by Anthony (Rice King) Rice
The average lifetime for games is roughly a year. For particularly good games with strong re-playability, multiplayer, and Evolution factor it may be longer; for games such as X-blades and Golden Axe: Beastrider, it may be a matter of days. It is very rare that a game lasts 7 years and is still increasing in gamer base. It is even rarer that the main gamer base of a game is simply playing one map, which is actually a Mod. Warcraft III Mods, specifically the Mod DoTA (Defence of the Ancients), have helped Warcraft III live for 7 years and will help it survive for years to come.
DoTA is a RPG/Strategy game where you have two sides that are vying for control over the land, the Sentinel and the Scourge. Each side can have a maximum of five players. There are three lanes that connect the bases (see above illustration), and periodically NPC’s (known as creeps) get sent down the lanes from each base to fight for their team. The point of the game is to push the creeps and enemy heroes back to their base and destroy their main building. You can only do this after destroying the towers in a lane all the way through to their main building.
One thing that makes DoTA so popular is its always increasing complexity. As of writing this, there are currently 93 Heroes, 54 Items, and 56 Recipes. Recipes basically need a combination of 2 or more items in order to concoct a better item. This makes it advanced and challenging enough to make it always fun. With so many different possible combinations of items there is always room to try new strategies with different heroes. Another great thing about this game is that the learning curve isn’t too steep. This is one of the main reasons why the user base is growing constantly. The controls are that of a normal strategy game, which is comfortable for many gamers. After only a few games, new players can get the gist of the main strategies and get the hang of how recipes work. Many WoW players say that the game is similar to BattleGrounds, the PvP areas in WoW. This is also another reason why DoTA is so popular; WoW players can take a break from leveling and try to duke it out in a more relaxed brawlfest. The complexity of gameplay, the challenge, the moderate learning curve, and the familiarity make DoTA a blast for many gamers.
Of all the games that came out in 2002, only one can stand above the rubble and claim victory for having the longest and best run. Warcraft III has DoTA to thank for its success in the latter years of its popularity. As long as there are developers creating new items and heroes, there will always be an interest in DoTA, and therefore the gamer base will ever increase.