I'm curious. Maybe I've just been off the internet for too long. Maybe I'm just getting too old. I know it's something that's been out for a long time, but I've spent the last 8 years out of touch with the gaming community beyond Fallout and COD. It's a meme that everyone understands as common knowledge, but MOBA and DOTA are words I know, but can't put a definition to.
I would define MOBA as a type of game, where players control a character with abilities and which improves over time and face each other in teams. Combat is tactical and the game duration is usually somewhere in the region of 30-50 minutes. DOTA was - I think - the first huge success in that genre. More modern games which are very close to DOTA are DOTA 2, League of Legends (LoL), Heroes of Newearth and Heroes of the Storm to name only a few examples. A less close relative would be Fractured space for example. Or in the Arcade: Star battle and Warships.
Some of these titles are for free, just play a round or two, or watch some stream or youtube video of it.
I didn't play WoW and can't comment on its arena pvp.
But the idea of dota is a 30-60 minute tactical battle (rather then immersion in the story as in an rpg). Gains made in one battle do not carry over to other matches. So it is very different from an mmorpg in that regard. You allways start with a hero level one (which is like a normal warcraft3 hero) and no equipment. Over the course of a battle you usually reach level 25 which is max. You will also by equipment although, you usually don't max out your slots with max expensive items.
The Winning condition is destroying a building in the center of the enemy base. The short term strategic goals are acquiring XP and gold for your own heroes and deny it to the enemy heroes. XP is gained by having creeps die near you, gold is gained by killing (i.e. last hitting) a creep. Creeps are regularily spawned from either base and there are some neutral creeps in the map, which respawn in periodic intervals (though these neutrals are usually only enough to feed one player per team). You also gain XP and gold from killing other heroes.
In the early game you will have a phase where the teams split over the map, which is organized in 3 roads (lanes) and terrain in between those. The roads are used by the creeps spawning from the bases and you will usually see 1v1 and 2v2 situations on these in the early game. Gradually the game will transition towards people breaking out of those roads and team up against other heroes in order to take them out 2v1, 3v1 or 3v2 (ganking). Eventually there is a phase where people rarely populate the roads to farm XP and gold, but rather stick in groups and try to wipe out the entire enemy team in a team fight. This advantage is used to make progress on destroying enemy buildings and eventually win.
Maybe this helps illustrates it a bit. I didn't play dota2 but suspect it is very close to dota.
at about min 10 he starts showing the game and seems to go over a lot of theoretical stuff
maybe do smth. like watch until minte 3 or so then jump to 10 and then go back to the theory.
I actually recently wrote about this in my thesis. It's a bit long, but it should tell you everything you want to know:
On the third of July, 2002, game developer Blizzard Entertainment released their game WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos. As a Real-Time Strategy (RTS) game, it shared many of its features with its predecessors and contemporaries of the time: the player looks down upon a battlefield from a bird's eye perspective, using the mouse to select troops and order them around the map, the objective usually being to defeat hostile forces and take over certain objectives. The player possesses a 'base' consisting of multiple structures from which more forces can be trained, and resources have to be gathered by non-combatant 'worker'-style units to sustain this model.
One particular type of game mechanic, however, sets WarCraft III apart from other RTS games available at the time: the concept of heroes. These characters are particularly powerful single units that stand out from all others because the player can access their specific abilities when selecting them, such as spells that heal friendly units or skills that stun enemy units. The concept has its roots in the Role Playing Game (RPG) genre: heroes have various unique abilities that can be improved by 'leveling up' the hero through experience gained in combat. They are also able to purchase certain items that can further be used to customize said hero. Part of the skill involved in playing the game is being able to maneuver these impactful heroes while ordering larger groups of troops around.
It is around this time that a map maker only known under the alias 'Eul' asks himself the question: why not automate the control of the troops so the player can focus only on their hero? As a result of this, 'Defense of the Ancients' is born: a custom map for WarCraft III where two AI-controlled factions clash as they send units at each other, and where players each control one highly complex hero with a multitude of abilities. The objective remains the same to regular RTS's: support your forces as they push into and destroy the enemy team's base.
... a large number of characteristics ... can be attributed to the MOBA genre: two teams of five players each are pitted against one another on maps that are usually made up out of three lanes, used by weaker computed-controlled 'minions' to move towards the enemy base. Each player controls a single avatar (called 'hero', 'champion', ' hero' and 'god' in HotS, LoL, DotA2 & Smite respectively) that has access to a set of abilities, usually one passive, three regular, and one very powerful 'heroic' or 'ultimate' ability that is usually not unlocked until some time into a match. Each lane is protected by a number of turrets that prevent the minions from pushing forward and that need to be taken down by a teams' players to progress. Between the lanes is an area of no man's land which holds several neutral objectives that aid the capturing team in pushing forward or becoming more powerful, often called the 'jungle'. The eventual goal for each team is to reach the opponents' base, where destroying forward structures causes your own team to spawn stronger minions, and where destroying the opponents' main structure wins your team the game. Each hero can die, but will come back to life near their team's main structure after a certain amount of time has expired. To gain power, the heroes kill opposing champions and minions to gain access to a small number of either passive or active bonuses.
"The roots of the genre can be traced back decades to one of the earliest real-time strategy titles, the 1989 Sega Mega Drive/Genesis game Herzog Zwei. It has been cited as a precursor to, or an early example of, the MOBA genre. It used a similar formula, where each player controls a single command unit in one of two opposing sides on a battlefield."
It's details, but I thought I should point it out in the hope you didn't turn in your thesis yet (and not ridiculing myself with my eikipedia knowledge :d ).
Dota basicly was for mobas, what Thomas Edison was for the light bulb. Not the first with the idea, but the first to manage to bring it to the masses.
Thank you both for the information. Now I feel like my map is a bit of a waste of time...
Dunno what your map is, but part of the reason I brought up Edison is, that often times not the innovative idea, brings the most benefit, but lots of iteration. What makes you think you are not iterating in a good way?
Well, I started my map as more of an exercise in editing, so everything I learn from the experience is a win. But it's a tower assault. You don't control any of the units. They march forward towards certain death, earning you resources you use to upgrade future waves. I intend to have a UI power system, with player activated abilities that provide temporary bonuses on cooldowns, but I shied away from even adding Hero units because I didn't think they'd mesh well with the style of the game.
At most, I was going to add in NPC "Heroes" that would just be unique additions with powers, with only one being on the "Cattlefield" at a time, but the player being able to swap out new heroes at will or at stages.
I am doing my first true tests of the upgrade system, which only covers the first available unit. Once I get the system implemented and learn a little more about data editing, I should be able to get everything up and rolling a lot faster. But with the zerg (who you're "in charge of") ground game is a bit limited over the long haul, so I'm trying to vary up their abilities with an upgrade system that keeps them fresh as the game goes on.
As others have mentioned, although dota exists, it certainly can be redone.
I would note that much of what DOTA consists of, in terms of mechanics, is born out of the hardcoded limitations of the Warcraft 3 engine. Only recently (within the last year or so) did DOTA 2 finally stop doing parity with Warcraft 3. Even then, the Dota 2 tools reveal that many of those limits were ported straight over (limited armor types, hardcoded hero types, among other things).
Free from those constraints, you can certainly do something different, which is what Blizzard did with Heroes of the Storm.