I haven't played Dota 2 in nearly two months now and one of the big reasons behind that is fear. Paralyzing, marrow-deep terror. Dota 2 is not like other games. It's never just one more round. Six hours inevitably get flushed away with enough adrenaline to force a cow into cardiac arrest. If I get on a winning streak, I end up chasing that blood-thirsty high. If I find myself losing repeatedly, I end up playing until I win or it's 4am in the morning. There's no win clause here.
When people ask me if I have any vices, I tend to tell them it's either reading or Dota 2. I enjoy both to the point where they are hazardous to my daily productivity. And since this is a live topic about the second, we'll just focus on that. (Ask me about my book habit sometime.) So, how much time have I invested in the franchise? I don't know. Steam tells me I have 650 hours clocked in with Dota 2. I can only imagine how many I've lost to the original. In spite of how much I've dallied with sequel, it's still incredibly jarring to get into a game and look upon the world. There's always this brief moment where I sit there and think to myself, “Dude. Look at all those details.”
Dota 2 is understandably waaaaaaaaay prettier than the original. It's also more immersive. Characters react in a manner appropriate to the situation. I recall being constantly surprised by how much it felt as though my Hero was responding to my own exclamations. Was it psychic? Was Valve secretly monitoring my games? It used to boggle me as to how much I liked Dota 2. Though outfitted with a new coat of paint, Dota 2 is not terribly different from the original. Sure, certain objects had been renamed to prevent lawsuits and numerous abilities were ever-so-slightly tweaked for balancing reasons but it was still the same game.
And it's also the game that has lines like, “I'm the Juggernaut, Lich!” and “Failboat.” Flying Spaghetti Monster help me, I'm never going to get over this addiction.