Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 23, 2016

The joy of HOTS

Above: Plays like this are so much fun!

There is a link I saw from here that I think should be shared. Here it is:

“I am 20 minutes in right now. As one of the designers on the original dota, I actually agree on all points. A lot of the things mentioned on DotA were not changed due to fears about breaking the game or causing an uproar in the player base. I was one of those who wanted to simplify mechanics, remove denying, replace last hitting with a different laning mechanic, simplify the item system, and removing complex rule exceptions and glitches that were cherished because one was more likely to win for being aware of them.” – Christopher Macker

from Sirlin.net HOTS Podcast

I used to be very active in the Warcraft 3 modding scene. some of my stuff probably ended up in the DOTA map as did many other people. Anyone who has experience with the Warcraft 3 engine knows that DOTA was never ‘designed’ but was a victim of the Warcraft 3 engine limitations and mechanics.

Listen to that key term: ’cause an uproar’. Why would changing something cause an uproar? I will tell you why. It is because it would hurt the egos of the people who play it. One of the things about RPGs is that they tend to be ego-machines. They message your ego. You get more armor and weapons and experience, you become ‘more powerful’. MOBAs are perhaps the best ego machine ever made, better than a MMORPG, because every win occurs is due to ‘your elite skills’ and every loss is due to ‘crappy team’. MOBAs are more like multiplayer RTS games.

HOTS seems to be the first type of this game not based on Warcraft 3 mechanics. It is like the Next Generation of MOBA in that sense. Because of that, it is not understood especially by experienced MOBA players. Because HOTS is full of ‘this is my very first MOBA game’ type players, it is easy for an experienced MOBA player to do well in HOTS. But that is changing fast as the player base becomes more experienced. There is no individuals in HOTS; everyone is connected by a team. This blows up the ego machine. You’re not going to carry games unless you become a team leader.

HOTS is currently growing by leaps and bounds. I see people switch to HOTS from other mobas, but not the other way around. The old mechanics are just boring and lame. Also, people miss their mounts. I think with its unique mechanics, HOTS has Blue Oceaned itself away from the Red Ocean of MOBAs. Paragon and Smite are going to gore each other. As HOTS becomes more developed (just a month ago it finally got bans in ranked!), I expect it to draw more. I expect the old Warcraft 3 mechanics are going to be a long term liability because if annoying mechanics were destined to stay in, we’d be playing high definition NES games and Amiga games today.

Above: Most of my games end up something like this. Individual skill does matter!


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