There was an AI version where you could play the AIs.
But I never thought the game was good.
Which did basically nothing to actually prepare you for a full blown DotA match... or even a half blown DotA match, really. Edit: About half the time, though, it was more genuinely enjoyable than actually playing with other people, th'folks playing being what they were.
I'll give a nod to the DotA dislike, though. I actually love me some AoS, but DotA... it felt likes its creativity and, I'unno, moxy
, capped out pretty early in its dev cycle, while fair dozens of other AoS-style games were still experimenting, implementing new and interesting things, etc, etc, etc. DotA just got kinda' staid and boring after a few plays.
Maybe DotA 2'll be better about it, but... if I was going to play a stand-alone AoS, I'd want to play one that held up the Aeon of Strife spirit while ducking the DotA yoke. Something that really pushed the 'one mighty person influencing clashing armies' thing, instead of this vague sports-like monstrosity DotA's become. F'th'gods sake, the major commerical AoS games still use, what, 4-5 critter waves? The original AoS did better than that! Kick this shtick up a notch!