On this week's dissected we're taking a look at something a little different: Blizzard DOTA.
It's strange to see the Defense of the Ancient genre go from being a bedroom birthed Warcraft 3 mod with a cult following to a lucrative global phenomenon and prominent competitive e-sport.
The popularity of free-to-play games and the success of League of Legends' micro-transaction model has proved to be far too compelling for Valve and Blizzard to ignore, both have announced plans to bring their own DOTA inspired games to market.
While Valve has boldly ruffled a few feathers by appropriating what is considered to be a community driven project and developing a direct sequel to the original DOTA. Blizzard on the other hand has taken to injecting the popular DOTA blueprint with a bit of its own flavour.
The first thing we see in this trailer is an overlay of a star system prominently featuring three key planets, which should be familiar to any fans of Blizzard's previous works. The first, and what looks like the largest of the trio, is a green spherical mesh representing a planet called Azeroth, a veritable world of warcraft.
The second is Korhal, a little world transformed by nuclear bombardment that has played host to many a battle in the StarCraft lore.
Although it's difficult to read in the trailer, we'd wager the final of the three planets is Sanctuary, the world created by like-minded Angels and Demons who want to live in peace, far away from all the other crazy goings-on in the Diablo universe.
The trailer kicks off by laying down a little context and providing a story. Understandably, Blizzard has chosen to keep it real simple: "In a tiny transdimensional pocket universe sit two dark and terrible gods, one red, one blue. To amuse themselves they kidnap great heroes from across time and space and those heroes come from one company: Blizzard".
In other words, there's going to be a red team and a blue team and the hero classes in Blizzard DOTA will be hand picked from throughout the company's catalogue of much loved Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo characters.
It's good to see Blizzard taking a tongue in cheek approach with its latest project. The narrator continues: "These heroes are forced to fight to the death in an endless battle with no purpose other than ladder points." Try not to think about that statement too much, lest it remind you of the pointlessness of it all and send you into a spiral of shame, depression, anxiety and self-loathing.
For those unfamiliar with the genre DOTA games have a lot in common with real-time strategy games but also draw heavily from role-playing game conventions. Instead of micromanaging production, resource gathering and tending to dozens of little structures DOTA places a heavy focus on players working together.
Each team is given control of one hero unit that's equipped with a unique set of attributes and abilities. Along with a steady stream of AI controlled grunt units players must use their chosen hero's unique skills to overcome the opposing team in a variety of different gameplay modes ranging from territory control to point defence.