I am a Dota 2 beginner. I say that after having logged 53 hours, according to Steam. For as little as I understand about how to play Dota, with the little intricacies that make it different from other MOBAs, I have been struck by one particular feature: the client.
The Dota 2 client is, in short, a masterpiece. Compared to many other games, the functionality is beyond comparison. There are so many nooks and crannies to discover that it becomes easy to get lost exploring all the new toys at your disposal. The game can seem complicated before you ever queue-up.
What makes this client special, even over other Valve games, isn’t the ability to watch pro-games or check out community-made arcade modes. Those are impressive, but pale in comparison to the sheer mountain of loot that Dota offers its players.
The ability to customize every piece of armor for any character is one of the more addicting systems we have seen in gaming. It is silly fun and, at times, very cool. The option to turn your favorite character into a bad-ass terror or a goddamn mess is yours to make!
What is far cooler than the ability to individually customize your characters is the way players can change the entire map. With a simple unlocking of a loot chest, you can re-style the playing field in a myriad of different ways.
Maybe you like spring-time and want to lighten up your day with pink flowers. Maybe you want a Monkey King-themed map filled with furry friends. Or maybe, if you are really cool, you will use the new underwater terrain from the TI7 Battle Pass.
Everything in Dota 2 is customizable: the couriers, the wards, the announcers, even your personal HUD. This makes Dota a more attractive prospect. Even if the game is hard to learn and confusing at spots, the constant possibility of a new reward is enticing. I have bought a Battle Pass three years in a row just to see what fun treasures I get out of it, and I have never been disappointed.
There are people out there who are incredible at Dota 2. They battle each other in hard-fought, hour long matches. They play for the glory of victory.
Me? I play for the hats.