Kristian Glass - Do I Smell Burning?

Mostly technical things

Och spelar lite DotA

I’ve struggled to enjoy most computer games for a while. Valve’s Dota 2 is one of the few that I can. It’s most enjoyable when played with friends, so here’s my shameless attempt to convince you to join me.

What is it?

Two teams of five people, each using one of over a hundred heroes, battling it out across a top-down map (reminiscent of WarCraft 3), to destroy the other team’s Ancient.

Free to play, funded by the purchase of cosmetics - to the extent of raising $9million for The International 2014 prize pool through the sale of what is essentially an electronic sticker-book - no two games are the same.

Games are totally standalone and each lasts around 30 to 60 minutes, so when you lose it’ll be because you were out-played, and I really enjoy having nice discrete chunks of gaming time to stop me sliding into a “just one more level” trap.

How do I get started?

It won’t be easy. There’s a lot of depth to the game, that’s one of the things I love about it.

Fortunately Purge Gamers have an excellent guide, with the humility-encouraging title “Welcome to Dota, You Suck”, which I found utterly invaluable. Unfortunately, I still somewhat suck (that’ll be my fault; the guide’s solid), but every game’s a learning experience and that’s part of the fun.

Watching the game, having a Bud

I’ve never really been able to enjoy TV sports, except as an excuse for beers and time with friends. Then I started watching The International 2014 (TI4), Valve’s annual Dota 2 tournament, and for the first time I enjoyed the act of watching itself.

TI4 was on ESPN, I’m guessing TI5 will be too, and there’s plenty of games streamed in between.

So what next?

Come play with me! I’m DoISmellBurning and I play on EU West, normally around 2200 UTC on weeknights and sporadically at weekends. I can’t say I’m particularly good, but I’m also not bothered by how good you are or aren’t. I’d much rather lose a game with a team that cooperates and communicates, than win in silence.

What’s with the title?