After a long period of secrecy, Valve have finally revealed the new game they've been working on with one of the key developers of Defense of the Ancients community: it's Dota 2. DOTA was the common abbreviation of the original game type: fan-made maps where players control and level up a single powerful hero, while lesser AI troops fight alongside them. But Valve are using it as the full title here: it's just Dota 2. Read on for the first details.
This is, of course, what key Defense of the Ancients developer IceFrog has been working on since Valve hired him. And it's not the reinvention some might have expected: GameInformer say , "Dota 2 basically is DotA-Allstars with new technology," and that "The single map games take place on is functionally identical to the one that you can download for free today in the Warcraft III mod." Allstars being the version of the game that IceFrog developed.
Defense of the Ancients has been massively successful, but never quite mainstream. It's pretty obvious Valve's priority was to keep what made it work intact, and bring it to a much bigger audience. But that's easier said than done: it's not quite like any other genre, and both the original game and spin-offs like League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth have been tough to get into for new players.
Valve's Erik Johnson explains that they're going to solve this by rewarding the community for helping each other learn the game.
"I think the interesting thing is us adding a second layer where the community is a service to each other. That's the real shift that we're trying to build here. Valve is going to keep building software around Dota and around the community and around Steamworks for Dota, but we're also going to build this system where the community can bring service to each other and be recognized for it."
GameInformer have more on how they're doing that, and some great artwork of some of the 100 heroes the game will carry over from the original. Let us know in the comments whether this is exciting to you, or whether you were hoping for more.