Inspired by this post, I’ve been designing a simplified version of Defense of the Ancients. I call it “TinyDoTA.”
The goal: A simple, easy to learn, hard to master version of DoTA that can be played through in 15 minutes.
Disclaimer: I’m not actually any good at DoTA. I’ve probably missed some stuff.
Get a class system working. Ideally three classes, maybe five. Good, well balanced, etc. I’m thinking the classic Warrior, Archer, and Rogue system. Maybe a Mage class, too.
Smaller map. For LAN play, four people. The more people the game requires, the harder it is to lean and get into.
The Rich Get Richer
The other player won’t get any gold from killing a PC. Actually, maybe something like the bonus system in allegiance. For each kill (regardless of PC or NPC), the player’s bonus multiplier goes up. When killed, they pop out as a ghost and must run to their ancient. The opposing team could attack the ghost, but doing so would cause the player to respawn instantly, loosing their XP bonus. Would have to be balanced so that this was controversial. (What fun is a game if you always know what the other side will do?)
If you get behind the leveling curve on DoTA, you’re pretty much worthless. Worse than worthless, since going out will likely result in your death, feeding the other team. Maybe each team sends out more powerful units in direct relation to the opposition. For example, if the other team has high level characters, send out big units that give little XP. If the other team has low level characters, send out little units that have high XP. Maybe this would be counterproductive, since it would make the game drag out too long.
Having everyone stay would be even more important with only four people. If one person left, their some of XP would have to be transferred to the other player to compensate. How much is too much? Either that, or an NPC would be called in to take over their unit. Would need to respond to the basic DoTA chat and take commands. Also, would have to be weak enough that a human player was always better.
Your items are your character in DoTA. There are a ton of them, too. I’m not entirely sure how to manage this aspect. There are far too many of them for quick access, in my humble opinion. An interesting game mechanic would be to make each enemy tower a store. The closer to the enemies base, the better items. You’d have to go right up next to a tower while being attacked by it to make your selection. Perhaps one would simply have to stand next to a tower for some period of time to unlock new items back at the store in one’s base.
So, yeah. That’s all I’ve got so far. Anyone else have ideas?