Gabe Newell and Erik Johnson have been talking to 1Up about the stories they're planning to tell with the heroes of Dota 2, and reveal that they're planning to release several of videos similar to Team Fortress 2's superb "Meet the..." sketches. A pretty staggering task given the size of Dota 2's roster.
"There are a lot of heroes in DOTA2 -- 105 so far, and we're gonna continue producing these videos," says Erik Johnson. "We definitely have stories that we're going to tell in DOTA, there's even a comic that's gonna be released."
Character relationships laid out by Dota's lore will carry through into the arena. 1Up say that Valve have recorded a huge amount of dialogue for each character, and champions like Crystal Maiden and Lina, who naturally hate each other, will call each other out if they meet on opposite teams in a match. "We've been testing the game for quite a while and worked on characters' individuality," says Johnson.
"We're re-imagining the whole world," says Newell. The list of heroes, the game rules and balance will stay very faithful to the version of DotA that IceFrog created. Valve are concentrating instead on creating new art design, and streamlining the experience around the game with their Dota 2 spectator tools , matchmaking, practice bots and an improved UI.
"While building the game we have been working with about two or three hundred people -- including a lot of IceFrog's original testers from DOTA -- and we tried out many ideas and hero designs on them," Johnson explains. "
"We also added all these professional to make the game a hard place to play, but we like to bring new people in the game all the time, both DOTA experts and newbies. The tournament players, for instance, have been playing for about six weeks on a beta build. It's sort of fun and sort of terrifying to see how pro they are at the game."
Dota 2 made its first public appearance with the $1 million Dota 2 Gamescom tournament , but Newell says that it's not likely to be released this year. Valve are still deciding on a business model for the game, a tricky decision given that Dota 2's biggest competitors, League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth, are both free to play.