Valve Trademarks 'DOTA'
You're either thinking of "other" versions hacked together by some random person, or you're just lying through your teeth. Guinsoo and Icefrog didn't make a new map with the same name, they literally took(stole, tbh) the map and made their own edits to it. For quite some time the only edits were to characters and abilities -- the core framework of the game operated fine. DOTA was easily the most played custom map in RoC, well before Guinsoo and Icefrog entered the picture. If it exhibited the traits you described, I sincerely doubt it would have been as successful as it was.
Valve Trademarks 'DOTA'
Completely true. Eul created it around 2003. Eventually he stopped editing it due to waning interest and an injury to his hand, at which point the map was edited by a succession of 2 or 3 people who he chose, one of those being myself(I went by Sesshoumaru back then, if you have the OLLD RoC DOTAs you can probably find my name in some of them). The switches in editors were actually very good for the map's balance, since Eul didn't play competitively and thus had to go off of what other people told him about balance issues. Eventually TFT came out, and due to massive mechanic changes to certain abilities in the expansion that would've required removing/recreating probably half of the abilities in the game with different mechanics, it was decided to keep the addon as a Reign of Chaos only addon. Eventually some people(Guinsoo, I guess.. it's been a while, I can't remember) cracked the protection scheme that had been put on the map, and "stole" DOTA and made their own competing TFT version without Eul's permission. That version was known as DOTA Allstars. Eventually, a year or more down the road, Eul released the map unprotected since the RoC community had died down to only the really competitive players, and he had decided to move on to other things.
Not trying to blame Icefrog for anything, although I'll readily condemn what Guinsoo did. People need to get their facts straight, however -- Icefrog and Guinsoo didn't create the game. For that matter, Eul didn't create the concept either(Aeon of Strife was his inspiration for DOTA), but DOTA gained much more popularity than AoS ever did.
Also I 100% agree that people are much more newbie unfriendly now than they were back in the day. A few months ago for shits and giggles I decided to try DOTA Allstars, and people were anything but helpful.