Mostly this is a guide for DOTA 2 newbs coming from LOL. While LOL players will have a huge advantage over other non-moba players starting off there's still quiet a bit of learning curve for figuring out DOTA 2. Most of this is figuring out "how do I do this in DOTA 2?" This guide will hopefully lead you on your way, and not have to ask a bunch of questions that nobody will answer (not that the DOTA 2 community is ruder, but it's likely your team doesn't know the answer either).
In this guide you'll learn to ajust your setting like LOL, pick a champion, learn about items, last hits, and a bit on the metas of the game. I'm still fairly new to DOTA 2 so there's probably much more stuff that I don't understand right now that I can't go into. For the most part new players won't need to worry about that. I'm also going to try to keep this guide short and sweet
Short on time read this.
F1 is Select Hero (change the bind on this to space). Double tap this and the camera will center on your hero.
Right click to buy stuff in the shop. The shop sucks get use to it. You can buy stuff outside the shop, but must return to pick it up.
Couriers will bring stuff you buy in the store to you. Press F2 to select the courier. D then F for the courier to pick up and bring the stuff you bought.
There is no recall buy a Town Portal Scroll
Games are slow focus on creep farming w/ last hits. Use A button to attack own creeps and deny last hits.
Stuns/CC can last a long time so be careful trying to gank.
Secret shop is at LOL ~blue buff
Z to control other units, CTRL to control everything.
Towers are weaker, but don't underestimate them.
Casters suck late game, agility sucks early game.
In DOTA 2 champions are called heroes. None of the DOTA 2 heroes are locked, and there's no official "recommended" heroes, or newb heroes. So essentially you have to figure out who to pick out of 90+ heroes. I'll try to make this easier on you.
First off Heroes fall into 3 categories based on their primary attribute. Primary attributes are important because for each point of a primary attribute you have you gain 1 point of damage, and bonus stats based on your primiary attribute.
Bonus: 13 mana 0.04 mana regen.
These tend to be your casters, and support. Most casters have a really strong early game in DOTA 2, but they will tend to have a very weak late game since there's really no such thing as Ability Power (AP) in DOTA 2. Since there's no AP your spells will not be stronger than they are at max level*
Bonus: 19 health .04 hp regen
These tend to be your tanks, and bruisers. Strength heroes tend to level up better than casters because they don't rely on spells. They also tend to be fairly balanced the entire game.
Bonus: +1% attack speed .14 armor
These tend to be your carries, assassins, and ranged AD. The downside to this is most agility champs have a really weak early game so don't expect to have several kills right off the bat. Late game though agility heroes dominate the map.
I've barely scratched the surface w/ most champs myself, but here are some champions that are easier to play, and have LOL equivalents. Don't feel like you have to play these champs but they are good places to start.
Lina is a great caster to start off with. Her spells are easy, and powerful. I like to think of her a bit like Annie.
Juggernaut is a great carry. I was hesitant to put him in here since he's not easy then I realized none of the carries are easy. His LOL equivalent is Master Yi though I hate playing Yi, and kinda like Juggernaut. He's also one of the most popular/best carries in the game.
Her similarity to Ashe is about as close as you can get w/out copying. Honestly I like her better because of he silence, but getting frost arrows to work well is tricky. Still he can pull out a ton of damage w/ basic attacks.
So I couldn't really think of anybody in LOL that's like Kunkka. At first I thought Gangplack, but he's nothing like that. Overall he's got a ton of CC that's tough to pull off.
While sniper has the increased range over time like Trist his ult is much like Caitlyns. Either way he's an AD carry that's pretty simple to pickup.
Tidehunter is a nice bruiser w/ what could be considered the most devastating AOE stun in the game. He's really more of an OP Nautilus when it comes down to it.
I'll admit I've never played Axe, but he seems to be the most popular jungler. I haven't tried jungling in DOTA so I'm not going to go into that anywhere in this guide. Axe doesn't seem to have a LOL equivalent though his ult is much like Garen's.
*Aghanim's Scepter can increase the ults power for some champions.
Ok first off you have to right click to buy items. There are recommended starting items in the shop menu if you're not sure how to use your money (highly recommended if you're not using a guide). Basics are essentially consumables, and everything else is a mess, but I'll get into that later. Once you get your goods head to your lane which works pretty much like LOL.
Starting off you'll want to focus on last hitting creeps to gain money. DOTA 2 is all about snowballing. You get enough money, and a level advantage and your hero dominates the other team gaining more money and more of a level advantage. Unlike LOL being aggressive in DOTA 2 is really dangerous. CC is much more punishing so you might think you have an advantage and you end up dead before even getting to your target. My advice is wait for your opponent to do something stupid.
To deny press A, and select a friendly unit. You won't get any gold, but you will deny the enemy team of said gold. Don't worry if you don't get many deny's. I think of denying as last hitting practice more than a necessary strategy.
How do I recall?
There is no recall button. To return you'll need to walk back, buy a Town Portal Scroll, or use a courier if you need items.
What's a Courier?
A courier is minion you can buy from the store that will bring items you buy to you. Only 1 is needed per team though it's hard for multiple people to control him properly.
How to use your Courier.
1. Press F2 to select the courier.
2. Press D to pickup the items then F for the courier to deliver them.
3. Double tap Select Hero button (default F1 or Space if you followed my control panel settings)
Now before you do this you might need some help w/ the store. So onto the next section.
There are actually 3 stores in DOTA 2. You have your Base store, the secret shop, and the side shop. Mostly you'll be using the Base store, and the secret shop.
So DOTA 2 has horrible organization for the store. It sucks deal w/ it.
Basically these are the same as the consumable items in LOL.
Tango is a bit tricky to use you first need to select it then select a tree to heal yourself.
Attributes/Armaments/Arcane (3 sets all use the same generic icon)
The first set are items that give you + strength/agility/intelligence.
The second set are items that increase damage, or provide armor.
The third set are items that deal w/ magic. Be it mana, lifesteal, blink (like flash).
Mostly items used for mid/early game.
Support items tend to have Aura effects that help your team.
These are pretty self explanatory.
If it didn't fit somewhere else it went here I guess. I don't really understand the logic behind this.
In LOL you barely ever get to control more than 1 unit, and most the time it's fairly simplified. In DOTA 2 you can end up controlling a mini-spider army w/ Broodmother.
Easiest way to control other units is w/ Z and CTRL.
Use the Z key when you just want to send your controlled units out, but want your hero to stay behind.
Use the CTRL key when you want to control yourself and your units. Double tap space to only control yourself.
You can also use the old school RTS click and drag method, or there's probably other ways I don't know about yet. For know I suggest keep it simple w/ Z and CTRL.
As you approach mid game, and you've got an item or two under your belt then it's time to start thinking about pushing. The biggest lane difference between LOL, and DOTA 2 are towers. While hits from a tower are much less brutal the creeps don't really give you all that much protection. Also I still don't really understand the mechanics of DOTA 2's prioritizing targets for AI. So just be aware that a tower could turn on you at any time for no apparent reason.
Probably the best thing about DOTA 2 games are that just cause you might be down a man, or a player just isn't that good it doesn't hurt your team too much. A good carry can easily sway a 4v5 fight to 4v3 it just takes some farming, and a bit of skill. So if you're down a man don't give up yet you can still win this thing (if you still lose blame the carry).
If you're a caster you're probably starting to notice you don't pack much of a punch anymore. Agility based champs also start to become very dangerous at this point. Most of the mid game is pretty similar to LOL. Group fights tower pushes backdoors, and that fun stuff.
Typically games last a lot longer in DOTA 2 than LOL even with the snowball effect. Late game you're pretty much just team fighting pushing lanes, and taking towers down.
I'm not going to really state which game is better, or anything like that I'm just going to give a side by side comparison of the features in the game.
While DOTA 2 tend to have better technical graphics I feel that LOL wins out on the artistic style also with LOLs art overhaul they've come quiet a ways from release. I feel that LOL can increase their detail, and improve the models fairly easily as time goes on, but DOTA 2 will have a much harder time getting an unique artistic style.
Hands down LOL is just a better UI. The store is easy to use, and almost everything has an intuitive feel to it.
LOL seems to have a very cookie cutter approach to the presentation of champs. Mostly it's just a few taunts, jokes, laughs, and a dance. DOTA 2's characters interact a lot more w/ the situation than user input. Pick up an item key to hero and there's probably a unique line of dialog. Kill a rival, lol in chat, spam a spell on CD. It really makes the characters seem more fluid, and natural. All LOL champs have are skins which must be purchased as a whole. DOTA 2 has costume sets you can mix and match to make truely unique characters. There is some concern this will turn goofy over time, but for now it's pretty solid.