thought it :( . I’ve been playing Dota 2 for 3 months, and LoL for 2 years, and I’ve experienced a bid deal of both these games, so the question that naturally comes in someone’s mind is with which do I continue?
Dota 2 had an awesome premiere with the International tournament. Heroes are mostly the same with its predecessor. The best thing in Dota 2 is the graphics overhawl. Everything now is dynamic. You can destroy trees and create a new way for your heroe to pass. The gangs where you will unleash your abilities will become an absolute party for our screens color contrast.
The UI up until now (still in beta) is quite helpful. You can ping and draw in the mini map to help coordination with the team. The abilities are divided to Q-R keys and even more for some heroes that have more than 4 abilities. A courier is helping when you need items and you can’t leave the battle. Items at last show you their hierarchy to build them. There is even a recommended list of items in the shop proposing what you should take which I mostly follow.
The gameplay is mostly the same as always. Your battle can be orthodox with 2 heroes top, 2 bottom, 1 mid, you can gang between the lines, some few heroes can jungle, and thankfully they fixed the very easy backdoor in the first Dota. The rest is the team’s decision to exploit :) The community is a lot better that its predecessor. Leavers are now flagged, and you can now report those with unproper behaviour, or those who are griefing. Also a matchmaking system will try to help your match with players close to your level (although still in beta and with very few players playing right now it is not very helpful). Finally, Valve has implemented Steam Workshop for those hard working communities to create their own items for the game. Now the game simply will never be the same :D
Up to this point my experience showed me that strategy in Dota 2 is very crucial to win. You can lose towers, you can die as many times as you want but that point where you will kill all your enemies can be game changing, and it can be done if the others are not careful. Gangs are easier to achieve with invisibility runes that happen to show up sometimes in the diagonal lane, or by destroying the trees on your road. A normal game will last up to 40-45 minutes.
League of Legends
League of Legends is the most popular clone of Dota by Riot. When the International tournament has begun for Valve, with 1$ million prize, Riot created their own tournament with 5 times more prize money than Valve’s! The developers made it shine and they never stopped heading to this goal. Heroes might remind you of the first Dota although they are mostly new. Graphics are fine. Actually more than fine if you consider its requirements, and it can easily become a low-end dota solution for those unlucky to not play Dota 2 due to its requirements.
The UI has been fine tuned these 3 years, and you are given a clean layout where you can easily control you heroes. Items are purchased from one shop, from you base and you absolutely know how to build anything. No funky recipes. There is the Recall function where you can instantly teleport from your current position back to safety (if you stay alive at the casting period that is), so the items acquisition is a piece of cake, although somehow you must return back to the battle.
LoL next to the classic map has the Dominion map. Dominion is a more strategy driven map. You have to capture points instead of destroying the enemies base. Dominion normally lasts ~20 minutes for those who want to play a quicky. There is also a map called Twisted Treeline for 3v3 games. although you are not able to cut into trees as in Dota 2, LoL has more fast paced action. You begin with levels, with the level cap being 30 which is easily achieved in 2 weeks. At first it may seem odd since you will be playing with newbies. Contrary to Dota 2, you can easily jungle with some heroes, leaving one more lane with 1 hero, earning faster experience, which may prove game winning strategy, but be careful of the gangs. You are not allowed to leave a game and if you do so, you are being flagged, so the number of leavers is very low. There is also a report system for those not behaving according to the Summoners Code (code of conduct).
Even thought LoL is a freemium game, that doesn’t mean that by paying you will be better than others. You can surely grow faster, but when you achieve level cap everyone is even. You can buy skins for your characters, even rune pages and things that will benefit you faster than others, but nothing else that may spoil the gameplay.
Well, they are both good games and highly polished, but up until now my heart goes with Dota 2. It’s simply Valve and I trust her more than any other company. In the future Dota 2 is planned to have a coaching system for the newbies to introduce them to the game. although League of Legends right now has the upper hand with its tournaments (Seasons) and their ranking system, Dota 2 is still in beta. Only two days before this post, they released an update implementing experience earned by players, and also sent more invitations for its closed beta. Dota 2 is heading to eSport instead of just multiplayer. You can watch and even download replays, yours or others to study them.
Although as always, time will reveal the winner.