1 2 I don’t think I will ever forget the hours of my life that I willfully handed to Blizzard when Warcraft 3 came out. In many ways, the game stands out as the pinnacle of PC gaming, even today, because of the legacy that was spawned by its reign. Here we sit, a full decade after the release of Reign of Chaos, and many elements of that game are being used today. The most significant thing to come from that game was Defense of the Ancients, more popularly called Dota.The time has come for the franchise to be reborn, and to consume a whole new generation of PC gamers. This time around, however, Dota 2 isn’t the only kid on the block. Several clones have come and gone, but the one that has gained significant traction recently has been League of Legends. Which is the better game, though? Will the impressive Valve breathe new life into Dota, or has Riot Games taken the crown as the best Dota-like out there?GameplayBecause League of Legends is a Dota clone, core gameplay between Dota 2 and LoL is extremely similar. You start off with a blank slate character with a defined set of stats and abilities that you upgrade throughout the game by killing everything you encouter. When you kill something, you earn cash that can be spent on stat-boosting items that personalize your character. The game is played as a team vs team RTS, so it is critical that you are a team player and actually understand how to use your character.The basics are as follows: The first team to destroy the other teams base wins the match. The more you play the games, the more you develop really intricate strategies, character builds, and really get a feel for your opponents’ characters. A single match lasts about 30 minutes, but can last much longer, and leaving a match in the middle is frowned upon, so if you play the game make sure you have a block of time to kill.The biggest thing that sets Dota 2 and LoL apart in my opinion is in graphics and fluid gameplay. League of Legends is a ton of fun, but the overall feel to the game is significantly more animated and brighter than Dota 2. It is clear that League of Legends is designed to cater to a younger audience, while Dota 2 seems to have been built from the ground up for the hardcore Dota fan. This is really more personal preference than anything, but the darker tones and the more violent animation scheme for Dota 2 was much more appealing to me.The biggest difference in playing the game comes down to the in-game camera. Because this is a team-focused game, it is critical that you be able to quickly check in on your teammates, and just be generally aware of your surroundings. League of Legends binds the camera by default so your character is in the center of the screen at all times, and allows you to drag the camera box around on the map to see the rest of the world. While this works in theory, this method doesn’t mesh well with the pace of the game and often becomes useless when larger fights are going on. It’s not difficult to release this camera binding, however, and LoL does also include a quick return-to-player function with the space bar. In both of these games, major clashes between the teams start and end in seconds, and Dota 2 is much better at allowing the player to see how the battle went down.This is all well and good for a user who is familiar with Dota, but believe it or not there are people out there who have never heard of this kind of game, much less sacrificed entire summers to creating the perfect strategy. League of Legends offers a flawless introduction to the game, walking new users though the entire battle system, even going as far as setting up multiple matches against the PC before new players are thrown into matchmaking. With Dota, if you are really lucky you have a friend who has been playing and that is willing to apologize for you as you figure out how to play the game. If you’re unlucky, you are likely to be laughed out of even wanting to play the game ever again.