My love-hate relationship with Dota 2 
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Yolanda Green
July 3, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Otter hates watermelon but keeps eating it

Never in my life have I absolutely adored and completely despised a game this much at the same time. Dota 2 richly rewards you with feelings of accomplishment, pwnage and just as quickly yanks it all away leaving you bare, mad as hell and ready to quit. It’s the most emotionally abusive game you’ll ever get to play.

The people are assholes, the losing is extraordinarily disappointing, but the victory is oh so very sweet.

Level 1 – 9: Thanks for standing still, wanker!

When you start out the game as some one relatively new to the genre or game, “you’re gonna have a bad time”. There’s no safe place for noobs in this game. Fail and you will get torn to pieces by just about every body. Unless you are by some cruel joke of Mother Nature, in a game with people who are actually friendly. To avoid being emotionally crushed to a very fine paste, play with your mates and hope that they are in fact, not secretly nerd rage volcanoes that only erupt when they lose.

Despite the tough time you’re having, you just keep on playing, because “By the gods! I will beat this game!”. You make a great bullet catcher, at first. Feeding like it’s nobody’s business. Chances are also good that you don’t yet know what feedings means, but you figure that one out pretty quickly. Being the sucker for punishment that you are, you keep going back, losing games and getting ganked by Russians.

Slowly but surely, you build up some skills. You’re starting to get there and you love it.

Level 10 – 19: BATTLE FURY!

Now we’re cookin! Finally, you’re there. There’s no team in Axe, because you don’t need ‘em! You start winning games, getting more and more positive K/D/A’s and even carrying the team. You’re UNSTOPABBLE! Things start to get really fun, and then they don’t. There’s this weird win-loss streak in the game. You’ll win about seven or eight games in a row, it’s all “Your god has arrived” and “Yes, I am holier than thou.”, but then your losing streak starts. And what a losing streak it is. You’ll lose equally as many games in a row. Just after you’ve been Zeus, you become Dazzle.

Mana problems. Lich gonna have your mana!

Sometimes you get to play with a really awesome hero, a hero that’s almost over powered. And I say almost because your mana usage is too damn high! Even in early game. All you have is about two mana potions, no Arcane Boots yet. And then you engage in battle, you’re winning the fight; the guy laning with you is doing his part and then BAM! No mana! Chilled in the line of duty. OR you’re playing against Lion and he sucks up all your mana. In which case your face IRL looks exactly like this :|.

FUUUUU

Mother of all evil 

There’s no greater ecstasy than kicking ass in Dota 2 and there’s nothing more evil than playing on our local server. I’m not even going to apologise for saying that. Playing on the South African server goes a little something like this:

You accept the game invite. 1 of 10, 2 of 10, 7 of 10, 9 of 10… “Returning to matchmaking with high priority” – Ah! You sons of bitches! Eventually after a queue of about 6 minutes, maybe more you get a game, you wait for the loaders, you go to the hero picking screen, and all is well. The game starts! But then it doesn’t. Random guy: “Guys, can we please pause the game, I need to reconnect.” The rest of us being all fake and polite: “Sure!”. Radom guy reconnects, 20 seconds into the game and some one else F9’s for no apparent reason; he or she suddenly felt compelled to feed their goldfish or run a charity marathon for geriatric space hamsters. Who knows? No really, who knows?! Why the hell are there so many pauses in these games? What can they possibly be doing if they’re not constantly reconnecting? Eventually, when that’s all over with, you start playing the game. You start owning in the game and then… “[insert hero name here] JOU K*FF!R P@3S!” etc etc. I am not even exaggerating. This is a very sad and very horrible thing indeed. And because of this very unpleasant experience playing on our local servers, I just don’t do it.

This is complete and utter bullshit!

Losing a game in Dota 2 is not just losing a game, it’s literally losing almost an hour of your life that you can never have back again. You might proceed to ask: “So why don’t you just quit the game before it’s over?” Well, let me tell you. When disconnecting from a game and essentially abandoning it, it is recorded as an “Abandon”. Do this too often, and you get chucked in a low priority bracket, with low priority chums who will probably disconnect from your game for some crappy reason, after which you will probably lose the game. Sound like fun, right? I cannot fathom why Valve didn’t put a surrender option into the game. We are forced to stay in the game and experience a traumatising defeat. Because it’s only a matter of time before you keep getting spawn raped, over and over and over again. Yep, you guessed it; this is one of the parts in the game I hate more than anything.

Regeneration

It doesn’t matter how many times you experience repeated abuse in Dota 2, it always has you coming back for more. You activate that Regeneration rune, and just like that you’ve forgotten all about the frustration you felt yesterday and you’re ready to give it another go with the hopes that this time, it’ll all be worth it. So, who wants a Dota 2 invite now?

I like bacon and games, and occasionally I say something coherent about it. I'm not old or cynical, and I'm not the Dork Knight. I AM SHE-RA! Wait, what?

  • RinceWind

    Jesus! I feel like I just read a chapter from ‘what to expect when you finally make it down to the 9th circle of hell’. Why would anyone want to play this Sadomasochistic game?!

    • Argentil

      Because it’s rewarding as much as it is frustrating. It’s exhilarating as well as soul-crushing. Players can be jerks, and you can meet some decent people too. I’ve seen close friends go nuts over successive dota losses, and so, I don’t play with them. It’s a great test of temperance.

  • ElimiNathan

    I hate this game, think I’ve played it about 5 times. Never had one enjoyable game

    • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

      I had a two month addiction. It was bad. It was glorious. But mostly bad. Its the damn people who ruined it for me. F#$% ‘em I say.

      • ElimiNathan

        Ye DOTA players are real dicks

        • David

          I have played about 160 games on DOTA, and I can count the number of instances where DOTA players were dicks on a single hand. I have played less than a dozen games on LOL, and i cant fit them on both hands. I honestly think it has more to do with region server than game (Im on the North American East Coast server)

    • David

      No offense towards you, but thats a really dumb statement. Its a highly competitive game that has a steep learning curve. Unless you are willing to spend hours on the game before you get returns, you really shouldnt install it at all.

      • ElimiNathan

        Why is it a really dumb statement? I’m just saying what experience I had. Is it illegal for me to hate this game ? You are a prime example of a Dota player, WELL DONE on proving my point

        • David

          You sound like a girl on her period. Take a step back, take a deep breath, and read this with a calmer head.
          Obviously its not illegal to have an opinion, Im not even sure what that has to do with anything that has been stated considering that i in no way, explicitly or implicitly, said that you cant have your opinion. I didnt even say that your opinion was ultimately wrong.

          The message I am trying to get across is that DOTA is a game with a steep learning curve, kind of like a violin.
          Imagine if someone with no previous experience with stringed instruments picked up a violin, played it for 5 hours, and then gave up, with no more of an explanation than “I played it for 5 hours and I still can’t play Mozarts Violin Concerto No. 3″.
          An experienced violinist would say “of course you cant play Mozarts Violin Concerto No. 3, the skill needed to play that takes years to develop”.

          You obviously do not need years of experience to be a competent player in DOTA, but you do need weeks maybe even months.

          TL;DR Its not illegal for you to hate this game, but considering that your experience with this game is not a fair representation of the bulk of the game, i would advise you to give it another try, and be more patient in the future.

          If you are still on your period and/or are permanently on one, I would ask you to stay away from DOTA and stay with LOL.
          I’d like the Drama queens and drag divas to stay away from me and my friends on dota

          • ElimiNathan

            You are just plain retarded aren’t you LOL. No hope

          • Anti-Troll

            You are a troll.

            Feel free to hate a game and then judge everyone who plays it based on 5 matches, but that still isn’t a good reason to indeed, hate a game and the entire playerbase of the game.

  • Argentil

    I related to this article a lot. Playing Dota solo is a frustrating experience. Facing a premade team as a solo is even worse. I am constantly falling in and out of love with dota. I’ve been playing for over 2 years now, and I just keep going back. It’s a great game, and I can’t wait for the international.

  • Argentil

    +21 invites here.

  • Uberutang

    This is a fantastic game to play with friends. And only friends :P

  • Trevor Davies

    I have no interest in Dota 2. A friend of mine loves it. He was on at me to get it, and finally gifted me a copy. I haven’t even installed it lol.

  • Wyzak

    Yep I must say online gaming is so much more fun without 10 year old kids yelling and swearing at me profusely for not playing the cookie-cutter build they wanted me to play.

  • Ultimo_Cleric N7

    Keeper of the Light and Sniper. The noob heroes of choice!
    While DOTA2 is fun, I prefer SC2. At least you can quit when you want. But….dem Macro Skills…..

    • Bendi

      You probably mean micro? Macro is how you stack up late game. Microing is controlling a bunch of units at the same time

      • Ultimo_Cleric N7

        My Micro skills are ok. But I am so busythat I always forget to expand at the right time. Its a killer on my late game.

      • David

        No he meant macro skills. Macroing is also a skill

  • Sir Twakkus

    I played Dota 1 on varsity. That was torture enough thank you very much.

  • Galbedir

    Nothing like coming home after a hard working, rough day of work, to some verbal abuse from a bunch of teenagers online. No thanks :P

  • Warren Ross

    Ya, same story in League of Legends. At least in that game you can surrender at 20. :(

    I’m as guilty of a little smack-talk as the next guy, but hell I’ve never encountered such vitriolic invective anywhere else. Online gaming, in that regard, really is the pits. :(

    Oh yeah: must agree on the SA servers thing. I’ve not played DotA 2 on a local server, but I’ve played some CS:GO and, really, the regular use of racist terms and innuendos greatly overshadows any sense of fun or cameraderie. It’s not acceptable at all.

    • David

      Maybe you need thicker skin

  • Kyratic

    ^^ makes a good point. Dota community is like the outpourings of the rear end of the internet. Its why I switched to league of legends, same game in so many ways, and true there are the trolls, but there are far more people who just want to have fun.

  • Bendi

    I am against the whole surrender button thing, that will only ruin the game. How should the victors enjoy their win? And how much comebacks will we see?

    • Warren Ross

      Surrendering doesn’t ruin the game, it just gives a team that has lost the plot completely the option to get out of a bad game and into a potentially better one.

    • Josh

      i agree with you. sometimes you think you are losing, your ancient will be destroyed. then you come and eleminate the attacking army, push and then destroy their ancient and win. it happened to me, i was destroying the ancient and it has a very low chunk of health, and PUFF i lost

  • hairyknees

    Never played LoL, but let me just say that the HoN community is a hell of a lot worse than the Dota one (in my experience).

    Dota ftw :D Stupidly fun but rage game of doom!

  • Ringo

    Don’t hate Zeus! I love my glass cannon.

  • Tarisma

    Hahaha so true!! As I dota veteran who doesn’t play a lot of dota 2 I’m still level 4. It’s pretty cool especially when playing with mates. There is nothing like a good pub stomp.

    Any one find international server better mannered then SA ones?

    • Yolanda Green

      I think every one does :P

      • Tarisma

        It’s probably cuz the SA guys are mostly from the old twilight community. Man those okes could be brutal

        • Gerrie

          Well Said.

          Couldn’t Agree more. I wish that People would just calm themselves and rather try to help the oak that is not up to speed with the game because at the end of the day when you rage at someone you also lower the chances of winning the game.

  • matthurstrsa

    Sounds like you should play League of Legends

    1. You can’t pause the game (once you’re in, you’re in).

    2. You can surrender after 20 minutes in 5v5

    Sure, no local servers but you don’t play on the local DOTA servers anyway.

    I used to play LoL every night for a couple of hours, but got tired of it.

  • Die Idioot

    Dota is fun, but due to the long wait time I switched over to LOL, within 30 secs you have a game and play in about 2mins. Not the Dota II BS waiting 5 minutes then one guy is AFK and you need to wait 5 more minutes…

    At the moment I like LOL more than Dota due to a few good additions, especially the surrender option.

    Perhaps someday when Dota have 30 sec wait time for games, I will start playing that again.

  • Captain Minion TallTwit

    < Proud League of Legends player.
    Never tried DOTA 2… maybe I will.

    • Jean Jordaan

      I have tried LOL a couple of times. I usually play that when I am in the mood for some mindless gaming. I find it to be much more casual and a little one dimensional compared to DoTA. I am not saying that it sucks, just that it is not for me. I prefer the richness and complexity that comes with DoTA.
      Each to his own I suppose.

  • Jean Jordaan

    I must agree with the fact that there are a lot of assholes on the SA servers. I have never seen such a bunch of “know it all” in one place. Telling you what hero to pick. What skills to upgrade and what items to buy. Then when the gods have decided it is your day to be picked on and you get ganked 3 times in a row because Mr know it all in mid lane deems it unnecessary to call missing. He then has the balls to ask everyone to “report you”.

    Then there is the constant “your a noob” when you die or fail to help Mr know it all when he tower dives a stun hero under a tower, gets stunned and killed rather quick.

    But on the other side of the coin I have had some awewsome games with some really nice guys. What I have found is, that it is usually the better player that are friendlier and the guys that suck the most that are the “LOL ragequit” type. Last night I had a great game, even though we lost.

    Just as hero selection was done and I purchased my starting items Telkom decided to disconnect me for 6 minutes. Just long enough give me that dreaded abandon under my name.

    When I got back to the game my allies were fighting along 4 v 5 like true troopers. I apologized for Telkoms screw up and started to work on gaining the 7 levels that I was behind. Strange thing happens though. My team sincerely said ” NP” and we continued to play as if nothing happened. Everyone was friendly and helpful all the way. I had to check my ping a couple of times to make sure I was actually on a SA server. Game lasted a good 40 odd mins and we fought tooth and nail to the bitter end. It was great.

    That is what I like about the game. You don’t have to win to have a good game. I tend to be a really friendly player and with some ( I would like to think) better than average skill.

    PS. I also have a poop load of keys add me on steam and ask for one .. I will gladly give it away.
    here is a link to my profile. : http://steamcommunity.com/id/PhR34KKK/

    • Josh

      you are wrong you only have 5 mins to reconnect if you don’t in 6 minutes you are done for.

      • Jean Jordaan

        Exactly

        6 > 5 ? I don’t see your point. Not sure if trolling.

      • David

        I think you are confused. If you dont reconnect within 5 minutes, it is counted as an abandon but you can still reconnect into the game as long as it is going

  • MossySloth

    I’m not sure its that simple. And this is just my perspective, but being somewhat of a DotA and now DotA 2 vet, I know my way around the game. I have been playing for quite some time and there are very few occasions where I am the reason for a loss. I’m no pro, but I am definitely better (if only because of experience) then the average DotA 2 player.

    Which is why I believe the matchmaking algorithms are a huge part of the problem. Like you said – there is nothing more frustrating then spending 40 mins of you life on a foregone conclusion. Which is why, when I land up with a level 3 teammate who chooses Drow and, in the first 5 mins is 0 – 6 against Ursa, its all I can do not to fly off the handle. I’m not racist or abusive, but I do ask players like that to abandon so that at least I don’t have to sit for the next half an hour fighting a losing battle. I can’t even go afk because that results in an abandon as well. And to be honest, it really is no fun playing AGAINST someone like that either. There really is no fun in routing the other team because 2 of opposing players are hopeless. My game last night lasted 45 mins, Drow finished 0 – 17 and his mate, playing Warlock (a snotty, arrogant little shit as well), finished 0 – 9.

    And maybe it is unfair of me – maybe they are just noobs trying to learn the ropes. But then why the hell are a group of 6 or 7 level 30+’s having to play with or against level 3 and 4’s. Its bound to end in a disaster. I don’t play the game to babysit newcomers – that’s what bot matches are for.

    If Valve can fix the matchmaking, I’m sure it would make a considerable difference. I think they have made progress with the communication banning already.

    TL;DR: Fix matchmaking so level 30 players don’t play with level 3’s and it will lower aggression considerably.

    • Josh

      i agree. i was level 1 and i was playing with a godlike player. it is impossible for a noob to be like him. and don’t forget he won a battle against like 4 heroes. it is unfair

  • Crumpet

    I have found the SA Dota 2 community to mostly be a right bunch of pricks. I played a game the other day where I was told to first come to the SA specific chat which I thought was rather nice. The rest of the game was abuse from the same two guys because I had a bad round. This kinda sucks but the reality is I met a couple of German guys in one random game and we play 2-3 games together most days. Always pleasant even if you stuff up. For me that is what Dota should be about. We play to win but don’t hurl abuse when things don’t go our way. Nothing better for me than a hard fought win or loss. On the SA server that almost always ends with the guys on the losing side getting verbally abusive. I think people also need to remember that there are like 100 heroes and most people can only play a few really well. If you play with someone having a 1st time round with KOTL or trying out Pudge they are going to make mistakes and that is the only way they will learn. Let’s keep the fun alive folks!

    • Josh

      i agree. i saw someone using pudge and making mistakes. so i gave a tip that my big brother gave me, “meat hook can’t go through creeps” i tried it. you need to DIRECTLY aim for the hero. it’s another story if he move. and sometimes random moving is useful. some people think it’s just random right clicking but i survived a meat hook. and i also survived an attack of riki which is rather tricky to take care of. by the way if level 30 players are gonna play with level 3 players WHY ARE DO THE LEVELS EVEN EXIST FOR? if someone can say that to valve please do

  • Kromas

    I remember this one kid (about 14 or 15) playing dota in my group at a lan. He completely screws up then proceeds to stand up and curse his team for the whole bloody 300 people at the lan to hear. Too bad his parents were standing behind him as he did so. I laughed my arse off. Dota 2 is for masochists and I’m sooo glad I stopped playing that. Then again I’m playing DayZ and that game is at best unreasonably cruel.

  • Fundouche

    Play HoN

    ez pz

  • S1mb4

    although the SA server may be filled with royal assholes i find the games are much harder (the players are better) possibly because we are mostly all still from the twilight :P i do agree with this article completely though, if i were to forget how to play dota i would never want to learn again, the curve is waaaay to steep.

  • PewPew

    I’m not sure what levels you guys are but i’d say i’m around medium-skilled (level 20ish) and my experience has been that once you get out of single figures, people are muuuuuch more friendly. Also, you can mute people, so it really isn’t an issue if you do get the odd idiot. The days of the twilight server were horrifying though, to this day I won’t go anywhere near the east rand thanks to those fkrs.

  • TeroBowBoo

    Dota 2 is tha best!!!

  • Gabriel Simoes

    Everything you said is so true! I am still trying to quit dota, because the rage and hatred do not compensate the fun