In the comment section for the previous Blog Post the community expressed interest in the old days of Dota, before it became an international phenomenon it is now. The game was quite different at the time but to be perfectly honest a lot of it had to do with how we, as a community, perceived it, rather than how it was balanced. Today I will go through the various quirks and trends which are mostly gone at this point. It is not going to be a history of competitive Dota kind of blog post, instead focusing on the pub gameplay.<!--END_PREVIEW-->
Warcraft 3 was a masterpiece for many reasons - it had an amazing core strategic gameplay, interesting campaign, multiplayer, suitabile for professional play and, most importantly, it had modding support. If it wasn't for this game, Dota would never even come to life.
But it had a lot of downsides as well, which became more and more apparent as the Dota began to develop.
If you have never played Dota 1 you might be very interested as to what "legacy" layout in the Dota 2 client means and why is it even there - after all, the QWER layout is logical and easy to use. We, on the other hand, have spent almost 7 years playing Dota with our left hand becoming stiff in the weirdest positions imaginable - just imagine playing 원소술사 with each of his 10 spells having a separate button on top of Quas/Wex/Exort and Invoke taking the QWER slots (incidentally, he was also the first hero, who got this really neat layout for his primary abilities) or 나가 세이렌 with buttons on R/E/G/D and your pinky on A/S for denying/last hitting.
The inventory was also far from being easy to use - it was bound to Num 7/8 4/5 1/2 by default and it could not be changed. What it meant is that you either had to constantly jump with your left hand from one side of the keyboard to the other (returning it to the previous weird position in the heat of a battle) or use your mouse clicks to use items. At the time a very small amount of people had mice with side buttons and even smaller amount could rebind them to the Num keys.
The shopping experience was also quite different - you did not have a dedicated "Shop" tab for all your items. Instead, you had a multitude of NPCs standing at your fountain and secret/side shop which sold recipes and components:
The circles on the left were the "Stash" and there were 2 extra shops selling consumables/wards south of Shadow Fiend.
Compared to the learning curve one is facing today starting Dota 2 for the first time we had it rough. Over the course of the development the Shops were changed several times, with different reasoning behind their grouping. To understand how annoying it was remember the first time you were trying to purchase the 궁극구 at base in 6.84 and multiply the frustration by 10.
Finally, the main problem I personally have with the WC3 Dota after playing Dota 2 was how much less responsive it feels - after playing Dota 2 for several years now I can't go back any more since there is an extra input lag on your commands on top of the usual ping - something that makes the games quite different even within the same patch. And I think the engine level reduction in this input lag as well as layout/gameplay convenience is what made a lot of heroes receive a nerf as soon as they got ported to the Dota 2 client.
There were a lot of broken beyond repair heroes in Dota history. Gambler and the original Invoker are the first to come to mind. And while their impact on the game was huge, they never got past the initial introduction stage.
Some heroes, on the other hand, were very different when they were introduced, but have retained most of their qualities and are now a stable part of the Dota2 hero roster, after careful and calculated changes. And these are the heroes I would like to talk about.
There were a lot of small changes to the hero abilities - for example, 파도사냥꾼's Anchor Smash used to be a passive which did not reduce the damage output from the enemies. Getting Attack Speed on the hero seemed like a viable idea and he was often played as a carry (to be honest, almost every hero was played as a carry at the time).
The Spin Web of 거미여왕 used to reveal invisible units AND wards - imagine if she had the same functionality now.
The rather "new" Aghanims upgrade on 나무정령 수호자 is actually one of his oldest abilities, which got removed for being OP. And it did not even extend the radius of Overgrowth to the area it revealed - it was just available come level 1, albeit on a 300 seconds cooldown. If I recall correctly, it also provided true sight.
흡혈마 used to be a broken beyond repair kind of hero with level 3 ultimate providing him with 20 seconds of Magic Immunity. That is unless you were laning against 침묵술사, since 흡혈마 had no active skills except for his ultimate.
Shallow Grave from 대즐 used to be an ultimate, which lasted 6 minutes and prevented an ally hero from losing gold on death as well as making him respawn 60% faster. It also dealt some negligible damage to the enemy hero who got the last hit on your ally. I don't remember there being a limit on the amount of buffs you could place at the same time, apart from the obvious cooldown restrictions, making it possible for at least 2 heroes on your team to have the buff at the same time.
늑대인간's wolves could bash at one point with a 15% chance. In fact a lot of things in this game could bash at one point or the other. Worst part - these effects used to stack.
I hope no one will ever have to experience this - a 얼굴없는 전사, 트롤 전쟁군주 or 슬라다 with 2 bashers was the go to strat in a lot of local matches. Not only did the effects stack, they also did not have a cooldown or any kind of restriction. They simply bashed.
Provided the hero had enough Attack Speed it usually resulted in one or even two targets in a fight being completely useless - if you've played the early versions of Team Fortress 2 where Medic could Uber two targets switching between them fast enough, you can grasp roughly one third of the frustration the players experienced.
To this day a lot of old Dota players still overvalue the Basher, especially on the Russian server and we believe the concept of permabash is to blame.
At the start of the game Host had to choose a mod. For the most part people played -AP or -SD/RD, but there were a lot of other mods which were quite interesting.
-EM turned the game into a more casual passtime - no gold loss, higher gold gains and a lot of other things which made game more accessible for newcomers.
-SC stands for Super Creeps, where every now and then each ancient produced a supercreep - Murloc, Golem or Hydra for one of the lanes. In most cases the supercreep required attention from most of the team to be dealt with. They also varied in their strength, making the game incredibly unfair but quite fun.
-ID is on a whole different level of unfairness - Item Drop meant that once you die, one of your slots will drop an item - it can be an empty slot, or it can be a slot with your core item. Allies could pick these items up and give them back to you, so there was an extra layer of forced coordination, but to this day I think this mod is unplayable.
-random agi/str/int - random from a pool of agility, strength or intelligence heroes. "-random str" is the perfect response to "we need a tanker" in a pub match.
-roll 100 (1000) gived you a random number which is visible to everyone - perfect for deciding who is going mid. This feature should seriously be implemented in Dota 2.
-so - Switch ON. This mode meant that host can never lose the game - he either gets an enemy carry switched to his team or leaves the game resulting in a disconnect. If you see host adding -so in the end of the mod and you are not on his team you might as well just leave the game.
-water and -weather: we are paying for the stuff which was free in the original Dota. With these commands you could change the weather and even the colour of the river.
Standing in the fountain and quickly tapping F1 (hero select) will speed up the regeneration process - probably the biggest myth of the game. What it did, is increased the frequency with which the HP numbers refreshed, but it had no effect on the actual regeneration.
"Tunnel Me!" came from the times of Garena, where host had to use the "tunnel" option on all connected players to decrease their ping. I am not sure it worked, but we still did it.
There was no glyph of fortification in the earlier versions of Dota - instead, the TP scrolls provided the tower with invulnerability.
"If you press Alt+Q quickly several times, you will start gaining gold," - got rid of newbies in your games (Alt+QQ quitted the program).
Getting 전장격노 changed attack animation on many melee heroes. Might be the reason a lot of people got so used to this item and keep on building it on every melee hero.
You could give items to your teammates. 빛의 수호자 used to be incredibly strong for this reason.
칠흑왕의 지팡이 did not degrade. It was always 9 seconds.
Orb Effects (UAMs) did not work on Luna (except for lifesteal). She completely lost the ability to attack with Skadi/S&Y and Mjolnir.
You could build 불멸의 아이기스 from the shop. It had 3 charges and transported you to your fountain on death.
신광검 used to give the bearer a 8% evasion chance.
The whole "Reborn" thing coupled with the community asking for Old Days of Dota Blog Post have forced me to install and replay the original WC3 Dota, hence the delay between the posts. Despite all my claims about how uncomfortable the game felt, it was a really nice experience with a lot of nostalgia. Interestingly, there are still a lot of Dota 1 games going on and it wasn't hard to find a lobby - I really wish all these people would switch to Dota 2, but it might take a while.
On my trips to the old days, I also found inspiration for a couple more Blog Posts. First of all, there are still 2 heroes to be ported into Dota 2 - Pit Lord and Zet and one of my next Blog Posts will be focused on them to keep the readers prepared. I will also speculate on the probable nerfs the heroes will face.
Secondly, there is a massive persistent community which plays custom WC3 maps. With Reborn in open beta, I think it will be interesting to have a look at the most popular mods which are supported and/or played to this day - it could also serve as a guideline for the new generation of modders. Personally, I can't wait for the remake of Elemental Tower Defence on Source 2.
Finally, eggs is working on the second pair of TI5 Wildcard Teams Blog Post, so stay tuned. This type of articles can certainly help with getting grasp on who is who after the post-TI4 grand reshuffle.