Join 3,558 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Hell, I was too old for this shit fifteen years ago
August 6, 2013 3:01 AM   Subscribe

16 teams are competing in Seattle at the The International, a Dota 2 esports competition with the largest prize pool in electronic sports history.

Meanwhile the members of the Dota 2 subreddit had the privilege to visit the HQ of Valve, the developer of the game. They took some photos. On the most interesting one you can see the recent development commits.

Take a closer look. And there is this site too. We all know where does this lead to. But. Counter-Strike Source was the first Source engine game in 2004. Two weeks later Valve released Half-Life 2. Left 4 Dead 3 now unofficially confirmed and the new Source engine is surely in development.

So one important question remains unanswered: when will Valve release Half-Life 3?
posted by bdz (85 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Have we given up on Episode 3, then?

Oh Left 4 Dead. Guess I know what I'm buying at the Holiday Sale this year.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 3:21 AM on August 6, 2013


Does it make sense to release a new part for an old game with a new engine?

I know they can still release a HL2 episode with the current engine... but well I don't see any chance of that.
posted by bdz at 3:23 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


This "revelation" depends upon a physical impossibility, which is Valve releasing a product with "3" in the title.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:32 AM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Not sports. Games.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 3:37 AM on August 6, 2013


@GallonOfAlan
The US government recognizes esports players as professional athletes. They can apply for the same visa. And why not? If chess can be a sport.
posted by bdz at 3:40 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Traditionally 'sport' has implied physical activity, but these days I think it's more useful to define it as any game played competetively at a major level, i.e. if it draws a crowd of spectators, sponsors, can be meaningfully commentated, etc, then it's a sport.
posted by Drexen at 3:43 AM on August 6, 2013


Come to think of it, is there really much left to say with L4D? L4D2 addressed basically all of the problems with L4D, and it's not like you play it for the plot.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:53 AM on August 6, 2013


Perhaps a more story focused L4D3 Pope Guilty? Less zombie horde slaughter, more survival horror?

But yeah, I can't see how they can start with the existing game and do much more than add more levels, which doesn't seem *that* compelling: there's plenty of high quality community mods out there already.
posted by pharm at 3:59 AM on August 6, 2013


Make it like TF2? Drop items, F2P... etc.
posted by bdz at 4:00 AM on August 6, 2013


a sport is a kind of game
posted by LogicalDash at 4:14 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Drexen: "Traditionally 'sport' has implied physical activity, but these days I think it's more useful to define it as any game played competetively at a major level, i.e. if it draws a crowd of spectators, sponsors, can be meaningfully commentated, etc, then it's a sport."

I'm peripherally involved with these kinds of dudes and it is a physical thing - far more than chess, as an example. Physically there is a toll on their bodies and it's not just 'sitting too long' - the twitchy micro-movements of the brilliant players isn't just 'playing the game well' or 'good strats'. They have a physical ability that not everyone does and they train that ability.

Yeah it's a game that they're playing, but your typical gamer has no chance against the pros and it's because of the effort they put into training and some of that training is the physicality of the sport, some the strategies.
posted by geek anachronism at 4:15 AM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


A lot of the pro gamer teams have exercise regiments as well. You do see some doughy Americans, but those korean kids are in good shape for the most part.

July Zerg excluded.
posted by sourbrew at 4:19 AM on August 6, 2013


Yeah, this is cool, but it's not sports, it's games.

No need to try to make it into something it isn't...what it is is just fine.

L4D3...thank the gods!
posted by Fists O'Fury at 4:27 AM on August 6, 2013


A sport is a game that spectators would want to place bets on.
posted by ardgedee at 4:27 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this is cool, but it's not sports, it's games.

There's an argument to be made that at the high level the professionals play at [especially games like Starcraft] there is a physical component required in all the dexterity.

There's also a huge mental component: the concentration required/mindset/teamwork etc.

If chess is a sport, what's the difference here?
posted by xqwzts at 4:33 AM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


"If chess is a sport, what's the difference here?"

Imho nothing.

And what about darts? Most of the players look like they have spent half of their lives in a prison and a pub.
posted by bdz at 4:36 AM on August 6, 2013


Is this some kind of proxy war for the games-as-art shitstorm?
posted by LogicalDash at 4:43 AM on August 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Damn this is why you make visitors sign NDAs.
posted by Joe Chip at 4:52 AM on August 6, 2013


Eventually Half-Life 3 will be released as a reward for leveling your Steam profile to level 1337 or something. The stuff Valve is doing with alternative monetization is really fascinating (and a little scary).
posted by kmz at 5:03 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


L3ft 4 Dead, surely? :P
posted by Foosnark at 5:19 AM on August 6, 2013


Eventually Half-Life 3 will be released as a reward for leveling your Steam profile to level 1337 or something. The stuff Valve is doing with alternative monetization is really fascinating (and a little scary).

I've made back about 1/30th of the purchases I made during the Steam sale in selling those trading cards. I don't understand why anyone would buy them, but whatever, I'll happily sell them for 15 cents if someone'll pay it. And Valve takes, what, a 5% cut of every one of those transactions? It's like getting rich the Superman III way.
posted by dismas at 5:24 AM on August 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


@bdz

"The US government recognizes esports players as professional athletes. They can apply for the same visa. And why not? If chess can be a sport."

It still isn't a sport, and neither is chess. Or synchronised swimming.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 5:30 AM on August 6, 2013


Okey dokey then.

I never got into playing L4D (partly didn't have the machine for it, mostly was afraid of the time commitment needed to play well), but I loved reading about the mechanics and techniques behind it, as well as the tight teamwork it encouraged.

It's amazing that DoTA2 is bringing in so much money, especially considering it was still technically in beta until last month.

I think you need an extremely well balanced game as a minimum before you can have a high level player community that engages spectators. I wouldn't be surprised if Valve has given up on more Half Life, because they just don't find it fun to work on any more, but they do seem to be a really strong company in terms of finessing complex systems like competitive games and economies.
posted by lucidium at 5:46 AM on August 6, 2013


NOBODY CARES IF IT'S A SPORT JESUS


Damn this is why you make visitors sign NDAs.

Assuming you don't want this sort of thing to leak.

posted by Pope Guilty at 5:46 AM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm having trouble phrasing this in such a way that doesn't sound harsh, but who cares whether playing professional Starcraft 2 means you play a "sport" professionally as opposed to a "game" professionally? Unless you think they're subverting the visa process, somehow, which doesn't seem to be the case.

Like, seriously, why does the distinction matter, beyond the narcissism of small difference?

And where the hell is HL3?
posted by dismas at 5:46 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Damn this is why you make visitors sign NDAs.

Assuming you don't want this sort of thing to leak.


Yeah if they weren't intending for this to happen I feel like this guarantees nobody from the DoTA2 subreddit's ever gonna visit Valve again :(
posted by dismas at 5:47 AM on August 6, 2013


So one important question remains unanswered: when will Valve release Half-Life 3?

In 50 days.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:47 AM on August 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sounds as boring as sport, so sure.
posted by Artw at 6:25 AM on August 6, 2013


I have had such a blast with MeFight Club playing Left 4 Dead 2--I can't wait to jump into the new game together.
posted by oneironaut at 6:32 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Half-Life 3 will not be released any time within the next decade.
posted by Gin and Comics at 6:37 AM on August 6, 2013


As soon as 3D Realms rel....

oh.

Honestly, I'm not sure why it matters. I admit I haven't played through HL2 yet. But unless there's a huge cliffhanger, why can't games just... stop. We bitch and moan about sequelitis, but then demand... sequels. Let it be done and move onto something else (which they clearly have been doing).

I'm not saying I 100% oppose a release of HL3, and I'd be just as guilty as anyone when I'd eventually buy it. I just think this insatiable desire for sequels is a bit stupid.
posted by symbioid at 6:40 AM on August 6, 2013


So the short answer to HL2 is that it ends with some closure. HL2 Episode 1 undoes the closure in order to add on a new, decent adventure. HL2 Episode 2 ends with a moderate cliffhanger, but in the process also teased some crossover material. (There was an aspect of "this is where the next game will set at least one or two levels" to it.)

Honestly, I think that one of the perks of the long release cycles is that it saps any kind of demand I might have for the content; there's just so much other media to consume.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:49 AM on August 6, 2013


Honestly, I'm not sure why it matters. I admit I haven't played through HL2 yet. But unless there's a huge cliffhanger, why can't games just... stop.

There is. Well, not huge, but Stuff Happens.

In principle, I agree with you. Sometimes things are just a complete story and we can be done with them. And sequels and spinoffs are an awesome way to make you loathe the original product in the first place (lookin' at you, Final Fantasy VII).
posted by dismas at 6:50 AM on August 6, 2013


I don't necessarily care if Valve releases another Half Life sequel. Like most, I just want them to release another game that's up to their (incredibly high) standards.
posted by schmod at 6:53 AM on August 6, 2013


their (incredibly high) standards

Except Ricochet
posted by bdz at 6:59 AM on August 6, 2013


Yeah, I'd rather see a new IP from them, not another sequel.
posted by sonmi at 6:59 AM on August 6, 2013


Funny thing is Half-Life is really just about the only original IP Valve has started on its own. Everything else has been by acquisition, more or less.
posted by kmz at 7:30 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not that there's anything wrong with that, by the way. Part of their genius is an eye for good teams and projects to back.
posted by kmz at 7:31 AM on August 6, 2013


I have had such a blast with MeFight Club playing Left 4 Dead 2--I can't wait to jump into the new game together.

Seriously come post on MFC and play with us.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:02 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Pope Guilty, wow that is awesome, didn't know about that. I'm gonna join!
posted by bdz at 8:15 AM on August 6, 2013


I finally looked at L4D2 again last night and was pleased to see workshop integration. Seems like it's the way to go compared to the tedious method of copying down files by hand that it used in its early days.
posted by boo_radley at 8:16 AM on August 6, 2013


bdz = 3 letters
HL3 = 3 symbols
bdz = rhymes with Half-Life 3
bdz's ask MeFi tags = independent company, gaming, company = 3 tags
Valve = independent gaming company
bdz's location = island
Valve HQ = close to Mercer Island

Half-Life 3 confirmed.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:38 AM on August 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


gaben plz
posted by Ad hominem at 9:30 AM on August 6, 2013


Once when I was drunk I add him as a friend on Steam but never confirmed me... ):
posted by bdz at 9:46 AM on August 6, 2013


I live right by gaben; if I were any younger and stupider I might lurk around in his bushes with binoculars trying to catch him playing a HL3 demo at home. But I'm not. He's got a sweet-ass house though.
posted by bizwank at 9:57 AM on August 6, 2013


I live right by gaben; if I were any younger and stupider I might lurk around in his bushes with binoculars trying to catch him playing a HL3 demo at home. But I'm not. He's got a sweet-ass house though.

I wouldn't mess with lurking about gaben. His lawn is probably made of knives.
posted by kmz at 10:13 AM on August 6, 2013


knife-throwing robot sentries
posted by bizwank at 10:15 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The lack of comments actually about DotA in this thread justify my feelings that DotA and its ilk are just terrible games. Boring to play, boring to watch (and this is from someone who used to watch StarCraft matches recreationally, in his dorm, before there was an "esports").

[Eideteker: re-railing threads with flamebait since... forever]
posted by Eideteker at 10:43 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I actually enjoy playing DOTA2, however, the very first thing I do is mute all forms of communication so it's like playing with slightly smarter or much stupider than usual bots, which says all you need to know about the communities that play these kinds of games.

And the time sink to even get to competent is kind of absurd. I have something like 80 hours played and would rank myself as barely competent even though I know the basics and played a bunch of LOL and read pretty widely on the topic when I was more into it.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:50 AM on August 6, 2013


Eidetaker, I think the lack of any in-depth DotA discussion may be due to the OP leading off with one sentence about a current DotA news thing but with no additional information about what DotA is and why current news thing matters. Instead they veer off into random Valve news / other Valve games / gaben conspiracy with little tying them together, and subsequently the point of the thread is an exercise left to the viewers.
posted by bizwank at 11:12 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


It still isn't a sport, and neither is chess. Or synchronised swimming.
posted by GallonOfAlan


I would actually take a bit of exception to that. If table tennis/ping pong is a sport, then so is both DoTA and Starcraft. Watch the pros play. Their APM rates make casual players weep. For reference APM is Actions Per Minute, with an action defined as issuing a command, clicking on a particular spot or unit, or moving the view. Pro players average 300 APM or higher, with the top rank averaging above 400. Think about it: That's 5 actions per second, every second for up to a half hour or more, and each of those actions are precisely chosen, not random button mashing. I don't know about you but that would turn my finger, and more importantly my brain into mush after about a minute or two at that rate.

It may not be a traditional sport, but you certainly can't tell me there's not a lot of the same level of mental discipline that goes into it.
posted by barc0001 at 11:15 AM on August 6, 2013


I think we had a post about The International last year too, but quick check doesn't turn it up. Anyway, check out the finals from QuakeCon this year, unbelievable match! Especially these two maps.
posted by Chuckles at 11:18 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd love to play Dota2, the problem is that it has a steep and long learning curve... Not that it is bad, it is just too steep.

I watched the solo, 1v1 championship from The International. Don't know why, but it makes much more sense than the real 5v5.
posted by bdz at 11:39 AM on August 6, 2013


The thing with DOTA is that it's a game where it can become clear within a couple of minutes that you're screwed and there's no way to win, and you're then stuck for 60-90 minutes slowly losing. It's like it was designed to inspire rage and resentment.

One of the things I've been hearing about more recent DOTAlikes (MOBAs?) is that much shorter round times are de rigueur .
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:09 PM on August 6, 2013


Except generally that doesn't happen, Pope Guilty. For example, in the tiebreaker game between LGD and Dignitas, LGD came back from what most people would consider an insurmountable deficit to win the game and place into the upper bracket.

All it takes is a few mistakes.
posted by Han Tzu at 12:22 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


My understanding is that a long DOTA2 match will be 30-40 minutes, and most are a bit shorter than that.
posted by kmz at 12:30 PM on August 6, 2013


Then again, all my DOTA knowledge is from Brad Shoemaker, who is famously Brad at games.
posted by kmz at 12:32 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


KMZ, I have played a dota 2 match clocking in at just over 90 minutes. Easily my longest.

I would say average time is about 40 minutes, anything under 25 is very short.
posted by sourbrew at 12:41 PM on August 6, 2013


Han, you're talking about people who are pros, people who are very skilled at DOTA and have the ability to make comebacks like that.

That does not describe five nines of the userbase.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:48 PM on August 6, 2013


I've fallen hard for watching the professional League of Legends scene, mostly the North American LCS tournament. It's fascinating great fun. I'm not much of a sports fan, but hearing the sportscaster treatment given to a video game is really compelling entertainment. Doubly so because I'm learning to play the game myself, so vaguely understand what I'm watching, but am clear how far I'd have to go to play at the pro's level. It's like if you play a little church league basketball and then watch NBA, gives you something to aspire to.
posted by Nelson at 12:51 PM on August 6, 2013


And for clarity, I'm not talking about getting behind at first and being unable to come back from that. I'm talking about how you can start a game and discover that your teammates don't know how to play, aren't interested in learning, and are just going to fuck around the whole time. But if you quit, it counts against you. So you're stuck with them until it's over, which can be awhile in a DOTA-style game.

Combine that with the inability of many (I'd even say most) gamers to distinguish between "not me" and "wrong about everything and stupid besides" and, like I say, it's like it was designed to have an infamously shitty community.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:51 PM on August 6, 2013


Over at The Crate and Crowbar (a podcast featuring the guys who used to do the PC Gamer UK podcast, including too-successful-to-remain-a-journalist Tom Francis), in the first episode, they speculated that DOTA will be a "real" sport when someone comes out with a DOTA management* game, where you pick a team of professional DOTA players and manage their careers, hoping to win the International.

*(Idle Thumbs readers will, of course, refer to it as a Lords Management Management Game.)
posted by straight at 1:21 PM on August 6, 2013


Waiting for eSports coverage of the Legend of the Red Dragon BBS game. "Wow, you slept with Seth Able the Bard a LOT."
posted by infinitewindow at 1:25 PM on August 6, 2013


Straight, You can play fantasy DOTA 2 right now, with players in The International. It's integrated into the client.
posted by Uncle Ira at 1:36 PM on August 6, 2013


It may not be a traditional sport, but you certainly can't tell me there's not a lot of the same level of mental discipline that goes into it.

But if it comes down to mental discipline, then a whole BUNCH of competitions could be also included as sports, particularly thanks to reality TV: Chopped, American Idol, America's Best Dance Crew, Ink Master, and even Shark Tank all require a level of mental discipline that most people can't match.
posted by FJT at 1:41 PM on August 6, 2013


Amazing, Uncle Ira. But I want a full-fledged Lords Management Management Sim, where the game will simulate an entire, fictional DOTA2 tournament and let you watch your little Sims sitting at computers and look over their shoulders to watch the DOTA2 game they're playing.
posted by straight at 1:46 PM on August 6, 2013


Dota (and others in the genre) asks so much from its players that it will never appeal to most gamers. But I've spent a four-digit number of hours loving it, and just need to say that it is, in my opinion, one of the very best games ever made and it has an extraordinary depth and balance.
posted by kprincehouse at 2:21 PM on August 6, 2013


I live right by gaben; if I were any younger and stupider I might lurk around in his bushes with binoculars trying to catch him playing a HL3 demo at home. But I'm not. He's got a sweet-ass house though.

bizwank: That is a terrible idea. I'm sure Gabe can afford blinds at the very least.
....a parabolic antenna and some Van Eek phreaking on the other hand....

Moving on, I don't see what is wrong with a L4D3. L4D2 came out in 2009, and L4D was 2008. That is four years ago for L4D2, which is a freaking long time in the games world.

First of all, I'm sure we've learned things from the first two games. The second came out pretty quickly, but I'm sure they've built up a big stock of data from the abundant xbox live games played of the two of them that they could use to tweak the game balance, AI director and level design. I mean, the Director must be a crazy bit of math and code, and I'm sure that they could improve it given how much more data they must have now.

Secondly, engines and such are just better now. Sure, graphics will look better, but also stuff like AI: Enemy AI has been getting a lot better recently, though I'm not sure if that would help in a zombie game so much, but it would sure make the game more fun if you don't have 4 people if the AI on your companions was a bit brighter.

Improved graphics and lighting could also help, and not just to make it prettier; I could see lighting being a cool thing in some areas, if you had moving light sources and such, mirrors, etc. Say you have a witch around the corner that could be woken up by light shone on a mirror, or stuff like that.

Big point: L4D1/2 isn't going to run on PS4/XBOne. Why not make a new one that takes advantage of the upgraded hardware? Larger levels, more zombies at once, less load times in safe rooms, longer draw distance, etc.

I agree, not every game needs a yearly sequel, and I think that does tend to burn out a series. But one or two versions of a game each decade? I mean, in the tabletop world we've had ~7 versions of The Call of Cthulhu since 1981 (4.5 years, or so, only counting rules updates), and 4 of GURPS since 1986 (Last in 2004, also 4.5 years, though the first two came out in the same year, so actually longer then that), and these are rules sets without any graphics, AI limitations, etc. (I picked these games since I play them, and I haven't heard any grumbling about new editions, unlike the D&D community).

I just don't get this "Do we really need a squeal" thing for older games. I mean, did this happen back before Activison decided to "exploit" each of its "franchises" (not series, franchises) each year? Or has it always been like this?
posted by Canageek at 4:06 PM on August 6, 2013


Edit: Sorry, I forgot to mention, I've only played a little L4D, and not much L4D2. I'm just going on what I've seen and played of them, and general principles.

Also: Haven't people gotten bored of the same 10 missions yet (4 in the first game, 6 in the second one, right?)? I'm surprised they don't do a DLC thing with a new mission coming up every 4-6 months to keep interest up. I don't normally suggest that, but this seems like a good use of it.
posted by Canageek at 4:09 PM on August 6, 2013


The thing with DOTA is that it's a game where it can become clear within a couple of minutes that you're screwed and there's no way to win, and you're then stuck for 60-90 minutes slowly losing. It's like it was designed to inspire rage and resentment.

One of the things I've been hearing about more recent DOTAlikes (MOBAs?) is that much shorter round times are de rigueur .


It's an interesting game design problem. DOTA has a lot of game design issues, mainly because DOTA is an "evolved" game rather than a "designed" game. I am in the process of writing a a series of blogposts covering design elements, their flaws, and how LOL does them better sometimes, and how in fixing those flaws it actually introduces other flaws. It's still a work in progress, but it's a start if you were curious about that sort of thing.

I would summarize the "problem" you're having with the game as a skill issue and how DOTA handles it. At higher levels of skill, (I'm in top 5%) the vast majority of my games end in under 30 minutes, a quick check my match history shows 80% of games ending quicker than 30 minutes. This is because when both teams pick their lineups, it's clear that one side will be the aggressor, and one side will be the defender - due to the asymmetrical nature of the heroes and strategies, one team will invariably scale better into the late game - they will try to stall to get to the late game, while the other team is "racing the clock" to win under 30 minutes. This means that the team who is racing the clock immediately goes balls to the wall in an explosive and risky start to try win the game: either they see weakness, take advantage of it and win, or their plan fails and they're in a terrible position at 25 minutes in and then lose shortly after.

You can see a clear correlation in match length and player skill - I've done up some infographics on it in the past, but a quick check of anyone's match history will confirm this also - the worse players are, the longer matches go, because neither side knows how to "finish" the game, neither side knows how to see weakness and immediately go for the kill and end it. My frends playing in the lower skill brackets have majority of their games go between 40-50 minutes.

So why the hell is the game balanced for the top 5% and not the bottom 95%? That's because of how DOTA evolved, and the core principles behind it - it's a game made by the community veterans, for the community veterans. The answer is that DOTA doesn't dumb down the game to make it simpler for newbies - the answer is that newbies need to get better at playing DOTA. It's a very unfriendly philosophy that ensures DOTA will never ever overtake LOL in players, but one that guarantees a solid core of fanatical players who will play this same one game for 10 years and not get bored of it, because it caters so well for them. Think about how 99% of games are designed towards attracting newbies to the game - this comes at a cost. You can tell when a game designer thinks you're dumb. DOTA is a merciless teacher, your best is never good enough, and the game isn't afraid to tell you that. Still, you don't have to be the biggest to be self sustaining - it's estimated DOTA has about 20 million active players in the world, while DOTA2 - just launched - has about 5-6 million unique players.
posted by xdvesper at 4:24 PM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


FJT: "But if it comes down to mental discipline, then a whole BUNCH of competitions could be also included as sports, particularly thanks to reality TV: Chopped, American Idol, America's Best Dance Crew, Ink Master, and even Shark Tank all require a level of mental discipline that most people can't match."

There's also no clear 'win' in those things. There is in these games and it's directly correlated with skill sets that can be developed - and, y'know, dancey stuff is already a sport so...
posted by geek anachronism at 4:40 PM on August 6, 2013


Another contributing factor to lower-skill matches taking longer to end is the abysmal rate of farming you find in Normal matchmaking. Very few people in that bracket can properly last hit, stack and pull, tri-lane, block, or creep skip, and a much higher portion of the bracket fails to properly assign farm priority or jungles with heroes that perform much better in lane (Lifestealer, Lone Druid). The point that most commonly signals the end game, the carry being appropriately fat, takes far longer to reach in low-skilled games.

I am in the process of writing a a series of blogposts

Interesting series! I completely understand why you didn't, but I kind of wish you would enable comments so I could argue a few points with you.
posted by kithrater at 5:56 PM on August 6, 2013


Haven't people gotten bored of the same 10 missions yet

I don't play much DOTA, but I play Counterstrike, and we've been happily playing the same 10 maps for over a decade. Starcraft players were content to play Big Game Hunters over and over.

Games like this are about your strategy vs. your enemy's strategy, not about exploring a new landscape. If both players are well-acquainted with the map, the game is more about strategy and less about luck.

It's like how people play chess with the same starting position, and the same pieces every time. There are alternative rules for chess, and many are very entertaining. But when you play fairy chess, the game becomes more about learning and exploring this new set of rules. Most chess players prefer the familiar, so they can use their extensive knowledge of openings and strategy. The game always starts the same, but quickly evolves into a novel position.

With games like this, you don't need a new map for novelty, the game is already different every time you play it.
posted by foobaz at 7:20 PM on August 6, 2013


It seems kinda strange/unfortunate that Blizzard & Warcraft seem to be completely out of the equation at this point.

I'm kind of at a loss as to how this morphed from a Blizzard RTS into a Valve game (somehow) running on the Source engine? How did that happen, in a nutshell? (I thought Source was strictly for shooter games)
posted by ShutterBun at 8:08 PM on August 6, 2013


I would summarize the "problem" you're having with the game

Woah, it ain't me, you couldn't pay me to play a MOBA. I just find the design issues interesting.


I'm kind of at a loss as to how this morphed from a Blizzard RTS into a Valve game (somehow) running on the Source engine? How did that happen, in a nutshell? (I thought Source was strictly for shooter games)

You can do anything with most game engines. There's puzzle and fighting games running on Unreal. The engine's just the underlying tech.

DOTA wasn't a Blizzard creation, it was a fan-made Warcraft 3 mod. Valve bought the rights from the creators and recreated it in their own engine, with its own assets.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:16 PM on August 6, 2013


Blizzard has an answer to DOTA 2 and League of Legends: Blizzard All_Stars. They're just slow.
posted by Nelson at 8:26 PM on August 6, 2013


Basshunter - DOTA.
Basshunter, previously
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:39 PM on August 6, 2013


Pope Guilty: Ah, so you have even less idea of what you're talking about than I thought =P But that's ok, there's all sorts of interesting discussions to be had.

Anyway, your follow up argument - that "I'm talking about how you can start a game and discover that your teammates don't know how to play, aren't interested in learning, and are just going to fuck around the whole time." - if anyone says that, that immediately tells me that person is really bad at the game and has no self awareness / ability to evaluate their own skill. There is this thing called matchmaking and personal MMR, where you get matched up with allies and opponents of similar skill.

If you were truly better than your allies, the game wouldn't have matched you together in the first place. Something to think about.

From some matchmaking logs posted by the devs on the forums, there's enough players to match 10 people within 1-10 percentage points of skill percentile for most matches. Someone in the 40th percentile skill, for example, would never meet anyone in the 60th percentile of skill. Of course, matchmaking is slightly more complicated than that when dealing with groups and stacks, but it's still balanced to be fair to both sides in the end. If there's a low skill player on your team (because he queued with a high skilled player) chances are Valve also put a mirroring person on the other side - if you can't tell who it is, then chances are their team is just better at protecting their newbie than you are.
posted by xdvesper at 9:53 PM on August 6, 2013


Since no one else has done so I'm going to post a link to this truly fabulous but sadly deleted post by xdvesper. Lots and lots and lots of DOTA 2 information.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:27 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you were truly better than your allies, the game wouldn't have matched you together in the first place. Something to think about.

Pope Guilty never claimed to be any good himself. He claimed that low-level play is an exercise in frustration. Do you deny that? You yourself say that the game is balanced for the best, not for the beginner. The game's reputation agrees with both of you. Everyone agrees that the learning curve is steep, but that a good player's game is orders of magnitude more fun than a bad one's. Or are you saying that you can't tell whether your team is terrible unless you're good?

All that said, your post was fantastic. It shouldn't have been deleted.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:34 PM on August 7, 2013


[Other post has been revived, carry on.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:36 PM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


[Er, other post will get re-posted tomorrow.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:41 PM on August 7, 2013


foobaz: Sorry, I was talking about Left For Dead and Left For Dead 2, not DOTA, and L4D is player-vs-environment, not player-vs-player, so the environment is much more important.
posted by Canageek at 9:48 AM on August 8, 2013


The Gravity Gun (Geek Week)
posted by homunculus at 3:15 PM on August 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


And here's the revived DOTA post.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:35 AM on August 10, 2013


« Older "What it all really boils down to are neat ways to...  |  The Alton Browncast... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments