After last weeks start to the 52Games Project, which came pretty easy, I had a pretty hard time deciding what to write about the 2nd weeks theme: Cold.
I thought about the old, and for many of the younger ones, already forgotten Winter Games,which was one of the first games I played in my life – only the Turtles game on the NES was earlier. It’s a classic and I don’t know how many controllers and joysticks went to hell for this game. – I decided to choose something else, to find something I could write a bit more about.
After that, I thought about games I played, which have a cold setting – like Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, but since I thought this to be too easy (and already handled pretty well by PeteBACK & Dons Welt). Another great Game I dismissed, despite having a huge amount of cold effects, spells and an overall ambient of FREEZING cold about it, is Diablo 2 : Lord of Destruction! But this still didn’t feel like I had the right grasp on this topic.
Then, last night I went to play some DotA 2 from Valve with a few friends of mine. I chose to play a random hero – and by my surprise, I got the Crystal Maiden – a Ice Mage Heroine!
She’s classified as a support character who can disable enemy heroes extremely well, slowing them with nearly every single spell, freezing them in place and dealing tons of damage while doing so. Now, if you think about it, it’s logically perfect to have something that’s frozen move slower or even be frozen in place. On the other hand, Ice is not only slowing things down, but it’s also slippery and sometimes even dangerously sharp and cutting. Now in most Roleplaying Games or Games with a bit of a roleplaying character, Ice spells have a slowing effect. On the other side, if you take Racing Games, Ice is most likely letting you lose your control over your vehicle while speeding you up. But I’m drifting away here… let’s get back to DotA2.
The first time I played DotA2, I was hugely disappointed about it. The overall game Look&Feel had something wrong about it – I had a really hard time to discern which units were heroes and what simple minions, the whole map colours seemed weird to me and it all blurred out to the feeling of playing on mud (Screenshot). The buy menue (and I still think they can improve it) is really confusing at times and gives beginners with DotA2 a really hard time finding what they’re looking for. For me, League of Legends has a enormously lower entry point for new players and I think DotA2 caters too much to the hardcore DotA players and esport fans from the Warcraft III Mod. I finished only a few games before I quit DotA to get back to playing LoL with my friends. Now about a week ago, a friend from my Steam list asked me if I’d like to join on some DotA2 fun. Since I was really interested to see how it works when you actually got teamplay, I joined their Teamspeak and went for a game. DotA compared to LoL is having a much bigger list of things you have to care about – it has a lot of micro management, where LoL is trying to keep you focused on your hero – I actually like to focus on my hero. But the positives about DotA are there, too. It feels (after the 10something games I played) like there is more action overall and your actions are more meaningful to the outcome of the game. Your hero or heroine is a lot easier to be smashed into pieces within seconds than it is in LoL, so you need to play a steadier and more defensive minded game, where mistakes are seldom forgotten and in my opinion also a lot more costly, as you lose a big part of your amassed gold once you die. Ultimately DotA2 and LoL are too different in what their target audience is. LoL is already having a big esport branch with tourneys all over the world and even TV coverage, but the overall look&feel of the game is that it’s targetting a mass audience rather then hardcore gamers. DotA2 set a high standard for their esport future, when they had a 1Mio$ tournament at the GamesCom in Cologne last year, while not even being released to the public (it’s still in closed Beta stadium). I am really curious as to how DotA2 will change the current dominance of LoL in the Free2Play DotA ‘Clone’ market (we still don’t know if DotA2 will be free2play).
Now I wrote so much about DotA2 and beside the fact, that I played a Ice Mage yesterday, it’s not really about Cold. But I can tell you something: It’s cold outside and sadly also in my apartment, which has some really bad heating installation – so I wrote this whole post while freezing and being wrapped up in a fluffy blanket.
Leave your comments and whatever criticism or praise you have down there, and thanks for the read.