Showing posts from November, 2021

What Ability Draft Taught me About Dota's Design

First, a preamble -- I have been playing Dota 2 on and off since I was twelve. I don't think I'm very good at it, but I'm addicted to it nonetheless. I'm fascinated by what I think Dota's design represents: choice. Dota is a complex game. A hard game. You're expected to know and understand hundreds of items, heroes and abilities, when and how to utilize each of them, and esoteric mechanics that often resemble programming bugs. Then, you're expected to make some choices: your lane, your role, your hero, your build, your items, your strategy. The list goes on. The already steep learning curve steepens when you consider that nine other humans are thrown in to the tug of war, each of which are making their own choices to help or to hinder your struggle. Actions, interactions, reactions. Ten people, making choices to win. The deep complexity that Dota famously possesses that scares off many, however, is the source of its exclusive status in the world of action-st