*Disclaimer: I've played dota for 3-4 years, and dabbled in HoN since beta. I also follow the dota1 competitive scene pretty closely.
Today's games were the best yet.
Scythe vs Na'vi game 2, in particular, was a ridiculously close and tense game with tons of back-and-forth.
Imo, the Chinese teams have just been under-performing overall. Some very disappointing eliminations from them. It seems they didn't put as much thought into strategy and drafting preparation as some of the European teams did and were hoping to cruise by on mechanical and teamplay superiority. I saw a lot of teams reverting to really outdated, but safe play like 4+1 hard carry ricing. I guess a lot of it can be blamed on the massive team reshuffling that's taken place in the Chinese scene over the last year. Many of the European teams OTOH I'm really impressed with. MYM's push strats were really really refined. Na'vi in particular is showing just dominant play with their high tempo ganking. Their drafting is kinda one-note though, so I hope other teams can figure them out.
I really wish that some more polish went into the presentation and production quality of the event. Besides the frequent 10-minute long pauses and lagouts, the commentator audio quality is just terrible. I understand that it has something to do with their WIP DotaTV infrastructure and bad upload at the venue but it's pretty inexcusable for a company like Valve.
Besides the tournament aspect, the game itself I'm very pleased with, apart from niggles with the UI and the spectator mode (gold and hero level hard to see, minimap too small and busy and thus hard to read, dead space, creep scores and hero kills/deaths/assists not displayed on the screen without an intrusive dropdown menu). The aesthetics are a hit with me; majority of the hero models, animations, spell effects, terrain, I like a lot. A lot of the item icons though don't measure up to original. Some of them look really bad actually. The sound effects can be a bit repetitive... there's a bit too much scifi-ish pewpewpew going on. Not sure how much is placeholder.
Overall, it's promising... especially considering this is a pretty immature beta build. It totally succeeds in capturing the feel of dota1, which I really appreciate.
I prefer comparing it to force unleashed. tf2 has much less detail.
I actually liked the styling of the Clone Wars cartoon show. The content, not so much - but I thought the angular, statuesque faces were quite neato. A clever way to bring Tartakovsky's style to 3D while making it their own.
That said, I agree there's something... odd about Dota 2's art style. It lacks the high-contrast vibrancy of modern hyperbright Blizzard games, or the hard brown realism of the FPS scene, or the washed-out '60s cartoon palette of TF2. It just seems to flounder in the middle.
How can you comment on a sluggish UI if you haven't used it yourself O_o
I don't really see the problem with creep denial its another mechanic that adds more depth to the game and also widens the gap between a good and bad player. Regardless of how little sense it would make in terms of story.
Its worked for 6+ years of dota and if you played dota enough you would learn to love it. I miss denying when I play LoL.
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