One of the interesting video game genres that has gained popularity over the last few years is the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA). This type of genre can be thought of as a sub-genre of real-time strategy video games like Starcraft 1 or Warcraft 3. Originally MOBA was popularized when the Dota (Defense of the Ancients) community created map on the arcade section of the game Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos. Now there are many different kinds of MOBAs that people can play and they all start with the same basic generic map.
Looking at this map you can see that there are three main lanes that players can battle in with their heroes. The goal of each game is to eventually destroy the main structure in the enemies base before they destroy yours. Each lane receives a periodical wave of creeps that attack enemy towers, structures, and creeps.
You can kill these creeps to gain gold for your hero so you can buy more powerful items. There are two MOBAs in particular that have a great map and good gameplay. These two games are Dota 2 and League of Legends and they are both free to play. I argue if you are first starting out you should play League of Legends.
I have played both Dota 2 and League of Legends for countless hours and I have to say that League has the better matchmaking system hands down. One of the huge problems I found in Dota 2 was that I kept getting matched with teammates who I couldn’t understand. They would type in Russian and they would speak over the microphone in Russian. There were even games when I would get matched up with teammates who were Brazilian and I couldn’t understand them.
Even though I always selected the option to only get matched with people from the United States, I would often get matched with Russian teammates. This presented a huge problem for me because I did not know if we could work together as a team. I did not know if the Cold War and Space Race rivalry was still a thing or not. Because if it was still a thing then I did not know if I should be mad at the Russian or if he should be mad at me for being American. It was just very confusing to be matched with a Russian who would scream over the microphone. Thankfully in League you get matched with people who you can understand.
Another critique I have of Dota is that the matchmaking system does not fairly balance the teams. I know some people might come to Dotas defense by arguing about the hidden match making rating. Even so, at times I felt I was matched up against players who were way more skilled then me and this resulted in many matches in which I got stomped. In League, I found that the matchmaking system was more balanced because you could see all of the players in the game were around the same skill level. Plus they also spoke English.
The League community is better than Dotas. In Dota, if you were to feed by having your hero die a lot because you were bad at the game, this would result in very nasty messages from your teammates. They would say very profane language towards you constantly throughout the whole game and then they would ultimately blame the teams loss on you.
As a beginning player who was trying to learn the game, it really sucked having to go through all of the nasty language insults while I was honestly trying to learn the game. Because of the nasty Dota community as a whole, it is very hard for beginners to get into the game because they first have to get through all of the nasty insults. It seems people don’t understand that they were a noob once and they should grant a beginning player some respect.
Playing League with other players who were bad, I found that there was not as much nasty language towards beginning players who sucked. In League there was not such a serious vibe as there is in Dota, because of the lack of a serious vibe people were more nice to each other and had more fun. It feels more relaxing to play League than it is to play Dota with the nasty community.
Dota 2 has the denying mechanic which many players like. Denying is when you kill a friendly creep when it is at low health in order to prevent an enemy player from killing it in order to gain gold. The idea is to deny many creeps from enemy heroes so that they are at a gold disadvantage because of all the potential gold they lost from having the creeps denied to them. Many players feel that denying is an important skill to have in Dota.
League does not have the denying mechanic and it is something that I like. In League you cannot purposefully kill your own friendly creeps. I know at the end of the day it is just a video game, but I do not like the idea of killing your own friendly troops in order to prevent an enemy from gaining an advantage. It just seems like such a stupid concept that is outdated and should no longer be in MOBAs.
So give League a try with its matchmaking system, community, and lack of a denying mechanic. I think it is a really great game that is much easier to get into than Dota. Ask your friends if they play League so y’all can team up and have fun in the game.