Face Off: Is League of Legends a better game than Dota 2?

PC Gamer at

Every week two editors debate a new topic—it's a binary exercise we use to seek common ground conclusions or identify fundamental differences. The "my MOBA vs. your MOBA" argument is a heated one, so we reached outside our walls to SOE game designer and former PC Gamer Senior Editor Josh Augustine for his expertise. Josh was our resident League of Legends authority when he was here, so he's arguing on its behalf, while T.J. stands up for Dota 2.

Dota 2 - The International 2 documentary video released by Valve

Evan Lahti at

The International 2 was Valve's second-annual tournament for Dota 2. Even with the game still in beta, a $1.6 million prize pool (with $1 million awarded to the champs) was dangled before teams, a purse exceeded in eSports only by League of Legends' Season Two Championship.

To coincide with the tournament, which took place at PAX Prime during the days connecting August and September, Valve commissioned a documentary that finally released today. The video features interviews with the 16 teams who competed, following them from the preliminary stages (held at Valve's offices) through to the finale itself.

Old friends: an ode to Defence of the Ancients

Cara Ellison at

I am afraid to play Dota 2. I am afraid I will lose days. I am afraid I will lose the ability to tell the difference between day and night, dinner and breakfast, my arse and my waist.
I am afraid that I am old and slow now – that I have lost what little skill I had. But most of all, I am afraid because I tried to go back to DotA once already, with the 11 friends I used to play it with.

I shouldn’t have gone back.

Dota 2 data yields ideal team composition

Duncan Geere at

What's the ideal Dota team composition? You might be thinking that the answer is something like a carry, a semi-carry/initiator, a pusher, a support and a disabler, or something along those lines. That would make sense right?

Well, Reddit user KjellJagland wanted to find out for sure, so he turned to good, hard, statistics. He sucked in a bunch of Dota data from stats site Dotabuff, ran it through an open source C# app, and ranked different team compositions according to their win ratios.

The making of Dota 2's Aegis of Champions, plus premium WETA replicas

Chris Thursten at

The Dota 2 team have detailed of process of building the Aegis of Champions - the massive trophy and functioning shield given out at the end of this year's International tournament - in conjunction with master propbuilders WETA.

The shield is made of bronze, leather and electroplated silver and features the Dota 2 symbol surrounded by a Radiant and Dire Yin and Yang style motif. An area on the back is reserved for the names of International champions, currently Chinese team Invictus Gaming.

Blizzard and Valve make nice over DOTA trademark

T.J. Hafer at

Blizzard Entertainment and Valve announced in a press release today that an agreement has been reached, after a long dispute, over the use of the name DOTA, originally an abbreviation for the fan-made Warcraft III map Defense of the Ancients. Valve will retain the commercial trademark to DOTA, and will not be required to change the name of their upcoming title DOTA 2, a stand-alone sequel to the Warcraft III map.

The International Dota 2 Championships 2012 to be held at PAX Prime this August

T.J. Hafer at

Today, Valve announced that the second annual tournament for a game that isn't out yet will take place at PAX Prime in Seattle. 2012's Dota 2 tourney will run the weekend of August 31st at the Benaroya Hall, alongside a stop on the $3 million League of Legends tournament organized by rival MOBA-developer Riot. The International uses an invitational format, and so far only two teams have confirmed their invites: China's DK, and last year's champions, Natus Vincere (Na'Vi) from the Ukraine.

Super Monday Night Combat review

Lucas Sullivan at

The original Monday Night Combat existed in limbo between the third-person shooter and MOBA genres, with the lane-pushing of Defense of the Ancients saddled onto shootouts between a scant six classes. Super takes everything that was good about the first game (constant activity, dynamic quips from a clichéd play-by-play commentator, and irreverent character design) but puts more of its chips into MOBA design.

Scoring assists with Prime World's support heroes

Lucas Sullivan at

Nival's entry into the MOBA arena, Prime World, has been kept under fairly-secure wraps since we last saw it at last year's E3 (with a bounce castle and fox-tailed booth babes). All that's changed with the relaunch of Prime World's official website. Now you can get insight into the game's map-changing mechanics, lore, and persistent castle building. But the most important element of a MOBA is its heroes. We're taking a look at the Prime World heroes who've shown their faces thus far, starting with two support heroes, one from each faction. Read on for our breakdown on the Keeper's Artiste and the Imperium's Inventor.

Modding is amazing again

Tim Edwards at

Spore showed the way. The thinking behind its sharing and viral propogation of user created content was near spot on.

Now we look to Valve, and the Steam Workshop, and realise that mods and user-created content is again at the heart of PC gaming.

League of Legends now bigger than World of Warcraft

Henry Winchester at

Insanely popular MOBA title League of Legends has surpassed 11 million active players, giving it a bigger number of players than World of Warcraft’s 10.3 million, according to a new infographic released by the developers. The free-to-play action strategy game now has a registered playerbase of over 30 million people - approximately the population of Sudan, census fans.

Read on for more crazy numbers, and the infographic itself.

Prepare for PvP in WoW's upcoming battlegrounds

Lucas Sullivan at

To many WoW players, PvP is the heart and soul of the game. The sweet satisfaction of slaying your target is just so pure, and killing in a new setting makes it even better. With that in mind, Blizzard's announced four new battlegrounds in the Mists of Pandaria expansion, each with their own inspiration and objective. See what we'll be playing nonstop once the gates to these stomping grounds open up.

First glimpse at Blizzard DOTA; may be entirely free-to-play via SC2 Starter Edition [Updated]

Lucas Sullivan at

With a wink and a nod, Chris Metzen revealed a new trailer for the official Blizzard DOTA map for StarCraft II at this morning's BlizzCon Opening Ceremony. This map may not have the same hype level as StarCraft II's new multiplayer units, but Blizzard has wisely chosen to focus on another asset in their expertise: finding the humor in fights to the death. Alongside offering a new creep, lane, and jungling experience, Blizzard has hinted at "a way to play Blizzard DOTA for free, possibly by including it as part of the StarCraft II: Starter Edition." Check out the four hero roles and the nitty-gritty of the raucous hero-versus-hero romp.

DOTA vs Dota 2: Valve and Blizzard go to war

Richard Cobbett at

Never mind the fuss over Scrolls/The Elder Scrolls - if you want trademark confusion, look to DOTA.

To recap. There's the original DOTA, aka Defense of the Ancients, a Warcraft III map. There's Valve's Dota 2, which doesn't actually stand for anything, acting as a direct commercial sequel. Next year, we can expect Blizzard's official take, with a Starcraft map combining heroes from all of its units. And then there's League of Legends, the same game at heart, whose creators want everyone to use the term MOBA - Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. Sound fair? Perhaps, except that even if you ignore that about 99% of online action games could qualify as that, the likes of Funcom's Bloodline Champions apparently don't, at least not in the eyes of the players... because they're not DOTA.

That pain in your head is a migraine no amount of Neurofen will shift.

League of Legends dev on how pro "celebrities" inspire new players: "there has to be a way for people to shine"

Richard Cobbett at

Were you excited about the prospect of League of Legends' upcoming $5 million season? Did you try watching some matches online, or other e-sports, like the recent Dota 2 invitational or Starcraft matches? Did the insanely high quality of play scare you off for life? Don't worry. You're not alone, and you won't be expected to be anything like that good if you give the game a try. Not immediately, anyway.

We caught up with champion designer on League of Legends, Ryan Scott at Gamescom to ask him how many players operate at the top level, and howthe very best players inspire new heroes to improve.

"What we’ve seen about e-sports is that there’s a couple of factors; there has to be a way for people to shine - there has to be a way for people to be almost celebrities or be well known in the community," he says. "People like to follow celebrities in their favourite sports, e-sports or any other type of game, right?"

Valve to hold $1,000,000 Dota 2 tournament at Gamescom

Lucas Sullivan at

Is your jaw open right now? That's probably thanks to Valve's announcement of The International, the Dota 2 tournament taking place August 17 to August 21 at Gamescom in Germany. This will be the first look that the public gets at Valve's reboot of the classic Warcraft III custom game, and they plan on kicking things off with an esports bang. Sixteen hand-picked teams from around the world will compete in a double-elimination tournament, with the winning team receiving $1 million. One. Million. Dollars. You may now do a Dr. Evil impression if you're so inclined.

League of Legends champion showcase: Wukong the Monkey King

Tom Senior at

Riot Games have revealed the next champion for League of Legends. Wukong the Monkey King will tear up the lanes with a tricky fighting style that will see him do battle alongside clones of himself, and use his whacking stick to deal fast damage at medium range. The video above details his skills and gives a quick overview of Wukong's role on the battlefield. You'll find a summary of the Monkey King's abilities, some concept art and three screenshots below.

Vorp! launches its new Dota-inspired mode

Lucas Sullivan at

Facebook games are—WAIT, DON'T GO! This one's a cut above the Farmvilles and Mafia Wars you've played before. Vorp! is a top-down space shooter that plays like the lovechild of Asteroids and Geometry Wars. Before today, the game was confined to some high-score singleplayer maps and a rudimentary deathmatch, but the Defense of the Armada mode adds 5v5 MOBA action. And that can only mean one thing—it's time to conquer the galaxy the only way I know how: leveling abilities and ganking unsuspecting pilots.

RUMOR: Dota 2 "leaked" patch notes reveal native livestreaming, heroes

Lucas Sullivan at

Disclaimer: none of this information is official! What we have here is a purported leak of ten changelogs for Dota 2 patches, and the numerous hero reveals that come out of this if you can read between the lines. If you're a Dota 2 fanatic, these changelogs could be your speculation-window into the future, letting you know whether or not your favorite hero will make it into the game. But know that any (if not all) parts of this leak could be fabricated, so take everything you read here with a massive grain of salt.

DOTA is "needlessly inaccessible" says League of Legends developer at GDC

Matt Purslow at

Speaking at GDC, League of Legends developer Riot Games have said that Warcraft III custom scenario Defence of the Ancients is 'needlessly inaccessible', and that League of Legends is a kind of spiritual successor that brings the DOTA experience to a wider audience.

Developers Tom Cadwell and Steve Snow explained how League of Legends took inspiration from DOTA, realising that the concept was "needlessly inaccessible" and unavailable to anyone outside its niche. With no large-scale promotion, DOTA still reached a vast audience, with over 10 million downloads of the Warcraft 3 custom map per release, without a commercial model. Riot Games took on the task of bringing DOTA to a wider audience with League of Legends and made changes to make the DOTA-style experience more streamlined. Read on for the details.