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    Jan 12th, 2007 at 18:12:55     -    Warcraft III -- Frozen Throne (PC)

    The second game session I choose the same hero as I had in the previous game, the Phantom Lancer. The rest of our team was more diverse in our heroes, and my own play was easier and productive I was able to level up and push the enemies tower in the beginning of the game. I remained useful throughout the game, defending and 'doppelwalking' to escape from trouble and on a couple occasions allowed my teammates to mob up on enemy heroes that I had fled from after engaging.
    With more practice I have found his abilities very useful for deceiving enemy players, both for survival as well as a well-timed get away that leaves the enemy hero vulnerable to be pounced by my teammates.

    As the game progressed, I went right for items that helped my skills and was able to defend against many attacks on our towers. The rest of the team was at a loss, and the enemy was ganking us in groups that would target down individual heroes. Mostly, our team was led to our defeat through unsuccessful grouping up for defense and lack of coordination in identifying / targeting the enemy on their attacks pushing towards our base. Not knowing who your teammates are is a difficult and sometimes frustrating part of dota allstars that often leads to miscommunication and confusion among strategy and working together. However, just in the parts of these two games I have had moments where the opposite did happen: my tactics were correctly executed and whether my chance or plan my teammates were there to finish an enemy after I had 'doppelwalked' out of a sticky situation. The game design and balance that the designers demonstrated with the characters attributes and abilities is tremendous. Heroes are not born overpowered but through the use of proper tactics as well as acquistion of the right items while going through the leveling process can lead to very powerful heroes. At times I am surprised by this fact in that while I have seen some heroes romp around the battlefield decimating others; another hero that had fell victim to the powerful hero in the previous game, now because of fast leveling and 'farming' gold, beats the same hero in this game who had before been more poweful.

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    Jan 12th, 2007 at 18:06:53     -    Warcraft III -- Frozen Throne (PC)

    Although the mod called dota: allstars for warcraft III is widely popular on blizzard's gaming community, it is not commonly known outside of those who play warcraft III. Before I can explain about my experience with this community-driven mod, I have to tell you that warcraft III is similar to many real time strategy games in that you have buildings that produce units and upgrade these units; a population of total units that limits your army; and different races have advantages is ground units while having less powerful air units.

    What separates warcraft III is in the idea of the hero unit which unlike a standard unit, it has 3 spells and abilities that it can learn and improve upon as it levels up from level 1 by earning experience. Experience can be earned simply by engaging and successfully winning battles by destroying units and other heroes, provided the hero you are leveling is within a small radius of the combat. Additionally what separates heroes are it's attributes of strength, agility, and intelligence improving which dictate the number of hit-points, attack speed, and mana-points respectively as the hero increases it's level.

    Dota as it is commonly referred to in blizzard's on-line game service, takes the idea of the heroes, discarding all other units you would control in a standard game of warcraft 3, and makes a map with two bases that are at the beginning of a new game protected by their own line of defensive towers . In this way the focus of dota is shifted from the building of units to the heroes themselves, in this case 36 custom heroes with unique abilities and play style. Lastly, this is a multiplayer game and teams commonly consist of and up to 5 players on each side of the map in their respective base. Items, upgrades, and powerful combinations both individually for a hero and with your team all become viable as the gameplay which in normal -easy mode can vary from a fast game lasting 30 minutes to well over an hour.

    Today I chose to play a character called the Phantom Lancer, who has several unique and clever abilities that he uses to be a successful hero.
    By preference I like the hero, and have chosen him often. He certainly is not the most powerful at doing damage or taking it, but his tactics when properly executed are tricky and deceiving to opposing players. The most important skill while playing him, and what our team mostly missed in the game today was teamwork.

    In almost any situation while playing PL, I can use a ability called 'doppelwalk' to turn invisible and leave behind a copy of myself for several seconds. In this way enemy heroes can confuse my leftover image with me, while I may run past to cover unnoticed. I executed this basic tactic on close calls against more powerful heroes, and was able to stay alive longer. Our game had 1 main player on our side who although earned our team many kills, left that player very powerful and the rest of in a comparatively weakened state. Some classes are very good team / support but while our main damage outputting hero was strong, their individual abilities were good at finishing heroes and not augmented the moves or protecting other team members. Ultimately, the opposing team despite their higher number of deaths for their team their teamwork and more consistently higher level heroes spread across the team led them to be strong enough to successfully assault our base and win that game.

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