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Posts with tag DotA

Breakfast Topic: Do you have any MOBA experience?

For those unfamiliar, Heroes of the Storm belongs to the genre that's been referred to as MOBA -- Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. Valve calls its Dota 2 an ARTS, an Action Real Time Strategy, but since they're the only game that uses ARTS, let's stick with MOBA. I don't have much history with this genre of games and for good reason: I'm not a very competitive person. When I try to be competitive, I turn into a raging maniac and I'm not fan of being that guy. Unfortunately for me, MOBAs are an extremely competitive genre. I played two rounds in League of Legends a couple years back and decided to never touch it again. Heroes of the Storm's technical alpha has pulled me in due to its co-op mode, allowing you to play with a team of human players against a team of AI players. Having a strong co-op mode available might make me rage less when I take my chances at PVP.

I'm curious how many of you have tried a MOBA before, whether it be League of Legends, Dota 2, the original Defense of the Ancients mode in Warcraft III, or something else in the genre. Are you a MOBA veteran? Never touched one? Touched one but didn't like it? Whichever camp you fall in, are you going to try Heroes of the Storm when you get the chance?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Goldrush: Another new datamined battleground?

The good folks over at Adriacraft have been busily mining through the data in the Patch 5.2 PTR, and unearthed another new battleground map! Adriacraft's Stevan informed us that this map is currently titled Goldrush BG, which, given the titles of Eye of the Storm (Netherstorm BG) and Gilneas BG for, well, Battle for Gilneas, it seems relatively likely that this is another new battleground map.

Looking at the map itself, which Adriacraft have provided an overhead screenshot of, this seems like a far smaller map than the previously datamined Defense of the Alehouse. It's likely for 10 or so players, and appears to have, or intend to have, two bases, as well as at least two resource nodes. Given the name of the battleground file, it's possible that these are gold mines, but from the map there are three small golden bits in the middle, also visible at five seconds into the video, so perhaps it's a spawning node capture.

Stevan also informed us that there are human models in the patch 5.2 PTR files, and therefore speculated that this battleground could have NPCs in it, bringing gold to players, who might have to defend resources that allow the NPCs to carry out their task. Or, to bring my own speculation into it, perhaps there are mines or nodes that can be captured, which permit players to ferry gold back and forth, and the NPCs mine up the nodes or gold.

Naturally, this is datamined information, and should be treated accordingly, not as confirmation of any new element of the game. But, it's fun to speculate, and encouraging indeed to see new PvP content appearing in the patch 5.2 PTR.

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items, PvP

Early DotA Battleground footage revealed

Adriacraft.net has revealed initial footage of Blizzard's DotA styled battleground, Defense of the Alehouse, reportedly arriving in patch 5.2. This is very basic footage, without the internal decoration in most cases, but gives a brief idea of the layout and feel of the battleground.

Initial observations would be that it's definitely a large battleground, which is to be expected, possibly indicating that it could be for more than 10 players. Given that all the recent battleground additions have been 10-player, this would be welcomed. This overview map defined by Leviathon indicates the same, it's definitely a decent-sized map. There appear to be two defined areas, and lots of bridges in certain points. Of course, it should be noted that these are very, very early PTR datamined images, and should not be considered final.

Lastly, I really enjoy the name of this battleground, and its not-so-subtle reference to Defense of the Ancients!

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: PvP, Mists of Pandaria

The Lawbringer: Blizzard and Valve settle on DOTA

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Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, and esoteroic topics that slip through the cracks.

One of the highest-profile disputes in the gaming industry has come to a settlement agreement. Blizzard has agreed that it will back off from Valve's use of the DOTA trademark for commercial use, while Blizzard retains noncommercial use of the term for modders, map creators, and the community revolving around the game. In addition to the commercial/non-commercial separation, Blizzard has officially changed the name of its upcoming Blizzard DOTA to Blizzard All-Stars, so expect a new branding push soon. At the end of the day, I am still bewildered as to why we're fighting over DOTA, an acronym and phrase that comes packed with baggage and various connotations.

Back in 2010, Rob Pardo told Eurogamer essentially that trademarking DOTA was a slap in the face to the community that created the genre, and for a company that built a great deal of its success on mods, it seemed genuinely out of place for Valve. While everything is always about money, sometimes things are about money just a little less. With its own products announced using the DOTA name and former-DOTA developers having joined S2 Games and Riot Games to create Heroes of Newerth and League of Legends respectively, the MOBA genre is healthy.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Blizzard and Valve settle DOTA dispute, Blizzard DOTA officially Blizzard All-Stars

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Blizzard and Valve have been going back and forth about ownership of the DOTA title for awhile now. It's a complicated issue that's been summed up very well by Joystiq's JC Fletcher: "Which giant company has the rights to the fan-created, community-promoted word 'Dota?'"

As of today, it turns out Valve has those rights. The two giant companies have amicably settled the issue amongst themselves. Valve will release its DOTA title as Dota 2, and Blizzard will release its as Blizzard All-Stars. Personally, I'm a bigger fan of All-Stars, anyway. It gives the name some real flavor and, as stated by Blizzard VP Rob Pardo, "ultimately better reflects the design of our game."

Of course, regardless of the decisions made here, the fan community will inevitably continue calling this genre of games DOTA or some variation thereof. If you care to read the full press release regarding this agreement, hop behind the cut below.

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Filed under: News items, Heroes of the Storm

Rumble Between the Junglers: Questions about the DotA name

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, and esoteroic topics that slip through the cracks.

Behind the scenes, people are moving about, reading papers and commenting on filings and jockeying around the words of a paragraph to make it "feel" nicer. We don't like using the word "community," one might say, because it is a sympathetic word, and we do not need sympathy at this hearing. Thousands of dollars an hour are thrown at the problem for however long the team needs to work on it. I bet there were a few nice late-night sushi orders.

These are the stars of the show -- two copyright and trademark filing teams, potentially backed up by a litigation team, positioning over the DotA trademark ownership issue. Last week on The Lawbringer, I gave a summary of what is happening between Valve, Blizzard, Riot Games, and the DotA community, concluding that the fight over who owns the DotA name has to be fought now because of a fight brewing for years as the genre grew.

In order to expand our minds just a bit and start thinking like we want to understand the problem, we need to build a framework around the DotA issue with questions about what this is all about. Let's boil the issues down to simple questions.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Rumble Between the Junglers: How the DotA fight began

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, and esoteroic topics that slip through the cracks.

Defense of the Ancients is a genre all unique to itself. Sure, the concepts are not brand new and the bulk of the original game was created using the Warcraft III World Editor, but the lasting appeal and standing reverence of the DotA genre continues today and shows no sign of slowing down. Part tower defense, part real-time strategy unit movement, this game type has experienced astounding growth all over the world over the last decade. As the genre grows, Defense of the Ancients-style games, or MOBAs (multiplayer online battle arenas), or ARTS (action real-time strategy), or... wait... what are we calling this genre?

My initial reaction to the entire naming fiasco was wonderfully summed up by Joystiq's own JC Fletcher: "Which giant company has the rights to the fan-created, community-promoted word 'Dota?'" He's right to be cynical -- justice will be meted out over a word that was born in the Blizzard maps community because of the actions of two super-huge gaming companies. That's not all there is to the story, however.

Therein lies the crux of the hot topic of the day -- Blizzard has finally thrown in its opposition of Valve's attempt to trademark the name Dota for its upcoming release of DOTA 2, a literal successor to the original DotA throne. The problem is that there are a whole bunch more facts, people, and anecdotes in this story than most people know.

I wrote a short post on the Dota trademark issue a few days ago that served as the basic of basics, what the news was about. Here's the short version: Valve is attempting to trademark a name that many gamers (and companies) consider to be a general term for the genre rather than the proper name for the game that spawned the genre. Hell, it could be both.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Blizzard opposes Valve's DOTA trademark application

Blizzard has filed an opposition in Valve's ongoing trademark application to trademark the word DOTA, an acronym for the Defense of the Ancients map made popular through Warcraft III's custom map scene. DOTA was responsible for a good portion of Warcraft III's success and widespread competitive play, and the community has been calling the genre DOTA for many years before Valve began development of DOTA 2.

Valve hired on DOTA developer Icefrog to develop a new DOTA product from the ground up in house. Other DOTA developers went off to form Riot Games, which makes the incredibly popular League of Legends. And even as Riot tries to shift the nomenclature from DOTA to MOBA, the community that started it all is still winning out. Even Valve head honcho Gabe Newell said he didn't like the DOTA or MOBA acronym, instead substituting ARTS, or Action Real Time Strategy, in its place.

Filing an opposition does not necessarily mean that Blizzard wants to trademark DOTA -- it doesn't. Rather, an opposition makes light of information otherwise not seen and shows that there is more at stake and more people and parties have a stake in the word DOTA as being a community-owned term.

Valve and Gabe Newell responded to Blizzard's opposition by stating that the game being developed was a true sequel to DOTA and rightfully should have the moniker trademarked. However, the DOTA genre is still very much a term used to describe the three-lane tower setup of the classic DOTA map.

Blizzard will be releasing its own Blizzard DOTA game in the future through its brand new Battle.net Arcade system.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Why you might like Blizzard DOTA

Fans of Defense of the Ancients, the immensely popular Warcraft III mod that spawned an entirely new genre of gaming, are already conditioned to love Blizzard DOTA. I got to play it this week at BlizzCon 2011 and had a great time getting into the very familiar world. However, many Blizzard fans are not DOTA enthusiasts or even privy to the genre itself. WoW players may not really understand what this Blizzard offering is about or even why they should be interested. Warcraft fan-favorite characters Thrall and Arthas are making appearance in Blizzard DOTA, which means gamers who have ever wanted to pit these monolithic figures against other Blizzard staple characters will get the chance. Here's what you need to know about Blizzard DOTA and why you just might like playing as one of your favorite WoW personalities.

Defense of the Ancients was originally a Warcraft III mod that became so incredibly popular that it spawned the genre know known as MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) or ARTS (action real-time strategy), depending on who you ask. The game consists of three paths that connect two bases with destructible buildings and towers along the path routes. Waves of minions or creeps, NPC characters that spawn endlessly from both bases, meet in the middle of these lanes to do battle. You control a powerful hero who levels up, gains skills and abilities, and can purchase items from a shop. Your goal is to fight these minions and enemy players, destroy the enemy towers and buildings, and win the game.

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Filed under: Blizzard, BlizzCon

Gametrailers.com's Warcraft Retrospective continues

The second part of Gametrailers.com's Warcraft Retrospective has gone up, and it's no less fun and informative than the first. Picking up right where it left off, the second part starts with Warcraft III, following the ascension of some of the most well known Blizzard employees such as Rob Pardo, Chris Metzen, and Samwise Didier, not to mention the company and Warcraft series as a whole.

This edition of the series focuses a lot more on one specific game than the first edition, and there's not necessarily anything wrong with that. Warcraft III changed a lot about the RTS genre and whether that's a good thing or not is up to the individual. It changed how you managed your units, your base, and your resources, making units more important than just canon fodder. That was especially true when it came to the hero units that now highlight World of Warcraft. This retrospective also goes into the infamous DOTA before it steps up to The Frozen Throne, so if you've no idea what that crazy Europop video is all about, you'll find out!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions

Breakfast Topic: What Blizzard didn't announce at the opening ceremony

By now I'm assuming you've read the liveblog or seen the announcement post and heard: Diablo 3 is go.

By now you have probably also heard that there really weren't any other announcements at the opening ceremony. Don't get me wrong, Diablo 3 is awesome. But as much as we're Blizzard fanboys (and fangirls) here, we're all about the WoW first, and we need some WoTLK news to sustain us too -- and we still don't know what that mysterious "next generation MMO" in development is either -- it seems most people are assuming it's Starcraft now though. Me, I'm not convinced. After all, there's a Starcraft game in development too, so it could presumably be either franchise, or simply an updated World of Warcraft 2.

There's quite a few things that could come out about WotLK today and tomorrow, of course. I'm still hoping for an opening cinematic and an official release date to start. While we're at it, how about giving us a demo of the Dance Studio or Barbershop, or better yet, some other unannounced new major feature for the expansion? I might even settle for new skills, talent trees, or even a new battleground preview.

What are your expectations and hopes for news from the World Wide Invitational as it soldiers on?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, News items, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

The Art of War(craft): DotA-style Battleground in WotLK?


My brothers are addicts. Actually, make that my brothers, my best friend, my brother-in-law, and more than a handful of other friends. Although most of them have played World of Warcraft at some point or the other, circumstances ranging from subscription fees and schedules have prohibited them from playing the game regularly. Instead, they get their Warcraft fix by playing DotA. A lot. For those unfamiliar with the term, DotA means Defense of the Ancients, a highly popular Warcraft III scenario developed by various independent authors. In the scenario, players control a single unit, a Hero -- one of about ninety as of version 6.52c -- that they use to combat waves of NPCs and take down enemy Heroes. They play DotA for hours on end every day, and if the rumors are true, it just might happen that their addiction just might become mine, as well.

Through one of the most thorough tips WoW Insider's ever gotten, reader Kevin breaks down some speculation that the new Battleground in Wrath of the Lich King will be DotA-inspired. In the slew of interviews that Blizzard granted in early May about the next expansion, Tom Chilton and Jeffrey Kaplan confirmed that they would be introducing a new Battleground in WotLK which "(is) set up as sort of an attack-defend scenario; features siege vehicles, and (has) destructible building components." Those nebulous answers are wide open for interpretation, but if I allow my Battleground-hungry self to dream, all those features can translate into a World of Warcraft DotA map.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Battlegrounds, Rumors

WoW theme for Blackberry

Not to be outdone by the WoW iPhone theme, Xtina over on WoW LJ took it upon herself to use those WoW icons to create a theme for the Blackberry. This one's even a little more in-depth -- she even skinned the calling screen (which is actually easy enough to do on the iPhone as well, but we just hadn't seen it before). Plus, the best part is that this one is completely legit -- you just download the file from Xtina's page there, and you can install it using Desktop Manager.

Of course, we haven't actually heard from Blizzard about any of this stuff yet -- odds are that as great as their icons are, they're not real thrilled with seeing them used in other places (a friend of mine who just recently saw me playing World of Warcraft shouted out in surprise, "Hey! Those are the icons from that game on Facebook!" I didn't bother telling her about the real DotA or Warcraft III). Then again, both of these are completely fanmade and free to download -- surely themes like this, that let Blizzard fans show off their loyalties, can be let through the loopholes.

Filed under: Tricks, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Add-Ons, Fan art

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