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DotA: The Psychological Analysis

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Eusira, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. Eusira

    Eusira

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    DotA has spawned a trail of followers, and its poor quality and blankly thought out systems often hook people nonetheless. Why so? In this essay, I intend to explain my personal opinion of how this game, despite all the rambles and hard work the modding community puts into their maps, puts an iron thumb over peoples' hard work.

    In the modern world today, people are entertainment addicted. A movie that is climatic and presents the themes of action and suspense often puts itself over the educational notions that lead to better awareness, as well as a well thought out theme versus the pure macabre scenes and SFX-stuffed fights i.e. James Bond versus Supersize Me!, and The Matrix versus its sequels, respectively. In such a sense, DotA has its entertainment value, but also pulls away from the deep quality people put into their maps, and stuffs it with a basic theme revolving around the cliched strife between the Scourge and Sentinel. This removes the need for a background story, and inhibits consumer response to the game, raising little question, and only bringing up all senses as a given.

    DotA also has relatively odd social benefits. Being dubbed as a frequent player gives people a sense of inclusion, but the pure joy comes from their ability to exclude other players, forming a sort of clique. This degrades the BNet society into several rambling fools who deem themselves superior because they can play a third-person CS which puts their computer running only slightly faster than all the rest. Newcomers are often shunned from more "pro" or "gosu" games, because a player often feels the social or euphoric benefits of sweet victory both override the need to welcome and accept in a more placid manner, or the needs for defeat. When onces asking my friend about DotA and how poor it is made, he crassly commented, "Why, do you suck?" Given this statement, it's fairly easy to conclude that there isn't much data in a DotA addict's mind to comprehend a dislike other than the fact that a hater is a "noob." Players who lose tend to go on a "crash," much like drug addicts, though the reason is unknown.

    Autonomy has also become chiefly responsible in both DotA and the real world. People no longer support each other, but rather use everyone else as a stepping stone, bypassing limits of law and enforcemeny for a sense of freedom, and a lack of limitation. In this sense, a DotA host also has this free will for their sick abusive purposes. Such things as an enforced banlist compel a DotA player to be forced into the game, whereoften incompetent or belligerent players often push society to just above a slum, only because the environment is virtual. Commands such as the all random may reduce this sort of autonomy, but luck also presents a theme of megalomaniacal control, due to the fact your foe may be at a disadvantage, given the eighty or so "heroes" in the game. Lastly, DotA breaks the haphazard limitations of balance Blizzard gives in their maps. Your hero, in the game, pops up at ~39-60 damage, meaning a quick easy kill without repercussions. Observing my brother play the normal expansion Orc campaign, he commented, "This hero's so weak. In DotA, you're hella stronger." By saying you do 109-128 damage+180 on "Very fast," players don't consider the actual meaning of
    1) an AOS
    2) a RTS engine
    Given that, the appeal stems from the sheer control a player has in their hero and environment. In a satirizing remark, I could picture a player's mind going, "Omg, I got da divine rapier nd i acn kil u in 2 hits, so run like a [insert any number of derrogative expletives here]." DotA also presents a number of instantaneous quick-fixes to normally more farsighted and tedious investments, lowering the minimum brain capacity of which to function in the game. Thus, some drug overdosed idiot would probably still have enough brainwaves to play a game of DotA, whilst a brilliant modder would feel stupid not thinking enough.

    Lastly, DotA has become an allusion in its own right. In a personal experience, in the other forum I moderate at, which hosts its own game, we ask for permission from Blizzard to use some of its icons. Being that our playerbase (mostly intelligible), comes from the Warcraft community, one of the users remarked, "the golden blade of fortitude looks like the divine rapier from dota. did u guys steal from it?" After we mentioned they come from World of Warcraft, I almost expected another idiot to go and say, "So WOW ripped off DotA?"

    I end my lengthy rant here, but being only shortly back in the cesspool that is the DotA-infested Lordaeron Gateway, I switche Azeroth, which not only limits the amount of DotA I see, but also the amount of stupid I could satirize. Remember, it's only an opinion, you can concur or dissent to any of my claims.
     
  2. Ki

    Ki

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    Here I go.

    I don't think this is the reason people play it. I think its simply because they have so many heroes to choose from. The AOS action is pretty common on Warcraft III grounds with other maps like FF Tactics, Tides of Blood, WOW Battlegrounds, and even in Blizzard's Candy Wars. What seperates DotA from these maps? The number of characters to choose from. More characters brings so much potential for different combonations in team play.

    I think I understand what you are saying here. But honestly, most people could care less of the depth or quality of a game. What most people consider a good map is a fun map, not necessarily one that has been polished beautifully and has a deep, enriching story. This may be the means of which Blizzard can take control of this map and hosts contests and such. It is based off of their story line, giving them full access to using it.

    That's not much of a friend.

    There are two reasons why someone would call another a noob in this game of DotA. 1) They encourage competition and either want the person to get better or quit. 2) They want to maintain a high level of transcendence. In most cases, it's number 2.

    This is why I like random matches. But all in all, I think that the updaters of DotA have done a fairly decent job at balancing. I mean, you have to agree, 80 heroes are extremely difficult to balance. They have so many updates because of this.

    I can agree with you here, but this is true for most AOS games, not just DotA.

    I've actually heard some people said the exact opposite where DotA was infested in Azeroth and they switched to Lordaeron.

    And concerning another issue that deals with Guinsoo taking action against Blizzard for control of the map, he won't be success mainly because the map was created inside the Warcraft universe. If the map had its only quality and depth as you have described it should have, he might have a chance here, but that isn't the case.

    My arguement remains that DotA cannot be stopped, despite others' and my own dislike for it, because it is a free environment. This means that a host can host whatever game he wishes to and, likewise, anyone can join the game he/she wishes to. You can't force or limit people to certain games.

    And why would most people continue to play this game? Most likely because they find it fun because most often people don't play games they don't like.
     
  3. Eusira

    Eusira

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    Thanks for bringing up some minor points I overlooked. Yes, Guinsoo's going to have his ass handed to him by Blizzard, simply because:
    1) He made it with the editor. He can't say it was all his creation
    2) From the site, which states "DotA stands for “Defense of the Ancients”, it's a free mod for Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne.," it's actually a map. Mod is a conversion building on the game engine. Technically mapmakers aren't modders because the expansionism capabilities are built into the game, whereas the original mod of CounterStrike was a conversion using new models, weapons, etc.
    3) I think it's DotA that will be the next Stratagus due to legal issues or overexpansion.

    Just a small addition, but DotA also has this sense of overanticipation. Once a turning point, a very small one, is breached, i.e. Roshan's death, more or less, one team just has to go around picking off the remnants of the enemy, without a chance of recovery. Forfeit is a bit difficult, because if you leave, you're banned, else sit there for another five to twenty minues wasting away while the enemy does so to your base. Games like Tides of Blood have a sense where some tactics, like a unit tower being built, can be countered, or the final stitch of cash that lets you buy a Mask of Death and get your game going. Guinsoo was smart enough to lower the amount of life steal, but stupid in the sense where everyone kills each other too fast for life steal to be marginally useful. A single attack yields, for example, 20 health (10%), but you kill off your little adversary in probably 8 hits.

    I like your comment here a lot:
    Preservation of transcendence is quixotic unless you propose some oddball way of locking out the noobs so only junkies will participate.

    As for the switch to Azeroth, it's about 40% DotA, Lordaeron's about 68% for me. Today, I actually found two instances of RP's, a couple Enfos', and one (count 'em, one) Force Majeur map. It probably depends on time, because I don't see a lot of games that are useful. The best is a land-based spoof of the old Battleships game, which is morphed upon over and over away from the original owner.
     
  4. penguinsmasher

    penguinsmasher

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    @Eusira: You're good at this. You should get a job on journalism. :D

    Yeah. Some people play DOTA because of the no-brainer gameplay to them is fun. (and the fact that they always know which hero is more powerful than the rest) Some people DON'T play DOTA because of its steep learning curve due to its slightly imbalanced units. (the units that are sent out of each of the bases, uneven number of creeps and creep camps on each side, and most of the heroes on each side)
     
  5. VGsatomi

    VGsatomi

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    For reasons of transcendence? More like condescendence.

    I don’t want to sound redundant since Eusira basically already covered most everything that can be said about dota, but…

    You can take any map off this site, even the greatest ones and try them on b.net. They wont survive. Why? Because the norm for b.net has already been set, and it all revolves around dota. When it comes to the point where if you play your first game and arent good at it, and are immediately banned, it tells your something about the standards that these dota gamers live by.

    From my own perspective, dota does nothing but cater the "ZOMFG I pwnz0red j00!" part of the internet culture that has festered in online gaming communities this past decade. Its not about strategy, its about exploiting imbalances and pretending like it was your in intelligent skill that allowed you to best your enemy, or upon loss, blaming it on everything but yourself. The fact that there is so many of these people out there is one reason I believe this game a spread and risen to such popularity. Just the simple addition of the Unreal Tournament sounds helps it carry over the level of competition that you see rigorously displayed in first person shooters.

    Dota is like the physical embodiment of everything online irresponsibility stands for, and once a game is played that much, people don't tend to move onto anything else simply because "its not dota". You may say that people play it because it is fun, but on lordaeron it really seems that if you simply want to play a game, it would have to be dota (I'm sure you've seen my news post about how bad it is there regarding lack of variety). You can try hosting another map, but again, "its not dota."

    Hard work, effort, balance and all these other things you see in so many other AoS maps really doesn’t matter any more, I'm sorry to say. One thing I got to hand it to dota, though, is that it is very past paced. Try moving a regular dota player to something else, say, ToB or some other AoS that requies patience and strategy, and the game will feel like its crawling in comparison and simply brush it off as "boring" and not bother with it. On a bad day I could easily rant saying that dota causes Attention Deficit Disorder.
    -VGsatomi
     
  6. Sansui

    Sansui

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    Ok good rant I hate dota aswell. But!
    Lets get this straight, supersize me! was a biased documentary not a movie.
    and not to mention Superlies me! is mostly dishonest because the guy(i think he was a vegan?) purposely eats over 5k calories when its actually very easy to stay under 2k.
    Read up on superdownsize me.
    Not only that but it will do more damage to you if you suddenly start eating like that. his body was suddenly treated differnt and that is why the damage was so severe.

    James bond was and is a better movie than supersize me on EVERY level.


    now for matrix.

    Matrix 1 was better.
    the other sucked.
    matrix 1 sucked.
    Matrix 1 was better because it was the first and the idea was sort of different all though not by much.

    thats all i have to say, today.
     
  7. Ki

    Ki

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    Condescendence exists because of transcendence. I would only bring someone down to bring me up. Some people really feel invigorated by placing theirselves higher than everyone else by repeating the word "noob" multiple times.

    I don't think that is the reason they won't survive. I think it is because they don't have as many heroes and their level of fun doesn't reach DotA's. Yes, the fact that it has so much popularity does contribute to its ability to exist for so long, but I think someone could in fact make a better map than DotA and destroy it to some extent. I mean you could look at some maps that are still surviving barely, like Dark Deeds and Tree Tag (with ents vs. infernals). They arn't necessarily the best and most polished maps; people just enjoy them the most.

    This isn't true. Essentially, anyone can host any game they want. And you don't think people of join? Sure they will. I will sometimes host a game that isn't DotA (not saying I host DotA, just I don't host often). People will join it.

    I've heard before that ToB requires more strategy. But how? Please ellaborate because I fail to see how this is true. I am aware of the fact that you can buy towers to produce more units, but I don't think that can be the only thing that makes it require more strategy. I could see that as requiring more team work as you have to donate your money, but that's all.
     
  8. Eusira

    Eusira

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    The friend who was crass commented DotA as the "third-person CS." Essentially true, but when a game so fast-paced and watered down attracts the slums of an online community, you can't expect a lot else but more idiots to pop up. When people start playing a little more intelligently, i.e. encouraging and working as a team, instead of throwing your lamp out the window because one of your teammates shot down "your" kill, or you get double-teamed.

    I appreciate your comment, VG. Human nature is a pitiful waste of the human genome, though it may have made us a tad smarter than our natural adversaries, I think it's becoming the extroverted idiots who can't think for a moment's rest that populate the online communities. Possibly a bit biased, but of all the gamers that played DotA I know personally, all of them were these extroverted idiots.

    I don't know if any of you people play of used to play, but DotA reminds me of the ConquerOnline.com society. No peaceful minded player can survive there, simply because you have other idiots go around doing one of three things:
    1) Committing full scale genocide of one another
    2) Scamming people illicitly (mind you they have a poor GM staff)
    3) Chasing down some other player because he "stole" your kill two months ago.

    ToB is a really hectic game, if you ask me. Though I never got how to use one hero, the game maintained its strength. In DotA, once your got your little 4-times transformed item, there is no counter, no chance to have a good game, just a wake of destruction. Sure, the banning system may stop the "sore losers," but who wants to play anymore if the game is hopeless, other than the testosterone (generalization) crazed "winners," who, on the contrary, would smash the keyboard shouting out inane profanities, unaware of:
    1) The potential social effect
    2) It's a game, and they need rehab for victory
    3) Words don't bite. It's a virtual game, a screenname, and no, you can't travel and meet the guy on the street then kill him for being a noob.
     
  9. VGsatomi

    VGsatomi

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    You speak as if they don't already exist. Plenty of dota killers have been made. And I do mean PLENTY that are vastly superior in last possible every. Check out the DC section for a few, and I can name a few that arent there, too. But they suffer from the problem that...

    A- They are not dota. They wont settle for anything else.
    B- They are not dota. They wont settle for anything else.
    C- They cater to the wrong audiences (not enouph immaturity, leetspeak and UT sounds)
    D- They are not dota. They wont settle for anything else.

    ...so they rarely (if not never) get played, hosted or rehosted.

    With emhesis on BARELY. Sure, there are a few other maps that are frequently played out there (again just a set few)...maybe, oh, whopping 10% not being dota at any given time. Thats still not variety.

    If you host a game, sure people sometimes join it (only about half the time, thought), but the problem is getting it rehosted again. Think I'm wrong? try it. Take a random map from the archive, host it, and see how long it lasts. TO further prove my point on this- look at Blizzards map site. They created that site with the hopes of diversifying b.net a bit more. They atarted off by hosting maps that are already popular (dota, tob, enfo, ect), but they also hosting some previously little-known but high quality maps. Tell me...do you see b.net as any more diverse? Do you see any more then what was already on there before? I still see 90% dota, with the other 10% being the usual, like risk, sheep tag, ect. (some) Better maps are right there for the taking, and all sponsored by blizz....but they are not succeeding, since dota is still everywhere in sight.

    I dunno, maybe the simple fact that heroes cant slaughter eachother off in 1-2 hits? That heroes start of underpowered so you have to be careful in what you do?
    -VGsatomi
     
  10. Eusira

    Eusira

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    Blizzard maps are actually very, very fun. But in my opinion, they're a sort of PR gimmick to remind people that "we care about more than patches." Nonetheless, I feel that Blizzard has tried, and has also adopted some good maps, i.e. NOTD

    Games like Enfos, Uther Party, all those LOAP's, though the latter is really a piece of trash. Uther and Enfos, despite the relative lack of imports and other things, contain a sense of quality and hard work. TheZizz created these excellent, flawless maps, altering the sort of game engine we function in. Guinsoo turned DotA into an RTS version of an ADHD-prone, unintelligent game. Why? Because all he did we stretch the RTS engine into a little bit more than what it can take. Ah, right, all the heroes cancel each other out. No, not really, when you have all sorts of difficult-to-beat items that you will blame your friends upon if you lose it in some haphazard mistake of ignorance. Honestly, people in the game don't take RTS factors into account. They take the usage of stun or trapping rather than moving a ranged hero under his maximum attack range to allow for offensive flexibility, or invest in a teammate rather than a quixotic quest to get the best item when you're dead-last.

    I'll add to VG's list of DotA-killers:
    1) A player can't wait, or use the concept of a brain for a puzzle
    2) The RTS engine isn't construed enough to make an easy game
    3) There is no "praise," i.e. "Godlike!" and "Unstoppable!" to drug the player
    4) They don't get to meet people as stupid as they are
    5) You actually make friends in that game instead of enemies
    6) You can't exploit anything
    7) "Zomg! i du 18-29 dmg olny!"
    8) You don't have the patience to devise a creative tactic
     
  11. Lord Finarfin

    Lord Finarfin

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    I highly approve of this thread.
     
  12. Ki

    Ki

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    From the maps I've played, the DC section is mainly filled with a collection of maps that hold innovative ideas behind them. Many a time I have downloaded a map from this section, and at first glance said "wow, this is pretty cool", but 5 minutes later I find myself bored. I mean really, I don't think you would ever award the traditional sheep tag as DC because it lacks certain things (particularly terrain) and the concept is very flat. But that brings the question, how has it reached any popularity at all? People enjoyed playing it. Am I saying most people enjoy flat concepts compared to complex concepts? Not really, just that they can be more fun in a lot of cases.

    Of course this isn't variety. My point was, how did these maps become played more than the polished ones? Their originality and simple concepts pushed more people to host their particular maps. It wasn't soley advertising either. People really like the games I have mentioned, like Dark Deeds and Tree Tag.

    Those games where you bought weapons that attacked for you (Tanks and Battleships) give more evidence to what I am saying. All you did was have to move and avoid dying. No micro. Some spell usage, but not much. If I recall correctly, Tanks had very poor terrain. Battleships came into view when people realized that it had the same old concept as Tanks, except it was so much more polished and contained a much higher sense of quality.

    What does that say then? It could only mean that there are very few players on battle.net who actually like diversity. In a democratic election, the one who carries the most votes will win every time. Their reasons for voting for this elector may be beyond flawed, but it is irrelevant. If most people like this DotA hysteria, then I think that's the way it will stay.

    No need to get sarcastic. I haven't been on battle.net often and haven't played those games in an eternity so I do not recall.
     
  13. VGsatomi

    VGsatomi

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    And you don't get bored after 5 minutes of Dota?
     
  14. Gauntlet2021

    Gauntlet2021

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  15. Ki

    Ki

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  16. Eusira

    Eusira

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    Gauntlet, your theory is a joke. Literally. The closest thing to a "cult" in DotA is probably some ill-minded fraternity of which players reside in. Chat monitors are a violation of privacy as well, and no one would get anything out of DotA unless there were subliminal messages, and if I really wanted to push it, would be the effects the Unreal Tournament sound effects have on players.

    New concept: DotA invites the ill-minded. I saw one game of DotA titled something to the effect of, "Help me expand my banlist!" What kind of person wants to actually find "incompetent" people? I'm not quite sure of how the banlist functions, but someone would have to elaborate on that for me. Nonetheless, if DotA players act like a clique and continuously ban people who may have borked their first try, or were fooling around (the latter might deserve the penalty), ultimately the map gets too big when it's flooded with a petty list of removals. For what? Leaving? You can't control what other people do. On the other hand, you can control which people you're around. Sadly enough, a lot of people behind a screenname become too lazy to even make good aquaintances, and go swearing or deeming people noobs.
     
  17. Gauntlet2021

    Gauntlet2021

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    I think that contradicts itself, but yes, as i said in that thread, it was a joke. Although it may not have come out like a joke as clearly as i thought.