[[quoteright:310:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dota2_5011.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:310:(Left to right: [[AnIcePerson Crystal Maiden]], [[ScaledUp Dragon Knight]], [[MasterSwordsman Juggernaut]], [[HornyDevils Queen of Pain]], [[PowerCopying Rubick]].)]]
->''"[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cSFPIwMEq4 What does a hero truly need]]?"''

Creator/{{Valve|Software}}'s stand-alone sequel to the popular ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'' mod ''VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients.'' Valve had hired Icefrog (One of the game's original developers) and have been working on a commercial sequel/remake of a sort [[http://www.gamespot.com/news/6281820.html called Dota 2]]. It was recreated on the Source engine with all-new graphics and UI. It was released in July 2013 after a lengthy closed beta. Recent updates about Dota 2 can be seen [[http://www.dota2.com/2010/11/welcome-to-dota-2-blog/ here]]. For information on professional teams and their members, look under the multiplayer online battle arena folder in UsefulNotes/ProfessionalGaming.

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!!''Dota 2'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* AerithAndBob: Most heroes have fancy names that you will never see in real life, except for Sven, Magnus, Chen, Ember Spirit and Invoker (whose 'true name of power' is Carl).
* AscendedGlitch: Several quirks of the ''Warcraft III'' engine were intentionally replicated, and several quirks of the early beta have been left intact as well:
** Though integral to the game for years, "denying" allied creeps (killing them to deny the enemy the cash and experience reward) was originally an unintended feature.
** Creep stacking is a method where a player draws the aggression of neutral creeps to make another stack of them spawn in the same camp at the minute mark, when all empty camps will respawn. Though originally a glitch, this is such an integral part of ''[=DotA=]'' that removing it was unthinkable.
** Although since removed, Valve at one point stated that the technique known as "fountain hooking" would be left in the game. Fountain hooking refers to aggressively teleporting or dragging an enemy into their opponent's fountain, where the high damage will likely assure an InstantKill. While it's most well known with Pudge and Chen, it was possible with a small handful of other heroes as well.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: The description for the item Proof of Courage.
--> In the Red Mist army, cowards were made to cut their hair in shame. Axe has known neither fear, nor shame. Nor a barber.
* TheArtifact:
** The original [=DotA=] mod had two factions of heroes to choose from, including a neutral side, and normally defaults to allowing the Sentinel (Radiant) and Scourge (Dire) to only pick from their hero pools and the neutrals. Completely open picking became ubiquitous in later versions, however, so the formerly neutral pool has been integrated into the Sentinel and Scourge sides. Thus there are TrueNeutral characters like Sand King on the Dire, and mercenaries like Bounty Hunter on the Radiant.
** Backstories of various characters have been changed, in order to avoid references to ''Frozen Throne'', since ''Dota 2'' is set in a separate universe, and Blizzard owns the copyrights to all elements of the ''Warcraft'' games, many of which were incorporated into the original [=DotA=]. However, even characters whose backstories have been radically changed are still on whichever side they were on in [=DotA=]. So, while Centaur Warchief is a heroic saviour fighting for the Sentinel in [=DotA=], his equivalent, Centaur Warrunner, is simply a BloodKnight on the side of the Radiant in ''Dota 2''.
* AnnouncerChatter: You can buy different announcers from the ingame store, including [[{{pirate}} a pirate]], [[VideoGame/HalfLife Dr. Kleiner]], and [[VideoGame/{{Bastion}} Rucks]].
* AscendedFanboy: Pyrion Flax, a popular YouTube Dota 2 satirist, managed to get his very own announcer pack added to the game.
* AscendedFanfic: It's a stand-alone remake to a ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'' mod. Many of the characters are ''Warcraft III'' characters or units with the SerialNumbersFiledOff.
* BalefulPolymorph: Lion, Rhasta, and the item Scythe of Vyse can turn an enemy hero into frogs, chickens and pigs, respectively.
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: The more humanoid, attractive females are all on the side of Radiant. Dire gets the more non-humanoid ones, ambiguous-looking (Mortred) or EvilIsSexy ones (Akasha). Though the Radiant itself isn't 100% Good mostly and also has its share of non-humanoid ones (eg: Slithice).
* CallASmeerpARabbit: Quite a few characters, mostly with Sniper and the archers; Sniper refers to arrows as "feather bullets" and Windranger refers to Sniper's bullets in turn as "tiny featherless arrows"
* CallingYourAttacks: Most Heroes (some of them more than others) often either say the name, effect of, or a slang term for their spells during/immediately after casting them, especially for spells that are used specifically against enemies, so long as they don't just outright taunt the other guy ([[WorldOfPun or make an]] IncrediblyLamePun at them) instead.
** Earthshaker is a fairly notable one.
--> "Fissure!"
--> "Enchant!"
--> "SLAMMIN'!" / "ECHO SLAM!" [[ShoutOut or]] [[BarkleyShutUpAndJamGaiden "CHAOS DUNK!"]]
** Tusk will say some variation on Walrus PUNCH! ("x Punch!") accompanied by large red text reading "Walrus Punch!" next to his target every time it's used on a hero. On a creep, he'll say something like "Disappointing punch!" or "Moderately painful punch!" accompanied by small blue text reading "Penguin Punch!" next to it.
** [[DoomyDoomsOfDoom Doom, upon casting his ultimate "Doom", will almost always say something along the lines of "YOU'RE DOOMED!"]]
** Skywrath Mage often says the exact name of his abilities upon using them.
** Surprisingly ''not'' used for the loveably [[LargeHam hammy]] Storm spirit, despite [[MotorMouth saying something literally]] ''[[MotorMouth every time]]'' [[MotorMouth he uses his no-cooldown ultimate.]] Same thing goes for his other low-cooldown abilities.
** Rubick can do this, since he potentially has access to just about every single spell in the game, and it could possibly be taken UpToEleven depending both on the speed of any given person playing Rubick, and how extensively Valve has recorded/will record additional lines for his stolen spells in the future (as it is already fairly extensive).
* CaptainErsatz: Due to certain heroes from the original mod being named directly after Blizzard-trademarked characters or races, some heroes had to be renamed.
* CastOfSnowflakes: Every character has unique appearances, abilities, backstories, and extensive responses to certain events. All of them are fill in ''very'' different niches in gameplay and team composition, to the point where several heroes' schtick cannot be replicated by another.
* CombatPragmatist: Split-pushing, or "Rat Dota", involves forcing the enemy team to one location on the map, and then going to the opposite end to destroy their towers and barracks unchallenged. Many heroes (particularly Pushers) such as Nature's Prophet and Broodmother are notable for this.
** While derided by some as boring and cheap, buildings are the only true objective in a match and the strategy has intentionally been promoted with certain heroes.
* CombinationAttack: Many heroes work extremely well in concert with each other.
** Magnus can potentially suck the entire enemy team into a single compact area in front of him and disable all of them with ''Reverse Polarity'' before Sven walks up and uses his high damage and [[HerdHittingAttack Cleave]] to dice them all up in seconds while using ''Storm Hammer'' a smaller area-of-effect stun to give them ''more'' time to beat on their victims and Magnus' ''Empower'' gives both of them more damage and Cleave.
*** Sven and Crystal Maiden compliments each other, which is also the basis of [[FanPreferredCouple their apparent shipping]]. Aside the fact that both have skills that keep the enemies at place (''Storm Hammer''-''Frostbite''-''Crystal Nova'') so both can wail on the stunned/frozen enemy (moreso if Sven has activated ''God's Strength''), Sven's mana-hungry problem is migitated with Rylai's ''Arcane Aura'', which increases his mana regeneration (and Rylai being a support hero means that she is also likely to buy Arcane Boots to fill up Mana) so he can throw more ''Storm Hammers''. Whereas Rylai's squishy armor and cumbersome movement speed is also mitigated with Sven activating his ''Warcry'', which increases his and allies' armor and movement speed. With Sven's area stun, Rylai can also have an easier time to set her ''Freezing Field'' up.
**** In terms of setting up ''Freezing Field'', however, Tidehunter does the job better as his ultimate, ''Ravage'', is an AOE skill that stuns everyone in the area, which is perfect for team fights. Tidehunter can also help keeping Rylai's enemies in place by using ''Gush''. However, they don't mitigate each others' flaws as much.
*** If Magnus's stun is enough, Ember Spirit could be a very effective replacement, his "hit everyone in an large area" ability lets him deal massive damage to groups with Cleave, Magnus's Empower being worth 1 and a half battlefuries and boosting attack damage on top of that, can potentially result in a OneHitPolykill as all those overlapping cleaves can easily shred through entire teams.
** Ursa has effectively nigh-infinite potential damage due to being able to do more damage every attack using ''Fury Swipes'', and almost always successfully uses this to kill [[BonusBoss Roshan]] at an early stage of the game. However, he will usually not last long enough without lifesteal effects. Enter Wraith King and his ''Vampiric Aura'' which grants all nearby allies lifesteal.
** Huskar has an ability that deals 50% (or ''65%'' with an Aghanim's) of the opponent's current health in damage, and Necrophos has an ability that can deal damage to a target based on how much health it is missing (up to around 1-1 damage for each point of health missing). Targets of this combination tend to die.
** Tiny's ultimate makes him bigger and stronger for each level put into it, but with the tradeoff that each one reduces his attack speed permanently. Enter Wisp and its ''Overcharge'' ability that gives Tiny just enough attack speed to effectively ignore the attack speed loss.
** Tiny and Centaur Warrunner is another popular combo: Centaur's melee-ranged stun and nuke are guaranteed to land when Tiny throws him on top of the target, and can then be followed up by Tiny's own stun.
** A little different, but Luna and Night Stalker work fairly well together, as the two of them are among the very limited number of heroes who have long sight range during the night, both of them have ultimates that turn the day into night or extend nighttime[[note]]Luna's is much shorter, only 10 seconds, but could still easily help make the difference, especially in a team fight[[/note]], and all of Night Stalker's abilities work better during the night.
* CompleteImmortality: Four characters (Keeper of the Light, Enigma, Chaos Knight, and Wisp) are "Fundamentals": beings from the beginning of reality that are ageless and impossible to truly kill. The Radiant and the Dire are also Fundamentals, ones that were cast out by the others for constantly feuding.
* ContinuityReboot: The original [=DotA=] never had much of a story past minor hero and items descriptions, and for the most of it used lore already established in ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' as a base. With the remake being developed by Valve, they couldn't obviously use anything relating to Blizzard products. This gave them the chance to completely clean the slate and create their own fantasy world, giving all the heroes completely new and original backstories, though still using the original [=DotA=] heroes as a base.
* CriticalEncumbranceFailure: As of patch 6.78, flying couriers will fly 30% slower if they're carrying an empty bottle, in an effort to punish "bottle crowing" for mid-lane heroes. [[FridgeLogic Which makes no sense since the donkey will fly faster once the bottle is filled with water, which makes it heavier...]]
* {{Crossover}}: Among the announcers you can pick are [[VideoGame/HalfLife Dr. Kleiner]], [[VideoGame/{{Bastion}} Rucks]], [[VideoGame/DefenseGridTheAwakening General Fletcher]] and GLaDOS, and [[VideoGame/TheStanleyParable the Narrator]].
* CrutchCharacter: Towers can be seen as this: they are powerful early game when heroes are weak, but since they do not scale at all and cannot heal damage taken, unless the team has a Treant Protector or an Omniknight with an Aghanim's Scepter.
** Support/Nuker heroes like Pugna and Undying can also be seen as this, as they rapidly lose effectiveness late game. Depending on your team strategy however, a slew of Support/Nuker heroes can rapidly win a game before 20 minutes mark.
* DeathOfAThousandCuts: Many heroes have area-of-effect spells that don't do very much damage to single targets at all, or have auras that don't do a lot by themselves. The difference comes when you stack those spells and auras with those of the other four players on your team, which can quickly grind down even the hardest carries in the game under the right situation. That makes tactics very important to players.
* DeathRay: The Dagon's active ability ''Energy Burst'', which fires a beam that deals instant magical damage to the target.
* DemBones: The Dire has quite a few undead heroes.
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything: Valve had every voice actor do a line for purchasing an Aghanim's Scepter, even heroes whose ulti couldn't be upgraded. Loads of heroes have had ultimate upgrades added since the lines were recorded.
* DynamicEntry: Blink Dagger and Force Staff, two moblity items often built by heroes with short-ranged abilities to get into position easier.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: The game calls most heroes by their titles instead of their proper names. This spreads to the player base as well. It's easier to count which heroes that avert this. [[note]]Sven, Tiny, Kunkka, Huskar, Io, Elder Titan, Mirana, Riki, Luna, Puck, Zeus, Lina, Jakiro, Chen, Rubick, Pudge, Slardar, Undying, Magnus, Abaddon, Razor, Viper, Clinkz, Meepo, Slark, Medusa, Terrorblade, Lion, Pugna, Dazzle, Leshrac, Visage[[/note]]
* EvilLaugh: Very prominent. Almost every hero has a response of this sort to killing an enemy hero. Oddly, in this game it doesn't produce any {{Narm}} feelings, because whoever just scored a kill will usually feel like a badass, so if you get the laugh response it just makes the experience better.
* EvilVirtues: Many of the Dire heroes possess these. HeroicWillpower and loyalty being the foremost.
* ExcusePlot: Literally invoked in some of the supplemental material. The Heroes are mostly seeking their own personal power rather than being strongly for the Radiant or Dire.
* FiveManBand: The common team roles can be viewed as such.
** Based on starting positions
*** TheHero: The Solo Mid (the most powerful hero in the early game).
*** TheLancer: The Carry (mostly farming whenever a fight isn't happening till mid/late game).
*** TheBigGuy: The Offlaner (has to solo a lane against 2-3 enemy heroes, and usually requires inherent tankiness or escapes).
*** TheSmartGuy: The Semi-Support (farms up big support items which would be unwise to be built on a carry or mid).
*** TheChick: The Hard Support (spends all of their tiny income on wards, dust, smoke and is extremely weak throughout the entire game, but essential to all teams).
** Based on late game roles.
*** BigGood: The Ancient.(Without it, [[InstantWinCondition the game is lost.]])
*** TheHero: The Carry.([[MagikarpPower Strongest Hero]] late game.)
*** TheLancer: The Ganker.(Harasses and Protects the carry from the enemy. Often a semi-carry that snowballs through gank gold.)
*** TheBigGuy: The Initiator.(Either is [[StoneWall very tanky]] or [[HerdHittingAttack has wide effect spells to trap the enemy.]] In many cases, both.)
*** TheSmartGuy: The Pusher.(Makes sure all of the towers are pushed to the barracks. More rarely joins in on teamfights, prefering to stay in the background constantly pushing down enemy towers)
*** TheChick: The Support.(Helps the others by warding and assisting in battle.)
*** TeamPet: The Courier. (No viable combat use but is used to deliver items.)
* FoeRomanceSubtext: Between Kunkka the Admiral and Tidehunter of all people.
--> '''Kunkka''': "Ah, Tidehunter, you cared enough to hate me. [[http://dota2.gamepedia.com/Kunkka_responses#Killing_Tidehunter You can't buy that sort of love!"]]
--> "Ah, Tidehunter, you were my better half."
--> "I never tire of hearing my name on your lips."
--> "There went my soul mate."
** [[http://dota2.gamepedia.com/Tidehunter_responses#Meeting_Kunkka All but one]] of Tidehunter's "Killing a Rival" responses (and then some) are about Kunkka, and Tide will say any of them quite often ''even if Kunkka is not in the same game.''
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: Heroes can range wildly from mere {{Badass Normal}}s with little supernatural abilities ([[AnAxeToGrind Axe]] and [[KatanasAreJustBetter Juggernaut]]) to [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld ancient]] and powerful sorcerers ([[TheArchmage Invoker]], [[SorcerousOverlord Lich]], [[PowerCopying Rubick]],...) and massive towering titans ([[RhinoRampage Magnus]], [[WhenTreesAttack Treant Protector]], [[OurGiantsAreBigger Tiny]]...) to even {{Physical God}}s (Elder Titan, Ancient Apparition, the four Fundamentals,...). However, in-game their power levels are all roughly the same.
* GenderFlip: Tresdin the Legion Commander. In [=DotA=] he was a male, horse-riding, mustachioed, [[FantasticRacism racist to non-humans]], [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin commander of a legion]]. In Dota 2 he has become a woman with somewhat darker skin who fights on foot. The racism is toned down, but she is still somewhat aggressive towards non-humans, especially demons after [[DoomedHometown Stonehall.]]
** Additionally, Auroth the Winter Wyvern has also been confirmed for a gender flip as she shares the same voice actor as Tresdin.
* GenreShift: The various holiday events all deviate from the standard 5v5 Ancient-destroying gameplay.
** Both the 2012 and 2013 Diretide events are CaptureTheFlag competitions that segues into a 10-on-1 fight against a buffed Roshan.
** The 2012 Greeviling event was a race between both teams to kill as many Greevils as possible in a set time limit.
** The 2013 Wraith Night event was a 5-man TowerDefense game where five heroes defeat waves of monsters and heroes for 13 rounds.
** The 2014 New Bloom event pit the team against the Year Beast. Slay it and you can get loots for cosmetic item crafting. The most damaging players got a VERY rare Jadehoof courier.
* HurricaneOfPuns: Some heroes like [[MightyGlacier Tiny]], [[AnIcePerson Lich]] and [[ShockAndAwe Razor]] have voicesets full of them.
** There are too many [[IncrediblyLamePun Incredibly Lame]] ones to count (although, impressively, it almost never diminishes the overall experience):
--> '''Lich''' (casting Frost Armor): What's a little frost among friends?
--> '''Faceless Void''': In the land of time, the no-eyed man is king.
--> '''Chaos Knight''': Armageddon out of here.
--> '''Outworld Devourer''': Good news travels slowly. Bad news has wings.
** The blog update for Bristleback says:
-->Better watch your back, because Bristleback is back! [[LampshadeHanging (kill me).]]
* HomingBoulders: It's possible for autoattacks and spells to change direction in midair and fly across the map if the targeted hero teleports away or moves away very quickly. This is especially ridiculous with some characters, like Sniper, whose ''bullets'' can spin right around in midair to chase their target, or Tiny, whose ''Toss'' throws a nearby unit to a target enemy, even if the ''Toss'' trajectory makes no sense and bends around in the air. It also gets absolutely ridiculous with skills such as Huskar's ''Life Break''[[note]]he leaps at an enemy for massive damage[[/note]], where Huskar actually [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHrsZo6A0TQ changes direction mid-air]] if his target blinks away, ''even if the target blinks behind Huskar''.
* ImpressivePyrotechnics: The Ancients' explosions.
* Instant180DegreeTurn: Averted. "Turn time", or the half-second pause that a hero takes to turn to another direction of running, is an important gameplay mechanic to get used to and one of the balancing factors for melee vs. ranged heroes to ensure that the latter can't just kite the former with complete impunity.
** One of Batrider's skills actually ''increases'' the turn time of whoever he uses it on. Good luck kiting at all.
* IShallTauntYou: Certain characters have specific, mocking lines when killing other heroes. Some even have dedicated taunt animations that can be executed on command if you own the item in your backpack. Axe even has an in-game ability for this too - he magically taunts his enemies and forces them attack him so they cannot attack his (usually easier to kill) allies, and placing the enemies in position to be hit with his other ability, ''Counter Helix''.
* JustTryingToHelp: Some heroes that affect allied units with their abilities (most notably [[GrapplingHookPistol Pudge]], [[TimeStandsStill Faceless Void]] and [[TheParalyzer Naga Siren]]) can cause this if not used right.
* LegacyCharacter: Due to copyright reasons (like belonging to Blizzard-exclusive races like Tauren or Pandaren) some characters had to be replaced. They are still easy to recognize.
* LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards: On the whole inverted:
** Since the damage output for casters comes mostly from their burst-damage nukes, they tend to be powerful early game when enemy heroes have few items; but because nuke damage generally do not scale with items they fall short later when enemies become able to shrug their nukes (and their weak auto-attacks) off.
** Compare to physical damage dealers, who rely on right-click auto-attacks enhanced with passive abilities: their damage early on is weak, but scales very well and becomes stronger and stronger as they acquire more and more items, and in the late game they become major nexuses of power.
** Some heroes, like Shadow Fiend, Gyrocopter and Skywrath Mage are powerful all game due to heavy nukes and good scaling into late game.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Being a [=MOBA=], this is expected.
* MageKiller: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Anti-Mage]], [[BigCreepyCrawlies Nyx Assassin]], [[UnSorcerer Silencer]], and [[DomainHolder Pugna]].
* MagikarpPower: Hard carries like Medusa or Anti-Mage start the game very weak, spend most of their early- and mid-game farming and watching out for ganks, but are the strongest heroes late game, able to 1v5 whole teams by themselves if properly farmed by late game.
* MoreThanMindControl: Non-heroes exposed to Direstone or Radiant ore quickly become warped by it and turned into creeps. This is ultimately reversible, though not without extreme effort.
* MoneyMultiplier: Hand of Midas, Maelstrom, Battle Fury and Radiance. They are often not particularly effective in combat compared to other similarly priced items, but they can massively boost the farming speed of their owners.
* MonsterAllies: Chen and Enchantress can turn neutral creeps into their loyal followers. The Helm of the Dominator extends this capability to everyone with its active ''Dominate''.
* MsFanservice: On whole, averted. While some humanoid heroines ARE attractive, they're not overly sexualized to the point of fanservice.
** With the exception of someone like Queen of Pain, but that can be excused considering she is a [[HornyDevils succubus.]]
* MythologyGag: If you look closely at the icon for item recipes, the icon in the middle is the symbol of the Combine from ''VideoGame/HalfLife2''.
** StealthPun: ...Because you use recipes to COMBINE items.
* NoExperiencePointsForMedic: You only get assist credit if you ''damage'' the slain enemy. This is why certain supports (like Omniknight - most of whose spells protect his allies or slow enemies, or Treant Protector - whose ultimate stops enemies from moving or attacking but does 0 damage) tend to not have great scores since they lack easy damage spells to pick assists up.
** However, simply being near a dying enemy nets you gold and experience.
* NonActionGuy: The two Ancients (the Radiant and the Dire) manifest as defenceless buildings that must rely on towers and heroes to protect.
* NoodleIncident: The vast majority of the hero's backstories/bios are chock full of them. Almost all of them are vague at best.
* NoSell: One of the biggest mechanics of the game's meta-strategy is that some heroes are complete hard counters to others (such as Omniknight's ''Repel'' being able to completely nullify the effects of Slardar's ''Amplify Damage'' and many of Spirit Breaker's abilities, but ''Repel'' itself able to be purged by a Diffusal Blade), so choosing the correct lineup or item build against the other team can result in this. Again, rewarding good decision makings: turn the tide of the battles even when you are behind, if you are smarter than your foes.
* OurDwarvesAreDifferent: While not outright stated, the Keen (Sniper, Tinker, Clockwerk, Gyrocopter, and the smaller half of Alchemist) share similarities with Dwarves. Most are incredibly smart and sport facial hair, and all are very small in stature.
* PerfectPlayAI: When playing with/against bots, they will most often perform perfect chain stuns/disables, on the level of pro players.
* RaceAgainstTheClock: If both teams go all-in on a push into the enemy base, it usually turns into this. Known as a "base race" in the community.
* RaceLift: Tresdin the Legion Commander. Originally a white man in [=DotA=], they are now a darker-skinned [[GenderFlip woman]]. Doesn't mean she lost all of the [[FantasticRacism racism towards non-humans]] or any of the [[ActionGirl bravado.]]
* RandomDrops: Incorporated using a system similar to ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', in that only cosmetic items drop.
* RedOniBlueOni: Respectively:
** [[PlayingWithFire Lina, the Slayer]] and [[AnIcePerson Rylai, the Crystal Maiden]].
** Rigwarl, the Bristleback and Ymir, the Tusk.
** [[ChallengeSeeker Rubick, the Grand Magus]] and [[{{Narcissist}} Carl, the Invoker]].
** [[BloodKnight Luna, the Priestess of the Moon]] and [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething Mirana, the Princess of the Moon]].
* RevenueEnhancingDevices: Despite the fact that the game is completely play-for-free from the get-go, and you play as ''every hero from the start'', the online store still manages to have a ridiculous amount of purchasable-with-real-money content. With the exception of tournament tickets (which allow you to spectate international tournaments from in-game) though, all of these store items are only cosmetic in nature, a vast number of them can be obtained through Random Drop as above (with even some only being available through drop and not through the store), and none of the availability of the game itself is locked away. An exception to the tournament ticket rule goes to the annual "The International" tournament held by Valve. You can watch the in-game matches for free, and Valve makes money by selling "See it live" tickets and (for the 2013 tourney) the Compendium which is $10 for at least $35 worth of content and a promise for more as more Compendiums are bought.
* RivalsTeamUp: While every playable character in the game is listed as being on either the Dire or Radiant side, this has no bearing on which team they end up on when a match starts; Anti-Mage, for example, can end up on the Dire team. So anybody can be teamed up with anybody else, pretty much, even if the lore says that two characters hate one another's guts. Sometimes when this happens the two rivals will have mean things to say to one another, but will still work together.
* RunningGag: Frostivus, ostensibly the [[YouMeanXmas Christmas equivalent]] celebrated in-universe, getting cancelled due to some unforeseen disaster.
-->'''Frostivus 2013 Day 1:''' [[TemptingFate Nothing can possibly go wrong]].
-->'''Frostivus 2013 Day 2:''' BY DECREE OF THE ONLY KING THAT MATTERS - FROSTIVUS IS CANCELLED
* SchizoTech: Several of the Keen (ie, the Gnome analogues) have incredibly advanced technology, Tinker even having lasers, rockets, and automonous robots. They exist alongside and are routinely beaten by people using arrows and swords. However, Gryocopter's backstory mentions finding an "incomplete schematic for a Gyrocopter, the world’s first manned, non-magical flying device". So, while technology, with the help of magic, is incredibly advanced, pure technology is mostly inept.
* ShoutOut: Just as with the original, with the sheer number of assets in the game, most anything is a reference to something else:
** A red headed spellcaster named '[[LightNovel/{{Slayers}} Lina the Slayer]]' with the skill ''Dragon Slave'', and an ultimate named ''Laguna Blade''?
** Tinker borrows a lot of Dr. Isaac Kleiner's lines from ''VideoGame/HalfLife''. It helps that he's [[ActorAllusion voiced by the same actor]]. Same for a lot of others.
** An item for Tidehunter that replaces his fish is named "[[{{Webcomic/Homestuck}} Squiddles]]".
** Many of the AI bots are named after characters of ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment.''
** Sniper shares some of his lines with [[{{VideoGame/TeamFortress2}} another sniper]]. And Pudge, of all things, shares his voice.
** Lich and Pugna are obviously better known as the [[{{VideoGame/TeamFortress2}} Heavy Weapons Guy]], the former even citing some of the lines.
** Sand King gives us: "You were expecting... [[WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas Sandy Claws]]?"
** Nature's Prophet [[TheLorax speaks for the trees.]]
** Upon using his laser skill, Tinker will gleefully declare that he "blinded you, with science!"
** Meepo also gets his share of recycled voice lines, this time from [[{{VideoGame/TeamFortress2}} the Scout]].
** "[[{{WillyWonka}} You get nothing! Good day sir!]]" from Axe.
** When Earthshaker manages to hit 3 or more heroes with his ultimate, Echo Slam, he shouts "[[VideoGame/BarkleyShutUpAndJamGaiden Chaos Dunk!]]"
** Pudge's attacks, design and exclamation of "fresh meat!" might feel [[http://diablo.wikia.com/wiki/The_Butcher_(Diablo_I) familiar to Blizzard fans]]
*** Also, his line [[MortalKombat "GET OVER HERE!"]] when he grabs an enemy hero with Meat Hook.
** Omniknight: [[Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade You chose poorly]].
** Timbersaw: "[[Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus I'm not a lumberjack, and no, I'm not okay. I thank you!]]"
*** He also gives us "[[VideoGame/MeltyBlood Cut cut cutcutcutcutcutcutcutcutcutcutcutcutcutcutcutcutCUUUUUT!]]"
** The items Sange and Yasha, Black King Bar, and Monkey King Bar are all from the ''VideoGame/PhantasyStar'' series.
*** The Monkey King Bar also refers to the weapon of Sun Wukong from ''Literature/JourneyToTheWest'', both in its name, and its inability to miss.
** Bounty Hunter bears some resemblance to an older group of [[TabletopGames/{{Warhammer}} rat-man ninjas with shuriken]], and Chaos Knight's backstory, colour scheme, armour, and [[CoolHorse steed]] appear to draw on some [[TabletopGames/{{Warhammer}} other Chaos Knights]]. Gyrocopter and Sniper draw on the aesthetic of [[TabletopGames/{{Warhammer}} a certain other group of]] SchizoTech[[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame -wielding dwarves]], as well.
** Upon killing Roshan in the Diretide event, he [[Terminator2JudgmentDay sinks into a pit of lava while giving a thumbs-up.]]
** Beating the newly resurrected Wraith King shows the words [[DarkSouls YOU DEFEATED]].
* SkillGateCharacters: Quite a few heroes are inherently imbalanced in the lower brackets, where they are able to exploit and punish mistakes often made by new players: do not buy Sentries/Dust (Riki), do not carry TP scrolls (Bloodseeker, Viper), no wards (Spirit Breaker), play too passively early game (Drow Ranger, Riki, Sniper, Viper), can't control creep aggro (Axe, any orbwalker), or do not adjust an item build to counter an enemy hero (Zeus).
* SocketedEquipment: As of November 2013, cosmetic items now can be socketed, for gems which give special cosmetic effects.
* StandardStatusEffects: Poison damage, paralysis, stuns, slows, and silences are invaluable in teamfights. Several heroes (Venomancer, Viper, Silencer, Bane, Lich, and Spirit Breaker, to name a few) are themed entirely around a specific status effect.
* StatusBuffDispel:
** The Diffusal Blade's active ability and the neutral Satyr Banisher's abilities both named ''Purge'', which purge most negative buffs from allies and positive buffs from enemies in addition to slowing them.
** Shadow Demon's ''Demonic Purge'' is a variation of the above, being useable only on enemies but also deals damage and able to remove certain buffs that the normal ''Purge'' can't.
* StopPokingMe: In addition to unique lines being stated from clicking on your hero repeatedly ("rare" responses), [[WhatTheHellPlayer they'll also get irritated]] from you trying to cast an ability on cooldown or without enough mana for it repeatedly, or from the game's pause lasting too long.
* SuffersNewbiesPoorly: As with many other games in the {{MOBA}} genre, gameplay is extremely serious business, and new players are often subjected to an incredible amount of vitriol. The developers have tried to alleviate some of this by introducing a tutorial mode, but it's a long and steep learning curve no matter how the game is played.
* SummonMagic: Certain heroes have the ability to summon minions that range from expendable (Broodmother's spiderlings) to very valuable (Visage's familiars). The Necronomicon allows all heroes to do this with its active ability ''Demonic Summoning''.
* TalkingIsAFreeAction: Characters regularly banter with each other. Heroes will comment on loads of events, including buying a specific item, calling misses, killing certain other heroes, meeting certain allied heroes, getting a cosmetic item at the end of a game, and [[UptoEleven getting banned]] during the ban/pick process in Captain's Mode. Taken to ludicrous extremes with Storm Spirit, who takes this up to LullDestruction.
* TeamSpirit: Teamwork and Communication trumps nearly everything else, a properly co-ordinated team will usually beat one with a higher APM because while their enemies trip over eachother and blaming eachother for any mistakes, they'll be comboing their abilities, and keeping eachother updated on possible enemy gank attempts.
* TouchedByVorlons: Several characters have abilities conferred by beings greater than themselves.
* UnexplainedAccent: A good majority of the heroes are outfitted with various accents despite not being in the real world.
** Anti-Mage, Invoker, and seemingly Axe speak with light English accents. Pudge speaks with a more thick urban English accent, as does Bristleback.
** Mirana speaks with a light Greek accent.
** Meepo's accent sounds somewhat like a typical Brooklyn accent.
** Luna has a very thick Irish accent.
** Death Prophet has a very thick French accent, while Phantom Assassin has a more subtle one, perhaps French-Canadian.
** Slark has what sounds like an Australian accent.
** Through her echoing voice, Medusa sounds like she has a high class English accent, or an older American accent, like one from the 1940's -1950's.
** Chaos Knight has a deep voice, but he appears to have a German accent.
** Dazzle has a Mali accent.
** Magnus has an Ethiopian accent.
** Witch Doctor has a Rastafarian-type accent.
** Bloodseeker sounds like he has a Central American Accent to go with his 'Sacrificial Tribal' Theme.
** Shadow Shaman has a Persian accent.
** Sven and Tusk have Swedish accents. Sven sounds more like your typical Viking where Tusk sounds more like a Modern Swedish Accent.
** Brewmaster and Juggernaut have Japanese accents.
** Lone Druid has a Scottish accent.
** Skywrath Mage sounds Middle Eastern.
** Lycan seems to have a Slavic accent.
* UpdatedRerelease: The game is more or less a direct clone of the original ''VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncientsAllStars'' map from ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'', but has a new engine, brand new graphics and a modern interface. Several characters work differently because of the new engine, as the old ''Warcraft III'' engine put restrictions on certain spells. Rubick can steal transformation skills (most notably ''Elder Dragon Form'' and ''Shapeshift''), and Luna's Moon Glaives work differently.
* WhatTheHellPlayer: Attempt repeatedly to use an ability when it's on cooldown or you don't have enough mana, and your hero will sound more and more agitated/annoyed with your rapid clicking. Troll Warlord especially hates it when you do that.
--> '''Troll Warlord:''' [[http://hydra-images.cursecdn.com/dota2.gamepedia.com/1/1e/Troll_notyet_11.mp3 Now I'm ready, to stab you.]]
** Heroes with a built-in Blink will also [[WhatAnIdiot call you out]] when you [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment buy them a Blink Dagger]].
* AWizardDidIt: The accepted canon behind any bugs encountered within the game is that a particularly shitty wizard is mucking around with the battlefield.
* WorldOfBadass
* WorldOfHam: Every hero, even the most subdued (but not TheSpeechless), will mock enemies they kill and laugh when they score multi-kills. Also, many heroes will utter a hammy line when using a skill.
* WorldOfPun
* YinYangBomb: The Demon Edge, a sword with a hilt made from Direstone and a blade of Radiant Ore.
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