As someone who has been playing DotA since I was eight, I began to think about how it has managed to stand the test of time. DotA started as a custom game within Warcraft 3 and was then turned into Heroes of Newerth after WC3 began to die. After this it was picked up by Valve and we now have DotA 2. So what is so special about DotA that it has managed to have a player base after so many years?
I think the main thing that has kept DotA alive for so long is its replayability factor. No match that you play is going to be the same as the last. With 115 heroes to choose from in this 5v5 match to destroy the other team’s base, there are limitless options on what the teams may look like. In addition to this there are also well over 100 items that players can equip that have different activations or attributes. WIth every team fight being different than last game, and heroes using different items, DotA has a way of avoiding being a rinse and repeat like some games. The game’s replayability is also increased by the way Valve introduces patches and map reworks. A single patch can change the entire way that a match is played. With a new patch comes a whole list of buffs and nerfs that influence how various heroes are played. A hero that may have been a carry is now being played as a support.
With all of these changes, DotA constantly feels like a different game. Whenever professional players begin to pick/ban a hero too consistently the game developers recognize this and will tweak the hero to not be too strong. It is a game that will keep evolving to try and become as balanced as possible while staying as fun as possible. Overall, I have enjoyed playing the game my whole life and attribute that to its replayability factor. With the professional scene only becoming more popular, and new heroes on the way, I expect Dota 2 to be around for a long time.