To casual observers, Riot Games’ League of Legends and Valve’s Defense of the Ancients 2 (Dota 2) are pretty much the same: An online multiplayer game where two teams composed of five players each battle it out on a map where there are three lanes that all lead to their respective team bases. The goal in both games is to destroy the “heart” of the opposition’s base – the Nexus in League and the Ancient in Dota 2.
However, League and Dota 2 are two very different games, the same way Call of Duty is different from Battlefield. Some even argue that Dota 2 isn’t a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) like League because it descended from Warcraft III, which is a real-time strategy game. Here are 4 key differences between the two popular online games.
The playable characters in League and Dota 2 are called Champions and Heroes, respectively. If you’re crossing from one game to the other, keep this in mind. In fact, don’t use terminologies you use in League when you play Dota 2, and vice versa. In League, you have a limited number of Champions to choose from in the beginning. If you want more, you can buy them from the Riot Store, though there are Champions that can be acquired for free. In Dota 2, all Heroes are available right from the start similar to the first Dota.
Both cases can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you see things. The limited number of Champions in League allows you to specialize or “main” one or two Champion for an extended time, making you very proficient in using them, especially if you regularly practice using a Smurf League of Legends account. The downside is that it prevents you from being flexible, especially during times where you’re forced to use other Champions. In Dota 2, the sheer number of available Heroes available at the start can overwhelming. But since you have access to the entire pool, it’s easier to practice using different Heroes, which allows you to become flexible.
The current League meta dictates that all teams must roll out with a tank or a melee heavy-hitter at the top lane, a Champion proficient in spell-casting at the middle lane, a support and a Champion designated to carry the team late-game partnered at the bottom lane, and a Jungle Champion who spends time roaming around the map instead of a specific lane. There’s no room for flexibility. So don’t bother about proposing a team utilizing three support Champions. That’s not going to happen. Well, unless you’re playing with friends and all of you decided to experiment to catch the enemy team off-guard.
In Dota 2, there’s no such thing as fixed roles that dictate which Heroes go where. One team can roll with two supports and three melee Heroes or one support and four spell-casters and nobody would bat an eye. And the thing is, it’s perfectly possible to win matches using the aforementioned lineups, which, of course, depends on player skills. Furthermore, Heroes are filtered into three categories: Strength, Agility, and Intelligence. These categories usually dictate what build you should pursue, though you can experiment using equipment meant for other categories. In short, League is a lot less flexible when it comes to roles and builds.
At first glance, the gameplays of League and Dota 2 don’t differ much. Because, as mentioned, the premise is practically the same. But there are a few details that separate the two. For starters, Dota 2 doesn’t have Runes, Masteries, and Summoner Spells. All of which are League features that are decided on before the match even starts. Dota 2 also features Runes, though, but in a different way. Perhaps the most noticeable gameplay difference between League and Dota 2 is friendly fire. Yes, as in the ability to hit your allies. In League, there’s no such thing. In Dota 2, you can hit and kill your allies.
First, you can kill your own Creeps (Minions in League) when their HP is low, which effectively denies the opposing Hero in your lane the chance to earn more Gold. This immediately makes early-game in Dota 2 much harder. You’ll have to be constantly on the lookout to last-hit enemy Creeps and “deny” ally Creeps. If you think lane farming in League is difficult, you’ll be in for a rude awakening in Dota 2.
Second, you can kill ally Heroes who have been inflicted with negative effects that are draining their HP, like poison, as long as their HP are low enough. This denies whoever inflicted the spell the experience and Gold from the impending kill. And third, you can deny Towers (Turrets in League) when they’re about to be destroyed. This also prevents the would-be Tower last-hitter to gain a huge amount of gold.
In League, you can use bushes to hide, usually when setting up an ambush or a gank. In Dota 2, the environment plays an even greater role. Aside from being able to chop down trees and gain an advantage when attacking from a higher ground as a long-range Hero, certain Heroes are more powerful during daytime or nighttime. Also, in League, Champions instantly turn around when prompted. In Dota 2, Heroes actually have a turn-around animation, making them appear more sluggish.
League is arguably more popular than Dota 2, with more frequent tournaments. However, League is notorious for having a very toxic community which makes newcomers feel unwelcome to the scene. If you constantly screw up in a League match, expect a wave of hate-filled words, curses, threats, and other things that shouldn’t be seen by 10-year-olds. The Dota 2 scene is generally seen as more forgiving, which is probably because the gameplay is more difficult. But it still has its fair share of trolls just like any other online multiplayer game.
Overall, League is easier to dive into for casuals and can buy lol accounts. The simpler keyboard inputs and the less steep learning curve allows it become more accessible to those who have never touched a MOBA in their life. You can also easily get into the game when you buy an unranked League of Legends account, which gives you a head start in terms of accessing features that require higher levels.
Posted March 28, 2017