Thursday, March 6, 2014

3 more days of Dota 2!

Getting wrecked is addictive

I've been playing more DOTA 2. That's right, my original intention of playing every one of my games for 3 days has been put aside for one of the most challenging and punishing games I've ever played. I'm horrible, and I'll probably never get good enough to be useful to my team in any role. I'll probably be called NOOB so many times I'll forget my own name. And if I could give someone starting up a tip to playing DOTA 2 it would be this:
DOTA 2 fan art by Kunkka.
DON'T PLAY DOTA 2 (if you have a life).
Generally I'm pretty level headed when it comes to games. I enjoy many different genres and styles, and love giving new things a shot. I get excited when a new Call of Duty comes out, as well as putting massive amounts of time into each Final Fantasy. Lately however DOTA 2 has overshadowed everything else -- I've become slightly obsessed. Well, maybe more than slightly.
I've begun playing casts in the background at wok, to try to get used to the terms, items, and heroes. I've started watching guides on my free time to see what builds are good for each hero. I've even ditched my morning news session for a chance to trollop through the DOTA 2 forum on reddit. There isn't a part of  my day that DOTA hasn't infected -- and even when I'm not doing something related to DOTA, I'm thinking about it.
Now that's not to say I'm not a functioning human being. I still take care of my family and responsibilities dutifully, but the endless combinations of teams and builds still lies pervasively in my sub-conscious. It's an itch that I have to wait all day to scratch, and even then only for a short 2 game session. The problem is that I don't have the time that DOTA requires, but nonetheless it keeps calling to me. I hear its sirens call from my office and am drawn ever so slowly to it by the end of the day. Every step bringing me closer to those few team games I can fit in before I collapse in bed from sleep deprivation.
If you read my blog, you can even see that I've stopped posting every 3 days about games. That's making assumptions though that I have an audience. Unfortunately the numbers pinging my blog don't even add up to compete with the call and drag me away from DOTA enough to write. I'm dearly sorry if you're one of those people, I'll do my best to get back to reviewing more games. 

Even so, I still enjoy it massively

Trying new heroes is half the fun!
Though it has stolen parts of my life and hours that I'll never get back, DOTA 2 still keeps me coming back because it's a fucking blast. It's a blast like a nuclear bomb of fun, even when I'm losing horribly. I can understand when people flame because it's just so intense. I think my mouse might give out from overuse because I'll be clicking like a madman trying to keep up with my avatar for at least 45 minutes at a time. I'm surprised I haven't set the desk on fire. Thinking about it I might need to get a fire extinguisher for the office here.
Nonetheless the massive amount of heroes for flavor and the items that I still don't understand half of are fun and interesting to use and combine. Then there's the extremely addictive items you earn after each fight. You collect weapons, chests, and treasure that you can show off on your heroes. Like a meta-collectible card game The collectors concept of hero sets and the daily sales that are going on in the store keep me visiting, and while I'm there I might as well play a game right? Just one game right? I could get some items for free, and make my heroes even flashier! 
Those games are where you get the full effect of your hero. The team fights are the most rewarding as everyone dumps all of their skills in to one screen-wide area. For several moments the center of my computer displays something like a European rave and death reigns over everything. Then it's all over and someone runs away into the forest while another recovers from being practically crippled for the fight. If you're the one to walk away from a bomb-site like that you're lucky. If you walk away with kills you're lucky and you've got money to spend on more items that will make the next fight even more intense.
It's this intensity of each game combined with the high learning curve and the collectible nature of items that is SO addicting and rewarding at the same time. Every game is a chance to improve and it's definitely tangible every time you earn something as a reward. These items have real-world value too that you can see in the store. You feel like you're earning something for nothing, and having fun while doing it. The illusion is so strong that I can nearly never resist it if I have the chance.
So if anyone wants to join in with me after this rant, let me know because I'm always looking for teammates. I'm on Steam as BigDadGamer (Big_Dad_Gamer) And if you've not given DOTA 2 a chance, do or don't depending on whether or not you have other things to do with your time. Because it will definitely prevent you from pursuing anything else but fleeing heroes.
(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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