Wednesday, February 26, 2014

3 days of...DOTA 2!

I have no idea what I'm doing

Taking on the challenge of a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) like DOTA 2 might have been my worst choice this week. Especially considering the 3 day time table I've been giving myself for games lately. It's been truly harrowing to understand that I'm a disgusting piece of slime that doesn't deserve to walk the earth because I don't know how to "lane" properly.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm especially bad at DOTA 2. I come from the game of it's origin, Warcraft III, where you not only have a hero to control, but an entire army. So I figured that it wouldn't be that hard. I was undeniably, especially, horrifically wrong. I was more wrong than Miley Cyrus on stage.

And the ensuing torrent of flames, regardless of announcing myself a NOOB, was endless and horrible. I even prepared myself. I went out to a nice dinner, dressed up in my finest collared shirt, and had a glass of wine with a blackened chicken breast. I had a confidence boosting night for myself so that any comments on DOTA wouldn't absolutely wreck me. I failed completely. It took me two good games before I was sitting in my hotel room hating myself for being such a horrible person and teammate to people I didn't even know.

Honestly I don't remember feeling this bad for letting down people I DO know. Thinking of that made me feel even worse. The fact that I wanted to please these digital avatars of people I'd never met before more than my own comrades and friends makes me feel bad. It's the competition in me, I feel the need to be useful in-game, and instead my very presence is a burden to both my team and myself. It's hard to get started in a MOBA, and yet there's something that draws me back to it every time.

I died immediately following this battle.
The endless combinations of hero teams, and shop items. The cosmetic shop that Valve has showed a mastery over. The undeniably fast matchmaking. The UI that screams efficiency and friendliness at the same time. Everything about the game has been tooled down to the smallest detail. To the point that I don't even feel bad about losing, because I know it's not the games fault, but my own.

DOTA 2 makes losing fun. Honestly I've never felt better about losing while hating myself more. I learned so much. I know things now that I didn't before 2 matches vs. humans and dozens of training matches vs. bots. I'll keep trying to get better. The day I top those charts on my team for the first time I'll be ecstatic. Until that day I'll have to keep training.

I'll give it this though, DOTA 2 has got hooks, and if you're not careful they'll sink their teeth into you, and you won't be able to pry them loose.

You'll like this game if: You're a competitive asshole looking for a place to flaunt your digital talent while making other people feel inadequate. Also if you like fun games, no matter how hard they are.

(If you had a different opinion or a new video game to suggest, leave a comment below! If you want to recieve regular updates, follow me on Twitter @SimonGolden.)

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