First glimpse at Blizzard DOTA; may be entirely free-to-play via SC2 Starter Edition [Updated]


With a wink and a nod, Chris Metzen revealed a new trailer for the official Blizzard DOTA map for StarCraft II at this morning's BlizzCon Opening Ceremony. This map may not have the same hype level as StarCraft II's new multiplayer units, but Blizzard has wisely chosen to focus on another asset in their expertise: finding the humor in fights to the death. Alongside offering a new creep, lane, and jungling experience, Blizzard has hinted at "a way to play Blizzard DOTA for free, possibly by including it as part of the StarCraft II: Starter Edition." Check out the four hero roles and the nitty-gritty of the raucous hero-versus-hero romp.

The demo being shown at BlizzCon offers a choice from 12 heroes, with three heroes for each role: Tank, DPS, Support, or Siege. Tanks (Arthas, Muradin, and the Butcher) work as you might imagine, soaking up damage for your team and initiating group fights. DPS champions (Kerrigan, Zeratul, and Nova) are there to shoot and stab while the Tank distracts enemies; their glass cannon nature will make them shatter if targeted directly. Support heroes (Uther, Tassadar, and Thrall) have the power of crowd control in the palm of their hands, stunning and disabling enemies while they heal their allies. Lastly, Siege heroes (a siegetank, the Witchdoctor, and a new Zerg unit), a uniquely named role for MOBA-kind, will have one main directive: destroy as many towers and buildings as they can. Their long-range attacks make them perfect for laying suppressing fire and controlling space on the map.

Blizzard DOTA takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to the lore behind the new map. Two antagonistic gods, one red, one blue, have decided to pit endless waves of soldiers against each other. When they find themselves in need of leaders on the battlefield, they summon forth the greatest heroes of the known universe--all from Blizzard's best intellectual properties. When one of the available heroes in the game is a Murloc marine, you know you're in for a good time.

No release date has been given (in classic Blizzard fashion, it's be done when it's done), but it's hinted that a beta within the coming months. Check back for hands-on impressions of how the heroes play, and whether or not this could take the MOBA world by storm.