Dota 2 beta originally planned to last for a year. "Our original plan was dumb," say Valve
In a new entry on the Dota 2 blog, IceFrog reveals that Valve were planning on keeping Dota 2 in beta for "a year or so" so they could bring the number of heroes up to Dota 1 levels. After seeing the reaction to the Dota 2 International tournament at Gamescom, they have decided that "our original plan was dumb."
"Welcome to the new plan," writes IceFrog. "We’re going to take the current version of Dota 2, which has The International set of heroes, and get it out there as fast as we can."
"We’ve still got some work to do in a couple of areas, so we’ll be keeping it invite-only for a (hopefully short) period of time. But there’ll be no restrictions on what players can do with it – they can release screenshots, make movies, shoutcast matches, write guides, publicly make fun of our HUD, or anything else their hearts desire."
IceFrog also mentions that now is a good time to sign up for beta access, if you haven't already. All you have to do is log into the Dota 2 site with your Steam account, find the beta section further down the page and opt in. Perhaps Valve's decision to fast track Dota 2 is the result of the fact that the Dota 2 beta client was recently leaked, revealing a few modes, matchmaking, heroes and even a few tidbits about Half Life 2: Episode 3.