Valve releases Dota 2 patch notes written entirely in emojis

A hero in Dota 2 wreathed in magical light.
(Image credit: Valve)

New Dota 2 patch notes dropped today, and they're a little different than most, because they've been rendered entirely in emojis. That makes them very difficult to read, but it hasn't deterred the Dota 2 community, which has whipped up a 55-page document that translates the whole thing.

This is what it the actual patch notes look like on Steam—there are multiple pages, this is just a chunk from the middle I selected at random:

What? (Image credit: Valve)

There are obviously patterns to be seen and plenty of numbers indicating changing values, and that inspired Dota 2 fans who are cleverer and more patient than I am to get to work on a translation. The effort began in this long, large Reddit thread, and soon moved to a shared Google document. After some early headaches with a troll who apparently erased the ongoing work, the effort got underway in earnest, and within a matter of hours produced what appears to be a full translation.

The translated patch notes appear to be ordered differently from the emoji original, but overall it does seem to make sense—although as you can see from these apparent Witch Doctor changes, some entries are a lot easier to figure out than others:

(Image credit: Valve)

The Dota 2 patch notes appear to be mostly translated at this point, although there are some bits of uncertainty, and one obvious question: Is it an accurate translation? Die-hard Dota 2 fans would be able to say better than I can, but the feeling amongst the community on Reddit seems pretty positive that they've nailed it down pretty well. And while some fans are apparently frustrated by the encoding—this obviously isn't the easiest way to read patch notes—others are enjoying the challenge.

"People raging about this post on Twitter should come to reddit and see how much fun this is," redditor IgorChakalArt wrote. "They're mad and losing [out] on a great time. Great job, Valve."

"I don’t know who's writing these hilarious blog posts at Valve, but they're amazing," podteod said in a separate thread. "I really hope they are reading this. I really like the humorous approach, and whoever is writing those, they're goddamn amazing.

"Seems like a recent development, probably some new person writing these. The 7.33 notes were also pretty funny."

That also led to speculation about who the EW responsible for these patch notes really is. Erik Wolpaw? Emoji Wizard? Egab Wneell? It's mysteries upon mysteries, really. I've reached out to Valve for more information and will update if I receive a reply.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.