Blizzard’s DoTA Trailer Revealed: Witch Doctor

Blizzard did announce one new game (sort of) at Blizzcon this year… it’s DotA! The *game* is basically a Starcraft 2 mod, with lots of new units and maps, but it’s sort of a new game too. Plus one of the main hero characters is the Witch Doctor, who appears to use abilities similar to his Diablo III skills, so it’s got that going for it. There’s a trailer with some tongue-in-cheek humor and nice visuals, if you’re curious.

The history of this project is colorful. Check the wikipedia article for much more detail, but basically Defense of the Ancients was a Warcraft 3 map/mod that became much more popular than Warcraft 3 itself. The game is played with a focus on hero units that level up by bashing creeps, earn gold, buy item upgrades, fight the other team, and try to destroy their “Ancients,” all during each fast-paced game. Essentially it’s an RTS that’s just about combat, without all the harvesting and mining and base construction and tech tree upgrade stuff.

The weird part is that the acronym has become a proper noun, pronounced “doe-tuh.” Also weird is the fact that Valve is developing a game called Dota 2, led by IceFrog, the long-time developer of the original DotA project. AFAIK no one at Blizzard had anything to do with the formation and popularity of the original DotA, other than their development of War 3 and its map editor, which made the mod possible. That’s why this project is “Blizzard’s DotA.”

Update: There was much coverage of Blizzard’s DotA during one of the Blizzcon 2011 panels. Click through to see the whole panel video.


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  1. Blizzard stole dota?  Wtf?

    • How can they steal a genre of games? Hell, if it wasn’t for their games it wouldn’t exist…

    • Blizzard OWNS DOTA. DOTA started on Warcraft 3 as a map by a random mapper. It became big. It got a ton of recognition. Valve are the ones that stole it via trademarking it.

      The map was created within a game by Blizzard, with a tool created by Blizzard and used on a service hosted by Blizzard. By all legal rights, the name and the content therein is owned by… That’s right, Blizzard.
      I don’t give two shits if you think Valve legally owns it because they have DOTA2 or whatever.

      • lol. Blizzard don’t own any rights to DotA no more than the inventer of DotA owns it, otherwise Blizzard would be sueing Valve and Valve would be sueing Blizzard.

        The guy that invented DotA has joined forces with Valve and decided to make DOTA 2. THAT isn’t something Blizzard can copy. It’s kinda like the old 486 processors that everyone was copying and Intel couldn’t do anything about it. Intel then made the Pentium so they had control over the IP. The guy that made DotA seems to be doing the same thing buy joining up with Valve to make DOTA 2.

        But Blizzard clearly seems to have plans of their own with this. It’ll be interesting to see where all this leads.

        edit: Personally, I hope Blizz gets in on this in more ways than one. I’d rather a high quality Blizz DotA product over a similar product by anyone else in the industry.

  2. Looks good to me! I do wonder how it will compare against existing products such as Dota 2 and LoL.

  3. Blizzard DOTA has no chance against Valve and IceFrog’s DotA 2. Also Blizzard will get in trouble if Valve issue lawsuit against Activision Blizzard for the name.

    • You didn’t watch the panels that had BD info in them did you? Blizzard is removing a lot of the bullshit that comes with the DOTA games out there right now, such as last hit kills, complicated character and item builds, as well as changing things to make them more fun or to lessen the “DOTA rage” thats so well known with this genre.
      Also, VALVe can’t sue Blizzard for making a Blizzard DOTA, because its not a fully fleshed out game like DOTA 2 will be, they’re not making any money off Blizzard DOTA, and most importantly, VALVe doesn’t own the rights to the DOTA name, and they never will, for the same reason Edge Games had trouble enforcing their “Edge” trademark, and why Bethesda is trying to stop Mojang from trademarking “Scrolls”.
      Also, I have to say your comment is very reminescent of when it was cool to be a Blizzard North fanboy and hate on Blizzard Irvine. Stay classy Perm.

      • No, I didn’t watch those panels. Thanks for the info but those things are what makes DotA. So I’m now 100% sure Blizzard DOTA is doomed to fail.

        Dota is Valve’s Trademark. 

        • I’m sorry to say but those things are what made DOTA very unplayable for me, for a game that only lasts 10-25 minutes, all of that should be spent playing the game, not strategising and doing math and figuring out what order of items I’m going to get. If I want that stuff I’ll play a full fledged RPG.
          Also, VALVe can’t enforce it, regardless of what you think. Moron in a hurry is their only reasoning, and its a very terrible one at that.

        • Blizzard DOTA doomed to fail? really?

          They just give SC2 fans a free custom multiplayer game, just like Starjeweled, Left 2 Die and that Cooking game. Dota was announced last year, but due to curcimstances they made many changes to Dota.

          FYI Valve stole DotA name from Warcraft 3 mod. They can have the Trademark, but they are still the badguys.

        • Perm, if you ever said anything remotely positive about anything here I might die of shock.

      • Yeah I gotta say I’m liking the idea of having Blizzard quality control going over a game like DotA.

  4. Been waiting forever for this! They even had a panel for it at Blizzcon and stressed how they were taking lengths to remove the social tension aspect that makes the DoTa community so spiteful.  Considering people in the DoTa2 *Beta* are already raging at each other for slight mistakes this will be a very welcome approach to what is, after all, just a service to the fans and not a legitimate contender to LoL or DoTa2

  5. Dont think they will lose lawsuit for the name , fact that it started in their game using their resources and is now more considered a playmode speaks well enough for them.
    And they do it just for lulz. many ask why Blizzard never bothered about making their own dota so here is the answer 

  6. I went back and watched the starcraft art and technology panel and they said they were considering lots of different heroes from every universe (and showed a lot of examples of ones they might do)… I’m personally crossing my fingers for a playable Tyrael, Diablo (D2 version), and the rest of the classes from D3… Also, I love how the witch doctor is holding the head of a troll witch doctor from warcraft 3 for his offhand… And hopefully they come through with their proposed idea to do multiple maps themed to the different universes… would love to fight in a Tristram or Hell themed one…

  7. Didn’t Icefrog take over what started as DotA Allstars, which was actually another version of the original DotA project?
    And DotA was a new take on SC1’s Age of Strife custom map…
    Anyway, Blizz’s DotA looks pretty cool… lets hope no one is going to start any stupid lawsuits.

  8. Guys chill it, the more DotAs the merrier! Personally I’m looking forward to Dota 2, but will also spend a few hours on BlizzDota as well, for the lulz. Just stop the arguing.

  9. so what diablo characters would you like to see here? i’d love some bad guys actually… Lilith anyone?

  10. As mentioned by Radnom, Blizzard more or less started DotA themselves, with Aoen of Strife, which was a StarCraft 1 custom map, så i think they are as much in the safe as they need be.

    Other than that, it looks cool.
    I gather that it’s available in SC2?

  11. Valve stole the name “DotA” the same way they stole Team Fortress… They hired the people who created that modification. Yes other people involved with DotA went to make HoN and LoL, but Icefrog is now a Valve employee just as Robin Walker is. And Valve won’t sue since Blizzard DotA is A: a free mod, and B: they know that without Blizzard there wouldn’t be a DotA2 to begin with. I’m personally excited for both, and can’t wait to play.

    • Nope, Icefrog didn’t create DotA nor DotA: Allstars, not even mention the different version of DotA such as DotA: outland. DotA: Allstar as the name imply is a fan made version of DotA that gather all the best DotA heros from different version of DotA.
      The name should be really DotA: Allstars 2, since Icefrog actually never work on DotA before.
      Also, no one of the HoN team ever made a DotA map before.
      LoL team have the creator of DotA: Allstars.

      • You mean Guinsoo? The one that created the imbalanced mess?
        It was Icefrog that balanced, remade heroes and set the game into a right direction where it could see a competitive scene, at the times of Guinsoo, with the Death Ward SA, 5.84 Medusa and Global Stun Void, the game was a joke, Icefrog has much more to do with Dota’s success than Guinsoo ever had.
        Valve is much better off with Icefrog than they would ever be with Guinsoo.

  12. I’ve met a lot of angry jerks online over the years, and Dota players really earn their reputation. Hopefully this broadens the appeal to get a few non-psychos to play w/. I’m actually very pleasantly surprised by the civility of the SC2 community (granted, I haven’t cracked low Platinum. Maybe Diamond players are all psychotic jerks?)

    • It is the game that encouraging the player to be jerks. There is no conflict in a Starcraft match to rage about. Since the only other player is you enemy, at best you can only rage about them cheeseing you. On the other hand, DotA is a team game that is design to make player feel better. Hence the Kill announcer system telling you are “godlike” as such. In other word, player kept think they are pros. When they lose it is only “logical” it is the teammates fault. Plus how the Kill/Death system works is not help either.

      You see the contrast? Starcraft community like to think they are all noobs themself, You can find a lot of  people on TeamLiquid who are Diamond and think they are noobs. On the other hand, everyone in DotA think they are pros.

  13. I’ve always loved valve but I still think its complete bullshit them copyrighting Dota when it came fro
    Blizzard games. True customers made it but it’s still bullshit. I’m glad it’s become a genre that came fro. Blizz games like madness or Marine arena or tower defense, just not when someone tries to take the whole damn genre. Hell popcap made the tower defense plants va zombies but did not copyright “tower defense”.

  14. Meh… Dota, the worse part of Wc3’s modding history…

  15. People seems to be clueless about DotA’s history.
    The game start out as a Starcraft map called AoS named after a period of Starcraft history. As far as I know the developer of this map is unknown.
    Then Eul made DotA which is named after a period of Warcraft history. The gameplay of DotA is a copy of AoS. Noted that DotA was not the only map with AoS style gameplay, but DotA was the most popular. When War3: TFT was released everyone start to made their version of DotA including Blizzard (Yes, Blizzard have been making “DotA” before IceFrog, it was not called DotA but have DotA gameplay.). At the time Blizzard took it as a side project and never took it serious, with only one update per year. Out of the more DotA’s the most noticeable ones are DotA, DotA: Allstars, DotA: Outland, DotA: Vengence and a lot more. However,  This time around DotA: Allstars, a fan made spin off of DotA, actually grow more popular than DotA. In the end, only one DotA was continue to be supported that is DotA: Allstar by Gunisoo. Later, Gunisoo was to form Riot games which made LoL. Gunisoo left IceFrog in charge of the DotA: Allstar map. After many years, DotA become more and more popular and IceFrog decide to made DotA 2 with Valve.

  16. I am excited for Blizzard dota although I don’t really like this genre much. I play SC2 regulary so this willhelp me relax after ladder match. They could add a map like Tristram and Diablo can be the boss(Roshan) of that map.

  17. Flux, this panel also have Blizzard DotA.

    Starcraft 2 Arcade, Mod & Blizzard DotA panel:

  18. No one else has mentioned it, so I feel obligated: The final unlockable unit should be a 2-man tandem team: Rip and Shred from Rock and Roll Racing. I’m getting tears of glory just thinking about it…

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