Hello everyone! This article is dedicated to the relation between DOTA 2 and the three bigger MOBA games, namely DotA, LoL and HoN. This is a very hot subject, as you know, and a lot of discussion has been going on regarding the changes that DOTA 2's release might bring to all of these games and accordingly their communities. Let us try and analyze these relations by analyzing each game's connection to DOTA 2 separately.
Let's start with Defense of the Ancients. DotA has, undisputedly the biggest player base than any MOBA game and it is the first game of the genre. DotA has managed to keep the core players and it will be hard for any game to change that. DOTA 2, though, has some advantages towards that extend. First of all it has Icefrog, the ever trusted ever loved designer of Dota for the past years. And secondly, it will, as promised here, as much as possible have the same gameplay with a smooth transition. In my opinion, as long as Valve and Icefrog manage to keep DOTA 2 in a 1:1 content update with DotA then really soon the community will shift to DOTA 2 and make it officially the new core DotA game. DotA has nothing to fear from DOTA 2, only the chance of it being really worse than expected.
So, let's continue with Heroes of Newerth. My opinion is that HoN is the game that is in the worst position than any other. With not enough changes and innovations to the original DotA game, it has mainly only offered a better looking platform with a stable game engine and a good stats system. This is not trivial in any case but at the same time it is not enough to establish a really dedicated player base. Sadly, all of the points HoN did well, we expect from DOTA 2 to do in an even better way. The player base of HoN will decrease dramatically after DOTA 2 comes out, a fact that is being supported by S2's panicked reaction of opening a micro-transactions store.
Finally, let's close this conversation with League of Legends. I believe that LoL is a game that has managed to establish a dedicated player base through differentiating from the original DotA game in many aspects. Apparently there are a lot of fans who like the game for what it is, or has become, and do not look at it as a DotA clone. The game has a unique look 'n' feel and an innovative out-of-game system to support it. Having said that, it is still highly likely that LoL too will see some losses in its player base, but not tremendous ones.
What do you believe? Do you have a different opinion? State it here or, if you want to get your hands dirty, join the discussion at the forums.
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