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Valve Trademarks 'DOTA'

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the vi-sitter-i-ventrilo dept.

PC Games (Games) 141

An anonymous reader tips news that Valve Software has filed a trademark claim for the term "DOTA," fueling speculation that the company will soon reveal a new Defense of the Ancients game. Voice actor John St. John recently said he was recording for such a game in a post to Twitter. The tweet was subsequently deleted. Last year Valve hired 'Icefrog,' lead developer for the original DotA mod.

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141 comments

DOTA? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33226374)

Nobody gives a shit.

At first I was angry (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33226378)

Then I saw that they had the original DotA developer on board. Then I just got worried that DoTA for WC3 and its clone on SC2 would get sued.

Re:At first I was angry (4, Interesting)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226558)

Except they don't. They have the second maintainer of DotA Allstars on board (the original developer of that worked on League of Legends). DotA itself was made by yet another person who isn't involved in either of them.

I'd love to know how you trademark something made by someone else and which someone else has already used on released games.

Re:At first I was angry (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33226600)

I'd love to know how you trademark something made by someone else and which someone else has already used on released games.

It's pretty easy when that someone else didn't bother to trademark their brand name. You don't have to register a trademark, but you do have to throw a TM next to the name every time you use it. Neither DotA nor DotA All Stars ever did this, so anyone is free to trademark it. If the original dev had trademarked it, he would have had to transfer that trademark to allow someone else to use it to make DotA All Stars, who then would have had to transfer it to the new maintainer to allow him to continue to use it. And since that second maintainer now works for Valve, he would have been free to transfer it to them.

History of use (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33227054)

You don't have to register a trademark, but you do have to throw a TM next to the name every time you use it.

Citation needed. Use in commerce (in this case, selling copies or running game servers) establishes a history of use, and history of use establishes eligibility to register a mark. But if in fact this developer hired by Valve has established a history of use, Valve can rely on this to register the mark.

Re:History of use (2, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33227170)

Citation needed.

Unlike other areas of IP, trademark must be actively defended. If you don't inform others of your trademark, you are not defending it. The fact a trademark was not previously filed and according to the gp post, declaration of trademark was never made. As such, it does appear safe to assume they have never made any effort to trademark or defend a trademark.

Also, this is not Wikipedia or a researched document. "Citation needed". means you are incapable of effective, polite, communication and is frequently a sign of a dumb, lazy, douche bag. All too often, "Citation needed", means the author is too dumb and lazy to use a search engine. If you are not a douche bag, please stop using that phrase when outside of its proper context.

Alternative to "Citation needed"? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33227216)

All too often, "Citation needed", means the author is too dumb and lazy to use a search engine.

So instead of "Citation needed", should people say "Please provide Google keywords" instead?

Re:Alternative to "Citation needed"? (0, Flamebait)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33227334)

So instead of "Citation needed", should people say "Please provide Google keywords" instead?

Again - douche bag. Patent law is hardly some obscure Internet reference. As my original post said, go to your nearest search engine. If YOU are ignorant of a subject, its hardly everyone else's job to rectify YOUR ignorance.

This particular subject is extremely well known and extremely well covered on the Internet (including /.) and is extremely easy to get information on, assuming your not a dumb, lazy, douche bag. In short, rather than say, "Citation needed", you should have gone to your nearest search engine and shown the world you're neither dumb or lazy.

Contrary to popular trends, it is not everyone else's job to educate you. And if, after making a good faith effort to find the material on your own, its not that hard to say, "I couldn't find what you were talking about. I did searches for x, y, and z. Can you please provide a reference of some kind?" Which is infinitely better than the, "Bullshit! Prove it!", which is all too often associated with, "Citation needed". The former is passive aggressive while the later is polite and indicates you are not a dumb, lazy, douche bag.

Re:Alternative to "Citation needed"? (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33227538)

Patent law

is not under discussion; trademark law is. I would imagine that regular Slashdot readers are far more familiar with patent and copyright law than with trademark law, simply because far more Slashdot stories have been about the use of patent and copyright law than about the use of trademark law.

its not that hard to say, "I couldn't find what you were talking about. I did searches for x, y, and z. Can you please provide a reference of some kind?"

Is it also characteristic of a douche bag to say "I did a search for x, but the vast majority of Google's search results had their full text behind the Springer, Wiley, or Elsevier paywall, and I am not willing to pay $30 per article just to participate in a Slashdot discussion"?

Re:Alternative to "Citation needed"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33227794)

If YOU are ignorant of a subject, its hardly everyone else's job to rectify YOUR ignorance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophic_burden_of_proof

Re:Alternative to "Citation needed"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33229228)

owned.

Re:History of use (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#33228278)

If you don't inform others of your trademark, you are not defending it.

If nobody infringes on the trademark, and you have established usage, then there is no need to "defend" it.

Re:History of use (1)

Zalbik (308903) | more than 3 years ago | (#33229192)

I couldn't find what you were talking about. I did searches for "Trademark law use of TM symbol", read the "Trademark" page on Wikipedia, and "Trademark law".

Here's what I found:
On www.inta.org:
The symbol (TM) is used by companies to notify the public to a claim of rights in a trademark. A (TM) is usually used in connection with an unregistered trademark and does not have any legal status.

On uspto.gov:
Are there federal regulations governing the use of the designations "TM" or "SM" with trademarks?
No. Use of the symbols "TM" or "SM" (for trademark and service mark, respectively) may, however, be governed by local, state, or foreign laws and the laws of the pertinent jurisdiction must be consulted. These designations usually indicate that a party claims rights in the mark and are often used before a federal registration is issued.

from trademarklawlitigation.com:
A trademark can be a word, name, symbol, device or any combination thereof which is used to identify and distinguish the goods or services of one company from goods or services of another. In order to qualify as a trademark, the mark must be used in federally regulated commerce, and the mark must be distinctive. In a nutshell, the distinctiveness requirement means that a mark cannot describe the underlying product, or if it does describe the product, the mark must have been used extensively enough in commerce to acquire a certain level of market recognition (i.e. secondary meaning). Moreover, some marks will not be protected as trademarks, even if they are well recognized by consumers as trademarks (forbidden marks).

Can you please provide a reference of some kind? There seems to be no specific laws regarding the TM symbol. i.e. there is no law that states "you have to throw a TM next to the name every time you use it".

Now, that being said, you probably would have a much better chance of winning a lawsuit if you consistently use the TM symbol, but that is not what the GP post claimed.

Or to make a much shorter post:
Citation needed.

Re:History of use (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 3 years ago | (#33227224)

Common law trademarks (TM) only apply in the state your company is in. For federal (and limited international) coverage, you need to apply for a federal trademark.

Federal trademarks are first come first serve, so whoever files first gets it. It doesn't matter who's using the trademark in the market already (unless they've filed).

Valve is probably doing this as a defensive measure, so some scumbag doesn't register it and attempt to extort money from them. It's become a fairly generic term though, I wonder how much it'd hold up in court. I mean, if I trademarked "FPS" and sued every publisher on the planet, I doubt I'd make it very far.

Opposition to trademark registration (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33227288)

Federal trademarks are first come first serve

Even if someone files an opposition claiming prior use sometime in the next thirty days?

Re:Opposition to trademark registration (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 3 years ago | (#33227536)

yeah, but they'd have to have a valid reason for opposition.

If the trademark isn't deemed too generic or previously registered, they're screwed even if they've been using the trademark for some time.

Re:History of use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33227294)

Well lots of games these days don't get many Frames Per Second anyway :-(

Re:History of use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33227454)

History of use establishes eligibility to register a mark it does not grant the mark. Trademarks do not need to be registered, but unregistered trademarks must declare their mark by using the TM symbol. Simply using a name for something without using the TM to declare an unregistered trademark or registering a trademark is tacit acknowledgment that you don't wish to protect the brand, and anyone can use it. Not to mention that in order to keep a trademark, registered or unregistered, you have to continue to make use of it. Since both Eul and Guinsoo abandoned the project, the relinquished any trademark claims they may or may not have had.

And I have citations for all of this, but considering you started you post with "citation needed" and then proceeded to make a bunch of claims with no citations, you can look it up your own damn self.

Re:At first I was angry (1)

Impeesa (763920) | more than 3 years ago | (#33227064)

Like all innovative things, the original has served its purpose, and been laid to rest. From the ashes, not one, but many successors rise. And inevitably, one will bear the name of its father - even if, like present-day Napster or Atari, it is at best a shambling husk of a brand compared to the original.

Ok but... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33226384)

What about Half Life? Is this franchise dead or something?

Re:Ok but... (1)

WaroDaBeast (1211048) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226576)

What about Half Life? Is this franchise dead or something?

I'm afraid the franchise has reached its half-life.

Re:Ok but... (4, Funny)

bcat24 (914105) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226930)

What about Half Life? Is this franchise dead or something?

I'm afraid the franchise has reached its half-life.

So it's only mostly dead? There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do.

Re:Ok but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33228214)

What about Half Life? Is this franchise dead or something?

I'm afraid the franchise has reached its half-life.

So it's only mostly dead? There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do.

Rifle through their pockets and look for loose change!

Re:Ok but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33229160)

Where do "Not quite dead" and "Getting better" fit in?

Re:Ok but... (5, Informative)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226696)

What about Half Life? Is this franchise dead or something?

I doubt it, they are supposedly working on the last Episode, but I'm not shocked that it is taking so long. Remember, whatever happens in the last episode, it sets the stage for the next game. You don't want to kill off people who would be handy later on. The franchise is still very popular, very profitable, and the highest ranking games on Metacritic's website. The rumors of the franchise's death have been greatly exaggerated.

They are talking about making the last episode much scarier, which I think is the right thing to do. I remember the first Half-life literally giving me chill bumps, and making me jump with the head crabs and other assorted critters. The last interview that Gabe gave on it (that I am aware of) was a few months ago: http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com/2010/03/26/valve-wants-their-next-half-life-to-scare-you/ [mtv.com]

Re:Ok but... (1)

Lillebo (1561251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226836)

Some scholars argue that the next full game to the series will not be Half-Life 3, as Valve considers Episodes 1, 2 and the upcoming Episode 3 to be "Half Life 3".

Re:Ok but... (2, Interesting)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226966)

Which is why I didn't say HL3 or HL4, just "the next game". There is also the potential for a prequel, or a game from a different point of view, like they did with Opposing Force and Blue Shift. Simply staying in the same time and universe, there is huge potential for a game where you don't even see Gordon, as a Combine, or play a citizen that organizes the underground railroad, etc. Personally, I would love to play a game as DOG, with the gravity gun and maybe one or two other "powers", doing combat while Gordon is elsewhere. Just kicking Combine ass and breaking stuff. These would likely be smaller/shorter games, but the potential is still there for some cool $19.99 games or part of a pack of games, like the Orange Box.

They would be expanding on the current universe, and while not adding much depth, they would add breadth to the series while being easy enough to keep to the original canon. While Opposing Force and Blue Shift were not as good as the original HL, (the main issues that held them back was some game play quirkiness and some of the tasks were a bit too much of a grind) but they were still good games in the same universe and worth playing through more than once.

Re:Ok but... (1)

carp3_noct3m (1185697) | more than 3 years ago | (#33228846)

Half-life was my original love when it comes to PC games. That I am still able to say after all these years that I truly trust Valve that whatever the next installment and ones after that will be of superb quality and lots of fun, not to mention with awesome new modding potential. Valve and by extension Steam is a bastion of the pc gamer industry, despite its often pointed out flaws (usually said to be DRM and longevity)

Re:Ok but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33227856)

Some scholars argue that the next full game to the series will not be Half-Life 3, as Valve considers Episodes 1, 2 and the upcoming Episode 3 to be "Half Life 3".

Maybe the next game could be like a prequel to Half Life. Like the episodes we now know as 1, 2, and 3 are really like episodes 4,5, and 6 and the new episodes would be the real episodes 1, 2, and 3. We could like learn about Gordon Freeman's youth, and what transpired to make him the silent, crowbar swinging physicist he is today. Maybe he had a rich, powerful girlfriend but she like died or left him. And there's like this funny talking Rasta dude who's like really dumb and no one can stand him but he won't go away.

Man, just imagine if they did something like that.

Re:Ok but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33228016)

Now Gabe Newell has stopped slagging OSX & Linux off, I decided to stop hating him so much.

However, when someone throws useless buzzwords around like "Emotional Palette"; I can't help but want to sandpaper their face off.

Re:Ok but... (1, Informative)

Tukz (664339) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226782)

You do realise that Valve have got more than 1 studio, right?
It's a seperat studio making Half-life.

dota (2)

bakamorgan (1854434) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226396)

Might give the game a try since valve is behind it. Wonder how many people will go from a free game to one you have to buy now.

Re:dota (1)

Cristofori42 (1001206) | more than 3 years ago | (#33228648)

I bought WC3 for the sole purpose of playing dota which I played at a LAN party a few times. I know quite a few people who have also done this - this leads me to suspect that the makers of dota have generated a nice bit of profit for Blizzard.

Re:dota (1)

Hawke666 (260367) | more than 3 years ago | (#33228728)

You mean like they did with Alien Swarm? Oh wait...

Nah, they’ll just release a (probably Source-based) standalone DoTA game, for free. Free games drive Steam accounts, which drive large numbers of purchases when other games are on sale.

Re:dota (3, Insightful)

Haffner (1349071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33228922)

As a fairly avid gamer who has played well over 2000 games of dota (TDA gamecount is in the 1200s), and someone who plays dota as his main game, let me be the first to say: DotA is NOT a good game to get in to. While I love it and think its a terrific game, it is extraordinarily difficult to get into. There are over 90 heroes, each of whom possess 4 skills. There are also probably 60 something (guessing off the top of my head) items. In order to be able to play and enjoy the game, you need to know 1) skills for every hero, and 2) item builds for the heroes you play.

I have tried to get my friends to try dota- the ones that used to play have largely quit for HoN or sc2. The only people I can recommend dota to are the ones that a) are skilled strategy game players, b) enjoy playing wc3, and c) are willing to dedicate the roughly 50+ hours necessary to simply UNDERSTAND dota.

Dota is a competitive, balanced, and rewarding game, but it takes a tremendous time investment before one can enjoy it. In my opinion, for beginners, dota will not be truly fun until you are able to understand the other team/players' strategies and counter them. Most low level dota consists of farming up items and then trying to kill things. While this might be fun for a while, this is like playing l4d2 with computers: it's fun, but you're missing out on the most crucial part of the game

Lastly, most dota players are terrible people. They feign ignorance, love to blame others, and can singlehandedly ruin a game. This is something you need to understand - just one player can make an otherwise great game miserable. Especially in low level league play (like TDA or THR) where there are penalties for leaving a game early, having one of these people on your team can make for 45 minutes of hell. Also, most players won't really progress beyond these leagues, so if you're trying to get in to dota, this is what you have to look forward to.

That said, best of luck... It would be great to have new dota players, or a standalone REAL dota game (that exactly mirrors the wc3 variant - my problem with HoN is it's too different).

Re:dota (1)

PachmanP (881352) | more than 3 years ago | (#33229316)

As a fairly avid gamer who has played well over 2000 games of dota (TDA gamecount is in the 1200s), and someone who plays dota as his main game, let me be the first to say: DotA is NOT a good game to get in to. While I love it and think its a terrific game, it is extraordinarily difficult to get into. There are over 90 heroes, each of whom possess 4 skills. There are also probably 60 something (guessing off the top of my head) items. In order to be able to play and enjoy the game, you need to know 1) skills for every hero, and 2) item builds for the heroes you play.

Well since it's pretty obvious you don't know anything and you're just a casual player, STFU N00B!!

Re:dota (1)

Haffner (1349071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33229452)

Its probably a lot more than that, actually... I just threw out a number. 2 Building shops @ ~12 each, lady/dwarf at 12 each, for 48, special shop for ~60 + 6 recipe shops at average of 10 is probably total of more like 120.

tl;dr, my above number was not well thought out.

Business model (5, Insightful)

Issarlk (1429361) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226452)

1 - choose a popular mod to an existing game.
2 - hire the devs
3 - release standalone Steam version
4 - PROFIT!

Re:Business model (5, Informative)

Netshroud (1856624) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226476)

That's exactly their business model.
  • Counter-Strike
  • Day of Defeat
  • Team Fortress 2
  • Alien Swarm
  • Portal

It doesn't surprise me in the least,

Re:Business model (5, Interesting)

Winckle (870180) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226556)

Hey it's a sound business model that results in quality polished games. Can't knock them for it. :)

Re:Business model (1)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 3 years ago | (#33227846)

Agreed. I wish they'd take up Insurgency: Modern Infantry Combat. I still play that game just about daily, but the community is fading fast. I'm going to have to pick a new game soon, if they don't start active work on the sequel :(

Re:Business model (4, Insightful)

wynterwynd (265580) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226804)

Except technically speaking, Portal was not a mod. It was based off of a proof-of-concept puzzle game called Narbacular Drop.

Other than that, yep.

I can't see it as anything but good for gaming. Gamers know what gamers want and so far the groundswell approach they use has produced some truly great games.

Re:Business model (3, Funny)

PrimalChrome (186162) | more than 3 years ago | (#33227384)

eh...how exactly are they profiting off of Alien Swarm? I suppose that with a $0.00 pricetag and the expense of bandwidth they make it up in quantity of sales?

Re:Business model (5, Insightful)

Shanrak (1037504) | more than 3 years ago | (#33227434)

Every additional download of steam (which is required for alien swarm) means an additional exposure to some of their weekend and special sales. Its an excellent way of getting your advertising out, and at the same time it inflates steam user count so it shows publishers how big of a customer base they are losing if they choose to not publish on steam.

And Steam is their real money maker these days (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33228272)

One might notice that they've become extremely lax with regards to development. Source has badly stagnated and as such they aren't really selling any engine licenses. Their own game development proceeds at a snail's pace. However Steam sales are extremely brisk. They are making tons of money on it.

Also Steam is very much a "One platform to rule them all," kind of setup. Steam doesn't play well with others. Their DRM, Steamworks is mandatory for all games on Steam, but also free for anyone to use. In fact retail titles use it now... But if a game is Steamworks then you have to install and run Steam to play the game. This also means you have to allow distribution of your game on Steam, but also that you game probably cannot be distributed on any other download platform. While they don't require that, it is how things go by default. After all, Impulse does not want you to have to download a game through their service, then once it is installing go and install Steam which will ALSO have to run.

Valve really seems to want to push Steam as the one and only way to do games. Everything will be on there, even if you happened to buy it in a store. To that end, pushing Steam to the maximum number of people possible is a real smart idea.

Don't get me wrong, I use Steam and own many games on it, but they do have a bit of the big brother, "We want to control all your media," type stuff going on. If that's your goal, putting out some free products to achieve it is worth while.

Re:And Steam is their real money maker these days (1)

Reapman (740286) | more than 3 years ago | (#33228770)

Steam's not quite as big brother as your putting it out to be.. a counter example is Dawn of War 2. Picked it up on the weekend at a LAN Party, bought it directly off steam. However it's technically a Games for Windows Live game, so playing multiplayer i had to actually make a Live account. Invites to join the game went through GfW (well, that was the plan, thanks to GfW sucking so bad we never did get a game going)

Thought it a bit odd that I could open up the Steam interface while having the Games for Windows Live fugly interface open, too.

Re:Business model (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#33229148)

It also doesn't preclude them charging for it in the future (maybe a GoTY edition with some unique extras) or bundling it with some of their other releases and charging for the whole pack (a la Orange Box), or even using the popularity to sell the console ports. Plenty of ways to profit from an initial zero price (assuming you have a product that's worth more than zero, just giving stuff out for free obviously won't help if nobody wanted it - fortunately Valve seem to have a good hit to miss ratio).

Re:Business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33226642)

Except both HoN (Heroes of Newerth) and LoL (League of Legends) already exist to do this.

Re:Business model (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226740)

1 - choose a popular mod to an existing game. 2 - hire the devs 3 - release standalone Steam version 4 - PROFIT!

5 - ???

Well, that step has to be in there somewhere.

Re:Business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33226972)

Yea, I think in schemes that actually generate a profit, the list goes something like this:
1. do stuff
2. do other stuff
3. Profit!
4. ???
5. Hookers and blow

Re:Business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33228124)

Sigh
  1. Collect underpants
  2. ???
  3. Profit!

Step 2 was proven, in 2007, to be "sell to Rob Malda". Because he's a pervert that gets off on soiled boy's underwear.

Hereos of Newerth! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33226492)

Do we really need another DoTA game!?

Major developer trademarks original MOBA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33226498)

As Valve acquires the "original" name and a prominent developer of this, one of the newest, game types to surface in a long time. Of course this is big news, sure others have beaten them to the punch in developing standalone clones, but this one might combine both originality and good gameplay. Unlike HoN (Heroes of Newerth) or LoL (League of Legends) where you get either or.

Summary is wrong, as usual (5, Informative)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226548)

Icefrog is NOT the original developer. I don't know where that nonsense keeps coming from.

The original developer is named Eul, and he made it way back before The Frozen Throne came out. He then stopped supporting it. Guinsoo then made DotA Allstars. Icefrog took that over at version 6, and is the current maintainer.

I don't know how you go from "second maintainer of a remake" to "original author", but it's amazing how fast that spread around the Internet.

Re:Summary is wrong, as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33226624)

Icefrog is NOT the original developer. I don't know where that nonsense keeps coming from.

The original developer is named Eul, and he made it way back before The Frozen Throne came out. He then stopped supporting it. Guinsoo then made DotA Allstars. Icefrog took that over at version 6, and is the current maintainer.

I don't know how you go from "second maintainer of a remake" to "original author", but it's amazing how fast that spread around the Internet.

The victor writes the history books!

Icefrog has a job, some $ and fame!

Who is this Eul guy you speak of... ?

Re:Summary is wrong, as usual (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33226670)

I would like to add that genre is not "DOTA", it is "AoS".
The original map that created these types of custom games was called "Aeon of Strife". It is a starcraft custom map.

Re:Summary is wrong, as usual (3, Informative)

sammysheep (537812) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226698)

Completely true. However, IceFrog has been developing DoTA since 2005. Eul created his version in 2003 (or 2002?). Which means Guinsoo probably developed DoTA for around 2 years. While not the original developer, IceFrog has developed the game for around 5 years and his contributions have made DotA very balanced and interesting to play.

Re:Summary is wrong, as usual (1)

syazhani (1197523) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226802)

Have you played the other versions? They're imbalanced, buggy and not newbie friendly at all. IceFrog can call it his creation and most people won't argue, given the efforts he put in, and community that has grown around v6. Maybe his mistake was using the same map name.

Re:Summary is wrong, as usual (3, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226848)

I played it all the way from the original Eul version, and those weren't buggy or newbie hostile at all. It got a lot more hostile to newbies in remakes as the complexity shot through the roof.

There's really no problem with him maintaining it, he's done a good job. There is a problem with claiming they're in the moral right to trademark it because the original author is working there, because that's a bald faced lie.

Correct information - mod parent up (2, Insightful)

vecctor (935163) | more than 3 years ago | (#33228570)

The original DotA for WC3:RoC was very polished and MUCH less complicated.

The thing I liked about it was that it didn't have the "avalanche" effect that all-stars did. The characters could only level to 10, and the items were not ludicrously powerful - so there was no point at which certain heroes became absurdly powerful. I always felt allstars devolved into item farming.

Re:Correct information - mod parent up (1)

Haffner (1349071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33228994)

It's really just rock paper scissors on a large scale, but with the wins depending heavily on the how, not the what, with regards to heroes chosen and played. Some lineups will innately beat others, but if you give me a "perfect" winning strategy, no matter what it is, I can find a way to counter it.

Re:Summary is wrong, as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33228772)

They're in the legal right to trademark it because no one has previously attempted to trademark it and they're likely about to release a product that will benefit from defending the trademark. Moral right is a bit harder to decide. Considering it's been almost 10 years and the previous authors had made no attempt to create or defend a trademark, and considering that 99% of the assets and 60%+ of the gameplay they used to create the game could be considered the intellectual property of Blizzard, one might wonder if the original authors had a moral right to any trademark that yielded a commercial profit to begin with.

Re:Summary is wrong, as usual (1)

Graf Eisen (1877140) | more than 3 years ago | (#33228412)

You're either thinking of "other" versions hacked together by some random person, or you're just lying through your teeth. Guinsoo and Icefrog didn't make a new map with the same name, they literally took(stole, tbh) the map and made their own edits to it. For quite some time the only edits were to characters and abilities -- the core framework of the game operated fine. DOTA was easily the most played custom map in RoC, well before Guinsoo and Icefrog entered the picture. If it exhibited the traits you described, I sincerely doubt it would have been as successful as it was.

Re:Summary is wrong, as usual (1)

Sheepmage (1310569) | more than 3 years ago | (#33229296)

I worked on one of the versions on TFT, around the time All Stars popped up. At the time, DotA was really in its infancy and I felt like we were all just trying to figure out ways to make it better. The core gameplay was brilliant, but there were numerous balance issues that we were trying to address (as well as working to make the heroes, abilities, and items more exciting).

What All Stars did was make DotA really, really popular by polishing everything and innovating constantly. When it came out, it took a lot of the best ideas from all the different versions, and put it all together into one package. That's why it's called "All Stars" - it took the best heroes from all the versions. They even took a few ideas from the version I worked on. And then they just kept adding things and improving all aspects of the gameplay.

That all said, Ice Frog really deserves most of the credit. He and his developers took DotA from a niche mod to a popular and very competitive game. I have no problem with the fact that he used our ideas, as we were doing it for fun and we just wanted to see a great game develop from our efforts. So, good for him. I'm happy to see Ice Frog make some money from all that work and of course, I've had the benefit of being able to playing All Stars all these years.

Re:Summary is wrong, as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33228614)

Have you played the other versions? They're imbalanced, buggy and not newbie friendly at all.

Seriously? Less newbie friendly than DotA?

You've actually frightened me. From nothing more than two sentences transferred over the internet, you have made me shiver in sheer, stark terror right here in my chair. The mere thought that there exists a game, nay, even a concept MORE hostile to newbies than DotA fits the category of Things That Must Not Be pretty sufficiently.

Have you considered becoming a horror writer?

Re:Summary is wrong, as usual (1)

apoc.famine (621563) | more than 3 years ago | (#33227622)

On top of that, a bunch of guys made this mod a stand-alone game, with a pretty bitching "subscription" model. Check out League of Legends [leagueoflegends.com]. It's the same old DoTA, new characters, graphics, and items, because they couldn't mooch off any of the original artwork, free to download and play. The profit part? The heroes rotate through a lineup of like 10% of the heroes every week. If you want access to your favorite one all the time, you need to unlock it with money or in-game earned points. (Mostly money, at this point I think.) There are skins to buy, and a "rune" system that adds a few pct to various character attributes. While you can get all the runes with in-game earned points, it's far more efficient to purchase them. For the hardcore gamers, that's the way to go.

Having played a lot of DoTA, I have to say, LoL is vastly superior. You can shop while dead, the menu and game search blows the old DoTA one out of the water, and with levels and ranking, you actually get semi-evenly matched games a good percentage of the time. It's a very focused, polished game. I'm not sure that Valve can do any better. It will be interesting to see, however. Although I doubt they can beat the price of LoL.

Re:Summary is wrong, as usual (3, Insightful)

snorb (109422) | more than 3 years ago | (#33229218)

Been getting into LoL recently, and while I agree it's very polished (I really like the character designs and the free-to-play model is a good one), the one area that Valve could improve on is making it more newbie-friendly. While LoL may be more newbie-friendly than DoTA, that's like saying Venus is less hot than the sun. It's still not a very hospitable place. It's basically a full-time job to get up to speed with all the acronyms, jargon, and conventions. You join your first match of LoL and your teammate says something like: "I'm going jungle Amumu with an AP Sunfire build so I can tank the carry in the lane with my ult when they ping." and then they get mad at you when you have no idea what they're saying. Don't get me wrong, I do like the game, it's just really hard for beginners like me.

Compare the steep learning curve of TFC where you have to master grenade jumping with every class just to compete with how easy it is to pick up TF2. So hopefully Valve will do something similar with DoTA, and make it accessible.

LoL, HoN, and DotA (2, Interesting)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 3 years ago | (#33229234)

There's apparently some politics going on beneath the surface regarding the various people working on these projects, not the least of which is the mild enmity between people who play League of Legends and people who play Heroes of Newearth (LoL is more casual and follows a Korean-free-game pricing model while HoN is more similar to DotA and just charges an upfront fee). Another DotA figure, Pendragon, hinted at this split in philosophy when he wrote an open letter announcing that he would be leaving the DotA All-Stars project. [dota-allstars.com]

"Although I doubt they can beat the price of LoL." There's also problems here. Speaking as someone who currently plays LoL (I might have a solo rating higher than 1250 if I played more than a few games a week), there's a lot of whinging right now about the constant nickel-and-diming of LoL's pricing structure. It is possible to earn nearly everything in the game through just grinding matches (character skins being the only true exception), but the point cost of purchasing new characters and stat-enhancing runes is so high that anyone wanting to play at a truly competitive level ends up needing to spend some money for boosts eventually. It's a model that works fine for purely casual play, but I count myself as one of the people that wishes we could just pay $50 flat and get everything so that we could play high-level matches right away.

Having said all of that, I had no interest in DotA until my friends online got me into LoL, which has been a lot of fun despite some issues. I haven't had much interest in HoN, but I wouldn't mind seeing what the new DotA project ends up looking like.

Re:Summary is wrong, as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33227940)

I remember going through the map archives trying to find early versions when Eul had been developing. There were definitely some fun heroes.

If I remember, Guinsoo went on to do League of Legends?

Re:Summary is wrong, as usual (1)

Graf Eisen (1877140) | more than 3 years ago | (#33228308)

Completely true. Eul created it around 2003. Eventually he stopped editing it due to waning interest and an injury to his hand, at which point the map was edited by a succession of 2 or 3 people who he chose, one of those being myself(I went by Sesshoumaru back then, if you have the OLLD RoC DOTAs you can probably find my name in some of them). The switches in editors were actually very good for the map's balance, since Eul didn't play competitively and thus had to go off of what other people told him about balance issues. Eventually TFT came out, and due to massive mechanic changes to certain abilities in the expansion that would've required removing/recreating probably half of the abilities in the game with different mechanics, it was decided to keep the addon as a Reign of Chaos only addon. Eventually some people(Guinsoo, I guess.. it's been a while, I can't remember) cracked the protection scheme that had been put on the map, and "stole" DOTA and made their own competing TFT version without Eul's permission. That version was known as DOTA Allstars. Eventually, a year or more down the road, Eul released the map unprotected since the RoC community had died down to only the really competitive players, and he had decided to move on to other things. Not trying to blame Icefrog for anything, although I'll readily condemn what Guinsoo did. People need to get their facts straight, however -- Icefrog and Guinsoo didn't create the game. For that matter, Eul didn't create the concept either(Aeon of Strife was his inspiration for DOTA), but DOTA gained much more popularity than AoS ever did. Also I 100% agree that people are much more newbie unfriendly now than they were back in the day. A few months ago for shits and giggles I decided to try DOTA Allstars, and people were anything but helpful.

League of Legends, etc. etc. FLOOD THE MARKET (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33226550)

Uh, I enjoyed DOTA some, and it was definitely a pretty fresh idea. I love that Valve hires developers in the mod scene that do good things (counter strike, team fortress, portal, I could go on).

However, League of Legends is just getting into season 1, becoming IMO the pretty ideal DOTA game. I play it alot and it has improved greatly on the gameplay. And they just keep adding characters!

On TOP of that, there was Demigod, which was a more full 3d DOTA but it mostly flopped, and furthermore there is Heroes of Newearth.
All that in addition to people still playing DOTA on war3, not to mention all the new DOTA clones coming out in starcraft2, taking advantage of all the new tools.
Valve hired icefrog, one of the lead DOTA developers, awhile back. Thats awesome. However, you're telling me a game developer only has ONE game idea? Comeon, I'm sure that guy has like 10 more ideas, much less valve's gotta have tons of game ideas kicking around.

So, why does Valve need to make a DOTA game? This seems SUPER SUPER unneccesary. I usually love valve's games, but WHERE THE HELL IS HALF LIFE?
WE HAVE 10 DOTA CLONES ALREADY. We just wanna play episode 3 :(

Hopefully it'll be some kinda free and open source thing like they just did with alien swarm. If its $20, I don't see it competing with League of Legends (free!) and if its $60, I don't see ANYONE buying it. So... hm. Not sure what they're thinking here...

Re:League of Legends, etc. etc. FLOOD THE MARKET (1)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226856)

They're probably thinking the for an investment equivalent to a small advertising campaign they build a fresh team that learns to work together, and create a product that keeps them in the public eye while the bull that is Blizzard rampages through the China shop.

Re:League of Legends, etc. etc. FLOOD THE MARKET (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 3 years ago | (#33227436)

Is there a good Starcraft2 DOTA/AOS clone yet, Most that i've played are mediocre at best

Name (3, Informative)

al3 (1285708) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226628)

It's Jon St. John [wikipedia.org], not John St. John.

Re:Name (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226906)

Yep, and it's that Jon St. John. Which makes me think this won't actually be a "Defense of the Ancients" game, but that it's the new Duke Nukem installment. It even starts with a "D", I can't be wrong!

Re:Name (1)

ITBurnout (1845712) | more than 3 years ago | (#33227686)

Now that's wishful thinking! No longer Duke Nukem Forever, but now Duke Of The Ages? Do Over 'Til Abandoned?

Vi-sitter-i-ventrilo-dept (3, Funny)

Hinhule (811436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226662)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTJncWndUB8 [youtube.com]

If anyone was wondering.

Re:Vi-sitter-i-ventrilo-dept (1)

Old School Saturn Fa (575758) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226850)

Vi sitter här i venten och spelar lite DotA å pushar på å smeker, med motståndet vi leker. -Basshunter

Re:Vi-sitter-i-ventrilo-dept (1)

WalksOnDirt (704461) | more than 3 years ago | (#33227458)

For those who don't know, the above post is referring to this [youtube.com].

Re:Vi-sitter-i-ventrilo-dept (1)

Hinhule (811436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33227482)

Vi sitter här i venten och spelar lite DotA å pushar på å smeker, med motståndet vi leker. -Basshunter

(Oh no you started an infinite loop!)

Valve should get its priorities straight... (1, Offtopic)

maweki (999634) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226684)

and stop doing such nonsense as releasing and developing games but release the native steam client for linux.

Seriously, it has been long enough now.

After that, you can go back to business as usual and do as many games and mods and maps (and whatnot) as you like and I – as a long time linux user – can finally start caring!

Re:Valve should get its priorities straight... (1)

theIsovist (1348209) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226952)

You'll be waiting for a very long time for a Linux client. There will never be a native client until Linux's market share on home boxes reaches a level comparable with either the mac or windows OS. It's simple economics and the reason why, until now, that apple's gaming scene has been anemic. No point in spending money if you won't make it back.

Re:Valve should get its priorities straight... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33227044)

Re:Valve should get its priorities straight... (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#33227438)

Phoronix has been saying stuff like that for years, and yet it hasn't materialized yet.

The original logic was that, because Valve ported their shared libraries to Linux, this CLEARLY meant that there was going to be a Linux client. Except that dedicated server binaries use said libraries.

Now, they're saying because some X11 (GTK?) code exists to draw the main Steam window, Valve must be working on a client. And yet, it doesn't. As far as we know, this was originally how Valve was designing the Mac OSX version before realizing that they'd need to do Cocoa for performance reasons.

Phoronix also cite a single source (and a second source that is an exact duplicate of the first source) that Valve said a Linux Steam client was coming. If that's true, why haven't any of the gaming news sites picked up on this?

Could be the game my friends and I wanted. (1)

lem0n263 (915429) | more than 3 years ago | (#33226688)

I played the WC3 DotA back in the day, but ever since HoN and LoL came about my friends and I have schismed into two camps. We all enjoy DotA like games but some of us prefer HoN for its likeness and capture of the DotA feel, while others prefer LoL for its easier gameplay and less harsh punishments for mistakes. Perhaps Valve's upcoming DotA like-game could be a game we call can agree to play without getting into HoN vs LoL flamewars. This is assuming that this game will be DotA-Like, of course.

Anon (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33226912)

Hello I'm an anon coward !

How was this even found? (2, Interesting)

MikePikeFL (303907) | more than 3 years ago | (#33227268)

I know this is only slightly on topic- but how was this registration found? Did they have to pay money to search the system?

What if I wanted to just go searching for a term? Or for all terms registered by a company? What stops people from doing that?

Sure, but why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33227710)

I don't believe that Valve can create a better DotA clone than HoN (Heroes of Newerth) [wikipedia.org].

I'll reserve my judgement (and my dollars) until I see what they actually ship.

Heroes of Newerth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33228130)

One can only wonder how this affects Heroes of Newerth [heroesofnewerth.com], which has enjoyed popularity among DotA players. The company behind it, S2, has recently released the game as a pay-once model (similar to Warcraft 3, where you pay for the game once and can play online indefinitely without charge) and the game-play, multi-player aspect, and graphics are impressive to say the least.

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