Blizzard DOTA to be free with StarCraft 2 Starter Edition, mounts and boss monsters added
Blizzard have revealed some of the major changes they're making to the classic defence of the ancients format for Blizzard DOTA. They've mentioned mounts, major changes to the vital last-hit system, spectacular capturable boss monsters, and the steps they're taking to try and make Blizzard DOTA's battles faster and more friendly. They also confirmed that Blizzard DOTA will be added to the free StarCraft 2 Starter Edition.
The all-important defensive towers that guard the lanes will be much weaker in Blizzard DOTA. They can be taken out very early by aggressive characters. They will have limited ammo, too. That means you'll only be able to hide under one for a limited time before it powers down and has to recharge.
Blizzard DOTA will have mounts! Heroes will be able to hop onto their rides to dash quickly from point to point. Blizzard see it as a more spectacular and identifiable equivalent of magical boots in defence of the ancients.
In traditional DOTA, last hits on the weak creep minions were a vital way to gain extra experience and get ahead of enemy heroes. Blizzard DOTA removes that system. Minions will now drop orbs that can be claimed for a health and mana boost.
Heading into the jungles in between lanes in Blizzard DOTA will yield some spectacular rewards. Capturing camps doesn't just net you experience, it gives you an opportunity to win over powerful monsters like Ogres, who can join your creep waves to help push back the enemy. Blizzard also showed a huge boss monster, a stone zealot. It took three heroes a couple of minutes to beat him, but instead of crumbling to dust, he joined them and followed them into a nearby lane. There he started destroying everything with LASERS FROM HIS EYES. Blizzard say that when the Stone Zealot is captured, a global announcement goes out to every hero on the field and he appears as a huge red skull icon on the minimap. That is awesome.
In the Q&A following the panel, the developers also mentioned Soul Tokens. Gained through capturing jungle points, these will let players summon powerful yetis that can be used to take down weakened towers, or used together to form a "Yeti surge" that can overwhelm enemy creep mobs.
Blizzard want Blizzard DOTA matches to be much faster and shorter than typical Defence of the Ancients battles. They hope the smaller time investment will help to reduce the anger and infighting that can often break out during DOTA bouts. Instead of claiming kills on enemy heroes, experience is shared equally between all heroes involved in damaging the hero. 'Kills' will be replaced by 'Takedowns.' The devs say that this is an attempt to remove last hit kill steals, removing one of the main "conflict points" that cause players to become infuriated with their team mates.
Blizzard are really doing a lot to really differentiate Blizzard DOTA from the fierce competition it's sure to face from Valve's Dota 2, League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth, which all place emphasis on maintaining the ruleset of the original Defence of the Ancients mod.