Game Review: DotA vs League of Legends

Hugh Cheon, 7th Grader || 9.16.18


    The Rolling Stones or the Beatles? Soup or salad? League of Legends or Dota 2? These are the three most important decisions any person makes in their entire lifetime. Both of games are excellent in their own rights, but the developers behind them have each taken different approaches to make their game the best. I think League of Legends is better because of its gameplay, better characters, and value.

    Firstly, the gameplay of league is easier to understand. Players just have to understand the basic concepts such as last hitting a minion(AI-controlled monsters that are regularly spawned to push down the various lanes), landing skillshots(An ability that needs to be aimed), and learn the jungle(a part in the map where you kill neutral monsters). Both game’s maps are pretty similar, but LOL’s(League of Legends) map contains neutral camps with various bonuses, adding a great dynamic to the game. Moreover, LoL has branched out into different maps with their 3v3 map Twisted Treeline, the single lane ARAM(All Random All Mid) map Howling Abyss, and the small, combative map Crystal Scar. If you want just to have fun, and play with a large group of people in various ways, LoL and its variety of maps and modes wins out.

    Second, LOL clearly has better character viability and development. While DotA 2 has quickly pushed out dozens of characters to try and match LoL’s roster, they’re simply not up to snuff with the characters being released by Riot. Complaints abound about recycled skills, and unbalanced characters, while LoL has reached a happy medium of releasing quality characters with unique skills and play mechanics that don’t fall into the trap of being overly overpowered upon release, and later nerfed(making a champion weaker). In both games, characters gain power through levels and through items. Level cap of champions in LoL is 18 and level cap of heroes in DotA 2 is 25. After the level cap is reached both games have their characters fully developed (i.e. you can't have the same max level character with different skills). Level cap is a bit higher in DotA 2 not only by the numbers, it actually takes longer to reach it in-game. Thats why many DotA 2 players feel like they were stopped from growing just when they started to be a bit ahead of their enemies. Its also less punishing if you stay a few levels behind in LoL, because you will equate your opponents sooner thanks to the lower cap. In terms of items, the difference is even bigger. It is almost impossible to max out on items in DotA 2 (i.e. get into a situation when you have plenty of gold and no idea what to buy to make your character better), while its quite common in LoL.     

    Third, League of Legends genre is better. On first sight both maps look basically the same (which is also what most anonymous LoL players say about them because they never seriously played DotA 2), but in a closer look, there is a lot of difference. First of all, the top lane is vastly different from the bottom lane in DotA 2. Each side has one lane, that allows pulling of creeps to neutral camps (gaining more XP by killing neutral camps early and denying some XP to your opponent because the neutrals kill some of your creeps in the process), but it is also much easier to gank this lane (where a jungler usually is if the team decides to have one).What I love about LoL map is that it contains neutral camps with various bonuses. Timing respawn of those camps adds great dynamic to the game and forces showdowns. DotA basically only has Roshan and it is not that crucial to kill him as soon as he spawns.There are also some other differences between the maps like high grass vs high grounds that prevent vision, etc., but those are minor in my opinion.It's also worth to mention the fact that LoL has a 3v3 map Twisted Treeline, which is great if you only have two friends to play with currently online.

    In conclusion, LoL is more accessible, while DotA 2 is more punishing, but also more rewarding. LoL is easier to learn, DotA 2 is a deeper and more complex experience. If you want just to have fun and relax in a game of this genre, go for LoL, you will have tons of fun. If you have group of 5 people with similar mindset - that's even better, you're gonna have even more fun!