My love-hate relationship with Dota 2

6 min read

Otter hates watermelon but keeps eating it

Never in my life have I absolutely adored and completely despised a game this much at the same time. Dota 2 richly rewards you with feelings of accomplishment, pwnage and just as quickly yanks it all away leaving you bare, mad as hell and ready to quit. It’s the most emotionally abusive game you’ll ever get to play.

The people are assholes, the losing is extraordinarily disappointing, but the victory is oh so very sweet.

Level 1 – 9: Thanks for standing still, wanker!

When you start out the game as some one relatively new to the genre or game, “you’re gonna have a bad time”. There’s no safe place for noobs in this game. Fail and you will get torn to pieces by just about every body. Unless you are by some cruel joke of Mother Nature, in a game with people who are actually friendly. To avoid being emotionally crushed to a very fine paste, play with your mates and hope that they are in fact, not secretly nerd rage volcanoes that only erupt when they lose.

Despite the tough time you’re having, you just keep on playing, because “By the gods! I will beat this game!”. You make a great bullet catcher, at first. Feeding like it’s nobody’s business. Chances are also good that you don’t yet know what feedings means, but you figure that one out pretty quickly. Being the sucker for punishment that you are, you keep going back, losing games and getting ganked by Russians.

Slowly but surely, you build up some skills. You’re starting to get there and you love it.

Level 10 – 19: BATTLE FURY!

Now we’re cookin! Finally, you’re there. There’s no team in Axe, because you don’t need ‘em! You start winning games, getting more and more positive K/D/A’s and even carrying the team. You’re UNSTOPABBLE! Things start to get really fun, and then they don’t. There’s this weird win-loss streak in the game. You’ll win about seven or eight games in a row, it’s all “Your god has arrived” and “Yes, I am holier than thou.”, but then your losing streak starts. And what a losing streak it is. You’ll lose equally as many games in a row. Just after you’ve been Zeus, you become Dazzle.

Mana problems. Lich gonna have your mana!

Sometimes you get to play with a really awesome hero, a hero that’s almost over powered. And I say almost because your mana usage is too damn high! Even in early game. All you have is about two mana potions, no Arcane Boots yet. And then you engage in battle, you’re winning the fight; the guy laning with you is doing his part and then BAM! No mana! Chilled in the line of duty. OR you’re playing against Lion and he sucks up all your mana. In which case your face IRL looks exactly like this :|.


Mother of all evil 

There’s no greater ecstasy than kicking ass in Dota 2 and there’s nothing more evil than playing on our local server. I’m not even going to apologise for saying that. Playing on the South African server goes a little something like this:

You accept the game invite. 1 of 10, 2 of 10, 7 of 10, 9 of 10… “Returning to matchmaking with high priority” – Ah! You sons of bitches! Eventually after a queue of about 6 minutes, maybe more you get a game, you wait for the loaders, you go to the hero picking screen, and all is well. The game starts! But then it doesn’t. Random guy: “Guys, can we please pause the game, I need to reconnect.” The rest of us being all fake and polite: “Sure!”. Radom guy reconnects, 20 seconds into the game and some one else F9’s for no apparent reason; he or she suddenly felt compelled to feed their goldfish or run a charity marathon for geriatric space hamsters. Who knows? No really, who knows?! Why the hell are there so many pauses in these games? What can they possibly be doing if they’re not constantly reconnecting? Eventually, when that’s all over with, you start playing the game. You start owning in the game and then… “[insert hero name here] JOU K*FF!R [email protected]!” etc etc. I am not even exaggerating. This is a very sad and very horrible thing indeed. And because of this very unpleasant experience playing on our local servers, I just don’t do it.

This is complete and utter bullshit!

Losing a game in Dota 2 is not just losing a game, it’s literally losing almost an hour of your life that you can never have back again. You might proceed to ask: “So why don’t you just quit the game before it’s over?” Well, let me tell you. When disconnecting from a game and essentially abandoning it, it is recorded as an “Abandon”. Do this too often, and you get chucked in a low priority bracket, with low priority chums who will probably disconnect from your game for some crappy reason, after which you will probably lose the game. Sound like fun, right? I cannot fathom why Valve didn’t put a surrender option into the game. We are forced to stay in the game and experience a traumatising defeat. Because it’s only a matter of time before you keep getting spawn raped, over and over and over again. Yep, you guessed it; this is one of the parts in the game I hate more than anything.


It doesn’t matter how many times you experience repeated abuse in Dota 2, it always has you coming back for more. You activate that Regeneration rune, and just like that you’ve forgotten all about the frustration you felt yesterday and you’re ready to give it another go with the hopes that this time, it’ll all be worth it. So, who wants a Dota 2 invite now?

Last Updated: July 3, 2013

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