On DotA Strategies and Personal Finance

Updated: April 1, 2015

Ask any internet cafe business owner nowadays what’s currently the most popular computer game and they’d probably say it’s DotA. Yes, this Warcraft III custom scenario has claimed the glory of local area network gaming back from massively multiplayer online role playing games in the Philippines. If you know your computer gaming history, then you might recall that before Ragnarok and all the other MMORPG’s became popular, everyone was playing LAN games such as Red Alert and Counterstrike.

Anyway, for those unfamiliar with DotA, this term is actually an acronym for Defense of the Ancients. The game mainly consists of two teams, the Sentinel and the Scourge. Each player will assume the role of a hero and will belong to one of these teams. Together with allied heroes and AI-controlled fighters called creeps, they will battle it out on the map, defending and attacking, until a team’s “Ancient” is destroyed. An Ancient is basically a structure inside the camp of each team – the Frozen Throne for the Scourge and the World Tree for the Sentinel.

This RPG basically took the physical demands of the traditional Pinoy street game, Agawang Base (Capture The Base) and transformed it into a computer strategy game that required not only good eye-hand coordination but also substantial mental focus and team work. However, as I was playing this game several nights ago, I began to realize something more. I began to see DotA beyond its entertainment value and discovered some important personal finance lessons within the game strategies. Skeptical? Read on and find out.


Know every hero in the game.
There are currently more than 80 heroes which you can choose to play in DotA. Each of them have different abilities, strengths and weaknesses. Players usually dedicate time in learning each of these heroes because it gives them a great advantage during the game. It helps them decide which hero is best suited to their playing style and more importantly, it gives them insight on how to strategize against their opponent’s chosen heroes.

It is the same for personal finance. We have to dedicate time in learning the different financial instruments available so we can invest in the one that complements our financial objectives and risk tolerance. On a different view, it is also important that we know who our opponents are. By becoming aware of our enemies, we’ll have a better chance of overcoming them and achieving financial freedom.

Farm for gold and save consciously.
As with most role-playing games, players need to farm for resources so they can buy and/or upgrade their weapons and structures. In DotA, players need to kill units and destroy structures to earn gold. During the first few minutes of the game, players often focus on earning and saving gold so they can purchase the items they need. It’s not an easy task in the beginning, but as they acquire weapons, have their characters level up and gain more skills, farming for gold becomes easier.

Much is similar in our lives. If we want to become wealthy, we first need to focus on earning and saving money. We need to be frugal and carefully plan our purchases. And as we acquire more assets and our investing skills become better, accumulating wealth becomes easier and faster. Simply, we should understand and believe in the most powerful force in the universe.


It’s the team that wins the game.
There are three basic roles that a hero can assume in DotA, the pusher, the supporter and the hero killer. Each of them have important roles to play in the game. Teams who usually win tournaments build a complementary mix of these roles and work together to achieve victory. One uncooperative team member is usually all it takes to lose a game in DotA. That’s why players carefully choose their teammates and spend time to learn their playing styles and strategies.

In life, our social network often plays a big role in our quest for financial freedom. Try to evaluate the people we spend most of our time with. Are we in good company? Do they understand and share our views about money and wealth? The friends we keep should complement and support our financial habits and more importantly, encourage and motivate us to succeed.

Make every second count.
Whenever a hero dies, he or she loses gold and respawns at the base after a few seconds. Depending on the hero’s level, the amount of lost gold and the spawning interval becomes higher and longer as the hero level goes up. Nobody wants to get killed but sometimes, it does happen no matter how careful players are. It’s all part of the game and good DotA players usually scan the map, analyze and strategize their next move while waiting for their hero to respawn.

It should be the same with us. Financial mistakes do happen. It can be caused by a wrong personal decision or by a turn of events beyond our control. But no matter what the reason is, we should never give up and remain focused on our goals. During these times when we have to wait while we recuperate our finances, we should remain positive and continue learning and planning towards achieving financial freedom.

I guess that’s it. How about you? Do you play DotA or any computer role-playing game? What lessons about personal finance have these games taught you? I’d appreciate it if you could share some of them below. Moreover, if you’re interested in learning more about DotA, then I recommend you visit DotaStrategy.com.

Lastly, if you want to read more articles about personal finance, business and investing, then I suggest you subscribe to Ready To Be Rich. Thanks.

Photo courtesy of GameZone Malang
Warcraft III is a registered trademark of Blizzard Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. DotA is a trademark of Dota-Allstars.com


  1. Warcraft for me is the best PC game – started playing from its earliest version up to W3 including all expansions – it’s an addiction actually. :-) DOTA simple rocks.

  2. Fitz, while reading this and saw that this post was in 2008, i really wished i could turn back time and invested.. Then I came to realize that no Dota hero has the power to turn back time. This is a good read. Thank you and keep on inspiring everyone!

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