Now before anyone calls me bias or anything after this post, do note that DoTA has been a staple of my computer gaming nerd nights and as far as skill levels are concerned, I’m a darn good and solid PUB player, but only because I’m not a part of any teams/clans whatsoever, where I also note that DoTA is a team game 99% of the time, whereas SC2 is usually a 1v1 matchups.
The point is I know DoTA’s ins and outs and what it takes to win games as well as to lose games, and it comes to a point where I know what each Hero can do and should do, or what items to get and when to get them, where at this point of time I can say that, though I don’t want to sound any boastful than it might sound, my knowledge and experience of DoTA has reached a ceiling cap where the only way for me to improve further is by getting myself into a team and start entering team tourneys, where a slightly yet significant different metagame is required.
Yeah, I’m just that good, and every game I play I end up being the best hero-user in the team (although I must say that I’m certainly not the best player during that game itself) but I often come out being the best hero-user of my team, and this situation sucks a lot whenever you lose the game — you feel like you could’ve taken the victory, but no your other teammate decides that they’ll let the opponent farm on them and peg them back in their lanes.
Early game lane control is everything in DoTA and even a slight edge will turn the tide greatly towards mid-game, and the worst part about this point is that, you get to control only your own lane during early games, as what happens in other lanes you can’t really do much other than to run up to that said lane and apply pressure to the opponents (at the expense of abandoning your lane and allowing that lane’s opponent to free-farm! Ouch!).
What makes DoTA such an awesome RTS/Action/RPG game, is that it’s very much dependant upon your very own skills as well as your team’s play, and its popularity is evident by the number of copycats that has spun off already, but is it really better than Starcraft II?
Fact: I. Love. DoTA, and there’s nothing that’s quite a substitute for it but I have to say that Starcraft II, or SC2, itself is a beast of an RTS game, as evident by the immensely community that has been built around it.
For the records, and if anyone remembers it, I loved Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness so much that I even dream about it sometimes, and imho WCII:ToD was probably the best ever RTS made — orcs, turtles, exploding dwarves, dragons, mages, paladins, and oh I could so go on, but the point being it was such a good RTS game, and it still is.
And then there’s this charming, eloquent, sleek gentlemen known as Starcraft II that casually and nonchalantly ambled into my presence and imposed itself upon me, where like a child presented with a gigantic rainbow lollipop, I’m suckered and enslaved by the fervent ferocity of the combination of economy, production and offensive/defensive strategy within the game.
So is it really better than DoTA or WCII:ToD, well let me get to that in a while.
The gameplay premise itself is simply a collection of actions that you as a player (of one of three races) have to take persistantly:
1) Mine minerals and gas (Economy);
2) Use economy to erect buildings and army units (Production);
2) Produce wisely and use your army to destroy your opponents (Strategy).
And then that’s where the simplicity ends as you’ll soon learn that every step that you take during the first few minutes of the game is as crucial as a baby learning and taking it’s baby steps — if the baby fails to grasp and learn the motor skills, it’ll get overrun by someone else who does know how to, and how to do it well too.
Any second not mined, is income not earned, and production on halt.
Any income not spent, is production not utilised and a strategy that’s weaker than it should have been.
Any strategy not implemented, is as good as walking blindly with your backpack full of your life-savings monies towards a cliff with an unforgiving dropoff.
With three races to play, you have a plethora of economic mindset, a mind-boggling array of build orders and a devastating arsenal of attack, and this potent mixture of options is what makes Starcraft II stands out from most games, most notably DoTA.
In DoTA’s late game, there are heroes that are labeled late-gamers, because when they reach the late game stage, they can be overpoweringly imbalanced.
In SC2 however, there’s this sense that even though you may lag slightly behind in the race, a well thought out strategy, counter and tactics will definitely land you the upper hand to win a game, where there isn’t really a situation where the units at your disposal is at a disadvantage to your opponent’s, because the metagame in SC2 is built such that there are various possible counters to every unit of each race — much like a game in Magic: The Gathering (MTG) where there is never a deck that cannot be beaten, as counters to certain strategy is readily available.
Btw, I love MTG, because that’s another awesomely stupendous, nerve-chillingly brilliant strategy cardgame.
So you think that your build or race is invincible in SC2? Think again, because when your opponent is smart enough to scout your tactics, he’s able to counter you in every way imaginable and all your hard work goes down the drain. (Always scout your map and what your opponent is up to, and you have the edge in the game. A slight edge, but an edge nevertheless.)
As I gravitate towards the end of this uber long post, the question again begs the mind: Is SC2 better than DoTA?
Hmmm, good question: What do you think?