I have played MANY hours of DotA 2. I have played them mainly with Skype running as my friends and teammates bound around the map attempting to work out what we’re doing. There is singing, shouting, swearing and sometimes a 20-minute-long post-match analysis period so I’ve had more than enough time to compile a list of five things you will find yourself saying a LOT.
1. “RUN AWAY RUN AWAY RUN AWAYYYYYYY”
So you got carried away, cheerfully surfing a creep wave to the enemy tower and them bam! Every hero under the sun is about to rip your head off, your recently purchased teleport scroll is stuck somewhere inside a donkey who is taking an altogether too casual approach to coming for a visit and your HP is decreasing with the speed at which plotholes appear in Torchwood. Your best bet? The other direction and really really fast.
2. “WHAT THE BLOODY HELL JUST HIT ME?”
Ah, that’ll probably be Zeus. Or Ancient Apparition. Or Sniper. Or basically any hero who can attack you from a ridiculous distance. Death in Dota2 is not necessarily a local experience.
3. “THIS IS ACTUALLY GOING REALLY WELL”
This is the surest sign that things are not going well. You might think they are. You might even have killed someone or taken down an enemy tower, but unless you are in the process of landing the final whack that grinds their pulsatingly smug Ancient structure into a fine paste you are more than likely to be about five seconds from death. If you find yourself saying “Guys, I think we might actually win this!” all is probably lost.
4. “WAIT, WHAT?”
Yeah. This is the one that happens the most. It’s similar to (2) but acts as a net for literally every other way in which this smorgasbord of bafflement and death will baffle or kill you. Maybe someone disappeared when you weren’t looking? Perhaps someone from your own team casually trapped you within a ring of trees? Or some dude scooped you up and lobbed you into the middle of the battlefield? Or is every single other player is capslocking at you in Russian (I like to think this is a positive thing))? Regardless of the specifics you will spend your first fifty hours or so confused as all hell.
5. “JUST ONE MORE GAME”
Yes. Because baffling and deadly and obscure and weird and complicated and bonkers as DotA 2 feels at first, underneath that is a streamlined thing of beauty. One map, a squillion heroes and the ability to tap into your competitive pleasure zones like nothing else. When you lose you want to get rid of that stench of defeat with one more sweet victory. When you win you feel invincible and want to keep going.
Find friends, find a regular team and bid farewell to your evenings because “davenotdave has invited you to play DotA 2″…