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Valve Announces Dota 2, Out Next Year

You know, the sequel to Defense of the Ancients. Kinda.

We all had our suspicions when Valve hired Icefrog, the designer and curator of the ridiculously popular Warcraft III mod Defense of the Ancients. And we had a pretty good idea what was coming when URL-registry-digging site SuperAnnuation pulled up a Valve trademark for a game called DOTA. But today, in a sizable online story over on Game Informer, we finally saw the confirmation: Valve Software, with the help of Icefrog, is making Dota 2, the sequel to Defense of the Ancients. Not a remake or a spiritual successor, but a "sequel" to the popular mod that Valve in no way owns. In fact, unlike DotA, it's unclear if Valve's Dota 2 is even an acronym at all, or if the game just uses the pronounced acronym as the name of its own totally identical but technically unrelated game.  
 
(As I suggested before, it's like if Valve released a sci-fi RPG where players controlled a space knight with laser swords and spaceships that just happened to be called "Kotor.")
 
         

== TEASER ==

  Gabe Newell sitter här i venten och spelar lite DotA.  
But if you’ve ever played Defense of the Ancients in Warcraft III, you are going to feel immediately at home inside Valve’s proper-retail version of the game; according to the Game Informer article, Dota 2’s gameplay will be identical to its modification predecessor. You’ll still choose from the list of over 100 heroes (and all of the over 100 original heroes from the DotA mod are being brought over into Dota 2). You’ll still control a single hero in an action-RTS battle where your team will escort waves of "creeps" from your base to your opponent’s base, all the while doing battle with the enemy team’s creeps and their heroes. You’ll still use the exact same items, skill upgrades, and abilities as you did in the DotA mod. It sounds like this is DotA-ass Dota, with Valve commenting in the article that there’s a reason good design and balance elements work, and that they’re not going to muck around the formula if they don’t have to… much like a certain other high profile PC RTS released this year.

Actually, the comparison to StarCraft II seems particularly apt; Valve seems to understand that, while DotA could be an excellent and exciting game, it was brutally difficult to get started playing the game, given a lack of competent matchmaking for the mod, few in-game resources that could teach players what they need to know to succeed, and a gameplay system where the death of a single player on a team could jeopardize the entire team (leading to a community that Game Informer charitably describes as “newbie-hostile”). As a result, Valve is putting the brunt of its development effort in Dota 2 into features that will help new or beginner players practice the game and reward knowledgeable players who impart their knowledge.  
 

 Valve hopes to create the Dota "Social Network," but with more creeps.
How is Valve going about trying to stem the tides of anger, frustration, and rampant homophobia that ruined many a DotA match? According to Game Informer, Valve’s key to making Dota 2 friendlier and more fun is a radical series of upgrades and enhancements to their Steamworks platform (Valve’s matchmaking back-end system) to create a Dota 2 community that rewards participation. Beyond offering skill-based matchmaking that will keep players matched with those of similar skill types, Dota 2’s Steamworks will be designed so that players can earn various unlocks to the game by participating in the community. Anything from presenting feedback about various elements of the game, to writing exhaustive game guides about various heroes, maps, and mechanics could help players earn points and unlock cosmetic and vanity unlocks to differentiate themselves and their profiles. According to the Game informer piece, the sky is the limit when it comes to rewarding players who contribute to the Dota 2 community. 

Most exciting of all, however, is the introduction of a "Coaching" system, and it sounds like this will be exactly what you imagine it to be. Players will have the option of  being matched up with Coaches (veteran DotA players in this case) who will watch the training player as they play--literally seeing the same screen as the in-game player--and provide insight and strategy to a player over the course of a match. The coach and trainer will have a private voice chat session as well as standard text-based chat options so the two can communicate and better optimize the trainee. Those trainees will then be able to rate the coaches on their effectiveness, and good coaches will be able to access their own line of unlockable rewards. 

All of this comes to Valve’s Dota sequel, which (as you might have guessed) abandons the old Warcraft III engine for Valve’s going-strong-after-seven-years Source engine. As you can see from the character renders from the Game Informer article,  the aesthetics of Dota 2 also seems to have been altered as a result of leaving the exaggerated features and bright colors of the Warcraft III engine (and popular DotA-inspired games like League of Legends), trading them in for a slightly darker, more realistic look.

You can read the Game Informer article for some more insight into the Dota design process (as well as see multiple members of the Valve team refer to Icefrog as “one of the smartest designers we’ve ever hired”). However, your enjoyment of  Dota 2 will boil down to one question that you need to answer; do you already like Defense of The Ancients? If you said no, than Valve hopes it’s because of the game’s difficulty curve, and that better matchmaking and an active social community will ease you into the game (along with Valve’s reputation for releasing quality software). If you already like DotA, however, then Dota 2 looks to be exactly the kind of game you expect--even if it's not technically related to the original mod--when it’s released next year on the PC and Mac.
 
Images courtesy of Game Informer
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Posted by MattBodega

We all had our suspicions when Valve hired Icefrog, the designer and curator of the ridiculously popular Warcraft III mod Defense of the Ancients. And we had a pretty good idea what was coming when URL-registry-digging site SuperAnnuation pulled up a Valve trademark for a game called DOTA. But today, in a sizable online story over on Game Informer, we finally saw the confirmation: Valve Software, with the help of Icefrog, is making Dota 2, the sequel to Defense of the Ancients. Not a remake or a spiritual successor, but a "sequel" to the popular mod that Valve in no way owns. In fact, unlike DotA, it's unclear if Valve's Dota 2 is even an acronym at all, or if the game just uses the pronounced acronym as the name of its own totally identical but technically unrelated game.  
 
(As I suggested before, it's like if Valve released a sci-fi RPG where players controlled a space knight with laser swords and spaceships that just happened to be called "Kotor.")
 
         

== TEASER ==

  Gabe Newell sitter här i venten och spelar lite DotA.  
But if you’ve ever played Defense of the Ancients in Warcraft III, you are going to feel immediately at home inside Valve’s proper-retail version of the game; according to the Game Informer article, Dota 2’s gameplay will be identical to its modification predecessor. You’ll still choose from the list of over 100 heroes (and all of the over 100 original heroes from the DotA mod are being brought over into Dota 2). You’ll still control a single hero in an action-RTS battle where your team will escort waves of "creeps" from your base to your opponent’s base, all the while doing battle with the enemy team’s creeps and their heroes. You’ll still use the exact same items, skill upgrades, and abilities as you did in the DotA mod. It sounds like this is DotA-ass Dota, with Valve commenting in the article that there’s a reason good design and balance elements work, and that they’re not going to muck around the formula if they don’t have to… much like a certain other high profile PC RTS released this year.

Actually, the comparison to StarCraft II seems particularly apt; Valve seems to understand that, while DotA could be an excellent and exciting game, it was brutally difficult to get started playing the game, given a lack of competent matchmaking for the mod, few in-game resources that could teach players what they need to know to succeed, and a gameplay system where the death of a single player on a team could jeopardize the entire team (leading to a community that Game Informer charitably describes as “newbie-hostile”). As a result, Valve is putting the brunt of its development effort in Dota 2 into features that will help new or beginner players practice the game and reward knowledgeable players who impart their knowledge.  
 

 Valve hopes to create the Dota "Social Network," but with more creeps.
How is Valve going about trying to stem the tides of anger, frustration, and rampant homophobia that ruined many a DotA match? According to Game Informer, Valve’s key to making Dota 2 friendlier and more fun is a radical series of upgrades and enhancements to their Steamworks platform (Valve’s matchmaking back-end system) to create a Dota 2 community that rewards participation. Beyond offering skill-based matchmaking that will keep players matched with those of similar skill types, Dota 2’s Steamworks will be designed so that players can earn various unlocks to the game by participating in the community. Anything from presenting feedback about various elements of the game, to writing exhaustive game guides about various heroes, maps, and mechanics could help players earn points and unlock cosmetic and vanity unlocks to differentiate themselves and their profiles. According to the Game informer piece, the sky is the limit when it comes to rewarding players who contribute to the Dota 2 community. 

Most exciting of all, however, is the introduction of a "Coaching" system, and it sounds like this will be exactly what you imagine it to be. Players will have the option of  being matched up with Coaches (veteran DotA players in this case) who will watch the training player as they play--literally seeing the same screen as the in-game player--and provide insight and strategy to a player over the course of a match. The coach and trainer will have a private voice chat session as well as standard text-based chat options so the two can communicate and better optimize the trainee. Those trainees will then be able to rate the coaches on their effectiveness, and good coaches will be able to access their own line of unlockable rewards. 

All of this comes to Valve’s Dota sequel, which (as you might have guessed) abandons the old Warcraft III engine for Valve’s going-strong-after-seven-years Source engine. As you can see from the character renders from the Game Informer article,  the aesthetics of Dota 2 also seems to have been altered as a result of leaving the exaggerated features and bright colors of the Warcraft III engine (and popular DotA-inspired games like League of Legends), trading them in for a slightly darker, more realistic look.

You can read the Game Informer article for some more insight into the Dota design process (as well as see multiple members of the Valve team refer to Icefrog as “one of the smartest designers we’ve ever hired”). However, your enjoyment of  Dota 2 will boil down to one question that you need to answer; do you already like Defense of The Ancients? If you said no, than Valve hopes it’s because of the game’s difficulty curve, and that better matchmaking and an active social community will ease you into the game (along with Valve’s reputation for releasing quality software). If you already like DotA, however, then Dota 2 looks to be exactly the kind of game you expect--even if it's not technically related to the original mod--when it’s released next year on the PC and Mac.
 
Images courtesy of Game Informer
Edited by benjaebe

Good news! I'm interested to see how much the game will cost.

Posted by Droop

Everyone?

Posted by fwylo

OH MY GOD YESSS

Posted by Grixxel

I've taught the toaster to feel love!

Posted by Mystyr_E

One thing I hope isn't part of DOTA: the community from LoL and Newerth. My god, those people are worse than Halo players sometimes

Edited by MattyFTM

I'm sure the game itself will be good, I just hope the community isn't full of elitist dicks.

Moderator
Posted by TurboMan


Valve Announces...  


 

DOTA 2!  

 

Posted by zityz

well dota with valve quality and most likely free updates? sounds good. Only problem is that those weirdo Dota people will come flock to this game and on your first game on the first day its out they will be bitching at you for sucking like a complete noob.

Posted by TehBuLL

Will Todd Bridges be in it?

Posted by MaFoLu

Oh christ, Gabe Newell is in the vent!

Posted by Hamz

Provided the community doesn't fill up with a bunch of cock juggling thundercunts I'll be keen to try this out. 
 
The last two DoTA clones have been nothing but elitist and appallingly behaved wankers. Even thinking about them gets me riled up!

Posted by FinalDasa

LoL is still free 

Moderator
Posted by Evilsbane

Awesome....now EP3 please for the love of god.

Posted by DaBuddaDa

Try to avoid using the phrase " at the end of the day," Mr. Matt Kessler.

Posted by august

If you're surprised or disappointed  that this is the game they announced, you basically haven't been paying attention to gaming news for the last year or so.

Posted by Warchief

just what we need another Monday Night Combat clone!

Posted by takua108
@Evilsbane said:
" Awesome....now EP3 please for the love of god. "
Posted by JoxxOr

Did they also licence "Defense of the ancients" or only DotA? Would be awesome if guys HoN  guys renamed their game to: Defense of the ancients 2". Imagine the crazyiness! :D

Posted by Jazz

Interesting..........but they need to nerf Droods

Posted by Vorbis

And thus, the worst community ever created was born.

Posted by Milkman

Finally, the second DOTA game.

Posted by Pop

I thought LoL made it pretty easy to learn, but yea when I first played DotA I was so confused and pissed it took a while to understand and learn what items to get for heroes. I think they will make a good game as valve always does. Now they are saying next year according to valve time that's in 2 years.

Posted by MysteriousBob

I've never even heard of the original outside of it being mentioned in every damn MNC review.

Posted by Dtat

So this is what is stealing resources from Episode 3 production? Good to know.
Posted by welly

woo what

Edited by Myomoto

Sjat hell? This is a really 'coorporate' move from Valve. Combined with the 'pay to unlock shit in TF 2' stuff they pulles recently as well, I'm starting to worry about them...

Posted by Vinny_Says

Wait so valve bought a mod for a blizzard game and they are allowed to release a sequel? I remember the podcast but I wasn't really paying attention

Posted by Scarabus

Never played Dota. Curious to see if Valve can get me to. Doubt it.

Posted by JackSukeru

This is infinitely hilarious to me.

Posted by pizzalunchables

Hmm, I used to be really into DotA a long, long time ago. I was pretty good at 2.54b, in which I think there was only like 40-50 heroes.  I took a break for a few months, and tried to get back in, but after a few upgrades it was completely impenetrable, even for someone with a background with the series. 
 
This announcement kind of excites me, because I really do like the DotA style of play, I just need a newb-freindlier version to get me into it. 
 
Also, coaching could be really interesting.  Do you think people will be less of a dick if its just one on one voice chat? I'm actually kinda optimistic about it...

Posted by Romination

Herp derp whaddabout half life 3

Posted by patrick
@Myomoto said:
" Sjat hell? This is a really 'coorporate' move from Valve. Combined with the 'pay to unlock shit in TF 2' stuff they pulles recently as well, I'm starting to worry about "
There's nothing game altering in the pay for category you couldn't get through playing normally. It was either they do it themselves or assholes try to set up selling stuff themselves to people.
Posted by MattBodega
@DaBuddaDa: You are correct, sir. My phrase was lame and dumb. I have since adjusted the article to make it less lame and dumb.    
Posted by gakon
@Hamz said:
" Provided the community doesn't fill up with a bunch of cock juggling thundercunts I'll be keen to try this out.  The last two DoTA clones have been nothing but elitist and appallingly behaved wankers. Even thinking about them gets me riled up! "
With that in mind we can only hope they stay with the WCIII version. 
 
I trust that Valve can better explain to me laning, creeping, or what a "carry hero" is, than the DotA website's massive documentation and multi-paragraph guides for almost every hero.
Posted by Detrian

Pretty late move I'd have to say. With games like Lol and Hon already out and with solid playerbases I have to wonder if valve's attempt will manage to capture the attention of the people who have settled for the other games or even the current DOTA playerbase which is so anal retentive they might deem the sequel unworthy of the original (even if it's exactly the same).

Posted by theveej

DOTA 2!?!?!? holy fuck.......  Shit just got real

Posted by wolf_blitzer85

That's cool.  I'm really happy to hear that they are trying to make the community a decent place. Those other games had people that freaked me the fuck out. 
 
Now you can have a private channel for your own nerd to rage out in your ear!

Posted by Jeffsekai

If it isnt free. They lose.

Posted by kelbear

Holleee shit. Coaching! 
 
That is an amazing idea, I can't believe it hasn't been thought of earlier. I wish SC2 had this.

Posted by MrGetBonus

I enjoyed DotA for awhile and started playing HoN and liked that too, but after awhile I have grown to hate everything about this genre. Playing HoN now is more frustrating than it is fun. That being said, Valve is one of the last companies I can trust to do PC shit right so I'm excited to see how this turns out.

Posted by madroxcide

Very cool for dota fans but damn valve we need some half life news. 

Posted by Myomoto
@patrick:  So what? They're still pushing in micro-transactions in TF2.
Posted by ThatFrood
Posted by ParaParaKing

I wonder how many people want to pay for a sequel to a free game.

Posted by Tuggah
Posted by wh1terav3n

<3 Valve. I liked the DOTA "spiritual successors" and such that I played, but as a noob, I totally sucked and my teammates advice to me to help me get better, "you suck noob gtfo". Gee thanks guys.

Posted by KillerBears

I don't see why if (a) the community for DotA is full of asshats, and (b) LoL and Newerth are full of asshats, there would be any reason to believe Dota2 will not be full of asshats.

Posted by ack
@KillerBears: higher base of people completely new to dota games via steam, dogg 
 
HoN and DoTA especially have been boiled down to a hardcore niche crowd  
 
it's like the people that still play CS 1.6
Posted by Sanitysend

probably the best thing ive ever heard

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