With the announcement of Dota 2 custom games, the question arises as to which of the old favorites that many remember from Warcraft III need to be reborn. There are literally hundreds to choose from, and below I will be talking about some genres I'd like to see make a big return and some specific games.
The variety, quality, and fun that can be transported into Dota 2 makes me incredibly excited for what I can get my hands on and for what Dota 2 Custom Games will expose people to that did not have the fortune to experience Warcraft III in its prime.
To this day, Warcraft III has some of the best Tower Defense games I have ever played. From the early days of things like Wintermaul, to the now very complex Element TD, the range contained therein is enormous. It is sickening just how much time I probably spent playing these games, and I can't wait to see many of them return.
They range from the maze/team-oriented Maul to the individual wars to games where each player is pitted against their own individual challenge to see who does the best. There are survival of the fittest TDs like Day of the Cow TD, and those that pit player against player like Line Tower Wars. Some of the themed Tower Defenses, like Sprout TD or Gem TD, have some of the most unique mechanics I've seen in the genre.
Footmen Frenzy is a difficult game to describe to the uninitiated, as it is fairly unique. Four teams are pitted against one another, consisting of three players each, and they all spawn their own units, "footmen," slowly over time. Once enough are built up, players can send them to the center of the map for massive battles. Usually you could upgrade your "footmen" to other units as the game progressed.
That's the gist of it, but Footmen Frenzy had a crazy amount of variety too. Sometimes each player had a hero as well, some had objectives in the center, some had difficult bonuses to grab between enemy areas, and so much more.
Check out the video to see a bit of what I am talking about. (Also, this video is definitely straight out of the mid-2000s.)
Imagine playing as your favorite Dota 2 hero, or something entirely new, on a massive map where hordes of enemies are attacking your base. It is up to you to take the fight to the enemy, slowly making your way to where the enemies spawn, killing bosses and collecting loot along the way. Then, once you make it to the end, an epic boss battle ensues.
Hero Sieges definitely went down in popularity after a few years, but most everything did as the custom maps of Warcraft III were dominated by Dota, Footmen Frenzy, and the random game here or there (usually a TD). These have a huge potential for some cool stuff if someone is so inclined to do something with it.
The amount of Arenas and their variety is crazy. Usually it was one team pitted against another, and you choose a hero to play, entering the arena. The objectives varied from getting a certain kill amount to killing a boss first on the map, but every hero was confined to this large arena where tons of little enemies, side objectives, and much more could be found as you killed the enemy and collected loot to make your individual hero better.
These can totally be translated into many different variations, allowing for some really fun and interesting games to lose yourself in for a good chunk of time. Though, these usually suffer balance issues for significant periods of time, as Arenas usually featured custom built/modified heroes.
The various Risk/Wars types of games are another unique set of games not seen really anywhere else. They offer large maps where you slowly take over the map, each area you control giving you more units. It is probably best understood in the video below.
The Wars maps are sort of different. Many of the most popular were based on The Lord of The Rings, where various spots on the map would be pre-established already, like Isengard, etc. From there, you used your themed minions to try to take over the map. Sometimes this was solo, sometimes you had teams (Rohan, Gondor, etc. vs Mordor, Isengard, etc.).
There's not much like them anywhere else, and while they were not my favorite, I know there is a huge appeal for them out there.
Hero Defenses are pretty much Tower Defenses, but instead of towers, you defend your base/whatever with a hero(es) instead. Some of the most popular custom maps, like Enfo's, are in this genre. Teaming up to defeat wave after wave of enemies, many that will have their own unique attributes/abilities, can be very fun. (I only just realized how badly I need to play an updated version of Helm's Deep or Troy.)
I wasn't sure what to call this section, but there were a ton of custom maps in Warcraft III where you and some friends banded together to make it through this massive map, fighting a bunch of enemies and bosses along the way. These differ from Hero Sieges as these usually didn't have waves of enemies coming towards a base of yours the entire time, instead focusing on the heroes and moving forward. The one that immediately springs to mind is Balin's Tomb.
Balin's Tomb was a map themed around The Lord of the Rings obviously, where there were nine players, one of each of the Fellowship, and you made your way out of the Mines of Moria. The potential for cool original stories, or adaptations of things like Balin's Tomb, can lead to a bunch of custom games for people to enjoy.
Honorable mentions: Pudge Wars, Uther Party (a game made up of mini games), the many custom Campaigns and solo RPGs, Life of a Peasant, and many others I can't remember.
The best part about many of the above custom games, and custom games in general, is that there is bound to be something for just about anybody. On top of that, most of them are great to play solo, taking away some of the frustration in solo queuing in Dota 2. There are also plenty to play with friends as well.
What Dota 2 is as a game is about to change drastically. While the core Dota game will be there, the Custom Games will attract so many others that there will essentially be two separate spheres of Dota 2 fans, with the overlap in between. It will certainly be interesting to watch.
What map would you like to see in Dota 2 Custom Games? Are you about to play a lot more Dota 2 like me because of Custom Games?